Its origins date back to 15th and 16th centuries initially starting as entertainment for courts and aristocrats. It was the Italian Renaissance courts where ballet was developed – a formal dance technique combined with costumes, scenery, music, poetry and a dramatic story line. The art form quickly spread throughout Italy to France championed by Catherine de Medici a passionate advocate of ballet, where the performance of ballet (extending from the word ‘Ballare’ which means ‘to dance’) evolved and developed under her aristocratic influence. Catherine de Medici was the wife of King Henry II of France, a champion and patron of the arts, who funded performances in particular her passion for ballet in the French court. Ballet was fostered and popularised as an art form where over time amateurs were elevated to professional performers and touring troupes developed into arts companies. Today, ballet is multi-facet with classical forms, traditional stories and contemporary choreographic innovations intertwining to produce the character of modern ballet.Training to become a professional ballerina or principal dancer takes years, usually commencing as a young pupil to work one’s way through grades and levels perfecting technique and choreography with the local dance school. To become a professional ballerina its more than tutu’s and tiara’s – its hard work, dedication and competitive, with limited placements on offer to be accepted into a renowned company school to complete final years of training. The education and training to become an elite dancer is 10 years + with many challenges, sacrifices and hard work every day.
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