Dance Ballet

The word Ballet comes from the Italian word 'Ballare', which means to dance.

In the early seventeenth century dancers performed to entertain audiences between scenes of an opera. These short dances grew in popularity and importance until they became a form of theater in their own right.

In 1661, King Louis XIV of France founded the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse, establishing Paris as the center of academic ballet - this is probably the reason why Ballet steps are named in French.

During this period Italian dancers also developed their own styles and approaches to the dance, and both schools flourished throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries. 

As the years passed, Russia became the international center of ballet, combining the strength and passion of Italian style with the softness and fluidity of the French school.  Academies were formed to pass on the fundamentals and traditions of classsical dance.

Ballet requires a lot of body strength due to the difficult technique.  It can be beautiful to watch, but if you haven't seen one before, we would recommend that you go and watch 'Coppelia' or 'La Fille Ma Gardee' - they are both very amusing and are easy to understand without needing to know anything about the dance form.

There are many forms of dance that have their roots in Ballet.  For instance, Modern Contemporary dance has evolved from Ballet and a synergy can be found in most Disco and Jazz Dance steps!  And in Old Time, the foot positions and some steps are almost identical.

Some Well Known Terms:
En Pointe