Some children with developmental delays may experience challenges in knowing what to do in social situations. They might feel anxious or worried or feel overwhelmed.
Lucky for us, there is a link between ballet and social skills, which can help kids learn ballet and extend their social skills. Classical ballet was originally created as a set of social rules, that guided the way members of royalty were to behave. Originating during the Renaissance period, ballet was a combination of social dance and choreographic displays at noble gatherings. It controlled the way people would dress, carry themselves and greet each-other, hence, everyone followed the social ‘rules’. Ballet teachers can explain to students these historical roots to show how ballet can provide some simple rules to help kids understand the social rules that exist today.
Ballet movements such as the curtsey or reverence, showed a respectful way to greet or say goodbye to another person or noble.
Using visual cues such as printed pictures, illustrations or demonstrations can further help explain these social and balletic norms. Examples of these can be found on the Allplay Dance website. This can help students learn the importance of social behaviour and may help them understand your own studio’s social rules. You may find that ballet provides a great opportunity for all students to develop their social skills.
Remember, help make the world fit for all kids by making dance inclusive.