Intellidance® is a unique series of creative dance programs created to foster critical development in children ages 0-5. Research shows that dance and music activities offered in a loving, safe, multi-sensory environment enhance life long learning and neural development.
Jessica Baudin-Griffin (B.Ed) is a movement educator from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with over 18 years of dance education experience. After receiving her degree in Special Education and working in early intervention and youth intervention education programs for local school boards and government agencies, Jessica decided to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time movement educator after the birth of her first daughter in 2006. Focusing on community based, inclusive programming for young families at her dance studio, J'Adore Dance, she has created more than a dozen original dance programs. During this time she continued to study the critical connection between movement and development in children during the first five years of life. When her second daughter was born in 2008, she formally launched the Intellidance® programs. The Intellidance® Method Certification program was launched soon after in 2010.
Thousands of families in the greater Edmonton area have participated in Jessica's award winning Intellidance® classes, which combine movement, music, and play to support early development and the caregiver-child connection. In 2016, after growing her one-room studio to serve over 1200 dancers, offering over 70 classes per week (of which 1/3 were Intellidance® classes!), Jessica made the decision to sell J'Adore Dance to expand the Intellidance® Certification program internationally and support other professionals working with young children in using the Intellidance® Method and Programs.
Jessica has trained professionals from all over the world in the Intellidance® Method, using conceptual dance and holistic teaching practices to increase the awareness of the benefits of developmentally appropriate early childhood dance and music education and experiences. Jessica is commited to helping other dance studios and entrepreneurs find success, profitability and joy! Jessica has also had the pleasure of training dance teachers, music educators, fitness instructors, librarians, occupational therapists, early childhood educators, ESL teachers, and psychologists in the Intellidance® Method and is always excited to see the new ways her students are implementing the Intellidance® Method in their professional practices.
Jessica is a sought after presenter in early childhood dance education and contributor to local family focused publications on child development, parenting, and creativity. Jessica continues her work in dance and music education as a K-6 Dance and Music specialist at Afton School of the Arts and as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta, teaching Dance Education for Children courses to undergraduate students. Jessica has witnessed the joy the Intellidance® programs bring the families at her studio and is thrilled to take her programs and teaching resources to communities world wide!
Awards and Accolades:
- 2011 Edmonton Business Woman of the Year (Edmontonians Magazine)
- 2013 Top 40 Under 40 Award Winner (Avenue Magazine)
- 2013 Best Education Blog (Canadian Weblog Awards)
- 2010-2014 Best Mommy and Me Program (Modern Mama Mama's Choice Awards)
- 2013-2015 Best Dance Studio (Top Choice Awards)
- 2014-2015 Best Dance Studio (Edmonton Journal Readers' Choice Awards)
Intellidance® is a playful and creative approach to movement education in the early years. Our programs are based on current best practices and recommendations in early childhood development and education, coupled with child and caregiver-approved fun!
The program model combines exploration and discovery with dance, music, and play designed to nurture our littlest dancers, while strengthening the caregiver-child bond!
Intellidance® instructors are play advocates who empower families by providing simple, accessible experiences that take them from our classroom into their homes.
The Intellidance® child-learning philosophy follows the following three tenants:
- Each child is a unique individual and will be respected as such.
- Children learn best in an open play-based environment.
- Children learn through participation, observation and interaction.
Each child is a unique individual and will be respected as such.
Every child is an individual, with different strengths, needs, and personalities. We don’t compare the children in our programs with one another, even if they are the same age as every child will experience the class differently. We honor each child’s developmental level and don’t push a child into activities for which he/she is not physically, cognitively, or emotionally ready. In the long run, by letting the child take the lead they will be more successful, have greater confidence and increased self–esteem.
Children learn best in an open play-based environment.
Play is how young children naturally explore and make sense of their world. Play-based learning is a powerful model for early development as it is multi-sensory and brain-compatible. During the early years children are undergoing neurological organization through sensory processing. Play creates a brain that has increased "flexibility and improved potential for learning later in life" (Lester & Russell, 2008, p. 9).
Play requires a physical and social space in order to thrive. Children require a play environment that is open and free from distractions, yet provides novel opportunities that can be experienced and explored.
One of the biggest benefits to play based learning is the development of social competencies. When children play in a safe, trusting environment, they build relationships, learn to resolve conflict, negotiate, and regulate their behaviour. Play is give and take. Children feel most successful when provided with choices. Our instructors remain flexible in the direction of each class to ensure they are responding to how the children are experiencing play. Whenever possible, we allow the children to lead the direction of the play activities.
Children learn through participation, observation and interaction.
Within the Intellidance® programming, you’ll see a variety of different ways children engage and learn. It is important to keep in mind that each child will want to experience and explore this learning in different ways. One way is not more desired or beneficial than another. Just as each child should be valued as an individual, so should each child’s learning needs.
It is very common for children to spend time observing class activities rather then participating along with the group. It is important to remember that even though it seems as though the child is not physically engaged, he/she is still learning.
Many children need time to observe and process activities visually and cognitively before they will participate. Other children may not be socially ready to participate with the group. It is not uncommon for these same children to demonstrate the ideas presented in class at home. We encourage caregivers to continue modeling the activities with enthusiasm as this not only benefits the child’s learning process but also reinforces that the classroom environment is a safe place to play.
Interacting with a loving caregiver is another way children will learn and thrive in the Intellidance® programs. Skin-to-skin physical interactions not only continue to support the child's emotional and social development and child-caregiver bond, but also provide children a way to experience movement patterns they may be unable to on their own.
Whether waltzing while holding a baby, bouncing a tyke on your knee, or holding hands while learning the rhythm of gallop with a toddler, physical interaction continues to provide the scaffolding young children need to learn new skills. We encourage the caregivers in our classes to honor their child(ren)'s need to be held while they dance and play.