Helping Your Child Practice Ballet At Home

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Enjoying The Performing Arts

When I was growing up, we lived in an extremely small town. Occasionally we would get out to see a movie, but other than that things were pretty quiet. One day, I got the opportunity to travel to New York for school, which I found extremely exciting. While we were there, I had the opportunity to see a huge variety of performing arts, and I was hooked. Ever since that day, I have worked hard to learn as much as I can about the arts, so that I can appreciate them even more. Check out this blog about the arts, so that you can gain a greater appreciation for plays and movies.


Helping Your Child Practice Ballet At Home

14 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Ballet dancing is a fun and exciting skill that many children, male and female, enjoy learning. If your child is interested in trying out ballet, you can aid them by creating a way for them to practice at home. Follow these tips to find the right equipment, teach them basic ballet moves, and even learn how to treat blisters.

Necessary Equipment

Investing in ballet equipment is the first step in the process. Finding appropriate items that comfortably fit your child will make everything that much easier. Ballerinas should wear the following items:

  • A leotard that covers her body comfortably. It should fit snugly, but not constrict her movement. Many come with an adjustable strap that makes them easier to wear.
  • Full-sole leather ballet shoes about half a size larger than their normal shoe. That extra space gives them a little wiggle room and room for growth.
  • Pink tights worn under the leotards.
  • Hair ties, for pulling back long hair into a bun.
  • Black leggings, a white crew neck-shirt, and black ballet slippers for boys.

Don't worry so much about items like tutus or pointe shoes: while these are helpful when practicing in a studio, they are unnecessary early on. Only invest in these items when your child has at least a few months of dancing experience.

Teach the Basic Positions

Helping your child master the basic positions of ballet will give them a nice head start towards mastering ballet. The positions are as followes:

  • First Position: feet are comfortably turned out, with the sole and toes of each foot touching the floor. Feet should not roll forward and the heels should not touch. Arms are relaxed and held about an inch or so in front of you at face width.
  • Second Position: feet start in first position, but you then slide one foot about one and a half foot lengths away from the other. Transition your arms from first by raising them until they are about shoulder height and then open them in a smooth line, until your elbows face the back of the room.
  • Third Position: drag your moved foot back towards the other and move it it front of the other. Touch the heel of the front foot with the arch of your back foot. Move the opposite arm in front of you, with the other staying in second position.
  • Fourth Position: slide the front foot about one foot away from your back foot. Now, raise the opposite arm in the air while keeping the other arm still in second position.
  • Fifth Position: move your front foot back towards the other foot and touch it. You should be turned so that you are standing with your front toe to your back heel. Raise both your arms now, in a smooth and elegant fashion.

Preventing and Treating Blisters

Blisters are one of the greatest problems that will continually plague your child during ballet practice. Thankfully, they can be prevented and treated at home. Follow these blister prevention and treatment guidelines to help keep your child's feet relatively free of blisters:

  • Powder the inside of the shoes to avoid blister-causing moisture
  • Lightly wrap cloth bandages on areas of your foot where the shoe rubs
  • Lance and drain the blister with a sterile needle if the fluid is clear
  • Soak feet in Epsom salts before bed and rest for a few days if blisters won't go away

If you don't feel safe lancing your child's blisters, it might be a good idea to take them to a doctor for the same procedure. They should be able to quickly drain the blisters and get your dancer back on their feet in a few days.

Following all of these tips should help your child get the home practice they need to become an excellent ballet dancer. Just remember: ballet is a difficult and demanding art form. That's why you need to let them practice and progress at their own pace. To learn more, contact someone like Dance for kids at The Studio School of Dance.