Ballet..a benefit?

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Apr 16, 2008
Yet another
Again..level 4 USAG, young 7 :D

Coach says she looks sooo pretty doing her routines BUT she's "TOO artistic" there such a thing?:p

She explained it to me and it makes perfect sense, she's lacking "the lines", she's "flowing" too much.

I always told her dad, she looks like she's dancing up on the beam!!! This isn't ballet! LOL
She's never taken ballet...but I was a dancer and sometimes I think...maybe she was born to dance and not to bounce haha..but that's another story!!
For now I'm wondering...

Normally I hear Ballet can go hand in hand with gymnastics BUT when part of her problem is lacking the "lines" meaning, the arms need to be STRAIGH UP, she needs to POSE a little longer than she is etc. I'm thinking ballet might actually HURT HER? As her coach was showing me how she wants her to stand from the mount onto the beam (arms STRAIGHT right behind her ears)...I'm thinking if I went from ballet to gymanstics I would have a really hard time!! I notice how STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN they have to be sometimes and wonder if I had tried back then how the two would go hand in hand.

However, in things like her legs where she's bending her knees, balance, walking on the balls of her feet, strengthening would help wouldn't it?

I didn't ask her coach this...bc I'm just now thinking about it...

Is ballet always a good thing to add to their training?


gym klutz

Ballet is a huge advantage in my gym we have dance once a week it has helped amazingly
Poses are tough for kids this young, even amongst the best talents. Afterall, many this age can barely sit still for any amount of time.

I personally think that the dance thing comes easier for a gymnast in a routine than in a dance number for the same level of performance. I suspect it's because of the numerous repetitions during practice, a shorter routine and the less dance contents found in a routine. Also, everyone in compulsory doing the same routine helps a great deal.

As far as whether ballet (or any dance) helps gymnastics, there is no doubt in my mind that it does. If nothing else the learning curve for a new routine is far shorter for someone with a dance background.


My daughter has this same problem. She is very dancy and flowy and has to work on getting those poses and looking sharper on floor and beam.

In the long run, I think dance is good for gymnastics. Our gym offers an hour of dance a week and my dd started it over the summer. I think it will help a great deal once they get out of compulsories. I also think it's probably easier for them to learn the poses and to straighten arms and legs than it is to learn to dance. It's good that your dd has natural grace and dance will only help that.



Sounds like you a have a talented gymmie on yor hands!
My DD does take RAD ballet and tap classes and I agree that it an asset to her gymnastics.
As she matures she'll understand the differences between dance and gym poses.


I definitely think the two are complimentary to each other. Ballet might help her to be more aware of where her hands and feet are in relation to her body. This, in conjunction with her coach correcting specific gymnastics positions, and the things that you also mentioned could help her develop into a lovely gymnast....but it does take time and you can't discount the strength aspect required in gymnastics as you advance. Personally, I enjoy the grace and performance aspect that ballet brings to 'artistic' gymnastics.

Elizabeth has been doing ballet and gymnastics for three years and I think this year it is really coming together for her but it's been a real juggling act to balance the time commitments of both disciplines. For instance, this year she will do 9 hours of ballet and 8-10 hours of gymnastics per week. The rest of her team is practicing 19 hours per week:eek: While this is not the best situation, she loves ballet and is working extra hard to keep up with her gymnastics which she also loves.
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Midget's Dad

Midget had taken ballet and tap for 2.5 years when we signed her up for rec right after moving right next to a gym. I think it has been a definite benefit for her and is one of the reasons she was asked to try out for team. She has very pretty lines and always manages to look graceful and I attribute it to the early dance.
Jul 20, 2009
Region 3
Dance compliments gymnastics. Dance teaches body awareness and control - both beneficial in gymnastics. When you go to competitions, it quickly becomes obvious which kids have dance training (or some kids are just naturally graceful), but often those little bits you gain in the score by being graceful and holding positions correctly are the difference between 1st and 6th place.


I agree that dance is beneficial to gymnastics. However, I've found that it is crucial to go have a dance instructor who completely knows and understands gymnastics. The dance that she/he will teach will be geared towards gym so that the gymmie will not learn different techniques and become confused or get corrected by the coach. Even though dance is included in our gym as part of their training, our dd wanted extra dance, so we signed her up for a dance class where our older dd is. This older dd is involved in theater, and, as the dance studio is geared towards theater, it's great for older dd. Gymmie dd did enjoy the class, and it was somewhat beneficial. But, gymmie dd has ended up taking extra dance at the gym since that instructor, although strictly trained in dance and not of a personal gymnastics background, does know exactly what the gymmies need, and that has made a huge difference.


I agree ballet helps gymnastics.

I am a boys coach not girls coach, but this topic has come up in conversation at the gym, and I have observed particularly on floor the benefits.

It is usually quite easy to see which girls attend dance classes. They usually learn the sequence of the floor routine quicker and have much better timing with the music. Generally they have better lines, on floor and beam.
However, I've found that it is crucial to go have a dance instructor who completely knows and understands gymnastics. The dance that she/he will teach will be geared towards gym so that the gymmie will not learn different techniques and become confused or get corrected by the coach.
On the contrary, I think diversity (along with confusion) in training is best in a long run. Eventually, he/she will have to learn and respond to the movements and form that are specific to the activity (in this case either dance or gymnastics). Of course, some instant success (especially for the really young ones) will have to be sacrifised.

I say that because both of my daugthers have had training since about 4/5yo in sports that require forms (that are considered good at a competitive level) that are opposite to each other. Boy, did they get teased in the early years -- even by coaches. Nowaday, they can switch on a dime, far better than anyone else can.

In a way, it's like learning more than one language at a really young age. Many parents choose not to let it happen because they think their kid would suffer due to the confusion and struggling in the initial stage. I don't think I need to explain what the long term benefits are when it comes to that.


I would say the girl is probably lacking rhythm, something ballet should not hinder and perhaps even help. She will get her sports sorted out as she grows older and becomes more advanced in both. Personally, my ballet training did not particularly help me, but it did get me used to doing fairly long hours, memorizing routines, and pointing my toes. Also, my dance studio was not very good. A couple of the girls on my team used to or still do dance classes and are very good gymnasts.
Sep 19, 2008
Ballet absolutely help gymnastics in my opinion, for every reason previous posters have stated. In my mind there are 2 very distinct equally acceptable ways a gymnast can move. Very abrupt, sharp and clean movements akin to cheer, and very graceful ones where a movement translates from the shoulder to the fingertips for instance. To do either is a learned skill. Being able to move both ways is a plus, it adds to presentation and can expand what a gymnast is creatively and artistically able to express in their routines. I think they're both fabulous and very worth the time and effort to teach and or learn. I wouldn't exclude one in favor of the other, just work more on whatever style a gymnast is having troubles with.
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