Ballet lessons are a part of many people’s childhood, bringing valuable skills and habits to their adult lives. You can often see in some people that they had that classical training as a child, especially in areas such as dance. Then there are others who you maybe wouldn’t associate with early ballet training - here are a few famous examples.
Footballer Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand is best known for this time on the football pitch as one of the most recognised footballers of his era. But his early time wasn’t spent completely playing football - he also won a scholarship to the London School of Ballet.
Aged 11, Rio was an avid ballet fan and loved dancing. He also said in his autobiography that he believed the skills he learned in ballet helped his football career. He particularly mentions the balance and flexibility that he gained when dancing and that later helped him on the football pitch.
Musician and Actress Madonna
Madonna is well known for her dancing skills but most people wouldn’t associate them with ballet! However, she originally started out in ballet with a dance scholarship at the University of Michigan.
Here she learned the skills that later were adapted to the dancing that helped make her songs so notable. In recent times, she had returned to her routes and is directing the biopic of Michaela DePrince called Taking Flight.
Actor Jamie Bell
Jamie Bell became famous for playing the part of Billy Elliot in the 2000 film and the character very much mirrored his own upbringing. Jamie went to dancing lessons with his sister and became fascinated by dance.
He also learned patience and dedication that has helped him in his career. And no doubt that ballet experience helped him with his most famous role!
Actress Mia Wasikowska
Before she was Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Mia had spent a number of years training to be a Prima Ballerina. Sadly, her career was cut short at the age of 14 after she developed a spur in her ankle and she was no longer able to continue her dancing career.
However, she did learn skills including self-discipline and self-expression that have helped her with other creative paths including becoming an actress.
Musician Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole became famous as part of the Girls Aloud group, but she had a long history with dance before that. She started dancing at the age of three and when she was nine, a local newspaper ran a campaign that raised the money needed for her to attend a two-week summer school with the Royal Ballet.
While she didn’t pursue ballet as a career, she had learned a love of performing as well as dancing and this helped her when she had the opportunity to join the group and perform.
Learning crucial skills
One thing is clear from all these famous people - ballet helped them achieve success in areas very different from their training. By taking the crucial skills they learned during dance class, they were better placed to be successful in other areas.