As the easing of lockdown road map progresses, we have seen a surge in parents and carers of young children from 2-5 years of age make contact with us at VBDance in their search for Ballet classes. This is both looking for spaces and/or asking for guidance on how to find something suitable. With a plethora of children’s activities on offer, how do you know what is right for your child?
The benefits of Ballet classes for the under 5’s are far reaching and are not just limited to the enhancement of gross and fine motor skills, coordination, balance and control. A skilled Ballet teacher working with this age will draw out an excitement for Ballet in even the youngest of children, musicality and expression through their own creativity via tools such as storytelling and imagery appropriate for the age. A carefully planned session for the youngest of dancers may use props such as wands, scarves or musical instruments to enhance the journey of the lesson. Music will be sensitively selected to bring these stories to life and help your child immerse themselves in the joy of Ballet. Above all, and it goes without saying… it should be fun!
Beyond the ‘physical’ elements and benefits of Ballet for Under 5’s, there are some extremely valuable skills young children can learn from participating. For lots of young children joining a Ballet class at this time, it may be one of their first experiences of taking part in a ‘structured’ class, possibly independent of their Parent or Carer instilling in them that all important feeling of independence! Alongside this, young children begin to develop their ‘listening’ skills and the ability to follow instruction. As well as this, they learn to share, take turns and problem solve (the list goes on). These are all fantastic foundations to build on in readiness for Primary School. Ballet classes for the Under 5’s should above all build confidence and self esteem in a young child, which is more important now than ever. The turbulent times brought about by the recent Pandemic has resulted in young children not getting to experience as much social interaction as they would normally. Through the creativity of a carefully structured Ballet class for young children, there should be an opportunity to give the child a voice and chance to contribute their own ideas and thoughts to the session too. As well as suitable qualifications and experience, an excellent Under 5’s Ballet teacher will take great care in their work, pay attention to detail and treat every child as an individual.
Under 5’s Ballet Class Checklist – What to look for when searching for ‘Under 5’s Ballet Classes.’
- What qualifications does the teacher hold and are they relevant to teaching under 5’s?
- Does the teacher have a current DBS check and Insurance? Are they First Aid trained?
- Is there a warm, welcoming and friendly environment with an opportunity to ask questions?
- How experienced is the teacher with this age group?
- Is your child able to take part in some taster classes prior to joining? Consider that they may need several tasters to get a true feel for the class and settle in.
- Is there an opportunity to watch a class?
- What other opportunities are there for your child outside of the weekly session?
- Is there an opportunity for the child to progress with their dancing once they move up to Primary School if they wish?
- Are there any uniform requirements?
- Is the size of the class appropriate? As well as the teacher, is there an assistant on hand?
This Summer, at VBDance as well as our weekly classes for the Under 5’s, our dancers will have the opportunity to join us for a teddy bears picnic and also invite parents, family and friends to watch their open classes at the end of term (subject to social distancing guidance). Each child will also be presented with a certificate of achievement at the end of term too, which is a wonderful way to celebrate! All children who would like to take some tasters with us are offered a block of 3 before making any commitment in order to help them settle into the session and get a true feel for the classes.
Victoria Bremner – Principal VBDance
Victoria Bremner is the Principal of the dance school VBDance in Burgess Hill with classes based at venues including Burgess Hill Girls, Birchwood Grove School and Woodlands Meed. As well as building a thriving dance school for children from 2 years of age all the way through to 18 (shortlisted for Dance School of The Year Award) she is also mother to two young boys (2 ½ and 6 years of age).