WEEK #3: Tuesday

Put on your thinking caps, balletomanes (that’s the technical term for “ballet fans”, in case you didn’t know), because it’s time for another Coffee Break With the Ballet installment of “Let’s Get Technical,” with historical information and a Google Challenge.  Today we’re talking about feet, the hardest-working part of a dancer’s body.

Let’s Get Technical

Learn from the master!  George Balanchine teaches a dancer how to do the perfect tendu.

George Balanchine teaching tendu  (Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson)

Here’s a fact about feet you might not know . . . King Louis XIV was one of ballet’s most passionate supporters; he founded the first professional ballet school in 1661, and he even earned his nickname “The Sun King” from dancing the role of Apollo in one of the many ballets held at his court.  He loved this role because he got to dance in shoes with super-sparkly gold buckles that had a giant sun on them.  Why is this important?  Because the outward-pointing stance he adopted while dancing to show off those snazzy buckles was the origin of the five basic ballet positions we still use today.


Find a picture of a dancer wearing pointe shoes in fifth position.  Post the link here or post the photo on OBT’s Facebook page.

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