Ballet is a dance form that developed in the courts of Renaissance Europe. It is characterised by its grace and athleticism and today, is practised all over the world.
Ballet teaches children about posture, poise, musicality and discipline amongst other things. Some people believe that ballet offers a good foundation for learning other dance forms.
Very young children (between the ages of 3 and 6 years) start learning ballet through play or Creative Movement. Around age 7 and 8 years, more structure is introduced and children learn the foundations of ballet, like the five positions of the feet and arms.
For girls, often the pinnacle of learning ballet is pointe work (dancing on tiptoe). Pointe work is typically introduced around age 13 or 14 years, or when the teacher feels that the student has gained sufficient strength in the feet and ankles. If a student is not ready, pointe work can be harmful.
Boys, on the other hand, stand out in ballet by focusing on high jumps and multiple turns. Adults can also derive a lot of benefit from taking ballet classes as ballet provides a controlled workout and improves posture.