Ballerinas are dancers known all over the world for their exquisite and beautiful dance style. They move with a grace that is very awe-inspiring and dignified. Ballerinas dancing on a stage look very exquisite, beautiful and this is a magical and pretty visual. However, being a ballerina is no easy task.
It requires years and years of thorough disciplined training in techniques. And body postures to be in the league of established ballerinas and to be called one. There is little to no room for error. As even making a small mistake can have catastrophic repercussions on their health.
Ballerinas are dancers who practice classic ballet dance art form. Being a ballet dancer is no easy job or profession. As mentioned above you need to be determined. And you need to be thoroughly focused on learning the absolute right technique to perform beautifully and with perfection.
As being called as one of the ballerinas requires having stringent timings and limitations on indulgences, it is something that one needs to really love in order to continue with. There is no break or respite that one can take when learning ballet dance. If you want to be like the ballerinas, you have to put in the required time and energy and hard work. There are no two ways about it.
Ballerinas are actually the name given to female ballet dancers. Male ballet dancers are called ‘Ballerino’. And the title of ballerinas, though now are referred to as ballet dancers, were earlier only bestowed on a few. Only those ballet dancers were called ballerinas who had achieved the highest level (and the prime status) in ballet dance.
Ballet dancers famous for their effortlessness and grace have various requirements demanded from them. Also, there are different types of ballerinas. We will talk about them both after discussing a little bit about ballet dance.
Ballerinas practice ballet dance and so what is ballet dance?
Ballet dance is a classical dance style that requires years of hard work to be good in. This dance requires the dancers (called ballet dancers) to perform the most difficult of steps and movements with utmost ease.
Ballet dance is all about the aesthetics and about being graceful. You cannot be a ballerina and be clumsy. There is a certain sense of grace and poise you need to bring to your movements which are a given. Ballet dancers are supposed to be strong but look fragile and fluid.
Meaning you need to look light as a feather while performing as though it all comes to you with ease naturally. And to present it in such a manner, you need to put in oodles of hard work into your training.
Ballet dance has also used a foundation for many dance forms. For example, contemporary ballet (a type of contemporary dance) is a mix of ballet dance and modern dance forms. Ballet dance is learned as a discipline to work on your body and make it stronger. In order to be able to perform extremely complicated moves, you need to work diligently on your body, which ballet makes you do.
Becoming ballerinas as explained above requires a lot of hard work and passion for ballet dance. But since when does one need to start learning ballet in order to be called one of the ballerinas? And how are the gender roles and hierarchy defined in ballet? All of this will be answered below.
Ballerinas: what all it requires to be one and how tough is it?
In order to become like the famous ballerinas who are exquisite with their moves and postures, we need to go through a stringent routine. A ballerinas’ training can start as young as 2 to 3 years. Of course, when we say ballerinas, we mean female ballet dancers.
For male ballet dancers, training may start from five to six years. As you can see, in order to be an accomplished ballet dancer (or ballerinas), your training needs to start from early childhood itself.
Then the various ballet moves and steps that are performed with so much ease and élan actually require years of extensive training. Being flexible and having the strength and stamina to perform such difficult and complicated moves is a given for all ballerinas.
Ballet dancers also need to be good in athletics as they need to perform several athletic and flexible moves. In order to do this, they need to do various stretching and flexibility exercises. Then they also need to work on their lower body in order to perform the high and complicated jumps without any problems.
Ballerinas need to do a lot of center work for which they use the ‘Barre’. This also helps them with their stretching. Another very integral part of ballet dance is ‘Pointe’, ballerinas also need to work on various toe exercises (or ‘pointe’) while wearing their special pointe ballerinas shoes.
Then since there are very complicated movements in which one needs to contort their body, ballerinas cannot afford to have even a little fat. That is, they always need to keep their weight in check, as a ballet dancer needs to have an extremely lean body in order to perform certain moves with aplomb.
All of this gives us a peek into the difficult life led by ballet dancers. They go through these extreme training methods in order to excel in this beautiful art form. That is very inspiring and motivating.
Ballerinas: Different types and the hierarchy ranks of ballet dancers
Under this section, we are going to discuss three different points. One we are of course going to be listing the types of ballerinas. Then we are going to be listing the different hierarchy of ballet dancers.
And lastly, we are going to be discussing the hierarchy of male ballet dancers, or as they are called ‘Ballerino’. So let us start.
- We are first going to start talking about the different archetypes of ballerinas. The type is depended on a range of things. Some stand out because of their exemplary technique. Some stand out for their charisma and stage presence and some stand out for their flexibility and athletics. Based on these different qualities, let us list the different types of ballerinas. They are:-
- The Virtuosa ballerinas
- The Lyrical and romantic ballerinas
- The Turner ballerinas
- The Adagio ballerinas
- The Jumper
- Now we are going to talk about the hierarchy roles in ballerinas. As explained above, the term- ‘Ballerinas’ was earlier bestowed only on the most accomplished in ballet dance. You had to be the best of the best to get the distinguished rank of ballerinas. Today the scene is a little different. The term ‘ballerinas’ is used for female ballet dancers and not for the most distinguished. Also, while earlier the gender roles were clearly defined along with hierarchy titles. Nowadays, the various dance companies have adopted a more gender neutral role which has led to a different type of hierarchy titles. Let us first discuss the earlier hierarchy titles for female ballet dancers. We are going to list them from the lowest to the highest title/rank. They are:-
- Corps de ballet
- Prima Ballerina or premiere danseuse or premier Sujet
- Prima Ballerina assoluta
Now we are going to list the hierarchy titles which are gender neutral for ballet dancers in the dancing companies nowadays. These are, again from the lowest to the highest rank.
- Corps de ballet
- Second soloist or Demi-soloist
- First soloist or soloist
- Principal dancer or Etoile
- And lastly, we will be talking about the hierarchy titles of male ballet dancers or ‘ballerinos’. The term ‘Ballerinos’ is actually used as slang in the English language for male ballet dancers. In Italy, however, male ballet dancers are called ‘Danzatore’ and in French, they are called ‘Danseur’. While the female ballet dancers in Italy are called ‘Danzatrice’ and in France are called ‘Danseuse’. Now as mentioned above hierarchy ranks given nowadays are for both male and female ballet dancers. And the hierarchy titles that we are discussing below were used to denote different ranks for the male ballet dancers. These were again from the lowest to the highest rank:-
- Corps de ballet
- Premier danseur
- Premier danseur noble
Ballerinas: Benefits of being one v/s the controversies surrounding them.
Now that we have discussed the different types and hierarchy ranks for ballerinas. We are now going to discuss two opposing items under this subheading. First, we will be talking about the various benefits of being a ballet dancer. And next, we will be talking about the controversies surrounding ballerinas. That is, we will be discussing some not so positives about being a ballet dancer.
- So let us start with first discussing the benefits of being a ballet dancer. There are many benefits and these are listed below.
- Ballet dancers from a very early age become focused and disciplined. And they learn the importance of hard work right from their initial years. And this helps them to be more disciplined and focused on other aspects of their life too.
- Ballet dancers are extremely flexible and athletic which of course is a boon.
- You become sharper mentally and are more focused as well.
- They are physically very fit which is a big boon.
- The stardom and fame you achieve once you become an established ballerina is quite intoxicating.
- Ballet dancers get to travel the world and perform in front of people from all over the world.
- Ballerinas dancing in their pretty ballerinas’ shoes inspire people the world over by their dedication and hard work.
- Next, we are going to talk about the controversies surrounding ballerinas regarding their strenuous practice regimes and what they involve. These are some of the negative points that one might endure in the process of becoming successful ballerinas. These are:-
- Ballet dancers are at a higher risk of injuries as they on a regular basis attempt moves that are highly complex and dangerous.
- Ballet dancers have to contort their body for different moves which mean putting a strain on their muscles which can lead to added susceptibility to injuries.
- Certain exercises also require them to put a strain on their back and hips which can lead to more probability of injuries.
- Then certain movements or positions like the ‘first position’, puts additional strain on their knees.
- Ballerinas are more susceptible to Tendonitis because of all the stress exerted on their ankles.
- Also, sometimes ballerinas tend to starve themselves in order to remain lean enough to perform all the difficult moves with ease. This may lead to many health and eating disorders.
- And lastly, since ballerinas start from a very young age like two to three years, they may miss out on a lot of their childhood.
Ballerinas: Their popularity in India and outside.
Whatever maybe the benefits or the side effects of being a ballet dancer, one thing is for sure. Ballerinas are extremely popular and respected all over the world. From their look to their moves to their delicate aura to their dedication, everything is admirable and beloved.
Ballet dance as mentioned above is often used as a foundation to perform better in other dance forms. This makes it a highly sought after dance form. And this dance form as discussed above is taught in many prestigious dance academies all over the world.
Even in Hollywood, it has been referenced many times. The recent being the Oscar-nominated, highly acclaimed ‘Black Swan’. Even on television shows, we see various beautiful ballerinas performing some breathtaking moves.
However, mostly still ballet is used for performances on stage rather than the screen. And it is here on stage, that ballerinas are most sought after.
In India, the scene of ballet dancing is closely associated with contemporary dance and other forms. Barring one or two companies like Fernando’s ballet company and ‘Danceworx’, ballet dancing is not really taught on a broad scale.
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Of course, special ballet workshops keep happening (mostly in Delhi and Mumbai), given by famous ballerinas or ballet dancers. But as far as regular classes go, there aren’t many choices present. As far as the prospects of making a career in ballet go, there are not many. Besides being a teacher, there are not a lot of choices for ballerinas.
But if you want to be like those beautiful ballerinas or male ballet dancers and want to better the scene for ballet dancing. Then you can do so by promoting your talent as a ballet dancer on Sharehiss. Just share your ballet dance videos on Sharehiss. And we will share your magnificent moves here for the world to see and appreciate.