What?: We were kindly gifted a trial class of our choice by The Little Dance Company and decided on Baby Hip Hop (ages 2.5-4) – mostly because I had no idea what it would involve but thought it sounded potentially hilarious. Parsons Green is a mission and a half for us and the Queen’s Park venue would probably have been a more sensible choice, but we’d been to Cuckoo Hibou before and loved it – plus I’m a very silly person – so off we went on the Overground.
Unfortunately I’m currently enduring the third trimester of a very vommy pregnancy and had to throw up into a nappy sack somewhere near Willesden Junction. It was also absolutely pissing it down that day and we had to walk for 20 minutes to get there from Imperial Wharf, so I arrived bedraggled with insane hair and leaky eyeliner, and emitting more than a vague whiff of vomit. Had it been any other location it would have been fine, but Parsons Green is posh, full of well-dressed mums whose well-dressed kids all have names like Delphine (admittedly I totally wanted to steal this name for my unborn child) and Hector, and I felt conspicuously grotesque.
This class was led by Miss Laura, one of TLDC’s four teachers, who was lovely – encouraging but very relaxed. Babu was into it from the get go, asking to go through the gate (adults wait on the other side and watch) before I’d even taken her coat off. I loved how engaging the class was, packed with motivating, toddler-friendly pop music, fun, bouncy dance moves and props (my personal favourite being the sunglasses), and Babu seemed completely enraptured, only losing interest in the last five minutes – presumably because all the jumping around twerking and doing the moonwalk had completely knackered her out.
One of the loveliest things about this class was the way every child was individually cheered on by Miss Laura, which I think is so crucial for preschoolers – particularly ones like Babu who don’t go to nursery and aren’t used to doing activities without their parents (even if said parents are literally a couple of yards away). We went to the last class of term when Miss Laura and TLDC founder Miss Katie were handing out certificates, and I was really touched that they also made one for Babu so she didn’t feel left out. All in all a really great activity for introducing little ones to dance, boosting their confidence and (hopefully) ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Where and When?: Our class ran from 11.20-11.50am on a Friday, and took place at the Cuckoo Hibou concept store, 181 New King’s Road (Parsons Green 7 mins), but The Little Dance Academy also runs Baby Hip Hop classes at Winnington Bowls Club in Fulham, the Children’s Wellness Centre in Chiswick, The Maqam Centre in Queen’s Park and the Princess Victoria in Kensington.
Best Bits: It was so cute to see Babu so absorbed in an activity.
Worst Bits: I wish all classes could be drop-in so you weren’t tied down to attending and paying for a whole bunch, though I’d consider paying for a term if it was (much) closer to home.
Facilities: Cuckoo Hibou offers an on-site cafe serving kids’ snacks, as well as baby changing and outdoor buggy parking.
Cost: £24 for a three-session trial or £108 for a 12-session term.
Would We Come Back?: Unfortunately TLDC doesn’t offer single classes and we aren’t huge fans of commitment, but if she could I’d love Babu to try the ballet and tap sessions.
Babu dances with Miss Laura at Baby Hip Hop, Cuckoo Hibou, Parsons Green.