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Ballet classes for young child?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by thelovelyliz, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Hello. I wondered if anybody with a daughter (or son) who did ballet can remember how old they were when they started?
    It seems a nice idea but just a little worried that they may be too young, unable to follow instructions etc.
    Many thanks as always.
  2. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    My daughter is 3 and has been gagging to do ballet since I can remember, she finally started lesson just after her third birthday. They are very strict at her dance school, her teacher doesn't put up with any nonsense! Fortunately my girl is very good at listening and following instructions, but I have heard the dance teacher talk to some mums saying how 'unruly and wilful' their children are... A bit OTT, I thought!
  3. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    My daughter started dance aged 5. What really sparked her interest was tap which was part of the course. She then did Saturday courses in all sorts - Latin, National, Jazz Singing in one dance school. She nows runs a street dance school part time and loves choreographing the dances. She was a very tomboyish type of girl who loved her football and running as well so the tap and street dance really went down well. She has 5 year olds in her youngest class.
  4. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I still do ballet at 53!! Though now the class is for old ex-dancers with the curtains firmly shut and never any observers!! Amazing how long 45 minutes feels when I used to do two straight hours...
    Straight after our morning class the teacher teaches a pre-school class from the nursery next door. None of the children is older than 4 - some much younger - and they have a marvellous time.
  5. I've started doing ballet again (at 44)! My daughters go to the same dance school that I did when I was young and I got <strike>bullied </strike> persuaded to join the Old Girls group by my old ballet teacher. It's great fun but I ache afterwards. A lot.
    My girlies started ballet at 2 1/2. The eldest is 9 and being prepared for audition for the Royal Ballet School (she's quite good, apparently). They also do tap and modern.
    It's a lovely way for the children to make friends outside of the school environment too.
  6. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    Cariadlet started ballet when she was 3. She asked to go, probably because she was into the Tweenies at the time and wanted to be like Fizz. She only did it for a few years though - she loved it as a toddler, but found it too tiring once she started school (the lessons were on a Friday afternoon) and gave up when she was in Year 1.
    I think it really depends on the class. We chose a ballet school that had been recommended to us as being quite relaxed - Cariadlet went to the preschoolers' class, and it was very fun and active. The teacher understood that young children sometimes have short attention spans and that wasn't a problem.
    There certainly wasn't any question of children being able to skip before they started - I remember the look of concentration on Cariadlet's face as she desperately tried to skip; it seemed to take months for her to master the skill!
    I'd try to chat to parents of other children who have ballet lessons, and see what local classes are like.
  7. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    Hi liz,
    this is just my opinion but fwiw I'd send the eldest (as it is something they really want to do) but make the younger wait a year (not because she isn't old enough but because the eldest may enjoy doing something on their own).
    In any case depending on where you are etc. both are old enough to go to classes.

  8. Mine started ballet and tap at 3 with a lovely relaxed teacher, who didn't insist on regulation clothing until the syllabus class (aged 5-ish) - so there were lots of tinies with fairy costumes on!
    The other ballet school in our area is very very strict: full regulation kit from day 1, obsessive about hair, socks, everything. This wouldn't have been right for my children but friends' children have thrived there.
    My two both enjoyed ballet but when the syllabus work started both complained
    that it was boring doing the same exercises every week. Elder D moved to freestyle, rock and roll, Latin and street
    classes where the exercises and steps were taught through routines from week 1.
    This meant that within a couple of weeks she could "perform" a complete
    routine, and that was far more motivating for her. Younger D followed her a couple of years later, but she wasn't really ready for it aged 5, took a break for a year, and is now enjoying it again.
    Elder D has just
    got honours in her IDTA star awards - not bad for a kid who displays
    dyspraxic tendencies!
    At the end of the day, if children want to dance, go for it. A word of warning however: dance shoes cost an absolute fortune considering they only get worn for a couple of hours a week. The first time I shelled out for Latin shoes I nearly passed out at the price!
  9. Hello. Just to update, my eldest is now throughly enjoying her ballet lessons and her sister will probably start next May, when she turns 4. Many thanks.
  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I think in an age where obesity in kids is almost an epidemic the earlier they learn to look after their body and find an enjoyable way to exericse it the better. I used to teach ballet and a lot of kids started at age 3 or 4.
  11. My daughter started doing ballet when she was 3. I was keen for her to start because, even at that tender age, it was apparent that sport and physical activity were not going to be her forte. She has always been very artistic (also evident and that tender age) and I thought she might enjoy the creativity of dance and I hoped that her physical development might improve. She's nearly 11 now and still dancing. She's never going to be a talented dancer, but she still loves it and spends a couple of hours each week engaged in some fairly strenuous physical activity.

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