National Ballet Day is every year on February 7, and we can’t wait to celebrate this elegant and theatrical dance form. When the ethereal outfits, passionate dancers, and classical music come together, it uplifts the spirit like no other form of artistic expression. The grace in ballet is undeniable and we tend to forget the unbelievable athleticism and strength needed to achieve that. Female ballerinas can carry three times their body weight while dancing on the tip of their big toe. Male ballerinas are capable of lifting one and a half tons during a single performance. These are just one of several reasons why ballet leaves us starstruck so let’s tip our hats this Ballet Day.
History of National Ballet Day
Great art transcends time and space. As one of the most recognizable dance forms in the world, ballet is a testament to this. Its splendor has evolved through the ages and continues to reinvent itself even today.
Ballet began in Italy and France during the 15th century. It was popular among the nobility and was typically a part of extravagant events in palaces or mansions. Ballet was common during royal weddings or at the birthday celebrations of powerful people. In the 1400s, ballet became a coveted social event — an indicator of refinement and social status.
However, It was a different kind of ballet at the time where dancers went from one elegant pose to another but on a flat foot. Around this time, the element of pageantry became an integral part of ballet and women wore tight corsets and huge wigs. Men instead, wore tights and lightweight clothing to enable better movement.
With King Louis XIV’s reign, ballet would reach new heights of artistic achievement. A dedicated patron of the art form, he opened the Academie Royale de Danse, or the first ballet school in 1661.
Ballet movements became technical during the Romantic period where the fluidity of movement took precedence over other aspects. In 1832, the world of ballet would change definitively. It was a year when Marie Taglioni first performed “La Sylphide en pointe” and danced on the tips of the toes. Although she is the first recognized en pointe dancer, many believe that other performers had already been dancing this way for some time. By the 1960s, the stunning en pointe style took the ballet world by storm, and so, it remained.
Ballet is one of the most celebrated and respected dance forms in the world today. People everywhere love it for its poise and drama. If you haven’t already, experience the magic of ballet first-hand on Ballet Day.
National Ballet Day timeline
Ballet involves elegant poses using a flat foot in Renaissance Italy and France.
King Louis XIV starts the Academie Royale de Danse to systematize ballet and certify ballet dancers.
The beloved ballet opens at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
Ballerinas start wearing Lycra spandex leotards to aid more freedom in movement.
National Ballet Day FAQs
What day is World Ballet Day?
World Ballet Day brings together leading ballet companies globally for celebrations across time zones. Viewers can watch a live stream of ballet performances in different countries.
Is there a National Ballerina Day?
Professional ballerinas showcase their skills on World Ballet Day. They also teach budding ballerinas about the intricacies of this dance form.
Who created World Ballet Day?
World Ballet Day started in 2014 when some of the most acclaimed dance companies worldwide came together to celebrate the love of ballet. They included the Australian Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, and the Royal Ballet.
National Ballet Day Activities
Watch a ballet performance
Prepare to be enchanted. New York City Ballet performances are ideal, however, with 757 ballet companies across the United States, it’s easy to find a ballet performance near you.
Sign up for ballet lessons
Although grown-ups are a lot less flexible, adult classes are available for those who are inspired to start. Alternatively, sign your children up for classes where an early start in ballet will ensure the suppleness they need to develop in this dance form.
Watch a ballet-themed film
Experience the beauty of ballet vicariously through the silver screen. “Black Swan” is a popular choice or, if you like your film niche, we recommend “Ballerina” from 2006, “Ballet Russes” from 2005, or “The Children of Theatre Street” from 1977.
5 Facts About Swan Lake That Will Blow Your Mind
Written on demand
It was commissioned to cater to the needs of the Russian aristocracy who loved ballet.
The premiere was a disaster
Critics dismissed Tchaikovsky’s music that accompanied the dance as “too loud.”
The ‘Water Nymph’ phenomenon
“Swan Lake” was born out of the 1800s mania for fairy tales based on water nymphs.
Odile was originally an enchantress
She wasn't meant to be a black swan or Odette’s alter ego.
A production extravaganza
The “Swan Lake” wardrobe comprises the most ornate costumes and accessories in ballet history.
Why We Love National Ballet Day
The grace and elegance
Ballet gives us an appreciation for beauty. Its delicate, lithe movements and other-worldliness seem almost at odds with our lives today.
The theatre and decadence
The setting for ballet is pure magic. From the costumes and music to the stage and the choreography, the sheer theatre in ballet takes our breath away.
The music in ballet complements the dance but also does so much more. It is integral to a show’s story, dancers’ movements, and transporting viewers to magical realms. Even on its own, the music is soothing and soulful.
National Ballet Day dates