Should I Change My Child’s Ballet Class?

You chose a particular ballet class for your child, but now – for whatever reason – you are now thinking that it’s not the right dance class and perhaps you should change. The first thing to do is to discuss your unhappiness with your child’s dance teacher. Many issues can be sorted out with some decent dialogue. However, having spoken to the current teacher and having got nowhere, then switching class will be the only option. Here are some of the things to think about when choosing a different class.

  1. Will your child feel comfortable changing to a different class? If she (or he) has friends in the current class, you need to consider whether she will enjoy the new class as much if she doesn’t know anyone in it. Perhaps you could persuade one of her dancing friends to switch classes at the same time, so that they could go together. If you have a particular concern over an issue in the current class, then often other parents will have the same concern. If you discuss your worries with other parents, then you may find that they too are keen to move their child. Moving together will be a lot less worrying for children.
  2. What is the style of the new teacher? Is she strict and exacting such that she is likely to get the best ballet exam results from her pupils? Or does she have a more relaxed approach such that your child is likely to have more fun in her ballet class? You will know which approach will be the best for your child. You can request that your child has a free taster class to see if she enjoys the class, before you sign up to a whole term of lessons.
  3. What exam boards does the new ballet school do? If the exams that have been done are different, then it may be that different ballet movements have been taught. Talk to the new teacher about the differences to see if they are significant. It may be that one or two private lessons would be all that would be needed for your child to fill in the gaps.
  4. Does the new ballet school put on an annual show? All children love the opportunity to put on a new ballet costume or tutu and show their parents and relatives how well they have been doing in their weekly classes.
  5. You need to consider the logistics of getting your child to her new class. How long will it take to get there given the traffic situation at the time of day of the class? Children get easily bored in the car and a new class would have to have some significant benefits to travel far.
  6. Obviously, the cost of the new class will be very important when considering whether to move your child. Remember to enquire about the cost of taking the exams and the cost of the ballet attire required when comparing the two classes side by side. Another cost that needs to be included is parking costs. It is easy to overlook things such as parking charges when assessing the overall cost of the new class.
  7. What will you do whilst your child is in the class? Are you able to watch or are you just hanging around outside? It could be extremely welcome if there is a local cafe to read a magazine in or surf the internet whilst your child is in her class.
  8. Naturally, you will need to consider what day and new time the class is on. However, you should also enquire the days and times of the classes, as your child progresses up the ladder. It may be that as she moves up a class, the day changes to one which you cannot do. So, it is always important to ask about the timing of the higher grade lessons.
  9. Does the new ballet school offer other types of dancing? Your child may wish to branch out into different types of lessons as she progresses e.g. tap, modern, character dancing, jazz, song and dance etc.
  10. You need to enquire about any rules the new teacher may have. For example, about the way hair should be worn, the ballet outfit to be worn including any special ballet uniform, whether jewelry can be worn, the colour and type of the ballet shoes. Your child will want to fit in to the class and will not want to stand out by not having the correct attire.
  11. You may wish to give your child a gift to help ease any concerns she may have about changing class or simply to praise her for her progress. All aspiring ballet dancers will be thrilled with a present of ballet jewellery. Ballet jewelry can come in different metals such as silver and gold. Be careful with ballet jewellery made in base metals, as they can cause allergies to the skin.