By Shalee Williams

The Learning of Ballet.

What was learned during my studies of ballet was about how graceful and challenging was combined to make something beautiful. Everyone knows its not an easy dance to learn, but it is the most popular dance in classical dances. Even when i was trying to learn the dance I had a hard time. Ballet as far as i know has lived on for a very long time. It lived even in the times of king and Queens. SO many theater dances were ballet. like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and my personal favorite The Nutcracker. not only is the dance great to learn, but it is great to watch. when i watch the Nutcracker ballet every Christmas. i get amazed about how the dance tells me the whole story with no words. All you have to do is watch and listen to the orchestra. So if you feel like a challenge try to learn or go see a ballet dance.

Ballet Vocabulary

  • Pirouette-A complete turn of the body on one foot.
  • Chaines- A series of rapid turns done in a straight line or circle.
  • Leap- legs spread in mid air.
  • Releve- Raising of the body on toes.
  • Eleve- slowly coming off toes to a flat foot.
  • Arabesque- In profile, supported on one leg.
  • Assemble- Slides on ground into the air.
  • Attitude- Standing on one foot, other leg in air at an acute angle.
  • Barre- Ballet wooden bar used for stretching before dance.
  • Chasse- One foot chases the other.

History/ Famouse Choreographers

Ballet dancing began during the Renaissance around the year 1500 in Italy. A lovely women named Catherine De Medici of Italy married the French King Henry II, she introduced the dance into court life in France. The dance was mostly performed at wedding celebrations. By 1661 a dance academy opened in Paris. In the mid-1700s French ballet master Jean Georges Noverre rebelled against the artifice of opera-ballet, believing that ballet could stand on its own as an art form. Now in the early parts of the 20th century,Russian choreographers Sergei Diaghilev and Michel Fokine began to experiment with movement and costume. Diaghilev collaborated with composer Igor Stravinsky on other ballet shows.
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, American Ballet Theatre (Washington, D.C. 2005)