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What is the Best Age to Start Ballet Classes?

November 14, 2014

Do you have a young child who simply loves to dance and dreams of becoming a ballerina when their older? Many young children have this same dream and love to attend ballet classes but so few actually live it out. This could either be because they simply grow out of the dream or because they do not know how to follow this career path.

There is only one road to living out the ballerina dream and believe me when I say… it’s a long one.

Ballet Classes: Different Opinions on When to Start

I always say that the younger they are in ballet classes the better, although that is just my own personal opinion.  One of my ballet teachers once told she had a daughter who was 1 and she would start “turning out” her hips when changing her nappy’s so it became more natural once she grew older. That was around 11 years ago… I would love to know whether this technique worked.

Below the age of 8, there isn’t really a precise age that is written in stone for when one should start practising ballet.

Ballet Classes for Children Aged 8 and Over

Children don’t really start practising ballet properly till they are about 8 years of age. Before this age, they are more likely to learn musicality rather than technique. Musicality however is just as important as technique as ballet is a form of telling a story through your body movement. With regards to ballet shoes, they will start off with soft ballet shoes. When they become more advanced, they will move onto demi-pointe ballet shoes and then point shoes.

If your child still wants to be a professional ballerina at the age of 8, this is the time to start looking for ballet classes that will teach proper technique. If you are serious enough about wanting your child to become a professional ballet dancer, it may mean you having to move locations or to travel long distances for your child to start training at well-known ballet schools. For example, you can enrol your child into the Royal Ballet School Associates Program where your child will train with the school alongside their training outside of the school. These classes can be found in the following locations:

  • London
  • Birmingham
  • Bath
  • Eastleigh (Southampton)
  • Leeds
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Totnes

You can find more information about the associates program at

What is the Best Age to Start Ballet Classes?

To put it in short, your child will need to be in a good ballet school by the age of 8. Look for ballet schools that has actually turned out professional dancers, but we will go into which ballet schools in another blog post.

When did you first put your child into ballet classes? Do you think you were too late or early doing this? Let me know your thoughts by leaving your comments below.

About the Author

Michelle Murphy was in the dance industry for nearly 20 years training and working. After injury, she now works as an online marketeer and is working closely with Dance Depot to help grow the dance shop online.