Bodytree Studio offers ballet classes where mums and daughters dance together

Twinkle Toes Ballet, a dance class for mothers and children offered by Bodytree Studio in Abu Dhabi, is just one of many interactive fitness groups for families in the capital.

For mums who find it hard juggling children and staying fit, new classes have started up that allow them to bond with their kids while burning off calories.

Twinkle Toes Ballet at the Bodytree Studio in Abu Dhabi is designed to encourage young dancers to build up confidence, especially knowing mum is there, too.

Ellie Stott, who looks like every little girl’s vision of a ballet dancer, has been teaching dance for about nine years, and has been an instructor at Bodytree since October.

“Our goal is to have the kids feel comfortable and they aren’t going to feel comfortable shoved into the studio by themselves,” she says. “In the beginning, it helps me too to have the mums around and those who don’t want to participate have the choice of sitting in for a session.”

The class that my daughter and I sign up for has 12 mums and little girls; half the mums, including yours truly, are quite happy to participate, but my offspring isn’t very impressed by my efforts.

Scott leads by example and the kids are happy to chase her around the room on their tippy-toes to Swan Lake music. She also uses a variety of props, including tambourines, scarves, ribbons, hoops and books, and soon all the children – and their mothers – are thoroughly enjoying themselves.

“When I started out, I soon discovered that 2-year-olds don’t like to be told what to do,” says Scott. “I couldn’t hold their attention for long. But I noticed that two of my regular girls loved to copy my actions, so I figured I needed to ‘choreograph’ the class. Now, the students follow me around and try to match my movements, which is also helpful with children who don’t speak English. And it’s fun to see the mums excited about it, too.”

• Twinkle Toes Ballet is held on Mondays, at 3pm and 3.30pm; Dh40 per class. Call 02 443 4448 to book a place or visit for more information.