There are a lot of different questions you probably have when you’re thinking about enrolling your daughter in ballet. That’s normal! You should have a lot of questions before enrolling your daughter in ballet, because dance classes could end up as a life-long commitment! Personally, my mom enrolled me in dance classes when I was three years old, and I kept dancing until I was eighteen. I loved dance. However, over the course of fifteen years, I encountered many people who didn’t love it as much. There’s no way to truly know which way things will go for your daughter, but there are some questions you can ask before you enroll her in classes!
1. Does She Really Want This?
Depending on your daughter’s age, it may be difficult to tell if she really wants to take ballet. However, it’s something to think about when you’re enrolling your daughter in ballet. Maybe she’d like a different dance class more. Maybe she’d like another activity altogether! Look at her interests on a regular basis and see if it seems like something she’s interested in. Ballet classes are very common in young girls, but if it’s not something she seems interested in, you’re only torturing yourself, your daughter, and her teachers, because she will not want to be there!
2. Are You Ready for This Commitment?
Dance is a huge commitment. I’m sure you’ve seen Dance Moms. While most studios aren’t as committed as the Dance Moms are, it can get pretty intense. It may seem like a fun activity for your daughter to try out during preschool, and it might just be that. However, be prepared that she could be in dance classes until she’s eighteen. The chances are slim; I’ve danced with hundreds of girls over the years but only a few of them made it to their senior year. Still, it’s a possibility that you have to take into account. Are you ready for recitals, quick costume changes, competitions, catty parents, and the works? It can sound scary, but recital and competition times are actually incredibly exhilarating, I promise.
3. Is She Ready for This Commitment?
Yes, she’s probably still pretty young. But just like if you’re ready for this commitment, she needs to be ready for the commitment as well. Dance classes could last a few years, or they could last for the rest of her life. Is she ready to commit to dance classes? Is there another activity she’d be more likely to commit to? Think about this before you enroll her in ballet classes.
4. Is She Old Enough?
I was a dance instructor for a few years in the toddler classes. I cannot stress enough how important it is that your daughter is old enough to start classes. I had many students whose parents insisted they take classes, even though they were two years old, or still in diapers, or sometimes both. It only ended in tears and meltdowns. Waiting a year or two isn’t going to hurt anyone. Your daughter needs to be both physically and mentally old enough to fully participate in dance classes.
5. Can You Afford It?
Affording dance classes goes right back to committing. Sure, right now, it’s one class, one costume, a pair of ballet shoes, and a few cute outfits for class. In a few years, it could be that times five, plus competitions and new pointe shoes every week. Depending on your daughter’s interest in dance classes, it could get pretty expensive. Most studios offer fundraising options to subsidize the cost, but even then it’s important to make sure you can afford it beforehand.
6. Do You like the Studio?
I can’t stress how important it is to love the studio you sign your daughter up at. You could be stuck with these people for over a decade. They will become your best friends or your worst enemies. Make sure you like the teachers, the office staff, and the other parents. Make sure your daughter can make some friends in the class. A good or bad studio can make all the difference.
7. Can She Try It out?
If you’re still on the fence, talk to the teacher and ask if she can try out a class before you commit to classes every week. That may be the best way to tell if it’s something your daughter would love or not.
In the end, most girls will take a year or two of dance classes when they’re growing up. Even so, it may become a life-long hobby, and that’s something you should think about before you take the initial plunge. Are you thinking about enrolling your daughter in classes? What are some questions you have? Have you already enrolled your daughter in classes? What was your biggest concern going into it?