This past week we held our Summer Dance Camp (AKA Mattierin Muffin Camp) for current Beginners and new dancers aged 4 and up! The camp was held from 8:30am - 12:30pm each day and was packed with fun. We did our warm ups, exercises and stretches followed by a good hour of dancing! The rest of the day was filled with crafts, games, relays, snacks and then more dancing! We even had champ dancers, Kaelyn, Peyton, Jenna, Grace and Charlotte volunteer their time and join in on the fun!
DID YOU KNOW? We held our very first Beginner Camp last year and had 8 dancers attend. This year, we more than doubled in size and had 19 (both boys and girls) enthusiastic campers!
We had a great start to the week when our campers arrived Monday morning. More than half of our campers were brand new. Considering this was their first time walking into our studio and the fact the mum and dad wouldn't be sitting in the lobby during camp (like most will do for the first Beginner class which is only an hour), we had no tears and no nervous campers! Any shyness disappeared within the first 15 minutes and off we were into what became a fantastic week!
Each day our campers had the opportunity to get creative! We had some pretty fun crafts planned out for each day. On day 1, we started off with some colouring during snack time. We colored Irish dancers, Irish flags and Celtic designs! Later in the day, we made book marks and edible rainbows which was a big hit!
On day 2, between learning our jump 23's and practicing our reels and jigs, working on our cardio with fun relays and playing Patti says with our younger campers, we headed outside to chalk! Animals, flowers, quotes (one camper wrote "Home Sweet Dance"), rainbows, body traces and abstract art made for the most colorful sidewalks we've ever seen! After making art outside, we headed in and did some painting to kick start our crafts for the next day.
Day 3 started out with each camper truly becoming a Mattierin Muffin by receiving a camp t-shirt with an abstract version of our new logo!
Pretty funky, right? Afterwards, we got straight to work! We were so impressed by the energy and work ethic each dancer had. They were learning happy feet, walk 2 3's and jump 2 3's while our seasoned Beginners were working hard on mastering their reels and jigs and getting started on hard shoe!
Day 3 ended with each dancer taking home two cool crafts! Each dancer was given a giant pegboard letter (first name letter) which they had painted on Day 2. Then they weaved through all different colors of ribbons and added giant gems and stones! Our second craft of the day (one of our favourites) was the "Landscape of Ireland" topped off with a wee sheep!
Day 4 was just as fun! We were definitely starting to feel tired but our campers were showing no signs of it after 3 days of hard work! After 2 hours of warm ups and dancing, our campers had a quick snack break followed by games, relays and crafts. We made lucky leprechauns!
The last 30 min of camp was a big surprise and a huge hit...WATER BALLOONS! We had races, tosses and by the end, our dance floor turned into a giant slip'n slide! The perfect way to cool off after a fun day of hard work!
By day 5, we couldn't believe how quickly the week had gone by but time sure does fly when you're having fun! We were so impressed with the progress each dancer had made in just 4 days! On our last day, we danced (of course!), took a snack break, decorated gift bags (which were later filled)) and then headed outside again. This time to blow some bubbles!
What fun! Then it was back into the studio for relays and our final craft of the week... Glow in the Dark Shamrock gardens complete with a leprechaun shadow and topped off with a rainbow!
We finished camp with a surprise performance of the Walls of Limerick (which we had been learning all week) for all of the mums and dads which was followed by a big bow and a huge cheer!
What a successful week! We couldn't have been any happier with the progress each dancer made and the smiles that went home each day.
It looks like we'll be seeing these campers or better yet, Mattierin Muffins, back in the studio this September! But first, some well deserved zzz's!