Dance has been around since the dawn of time and we love it, in all its forms. Sophisticated, elegant, and when done well looking totally effortless, Ballet is one of the world’s oldest forms of organised dancing. With such a rich history and there being so many different interpretations of ballet across the world it is no wonder there are some interesting things to learn about. As dance teachers in North Tyneside we love a good dance fact or two, and the more unusual the better!
Women were originally not allowed to join the ballet
Ballet originated sometime in Italy around the 15th Century, and like many other occupations, art forms and hobbies at that time women were not allowed to join ballet groups to perform. At that time women were banned from dancing in public, and it was not until around 1681 that women were finally allowed to join the ballet companies of their day.
Strength is everything for male dancers
Being extremely strong, along with elegant and musical, is a must for male ballet dancers. Lifting and holding ballerinas is no easy task and in any one performance a male ballet dancer can lift around one tonnes worth of ballerinas. This is around the weight of an average car!
Throughout a performance the combined height the ballerinas on stage can jump is over 900 feet, that’s about as high as the Eiffel Tower in Paris!
Gorgeous Costumes Take Time
Tutu’s are the traditional costume for a ballerina, and they are beautiful! They do however take a lot of time and effort to make. Each Tutu can take over 90 hours to make, that is over four days each, and there are a lot of tutu’s in any one performance.
Unique Cleaning Systems
Staying with the costume theme, the ballerina’s costumes are often so intricate that they cannot be washed, instead they are hung up between performances sprayed with a freshener and then left to air dry.
Energy is Important
Although they may look graceful and elegant it takes a lot of fitness and energy to be a ballet dancer. In any one performance each ballet dancer can use the same amount of energy as it takes to play two football matches.
Special Grip Tricks
Ballerinas look graceful as they seem to glide across the stage effortlessly. While this looks beautiful it can be dangerous if they slip so they use a resin-based substance called rosin on their pointes to help improve their grip.
Ballet for the Police
And finally, did you know that in Romania, Police Officers had taken ballet lessons to help them manage the traffic in a more graceful and flowing manner – True!