Parents and Kids: 3 Ways To Do Ballet Together
Clearly, ballet is not just for kids. But did you know that there are options for parents and children to enjoy ballet together? Discover 3 ways to incorporate ballet into your family routine.
1. Take “Mommy and Me” classes.
If your little one is in the age range of 3-5, there’s a ballet class designed especially for the both of you. Examples of these classes include “Mommy and Me”, “Parents and Tots”, and other whimsical class names. It’s common for children this age to experience separation anxiety if their parent is not in the classroom with them. “Mommy and Me” class encourages healthy transition from the home environment to an educational setting because parents are allowed to take class with their child, giving them a sense of comfort and security. Ultimately, it gives them the opportunity to interact with other children their age, and introduces them to the concept of authority outside the home.
2. Coordinate your schedules.
If your child is in grade school, maybe they can take class while you take class! Check your studio/school’s schedule to see if there is a ballet class for your 5th grader at the same time you are taking your adult ballet class. If you’re able to kill two birds with one stone and coordinate your schedules this way, you’ll share a special bond with your child that includes a common interest. You’ll have the chance to spend quality time together, and save yourself from multiple weekly commutes. You may even score a family discount that knocks a couple of bucks off your monthly tuition.This family rate typically applies to registration of 3 or more, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
3. Practice at home.
If you’re not able to take class together at a school or studio, try practicing simple ballet moves with your child at home. Pull back the couch and create a dance space in the living room. Use the back of a chair as a makeshift barre. Play DVDs or look up instructional videos on YouTube and follow along. Understand, however, that there are obvious downsides to this method. A child unfortunately will not learn the principles of cooperation and discipline in the same way they would in a traditional classroom setting. If they’re small children, be prepared for inevitably short attention spans and getting off task. Otherwise, exposing your child to the art form at home is better than them never discovering it at all.
Taking ballet class alongside your child can be a very rewarding experience. Remember, however, that children ultimately will decide for themselves if it is an activity they want to pursue. While encouraging your child to try new things is a great idea, “Stage Mom” syndrome, or pressuring them to do something they don’t enjoy, never is.