Children in Ballet: Choosing the First Teacher

Children in Ballet: Choosing the First Teacher

You have decided to send your child to ballet. The personality of the first teacher, who literally takes the kid by the hand and shows the world of classical dance, is very important. It is these lessons that will shape (or won’t shape) the further desire to learn, to find out more and to overcome difficulties. What should you pay attention to when choosing a specialist? Ask yourself three important questions!

Experience or youth?

Dance classes for the little ones are taught by both experienced teachers and recent graduates of choreographic schools. The advantage of an experienced teacher is significant skill in working with young ballerinas and dancers. If your child needs an authoritative mentor and has no problem communicating with people of mature age, the choice is obvious. 

If you see that it is easier for your kid to find a common language with a young teacher, then don’t be confused by a short teaching experience. Beginner ballet teachers often interact with children through play, they find common ground with young students more easily. Such a teacher often becomes a friend for the student, and there is nothing wrong with that. Subordination can be learned later, but at the very beginning the ballet art should spark serious interest so that the training could continue.

Discipline or democracy?

A mature teacher is not always strict, and a young teacher is not always loyal. The second question that you should answer yourself when looking for the first ballet teacher is: What should be the style of communication between the teacher and children?

Everyone knows that ballet requires discipline. On the one hand, it would be better for a young student to understand this immediately. Clear requirements for the uniform, orderly lesson structure, necessity to always be fit - these strict rules are difficult for many at first. And here you have options: either you choose a teacher who is ready to compromise and ease some requirements, for example, for the appearance or behavior in the classroom, or your child must put up with the requirements and comply with them from the start.

Professional and psychologist

Both roles are not mutually exclusive, so in the ideal case, you won't have to choose between these qualities of a ballet teacher.

A competent teacher knows the program well but at the same time is able to skillfully improvise depending on the specific situation. A teacher-psychologist sees a personality in every kid and knows how to work with strengths of their character. You won’t be able to draw conclusions about the professionalism and character of the mentor after the introductory conversation, but you can always talk with parents of the children who have been studying for several years and can already give advice.

Remember that even the most professional and sensitive teacher may not find a common language with your child. This happens, and the further development of the situation depends on you. You may want to change several mentors or schools in search of the perfect teacher. Or you can contribute to the gradual improvement of the dialogue in the "teacher - student" pair. In this case, the child will open up and the teacher will get a chance to build up an effective learning model.