Learning to Jump

During Little Stars at Witham and South Woodham Ferrers this week our wonderful toddlers were working hard on there jumps. As we get older i think we forgot how hard to was for us to learn to walk, jump and balance as a small child and how fearless we were as we fell, over and over again until that magical day when we let go of the sofa and walked!

The Mechanics of a Jump. 

A basic sauté or vertical jump uses a lot of muscles working together to lift you of the floor into the air. You use your Quads, hamstrings, glutes and calfs as well as core for stability and balance.

How We Teach A Jump.

In our classes we focus heavily on high knees and tiptoes to develop strength in there legs specifically the quads and calfs. Our Frog dance is specifically designed to teach a child how to jump, using there plié to bend deeply before launching our selves up onto our tiptoes and later into the air to jump.  We also bend down to the floor into a frog squat to give them extra power to launch themselves into the air.

Most dancers who start with us from 2 years old will not be able to jump straight away it takes time to build up there strength and understanding of how to use there body to jump.

How You Can Help Your Child Learn To Jump At Home.

In the same way that the more they walked round the room the stronger and faster they got until you were chasing them round there room! Its the same with jumps practise makes perfect!

A great way to practise is to use songs like ‘monkeys jumping on the bed’ to let them jump on the sofa or bed the springs in the bed/ sofa will assist them until they have enough strength to jump on there own.

You could then progress to jumping off the curb or low steps or walls. i’m sure we all have memories of hold a parents hand as we walked along a wall before jumping off it at the end. All these can help increase strength as well as confidence.

Happy Dancing

Lauren x

Crafty Summer

Somedays you just need a lazy day, films on the sofa a bucket of popcorn and a few crafts to round off the perfect day!

Crafty Makes 

Home bargains, Poundland and B&M all have so many great and cheap crafts for sale at the moment. Most of them are between 50p & £5.

Here are a few fun crafts how to’s I have found online, I hope they help inspire some summer fun and I would love to see what you create.

Unicorn Notebook DIY

Rock Painting Emojis 

Colourful Heart Painting

Butterfly Plates

20 Pipe Cleaner Crafts

Crafty Bakes

I love a baking day! (I am so excited for the return of the great British bake off.) What a perfect thing to do in the morning before a afternoon on the sofa watching films and munching on your yummy baked goodies!

Here are a few of my favourite naughty treat recipes:

Hello cupcake is one of my favourite cupcake books it has step by step photos of how to create the most amazing character cupcakes>>>> here is a link


Wookie Cookies

Chocolate chip cookie cones (the best way to eat ice cream)

Chocolate and banana cookies 

and if your more of a savoury fan what about this fajita cake! 

Hope your having a wonderful summer!
As always i’d love to see your creations

Love and Dance

Lauren x

Things To Do This Summer

Hope you are all having the best summer. This week I have put together a list of fun, local and mostly free things to do as a family this summer.

Mersea Beach

I love Mersea Beach its possibly my favourite place with beautiful walks and the perfect place for a picnic or some beachy fun. Mersey also has some lovely fish bars and  restaurants. Cudmore country park also has a new play park which looks like great fun.


Danbury Park

Danbury Park is the perfect place to climb trees, make mud pies, splash in puddles and build a den, they also have kid friendly events running every wild Wednesday. danbury

Hyde Park Chelmsford

Hyde park is our usual dog walk and I noticed they have a lot of summer events running throughout august such as Toddler Tuesdays with a gentle walk and arts and crafts (£4) and Scrapbook Safari on the 21st August (£5)


Geocaching is basically an outdoors treasure hunt. You download the app and it’ll show you where things are hidden in your local area. This could be a small container of items for trading or a log book to sign. Its a fun way to spend the day and the basic app with tones of geocaches is free.  Find out more  at www.geocaching.com/play


Greatest Showman Sing along

The Civic Theatre has a special sing along screening of the greatest showman on the 25th August. This is in partnership with the national lottery so tickets are free!

You can reserve your free adult cinema ticket (plus two under 16s) by calling the Box Office on 01245 606505.


Witham Community Hub

Is an amazing community hub offering workshops mostly free of charge they have a crafty corner, kids indoor gardening club, book clubs and a uniform exchange program.

witham hub

Colchester castle

I remember going here as a kid on a school trip to explore the castle and its grounds. More recently I have been to the park and utterly failed to steer a swan pedalo! There are lots of family friendly events going on here throughout the summer such as crown making, story telling and t-shirt printing. There is also a free family fun festival on the 14th September whilst i know its not technically in the the summer holidays, i still thought it was worth a mention 😛  

Gruffalo trail at Thorndon Country Park

The Gruffalo trail is on my list of things to do this summer as it just looks the cutest with lots of photo ops for you and your little ones with the wooden carved figures. Take a picnic and you could make a whole day of it.


Hope you are having the best summer and i’d love to hear your ideas of fun things to do this summer as a family.

Lots of Dance Love

Lauren x

Summer Family Fun

Summer is a time for family, friends and fun but it can also be an expensive time of year.  So we have collected together some of the best deals locally to help you have the best summer that won’t break the bank. Starting with food, here are some of my favourite places to eat that have been lovely enough to share there deals with us!

Tea on the Green – Danbury

Tea on the green is the cutest cafe in danbury, all there food is super reasonably price with cute names for each sandwich on the kids menu! Such as Humpty Dumpty (egg mayonnaise )  and Little Piggy (Ham). They have also offered us a special deal of a free scoop of ice cream and glass of juice with each kids meal!

Quote – UP IN LIGHTS DEAL to get a free scoop of ice cream and glass of juice for your kiddies

Café Brazil – Maldon.

Café Brazil is a small family run restaurant in maldon high street its a nice change for all the Italians and Chinese restaurants and I adored the food. The portions were big and the service was friendly. They are currently offering a free kids meal with every adult meal!


paper mill lock

Paper Mill Lock – Danbury

Paper mills lock is a beautiful place to go for a walk by the river and a picnic. The Tearoom there also does a huge range of cakes and sandwiches as well as vegan, dairy free and gluten free options.  There is also a reasonably priced riverboat trip running through August leaving and returning to the tea rooms at Paper Mill Lock. £5 a Child, £6 an Adult.

Luigi Alfresco Pizzeria – Maldon

Luigi family run pizzeria is a lovely place to grab a pizza in the sun! I am excited to go there this summer 🙂 They currently have a deal running throughout august where kids pizzas are half price!

Deal – KIDS 50% OFF


Hope your all having a wonderful summer and i would love to here about you favourite places to eat as a family!

Love and Tutus

Lauren x

Dancing with Daddy

Wow what an amazing week we have had at Up In Lights Dance Academy! To celebrate Fathers day we invited all our amazing dance dads, a few dance mums and even a grandad, to join us for class this week.

My goal with this class was to create a fun environment were dads and dancers can dance together and make memories! We created dances that dads and dancers could do together so there focus was on each other 🙂

We started with a craft in our sparklers and shooting stars class so everyone could relax and get to know each other. We made heart keyring’s. Dads made one and so did dancers so they can switch and give them to each other! It was adorable and we had some super sweet messages put on there key rings too.

“Chloe seriously loved this (and so did Kevin). They showed me one of the dances when they got home and Chloe said her keyring is so precious to her 😍”

We then warmed up together and showed our dads some of our corner exercises such as skips, kicks, gallops and turns. We then learnt two short routines. 

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In Tiptree Sparklers we learnt, hound dog and I wanna be like you! Heybridge and Maldon learnt you’ve got a friend with me and I wanna be like you!

Shooting stars Tiptree we learnt dance like your daddy and isn’t she lovely! Maldon shooting stars learn crazy little thing called love!

We chose the happiest songs with cute messages and a simple beat so they were easy to follow and they could focus on spending time together and having fun!


I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to everyone who made an effort to join us. To everyone who got off work early, used there holiday or came straight from a night shift to dance with us, I can’t thank you enough. We had the best time and it was so special to see you all dancing together 💖


Lauren x

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Easy And Cheap Easter Bunny Craft

I made these adorable easter bunnies to decorate the class room and as a sneaky hiding spot for our egg hunt! These are super easy to make and cheap! Hope your all having a lovely easter break 🙂 Heres how i made them …

What You Need.
Easter bunny craft

  • Face cloths/ flannel (I got this 4 pack for £1 in Tesco)
  • 2 Elastic bands per bunny
  • Googly eyes
  • Cotton wool
  • Pritt stick
  • Small chocolate egg- creme egg or similar

Cost – £1/£1.50 per Bunny (i got everything but the face cloths and chocolate egg from Poundland )

Time to make a Bunny!



Step One –

Lay the face cloth out flat. Roll from corner to corner to create a long tight tube.


Step Two –

Fold in half


Step Three –

Use an elastic band and wrap 2/3 of the way up to make the belly section


Step Four –

Use other elastic band to wrap a little way above the first elastic band to create a head section

Step Five –

Tear off a small piece of cotton wool and roll into a ball to make the tail, this is held in place by putting the egg in the bunnies tummy.


Step Six –

Glue the googly eyes to the head section of your bunny.

Step Seven-

Hide your bunny ready to be found! I found some ribbon which i tied round my bunnies neck which i think makes him look even cuter!


Pro Tip If your egg is too big for your bunnies belly you can make your bunny sitting down by folding your rolled up face cloth in half and then back on itself. Next use one elastic band to divide the head from the body.

I would love to see your bunnies! Please tag us so we can see you creations @upinlightsdanceacademy on facebook or #UILDA on instagram!

Happy Easter

Lauren x


Fantastic Family Fun!

A Morning of quality family fun at Up In Lights Dance Academy on Saturday 14th April at Maldon Court Preparatory School. Mums, Dad and even a few grandmas all dancing together with there children having a blast! With Arts and Crafts, a silly Photo Booth. As well as a crazy make over zone complete with coloured hair spray, glitter and nail varnish so they are ready to strut there stuff on the dance floor!

All the mummy’s, nanny’s and children dancing together made our hearts glow. It was so lovely to see.  Everyone looked like they were having such fun and we had a blast too! We would also like to thank the lovely local businesses that kindly donated to our goodie bags!

We hope you had as much fun as we did and we can’t wait to run another in the future for some more family fun!




Everyone Loves To Dance!

I adore teaching and dancing, nothing makes me happier and i love spreading my love for dance with my students! Dancing is so much more than remembering steps, its a way to break free, to fail, try again and then succeed, to make friends, build self belief as well as having the best fun!

But Don’t take my word for it, here our some of our gorgeous dancers and why they love to dance!


” I love dance because it’s wonderful and I love exams and shows. Also i love our teacher!”


” I love dancing because its fun. I love dancing because it’s amazing.”


“Dance is the best ”


“Dance is awesome”


“I love dance”


” Dance is the best, I love dance because it’s fun”


“Dance is so fun it makes me happy!”


“Dance is soooo FUN!”


“Dance is the best, You should come”


“Dance is fun because it makes me happy”


“Dance is fun, I get to see my friends.”


“Dance is fun! I like doing shows! Dance is awesome. I cant see my friends, Dance is FUN!”


“I Love Dance because we get to Dance”


” I Love Dance because I get to express myself”


” I love Dance because its so much fun!”


“I Love Dance because it’s so much FUN!”


“I Love Dance Because its so much fun! ”


WOW so much love! Come join us, we are one big happy, creative and goofy family. We would love you to be part of it!


Love and Tutu’s

Lauren and the UILDA Team.


Benefits Of A Little Stars Dance Class

Dance is amazing fun but it also improve and builds emotion, physical & cognitive skills.


Children Learn From Physical And Sensory Experiences.

Our dance classes are designed around Key physical skills such as Balance, transference of weight, jumping, lifting, Bending and stretching. With each dance have a matching prop and character to add a creative and sensory element to each dance.

Such as we have a froggy dance to strengthen the legs and promote control when jumping. They also have to figure out how to put the head band on and what way the eyes face, this improves cognitive recognition and increase dexterity.

“Action is the test of comprehension” John Dewey

Dance Is Inclusive.

No matter who you are, where your from, How old you are, Dance units us all! Dance creates a great opportunity to meet new people develop social skills and make friends! Many of whom they will start primary school with, Taking the edge out of what can be a really scary step in a child’s life.

Dance is for everyone! Don’t believe me look at this cutie!

Improves Academic Performance.

Dance requires discipline and focus translating to being able to focus longer in class and solve problems. A recent Harvard study found those that participate in dance classes achieved higher results on there SATS tests.

And Best Of All They Develop These Skills Without Even Realising It Because It’s Fun!!

Join our dance family today and lets learn, create and grow together! Get in touch with us at 07896244173 & join@uilda.co.uk