First STEPS Program

First STEPS Program

Early Learning Through The Arts


FIRST STEPS – EARLY LEARNING THROUGH THE ARTS: Arts education plays an increasingly important role in early childhood.  The creative arts are activities that engage a child’s imagination and can include activities such as art, dance, drama, puppetry, and music.


PURPOSE: The purpose of arts education is not only to encourage the overall development but to provide adequate and developmentally appropriate opportunities that will continue to boost a child’s holistic development and learning. It’s never too soon to introduce children to the possibilities of creative expression.


MOMENTS OF TRANSFORMATION: Research shows that integrating the preforming arts, dance and music into early childhood education, is a highly effective way for children to learn across the curriculum. Arts integrated techniques increase academic and social emotional development for all kinds of learners.


ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The performing arts tap into children’s innate desire for active learning and develop the foundation and desire for the love of the arts while creating many important breakthrough  moments.


LEARNING STRATEGIES: FIRST STEPS involves sharing arts integrated learning strategies, developing lesson plans with the classroom teacher, and interacting with the students. These strategies provide children with transformational moments using the arts as part of their development.


STORY TIME AND ACTING: Acting out the characters in a book help young students to understand the perspective and feelings of others. Learning from can be difficult, new, and frustrating. The arts facilitate various techniques that will aide in learning.


LOGIC, MATH, LANGUAGE, LITERACY: Students light up when they see how dance and music are incorporated into a science lesson. It’s a creative and collaborative approach to early childhood education. The arts make a difference in early childhood education.


EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATION: The classroom teacher and Orlando Ballet Teaching Artists will collaborate on lessons. The Teaching Artists will utilize other resources like worksheets, puppets, movement, songs, acting, costumes, music, books, videos, live performers and many other tools to support and expand the experience in the classroom.


THE DANCER VISIT: – Participating FIRST STEPS schools and centers will receive a surprise visit by two Orlando Ballets dancers.  These young professionals will present a 30-minute interactive informal performance on the art of dance. The dancers may perform a variety of dance styles designed to educate and entertain our FIRST STEPS students. This visit will also include a talk back where students ask questions about what they just saw and what they have observed.


DRESS UP & DANCE – Students will have the opportunity to dress in costumes from the ballets they discuss in class. This is a great opportunity to take photos of the students.


LITERARY COLLATORAL: Orlando Ballet Teaching Artists brings additional educational literature to support the ORLANDO BALLET’S FIRST STEPS curriculum over the 10-week session. Classroom Teachers receive a copy of the books to keep for future use.

  • B is for Ballet by John Robert Altman
  • Boys Dance by John Robert Altman
  • A child’s Introduction to the Nutcracker by Heather Alexander


If you would like more information on our FIRST STEPS program or to register your school or center to participate in the Orlando Ballet’s FIRST STEPS program, please call Orlando Ballet School at 407- 418- 9818 or email Charmaine Hunter at [email protected] or Joni Newman at [email protected]


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