16 May

Meet Vanessa Salgado: Crafterina

Simply Homemade talks to Vanessa Salgado, creator of Crafterina, about how dance and craft come together in her classroom.

How did you come up with the idea of Crafterina?

As a dance teacher, I have been asked the same questions by parents: what can we do at home to help make my child a better dancer? My answer is simple: expose your child to all different types of art forms; read imaginative stories, encourage dancing and movement at home, create art with your hands, and listen to music from all around the world. Engaging in creative activities activates the mind and sparks the imagination!

Realizing that parents needed a bit of help being creative at home, I decided to create Crafterina. Crafterina is a crafty storybook that tells the story of a little dancer who makes crafts to help her go on dancing adventures. Each adventure has a corresponding craft that encourages a child to explore dancing in a creative and artistic way. By using her imagination and her hands, she is able to make her dreams come to life!


Why do you think craft and dance come together so well?

Crafterina dance crafts help young dancers develop their creativity as they go on dancing adventures. Our dancing crafts are a great tool to empower and excite a child to move with their imagination. Upon completion of a dance craft, there is a sense of accomplishment and an enthusiasm to use their creation to dance with music.


Tell us about the music you choose to go with an activity.. how do you choose it?

Dance and music have such a rich history. Many classical ballets are famous, not only for the movements designed by choreographers, but equally for the beautiful musical scores imagined by composers. As new crafts are developed, dance history is referenced when making musical suggestions. Many of our crafts have historical dance references embedded within. For example, our DIY No Sew Tutu Tutorial is paired with Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker. Often a craft, in this case a tutu, will resemble a character or idea from a particular storybook ballet. Once paired with the composerʻs original music, a child is not only discovering a new sense of creativity, but also developing a deeper understanding of the art form. I encourage parents and teachers to use not only classical music when creating, but introduce a variety music from all over the world. Try jazz music one day and pan flutes from the Andes on another. When a child hears different types of music, they are inspired to move in different ways.


What do you think is your students favourite part of the classes?

Children love to play and make their own decisions. By learning about different art forms, a young artist is being exposed to new ideas, is able to make new connections to further develop their mind and enhance their creative toolbox. As a teacher, it is easy to see that students are full of creative ideas naturally. The love dancing games, dancing with partners, and sharing dances with one another. At Crafterina, we want youngsters to have an active part in the creative process and understand that they are not only able to make amazing art, but eventually they are able to create their dreams in adulthood as well.


What do you enjoy most about working on Crafterina?

I love the creative freedom it provides, it is something all my own and I love it. I feel very fortunate to have something in my life that combines all of my passions in one. I adore working with young people and find it thrilling to think other dance teachers and parents may incorporate these same ideas into their own classrooms and homes. I am constantly being surprised by what is possible. I believe that if you are taught at an early age you can create your dream, you will be stronger equipped as an adult to make the right decisions in life. I believe that the creative thinkers and movers of today are the innovators of tomorrow.


Have you always enjoyed making things?

I have been dancing and creating as early as I can remember. As a little girl, I always loved creating at the kitchen table with my mom and sister. Over the years, my whimsical style of illustration revealed itself and my mother encouraged me to follow my artistic voice. As a result, I try to create designs that speak to my sensibilities, but also appeal to children.


What’s next for Crafterina?

I am working on new illustrations and crafts everyday and hope to spread the importance of creative dreams even further. Art has impacted my life in such a positive way and has truly shaped the person I am today. I hope that my sharing of love for art with others, may inspire many more young crafterinaʻs to follow their heart and create their own dreams!
I'd love for people to connect with Crafterina online via our website, Facebook, Twitter, blog and Etsy shop and become a part of our dance & craft community!

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