Is It Too Early For Ballet Classes?

I don’t know if you have been around Kyla when there is music on?  No?  Well you are defs missing out!  This little girl knows how to move!  On this I totally cannot take any credit whatsoever, it must be the coloured blood in her – lucky girl.

So anyway, she is forever bopping her head to the music and has been since she was around 9 months old.  It does not go unnoticed when music comes on, no matter where we are.  In the beggining it was a bit more of a move and shake and fall and shake type of effort.  Now I think she has been sneaking in here and Googling ballet dancing…  No really…  How else can you explain the moves that she does?  It’s all about long poses and pointed toes and fingers!  Here are a few snaps I managed to take…

Not really sure how I feel about ballet though, obviously I don’t want to force her into anything but I really think she would thoroughly enjoy it.  So, anyone know of a great ballet school that will take a 2 and a half year old?

4 thoughts on “Is It Too Early For Ballet Classes?

  1. From an article I wrote a few years back…
    The study of classical ballet is dependent upon three developmental factors: 1) mental maturity 2) emotional maturity, and most importantly, 3) physical maturity. Children started under the age of 8 often train to a higher level rather quickly; but by the time they are in their late teens to early twenties, have an exponentially high instance of severe injury, even of they only dabble in it for fun for a year or two when young. There are mountains of research and evidence regarding this fact.

    Yes, there are plenty of “studios” out there that begin ballet at a very young age. But, few actually have teachers who a) have advanced training in dance pedagogy (teachers training) b) have had professional careers as dancers and c) have been teaching for decades. The reason these schools offer ballet (sometimes combined with jazz, tap and acrobatics all in one class), is that they simply don’t know any better…and that they’re unwritten mission is to make as much money off of their clientele as possible! Then, a few very large ballet schools, also connected to ballet companies begin pre ballet at age four. But, they have huge student enrollments, rely upon auditions and can afford the attrition of students who simply fall out, or lose interest because they are too immature to maintain attention or are able to emotionally deal with the pressures of being told -exactly- how to stand and move for an hour to an hour and a half. So, it is always good to have a sense of caveat emptor: it would be good to do your research about it first.

    The best course of action for young children age 3 or four to age 7 is creative dance. These classes should inlcude play, use of imagination, games and narrative to hold their attention. Within this context, much simplified forms of ballet, modern dance, ethnic forms and more can be lightly incorporated. Further, the classes should be short enough so the child can maintain focus before tiring emtotionally, intellectually and phsyically.

    The question regarding what age to begin ballet, (and more importantly, later, when a child is put en pointe), is a very common question we dance teachers and directors are asked all the time. An educated parent is a responsible parent, when looking for a legitimate school. There are few, if any legal standards by which such schools must run. So, a good dose of “Caveat Emptor” is the best stance to take. So best to do research into the wide variety of dance instructional curricula, schools, their missions and their reputations. Here are some helpful links.

    Philip S. Rosemond

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