Fun Facts About Ballet and Dancing

4 Amazing Ballet Facts
Top 10 Reasons Teachers Don't Let Students Start Pointe
Top 10 Things A Ballerina Would Never Say
Top 10 Most Important Things I've Learned in Ballet Class
My Top 10 Favorite Ballet Books
6 Great Gifts to Give Your Teacher as a Class
10 Jobs Surrounding Dance
The 7 Movements of Dance
20 Makers of Pointe Shoes ~ Now with links!
11 Things A Dancer Should Promise Herself
5 Attributes a Dancer Should Have
The 7 Fairies Who Dance in the Prolouge of Sleeping Beauty
10 Ideal Characteristics of a Performer

4 Amazing Ballet Facts

  1. A male dancer lifts over 1-1/2 tons worth of ballerinas during performances.
  2. Most ballerinas wear out 2-3 pairs of pointe shoes per week.
  3. One tutu costs up to $2,000 to make.
  4. The same tutu requires 60-90 hours of labor and over 100 yards of ruffle.

Top 10 Reasons Teachers Don't Let Students Start Pointe

  1. Improper placement
  2. Too young
  3. Not pulled up in body or feet
  4. Feet not arched enough
  5. Overweight
  6. Lack of strength in torso
  7. Weak knees
  8. Weak ankles
  9. Basic stance on demi-pointe not strong and correct
  10. Taking too few classes per week

I found this list in The Pointe Book: Shoes Training and Technique by Janice Barringer and Sarah Schlesinger

Click HERE to see one academy's requirements for pointe. It's a very complete list!

Top 10 Things A Ballerina Would Never Say

As presented on the 4/8/96 broadcast of "The Late Show With David Letterman"
  1. "You gonna finish those cheese fries?"
  2. "I can't get the chewing tobacco stains out of my unitard!"
  3. "I'm loopy from all the spinning!"
  4. "My dream is to do a ballet version of 'Smokey and the Bandit'."
  5. "Baseball players can scratch themselves. Why can't we?"
  6. "I don't know which I love more--'Swan Lake' or Ricki Lake?"
  7. "When I have to jump really high, I pretend there's a ferret biting me in the rear."
  8. "I love the Quizstar 5000!"
  9. "Hey girls--let's go beat the heck outta some opera singers."
  10. "I'll have what Rush is having."

Top 10 Most Important Things I've Learned in Ballet Class

  1. Girls can fly.
  2. You gotta have the attitude.
  3. You can't fall off the floor (easily).
  4. Keep your toe nails short.
  5. Barres are not invincible.
  6. They tell you to spot for a reason.
  7. It's not sweat, it's glow.
  8. Wet floors are slippery.
  9. There is (usually) no such thing as a stupid question.
  10. ->This is right, <-This is left.

My Top 10 Favorite Ballet Books

  1. Life at the Royal Ballet School by Camilla Jessel -143 pages (1979)
  2. Behind the Scenes at the Ballet: Rehearsing and Performing The Sleeping Beauty by Leslie E. Spatt -48 pages (1995)
  3. The Bolshoi Ballet School: Student Life in the World’s Most Prestigious Dance School by Sophia N. Golovkina -77 pages (1987)
  4. On Their Toes: A Russian Ballet School by Ann Morris -46 pages(1991)
  5. The Random House Book of Dance Stories by Jean Richardson -406 pages
  6. On Your Toes: Beginning Ballet: A Complete Guide to Proper Ballet Training for Pre-Kindergarten to Adult Beginners by Wendy Neale -134 pages (1980)
  7. Ballet Life Behind the Scenes: From Classes, Rehearsals, and Performances to the Company and Home Lives of the Dancers by Wendy Neale -182 pages (1982)
  8. Barefoot to Balanchine: How to Watch Dance by Mary Kerner -208 pages (1990)
  9. Dance Injuries: Their Prevention and Care by Daniel D. Arnheim -234 pages (1986)
  10. Blood Memory by Martha Graham

6 Great Gifts to Give Your Teacher as a Class

  1. A journal with letters from everyone, pictures of her class(es), and some dance poems and quotes. I've got some great ones on my site.
  2. A spa package that includes a massage. Maybe even get two so your teacher can take a friend along too.
  3. A framed picture or poster for the studio with the year and class level it's from on an engraved plaque.
  4. An old pair of dance shoes signed by everyone. Old, to show how much you have worked for him or her.
  5. New CDs to use during class, or just some with your teacher's favorite tunes on them.
  6. A gift certificate to a local dance store if he or she still dances.

10 Jobs Surrounding Dance

  1. Artistic Director- decides what shows to put on and casts the roles.
  2. Ballet Master or Mistress- runs rehearsals and supervises the corps de ballet.
  3. Dance Teacher- runs daily classes and gives individual coaching.
  4. Physiotherapist- treats dancers’ injuries.
  5. Choreographer- creates the dance part of a ballet and helps decide on costumes and scenery.
  6. Wardrobe Master or Mistress- looks after and takes care of the costumes.
  7. Technical Director or Stage Manager- co-ordinates the lighting staff, orchestra, dancers, and stage crew.
  8. Member of a Stage Crew- is responsible for the electrics, such as wiring and special effects, as well as the props.
  9. Marketing Officers- comission posters, leaflets and programs advertsing ballets.
  10. General Manager- arranges tours, salaries, and general business matters.

The 7 Movements of Dance

  1. Bending
  2. Gliding
  3. Turning
  4. Stretching
  5. Jumping
  6. Rising
  7. Darting

20 Makers of Pointe Shoes

  1. Capezio (USA)
  2. Grishko (Russia)
  3. Bloch(Australia)
  4. Gaynor Minden (USA)
  5. Fuzi (China)
  6. Freed (England)
  7. Chacott (Spain/Japan)
  8. Repetto (France)
  9. Gamba (England)
  10. Sansha (China)
  11. Prima Soft (USA)
  12. Porselli (Itlay)
  13. Angelo Luzio (Canada)
  14. Schachtner (Austria)
  15. Russian Pointe
  16. Baryshnikov (USA)
  17. Eva (Germany)
  18. Gandolfi
  19. Soloist
  20. Leo (USA)

All of these brands, except Gaynor Minden can be purchased from Patterson’s Back Bay Dancewear

11 Things A Dancer Should Promise Herself

  1. To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  2. To speak of health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
  3. To make all your friends feel that there is something wonderful in them.
  4. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your dreams come true.
  5. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and expect only the best.
  6. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  7. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  8. To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  9. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  10. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
  11. To always point your toes.

5 Attributes a Dancer Should Have

  1. Strength
  2. Joint Flexibility
  3. Muscular Endurance
  4. Cardiovascular Endurance
  5. Coordination

The 7 Fairies Who Dance in the Prolouge of Sleeping Beauty

  1. The Lilac Fairy
  2. The Fairy of the Crystal Fountain
  3. The Fairy of the Enchanted Garden
  4. The Fairy of the Woodland Glades
  5. The Fairy of the Songbirds
  6. The Fairy of the Golden Vine
  7. Carabosse

10 Ideal Characteristics of a Performer

  1. Experience and skill in a number of dance forms, epescially the one represented by the choreographer.
  2. Interest in the arts and a great desire to dance.
  3. Strong, healthy body, with a practical regard for joint action.
  4. Broad perceptual field and an open mind.
  5. Lots of energy, courage, patience, and strength.
  6. The ability to cooperate and get along with others.
  7. To take criticism and suggestions easily.
  8. Tom move with conviction and projection.
  9. To have time and energy for rehearsals, and a willingness to work.
  10. The ability to move with urgency and passion.

I found this list in Dance, From Magic to Art by Lois Ellfeldt (1976)

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