Recommended Ballets for Children: Love at First Sight

Your young child has all the makings of becoming a great ballerina. She loves dancing and twirling around, and she looks great in a tutu as well. And yet, the real question remains: Is ballet something that she’d be interested in studying? How does she actually feel about ballet? 

It’s unfair to expect a child to give a straight answer about something she doesn’t know much about. That’s why the best way to find out if your child has an interest in ballet is to provide them with a personal introduction, one that lets your child see a ballet for herself.

But which ballet should you choose? For all the many great ballets that have been performed over the years, not all of them make for a good introduction for a young child. To help you with this goal, here are the top recommended ballets for children that can serve as a good introduction to ballet. 


The Nutcracker 

Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet serves as an excellent entry point for children interested in ballet. This beloved ballet has become an ingrained part of many modern Christmas traditions due in no small part to its first act taking place at a Christmas party. After falling asleep during the festivities, lead character Clara wakes up in a dreamland where she befriends a nutcracker soldier and wages a battle against the evil Mouse King.

With its iconic group performance and notable use of the bell-like celesta, The Nutcracker is an excellent way to introduce your child to the world of ballet. Your young one will relate to its coming-of-age story, and delight in its sugar plum fairies! Highly recommended.



The fairy tale of the lowly servant who found her true love to be a prince has a long tradition in ballet. Although older versions date back to 1813, it was Sergei Prokofiev’s 1940-44 version that has become a runaway success, captivating audiences with its romantic, flowing melodies. 

Your children will enjoy this entertaining ballet famous for its buoyant music and sumptuous scenery. As well, they will love  its comedic portrayal of the stepmother and the two stepsisters that has been included since Frederick Ashton’s take on this classic. By providing a well-known story that is easy to follow and enjoy, Cinderella makes for an excellent ballet for children to watch.


The Sleeping Beauty

First premiering in 1890, Tchaikovsky’s version of the timeless fairy tale has become one of the most popular and frequently performed ballets in the world. Your kids are sure to love the well-known narrative of the cursed princess who falls into a deep sleep, and can only be saved by the love of a prince. 


Final Thoughts

It’s unfortunate that some of ballet’s most iconic works are unsuitable for young children. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and its tragic story is too mature for kids, while Stravinsky’s Firebird and its haunting melodies are too dissonant. Hopefully, with time, your child can broaden their taste to enjoy these and many other great ballets.

As great as it is to show your child a video of a ballet, nothing can beat the sensation of experiencing a ballet live in person. Your child will enjoy the thrill of seeing the costumes and scenery, and will love watching the dancers under the lights. If there’s ever a ballet performing live near your community, be sure to seize the opportunity and have your child see a ballet live in person. It is a transformative experience that they’ll never forget!

Is your child interested in ballet lessons? CDM Dance & Music offers a wide lineup of ballet classes for children of all ages and experience levels. As part of our classes, we are proud to offer Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D) Exams and class awards. Contact us to find out more!