The 99% Concept

99% of all the students who will ever take classes from The Classical Ballet School, and even those who go on to perform as company members with Ballet North, will become members of other professions or work in areas other than ballet – so why are we so committed to offering ballet classes and training to your child?

We feel that focused ballet training teaches several things to your child, other than the technique of ballet itself, and it is all about your child’s future:

First, it teaches your child that learning is a matter of focus and not a matter of sampling or starting and stopping or of “surfing” around. To learn any subject, a certain level of focus is required otherwise instead of learning what you are really doing is just “subject surfing” and not getting any benefit out of the time you are committing. “Subject surfing” is only a little better than staring at the TV for the same amount of time.

Second, it proves to your child that the rewards you get in life are directly related to how much effort you put into things. The members of Ballet North can dance the way they do because they have spent the proper amount of time to get that level of skill and understanding of ballet technique. The students here see this themselves and learn from this example. We feel there is a dangerous trend in society today where children feel far too entitled to get the glory and rewards of someone who has really worked hard without them having to put in the effort. This is a very unsatisfactory attitude for children to become addicted to and one we are committed here to defeating and putting in place instead the ethic that effort and work do matter and are to be both valued AND enjoyed!

Third, the character education developed by both the natural virtues of ballet training and our direct character mentoring focusing on the Virtues with your child is, we think, essential to grounding their character in a positive (…dare we say spiritual?...) way that values the pursuit of excellence and putting honest work into the perfecting of tricky technical skills. This leads to students valuing work in general and gaining confidence in their own abilities which again we think is wonderfully beneficial for them to learn rather than thinking they should get all the trophies and rewards because we lower our standards just to make things easier for them, and maybe we do that because we don’t think they can live up to the real challenge.

As today’s world grows ever more global and digitally integrated, and as almost all jobs in all fields change into computer linked digital tasks, your child will face a work place in the very near future where even working at McDonalds will be a job that either computers do or that has been outsourced to centralized locations in Texas, China or India. In this soon-to-be world, the beginnings of which are already in place now, your child will not be competing for a job or a professional position with other people from around the Midwest but rather with the other 1,000,000,000 professionals in China and India all of whom have learned how to work effectively and are very committed to getting the same position. This means only the best person will get the position – regardless of what job is in question – and this means all American children need to be comfortable with and actually enjoy the focus and pursuit of mastering complex subjects. This makes ballet lessons an ideal asset for all children because it is complex and naturally requires focus and determination to learn – the very things that are going to be absolutely essential soon, if they aren’t already!

While we are of course exceedingly proud of the 1% of our students who do become professional dancers or get full scholarships to college, we feel our most important task and our biggest service is to the other 99% who will use the skills and virtues that ballet training develops in order to compete in tomorrow's world - a world that will be here very soon.

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