Ballet class can be a very beneficial after school activity for a child. It is great exercise and a great social activity. It helps them academically and creatively. But there are several questions that swarm around the idea of young children taking ballet lessons. Here are our top six things you should consider before choosing a ballet school.
1. Ballet is not for everyone.
Decide if it is a good activity for your child. Consider your child’s personality and interests. Booking your child into a trial class can help you to decide if your child shows interest. Make sure they are smiling and having fun. By striving to achieve and reach goals each week, a dancer will find the passion and love of dance which will continue to grow with them. Dance can be hard work, but it should be enjoyable too!
2. Ballet teachers differ in teaching styles as much as they differ in personality.
Talk with the teachers about their background and education as well as their style of teaching. Remember that ballet becomes more challenging and demanding as students improve, and knowing the teacher’s teaching techniques would be beneficial. Read the teachers biographies on their websites and make sure they have the necessary qualifications and experience to shape your dancer into the best that they can be.
3. Look to understand the quality of the dance education being offered.
Dance education is not unlike academic education. It requires the skill of highly qualified and motivated educators and administrators to teach and get the most out of a student by way of a well developed, age appropriate curriculum. In order to maximize the learning potential, dance teachers on faculty should follow a unified, well developed syllabus created by dance education specialists. All dance faculty should participate in continuing education and training throughout the course of the year on teaching principles, learning styles, safe dance practice and content.
4. Understand what kind of commitment is required.
Aside from weekly classes and the year-end concert, most schools offer other performing experiences throughout the year. There may be performances at local events or Eisteddfods. Students do enjoy these performing opportunities, but parents must be aware that participation will incur additional rehearsal time as well as expenses – – entrance fees, costumes, and travel to mention a few. These expenses and their educational benefit to your child’s dance experience should be considered.
5. There are two types of ballet schools: Recreational schools and Professional schools.
You should be aware of the differences. Professional schools are exclusive and less local. Class frequency is increased as the child moves through the curriculum. These schools have relationships with professional organisations and can provide opportunities for your child to participate in annual examinations and professional productions. The recreational schools are more common they provide localised performance and competition opportunities as well as a large end of year concert/recital to showcase what the children have learnt throughout the year.
6. A good reputation is a key sign of a good school.
Research the dance schools reputation. Speak to some of the other parents; ask them how they feel about the school, the faculty and more importantly their child’s experiences. Review their Facebook reviews and parent interactions with the page. You could also review the previous years Eisteddfod results to get an understanding of how they compare to other local schools when it comes to being judged by a board of technical dance judges.