It is without doubt that we have all been tested this last year! We have been faced with the challenge of protecting our physical health and that of our loved ones as well as, perhaps, more importantly, having to find the tools to protect our emotional and mental health and well-being too. Months spent without normal routines or seeing loved ones has taken its toll on us all – including our children. Wellbeing (as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary) is ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’. As parents, it is second nature to keep our children healthy and comfortable but how do we provide opportunities to make them happy?

Our mission statement at Kicks has always been:

Kicks Dance focuses on building self–confidence and self–esteem through the enjoyment of dance, rather than offering technique classes

Part of our vision is:
• for children to feel happy, loved and self-confident
• to give parents peace of mind that their child’s physical and mental wellbeing is being looked after
• to make Dance and the Arts in schools an enriching and exciting experience and to get children moving in a fun and enjoyable way
• to bring joy and fun to the community and to help our little people grow into happy, healthy and confident members of society
• to inspire our teachers and staff to make a difference to the lives of children

This has never been more relevant than now!  We have always aimed to help make children feel special, happy, safe and important at Kicks Dance and to be excited for their next Kicks Dance activities/events. We have always expected our children to show noticeable growth in confidence and self–belief.

Over the last few months we have had the privilege of working with schools to deliver ‘Well-being Workshops’ to help children with their return to school life after such a difficult time. We teach them that dancing (cardio exercise) is not only great for the heart, for balance, co-ordination, strength and the brain but it is also amazing to help with our emotions (by releasing ‘happy hormones’) and helps with our confidence and self-esteem by ensuring that they know that ‘it’s ok not to be perfect’.  We are also aware that children may have anxieties and so incorporate deep breathing exercises and opportunities to chat in all our sessions.

Kicks delivered some lovely well-being sessions  that included the perfect balance of physical  activity, relaxation, mindfulness and lots of fun!

Assistant Deputy Head

St Peter's Primary School, East Grinstead

Perhaps we could all benefit from slowing down, to really notice what we are doing, to listen to the birds… Or perhaps we could just repeat what we ask our children to say in our message of kindness to ourselves:

‘Today is a good day to say I can be anything.  Today is a good day to say I love me just the way I am’