We set up this site to support and encourage young men who do ballet
and demystify the world of ballet for those who don't.

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FAQs before your first ballet lesson

So you've decided to try ballet? Excellent. You should really enjoy it but you may be a little bit nervous before your first lesson. This is normal. Everyone feels a bit nervous before trying something new. Here are some questions boys often ask before their first lesson:

What should I do before I go?

Nothing! You don't have to do anything to prepare - the lesson will teach you everything you need to know. You should make sure you eat a good meal so you have lots of energy - but do not eat just before the lesson or you will feel stodgy and ready to sleep.

Energy required.

What do I wear?

Your ballet school should have told your parents what you need to wear. If you aren't wearing your normal clothes and feel a bit funny, don't worry! Everyone wears special clothes to dance - after all, it's a special activity.

If you have not been told by the school what to wear, we recommend: a close-fitting white t-shirt, black shorts and white socks - although bare feet work well, too.

But don't worry too much! Here is a photo of me at my first class just wearing my home clothes:



Your school may have a specific ballet uniform. If so, you should wear it. You will look smart - and all the other children will be wearing it, too.

I don't have any ballet shoes!

You don't have to wear ballet shoes to your first lesson. They are important later on but socks/bare feet are fine for starting.

What will we do in the lesson?

Your lesson will probably start sitting on the floor and doing some exercises to stretch and strengthen your feet. As the lesson goes on, you will gradually use all the different parts of your body from your legs to your arms to your shoulders and head.

Starting class stretching on the floor.

It will be hard work - but it will be quite easy to follow. You might do some exercises holding on to a wooden beam called a barre. The barre is to help you balance. The lesson will probably end with some dancing all over the room - running and jumping and leaping.

Using the barre for balance.

Your teacher will tell you exactly what you have to do and might come over and adjust part of your body - this is called a 'correction' and helps you do the exercises in the right way. Ballet isn't easy!

This teacher is making a correction
by adjusting the boy's foot.

All the exercises will be done in time to music which will be played on a piano or stereo. You should try to listen carefully to the music and make sure your movements are in time.

Dancing in the centre
at the end of the lesson.

It will go past very quickly!

Won't everyone be better than me?

It is a good thing if the other children who have been to ballet before are better than you. This means that they have learnt lots by going to ballet - things which you will also learn if you keep going to lessons.

Because it's your first lesson, no one will expect you to know anything so there's no need to worry. Just remember to pay attention.

Paying attention to the teacher.

What do I do if I don't understand something?

Your teacher will look carefully to make sure you understand. If you don't understand something, try following the person next to you. If you are still unsure, never be afraid to ask - your teacher is there to answer your questions. It is normal not to understand everything at your first lesson and your teacher knows this.



A quick note for parents:

I can vividly remember my first ballet lesson because it was very traumatic. Having decided I wanted to do ballet I arrived outside the studio and saw a lot of girls wearing pink leotards, putting on shoes and looking like they knew exactly what was going on. I got terribly scared and burst into uncontrollable tears. My mother managed to shove me into the teacher's arms, I was dragged into the studio and reappeared an hour later beaming from ear to ear. 20 years later, I still am.

5 comments:

  1. This is a nice site to find. My son (3) had his first lesson today! Will be good to show him pictures/clips of other boys doing ballet.
    He wasn't 'traumatized', just a bit self-conscious. Think this will improve second week when parents aren't allowed to stay and watch.
    Looking forward to exploring the rest of the site!

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Kate. It's good to know people are finding the site useful. If there is anything you think is missing/would like to see drop us a line. Good luck to your youngster!

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  3. I'm really excited about startng ballet. At first it was quite scary confronting my parents about dance. I start on Saturday and wish t would hurry up. I am also getting my uniform afterwards. The only thing is a really hate going bare footed, but I suppose I'm going to need to get used to it for dancing. This site is so helpful! I hope it all goes well and I'm really looking forward to it.

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  4. I just found your site while trying to shop for dance wear for my 4 year old son. Very nice to see photos of boys in dance class, he'll like that. Right now he's in gymnastics and creative dance, and he's the only boy in both classes. The teacher was thrilled to hear that he was interested in ballet too, so we're checking out a class next week to see if he likes it.

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  5. My son started ballet last year thanks to my husband's being very judgmental, he quit and took up tap. I am trying to build his confidence back up to do ballet after Christmas and this website is greatly appreciated.

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