public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:11 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: When to start specific ballet training.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 6:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 3
I am trying to research a little into the teaching of ballet to young children. The learning of ballet may take years in order to cover all of the reevant vocabulary to a high standard, but if children have experienced adequate non-specific movement tuition (which develops their movement potential in fine and gross motor skills), would it not be more advantageous to postpone the training of ballet?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: When to start specific ballet training.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 110
Location: USA (Midwest)
Hi, Rachel. My husband's a university prof in exercise physiology and we really debated this one when our daughter showed early signs of aptitude for ballet. What we decided is that, with a skill-specific activity like dance, if you can find a program that will teach it in a relatively low-key, low-stress way, a child can easily and happily absorb a ton of information in the mind AND the muscles starting at about age 5 or 6. And we believe that keeping other activities (like sports) in the mix during the elementary-school ages is essential for developing stamina and avoiding burnout. Then, between the ages of 12 and 14, you can begin increasing the intensity to something more "career track," if the interest and aptitude are still there. This philosophy is replicated in swimming and diving training, which is also very skill-specific, especially in the younger ages. The sooner you can make skills a part of muscle memory, the easier it is to build on them later. But that is NOT to ever say that a dancer who starts training later couldn't end up with the same skills by the age of 17 or 18. And I know the Bolshoi program doesn't let kids start any dancing until age 10.

The biggest problem we've found in sticking to this, though, is finding teachers who will keep things low-key and low-stress before the age of 12. So many of them get that heady whiff of talent and it's "goodbye, childhood, hello, full-time training!" In our experience -- and our daughter is now 11 -- it's only been about one-third of her teachers who really get and respect the "slow boil" philosophy of training. I was just telling a dance-mom friend yesterday that I'm beginning to suspect (hope?) that the 12-and-under ages are the hardest ones for a dance parent to navigate. I feel like I"m just constantly saying "no" to people's demands for more from my daughter.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: When to start specific ballet training.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 8:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 8
Location: NC, USA
My rule of thumb to start a student in classical ballet has been at the age of 8 or entering the 2nd grade. I remember reading or being told the the human body is not ready before that age to sustain the work of turnout. Something about the hips - their bone structure and development. (this may or may not be an old-fashioned thought). At the beginning ballet technique level a class that meets once or twice a week (depending on the program) for a one hour class is plenty. I agree that in the pre-ballet classes, an introduction and use of basic ballet vocabulary is of value - most of which can be executed in parallel. I personally teach very little turnout at that age, we do lots and lots of locomotor and rhythmic exercises as well as muscle strengthening for body posture and use of feet - the R.A.D syllabus has a wonderful curriculum for the pre-ballet student.

-hope this helps


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: When to start specific ballet training.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 287
Location: Australia
Hi there. I too agree that the best age for a student to commence classical ballet training is 8-9 years of age. We must always remember as teachers that because young bones are still developing and are still quite soft, we must give the students the correct technical training right from the outset and work gradually towards the final goal. However, pre-ballet can be still beneficial as far as vocabulary, music, history, anatomy etc is concerned and can be taught in a fun environment where the student is perhaps learning the fundamentals of movement without realising they are actually learning. What are your thoughts? Enrichment lessons involving craft classes are also a fun way of learning.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group