One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Tapio School of Dance is whether the toddler years are too young for a child to begin ballet classes. Ballet is a very disciplined type of dance instruction that requires heavy concentration and self-control, so many parents worry that their child won’t do well or be able to make it through the class.
And although it is difficult to answer that question for each individual child, what I tell people is that the only way to know is to sign them up and see how they do. But if you want to have the best chance at a good experience for both you and your toddler, it is important to do more than just Google “ballet classes for toddlers near me.” Go one step further to find an established facility that brings out the best in their students.
Read the Reviews
Reviews are the new word of mouth in the internet age. Parents who have had an excellent experience with ballet classes for their children are usually happy to share with other parents. And those who have had a less-than-good experience are just as eager to give other parents a heads-up. Before you sign your child up for any class, it is important to know how well the dance studio is addressing the needs of its customers.
What is the Experience Level of the Teacher?
It not only takes skill and training to teach toddlers; it takes a certain amount of patience. Not everyone is equipped to handle young children in a structured setting. You want your child to have a positive experience from the start, and if the teacher is too disciplined or doesn’t really understand how to redirect and keep toddlers engaged, your child is probably going to lose interest quickly. Before you sign your child up, know who will be teaching the class and what their philosophy and skill set is specifically for the toddler age group.
What is the Ratio of Teacher to Students?
Toddlers generally need a little more individualized instruction to keep them on task. It is important to know what the teacher-to-student ratio is so that you know your child will be given the attention they need. If there are too many children, it can become a free-for-all. And although your toddler might not be training for the Joffrey Ballet just yet, you do want them to get a healthy amount of ballet instruction. A good ratio for the toddler age group is a maximum of six to eight students per class. If there are more than that, it becomes pretty difficult for any real instruction to take place.
What are Class Times?
Most toddlers are still at a point where they require a nap, or at least some downtime, in the mid-morning. Find a ballet class that is in tune with your child’s nap schedule. If you push it too far and put them in a class during the time they normally nap, you are setting yourself – and them – up for disaster. Timing is critical to gain the attention of children so young.
If you are considering putting your toddler in ballet classes but worry that they aren’t ready yet, there is no harm in giving it a try. For the best chance at a good experience, however, don’t just Google “ballet classes for toddlers near me.” Do further research to find the one that speaks to you personally. At Tapio School of Dance, we understand the special needs of toddlers, and we design our classes to create the best experience possible for both child and parent. Contact us today to inquire about our ballet program.