Our eldest, Vet was in Kung-Fu classes for a few months and she loved it. It improved her confidence, her balance and much more. She's very active and can't wait to join other extra curricular activities next school year. Then we have Eli, who has stayed home with Mommy or Hubs since she was born. Play dates have been slow and she is very independent and doesn't get along to well with other children. So we started thinking about a "sport" that is both independent and needs a team to succeed. I came up with gymnastics and Hubs said Ballet. With perfect timing I was approached by Lara and then wrote this very helpful post for both my readers and I. I hope you enjoy it.
Pink tutus and ballet shoes – When to start your toddler in ballet classes
Toddlers love to dance - nothing brings a bigger smile to a parent’s face when their little one hears music and starts to bounce to the beat. Where do they learn to move with the music like that?
Music moves all of us, and the joy of ballet is a rewarding experience. It is a lot of hard work for serious training, but for little ones, it is about the joy of movement. Today, more than ever, it is so important to teach our children to enjoy physical activity and what better way than dance? Its fun and works almost every muscle in the body – including those you never realized you even had!
For toddlers as young as 2, serious ballet training is not recommended. However, they can begin to learn the relationship between music and movement. Gymboree Play & Music classes are a fantastic way to learn about music and movement for children this young. This gives them a great foundation before they begin training in dance technique.
When they get a little older and have learned to listen to a teacher’s instruction (age 5-7), this is the perfect time to start ballet classes. They will love to dress up in their ballerina clothes and ballet shoes. The dance clothing is not only adorable, but it is important to their training. At this level, they will be required to wear ballet slippers, usually made of leather or canvas. It is important that the ballet shoes fit well so that they do not get in the way of their training.
The rule of thumb is that the ballet shoe should fit like a sock - not too loose, not too snug. If the ballet shoe is too loose, the ballet shoe may feel floppy and pucker towards the tip. If you can pinch the tip without touching the big toe, it’s too loose. If the shoe is too tight, the toes inside might curl under. In a properly fitting ballet shoe, the dancer should be able to stand with their toes flat along the floor without any excess material in the tip.
If you have an active little dancer at home that can’t wait to play dress up, there’s no harm in buying a tutu and a pair of ballet shoes. Just remember that if your child begins ballet classes, the shoes do need to fit properly so that they can enjoy the experience and, most importantly, have fun!
To learn more about ballet shoes for toddlers, visit Best Ballet Shoes.
Lara Friesen is a newbie blogger and former recreational dancer. She hails from Cleveland, OH, where she learned ballet at the Cleveland School of Ballet as a child and later studied at Dance by Gloria until her mid-twenties. She now lives in San Francisco with her husband, where marketing is her full-time job.
Thanks to Lara for helping us with when to introduce a serious dance and sport such as Ballet to our little Eli! We have already contacted Gymboree & another local music and play business to see which may work best for us. I love the tips because she does need to learn how to be more social.