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Ballet/dancing for 4 year old?

(16 Posts)
dingledangle Sat 13-Jun-09 11:22:42

DD has been badgering me for ages to try ballet. Anyway we went this morning and she seemed to enjoy it. But to be honest she enjoys most activities I have taken her too.

I have to be honest I am not a big ballet fan for little girls but as she wanted to go I thought why not! (i find the whole good toes/naughty toes a bit odd to be honest!)

However they also offer other types of dance, irish dancing, tap and so forth and I am wondering whether this may be more appropriate and fun.

What are others experiences?

DD starts school in Sept so I am not wanting her to be overcommitted with extra curricular stuff as I think that school will be enough.

Views please.....

hercules1 Sat 13-Jun-09 11:23:28

What about stagecoach? Dd does acting, dancing and singing in one activity.

dingledangle Sat 13-Jun-09 11:29:19

Stagecoach is a good idea but ours does not take children until age 6.

DesperateHousewifeToo Sat 13-Jun-09 11:37:42

My dd LOVES ballet! - even though she is not a natural ballerina, iyswim wink

She has really benefitted from it in terms of balance as well as concentration.

She is very girly though, which helps, I think.

I would have thought that more physical dancing like tap or irish would be more tiring as she starts school.

How about mising out the fisrt term and let her concentrate on school and then start a lass after christmas.

I am going to try to keep dd doing her ballet if I can fit it into soon to be very complicated school runs!

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 13-Jun-09 11:48:29

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misshardbroom Sat 13-Jun-09 13:05:08

my DD is nearly 6 and has danced since 2 weeks before her 3rd birthday. She loves it, and it's a big part of her life (if we're not at ballet, she's playing ballet).

She won't ever be Darcey Bussell but it's been good for her posture, precision of movement, imagination (as Stewie says, there's a lot of freedom of dance), and through it she's had experiences that have boosted her confidence, such as taking part in a show and a summer school. The other thing I like is that she's got some nice older role models too.

I'd say go for it, but if she's only starting school this September then it might be best to wait until half term or January before she starts if you think it might be a bit too much all at once. And choose your school very very carefully... ours is very chilled out and there's a lot of emphasis on having fun and building confidence. I've heard a lot of horror stories though!

A friend of mine who used to teach ballet said that she would recommend schools that taught the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus over the ISTD syllabus and felt that RAD was a bit less 'stage school-y'. I'm sure there'll be plenty of MN-ers along soon to tell me that's not the case, but thought I would pass on the information nevertheless smile

dingledangle Sat 13-Jun-09 13:18:19

Thanks everyone so far.

They teach ISTD/BDI and LAMDA (according to the details I received this morning). But it does say that not all pupils want to take exams and that is ok(there seem to be classes which adhere to specific syllabus and are more exam focused)

She seems to like it and having watched the class the emphasis is on fun with a little bit of names of postures and so forth as well within it. I think it is not too strict (based on the fact that they let me watch along with other parents).

As it is a Saturday am I think it will be easier to fit in than a weekday thing (like the other classes are).

dingledangle Sat 13-Jun-09 18:37:13

Any other views would be welcome...

cory Mon 15-Jun-09 07:48:47

dd loved her ballet lessons (also started at 4)

for her it proved a pathway into appreciating the theatre in general, music, rhythm

also helped with posture and balance

and she loved being in the shows

no pressure, and a very inclusive school, but quite organised, which I think has helped her concentration

flyingdolphin Mon 15-Jun-09 08:56:38

if she enjoys it then I can't see any reason not to. I am not really into the whole ballet thing myself, but I think for the younger ones often classes are not too strict and balletish -
dd goes to one which is called ballet but in fact they do a bit of tap and a bit of ballet and a bit of modern dance, occasionally do some gymnastics. She started going at 3, and still loves it three and a half years later, it is the highlight of her week.

I always found it really difficult to do classes on a saturday because it always feels like a family day to take things easy and have a slow start and late breakfast. also, it means that you can't go away anywhere for the weekend without missing classes. But maybe it would be less tiring for your dd if she is starting school.

castille Mon 15-Jun-09 09:20:09

I'd let her go if that's what she wants. At 4 they don't push them or make them do unnatural things and if exams aren't compulsory so much the better.

Lots of children give up when it gets serious, if that's not what they want. But they learn a lot in terms of posture, rhythm and coordination in the early years.

If she's not cut out for it she'll realise that herself in time, which is better than you deciding for her.

dilemma456 Thu 18-Jun-09 16:01:00

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Seeline Thu 18-Jun-09 16:07:20

My DD started 'baby ballet' at 21/2 after much badgering from her. she loved it straight away, and the lesson also included 15 mins of tap. At 4 she had to change classes and I gave her the choice of continuing with the ballet or tap - she just coudn't decide and opted for a ballet lesson and a combined tap/modern lesson. She still loves both. I agree with other posters, not only does she enjo it, and it gives her some exercise, I think has helped her with her cnfidence, posture and movement. It also means she has made some friends outside school which I think is good. Go for it.

scrappydappydoo Thu 18-Jun-09 16:20:40

I think it very much depends on the ballet school - I found one for dd1(3) which isn't fussy about the 'correct' uniform and doesn't do any exams until they are at least 6. It's very cheap (£3 per class) and dd just loves being there. I found some other classes waayy to strict and too fussy about uniform - expecting you to spend approx £40 on uniform on top of lessons that were £6 each - DD is 3!!! if she wants to get serious we can swap to them later maybe but not now.
If your dd enjoys it then carry on - if it gets too much stop. Simples

madwomanintheattic Thu 18-Jun-09 16:32:12

dd1 started ballet at 4 - she now does tap, modern, freestyle and cheer as well lol. she's 9.

ds1 started at 2.5 (he wanted to join in with his sister's class and the teacher encouraged him lol). he tried tap for a while (begged me to let him) but decided he didn't like it after a term. he's 7.

dd2 started at 4 - but she has a physical disability and it took that long for her to be steady enough and to find a teacher willing to take her. it has helped her balance enormously, although she still can't do anything requiring less than two feet on the floor lol. she's nearly 6.

at 4 there is no huge pressure and it's just dancey fun (if you have the right school). most schools won't let a young child do just tap in any case - they often don't have the co-ordination for a long tap lesson so combine it with a ballet class...

odd as it may seem - i'm really not a ballet-mom. i have no background in dance or even any interest really - i let them choose what activities they want to do and they all love ballet. i am impressed at the improvements in dd2's balance though, and her teacher is very careful to make sure she is not going to complicate her existing issues with any of the exercises. (we now have 'ballet toes' and 'physio toes' at physio lol - the physio is made up with the ballet idea...)

dilemma456 Sat 20-Jun-09 17:16:04

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