06 Mar Enrolling in A Ballet Academy? Here’s What You Need To Know
Ballet is a beautiful and graceful dance form that can benefit individuals of all ages. In this article, we will explore the best age to start ballet, why ballet is good for toddlers (or kids of any age), different ballet dance styles, how to find the perfect pointe shoes, and taking up ballet as an adult.
The Best Age to Start Ballet
As a parent, you might be considering enrolling your child in ballet courses. There are many ballet academies that offer programs for children as young as three years old, and Viva Ballet Academy is one of them. There are specialised programs tailored to the developmental stages of young children at the academy.
But fret not if you’re older and just discovering your passion for ballet. Whether they’re beginners, many adults also find joy in taking ballet classes. It’s never too late to begin, and there are several advantages to learning ballet as an adult.
It doesn’t matter if you’re three or thirty-three, there’s no time like the present to start exploring the world of ballet. Who knows? You might just discover a new passion that brings joy and beauty into your life.
Benefits of Ballet for Kids
Students and instructors often think of ballet as just a dance. But the reality is it’s much more than that. Ballet isn’t just beautiful aesthetics; it’s also a disciplined method of training the body for flexibility, strength and balance. For parents who are looking for great exercises for their children, ballet is a great one to include.
Improves Posture and Balance
Did you know that ballet helps to improve our posture and balance? For children especially, it’ll help them to hold themselves upright and maintain good posture, which can help to prevent back problems later in life. Furthermore, it also improves balance and coordination.
Ballet class may seem like a walk in the park for those in the audience. A ballet class involves many different moves, which is why it is a great method for building a child’s legs, core, and upper body strength. In addition to improving overall health, it can also improve athletic performance and help to build endurance and stamina.
Have you as a parent ever thought of helping your children to improve their self-esteem? If yes, well ballet class can do it for you. As children learn new skills and progress in their ballet training, they can gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their abilities.
In a supportive ballet environment, children receive positive feedback and encouragement from their teachers and peers. This positive reinforcement can boost their self-confidence and motivate them to keep on improving.
Enhance Cognitive Development and Memory Skills.
Did you know that starting ballet at a young age can potentially enhance cognitive development and memory skills? It’s true!
A study published in Education Sciences found that children who received ballet training had better cognitive and memory skills compared to those who didn’t receive any dance training. The physical and mental demands of ballet training, such as memorizing sequences of movements and maintaining good posture, contribute to these cognitive improvements.
Another study published in the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science found that dance training, including ballet, can enhance cognitive and motor development in children including better memory and attention span.
Overall, ballet training can equip a unique opportunity for children to exercise their brains and enhance their cognitive function while having fun and expressing themselves creatively.
Types of Ballet Dance Styles
Over time, various styles of ballet have emerged, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques. Here are a few of the most popular:
This is one of the most traditional forms of ballet and formal type of ballet dance. It features precise, graceful movements and is often performed to classical music. This ballet is characterised by its strict technique, including the use of pointed toes and turnout.
As the name suggests, neoclassical ballet evolved from classical ballet into something a little different. It’s a modern style of ballet that emerged in the early 20th century, combining classical ballet technique with contemporary movements and music. It often features asymmetrical choreography and fluid movements.
This ballet blends elements from other types of dance such as jazz. This ballet often features unconventional movements and explores themes such as emotion, storytelling and social issues. Dancers may perform barefoot or wear non-traditional costumes.
Have you heard of Romeo and Juliet? Its transformation into a ballet has further enhanced the story and remains one of the most popular romantic ballets. This ballet is often performed in a theatrical setting and features exaggerated movements and characterizations. It often tells a story and features elaborate sets and costumes. It also emphasizes the use of pointe work and delicate, flowing movements.
Ever heard or seen of character dance? Don’t worry if you haven’t! Believe it or not, lots of classical ballet feature scenes of character dance such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty & Giselle. This ballet often performed in a theatrical setting and features exaggerated movements and characterizations. More often than not, it can be a really joyous and celebratory part of ballet.
Characteristics and Movement of Ballet Dance Styles
Ballet dance styles are known for their precise technique, graceful movements and expressive storytelling. Each style has its own unique characteristics and movements that make it stand out. Here’s a closer look at the characteristics and movement of some of the most popular ballet dance styles:
a. Classical Ballet:
- Known for its strict technique and precise movements.
- Dancers perform with pointed toes, turned out legs and upright posture.
- Often tells a story and is performed to classical music.
b. Neoclassical Ballet:
- Combines classical ballet technique with modern movements and music.
- Features asymmetrical choreography, complex patterns and fluid movements.
c. Contemporary Ballet:
- Blends classical ballet with modern dance. It often features unconventional movements and explores themes such emotion, storytelling and social issues.
- Dancers may perform barefoot or wear non-traditional costumes.
d. Romantic Ballet:
- Characterized by its dramatic and emotional themes.
- It often tells a story and features elaborate sets and costumes.
- Emphasizes the use of pointe work and delicate, flowing movements.
e. Character Ballet:
- Features exaggerated movements and characterizations.
- It often draws from traditional folk dances and features distinctive costumes and music.
How to Find the Perfect Pointe Shoes
If you’re a ballet dancer, you know that finding the perfect pointe shoes can be quite a challenge. Pointe shoes are an essential tool for a ballerina, as they provide support and allow you to dance on your toes. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect pointe shoes:
Fitting and Sizing
When choosing pointe shoes, make sure it is not too tight as it may cause discomfort and pain. For parents, you may need to measure your children’s feet by a professional to ensure the accurate measurement. Don’t hesitate to try on different sizes and styles to find the one that is most comfortable and supportive for their feet.
How do I choose the right material for pointe shoes? Well, pointe shoes are usually made of satin, leather or canvas. The most common and preferred is satin for its aesthetic appeal. If you prefer more durable, you may opt for leather as it gives extra support. Canvas on the other hand is a popular choice for dancers with sweaty feet as it is lightweight and breathable.
Finding the perfect style of pointe shoes can be a bit tricky. No worries. Pointe shoes come in a variety of styles, such as full soles, split soles, and demi-pointes. When you are a beginner, a full sole shoe is the best option since they provide more support. Meanwhile, advanced dancers usually opt for split sole shoes as it is more flexible and allows for greater range of movement. Demi-pointe shoes are softer and more flexible compared to regular pointe shoes and are used for pre-pointe training.
Finding the perfect pointe shoes may take time and patience, but it’s worth the effort to ensure that you have the support and comfort you need to dance your best. With the right fit and style, you can focus on your technique and express yourself through your ballet movements.
Proper Foot Care and Maintenance
Ballet dancing can be tough for your feet, hence proper foot care and maintenance are essential for any ballerina. Here are some tips to help you take care of your precious feet:
1. Stretch and Warm-Up:
Before every ballet class, it’s important to stretch and warm up your feet to avoid injuries. This can include foot exercises, rolling your feet on a tennis ball, or stretching with resistance bands.
2. Proper Hygiene:
Make sure to keep your feet clean and dry, and change your socks and shoes frequently. This will help prevent fungal infections and other foot problems.
Keeping your feet moisturised can help to avoid dryness and cracking. Use a moisturizing cream or lotion regularly to keep your feet soft and supple.
4. Wear Proper Shoes:
Wear shoes that fit well and provide the support you need. For ballet, this means wearing properly fitted pointe shoes or ballet slippers that offer good arch support and cushioning.
5. Rest and Recover
Give your feet the time to rest and recover after dancing. If your feet are sore and swollen, apply ice or use compression socks to reduce inflammation.
Taking care of your precious feet is crucial for any ballet dancer. By following these tips, you can prevent injuries, keep your feet healthy and perform your best on stage. Take good care of your feet, and they will take good care of you!
Taking Up Ballet as An Adult
Have you ever dreamed of dancing on your toes like a ballerina? Well, the good news is that it’s never too late to start! Taking up ballet as an adult can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. With dedication and practice, you can enjoy all the benefits that ballet has to offer.
Not a lot of people know that dancing ballet can be a great stress reliever. The focus and concentration required to learn new techniques can help you forget about the stresses of everyday life.
It’s a myth that flexibility can be achieved only if practiced from a young age. In fact, any dancer can become more flexible if they learn to do it properly and truly commit to it. Learning ballet requires a lot of stretching, which can improve your flexibility over time. This can lead to improved posture, better balance and reduced risk of injury.
Just as yoga follows the breath, ballet hones your total body awareness through the relationship of movements with music. You will be able to control your movements and maintain proper form. This can help you become more aware of your body in everyday life, leading to improved balance, coordination and body confidence.
Is ballet a good form of exercise? The good news is, yes it is! Ballet is a physically demanding activity that can increase heart rate and improve cardiovascular health. As ballet movement involves a lot of jumping, it can help to build strength and endurance.
As a result of joining a ballet class, you can participate in social interactions and make connections with other ballet enthusiasts. This can help to improve your mental health and wellbeing by reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
How to Find a Beginner Ballet Class
Interested in enrolling your children to learn ballet? And you as an adult, engrossed in the idea of taking up ballet as a beginner, but don’t know where to start? No worries, Viva Ballet Academy got you covered!
Viva Ballet Academy offers classical ballet lessons with certification by Royal Academy of Dance, the most prestigious dance organisation in the United Kingdom. We have a wide range of ballet classes starting from Ballet RAD, Ballet Vaganova, Tap Dance, Private Ballet Class, Adult Ballet Class and Kids Ballet Class.
1. Ballet RAD
Ballet RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) is a certified classical ballet lessons. This class caters to different age groups, with grades 1 to 8.
2. Ballet Vaganova
This class is a ballet technique and training structure developed and implemented by Agrippina Vaganova; a Russian dancer and teacher.
3. Tap Dance
A type of dance characterised by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. Viva Ballet Academy also offers tap dance classes for kids from an early age.
4. Private Ballet Class
In private classes, you can stretch your potential further than ever before. Our experienced instructors will refine your technique and help you to develop a style that best suits you.
5. Adult Ballet Class
Specialised for the adult who wants to dive into the world of ballet, our professional instructors will teach you rhythm, flexibility, body alignment and movement.
6. Kids Ballet Class
Viva Ballet also offers classes for kids who want to start learning ballet. Your child will receive guidance on proper technique form while also getting to dance to fun routines.
What to Expect During Your First Lesson
Congratulations on taking the first step towards beginning your ballet journey! Your first lesson is an exciting and memorable experience. Here are some things you can expect during your first ballet class:
To prepare your body for the class, you’ll start with a warm-up. This will usually consist of stretches and exercises to increase your flexibility and strength.
2. Basic Technique:
Your teacher will likely go over some basic ballet technique during your first lesson, including pliés, tendus, and relevés. These are the building blocks of ballet and will help you develop a strong foundation for future classes.
3. Center Work:
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll move on to center work. This is where you’ll start to work on more complex movements and combinations, such as turns and jumps.
4. Cool Down:
After working up a sweat, your teacher will lead you through a cool-down sesh, which will include some gentle stretching to help you cool down and prevent injury.
Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy the experience. Ballet takes time and practice to master – don’t get discouraged if you don’t get everything right the first time. As long as you have a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn, you will succeed as a ballet dancer.
If learning ballet seems fascinating to you, then consider giving Viva Ballet Academy a try! At Viva school, we provide a wide range of classes of students of all ages from toddlers and adults. Schedule your free trial class or give us a call to find out more about our comprehensive ballet lessons.