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Posted on Jan 4, 2022

Dance School: What Is The Best Age To Start?

At East West Music & Dance our dance school, we are often asked by parents at what age should children begin taking dance classes? To be honest, there’s never a bad time to learn how to dance. Whether you are two or 92, dance can be a wonderful option for people of all ages. However, we do have some basic guidelines about which types of classes are appropriate at certain ages.

If you have a toddler, we recommend thinking about getting started with dance lessons around age three or four, but if your child suddenly becomes interested in dance at an older age, there’s no reason why they can’t give it a try. Dance provides an amazing creative outlet and it’s a fantastic workout for your whole body, so we encourage people of all ages to take a dance class and start learning some basic moves.

Getting Started: Mini Ballerina Classes

Our dance classes in San Jose are organized so that they are age-appropriate. Not only do we take into consideration the attention spans of the students, but we also consider their physical development.

Our mini ballerina classes are the first of our children’s ballet classes and are perfect for students ages three to four and we focus on teaching basic ballet skills as well as some creative movement to inspire our youngest dancers. These classes run 45 minutes and we meet just once per week, and the classes are a great way to improve your child’s motor skills as well as providing them with a great source of exercise.

Tiny Tots Ballet

For our students aged four to six, the Tiny Tots program at our dance school is a perfect match. Some students will get started in Tiny Tots at four, while others won’t come in until they are six, and that is perfectly fine as we offer three levels of Tiny Tots. Students that start at age four, typically end up in level two or three by the time they move on to general ballet classes.

General Ballet

You might have noticed that so far, we have only discussed ballet lessons and there’s a reason for that Ballet is the foundation of all dance, so we always recommend that our dancers get their feet wet, so to speak, with ballet. For students younger than seven, we only really recommend ballet dance classes as the focus is strictly on building fundamental skills.

The main ballet program at our dance school begins at age 7 and is available to students to adult age. While many of our students start at age 7, some students don’t start ballet until they are several years older, and that’s fine. Our classes are organized by age and level, so there’s always a place for beginners, intermediate and advanced dancers.

With our main ballet program, we offer several ballet levels, and students only move on to the next level when they are ready. In some cases, it can take two or three years to advance to the next level, and that’s just fine. It’s not a race to the finish line, it’s a lifelong journey in pursuit of the love of dance.

Once a student has reached an advanced level, they can move on to pointe classes, and we don’t move students into pointe until they have the technical skills and strength to handle these classes. We also offer a pre-pointe introductory class to help prepare students for the rigors of pointe.

Other Types Of Dance Classes

Of course, ballet is not the only type of dance we teach at our dance school in San Jose. We teach tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary dance but these are taught at age-appropriate times. We do strongly encourage students to learn ballet skills before heading into other forms of dance, as the skills they learn and the strength they build will serve them well as they learn other forms of dance.

Our beginning jazz lessons, hip hop classes and tap classes can be taken as early as age 7. After two years in the beginning jazz, hip hop or tap classes, students can move into our more advanced classes for jazz, tap and hip hop, which are available for students ages 10 to adult.

Lyrical and contemporary dance classes are available to students ages 11 to adult, as by this time students should have a solid foundation in ballet and jazz dancing. We also ask that students be enrolled concurrently with ballet and jazz classes to keep that foundation strong.

What About Older Students?

While our dance classes in San Jose are geared toward students from ages 3 up to college age, if you are older and want to learn how to dance, we highly encourage you to find a dance academy that offers beginning ballet and dance classes for adults. There’s no reason not to get started with ballet in your 30s, 40, 50s or older.

Whether you took ballet or other dance classes as a child and want to refresh those skills or you’ve never taken dance but longed to, we highly recommend that you look into taking beginning dance classes for adults. Adults also could look into a dance school that teaches ballroom dancing, salsa dancing or another fun form of partner dancing. These classes will enrich your life, provide you with exercise and a big dose of fun no matter what your skill level might be.

Enroll Your Child Or Teen Today

Our dance classes in San Jose are suitable for students who wish to learn dance just for fun or for those serious about making a career out of dance. Our instructors either have college degrees or are professionals in their artistic discipline and have attended schools such as Julliard, UC Berkeley and the Royal Academy of Dance to name a few and many have been with us 10, 20 or more years. Regarding Covid-19 and safety, our dance school offers in-person instruction and virtual instruction and currently, we are offering a hybrid program to limit the number of students in each studio. We have several other safety precautions in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff. If you have any questions about our dance school and dance programs, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.