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Are Ballet Lessons Good for a Kid's Development?

by Jennifer Zimmerman

Whether a kid develops well includes many factors -- proper nutrition, positive family relationships, enriching cognitive activities and appropriate physical activity. Today, there are many ways for a kid to be active, from sports to interactive video games to dance lessons. What makes ballet lessons especially good for a kid's development?

Physical Benefits

Dance offers a greater range of motion, coordination, endurance and strength than most other physical activities, according to the National Dance Education Organization. When you look at the top 5 dance colleges in the country, according to Backstage, you'll see ballet on everyone's curriculum; if you have an interest in any kind of future in dance, ballet is where you'll learn the basics. But even if dance isn't the ultimate goal, ballet lessons improve posture, flexibility, coordination, strength and grace. They also provide an opportunity for kids to be active regardless of the weather outdoors.

Emotional Benefits

On the surface, ballet doesn't look like an especially emotional activity. But the truth is, ballet teaches kids discipline and confidence which can help with emotional maturity. In ballet class, children need to follow directions closely and control their urges to run around the wide-open spaces of the dance studio. The confidence comes in as students develop new skills and perform at recitals.

Cognitive Benefits

Ballet lessons have three major cognitive benefits. First of all, they expand vocabulary through learning the French names of the steps and hearing the musical terms. Secondly, they develop their musicality and rhythm through coordinating their bodies to the music. A third cognitive benefit, noted by MV Dance and Performing Arts, is that memorizing new steps and dances improves memory in young ballet students.

Social Benefits

Ballet lessons can also be good for a kid's development by improving her social skills. Learning ballet increases poise, reports the Centre de Danse. The Miami Royal Ballet suggests that ballet classes encourage kids to form new friendships. Students also get to interact with positive role models in their dance teachers.

About the Author

Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images