How old must my daughter be when I send her to her first ballet / jazz / other dance class?
I am 15 years old, am I too old to being dance classes?
How young were you when you started ballet? I was 3 years old – I could dance as soon as I could toddle. And there began a lifelong – if rocky – relationship with the art form. That was ballet. Many ballet classes are available at the age of 3. Usually called Babies Class, the one before pre-primary. Sometimes there is Baby Ballet – for the real toddlers in their terrible two’s. I ventured into other forms of dance as well – ballet remains my personal favourite, but other forms work well for me too, especially neoclassical / jazz.
You are never too late to begin to dance – in any shape or form, and any discipline. You may still have a chance of working your way up to a very advanced level if you have what it takes – and that includes perseverance, as I was always told. Perseverance is the determination that keeps you going in the face of all adversity, and the will and energy to keep going, to get better and to learn. Because, like life, dance is a constant journey of learning. When we stop learning, we grind to a halt.
To my mind, ballet is the basis for all other forms of dance: you first learn the rules before you can break them. Ballet gave me suppleness, a sense of rhythm, strong legs and a dancer’s back. Not that I’m any form of ballerina, but the stance never leaves you. I still remember wearing a crown on my head with Ms Jenny Delicata, my first and most loved ballet teacher, wearing a tutu for the first time with Ms Alison White, going en pointe for the first time with Ms Joanna Rummolino and performing at the Manoel for the first time ever in full ballet tutus, sylphides and so on with Ms Brigitte Gauci Borda.
With other forms of dance, it is common to start later – say aged 7 or 8. This is when the young dancer begins to discern between different types of dance, favourite forms of movement, and preferred modes of expressing their artistic talent. Children should be allowed to experiment, but we still think that ballet forms the basis for most forms: and that those students who have a ballet background have an advantage over those who don’t.
In short – starting as young as the age of 3 gives the proper stance that will last a lifetime, whether or not they continue to dance. Of course, starting later is an option – and with other forms of dance, it’s probably the way to go as classes would not be available at such an early age.