It was recently reported that Prince George, the son of Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton, will be signing up for ballet because he apparently loves the dance so much. This didn’t capture media attention until an ABC News host ostensibly snickered at the news.
Beside the contrived controversy that everyone is generating because of the host’s remarks, the prince entering ballet might encourage even more young people – boys and girls – to join the beloved and historic art form.
And why not? It contains all sorts of benefits. Like what? Well, let’s stop tiptoeing around the issue. Here are the nine benefits of ballet for children:
1. You Get Plenty of Exercise
When you’re on the outside looking in, ballet does not appear to be that physically rigorous. To dispel this view, you should do two things: attend a live performance and participate in a ballet class.
Ballet is one of the most exhaustive dance styles in the genre. In addition to having incredible conditioning, you will need to perform a diverse array of moves on the barres, from lifting your partner to standing on your tippy-toes. Yes, it might look easy, but that is what a professional does: He or she makes everything look easy.
2. Exposure to Classical Music
Ballet is defined by beautiful and iconic classical music. Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus – there are all sorts of lovely music to accompany ballet dancing.
For the most part, ballet schools will play simple piano music. However, as time passes and more students become equipped with more complex repertoires, teachers will start exposing children to these types of ballets. Your children will gain an appreciation for the classic music as one of the many benefits of ballet.
3. Socialize with Other Children
A common concern for parents these days is having their kids socialize with other children. With social anxiety more prevalent and children preferring to stay indoors and play video games, it is understandable why mothers and fathers are worried.
Enter: Ballet. By enrolling your children into ballet, you can ensure that your son or daughter is meeting other kids and learning to bond with his or her peers. Indeed, children might be interested in ballet, but it is the socializing aspect that might be more important.
4. Kids Sharpen Critical Thinking Skills
Is every child a natural at the ballet? Of course not. Therefore, young dancers are going to make plenty of mistakes. The most important thing, however, is that they learn from their errors by tapping into their critical thinking skills:
- Identify the problem.
- Come up with a solution (physical or mental).
- Apply the remedy to the issue at hand.
They may not be professional ballet performers, but this skill will prove valuable throughout their entire lives.
5. Foster a Great Work Ethic
One of the best benefits of ballet for children is how often they will be challenged – mentally and physically. Put simply, the ballet will foster a tremendous work ethic that, like critical thinking, will prove valuable throughout their entire lives.
Here is what ballet is about: training is constant and perfection is never achieved.
If that doesn’t define work ethic, then what does?
6. Improve Posture and Coordination
Let’s face it: all of us – men, women, and children – can do a better job of improving our posture. We don’t stand tall or sit straight. Instead, we slouch walking and sitting, which is not great for our health.
Ballet corrects this, either directly or indirectly. There are also other benefits of ballet, such as the ability to improve your coordination. Indeed, from the very first day as a ballet student, you will perform a demi plie at the barre, using your muscles, coordinating your body, and stand tall. Once you master this simple procedure, you cannot help but have a great posture every waking moment.
7. Enhance a Child’s Confidence
Stage fright is more prevalent than anyone could ever imagine. Next to dying, public speaking is our biggest fear. It is nearly impossible to correct, which is why it is imperative to foster confidence in the next generation. This can be done through ballet.
Every child will learn to become comfortable performing in front of an audience. This is a critical skill to hone and it will last a lifetime. Again, it does not matter if your boy or girl chooses to discontinue their ballet training because this level of confidence will assist them in every walk of life.
8. Boost Vocabulary
Sure, ballet is all about moving muscles, but it also contributes to verbal skills. The dance style will introduce children to a whole net set of words that will be with them throughout their schooling.
For example, a child will learn what the anatomy is because he or she will be required to move at least one part of their body during every dance. Or, as another instance, young dancers will be taught verbs for these movements, from stretching to twisting to bending.
As a parent, you really get your money’s worth from beginning to end, and your children’s improved vocabulary will be one of the welcomed benefits of ballet.
9. Stimulate Little Gray Cells
How do you boost creativity? Ballet. How come? When young dancers become comfortable enough to experiment with movements and steps, they will translate everything they think and feel into physical expressions. There is a reason why ballet is often described as poetry in motion or art for athletes.
There is still a lot of stigma surrounding ballet. From boys learning how to do ballet moves to average folk attending live performances, there is plenty of negative stereotypes regarding the dance – like opera. But, if you don’t care about any of that, then why not sign your kid up? If he or she shows an interest, take advantage! It’s better than blowing up cars and shooting people on a screen.