This is a warning really to all parents who need to be aware of the dangers to their children if taught by a "ballet teacher" without the right qualifications. We say check who they are first.
You wouldn't want a surgeon to operate on you or a loved one without qualifications and the same should be applied to teaching ballet. You only have one body and you should protect it. Never sign up for a ballet school without checking if your ballet teacher is fully qualified, you could run the risk of "untold physical damage" the Royal Academy of Dance has warned.
Unfortunately too many parents put their young children in ballet classes without checking the teacher's credentials.
According to one RAD accredited dance teacher who asked not to be named, teachers of a ballet franchise in the Uk currently, require "absolutely no qualifications or dance experience. Classes like this, which children can start so young, must be handled with particular care." Forcing girls and boys to "turnout", where dancers move their feet outwards and open their hips, can also cause damage to their small bodies. Qualifications for teachers of this age group are perhaps more important than at any other because at that young age bones are quite soft and they are very flexible. Huge care is to be taken to avoid ankle knee or hip injuries.
Unqualified ballet teachers don't have the important training in anatomy and physiology. Encouraging children too early into moves, like going onto "en pointe" (when the whole body is balanced on the toes) can ruin their body and potentially careers if not taught by a professional teacher to aid them correctly.
Its shocking how many young students come to En pointe and their parents say 'this is "real" ballet'. . I don't blame the teachers they probably just don't even know that they are simply unqualified. Ballet teachers need to know about the anatomy of the body in dance, before teaching it.
Even if you are an amazing ballet dancer, it does not make you a good ballet teacher. The education isn't there on how to break things down and build things up to achieve a safe dancer.
I have seen so many children join En Pointe with next to no understanding of alignment, correct posture and how to use turn-out properly, among others concerns.
I hear too many terrible stories about young children going onto pointe too with no technical understanding or strength to support this. Certain ballet moves must be taught by qualified professional teachers.
You can find qualified teachers here: www.rad.org.uk/findateacher
How to Find a Qualified Dance Teacher for Your Child
On the link you'll be taken the RAD website, there you'll find registered ballet teachers who have the worlds best quality dance teaching qualifications: www.rad.org.uk/findateacher