contemporary dance for children

by Francy

Hi, what is your opinion about teaching contemporary dance to children regardless of their practice of ballet too?

Nowadays, in Italy, children start with ballet and they meet contemporary dance when they are teenagers.
In my opinion, contemporary dance training is a great way to start to dance; floorwork for example, is so similar to many movements that kids do withouth thinking. What a pity if they loose this spontaneity. What is your opinion?

Thanks, Francy.

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Aug 26, 2023
Can children start with contemporary dance?
by: Maria

Dear Francy,
The short answer is that I believe children can perfectly start with contemporary dance, even if they have never done any ballet. And they can continue the rest of their dancing life or dancing career without taking any ballet classes (for example, just have a look at urban dancers or butoh dancers. They never take ballet. The same applies for contemporary dance).

However, I acknowledge the power of ballet as an educational and training technique. I also know that there are many contexts in which there’s a believe in ballet as the technical foundation for dancers. It can be indeed a very good start, but it is not mandatory.

The current evolution of contemporary dance shows that ballet is just another aesthetical and ideological perspective. Yet, it is indeed very effective for training the body in some respects like balance, extensions and bodily stance (among other skills that are very useful for dancers). But, these abilities can also be developed with other methods and the importance of ballet as a training complement depends completely on the artistic interests of each dancer.

Also, ballet may produce its counterproductive side effects. Some ballet dancers have a lot of difficulties to move in shapes that go beyond the ballet vocabulary and, if their studies lack of stimulation of creativity, they may find themselves stuck in a reduced number of moving patterns as well as ideological limitations.

This is an interesting topic. I hope I replied to your question but don’t hesitate to ask more or ad comments if you want to understand better.

Warm regards,

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