“Music and movement to me is such an important part of learning, growing, expressing and connecting.” – Miss Piggy Rock

an interview with little movers instructor Kristina Mananquil

Our next Little Learners Club series, Little Movers, is all about exploring music-making and dancing alongside your little ones! Starting August 19, this 6-week early childhood enrichment class for toddlers (18 months to 3 years old) and their caregivers will help strengthen your little one’s fine motor skills as well as teach them some new movements to music. We’re especially excited to have dance instructor Kristina Mananquil, a.k.a Miss Piggy Rock, teaching the classes!

Miss Piggy Rock is no stranger to the Museum. She has worked at the Museum as a guide, facilitated our school visits and Toddler Time, taught camps and performed with her break dancing crew, Cypherst8 (which consists of her family members), at many of the Museum’s events. Miss Piggy has an educational background in early child and family development and has been working with children, families and the community for 15 years. Her passion is to evoke imagination, play, exploration and collaboration through meaningful art experiences. Now she is returning to the Museum as one of our Little Learners Club instructors and we asked her some questions about what we can look forward to in the Little Movers class series!

Why is early music or dance education important for children?

Miss Piggy Rock: Music and movement to me is such an important part of learning, growing, expressing and connecting. It ties so deeply with development and social growth. It can build language, fine motor, social and emotional skills, as well as create community and togetherness. It has the power to build and shift emotions, and bring joy, calmness and focus.

Can you describe what a typical Little Movers class might look like? 

MPR: Little Movers will definitely have a lot of movement! This series will be focused on both music and movement; therefore, instrument-making will be an integral piece. The flow and environment of the class will be set up in a way to build community and engagement – allowing time for both large group and individual activities, and free play.

What do you hope families will gain from the class?

MPR: This music and movement series is meant to engage the senses, encourage creative expression and inspire children and caregivers to continue to explore this way of learning, growing and creating. It is always an amazing experience to see families/caregivers connect with their children. Little Learners Club not only offers that, but it also offers opportunities for children to connect with children and adults to connect with adults. It truly is building a community through art!

What do you enjoy most about teaching music and dancing to children?

MPR: For me, it is more about creating a safe and inspiring environment that promotes music and movement. I love to see children be free and express themselves through movement based off what they internally feel or see, whether it be through song, music, sound, vibration or their own heartbeat. In addition to self expression through music and movement, I enjoy the community circle (like dancing with Cypherst8) where artists are able to share their individual art within – it promotes a unified energy, turn taking and confidence.

How did you get the name Miss Piggy Rock?

MPR: This is a common question that is usually asked after I clarify it is indeed “Piggy” and not “Peggy.” The honest answer is a short story: One day I was eating a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal and sitting across the table from me, my big brother said, “You look like a pig and you sound like a pig when you eat, I’ll call you Piggy.” I also developed a lisp after giving birth to my two kids, so it became difficult for me to pronounce “Kristina”. And “Rock” is my break dancing nickname.

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Be sure to join us at the Museum for all the fun! Classes take place on August 19 and 26 and September 9, 16, 23 + 30 from 9:30-10:30am. Our Little Movers attendees also receive all-day access to the Museum. Register today!

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