We often are asked about when a child should start formal ballet, jazz and tap training, and what are the benefits of creative movement classes that are offered up to the point where formal training begins. Every parent believes that his or her child is exceptional, but there is far more danger in trying to fit a child into the formal dancer mold at too early an age than there is advantage to his development as a dancer. Starting formal studies too early can actually destroy any potential a child might have.
Children can start taking a dance class as young as two, but under the age of eight or ten, dancing should be fun, developmental and taught creatively, in preparation for formal dance class. Technical ballet training does not begin until 3rd grade. Because of the importance of a good foundation, ballet must be taken in addition to most other dance forms through the 5th grade. Children’s Jazz is supplemental and may be added in 2nd grade.
Dance training will never be wasted, for it nurtures good breathing action, coordination, poise, discipline, quick reaction, memory, stamina, and an air of self-confidence and presence. All these qualities are of importance to young people setting out in life. It is from this viewpoint that a student’s training should be regarded before too much detail about his future career is contemplated.
The most professional performance in the area, our dancers have the occasion to perform before hundreds of friends, family and community members in the Spring performance. The Spring performance is held each year in May. Students present class pieces for this gala event.
Further, Miss Suzanne is an active member in both the DMW and CNADM organizations which provide members and their students with continued education and enrichment in dance. Miss Suzanne‘s active membership allows her students to participate in these workshops at a reduced fee, be eligible for workshop and college scholarships, the Student Honors Program, competitions and competing for Miss/Mr DMW. DMW meets 4 times a year; October, November, February and March, within the state of Wisconsin. CNADM meets in October for a workshop and in July for Ballet Forum, Teachers Training, Convention, Student Session and Competitions.
Becoming a Teaching Assistant is as an honor and an additional education opportunity. It encourages students to perfect technique, prepares them to be a future dance teacher, and most of all, is extremely fun. Assistant teachers make a difference in the lives of children being introduced to the world of dance. (Junior Assistant Trainees: Any student in Ballet II and up, at least 10 years of age and with a minimum 2.5 GPA are encouraged to apply. Teaching Assistant Trainees (TAT): Ballet III and up, age 12 and up, with a minimum 2.5 GPA are encouraged to apply.) This is a full year commitment that starts students in an apprentice program, training towards being a dance instructor, which has proven to be invaluable to those in the program. Interested dancers should contact Marilyn School of Dance for more information.