Ballet Dancing

Written by Jill Morrison
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Ballet dancing originated in 1581 with the performance of the Ballet Comique de la Royne in Paris. Ballet was originally influenced by France, but was also developed in Russia and then in North America. Ballet dance technique is very important to the art of ballet. Dancers must have precise body placement to perform ballet dance steps correctly.

Ballet Dancing Technique

The technique of ballet dancing is very specific. In fact most professional ballerinas are expected to have a certain, specific body type to achieve ultimate success in ballet technique. This body type, known as the "Balanchine body" leads ballet dancers to an extremely slender build, with long, but developed muscles. George Balanchine is a well-known name in the ballet world and he was responsible for pushing the ideal ballerina body type.

Ballet dancing technique is practiced in ballet class and when mastered, can be performed professionally on the stage. In ballet class, dancers will begin at the barre and will hold the barre to help with balance during exercises. Exercises at the barre include plies, tendus, and port de bras. These exercises warm-up the knees, back, and arms and also stretch the feet. After warming up at the barre, ballet dancers will proceed to the center of the room for additional exercises.

Many different, specific exercises are performed in the center of the room while taking a ballet class. Exercises that may be performed in the center of the room include adage, pirouettes (turns), petit allegro (small jumps), grand allegro (large jumps), and pas de deux (partnering). Balance, turn-out, and correct body placement are the main focus points of ballet technique in class.


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