A Guide to Ballet for Kids and Parents

oung, Female Ballet Dancer Practicing in a Dance Studio
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Many positive benefits are associated with learning the art of classical ballet. Besides learning the traditional techniques of ballet, ballet lessons can also foster a positive self-image in young girls, as well as young boys. Ballet teaches skill, grace, poise, self-discipline, and self-confidence. If your dream is to become a ballerina, you must practice a lot in order to master the many challenging poses and steps of ballet.

You will begin by learning the rules and traditional techniques of ballet which have been handed down over the centuries. This guide will help young girls and boys begin their ballet journey.

Getting Ready for Ballet Class

If you are very new to ballet, you are probably a little anxious about starting ballet classes. You may be wondering about a lot of things, like what you should wear and how to style your hair. You may wonder what ballet class will be like, and what kinds of things you will be learning. Keep in mind that most of the other students in your class will probably be new to ballet, too. Relax and enjoy this special time of your life, your first experiences in ballet.

First Ballet Steps

Your first ballet classes will introduce you to the basic positions and techniques of ballet.

Don't worry if you feel a little overwhelmed after your first few ballet classes. Ballet is extremely formal and strict, as the basic steps have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. You will be taught how to hold your body correctly, including how to hold your hands and how to point your toes.

You will practice simple skills such as skipping and jumping to improve your coordination and flexibility. Each ballet class will begin at the barre with a series of exercises. Each exercise will focus on warming up a specific part of the body. After barre, a series of exercises will be performed in the center of the room, without the use of the barre.

The Importance of Stretching

Stretching is an important part of ballet. A ballet dancer needs to be flexible in order to position the body correctly and to avoid becoming injured. Stretching should become habit before each dance class. Even though your teacher will probably lead the class through a warm-up routine, it's a good idea to arrive at class early and stretch a little on your own.

Recital Fun

Most private dance studios have an annual recital. Recitals allow dance teachers to showcase the progress of their dancers, as well as allow the dancers to get a taste of what it's like to be in a real performance. Parents enjoy taking pictures and videos of their tiny dancers' first time on stage. After working hard all year, students feel a sense of accomplishment while performing on stage in beautiful costumes.

Recitals also help to establish a sense of confidence in young dancers.