About Dancing Bears Music
We Love Music
We, Chrisie Santoni and Craig Smith, the creators of Dancing Bears Music, wanted to create a music-and-movement
program and write songs for it that children AND their caregivers can enjoy! (Not stereotypical “kids music” that has
adults reaching for earplugs). So what did we do? We created a program where families are welcomed into warm musical
environments with loving instruction and positive direction as well as a musical landscape that is not annoying
“kids music”. Simply put, our music is pleasing to both children and adults. We have created a song collection that is
unique and fun. Memorable melodies, positive messages, and great grooves abound!
We are both grateful and thankful that music is our living and that we can bring the gift of music and movement to families through Dancing Bears Music.
Dancing Bears Music is a music-and-movement program for children ages 6 weeks to 4 years and their caregivers. We have created wonderful music and interactive DVDs with memorable melodies, good grooves and good vibes! The age-appropriate activities help to develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play. Our program is recognized for our approach to adult involvement, which encourages participation in and understanding of each child’s development.
Our Music Is Written For Our Families’ Enjoyment
As songwriters, it has always been important for us to create music that an entire family will enjoy, regardless of age. For the adults, we understand that if there is more connection with the music played in class there will be more opportunities to engage their children musically outside of class. When writing, recording, and producing the music we chose to focus on earthy acoustic sounds that resonate with soul and spirit and help to create a musical experience that the whole family can enjoy.
Free To Be You
In a Dancing Bears Music class, children and families are encouraged to move, play and explore safely. We want children and caregivers to feel comfortable exploring the instruments as well as exploring the fun sounds we can make with our voices, our hands, and our feet. Movement is a large part of our program, as we encourage caregiver interaction and age-appropriate activities that help to develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they explore and learn at their own pace.
Dancing Bears Music began in 2006 when we decided that the time was right to start and run a children’s movement-and-music program that is in tune with our own musical style. We began to write music for it that is relaxing, melodic, fun, and groovy. When we played several of the soon-to-be Dancing Bears Music songs at one of our band The Billies’ gigs, and both children AND adults enjoyed them, we knew that we were on to something! We offered our very first class in Point Pleasant, NJ in 2006 and have been proudly grooving with children and their caregivers ever since. In addition to our classes, Dancing Bears Music also adds music and movement to private parties and events sponsored by libraries, municipalities, and schools from daycare centers to community colleges.
About the creators of Dancing Bears Music
Chrisie Santoni is a professional musician and award-winning songwriter, having taken 1st Place in the 2004 Unisong Songwriting Contest and 1st Runner-Up (Adult Contemporary) in the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Contest – both for her song ‘Mona Lisa’. She got her start in children’s music-and-movement by working as an instructor for Music Together in Monmouth County, NJ for several years before starting her own program in 2006. In addition to Dancing Bears Music, she is the singer, main songwriter, and guitar player for her duo The Billies. The Billies play year-round at colleges, farmers markets, wineries, street and public square events, coffee houses, private parties, and the occasional pub. She currently resides in Lancaster, PA with her partner Craig Smith.
Craig Smith is a professional musician whose primary instrument is the drum set. Craig Smith collaborates with Ms. Santoni in Dancing Bears Music as well as her duo The Billies by providing percussion, vocals, song arrangements, recording engineering, music production, hauling the gear, and driving the car. He currently resides in Lancaster, PA with Ms. Santoni.