By Mariel Uyquiengco
A lot of girls naturally gravitate towards the leaps and twirls of ballet. They badger their parents to enroll them in ballet lessons for kids. Most probably, though, all they really want are the frilly, girly costumes that ballerinas wear!
Though not every little girl who enrolls in ballet lessons will pursue further studies and become a professional ballerina, ballet lessons actually have a host of benefits for little dancers. It works on all areas of development: physical, cognitive, social, and emotional.
Here are some reasons to send your child to ballet lessons if she expresses interest to join a class.
1. Balance and coordination
Ballet exercises help children develop their balance and coordination, which are important gross motor skills. Knowing how to control their own body’s movement will help them with other physically demanding activities. Of course, ballet keeps children active and gives them the opportunity to exercise.
Though ballet classes seem to be just fun and games, all those leaping and twirling actually help develop body awareness and muscular strength. Imagine a physical activity that requires you to skip, leap, twirl, and squat for close to one hour, and you will begin to appreciate the physical effort that goes with wearing a fluffy tutu.
2. Sense of accomplishment
If you have a shy girl, ballet can help her bloom into being a confident person who basks in her accomplishments due to hard work. Being able to master new skills can help young ones build a healthy sense of self-esteem, able to perform in front of different audience sizes. What’s more, this positive self-image will carry over to other areas of a child’s life.
3. Grace and poise
Grace and poise are desirable in little women, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Ballet classes provide the opportunity to practice being graceful in one’s movements… or at least lessen boisterousness! Ballet is a beautiful way to channel a child’s seemingly boundless energy. From a little one who charges at you, you just might have a dancer who delicately skips over to you!
4. Focus and concentration
Ballet has its own language. Teachers require children to learn dance terms in the original French and remember how they are done. Students also need to follow instructions, remember choreography, and listen to musical cues. All these efforts to memorize and concentrate help in the development of cognitive or thinking skills. Definitely, body and brain are both challenged by ballet lessons.
5. Stress relief
Kids nowadays face a lot of stress everyday – a heavy load of schoolwork on a daily basis can be a great stressor! Give your child time to de-stress with ballet during weekends. Through ballet, a child can have an emotional outlet while enjoying the host of benefits already mentioned above. In addition, the physical activity required by ballet increases serotonin in the body; serotonin is known to decrease anxiety.
Ballet lessons for kids may not lead to a vocation in dance, but the benefits that a child will get out of attending classes are numerous. The fluffy tutu that a child gets to wear is really just the icing to a healthy and delicious cake.
Mariel Uyquiengco hopes to inspire parents to be their children’s first and best teacher. She does this through her blog and online children’s book shop www.thelearningbasket.com and by giving parenting seminars about early childhood development, preschool homeschool, and raising children to be readers.