Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hobo Mama Giveaway: Prima Princessa Presents: Swan Lake ballet DVD $6.99 {11.10; US/Can} CLOSED

This giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned to find out who the lucky winner is! Thank you all so much for entering!



Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake DVDPrima Princessa is offering my readers a giveaway of the DVD Prima Princessa Presents: Swan Lake!

I was so excited when the two moms behind Prima Princessa contacted me to review their preschool ballet DVD — I was able to tell them my three-year-old son already loved it! We had checked it out from the library, and he had just been asking me to watch "Pima Pincessa" again when they wrote.

I take an adult ballet class, and Mikko has been very interested in what I do every week. I had been looking hard for some decent ballet videos that would work for his age and interest level to prepare him for possibly following in my slippered footsteps.

Watching my review copy of Prima Princessa over again (and again) reminded me of what Mikko and I love about it.

Prima Princessa is a DVD series that introduces ballet to toddlers and young children. It works perfectly for the preschool set. All other children's ballet DVDs I've seen have been in the instructional category and are a straight class format. I think class-like DVDs can be good for older students (elementary age on up) but are usually too advanced for younger kids. (There are a couple out there for pre-ballet age, if you look.) You can also sometimes find DVDs that are a filming of a stage production or that follow ballet students through their days, but all of those can be awfully dry for the littlest viewers.

What Prima Princessa offers is, in my experience, completely unique. It's a combination Prima Princessa ballerina cartoon characterof simple ballet instruction with a stage production that's narrated and explained by a flying ballerina fairy (P.P. herself). It's engaging for young kids, not least because it features young kids in the cutaway scenes.

Basically, there are four types of scenes you'll see in the DVD:

  1. Little kids (around 3-5 years old) dancing (twirling, jumping, running) on the grass in tutus.
  2. Slightly older students, but still children, in ballet class (maybe in the 10-12 age range) at the American School of Ballet, demonstrating ballet techniques such as pirouettes and pas de chat.
  3. Assorted clips that relate to the movement, such as a spinning toy for pirouette turns and a leaping tiger for demonstrating jumps.
  4. An abridged performance of a professional ballet, in this case Swan Lake by the Paris Opera Ballet.

Prima Princessa ballet with toddler and mama running
Guess who picked out his own ballet dress to match the girls on the DVD and then excitedly told the checkout person, "I'm doing ballet!" The black tights were my attempt to get him "boy" ballet clothes. I had to give in to the euphoria of a flowy pink dress, though.
Mikko was fascinated by each segment in turn, and they're interspersed throughout the DVD, so he was interested in each part:

  1. What's nice about showing little kids dancing is that your own little kid can relate. The friendly Prima Princessa fairy tells your young ballerina/ballerino to put on a tutu and dance, and the dancing is completely free-form, in typical little-kid style. The girls in the DVD look like they're really having a fun time.
  2. I liked that the student demonstrations from the American School of Ballet were so well done. The students demonstrating the moves were obviously very well trained (sooo much better dancers than I am even though I'm, like, three times as old), and I appreciated that there were several boy dancers who were featured, so I could show Mikko what a boy dancer looks like and what Mikko might wear if he takes ballet classes. I also loved that these demonstrations gave a vocabulary term, which, being ballet, is in French, and then explained it in English and showed it in action. It makes for a good introduction to ballet terms
    Prima Princessa ballet with toddler and mama kicking
    Arabesque!
    kids will hear if they continue on in ballet class.
  3. I thought the little clips of toys and animals were the most random part, but Mikko loves them. Clearly the producers knew what they were doing! He loves to point out what each thing is. "Look, Mama, ladybug! … That a frog!"
  4. I absolutely appreciate the comprehensive excerpts from each act of a professional ballet production. Since Mikko is too young to take to an actual show yet (you trust me on this, yes?), I love that he can see what ballet is actually for. He gets the idea that dance tells a story, and the voiceover explains the story clearly. In fact, I wish I had a voiceover like that when I went to the ballet! I thought this part might be the least interesting to Mikko, but he really enjoyed it. He asked questions about the characters and pointed out what they were doing.

Here's another huge plus for Prima Princessa. The DVD costs $6.99. That's it! The company was founded by two mothers of young children, Stephanie Troeller and Mary Kate Mellow, and they wanted to make sure it was accessible to a variety of income levels. I'll point out, too, that you might be able to find it at your library, as I was, but it's definitely a fun one to have on hand if you can swing it.

Prima Princessa ballet with toddler and mama airplane
I'm not sure what ballet move this is, but it's fun.


Prima Princessa is a series, which is great, so they've just come out with Prima Princessa Presents: The Nutcracker, and I believe The Sleeping Beauty is in the works.

I also love that it gets Mikko (and me) moving. Witness his joy here:



So that's what I love about Prima Princessa.

Here are a couple small quibbles.

It's geared almost exclusively toward girls. I get that. I do. Girls like ballet and tutus and pink and fairies, yes. But I have a boy, and I was hoping he'd be inspired to try out a ballet class like his mama's. Fortunately, he's too young still to see all these little girls
Prima Princessa ballet with toddler and mama splits
He's better at the splits than I am!
hopping around in tutus and feel like he doesn't relate. I think he knows that there are differences between boys and girls, but he doesn't yet separate himself so much into his own "team" that it's an issue. That said, I'd love to see more little boys leaping and twirling as well, and … I think they heard me in advance. Because the preview of The Nutcracker shows … yup, a whole blush of boys fighting each other with play swords (well, of course). All the promotional language, too, makes it clear this DVD is intended for your little girl. You can check out just the opening lines and images in the video on the main page to see what I mean. Again, fine and expected; it just makes me feel a little left out, for Mikko's sake.

As I mentioned, they actually seem to have alleviated this a little in the second DVD in the series. I also mentioned, and I really did like this, that some of the student dancers are boys, and very skilled at that. In the professional production, of course, there are plenty of men dancers. So there are still people I can point out to Mikko as examples for what he might become. (Um, not really; he is my child after all, so I'm not sensing professional dance career in his future, but still.)

I also appreciated that the children included an apparent mix of ethnicities. That said, the professional production read as pretty uniformly white (not meaning to slight anyone in the
Prima Princessa ballet with toddler and mama jumping
Jeté!
company who isn't; you can see what I mean at this list of the dancers). I can't fault the Paris Opera Ballet for being what it is, or the producers for being able to make arrangements with perhaps only certain ballets, but I thought it might be nice to show that professional dancers can be both male and female and also of any color. I just point it out in case it's a concern for you and your kids. Again, I think the Prima Princessa crew heard my plea before I made it, because The Nutcracker features the Royal Birmingham Ballet, which from their company list seems to have a little more diversity.

So those are my two small concerns, which I believe Prima Princessa heard in advance and has been working on. Other than that, I think the DVD is top notch and worth adding to your children's DVD collection if you have any budding ballet stars among your family. The production values are excellent, with no indication that this is an amateur attempt. The sound is good, the editing, the narration, the cute little kids in their costumes, the filming locations — it's all high quality and worth every penny of the $6.99 asking price and beyond.

BUY IT!

Prima Princessa logoDid I mention the DVDs are priced at only $6.99? I know, right?

You can buy Prima Princessa Presents: Swan Lake and Prima Princessa Presents: The Nutcracker at Amazon, where they're eligible for free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. The running time for the Swan Lake DVD is 40 minutes.

Prima Princessa has also come out with a book for beginning dancers: Prima Princessa's Ballet for Beginners: Featuring the School of American Ballet, on sale for $11.66 on Amazon.


WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a DVD of Prima Princessa Presents: Swan Lake, enter in the comments below! Contest is open to U.S. and Canada.

Prima Princessa girls in tutus and tiaras(As an aside, the DVD is Region 1, which is for U.S. and Canadian DVD players. I am the one shipping it, and I will ship it worldwide. I am saying it's open to U.S. & Canada, since Region 1 DVDs will play only in U.S. and Canadian players, or potentially in region-free players. If you live elsewhere, you assume all risk of having the DVD not play for you. In other words, you're free to enter the contest if you're sure sure sure a Region 1 DVD will play in your machine, but I can't replace it or help you out if you win and it doesn't. Ok?)

MAIN ENTRY: Visit PrimaPrincessa.com and tell me who will dance to this DVD if you win!

Leave an email address in at least one of your comments if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. (You can write it like this to foil spambots: mail (at) hobomama (dot) com or similar.)


BONUS ENTRIES, to increase your chance of winning (leave a separate comment for each so I can count them all):

RULES:
  • Contest open to United States and Canadian mailing addresses (but see my comment about Region 1 DVDs above).
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so I can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let me know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don't have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • I will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave an email address in your comment if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. If I can't reach a winner or don't hear back within a couple days, I'll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let me know: mail {at} HoboMama.com

Contest closes November 10 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.


Disclosure: Prima Princessa sent me a free DVD for review.
Amazon links are affiliate links.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If I don't like a product, I won't be recommending it to you.
That's how I roll. See my full disclosure policy here.

81 comments:

Kimberly said...

My 6 year old daughter would dance to the Prima Princessa video :) She LOVES dancing. In fact, her brother might help her with some steps - they both study dance - and my son just lifted his first girl in ballet class today *proud mama*

Anonymous said...

my best friend's daughter will be gancing to this if I win it
strezo@sbcglobal.net

TopHat said...

My Margaret will dance to this!

TopHat said...

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TopHat said...

And I follow you on Twitter.

TopHat said...

And I like you on Facebook

Anonymous said...

subscribed to prima princessa tutuzone blog
strezo@sbcglobal.net

Shelby said...

My friends daughter will be dancing to this
snugles4433@hotmail.com

Holly said...

Oh, my ONLY daughter (out of 6 children!), is always dancing ballet in her room. She would flip to have this!

matthollycart@gmail.com

one frugal lady said...

My 3 year old would go nuts over this video!!
onecheaplady@yahoo.com

Stephanie said...

Thank you Hobo Mama for the wonderful review!! Mary Kate and I both are so thrilled that your daughter had such fun... our goal has always been to get kids up off the couch and dancing and having fun to classical ballet. Your review made me smile broadly! And as for your small quibble with our show being too pink and girly I agree completely!!! so, you have to see our new DVD just released for this Christmas, "Prima Princessa Presents the Nutcracker" which features a bunch of fun dance-loving preschool boys who dance, and sword fight, and have fun with ballet right along side the tutu clad girls!

Steph Troeller
Co-Creator, Prima Princessa
www.primaprincess.com

Ransomed~Redeemed said...

My sweet precious princess Anaiah will dance to this if we win! Thank you.

Kat said...

My daughter would love this DVD (and maybe my 15 month old son will partake too!).

oceanglowkat {at} gmail {dot} com

Kat said...

I just became a google friend follower :-)

oceanglowkat {at} gmail {dot} com

poorteacher said...

My 6 year old daughter is currently on a dance showteam. She loves watching others dance and imitating the dancers!

jmajor4870 said...

my 3 year old granddaughter would love this. she likes watching dancing on tv and try to copy the people
jmajor4870(at)aol(dot)com

Jay said...

This would be for my nieces that love to dance.
rbjj32825[at]lycos[dot]com

Strawberry Shimmer said...

This is easy! I have a 3 year old tumblebug/ballerina that would LOVE to watch this every day :) Thanks for the great giveaway!! Amanda

strawberryshimmer (at) gmail (dot) com

Megan said...

My one-year-old loves to dance, so she would love this!
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Megan said...

subscribed to tutuzone blog
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Megan said...

I learned that they won a Parents' Choice award
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Kathryn said...

My 6 and 4 year old girls will dance to this if I win!!

kathrynbaby2004@yahoo.com

Natalia said...

My little girl (2 years old) would love to dance like this...love it!
natalia
liahec@yahoo.com

Suzanne said...

my 5 year old daughter

Diana D said...

I am a new GFC follower. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

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anonymous said...

My nieces would love to dance to the DVD.

leanne_mac said...

My 5 yr old daughter loves ballet.

leannem at hotmail.ca

Heavensent1 said...

My 5 yr. old grand~daughter would be receiving this...heavensent1@yahoo dotcom

Heavensent1 said...

I learned the show features real professional ballet footage narrated by a cartoon ballerina so children can easily follow the story...heavensent1@yahoo dotcom

Heavensent1 said...

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Arin said...

I have three daughter under age 8 who I am sure will dance their hearts out to this dvd.
arianiah@hotmail.com

22bmommy2 said...

Visited the Prima Princess site, there are a lot of fun things for kids there, like coloring pages! My children both love dancing and ballet stuff, so they would love this DVD!

22bmommy2 said...

Entered your My Best Friend nursing giveaway.

julidette said...

Oh how cute this is! My little niece would love to dance to it!

Laura said...

I was skeptical - but after reading your review and visiting the web site, I think my 3.5 year old SON would have a blast dancing to this! We already do yoga together, why not ballet, too? :)

22bmommy2 said...

I visited the Prima Princess site and learned that it was started by two moms! One mom also enjoys cartooning, and the other mom enjoys making jewelry!

Apryl@ Christian Clippers said...

My 5 year old girls love these DVD's, they dance to them all the time!

christianclippers at gmail

Apryl@ Christian Clippers said...

I follow you on GFC

christianclippers at gmail

katklaw777 said...

Be a great xmas present for my niece...she luvs to dance, thanks.

Angela said...

My friend's daughter will be dancing to this if I win!
veniceangel@hotmail.com

Angela said...

I follow you on twitter under childrensnook

Angela said...

I entered the My Brest Friend giveaway

Anonymous said...

the kids would love this.

Dawn said...

My 2 daughters (6 and 3) who love to dance.
dmcalgaro@yahoo.com

sweetpea18 said...

my daughter is obsessed with ballet lately (thanks to angelina ballerina). she loves to dance and i think she'd really enjoy dancing along to this!
heatheranya at hotmail dot com

sweetpea18 said...

i learned that i can buy the dvd at target

sweetpea18 said...

gfc-heatheranya
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sweetpea18 said...

i follow you on twitter @1589m
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sweetpea18 said...

i entered the my brest friend giveaway
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tanya904 said...

My 5 year old niece would love dancing to this DVD Thanks so much
tanyainjville at yahoo dot com

tanya904 said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/starryeyed24/status/2401070408015872

tanya904 said...

I like hobo mama on facebook (Tanya Riley)
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following via networked blogs (Tanya Riley)
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Miranda said...

My one year old daughter will defintely dance to the DVD. She loves to dance!
randi094 at rocketmail dot com

Miranda said...

Follow you on twitter.
@randi094

Miranda said...

Tweeted the giveaway:
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Miranda said...

Follow your blog via email.

one frugal lady said...

I would LOVE to win this for my daughter who is a ballet nut!
onecheaplady@yahoo.com

momof2girls said...

My daughter Ellie is so into Ballet and would love this.

katiemur@gmail.com

momof2girls said...

I follow this blog.

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Katy said...

My niece would love this DVD! noweesmom at g mail dot com

Anja M. said...

I visited the site and my daughter would love to dance to this DVD.

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Anja M. said...

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I follow HoboMama.com on GFC. (Anja M.)

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