Ballet is a traditional dance form that has picked up a lot of misconceptions over the years, especially here in America. All too often, stereotypes prevent kids and teens from signing up for ballet lessons, even if they want nothing more than to try something new and exciting. This is especially true for boys, as many of them are afraid of feeling emasculated or judged by their peers. However, this is usually not the case!

At our Rockville Centre dance studio, we offer ballet classes for kids and teens, as well as toddler ballet lessons for little tykes. We pride ourselves on providing a safe, fun, and welcoming environment for kids of all ages, genders, and races to learn and express themselves in a beautiful way. Fill out our application online if you are interested in signing your child or teen up for ballet lessons, or continue reading to learn about some of the most common myths about ballet.

Ballet Is For Girls Only

One of the most common misconceptions about ballet is that only girls can take ballet classes. Of course, this simply isn’t true, and we have lots of young boys who sign up for ballet lessons at our dance academy. For whatever reason, many people are under the impression that ballet is too feminine for boys, and that they should be signed up for team sports instead. Perhaps it’s the leotards and tights that feed into this misconception, but what many people don’t realize is that ballet is hard work. In fact, it’s particularly challenging for boys.

Ballet Is Easy

This brings us to another common myth about ballet: that it’s easy. Since ballet dancers move with grace and elegance, lots of people assume it’s as effortless as it looks. In reality, it takes years of practice to master the proper technique of different ballet positions and movements, not to mention smoothing out the transitions between leaps, turns, sautés, and other foundational ballet moves. Ballet also requires a great deal of strength and flexibility, which takes years to build through stretches, lifting, and advanced ballet training. For men, this means learning how to lift female dancers in the air safely, as well as how to do moves that require lots of flexibility, like high développés. You won’t master ballet moves overnight, and no team sport can prepare you for the challenges that ballet classes pose.

Ballet Is Boring

As ballet instructors, we hear this one all the time: “Why don’t you teach something more interesting, like hip hop classes?” The reality is that ballet lessons are no less exciting than hip hop, jazz, and lyrical dance — ballet is just a different form of art. Like many other types of dance, ballet tells a story through movement to music, which not everyone will understand. It takes a keen eye to pick up on all the queues in a ballet performance, such as The Nutcracker Ballet. To truly understand and appreciate ballet, you need to have an understanding of how difficult it is to move with such grace and flexibility, as well as how ballet dancers use these movements to tell a story in a unique and beautiful way. Sure, ballet isn’t as “in your face” as hip hop is, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring to watch!

Ballet Is Outdated

A common argument people make when they claim that ballet is boring is that it’s because the moves and music are outdated. However, there are several different kinds of ballet, and it is constantly evolving with blends of other dance styles. You might be surprised to know that today’s ballet is far more modern than ballet from the 1700s, and that lots of different dance styles have had an influence on the ballet dance moves we commonly see today. For example, classic and romantic ballet styles tend to use more traditional moves, while dance styles like lyrical incorporate ballet moves with modern movements, such as tumbles, jumps, and balancing moves with a partner. This makes traditional moves far more interesting for audience members who prefer a more contemporary show.

Ballet Is Expensive

In today’s day and age, things like ballet, poetry, and fine art are often seen as things only connoisseurs are rich enough to be part of and appreciate. This is understandable, considering that the ballet was traditionally something people dressed up to go see, but ballet is no more of a status symbol than any other sport. Plus, you don’t have to be rich to take ballet lessons or enroll your child at a ballet academy — there are many affordable ballet studios in New York, and we’re pleased to offer ballet lessons that won’t break the bank. If the cost is intimidating, just think of it as an investment in yourself or your child. Ask yourself how much it would cost to send your little one to soccer camp or sign them up for weekly piano lessons. Odds are, there won’t be much of a difference!