I really want to get my daughter into something this summer. I thought about a ballet class (they call it beginners, they said it's to get them used to wearing the leotard, tutu and listening to the teacher and learning a few basic ballet poses, moves).
I don't want to be one of those crazy moms that has her tiny daughter into stuff too soon, but she did do toddler soccer for a little while and liked it. (Until they upped the prices!)
Just every time we go check out a dance studio she seems to be the youngest and we live in a very affluent part of town. Parents could definitely afford to do ballet.
I think that it's fine as long as you keep your expectations low. Also, do your research and find an appropriate ballet program. I found that some are very rigid, while others offer a more relaxed atmosphere that can make learning ballet more fun (which is especially important for little ones like your DD). I chose a more relaxed ballet class for my DD.
i would do it, but agree with vhdos. keep your expectations low and look for a relaxed environment.
i have a very active 2 year old who likes to be on the go constantly so i'm racking my brain on what activities we can do this summer for her. i would love to put her in dancing myself since she loves music & dancing but i'm going to wait until september since she'll be almost 3 by then. that is, if i can find a school that will take her before her 3rd birthday. GL!
Some ballet studios have a "Creative Movement" class for toddlers which last only about 30-40 minutes. This is because their attention span can only last so long. I used to take adult ballet classes at the Joffrey Ballet and I know they offered Creative Movement 1 and 2 on weekday mornings, although I never had a chance to check it out as i was sans kid back then. More "serious" classes usually don't start until the child is 5-6 years old if I'm not mistaken. Talk to your studio and see if they have any offerings for the young 'uns :)
Before I got pregnant, I was also taking figure skating lessons, and our rink offered tot classes to 3-4 year olds that were only 40 minutes long, plus a 10 minute cookie break (they work hard for that cookie!). The skills taught are how to get up from the ice, forward marching, forward and backward swizzles.
I'd recommend age 4. Both my kids started Irish dancing at age 4. They don't really focus or 'get it' until 5. If the ballet school offers a 3 yr old class, then I'd say it would be fine, but if she's the youngest with older girls then I don't think it will work.
I had my DD in ballet around that age. It was just a fun class where they got to wear pretty leotards and slippers, mostly. The instructor was great with small children and made it easy and fun for them. They learned couple of basic poses and movements, but they also got to dance with scarves and watch themselves in the mirror. My DD regarded it as playing and couldn't wait for class, so it was a winner.
I agree that anything too structured at that age is just mismatched for most young children. A beginner class will allow her to decide if she likes the idea, and each class or level after that - if she chooses to continue - will get slightly more structured.
I think 4 or 5 if there is a performance involved. If your daughter is not shy or feels stress when performing, she can give it a go.
My 4 yo niece participated in a dance "recital" outdoors which consisted of a combo of calisthenics and celtic dance. I was amazed at how well she understood the choreography. There was an older girl in the lead.
Otherwise if it's just going thru the basics, then it could be great fun for her. Some kids are more ready than others to participate independently.
I used to be a dance teacher, and 3 isn't too young... it is an optimal time to introduce them to dance. I agree that at that age, most of the time it is named "ballet" - but it is mostly creative movement. They are learning fundamentals though, that are important to dance and also to life. Taking turns, listening to the teacher, counting as a group, staying in line, getting back in the same order of line to go across the room on the other side, etc. These are all things that are fundamentals that I would consider important to start getting a basic knowledge of at age 3 and will in a lot of cases I've seen... put them ahead of children that haven't had organized classes prior to regular school.
As far as actual dancing is concerned, she will probably learn the basic positions, a few simple movements across the floor, and learning how to remember choreography. It will be a great building block to move forward if she likes it though.
I have an almost 2 year old and she does parent/tot swim classes right now, and we're planning on trying out a parent/tot dance class & toddler soccer class this summer.
Thank you for all the responses! When I called the studio closest to me today they did in fact call it Creative Movement. They said it was very low key and mainly to get the little girls used to going to a class, etc.
NIUiceprincess, that is so amazing that you had that experience! I wish I would have stuck with dancing but my mom let me quit. :-( I was only 10 and had no idea what I was doing, wish she would have made me stick with it.
Alliemia, that is so funny! That's exactly what I want my daughter to do! The school here starts at 4. So I thought we'd do ballet throughout the summer since her bday is the end of December. We have a great school here, a world champion owner and a former Riverdance lead co-owner. They had 7 girls qualify for worlds so I went to a fundraiser to help send them to Belfast I think it is this year. I'm very excited about her getting into it. I will have to PM you when she starts so you can give me pointers!
Not sure if she could stick with both, I mean it would only be 2 hours a week so we'll see.
Thanks for all the advice, that's why I love coming here!
Definetly message me about Irish. Both my son and daughter are involved. I will tell you where to get the best shoes, since I've tried a few different brands. I found an Irish guy with a great company.
I think it's fine. My oldest daughter was VERY active, and I put her in every somewhat structured thing I could find, like Sunday school, preschool, etc. Mostly this was all to help her learn to sit still and listen in preparation for kindergarten. Later (much later--she is now 23) we found out she had ADD, but not quite bad enough to have caught it earlier. As long as your child enjoys it and the teacher is used to working with the age group, go for it. You will have some great memories.
My daughter took 'creative movement' starting at 2. Very loose and casual, 30 minutes once a week and she absolutely loved it...she is now 3 1/2 and we just moved to the 1 hour class that is a bit more structured, ballet/tap, but still age appropriate.
She looks forward to it and asks every day to go to dance class.
I def. recommend trying it and others said, just keep it loose and she if she likes it.