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Would anyone like to talk to me about young children's dance classes?

(26 Posts)
BroccoliSpears Fri 03-Oct-08 21:33:11

What is a good age to start dancing classes for a child who seems interested? What would be too young?

I'm sure there must be more available than the ubiqitous 'ballet and tap' that was on offer when I was a child. What sort of things do your children do?

scotagm Fri 03-Oct-08 21:46:19

Interested because they are "interested" or because you want them to go"?

MrsMattie Fri 03-Oct-08 21:48:15

I'm trying to find a dance class for my 3 yr old son at the moment. He is obsessed with dancing. He is too young (I feel) for a formal ballet/tap type class, but too old / physically big for one of those baby and toddler music and movement things.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Fri 03-Oct-08 21:50:03

my dd started at 3 but has left and rejoined a few times since then. tis very expensive if they really get into it <sigh>

<starts counting pennies towards xmas play costumes> <panicks>

hoxtonchick Fri 03-Oct-08 21:50:51

my dd started ballet at 3. no under 3s allowed. not sure it's quite real ballet, more skipping around the church hall wearing a frilly tutu, but she loves it. suspect it gets a bit more formal in the classes for older children, 4.5+ or so.

ruddynorah Fri 03-Oct-08 21:51:33

how young are we talking here? dd is 2.4 and does babyballet which goes up to 4 year old.

she's been going for 8 months and loves it, asks to go nearly every day.

basically it's 45 minutes of prancing about waving scarves, drums, tambourines etc to nursery rhymes and kids songs. they learn actions to the songs, do very basic ballet steps and lots of jumping about.

they don't have to wear any kit but you can buy it if you want.

wessexgirl Fri 03-Oct-08 21:51:35

At my local dance place, they offer ballet from 3, tap and drama from 4, modern from 7 (I think).

Ballet for the nursery class isn't really 'ballet'-ish - lots of nursery rhymes, running around, action songs etc. Both my dds love it (in fact dd2 moans and stamps her feet every time I tell her it isn't ballet day).

Mind you, we are lucky that they are VERY toddler-friendly and informal - friends' children who have gone to the more 'established' dance school in our town have had their children drop out quickly. I like that our place emphasises the fun and enjoyment of dance before enforcing anything much.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Fri 03-Oct-08 21:51:54

oh she does ballet, tap, jazz and modern. jazz, tap and modern twice a week mixed class, ballet once a week.

comps <that she is under no circumstance starting up again untill after xmas show> for her age group (3-8) are song and dance ot troupes.

wessexgirl Fri 03-Oct-08 21:53:52

Uh, no, the friends' children haven't had their children drop out - friends have had their children drop out, I mean.

<third glass of cava emoticon>

BroccoliSpears Fri 03-Oct-08 21:59:32

So about 3 seems the norm then?

Dd is 2.5. She dances all day long. It's her favourite game. People always assume she must do classes (err, not because she's particularly good, just because she constantly prances and leaps and balances on one leg, wobbling and assuring people that she's "doing ballet".)

Would hate her to do anything formal that took the fun out of it, but as she is so keen I wondered about a little class where she can twirl and leap. I think she'd really love it.

hoxtonchick Fri 03-Oct-08 22:04:27

that's just what my dd's like broccoli. she was practically banging down the door of the teacher on her 3rd birthday....

scotagm Fri 03-Oct-08 22:05:27

All because it's seen as the norm to "do a class". How Lovely.

ruddynorah Fri 03-Oct-08 22:07:13


these children like dancing, so is it such a problem to find out what's available to develop their interest?

lisad123 Fri 03-Oct-08 22:11:28

my DD1 does ballet, she started at 4years, before then she had baby dance classes. We were very careful about what class though. She's quite sensitive and we didnt want the strict old type. She has a young fun girl and no pressure, she loves it HTH

Elkat Fri 03-Oct-08 23:03:06

My DD1 started dancing at 2.5. She went to ballet class, but it was a very informal one. They used to run around, pretending to be fairies etc... Not much ballet, but she enjoyed it. She is now in a slightly more formal class, but her early class was just right for her at that age.

wessexgirl Fri 03-Oct-08 23:07:05

Bit previous, scotagm hmm.

If it's wrong to let children who can't wait to start dancing have their will, then you may chastise me accordingly.

nannyL Sat 04-Oct-08 09:41:47

my nanny friends charge hasjust started ballet

she started at 22 months and loves it smile

christywhisty Sat 04-Oct-08 09:48:08

DD started at 2.10 and loved it but gave up when she started school. We had to get a bus straight after school on a Friday and she was just so tired she wasn't enjoying it anymore

BroccoliSpears Sat 04-Oct-08 20:56:27

Running around pretending to be a fairy sounds like her idea of heaven!

We're moving in the next few weeks but will definitely look into finding something when we are settled in our new place.

scotagm - got an issue you'd like to share?

UniS Mon 06-Oct-08 21:06:07

boy has just started ballet class at 2.5 the class is all 2 and 3 year olds. parents stay in the room, at any point in the class one or more of the kids will NOT be doing what the group are doing but will be sitting on mums knee or scooting round floor on bum or picking their nose vacantly.
What they "should" be doing is some exercises in a circle, hopping! jumping, some walking on tip toe/ heels, skipping, picking up knees, marching etc round the room, trying to curtsy or bow with out falling over. And YES, being fairies ( or butterfly's if they are boy , who doesn;t know what a fairy is).
Its not very creative, but that not what I wanted, I wanted him to experience doing things in a group. Creative we do at home, hes constantly pretending to be a digger/ fire engine/ train/butterfly/ cat. Or taking his imaginary skateboard for a ride or playing with his pretend spiders and their bouncy castle. I don;t expect any teacher in a group situation to cope with all that creativity slopping around.

kslatts Mon 06-Oct-08 22:03:56

My dd1 tried ballet at 3 and didn't enjoy it. Both my dds go to irish dance classes now and love it. dd1 was nearly 5 when she started and dd2 was almost 4.

funnypeculiar Mon 06-Oct-08 22:10:50

dd (2.5) does a wonderful class - it's hugely informal (they are allowed to turn up in dressing up clothes, so there is a heavy weight contingent of fairies/princesses) - if you ask her, she says she 'does twirling and skipping and flapping.' They generally act out a story, and do a few dance based games, but when asked to dance yesterday, she said she'd do plies, so suspect there may be some proper ballet snuck in there.
It's based at the local arts centre, rather than being part of a 'proper' ballet school - might be worth looking into something like that?

gigglewitch Mon 06-Oct-08 22:11:39

I run a dance school, but it is a fun club-style thing rather than an abode for budding ballerinas who want to make a career of it smile

I take them at three - albeit reluctantly (on my part,sorry) to teach in a fairly small class, 8 or 10 of them. I feel that on the whole the ones who come at four and a half make the best out of it, young enough to get the pure fun and enjoyment factor but just about old enough to be teachable, as it were! At this age they're not frightened of the big hall and loads of other kids so with plenty of teachers and helpers we have around 24 in a class! shock grin
We do a whole pile of stuff, modern stage, street, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary - and yes the good ole ballet and tap where it suits us. we're having a huge "street" and "cheerleading" craze atm [presumably high school musical induced], as long as they enjoy it, I don't really mind what the labels are grin

gigglewitch Mon 06-Oct-08 22:14:23

btw like funnyp. says, we do mad theme-weeks ever three or four weeks where they turn up in gawd-knows what, we have done ballerinas and fairies, cowboys/girls, rock n roll, all sorts. the atmosphere's fab, much better than formal uniform style things wink

Sycamoretree Mon 06-Oct-08 22:25:52

My DD started her baby ballet at 3 - she loves it! Bit of fun, also quite good for their concentration. Basically just putting on a pretty outfit and pretending to be a butterfly, or blowing bubbles, putting baby to bed. She couldn't start until she was 3 - it's now the highlight of her week. grin

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