Exploring the key foundations of ballet and how they can help children long-term.
How ballet is the foundation of all dance
At tiny toes ballet, we work to prepare children by providing early learning that supports their natural development.
Ballet is an excellent place to begin because it provides a solid foundation for many other dance forms. It can also help prepare children by giving them lifelong skills that they'll use throughout their lives.
How do ballet foundations prepare children?
First Ballet Foundation: Posture
Posture is so important for children and adults alike. Body language makes up a huge part of human communication. Proper posture can communicate to others that you are both confident and at ease.
We teach posture to the children by talking about a third eye and apple cores (see image). This is covered in their learning journey booklet to help them understand what good posture is.
Why is it important to teach children good posture?
This ballet class foundation translates to much more than dance. In order to have proper posture, you need core strength. So, maintaining proper posture from a young age can help them work on their core strength to avoid overtaxing their other muscles.
It’s part of the reason why so many adults experience back problems. Their core is weak and so the back has to work overtime to compensate.
Second Ballet Foundation: Turnout
Here at tiny toes ballet, we use a skeleton doll to show the children how their joints are connected. This gives the children a fun and visual way to practice their turnout.
They need to get the correct instructions on turnout to limit the risk of injury. However, it extends beyond just ballet class as the children get to learn all about their bodies. It gives them a fun way to learn how their bones are connected and how they move together.
Third Ballet Foundation: Weight Distribution
This is usually done in our ballet classes for children aged five to seven. We love exploring this in our dance classes for children by encouraging them to stand in a tray of flour to see the imprint that they leave behind. We show that the imprint of all their toes and heels shows that body weight is distributed evenly.
Another interesting way to see where the weight is distributed is through a pair of worn shoes. If you notice that a certain part of the shoe wears down first, then it suggests it’s carrying most of the strain. For example, if the inside wears down first then our weight is held too much on the toes and our foot arch needs more support.
Why is teaching children about weight distribution critical?
It’s incredibly helpful to explain to children that we need to look after our feet as they work so hard to support our bodies. Children are always fascinated to hear how many muscles and bones work together to support them!
This is not only relevant in dance, but it will affect their bodies throughout their lives. We all should aim to be fit and healthy.
Fourth and Fifth Ballet Foundations: Placement and Lengthening
These will mainly be looked at as the children progress through the ballet grades when they’re older.
By the end of our tiny toes ballet programme, your child will be ready to enter a Grade One Ballet class.
How the ballet foundations helps children learn and grow
Our dance classes can help children learn about anatomy in a fun, relatable and hands-on way! It teaches them critical lifelong lessons that they can carry with them, both in and out of dance.
“Ballet has helped Eva’s posture and poise so much – she walks into a room and you can just tell instantly by the way she holds herself. She looks much taller and so confident”.
Jan Lord, grandma of Eva (right) and Gwenllian (left). Both granddaughters attended our ballet classes.