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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

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Dance class for toddlers returns to the ICC

Calling all bambini! If you want your little one to get moving (and maybe even get a little culture, too) during this not-quite-spring season, look no further than Balliamo, Bambini, the Italian Community Center’s dance class for toddlers.

Now in its second year, this language and movement class for kids ages 2 to 5 includes simplified dance instruction and exposure to Italian language and culture. Beginning on April 7, the class will run six consecutive Sundays at 1 p.m. at the ICC, 631 E. Chicago St.

Instructing the class will be Sophia Gatti Taylor, a certified holistic-focused personal trainer and owner of Wisdom Wellness LLC, along with her mother, San Marino native Dr. Marisa Gatti-Taylor, a former ballroom dancer and retired professor of Italian language for several area universities.

Both as a mom and as a personal trainer, Gatti Taylor has a lot of experience promoting health and wellness with kids. She has created several custom workshops for her clientele, and has also trained parent-and-child teams one-on-one.

The kids will focus on basic dance steps like the waltz, mazurka and polka, and will also be encouraged to learn basic counting skills in Italian.

Gatti Taylor hopes to enlist more young male participants this year, as well as help returning students build on what they’ve learned - and inspire them to participate in more ICC events.

"The class is definitely an opportunity to bridge the gap between generations and continue educating the younger generation about the Italian culture," she says. "It is a really important skill for young men, especially young Italian men to be comfortable with- so more male participants would be great this year."

Parents are also encouraged to attend class and learn along with their child. "The classes are an opportunity for the children to bond with their parents and grandparents," says Gatti Taylor.

The cost of the class is $85 and $75 for ICC members. Those interested in enrolling or have questions about a custom-designed Wisdom Wellness workshop or class can contact Sophia Gatti Taylor at (414) 628-7905 or via email at wiseandwellsophia@gmail.com.

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