For many of us parents, ballet was a natural choice for our children when they came of age. Whether you loved the self-expression ballet afforded you, or you were a serious and well-trained student of the craft, chances are you have warm and sentimental feelings surrounding your time in dance.
Ballet is an amazing practice for children for so many reasons. As parents, it’s a wonderful gift to give your children that isn’t material or excessive. Under the right instruction, ballet encourages well-developed life skills and emotional control. Here are some of the many ways we’ve seen ballet help kids firsthand.
1. Ballet fosters discipline and obedience in kids.
Child psychologists agree: the more often a child obeys a command from a person in authority, the better the chances that child will obey more commands in the future. Obeying a ballet teacher’s simple instructions can help those neural pathways to form so that even little kids will have an easier time accepting authority outside of ballet. This means that ballet could feasibly make a child’s school life easier, and even make your homelife easier as well.
2. Ballet nurtures confidence.
That feeling when you are working and working on executing a dance move properly, and then finally accomplish it? It’s wonderful. Kids learn in ballet that hard work means results, and that practice pays off. Not only do children learn that they can accomplish what they put their mind to, but then they get to perform what they’ve learned in front of their family and friends. And that is a truly special gift.
3. Ballet encourages the body-mind connection.
Adults who practice meditation or yoga know that the connection between body and mind is so important for overall well-being. Ballet is a beautiful – and very un-boring! – way to encourage that connection for kids. The more that we know that our mind is in control of our body, the stronger our intentions are able to be carried out in our everyday lives. Ballet is a beautiful and healthy way for kids to learn that they are capable of carrying out their own intentions, not only in dance, but in their outside lives as well.
4. Ballet provides a way for kids to deal with stress.
You have to be present and in-your-body to participate in ballet. There’s no other way to dance. Because of this, participating in ballet is like a tiny vacation for the mind. Everything else that might be bothering us just slips away, if only for a moment.
As much as us parents wish we could shield them from everything, kids absolutely do have stressors. From schoolwork to social pressures; from not having as much power as an adult to figuring out what life is, we forget how stressful being a child can be sometimes. Ballet helps children to learn to deal with stress, by reminding them that they always have the power to allow it to fall away. Many of us don’t ever learn this lesson, but kids in ballet get to learn it pretty early on.
5. Ballet is exercise, but it’s fun!
Tell your kids you’re going to make them do something healthy, chances are you’ll probably be met with some resistance! Ballet sneaks physical activity into your kids schedule. While you know that you’re doing something extremely healthy for their body and mind, all they will be aware of is how much fun they’re having.