ballet shoes

5 Ballet Facts for Kids

Ballet is an exquisite, timeless art form that talented ballerinas perform with poise and grace. Their entire bodies are engaged in a flow of movement that is mesmerizing to watch. Children's books about ballet share the incredible stories of dancers who have worked their entire lives to perfect their skills. Undoubtedly, every single one of these dancers has endured pain, setbacks, and endless hours in the studio rehearsing to perform their craft. Audiences get to experience polished performances on stage, but are not privy to the exhausting hours and sacrifice that went into the practices.



Fascinating Ballet Facts for Children

Tiny tots dreaming of becoming dancers will enjoy learning more about the lives of ballerinas. Perhaps they are just getting ready to start a class on their own, or still daydreaming while playing with  plush ballerina dolls at home. Here are some incredible facts about ballet to share with your little ones next time you head out to class or to their very first performance at the theatre. 





Women Were Not Allowed to Join the Original Ballet
Ballet originated in Italy during the 1400s but women were not allowed to dance in public until 1681. It wasn't until the 18th century when women started to dominate. Finally, with the advent of Romantic ballet in the 19th century, women became the center of attraction.


male ballet dancer


  Rosin is Used to Prevent Slipping

Rosin is the solid form of resin, the sticky substance that comes from trees. This hardened tree sap is broken down into a pattern or crystalline form. Ballerinas often apply it to the bottom of their shoes or feet to avoid slipping on a slick floor. This same substance is used by musicians to play string instruments and by baseball pitches to grip the ball better.

tree resin



Tutus Worn by Professional Ballerinas are Costly

A single tutu can carry a price tag up to $2000.  The expense is attributed to the labor-intensive process of making them. Some tutus take four days to produce and almost 300 feet of material. Ballerinas have been known to use 150 tutus over the course of their career. Due to the intricate design of their tutus, they cannot be washed in between performances. Ballerinas hang up their tutus and spray them with a freshener instead.




Pointe Shoes Require Lots of Effort to be Broken In

Ballerinas often use the same shoemaker to construct each of their pointe shoes so that every pair is exactly the same. But the work doesn't end there. Once a new pair of shoes is made, the ballerina goes through a process to break them in before they can be worn. This involves shaving the sole with a razor, and smacking the pointe shoes on the floor or squeezing them in a door to soften them up. Professional ballerinas are known to burn through three pairs of pointe shoes every week! And principal dancers often need more than one pair to get through a performance.


pointe shoes


Ballerinas Train for Extremely Long Hours

Preparing for a professional ballet performance can take an astounding 5000 hours of practice. The ballerinas likely have trained in excess of 20 hours per week for over ten years. 




Most Prestigious Ballet Companies

The New York City Ballet is considered the most prestigious ballet company in the entire world. Established in 1948, the ballet is known for more modern, less traditional performances held in the Lincoln Center. The Royal Ballet in London is another respected company based out of the Royal Opera House. Another notable company, the National Ballet at the Opéra de Paris, is yet another reputable group of ballerinas that will impress audiences with beautiful performances.



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