As parents, we want to ensure our kids are developing well in all areas. One important area of development is motor planning. It may come as a surprise, but ballet has immense benefits for children. It’s more than just a fun activity. Motor planning and ballet for kids go hand in hand.
At the International Ballet Academy, we understand how beneficial ballet is. We also know how challenging it is for families to find affordable and flexible activities. We believe in the benefits of ballet and so our ballet for kids is designed to help children meet important milestones.
Here are a few ways ballet supports motor planning, an important part of gross motor skills:
Ballet For Kids Teaches Following Directions
When children do ballet, they watch their qualified teacher breakdown important moves. As children practice the following the teacher’s instructions, they are practicing motor planning.
The definition of motor planning is:
The ability to conceive, plan, and carry out a skilled, non-habitual motor act in the correct sequence from beginning to end.
In the simplest form, motor planning is simply thinking about and then doing a motor movement.
Why is motor planning important? It allows kids to walk safely while changing surfaces, such as from sidewalk with traction to wet grass. Motor planning helps children step over a pot hole or climb a step.
Ballet is a fun way to practice motor planning without it feeling like a boring repetition. Children learn through play. Ballet, though structured, is at the heart a form of artistic play.
Choreography Teaches Patterns
Learning the patterns in dance can help in mastering motor planning. Children are actively thinking about each movement and then executing the movements. These patterns can help them have plenty of practice in motor planning.
To remember each choreographed movement, they are engaging their active minds while performing each step. Each time they do this, they are improving their motor planning. This will aid them in all areas of gross motor and daily function.
Motor planning can be improved at any age. However, when young kids are able to engage frequently, it helps them develop proper skills from the start.
Children can begin to learn basic choreography even in early caregiver and me ballet classes. While they won’t master each move to perfection at this stage, the important part of motor planning is aiding in their neuro development.
Ballet For Kids Improves Muscle Strength
The coordinated movements required to make specific ballet moves greatly improves muscle strength. Best of all, because they’re simply dancing, kids won’t even realize they’re building muscles. Having strong muscles provides significant benefits for children.
One occupational therapist found upwards of 80% of children in a typical classroom had poor core strength. Having poor core strength impacts posture, writing skills, and even the ability to pay attention.
It can also lead to back, leg, and foot pain. When children build muscles in early childhood, it sets them up for overall health and wellness. It is significantly easier to maintain strength than it is to suddenly attempt to build it.
Ballet For Kids Helps With Sports
Some children desire to stay in dance. Ballet training is quite an athletic feat. For other children, they add or switch to other sports.
Ballet improves muscle strength, coordination, motor planning, and more. It can provide an amazing base for any athletic path. In fact, many professional athletes use ballet training as part of their overall fitness and training routines.
Ballet is a fun and engaging way to get kids moving and build full body strength. The ability to motor plan quickly is an important skill for any athlete.
Ready to help improve your child’s overall development? Get started today!