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Aww! Suri Cruise Loves Ballet. Experts Say There Are Plenty Of Benefits To Letting Your Kids Dance

Fri, October 1, 2010 3:01pm EDT by 1 Comment

Suri Cruise is just one of the many celebrity kids that love practicing ballet! Experts tell that dancing is a great way for your kids to build a healthy self-image.

“She loves ballet,” Katie Holmes told People about her budding prima ballerina, Suri. The proud mom was honored for her work with the Dizzy Feet dance charity at Variety‘s Women of Power luncheon yesterday (Sept. 30), but while she was getting her award, her little ballerina was in the lobby, showing off her dance skills. “Suri was in the lobby with her nanny and was fascinated by the chandelier. She was pointing to it and then began twirling underneath it,” says an eyewitness. “It looked like she was practicing her dance moves, it was very cute.”

Besides looking adorable in a tutu and tights, Suri, 4, is a natural. “She’s great at it,” gushes Katie, 31. When they’re in LA, Suri takes classes at the Village Arts Center, which offers a workshop called Pre-Ballet for the littlest ballerinas.

These kids are too cute in their tutus!

Tom Cruise and Katie’s little girl isn’t the tiny celeb dancer. Jennifer Garner’s first-born, Violet, 4, has been known to show off her fancy footwork after class. Plus, Nicole Richie’s been spotted taking daughter, Harlow, 2, to dance class. And Isla Fischer’s 2-year-old Olive is learning to plie, just like Heidi Klum’s daughter Leni, 6. Even Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s little girls Shiloh, 4, and Zahara, 5, are learning to arabesque! Could you imagine if all of them got together for a performance of Swan Lake? That would be one star-filled dance recital we’d happily sit through!

Violet Affleck can’t resist dancing in the streets!

With so many stars enrolling their kids in ballet classes, we decided to ask an expert if there are benefits to encouraging your kids to try ballet. According to psychotherapist, Dr. Jonathan Alpert, ballet is a great way for kids to learn about discipline and, even more importantly, self-confidence. “Ballet teaches grace, poise and helps equip kids with special skills,” Dr. Alpert tells “It can also help a child learn to focus and take direction and can lead to a positive self-image.”

But Dr. Alpert does stress that you should never force your child into a class if they don’t show any interest. “Keep it fun and simple and avoid any heavy duty technique-oriented classes, at least early on,” he says.

“Ballet, like sports, is ideal for teaching discipline and working with others… and it’s fun,” agrees Susan Newman, Ph.D, social psychologist and author of The Book of No. “If followed by recitals, which is usually the case, ballet class can be a first introduction to performing and that can spill over into confidence in giving reports at school.”

No wonder celebs have jumped on the dance class bandwagon with their kids!

–Amy L. Harper