From hip-hop, tap or creative movement, the options for starting your child in dance classes are endless. If the goal is to give them a few hours to get out their jitters, then perhaps what you sign them up for doesn’t matter. However, if the dream is for your cherub to angelically sashay across the stage in a tutu on a breeze of glittery gauze then ballet is the obvious choice. But behind the sparkling stage performances, are there ulterior benefits to starting your 3-year-old in pre-ballet? There certainly are!
What Type of Dance Lessons are Best for a 3-Year-Old?
For three-year-olds, pre-ballet classes can have great benefits. These include helping to improve their confidence, giving them a physical outlet and helping them to gain control over their growing bodies, and strengthening their cognition.
Pre-Ballet sets your three-year-old up for success in many ways. This can come in the form of physical and mental benefits as well as social benefits. By learning ballet before any other dance form, your child will have the foundations to be successful wherever they put their kinetic energy in the future. In the pre-ballet classes at Central Utah Ballet, your toddler or preschooler will develop spatial and cognitive awareness in the introduction of our pre-ballet syllabus and vocabulary.
Ballet Is The Foundation Of Dance
It’s not just tulle and feathers. Ballet teaches alignment, values, techniques, and musicality, all of which are transferable to other dance styles like modern fusion, jazz, and contemporary. Even if your child doesn’t fall in love with ballet, all the skills they learned in the pre-ballet classes will make them more successful in future athletic or dance careers. This is also true of all the physical abilities your child will gain in pre-ballet. They will have a head start when it comes to flexibility, strength, focus, discipline, and confidence!
Though it may seem like a given, pre-ballet is a great way to introduce your child to other children. “From 2-5 years old,” Sally Beville Hunter, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of child and family studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville explains, “children need to learn what is fair and what is right, and they learn that from being with other children.”
In our pre-ballet classrooms, children learn to respect space with other children, take turns, and share the spotlight. As they make friends in class, they will have a leg up (sometimes literally!) informing those communication skills early. This can equate to lifetime relationships and a substantially higher quality of life. No exaggeration here, “the single biggest predictor of human happiness is the quality of [a person’s] relationships.” – Aron Arthur, psychologist.
Creativity And Storytelling
According to the Australian Parenting site Raising Children, “Creative play helps toddlers develop emotionally, physically, mentally and socially.” And what better way to do it than through dance? Through ballet activities such as mood dancing, when music is put on and dancers are asked to express how it makes them feel, toddlers are able to learn healthy ways to express and work through their emotions. Through dance as a form for telling stories, children are better able to learn empathy and can experience fantasy. All around ballet as a creative outlet is a no-brainer!
If you are looking for a type of dance that will give your child the most benefits and life tools, it’s very possible you’re looking at it! But don’t take our word for it, have your child try it for themself. At Central Utah Ballet, we put our most experienced instructors in charge of the pre-ballet program so your child will be in the best possible care. If you’d like to read about additional health benefits not covered here, discover our article about what age toddlers can join pre-ballet!