When it’s time to choose hobbies and after-school activities for girls, parents now have more options than ever. Girls are growing up in a world with an unprecedented set of professional and educational opportunities.
More girls will be graduating from university than ever before, and traditional barriers are continually torn down as girls around the world challenge the status quo.
Although sports and activities have converged over the past ten years, there are still often distinctive paths for both sexes. And many activities are still associated with a masculine or feminine identity.
Back in the day, girls did ballet, and boys did sport. Parents often choose dance because it helps girls with their posture and makes them appear more graceful.
These days, girls have more options than ever before, and many will do both dance classes like ballet, and team sports like football.
Many little girls love the idea of twirling around in a tutu and beg for dance lessons. While some see ballet as the “easy way out”, there’s no doubt that ballet is hard work. Girls train for years before being allowed to choose their first pair of pointe shoes. They then dance solely on their big toes- with their entire body weight. Dancers are tough. And ballet teaches girls a number of important life skills, such as resiliency, focus, coordination, and confidence.
But there’s a reason why football is now so popular- particularly in Australia. Team sports have been proven to have numerous benefits for kids (check out our free ebook to learn more), and football teaches kids skills like:
- Emotional control
- Conflict resolution
- Respect for authority
- Winning and losing gracefully
- And more
Interestingly, it turns out that ballet can actually help prevent a common football injury- the tearing of the ACL. Girls are two to four times more likely to experience this injury, and once the ACL is completely torn, reconstruction surgery is often necessary.
Ballet involves a lot of landing from jumps, pivoting, and quick turns. Ballet dancers are trained to be always aware of their leg and arm positions. That means they can reproduce correct bent knee positions without needing to look at their legs or knees. And this sense of position can be hugely helpful when girls are on the field- preventing common injuries like ACL tears.
The Chicago Bulls used to train with the Joffrey Ballet troupe in the off-season, due to the increased flexibility and focus on core muscle groups. Many also point to American football great Barry Sanders, who was one of the best running backs of the 1990s. He developed uncanny balance and dancing feet with youth ballet classes and is known for sprinting gracefully down the field.
In fact, the perfect combination of after-school activities could be both ballet and football.
For girls who can’t choose between the two, or parents who are unsure which to choose, consider signing trying a free trial of each to see which one your daughter likes best.
Any hobby, class, or sport that gets girls moving, excited, and interacting with other kids is a great choice. The best thing about being young? Girls can try a variety of activities while growing up until they find one they’re passionate about.
We think your daughters would love football at Kikoff, and we’d love to have them. We focus on building girls’ confidence, teaching them the skills they need to succeed on the field, and encouraging a sense of teamwork amongst all players. Get in touch today to learn more.