10 Interesting Facts About Ballet

DID YOU KNOW ….

1. Ballet began about 500 years ago in Italy as a form of entertainment in the courts.


2. The first full-scale ballet was staged in Paris on 15th October, 1581.


3. Women weren’t allowed to dance in public until 1681.
4. The word Ballet comes from the word “dance” in Latin.
5. There are four levels of dancers in a ballet company. At the bottom is the largest group, called the ‘corps de ballet’. Next are the ‘corphees’ who lead the corps de ballet and sometimes dance the smaller parts. Then there are the ‘soloists’ who dance alone. And at the top are the ‘principals’ who dance the lead roles.
6. A male dancer lifts over 1-1/2 tons worth of ballerinas during a performance. That’s like lifting 1,350 big bags of sugar!


7. Pointe shoes are handmade. Their toe boxes are painted or “blocked” with glue, then baked in ovens to stiffen and strengthen them. 


8. Some professional dancers can go through 20 pairs of ballet shoes a week. On average, England’s Royal Ballet troupe goes through 15,000 pairs of pointe shoes a year!


9. You do not have to be tall to be a ballerina. In fact they prefer you to be small so that it is easier for the male dancer to lift you.


10. Most ballet terms are from the French language.