If your child has expressed an interest in dance and longs for her own satin slippers and pink tutu, consider enrolling her in a beginning ballet class. Ballet promotes physical strength and agility, can boost concentration, develops an understanding of music and rhythm and generates a love of movement. Whether your child is 4 or 14, she can benefit from age-appropriate ballet instruction.
Like all dance forms, ballet is physically intense. The Colorado School of Dance website points out that ballet improves muscular strength, flexibility and range of motion. Ballet training also boosts coordination and balance while correcting poor alignment, according to the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. Combinations that involve jumping and leaping increase heart rate, which can improve endurance, stamina and overall cardiovascular health. Like other forms of dance, ballet can improve body awareness and physical self-control.
In addition to its physical benefits, ballet can also help to improve children’s mental and emotional health. The Brighton Ballet Theater website asserts that training in classical ballet instills a sense of pride and accomplishment, which can boost self-esteem. As children improve and master more challenging movement combinations, they feel more self-assured, which can carry over into other areas of their lives. Dance training can also be a great way to relax and use excess energy productively after school.
Ballet classes provide a social outlet for kids. Attending classes regularly can help young children develop their social skills. The National Dance Education Organization claims ballet and other dance forms help foster teamwork, communication, trust and cooperation. Ballet can also help children to forge new friendships, overcome shyness or awkwardness in social situations and reduce the fears associated with being in a group and performing in front of an audience.
Ballet also offers certain educational or cognitive benefits. Ballet training exposes students to a combination of movement, music and performance. The National Dance Education Organization asserts that through that exposure, children enhance their sensory awareness, cognition — which includes attention, memory and learning — and overall consciousness. These are skills that benefit kids in all areas of life. For kids who want to explore other forms of dance — such as jazz, hip-hop or tap — ballet offers a solid foundation and serves as a great starting point.