Ballet classes are offered for girls as well as boys from as early as age 3. There are many forms of dance besides ballet. There is tap, jazz, hip-hop and mime. Some studios even offer Hawaiian, pompon and a variety of other dance forms.
The attire needed for ballet classes varies depending on the studio. A lot of studios have girls wear black leotards with pink tights and pink ballet slippers. The boys where black tights or black pants with white socks, black ballet shoes and a white fitted T-shirt.
The attire for jazz, tap and hip-hop vary greatly with the studio. Most often they wear black pants with a variety of different tops. You will need to have special shoes with taps on them for tap and a jazz shoe for jazz class; in mime you don’t usually wear shoes.
During the early years of dance (ages 3-7) one ballet class a week is usually taken. Starting at around age 8 through 11 or 12 students take two classes a week. Older serious students take three to four classes a week.
Older jazz and tap students take two classes a week.
When ballet students are more advanced, stronger and older, and their feet are close to full grown, teachers will teach them strengthening exercises and allow them to begin dancing on Pointe (toe) shoes. Girls are not allowed to buy their Pointe shoes and begin dancing on them until their ballet instructors have evaluated them and decided that they are ready. Serious injuries may occur as a result of poor training, or dancing on Pointe to early. Generally girls are around the ages of 12-14 before the instructor allows them to begin dancing on Pointe.
There are many opportunities available to dancers. They have performance opportunities as well as being able to go away to dance camps over the summer. There are also a variety of workshops.
With Ypsilanti Area Dancers, dancers have been lucky enough to have professional dancers come and teach workshops and dance in some of their performances. It is an excellent opportunity to take classes from a variety of teachers. It enriches your dancing and makes you a better dancer because you are exposed to different teaching styles and different techniques and methods of dance.
There are many different dance studios, and each one is unique in what they have to offer a dance student. Work with your parents, and ask others that you know take dance classes to find a studio that is right for you. Dancing is hard work, but with proper training and dedication it can be a very rewarding experience.