Meet Courtney Corbin-Simon, Founder, Blooming Bébé

Classes for Kids on Upper West Side

By Anu Kapur, Publisher, Lower Manhattan Macaroni KID & Upper West Side Macaroni KID December 27, 2021

Courtney, please tell us a little about yourself and your background. 

I am a former professional dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Certified Infant Developmental Movement Educator and mother of two energetic girls. I moved to New York City from Nashville to attend the Fordham University/Alvin Ailey BFA program. It was an amazing time of discovery and opportunity. While in school, I filmed the first pilot for the Nickelodeon show, the Backyardigans, and modeled for several magazines including Dance Magazine. In my third year of school, I was invited to join Ailey II, where I traveled the US performing in numerous venues. When I graduated from college, I auditioned and was accepted into the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. While traveling the world with the Ailey company, I met my husband in Paris. Fifteen years and two children later, we are happily building our dreams together on the Upper West Side of New York City. 

What is the ideal age group for your classes? How are classes structured? 

Blooming Bébé offers Developmental Movement, Music and Yoga classes for children ages eight weeks to four years old. Our mission is to nourish healthy minds and bodies through support and bonding. Our high energy classes are designed to build confidence and body awareness through movement and rhythm. Please follow us on our Instagram and Facebook accounts to stay up to date with Blooming Bébé news. Email me with any questions. Take a look at our class descriptions:

PreCrawlers Movement (ages 2 months – 7 months)

This child-led class offers an opportunity for caregivers to learn about ways to support infants through touch, movement, rhythm and bonding. In this class, caregivers will dance with their infants to various styles of music, lead their babies through natural developmental movement exercises paired with nursery rhymes and introduce their little one to instruments and props to awaken their senses. This class offers a wonderful opportunity for caregivers to not only bond with their baby but with our community. 

Crawlers Movement (ages 8 months – 12 months)

This lively class allows caregivers the opportunity to see their child’s natural developmental movement patterns unfold as their socialization and movement skills advance. Caregivers will dance with their children to live drumming helping them improve their sense of body awareness, muscle tone and balance through rhythm and movement. Enjoy dancing, moving through a series of developmental movement patterns, singing nursery rhymes and playing instruments accompanied with live drum accompaniment. 

Toddler Movement and Live Drumming (ages 1 - 3 year old)

Our toddler movement class emphasizes and improves upon all of the developmental movement exercises and patterns established in previous classes. While moving to live drums, children will begin to explore the room through movement building a sense of spatial awareness and body confidence. Children will also work on balance and coordination through movement games, playing instruments and obstacle courses. 

Drums and Percussions (ages 3 + 4 years old)

Did you know that drumming is linked to stress relief and improved immunity? Experience the benefits of drumming in our Drum and Percussion class. This incredible class aids children in developing a strong sense of coordination in a fun and inviting environment. Children will vocalize, use movement and later play these distinct rhythms on the drums. Caregivers and children will be exposed to music and rhythms from around the world

Yoga (ages 1 - 4 year old) 

This engaging class will allow your child an opportunity to express themselves through a series of yoga poses and yoga movement games. Did you know yoga refines balance and coordination? It enhances physical flexibility and teaches children how to use their muscles in new ways. Your child will gain a new sense of confidence through breath, centering and sequencing. 

When was Blooming Bébé incorporated? What was the concept behind creating the program?

After giving birth to my first child Zahra, I wanted to find a way to connect with other parents as well as find enriching activities to do with my daughter. I decided to get certified as an Infant Developmental Movement Educator - a child-led approach that teaches you ways to physically handle your child in a way that promotes optimal development. With my newly acquired information on Infant Movement Development and my background in dance, I offered my first class in 2015. I had so much fun and met so many new parents. The parents/caregivers who attended the first class raved about the class to their friends and Blooming Bébé began blossoming. We now offer classes in schools, Jewish institutions, for private events, birthday parties, in-person and virtual classes. Those "original" Blooming Bébé parents helped create a sense of community that makes our classes so unique. 

What makes Blooming Bébé unique from other music classes?

We not only offer high energy classes, we are a community! I’ve never attended a class where parents/caregivers are so connected to one another. We create an environment where everyone feels welcome and respects wherever their child is developmentally. Our activities have a real researched focus - using movement patterns to help children connect their minds and bodies. In addition, we have a global focus. We go beyond your standard piano and guitar playing and introduce children to music from around the world. We have musicians playing unique instruments like - Kora, Tabla and the Djembe. 

Does Blooming Bébé host virtual parties? What themes do you cover?

Yes! In our virtual parties, we ensure that people feel like they are walking into a party and leaving a party. We do this by decorating the room and morphing it into whatever respective character/theme our client desires.

How has the pandemic affected you?

In March, we quickly moved to the Zoom platform for classes. It was a HUGE learning curve to adjust the sound and to ensure that parents and children felt like they were still getting the same benefits as in-person classes. In late Summer, early Fall we began offering classes in the park. A lot of our clients and staff moved due to the pandemic, so we are continuing to work to ensure that we can keep everyone onboard and offer as many options as possible. 

Where do you see Blooming Bébé five years from now?

I see us expanding to teach our principles in more schools, daycares and community centers, and continuing to support more families online and in person. Please follow us on our Instagram and Facebook accounts to stay up to date with Blooming Bébé news. Email me with any questions.