Ballet Lessons at Radiance Dance Studio
What is Ballet?
Ballet is a form of dance that first took shape in the 15th century and is the backbone for many other dance styles. Ballet is based on techniques that have been developed over centuries. Ballet often uses classical music to tell a story. The Nutcracker is a great example of ballet.
At Radiance Dance Studio, our ballet lessons consist of age appropriate instruction, working to broaden students’ creativity, flexibility, and scope of the ballet dance style. Students will learn through example and practice all the while receiving encouragement in a positive and supportive atmosphere.
Ballet is a beautiful art form that can not only teach dance maneuvers, but also cultivate life lessons and skills of Grace, Poise, Flexibility, Strength, Confidence, Teamwork, Discipline, and Determination.
Our ballet classes are open to dance students of any age, 4 and up.
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Ballet, Then & Now
If you step into a modern ballet class today, you might not realize what a large role ballet has played in the art of dance. While ballet seems like a dance style that all kinds of people can enjoy, modern Ballet dance wasn’t always so accessible. Ballet goes back as far the Renaissance during the 1500s. The term “ballet” and “ball” (as in a dance ball) are both derived from the Italian word for dance, “Ballare.” Ballet started out as a highly stylized, heavily costumed dance, performed by nobility as part of court life. Eventually the aristocrats stopped doing the difficult dances themselves (maybe dance classes weren’t as fun back then?) and hired dancers to perform the lovely but challenging routines.
Throughout Europe, ballet and ballet classes evolved in ways that reflected each country’s national character. For example, as Czarist Russia grew in power and elegance, Russian became a creative leader in ballet, creating one of the world’s most prestigious dance companies and dance schools, the Bolshoi. France also became a ballet leader at this time and championed a more energetic and egalitarian approach. French ballet schools claim credit for institutionalizing the bell-like skirts ballet dancers wore in painting by Degas. These tulle skirts were the forerunner the tutus seen in today’s ballet classes.
The Nutcracker & Other Narrative Ballets
In the late 19th and mid 20th century, narrative ballets came to the forefront. These ballets were based on a classic story or fairytale and allowed the ballet dancer to act out a loose plot with fantastic sets and costumes. These lush fantasies were especially popular with the Russian composers of the time. Tchaikovsky wrote Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Another Russian composer, Vsevolozhsky, wrote the ballet, Sleeping Beauty and Prokofiev wrote the classic ballet, Cinderella. Many of these ballets are still performed regularly today by ballet students, ballet schools, and by professional dance companies.
Ballet in America
In the 20th century, while the Bolshoi continued to be a powerhouse for traditional ballet, the United States became a center for a new kind of ballet and dance that strived to be experimental and more individualistic. America became known as a place where ballet choreographers and dancers could become superstars. During the middle of the 20th century, the ballet scene in America attracted some of Russia’s best talent to come to the West, including choreographer George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. At the same time Americans such as ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn and ballet choreographer Jerome Robbins were some of the best-known celebrities of their time.
Ballet Schools, Ballet Studios, and Ballet Classes
While America and Russia still lead the world in passion for ballet, in America, ballet classes and lessons have become a treasured part of many childhoods. In fact, many children in New Castle County and Northern Delaware see ballet as a part of a normal childhood. That’s because ballet lessons today are as much about collaboration and teamwork as they are about the art and culture of ballet. In the best dance studios that teach ballet, like Radiance Dance Studio, ballet is also a required discipline for many other types of dance, including jazz and lyrical dance.