Looking for an absolutely different video that will inspire your preschooler to dance and sing? Nursery Tap Hip to Toe, Volume Two just might fit the bill.
I have to admit that on first viewing I thought this was one of the oddest, silliest videos I'd ever seen, and I have a long history in ballet and tap dancing myself. I knew it wasn't the dancing I found silly, because each nursery rhyme and song on the video is beautifully performed by capable and talented dancers. And the costumes and sets are nicely done too. So far, doesn't sound too odd, right?
The twist (or oddity, if you will) is that every dance performed on the video is filmed solely from the waist down. The viewer never sees the dancers' faces. The video's producers, Mathew and Juleen Murray, chose to shoot the dancers from the waist down so that the focus would remain on the words of each nursery rhyme and the movements of the dancers themselves. Clever.
So clever, in fact, that Nursery Tap Hip to Toe, Volume One won the 2005 George Peabody Award, The 2005 Parents' Choice "Recommended" Award, the 2005 iParenting Media Award, and several other awards that admittedly caused me to take a second look. What are the merits of a video like Nursery Tap Hip to Toe,Volume Two, beyond a way to entertain a preschooler or toddler for 30 minutes?
Well, first of all, the video did cause my five-year-old and two-year-old daughters to stand up and try to imitate the dancers. Both wanted me to rewind it in several places so that they could try doing the dances again. So for physical movement and exposure to three genres of dance (ballet, tap, and hip hop), Nursery Tap Hip to Toe, Volume Two gets an A+.
And if you find that you have forgotten many of the classic nursery rhymes, then you will enjoy becoming reacquainted with 28 nursery rhymes such as Mary Had Little Lamb, Hickory Dickory Dock, and Fiddle Dee Dee. Doubtless your young ones will have them memorized in no time, and then you can all recite the rhymes together with the bonus CD that comes with the video.
There is always value in exposing a child to language, and nursery rhymes have had merit in doing just that for centuries. So for introducing children to classic nursery rhymes that just might help them get a better grasp on language and syntax, Nursery Tap Hip to Toe, Volume Two deserves another A.