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10 things you may not know about ballet...

1) A male dancer lifts over 1-1/2 tons worth of ballerinas throughout performances.

2) A tutu needs 60-90 hours of labor and over ten metres of cloth.

3) Every time a dancer jumps on point, 3 times her weight is carried on the tip of her toe.

4) Many of the costumes used are so delicate that it's not possible to clean them between performances. These costumes are draped up to air between shows and sprayed with freshers.

5) Many dancers apply rosin on their points and flats to stop slipping. It’s a yellow crystal ingredient that cellists, bassists, and violinists rub on their bows to assist them play, and baseball pitchers use to enhance their grip on the ball.

6) Ballet began in Paris, France in 1661. It traveled from there to Italia and Russia, wherever ballet masters continued to show and improve upon ballet's methodologies.

7) One professional tutu prices a minimum of $3,000 to create, more detailed tutus can cost dancers much more.

8) In early ballets, dancers put on masks and hefty costumes that were tough to maneuver in. It wasn't till the 1720s, a dancer named Marie Camargo shortened her dress above the ankles, that ballet footwork became more elaborate.

9) The 5 basic foot positions were devised within the eighteenth century by Pierre Beauchamps, professional dancer to King Louis XIV of France. He created the positions so a dancer's weight would be equally spread over her feet for any position of the body.

10) In Italia a male dancer is termed a ballerino. In English, boys or men that dance ballet are typically referred to as (male) ballet dancers.


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