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It’s been almost three years since my now 5-year-old girl took her first ballet class. Every single Sunday morning we leave the house in a mad dash to make it on time to my girl’s ballet class. What’s incredible is that it’s hardly ever been a hassle or a battle to get her there. She loves it and can’t get enough of it. She loves the dressing up, the twirling, the sea of pink, the “girly-ness” of it all. We love that it’s something she loves — and that it’s nurturing her in so many positive ways that the benefits could last her a lifetime.
Over the last three years, we’ve seen her mature a little bit every single Sunday and every single time she gets on stage. This is not a strict, classical ballet class, but a fun and creative environment where she can be free, yet respectful and mindful of the lessons.
If you’re considering ballet lessons for your girl, here are a few more reasons to be convinced of the positive and nurturing benefits your child can receive — all of which I’ve seen on my own daughter.
1. BALLET NURTURES CONFIDENCE
The extreme shyness stage hit my girl when she was turning three-years-old and right around the time she started ballet. At first she had a hard time letting go of my hand and joining the teacher and the rest of the girls, but slowly she started gaining the confidence and trust to start letting go and just enjoy. During the dress rehearsal for the first recital, I was panicking because I swore she would never get on stage or, if she did, she’d just stand there frozen. I was so wrong. As soon as she got on stage it’s as if she had found her place in life. It was hard to get her off and she’s always waiting for the next one.
2. BALLET ENHANCES FOCUS
My daughter is extremely energetic and very free-spirited. Yet, in ballet class she’s attentive and very focused. Even though in preschool ballet children are more in the marching, prancing and twirling fun stage, they have to learn to pay attention and focus on the group and their body’s movement. If they have to prepare for a recital and get on stage, that focus will have a purpose and the lesson will be reinforced.
3. BALLET DOES A BODY GOOD
Ballet at any age is an ideal activity for kids to learn strength, flexibility, and movement. At a young age, any exercise or discipline should be fun and immersive. Ballet definitely keeps going well beyond the studio walls and spills over to our house, the park, friends’ homes, parking lots…basically anywhere where there’s enough room to move.
4. BALLET ENRICHES CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE
I never thought that at age 5 my daughter would be grabbing my iPad from my hands so she could put on her favorite Tchaikovsky song. For the second year in a row, she was practicing her part in The Nutcracker, this time as a Sugar Plum Fairy. Not only did she perform it on stage, but she also joined us to watch the L.A. Ballet performance and sat through the whole suite on the edge of her seat. Ballet has definitely been a gateway for nurturing her love of music and our love of culture.
5. BALLET PROMOTES BONDING
Our ballet Sundays are the only part of our family life that could be considered ritualistic. We never miss a class, one of us is always there with her, and she knows we’re watching her. Our family bond is definitely nurtured through her classes and the two times a year she performs.
She also is nurtured by the bonds she’s established with her teacher and her assistants, as well as with the other girls in her class.