Is performing at a young age acceptable?

 Young En Pointe ballet dancers take to the stage at our annual Jospeh Rowntree Theatre performance

Young En Pointe ballet dancers take to the stage at our annual Jospeh Rowntree Theatre performance

In a word YES, I often hear the conversation of what age is ok for a child to begin performing on stage to an audience. I truly believe that the earlier young ballerinas/dancers can start getting up on stage and performing, the more comfortable, self-confident, and stronger he or she will become as performers and artists as they grow.

At En Pointe Dance Studio, we are completely comfortable putting a 5-year old dance student onstage for the annual performance at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. I first performed at five years old, and I remember absolutely loving the whole experience with the audience all watching my every move

Young dancers are so capable and uninhibited, and we think too many instructors (and, perhaps, even some parents) underestimate their power to learn if nurtured and aided. If you add disciplined habits and ethics into the dancers at a young age, they will really excel in their dance style training.

There are proper teaching methods for young students that are developmental with their physical and psychological maturation which we are trained in. These students should be nurtured, loved, and taught in a way that will allow them to develop a proper passion for the art of dance.

 
cute bunny costume ballerina dancer york en pointe school

Your little dancers’ personal goals

Some of the biggest accomplishments will be things like standing on stage and not crying, remembering the dance routine/choreography, knowing where to stand and put her or his arms, remembering to smile, or feeling proud for accomplishing a personal goal. Every time the dancer has the opportunity to go on stage he or she will feel more and more comfortable and confident when faced by an audience and everything that brings with it. The growth is truly rewarding for the child, mum, dad, grandparents, friends and for us teachers too.

 

Starting dance as an older student

For ballet students that start performing in their pre-teen stage, it is more of a challenge to instil performance qualities as they can lack the grounding of early experience to performing. As dance students get older, they naturally become very concerned about others’ opinions of their projection, which usually translates to being more nervous, apprehensive, and tense when asked to perform and project onstage. This is even more so in the world of snapchat, Instagram and other social platforms where individuals can create the perfect image of themselves.

Of course, the act of performing will soon become second nature with practice and experience.

So to summaries, young dance students’ performance capabilities are swayed upon maturity, individual readiness, and also importantly level of interest. Don't write off opportunities simply because of a child’s age; instead, see how you can further ignite and encourage their passion and interest in dancing.

You have the power to offer your child the opportunities to blossom, regardless of age, and that is a wonderful place to be and a rewarding part for us the dance teachers is being able to harness your child's interest and be by their side for them as they take to the grand stage.

Donya Keys