Are you thinking about enrolling your child in ballet classes but aren’t sure if they are at the right age? Here’s the ideal time to start your child in ballet.
Made even more popular by reality TV dance shows, ballet is an excellent extracurricular for your children. It provides invaluable experiences and teaches your child skills that will help them throughout their life.
But when should you enroll your son or daughter in ballet classes? Is your child too old or too young to benefit? Read on to find out.
When Can Your Child Start Ballet?
Some ballet schools offer ‘mommy and me’ classes as early as six months old. But early birds sometimes enroll their children around the age of three. These beginner ballet lessons are more about fostering a love for dance and having fun.
Most children between the ages of three and four are potty trained and have a large enough attention span to learn a bit of coordination. But if the class is too rigorous or intense, they will likely get frustrated and want to quit.
By the age of five, children begin to understand the importance of paying attention and listening to their instructor. They will start to practice a bit more technique. But the most important lesson at this age is learning how to accept minor criticisms with poise.
Seven to nine is when kids start to understand how the body moves. They’ve reached an age that allows them to internalize their learning and apply it to their practice. Learning ballet at this age allows your child to move on to advanced classes around the age of ten.
Benefits of Ballet Classes
Your child will receive countless benefits when enrolled in ballet classes. They will learn lifelong skills that help them physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Professional dancers make ballet look easy, but that is because they have years of hard work hidden beneath their girls’ ballet leotards. Ballet is an excellent form of exercise, even at a beginner level. It works the body from head to toe and teaches your child the importance of breath control.
Balance classes establish muscle memory for posture, coordination, and balance. These skills are transferable to other areas of their lives, including sports, other dance classes, and even study habits.
Another health benefit is enhanced cognitive performance. This is a result associated with listening to music, specifically classical music. As your child perfects their plié, the elegant tones of the background track will be promoting their mental and emotional well-being.
2. Social Skills
Ballet lessons are an excellent way for your child to meet other like-minded kids and build lasting and supportive relationships. Students work individually to perfect their skills, but together to create the scene that unfolds on the stage.
They will learn the importance of listening to their instructor as well as how to accept constructive feedback. As they continue into their professional careers, whether ballet-related or no, the ability to utilize minor criticisms to their benefit will be an invaluable skill.
One in six children between the ages of 2 and 8 are diagnosed with mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders. Most of them experience extreme challenges when it comes to expressing their emotions. They need some type of outlet, a means of communication that goes beyond words.
Ballet is a form of communication that utilizes every part of the body to tell a story. Ballet classes allow children to foster a positive connection with their bodies and release pent-up emotions in a safe and artistic environment.
Even a savant doesn’t learn everything overnight. Ballet classes require focus and discipline. Your child will learn how to develop a training routine as well as the importance of regular practice.
They will discover that their improvement is closely associated with their dedication and consistency. A concept that many people struggle with in adulthood.
5. Self Confidence
Perhaps one of the most valuable skills you could ever teach your child is self-confidence. Ballet classes are great for nudging children outside their comfort zones by having them participate in live performances. It helps them overcome their fears of being in front of a large group of people.
Learning ballet allows your child to see what they are capable of and gives them something to be proud of. Children realize that not everything comes easy, but with hard work and confidence, they can face any challenge and come out shining on the other side.
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Best Age for Ballet Lessons
There is no correct age to enroll your child in ballet classes. However, most schools recommend enrollment no later than age seven to nine if your child is serious about expanding their practice.
Some professionals start even earlier. This does give them the benefit of knowing certain skills that others in their age group lack, but it can also increase their chances of burnout. If your child is no longer passionate about the art form, it will hinder their performance and lead to injuries related to carelessness.
Prestigious ballet schools such as The American Ballet Theatre School and England’s Royal Ballet School view eleven as the ideal age to start rigorous professional training. Most schools require prior experience to enroll in an advanced program. However, they often accept younger students with no previous training.
How Old Is Too Old for Beginner Ballet Lessons?
You might be wondering whether you missed the mark for one of your older kids. Fortunately, it is never too late to learn something new. Some students have a natural affinity for ballet and improve quite quickly with dedicated practice and quality teachers, even if they started a bit later.
There are ballet lessons for all ages and experience levels, including adults.
Ready, Set, Chassé
Although seven to nine is often viewed as the prime age for enrolling your child in ballet classes, the truth is that every child is different. Regardless of their age, there are countless lifelong benefits to dance classes.
Give your child a fun and creative way of expressing themselves and sign them up for their first ballet lesson.