Is my 2 year old too young to begin dance lessons?
It is amazing how much a child learns in the first 3 years of life. Keep in mind that each child will develop the attention span and ability to focus at different times. Two is a perfect age to begin a structured program in dance as long as the class is specifically designed for the pre-school mind and body.
First look for a warm and positive atmosphere. There should be discipline with affection, instruction with patience. The students should be encouraged to recognize and achieve appropriate levels of goals such as staying in place, learning new words and steps. Most importantly, the dancers should be inspired to be kind and respectful to the teachers and fellow students.
It is not unusual to have a child continue their dance training all through their school years. The lessons learned in a dance class translate to all areas of life. It can be the beginning of a love and appreciation of the arts. The confidence and self discipline acquired will serve them well in school and as adults. The friendships that are made at the start will often bloom into life long relationships.
How do I know when my child should be promoted in dance class?
It is important to understand that levels vary from school to school.
In my opinion, every class should be comprised of three stages of study. One group will be close to mastering the elements of the class. Their technique is consistent and their skills are executed with ease and confidence. These dancers should be promoted.
The major group of students will be those whose abilities are improving each week but still need repetition and detailed correction.
The last group usually includes dancers new to the level or those who possess structural or processing challenges that need extra attention and encouragement. These students should feel challenged but not stressed or discouraged.
Be sure that you understand the school’s criteria and trust the teacher to have your child’s best interest at heart. Remember that the level does not matter as long as your child is learning and improving with each class and loving dance more every day.
When will my daughter be ready for toe shoes?
First, the correct term is pointe shoes. It comes from the French origin of ballet in the 14th century.
Dancers should be at least 10 years of age. Teachers must evaluate the strength and structure of the torso, abdominal back, feet and legs. A young ballerina must be able to maintain proper placement, stability and balance. Regular attendance in class is key to mastering pointe work. A dance student must realize that acquiring pointe shoes is not a goal but a passage to the next level of dance training. It is difficult and usually painful.
A strong commitment and sense of dedication is essential to achieving flow and grace of classical pointe work.