Every parent faces the dilemma of how to choose the best after school activity for their child, and dance classes are often included somewhere on the list of possibilities. Signing you child up for ballet classes is one of the best choices you can make, for more reasons than you might imagine. There are other valuable skills to be gained aside from the physical benefits of exercise that will serve your child in many other activities for the rest of their lives.
1. Grace and coordination. Ballet lessons help a child to develop awareness of their body and how to control their movements. Ballet is a highly refined style of dance that requires dancers to be very precise in their movements. There are specific positions for the feet, head and arms, and over time, all students in the ballet class learn to put these separate movements and positions together to steer the body through a dance. Practicing the same movements over and over leads to perfection and precision, and grace is a by-product of those efforts. It is also exciting for children to witness the extent of their development as moves get easier and become second nature.
2. Spatial awareness. There are a lot of other students in class, and ballet classes often end with dance moves performed in the center of the room. It is a challenge to learn how to dance around through open space without crashing into other people. All ballet students learn to pay attention to their classmates, and make sure to maintain enough space between themselves and others so no one gets accidentally kicked or hit.
3. Good posture. It is easy to instantly identify a ballet dancer in a crowd because of the way they hold themselves. One of the first things your child learns in ballet classes is how to stand up straight. Ballet developed during the Middle Ages in the Italian and French courts; its movements reflected the dignified and noble carriage of court members. Today’s ballerinas still possess that same air of splendid magnificence, provided by excellent posture.
4. Improved listening skills. A ballet dancer has to pay attention and listen all the time. Every ballet class is full of verbal directions and demonstrations. Choreography must be learned and then remembered. Not only do ballet students learn to listen to the ballet instructor’s input, they also learn to listen to the music and dance the proper steps on the proper counts of the music.
5. Physical activity. Our bodies were made to move, and daily exercise is a vital part of health. In fact, current guidelines suggest 20-45 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Ballet classes are a fun and rewarding way to simultaneously learn new things and take care of your body.
Signing up for ballet lessons is sure to be rewarding in both the short and long term, for these reasons and more. Besides being fun, ballet provides a solid foundation for a wide variety of other activities, like sports, figure skating, gymnastics, and other forms of dance. Every minute spent in the ballet studio is an investment in your child’s future.