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Ballet Lessons

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Dancing is a fantastic way for a child to express themselves and ballet lessons are always popular with little girls. It helps them develop co-ordination, physical strength and mental focus. It’s a sociable hobby and something that can carry on for as long or as little as they remain interested.

Ballet Lessons for boys and girls

For decades little girls have been drawn to the beauty, elegance and pink satin of ballet and since the film Billy Elliot, more and more boys feel comfortable to own their interest in it as well. If your little boy is keen to learn there are lots of ways to encourage him. In young dance groups there may well be equal numbers of boys and girls and as well as showing him Billy Elliot you can also show him clips of all male complains like Ballet Boyz which show that boys can enjoy this dance as much as girls. If your son does take an interest and encounters any negative judgments about doing so you can remind him that few other sports build muscles and stamina in the way that ballet does!

It is an enchanting and magical dance that demands grace and style and although some children will be more natural than others, the moves can be learnt by all. It’s an incredibly thorough form of fitness, strengthening the whole of the body through its moves. Along with the physical discipline, children also learn to follow instruction and can develop a taste for classical music.

Finding a class

To find a class you can look online. Websites like http://www.dancenearyou.co.uk/dance_classes_ballet.php split their listings into ages and geographical areas. It’s fine to ask if you can go and watch a class first or do a taster session so that you can get an idea of the approach and meet the instructor. When you meet the teacher you can check with them about their experience and qualifications, the main professional trainings are RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing) and ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing).

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How young  can my child be?

Some classes start very young from age three, but it’s more common for them to be open to 4 yearsand upwards. Early year’s classes will be very relaxed in their approach and may be more a Mummy and me style and will often just be for half an hour each week. Formal ballet is not really introduced until the age of about 8 as the bones in the feet need to be mature in order to cope with the more demanding aspect of the exercise. Classes may have an attitude of seriousness to support calm demeanor in the children. This may not be for all children so it’s important that the decision to do ballet comes from your child rather than something they are told they should do.

Progression

If they are keen and continue with their learning they may be put forward for exams and go through a process of formal grades through either the RAD or the ISTD. This shouldn’t be an obligatory aspect of learning ballet, but each teaching place will have its own approach to how it instructs and develops its students.

Cost

Ballet costs can add up over time with shoes, tights, leotards and tutu’s, and of course the cost of the classes. If your child becomes serious about their commitment to ballet you may be looking at between £3.00-£6.00 for an hour lesson, and £30-£50 for exams plus kit. There is lots of second hand ballet kit available from ebay and other websites. The most important thing to assess is how important the classes are to your child and whether you are in a position to support their interest.

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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