Ballet is one of the oldest forms of dance, yet, many people outside the practice don’t know much about it. If you and your child are considering dance lessons, you undoubtedly have a few questions. Below are a few areas beginners and onlookers typically inquire about.
Answers to FAQ About Ballet
What are male ballet dancers called?
Most people know that female ballet dancers are called ballerinas, but many times, they’re unaware that a male dancer is referred to as a danseur (pronounced “dan-sir”). However, both high-ranking male and female dancers in a company are known as principals, and they perform solo and pas de deux (duet) dances.
How do you maintain balance doing pirouettes?
Many people believe pirouettes make the dancers dizzy, but they actually learn a technique known as “spotting” to avoid this. Before turning, they pick a spot directly in front of them and keep staring at it as they spin around.
What are pointe shoes and what are they made of?
To perform pointe work — otherwise known as dancing on their toes — ballet dancers require pointe shoes. These specially designed shoes consist of a rigid box and shank layer to provide support for the dancer’s toe and arch. Typically, the box is made of tightly packed layers of either fabric and paper or plaster and rubber, and the shank is made of leather, plastic, cardboard, steel, or glue-hardened burlap. The exterior consists of a leather sole and satin or another aesthetically pleasing fabric.
How long is a typical ballet career?
Many professional dancers have careers that last well into their mid-to-late thirties. Like most other athletic fields, the length depends on the dancer’s unique body and whether they sustain any injuries. However, after retiring, many go on to become ballet choreographers or instructors.
The best way to have your ballet questions answered is to dive in and learn the craft for yourself. For over 50 years, Joan Garrett Dance Arts Studio in Newark, OH, has educated children in several forms of dance and helped many go on to pursue professional careers. Their ballet classes are offered to children ages six and up and provide a technical foundation for all other forms of offered dance classes. To learn more about this or other available programs, call them today at (740) 344-8789 or fill out their website’s contact form.