Mastering motor milestones during baby’s first year leads to conquering the dance floor in year two, as little William demonstrates in the above video from Studie43′s youtube channel. While at a dance hall event he seizes the opportunity to jive solo on the dance floor to the hit “Jailhouse Rock.” Watch closely to see all of the details he picked up while watching his parents rehearse earlier. William knows to stay in one place at times and other times to travel around the floor. He knows to bend his knees and change levels. He occasionally throws in a good jump. William moves his arms from his powerful elbows and finds expression even in the movements of his fingertips. At the end he enjoys taking a bow which is followed by brushing his hands as if thinking “Well done!” This is a great example of a toddler who has developed a strong self-image by skillfully developing his coordination, stability, and strength by conquering the motor milestones of infancy. We call these toddlers “Superstars!”
BABIES DEVELOP SKILL
Dictionary.com defines the word “skill” as ” with expertness” or “dexterity.” Babies learn their motor skills with various degrees of aptitude. With some gentle guidance and when given a lot of time and space to play with movement, they often improve their motor skills. When a baby first learns to crawl her coordination may be awkward, but if given time, space, and hands-on cues, she soon crawls very fast across the room and up the stairs. When given the opportunity to learn each motor skill “with expertness” a baby develops strength, coordination, balance, stability, and ultimately the confidence to “bust a move” on the dance floor. We see the relationship between the powerful use of the elbows in William’s jive and also in a baby learning the motor skill of rolling. His ability to keep his knees bent reminds us of a baby learning the motor skill of standing. The baby transitions from bent to straight legs many times which builds a lot of strength and familiarizes him with the variety of levels possible: knees very bent, knees bent a little bit, and knees straight. This is a skill used in most dance forms. We see William dancing with his legs, his elbows, his fingers, and his smile! William is confident, coordinated, and courageous!