There was much excitement in the house last week as my 5 (turning 6) year old daughter got ready for her first ballet lesson. Although she's done 'ballet' of sorts at her nursery school for the past couple of years, I resisted the temptation of enrolling her in a ballet school until now, as I didn't want her to start too young and then lose interest. Interestingly, whilst preparing my blog post, I came across an article which suggests that 8 is the perfect age to begin formal ballet training as a child's bones are too soft before this stage...food for thought I guess?
I felt somewhat nostalgic as I helped her to put on the little pink ballet cardigan which I wore some 25 years previously, and off we went with butterflies in my tummy (!!!), as if I was starting all over again! Thankfully she loved her first lesson and is already looking forward to the next one...long may that last.
It got me thinking about the many benefits of doing ballet. It is a gentle form of discipline which teaches concentration and self-control; it helps to instill a good posture and create strength and flexibility of core muscles; it trains in an appreciation of music and culture; and it can create a sense of self-accomplishment essential in building one's self-esteem. Unfortunately, it's not a school activity and the demanding rehearsal schedule during show times can sometimes impede on afternoon activities, however, this aside, I strongly believe it is something to be encouraged from Grade 1. I genuinely hope my little girly might continue to be inspired in her passion for dance!