As a parent, it can be easy to agree with your dancer who doesn’t want to take ballet. That required ballet class means more time and an additional class fee.
One question that I hear all the time from parents moving from a recreational dance class/studio to a professionally driven dance studio is “Why ballet?”.
My kid wants to take tap. Why ballet?
My son is here for some street dance, hip hop. Why ballet?
My daughter is going to be a cheerleader and they suggested she take jazz. Why ballet?
Here’s why ballet:
Ballet is the foundation for every other style of dance. Period.
I have personally witnessed Professional hip-hop, tap, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary choreographers at dance conventions calling out steps in a combo using ballet terminology. Additionally, if they use a genre specific term, they’ll ask the dancers if they know how to “plie, arabesque, balance’”. Then they’ll say, if you can do “that”, then you can do “this”.
Ballet provides your dancer with lines, posture, and technique that can be tweaked depending on the style.
Sure, I’ve heard from my own dancer that ballet can be boring, repetitive, tedious, hard, “makes me sore”, but just like anything else that requires practice, practice requires repetitive, tedious movement! Just like soccer or swimming or any other sport that has required training.
If your child has any ambition to make dance a career choice, or even just wants to be tops in their studio, ballet is the most important class they can take.
My last thought on why ballet is necessary: As a dance mom sitting in a ball room with 200 dancers all craning for a view of the teacher up on a 3 foot-high raised stage, and your dancer is able to pick up a combo as the teacher is calling out the steps, and the rest of the dancers start watching your dancer to pick up the steps, you know ballet was necessary and important.
Even if your dancer has no current interest in pursuing a career in dance or any form of entertainment, the perfected posture and confidence gained in ballet classes will go a long way in college and career interviews and success.