Ballet is a classical art form that is celebrated worldwide – especially by us here at Freed of London! But, although ballet has seen so many years of adoration and success, we are in a new generation of youth and technology and it makes us wonder - has this had an effect on popularity in ballet with young people?
For young people, taking ballet classes can be highly beneficial, not only for their physical health, but for their psychological health and learning abilities too. Getting them moving in different ways is a great approach to show them that exercise can be fun and communicative. It can also help them build social skills, self-esteem, motivation and it allows them to express themselves creatively. But as they grow older, and ballet classes become more challenging, perhaps young dancers are more likely to not pursue it.
A few dance schools from around the UK (all will be named below) very kindly answered a few questions to help us gauge if popularity in ballet has changed with young people. The majority of the schools we spoke to told us that where they were seeing an increase in the amount of young dancers, there has also been a slight dip as the age groups approach 11+ years.
One school said that this may be down to fewer older students having creative outlets outside of the ballet world. Another school believes that due to the influence of social media, as some young dancers focus on becoming associated with popular online dancers rather than pursuing a long term career in ballet. Although, one school put it down to more people being interested in taking non-balletic classes – which is fine with us as long as they keep dancing!
Overall, however, we didn’t really receive any negative comments about young people in ballet, and most schools shared that the popularity may vary slightly year on year, but it mostly stays the same, which is great news. Saying this, the average ratio of boys to girls taking ballet is Male 1:9 Female, we do hope this will improve with future generations.
It seems that over the years, ballet’s popularity amongst young people was bound to change, as with most things, trends affect popularity and participation. However, Freed of London has treasured ballet for the last 90 years and we will always be here to encourage young dancers in their difficult but magical journeys in the world of ballet.
A special thank you to the following dance schools for participating: