Teaching Kids the Discipline of Ballet

Pros and cons of ballet training for youngsters.

Ballet is a beautiful art form, though it has it’s ugly side to it too, and in deciding whether your child would benefit from ballet classes, you really need to investigate the reasons you wish your child to have classes. Is it because of any of these reasons:

1. The child wants ballet classes and is keen on it to the extent that they nag you for classes.
2. You want your child to look pretty on stage, to have all the chances you didn’t have.
3. You think it will help with poise and body development.
4. You want to keep up with friends who have their children in ballet classes.

Each of these are reasons that people choose ballet, and although only basically covered, what those questions tell you is whether the reasons are good enough to insist that your child has ballet classes.

If you start a child learning ballet for the wrong reasons, chances are that not only will they be disappointed by the experience, but you, as a parent, will be disappointed by their progress.

Not every child is gifted. Not every child will look pretty in a tutu, and certainly not every child has the discipline it takes to excel at ballet, and all of these should be considered before enrolling a child. The success rate of ballerinas is a very low one. Little girls with dreams of becoming professional dancers can be killed off by the reality that they really are not good enough to compete in a professional world of dance. A child can live with that stigma for the rest of their lives if the reasons are not investigated and talked about with your child in a realistic manner before lessons start.

In competitive ballet lessons, one child can think they are better than others. They may well be the better ballerina, though what this competition creates is conceit, big headedness and not the nicest of characteristics in a child.

When deciding that ballet classes are right for your child, discussing openly with your child the fact that they should accept the differing abilities of other children is essential. Discussing that they should simply do the best that they can and enjoy their childhood experience of dance is also important. Participation of parents in a supportive role rather than a role of trainer is healthier too. Many parents push their kids into being things that they perhaps wish they were part of during their childhood, and it really does give the child false expectations, stress and sometimes even to the extent that a child will injure themselves rather than disappoint their over reactive parent.

Above all when considering ballet for your child, check out the teacher. Check out the happiness of the children in the class, and make sure that the environment and atmosphere are of fun as well as learning and when your little angel doesn’t become the best ballerina in the class, applaud the fact that she tried, because trying is every bit as important as winning.

Let her take a bow, and enjoy the experience, rather than finding it an experience of dread.

Happy children make happy ballerinas.