There are so many wonderful benefits to ballet other than having fun! It’s a great way to your child develop in many areas.
I swore up and down that I would not start Penelope in dance so young. I started dance class at the exact age she is now, and I thought it wasn’t the best idea. I was burnt out on dance by the time I got to high school and was distracted from my training with cheer leading and hanging out with friends. Although, I had lots of awesome memories of dance, some yucky body-image ones have stuck too.
But I guess there are some things you just can’t change and are bound to repeat- exactly the same way you were raised. And so, at 18 months dance classes began for Miss P. It’s a Mommy and Me class and I so look forward to it each week.
And she LOVES it! It was worth the mental anguish deciding whether to sign her up or not. I also really like the teacher, Miss Amanda, Founder of Community Ballet. She does yoga like stretches in the beginning and ends with story time, just like in a Tyke yoga class-she structures the class perfectly for their age.
Penelope is learning so much each week. Learning her right from her left side of her body, (which is one of the things that help with early reading), to wait for her turn, to listen to directions, etc. So even if she decides she doensn’t want to do dance class in a few years, what she is learning in these first early years will benefit her, her whole life. Body coordination, balance, rhythm, these are all things are going to help later in learning. It is a great way to get a child ready for preschool.
Update! I wrote this post originally when Penelope very first started ballet and now at almost 6, she still loves ballet! I met some of my best friends that very first class, every year our daughter’s taking dance together and us moms get to chat and gossip and brag about our kids and complain about our husbands while our daughters dance. I do not know what I would do without my group of dance mom friends! So P.S. signing your kid up for ballet is a great way for you to make friends! When we moved to Jupiter, same thing, my dance mom friends were my closest friends. You just gotta be brave that first class and strike up a conversation, don’t be shy. 🙂
And after Penelope was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at age 3, it became something else to do other an OT to help her with her gross motor skills and help her tolerate listening to music better.
All in all, it was a really good decision. I will never force her to continue, but I am so glad I put her in so young. My recomendation would be to find a Mommy and Me class like we did our first year to help them feel safe and comfortable with the experience of ballet class.
Oh and if you are having trouble making the perfect ballet bun, check out this toddler sock bun tutorial I created. And if you are looking for ballet party ideas, check out Penelope’s Ballet themed 3rd birthday party!