Enrolling a child in ballet school is an excellent way to expose him or her to dance. Ballet teaches discipline and grace. It is an effective form of exercise and allows the child to learn self-expression through music and movement. Unfortunately, not all ballet schools offer the same level of training. By reviewing the credentials of ballet teachers and visiting local ballet schools, parents can find a dance studio where their child can receive quality ballet training.
Before selecting a dance school for a young aspiring ballet dancer, parents should investigate the credentials of the prospective dance instructor. A ballet teacher should possess one of several qualifications. He or she should have professional experience as a ballet dancer.
A suitable teacher can also be certified to teach a recognized classical ballet method. One such popular method was devised by the Russian dancer Agrippina Vaganova. The teacher may also hold a dance degree from an accredited college.
Considering the qualifications of a dance teacher is not the only way to choose a ballet school. Parents should also base their selection on the quality of the studio dance floor. Ballet schools with floors made from concrete or tile should never be chosen; these materials can damage the dancer's feet, knees, and back. A dancer needs a dance floor that has a spring-like quality. Wood floors and floors designed specifically for dance are the types of dancing surfaces found in a quality ballet school.
Another factor to consider when choosing a ballet school is the class size. Find a school that offers small class sizes. This allows a child to receive more individual attention. Ballet classes that have too many dance students competing for the teacher's time and attention will make it more difficult for the child to learn.
Parents should also avoid schools that focus too much on dance competitions. Any dance school that measures its success by the number of trophies won by its students probably does not focus on serious ballet training. It's important that parents locate a school that offers solid ballet education, where the child can learn proper dance technique. If possible, choose a school connected with a professional ballet company. Dance schools affiliated with ballet companies usually focus on the artistry of ballet and not on winning competitions.
Many cities have a dizzying array of ballet schools vying for parents' business. Well-informed parents will visit a variety of ballet schools before choosing a ballet teacher for their children. This provides them with the opportunity to observe ballet classes, speak with dance instructors, and make a decision based on what they see.
Parents of young girls should ask dance teachers what age they allow female dancers to dance on pointe as well. Schools that permit young girls to dance on pointe before they are physically strong enough are schools that should be avoided at all cost. Children who progress to toe shoes before their feet and ankles can withstand the stress can succumb to serious injury.