I Want to be a Jazz dancer, do I still need Ballet Training?

Classical Ballet Training is often misunderstood and like many studios, we get a lot of questions about it.

Here are a few common questions:


“Do I need Classical Ballet Training if I want to be a Jazz dancer?”

“How important is quality Ballet Training?”

“Do I really need quality Ballet Training if I want to dance, but am not interested in becoming a ballerina?”

“What is the best age to get serious about Ballet Training?”

These are all good questions, and Karen Paulson Rivet – former instructor at Northland School of Dance, helps to clear up some of the confusion over it:

If you want to be a jazz dancer, and you want to be good at it, you need classical ballet training. Ballet is very important to create quality dancers in any dance form. Why? The answer is simple; classical ballet is the base for all other forms of performance dance. Ballet comes from a base of control. Ballet trains the body to control the large and the small motor movements, while creating core strength in the abdominals and lower back. This is crucial to a dancer’s development and technique.

Many children start dancing as young as 2-3 years old in dance studios. Depending on the age of the child they may enter a creative movement class or a preschool combination class that is designed for fun while learning basics in dance. Many fabulous dancers have emerged from just such programs. As students mature they begin more serious levels of training. In the world of classical ballet it is different. World renowned ballet companies in Russia, and France do not start students training in ballet until they are ten years old. In doing so the student is more physically, emotionally and cognitively ready for serious ballet training. It takes approximately 8 to 10 years to train a classical ballet dancer.

Dance studios nationally and internationally have found it beneficial to offer ballet as part of their curriculum. If you increase the quality of ballet training you increase the ability of the dancer to perform in all dance genres.