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My youngest daughter dances with a pre-professional company comprised of kids from ages 8 through 18. She spends at least 10-15 hours per week taking dance classes, but while in rehearsal she spends close to 20 hours per week dancing. For a 12 year old, this is an intense schedule. Even though it is intense, she has gained so much over the last three years with her participation in this company. The top 5 benefits of ballet for my daughter include the following:
Because she attends so many classes to fulfill requirements, she has earned a great amount of discipline over the years. She has learned to toughen it up and has developed a strong resolve. Unless she is actually ill, she must go to class and do her best even if she is tired. At the age of 12, she already knows what it is like to have a part-time job. She knows that others are counting on her to do her best and to know her stuff. She works hard because her instructors expect nothing else.
Mindfulness training/relieves anxiety
My daughter suffers from anxiety disorder, but while she is dancing it seems to disappear. She focuses so much on the movement that she forgets everything she is normally anxious about. For 2-3 hours per day, she lives in the present moment because she is so focused on how she is moving her body. I have a child who constantly fidgets but for the time she takes ballet, she must be calm or her performance will suffer. This is perhaps one of the most important benefits of ballet for my child.
Knows how to deal with life’s disappointments
She realizes that she will not always get what she wants. She will not always get the part she wants despite working hard. She knows that life is not fair and there is very little she can control. She has learned to be thankful for the part she gets and to try her hardest even if it means that others might not notice.
She is physically fit.
Because she dances several hours a week, my daughter is in shape. She knows the importance of exercise and fitness is an ingrained habit for her. With the increase in childhood obesity, I am glad that ballet has instilled a love for exercise in her. She also tries to eat healthier because her instructors talk about the importance of good nutrition.
Gives me a break from my energetic child
I homeschool my daughter and I am with her all day long every day. As much as I love her and am happy for the extra time to spend with her, I am also happy when 4:00 rolls around. My daughter is highly precocious and never stops moving….or talking. The 4:00 hour is my quiet and peaceful time…that is until my high school daughter comes home.
These are only some of the benefits of ballet for children. Kids would derive some of these same benefits from any physical program whether it be sports or some other discipline. If you have a child who expresses any interest in dancing, I highly encourage you to enroll them in a ballet program.