Ballet is our first love and introducing ballet to our young students is a real joy and privilege. For those children who love their ballet lessons and practice at home to get the perfect ballet positions, there can be nothing more thrilling than going to see a ballet performance at the theatre.
Live ballet is immersive and fascinating, but not all ballets can capture the attention of younger dancers. While they may enjoy ballet, sitting for 2 hours, asked to be quiet and follow complicated choreography may be too much of an ask – so here are a few different ballets that are perfect for the budding - but young - ballet dancer.
Short Ballet’s for Small People
Northern Ballet create beautiful ballets, short in length and magical in storytelling specifically for little ones. At only 40 minutes long and telling tales children know well like The Three Little Pigs, The Elves and the Shoemaker and Goldilocks and the Three Bears – these ballets are a captivating experience and introduction to ballet for children aged 4 and over. Only available across the north as part of Northern Ballet’s tours and special appearances these shows have been sold out and well worth a visit if you are in the area when they are on!
Sleeping Beauty Ballet
Sleeping beauty is an enchanting ballet, and an easy well-known story for little ballerinas to follow and understand. Based on the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty – of Aurora, a princess, who pricks her finger on a cursed spindle and falls into an enchanted sleep. Only true love’s kiss can wake her, and the story unfolds with magic, a handsome prince and an eventual wedding celebration.
The English National Ballet offers a specially created version of sleeping beauty made for children three and over as part of their ‘My First Ballet’ series.
The Nutcracker Ballet
As this beautiful ballet is set at Christmas time, this ballet often becomes a Christmas family tradition. The story is of Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King and other magical characters along with the more traditional story of girl meets Prince! Put that together with the brilliant Tchaikovsky score, stunning costume and holiday themed props - makes this a wonder of colour, rhythm and movement for children to watch and enjoy.
A light and happy ballet story with life-size dolls, girls pretending to be dolls to capture the attention of their beloved and a happy ending makes this a light-hearted, easy to follow and very endearing production for young ballerinas to watch. Traditional costuming, and choreography that includes humour, mine and a small cast of characters makes Coppelia a beautiful ballet for all the family.
A well-known story with key points in the story making this ballet easy to follow. From the appearance of the fairy godmother to losing the glass slipper, children will know what is going on, who is who and be siding with Cinderella to find her Prince again. Magic, dance, and happy endings means that Cinderella is always a favourite for young dancers.