Considered by many as one of the most formal styles of ballet, classical ballet uses certain techniques and features that are unique to this form of dance style alone. People who want to learn this type of dance usually start at an early age, mainly because younger people are more flexible, hence, are easier to train for this type of dance style. They can easily adapt to the physical demands of the dance and are more capable of pushing their bodies to be able to perform the techniques and dance routines they need to do. Aside from that, ballet also involves a certain kind of mystique about it, making it appear magical to most people.
Ballet made its mark back in the 18th century and has been given the prestige as the operas during that time. Jean-Georges Noverre’s seminal work allowed ballet dancers to partake in plays as they were used to assist in the narration of the story by expressing character. Back then, the ballet dancers were made to wear corsets, wigs, hoops, and high heels. Later on, ballet then got featured as interludes in operas.
It wasn't until the 19th century that ballet experienced a great social change, as it was during this period that new techniques in ballet were introduced, such as the pointework, thereby propelling the ballet dancer into a symbol for a stage figure. This was also the time that ballet shoes or slippers were invented. Later on, they developed this persona as being delicate unearthly creatures that could simply glide or float on stage.
Classical Ballet Style
Classical ballet is known for putting a lot of emphasis on the execution and method of how the dancer moves. They can appear as if they are defying the laws of gravity wherein they create a perception that they are flying on stage as they dance. They may even give the illusion that they are hovering.
Female Ballet Dancer Outfit
When training or dancing classical ballet, women are supposed to wear a typical ballet outfit, which comprises of flesh, pink or blue colored tights, and a leotard of any color and style. A wrap-skirt is not necessary, but students can still opt to wear it if they like. They wear flats, which are sometimes referred to as soft technique shoes, and are pink or beige. They may also wear pointe shoes, but only after receiving a certain level of training.
Male Ballet Dancer Outfit
Men, on the other hand, basically wear the same thing in the sense that they wear tights and a leotard or a form-fitting shirt. They also wear flats, or soft technique shoes, which are black or white.
In classical ballet, there are over seven different training styles that classical ballet dancers could go through, the most common of the training styles being the Vaganova method, Royal Ballet School method, Balanchine Method, Cecchetti method, and the Royal Academy of Dance method.
When ballet dancers train, they are required to acquire a certain level of skill and strength, and these factors will, later on, dictate what level of ballet he or she would be able to do. For example, ballet schools do not allow their ballet dancers to wear pointe shoes, not until they reach a certain age, and if they can meet the skill and strength requirement that they need for their age and body type.
Wearing pointe shoes at such an early age before the dancer is ready, both skill-wise and strength-wise, then the dancer might experience some form of injury or damage to her feet later on. This is why ballet dancers go through a rigorous training regimen, especially since strength and skill are needed to be able to dance this particular style.