Monday, October 29, 2012

Giveaway: 3 Nutcracker Kids Ballet DVDs from Prima Princessa — $21 ARV {11.25; US/Can}

This is a joint giveaway between Natural Parents Network and many other natural parenting sites. You may enter for all of the giveaways at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide!

Natural Parents Network, Hobo Mama, and 24 other natural parenting bloggers are giving away 89 items perfect for gifting for the holidays as part of the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide. The combined total value of all of the items is $2,550.

Have you finished your holiday shopping? The NPN Holiday Gift Guide is a great opportunity to complete your gift-giving purchases for family and friends, while supporting many naturally-minded small businesses. The companies who have provided items for giveaway are almost exclusively made up of small businesses or work-at-home families.

The Rafflecopter entry system is at the bottom of this post (and on every post participating in the Gift Guide). Please visit some of the other review posts listed below and read about the fabulous companies offering giveaways in the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide.

Please continue reading to learn more about Prima Princessa, which is offering our readers a giveaway of three copies of Prima Princessa Presents: The Nutcracker DVD, a value of $21 total.

Dance & learn with Prima Princessa!

DVD cover — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveawayPrima Princessa DVDs take ballet and make it understandable and fun for young children!

Prima Princessa Presents: The Nutcracker is a 60-minute Christmas special featuring England's Birmingham Royal Ballet performing excerpts from The Nutcracker on stage.

The cartoon fairy Prima Princessa narrates the live ballet performance so that preschoolers can understand the story and see what an actual ballet looks like. Between acts, Prima Princessa flits around and encourages children to get up and dance along with students from the School of American Ballet.

Kids will learn simple ballet steps and the proper French terminology — broken down and explained in easy terms that even a 3-year-old can grasp. For instance, a jump — jeté — might be accompanied by a video image of a frog jumping, and then a wind-up toy doing the same. The little ballet dancers onscreen show their exuberant jumps, and then the video shows the pre-professional students at the School of American Ballet repeating the techniques.

After the show, the fun continues with bonus features of Holiday Freeze Dancing, Holiday Party with Gingerbread House Decorating, and fun Christmas Crafts!

Ballet for the young

Mikko and I have adored Prima Princessa for years. I love how all the elements of the DVDs work together to bring ballet to life for young dancers and dance fans.

We've now enjoyed all three DVDs in the line-up:

I recommend them all, though obviously The Nutcracker would be ideal for a holiday gift!

Other children's ballet DVDs I've seen have been a straight-on class format, which is hard for little viewers to follow and remain interested. What Prima Princessa offers is, in my experience, completely unique.

There are four types of scenes you'll see in each Prima Princessa DVD (enjoy my terrible screenshots — I swear, the production quality is much better than my photos of the television screen would suggest!):
  1. Little kids (around 3-5 years old) dancing (twirling, jumping, running) in fluffy tutus. They're just boogying down. In the case of The Nutcracker DVD, there are boys with swords added to the free-for-all play.
  2. girls dancing in tutus — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
  3. Older children in ballet class at the School of American Ballet, demonstrating ballet techniques such as pirouettes and pas de chat. These students are still relatable but show top-notch form.
  4. ballet step in class bourree — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
  5. Assorted clips that suggest the movement, such as a spinning toy for pirouette turns and a leaping tiger for demonstrating jumps. I always think this is random, but little kids really like these parts!
  6. butterfly toys — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway butterfly — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
  7. An abridged performance of a professional ballet with Prima Princessa narrating. This is perfect for (a) introducing young viewers to the idea of what ballet is for (performance, telling a story) and (b) preparing children who are going to see a live performance themselves. For instance, both Mikko and our friend Moira are headed to see The Nutcracker by Pacific Northwest Ballet this Christmas season, so what better preparation?
  8. Sleeping Beauty performance — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
    fairy ballerina — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway

Diversity in ballet

My only quibbles with Prima Princessa are diversity-related: It's geared almost exclusively toward girls. Well, obviously, right? But I dance, and I would love for Mikko and Alrik to feel that dance is open to them, too. The language in the DVDs and in the promotional materials specifically mentions "girls" over just plain "kids" (or, as the promotional video puts it, "a budding ballerina princess") and encourages the viewers to put on a tutu; I wish it could be more inclusive. I appreciate that men are shown dancing in the professional performances (and how did those men become professional ballet dancers? By starting in childhood! See?) and that well-trained boys are shown in the student clips. If you have a boy who's interested in ballet (or to whom you want to gift one of these DVDs), I recommend The Nutcracker, because it has boys in the little-kid scenes (see the photo above), whereas the other two don't.

I appreciate that the little kids include girls of many ethnicities, as do the student dancers. Some of the ballet companies whose performances they got the rights to show are pretty…pretty…white. (Does anyone watch Curb Your Enthusiasm? Anyway…) It's not that I dislike the performance companies they worked with — I just fear that children of color might not see themselves and identify with the professional dancers in an all-white cast. Again, if that's a concern for you, too, I'd once again recommend The Nutcracker first since there's a little more variety among the professional dancers.

Our kids' reactions

That said, how do the kids I know like Prima Princessa? Very well indeed!

As I said, Mikko has loved it since he was three, and he never seems to notice the dearth of boys. I try to offhandedly point out the men in the production and the male students in the class, showing what they wear and what sorts of moves they do well.

I was babysitting the day our latest copy arrived (The Sleeping Beauty), so I brought it to show to Moira (4, and a dancer in her own right) and Mikko (now 5). Moira was enchanted and, when her parents got home, demanded that her mother buy her the complete set. I thought that was a good sign.

I love how it's an interactive DVD, urging kids to get up and dance! Plus, of course, it's educational, so what parent wouldn't love that?

opening the envelope — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
What's in this envelope?
You'd think the sticker would have given it away, but he was still surprised!

new DVD — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway

new DVD — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway

kids watching TV on couch — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
Settling in to watch.

boy dancing along — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
Mikko showing me his moves.

boy falling down — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
And then making up his own!

girl dancing along — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
Moira's got tippy-toe work down from ballet class,
so she showed me how it's done!

Their younger brothers were in the room. Davis is under a year old and was, as expected, less than impressed. However, I was amused and surprised at Alrik's reception of the dancing. At 17 months, usually he ignores whatever's on TV (and rightly so), but he found Prima Princessa fascinating — and then was trying out the moves himself! Awesome! Baby ballerino.

baby watching TV — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
Alrik can't get close enough to the screen.

baby doing plie — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
Baby pliés!

baby doing plie — Prima Princessa The Nutcracker ballet DVD giveaway
I'm not even joking — he really was dancing along!

About Prima Princessa the company

Best friends Stephanie Troeller and Mary Kate Mellow are the dance wizzes behind Prima Princessa. I love that the DVDs were created by real-life mamas — it shows!

"We were inspired by our dance-loving daughters to create a ballet DVD series just for kids and came up with the idea during a play date for our girls," explains Mary Kate.

"Taking a young child to the ballet can be not only expensive, but it is difficult for toddlers to sit still for a 3-hour performance. Our shows are designed to expose 3-6-year-old children to classical ballet through a fun, interactive, animated, and educational experience, where they are encouraged to get up and dance along," says Stephanie.

The mamas have kept the DVDs at an affordable $6.99 each (I know!), and Prima Princessa specials also air on public television and are available at school and public libraries. I love that they're trying to get out the love of ballet to such a wide — and young — audience!

Be sure to connect with Prima Princessa:



Prima Princesssa, family show DVDsYou can purchase your own Prima Princessa DVDs at Amazon:

The DVDs are available for only $6.99 each, which I think is a total steal, and are eligible for Amazon's Free Super Saver Shipping deals. Order now for the perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer!

You can also order the inspiring and informative book Prima Princessa's Ballet for Beginners: Featuring the School of American Ballet — regularly $14.95 and on sale right now for $11.45. Young dancers will get an up-close photographic tour of real dance classes, progressing in complexity as the book goes on.



Prima Princesssa, Nutcracker balletFor your own chance to win one of THREE copies of Prima Princessa Presents: The Nutcracker, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below. (Rafflecopter will be live November 1-25).

Three winners will each receive one copy of the DVD Prima Princessa Presents: The Nutcracker. Contest is open to the United States and Canada.

Our Rafflecopter entry system is now open.

MANDATORY ENTRY: In the box provided in the first Rafflecopter entry, tell us where you would have your prize shipped if you are one of the winners. You must enter your name and email address while leaving a comment in the Rafflecopter system for your entry to count.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is part of a larger giveaway hosted by Natural Parents Network. You may enter the whole giveaway at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy all of the participating sites!

Please note that each entrant can win only one prize, and NPN will be randomly assigning prizes to the winners. One of the giveaway questions asks which are your top five prizes so we can try to match winners to their preferences.

See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email sponsorship {at} or leave a comment if you have any questions!
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Thank you for your interest in the Natural Parents Network Gift Guide! We invite you to read the reviews of other participating bloggers and return to enter the giveaway between November 1 and 25. Many of the giveaway items are open worldwide!

Here are the participating sites and companies. (Reviews go live between October 25 and October 31, and all links will be live by November 1.) We’ve included any coupon codes the companies have offered so you can get your holiday shopping under way!

Publishing on Thursday, October 25, 2012

Publishing on Friday, October 26, 2012

Publishing on Saturday, October 27, 2012

Publishing on Sunday, October 28, 2012

Publishing on Monday, October 29, 2012

Publishing on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Publishing on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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