It’s no secret that lots of little girls dream of becoming ballerinas and there are plenty of ballet classes in Sydney to meet this demand. From the tutus to the tiaras there’s a lot to be excited about, but what a lot of people don’t realise is just how much ballet has to offer for every young dancer. Technique is definitely the first thing that comes to mind but from a young age, ballet dancers also develop their stage presence. These are the two main things any dancer must think about, but the most important thing of all is the ability to make every difficult movement look easy. This requires discipline but there are a few other things ballet will help your child develop from their very first class.

How to use the feet

Proper use of the feet is an important part of the learning process for any young dancer. If a foot isn’t fully extended, it can break the line created by the legs or the rest of the body. Ballet dancers are taught to ‘fish’ the foot which creates a better line in most extensions whether they be in classical, jazz or contemporary classes. They are also taught to articulate the feet which allows them to land quietly and safely. This also builds strength through the calf which eventually improves their ability to dance in pointe shoes. The power built in the calf muscle and strength used to articulate the metatarsals is invaluable to any young dancer.

How to turn out

Turn out is one of the hardest things for dance students to improve. Part of it is natural ability, but most of it is about learning how to best use what they already have. There are six deep rotator muscles that dancers need to use when they turn out, but they can be hard to use without the right training. Turn out is crucial for a safe landing. Without proper turn out, dancers tend to roll through their knees and feet which could lead to pain and injury if it becomes a habit. Dance teachers will look for this and correct it but it is always best when the dancer is aware of it themselves and knows exactly how to use it the right way. Lifting the leg without strong rotator muscles can put a lot of unnecessary stress on the hip flexors and cause discomfort. This is why we encourage all our dancers to take classical ballet classes in order to train and maintain good turn-out.

How to build core strength

Ballet is renowned for helping young kids develop good posture. From the way they hold their shoulders, to the lengthening through the spine and positioning of the pelvis, it can be a lot to remember, but the key is using the core. Core strength comes from a number of muscles that control the dancer’s posture, balance and movement. Strong balance and good turns rely on correct positioning of the body. Every dance teacher will remind students that the force that goes into a turn is nothing without the right technique and coordination behind it. From turning combinations to big jumps and extensions, there is little that doesn’t involve core strength. Through ballet training and Pilates, core strength can help improve ability in every other style of dance, from hip-hop to contemporary.

At Dance102 we train the complete dancer. Our staff know the value of classical ballet to every dance student and we want to share that with you. If you’re interested in classical ballet classes for your child, enrol through our website, by email to accounts@dance102.com.au or call on  9437 3900.