Geraldine Butler School of Ballet
Knockmore, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Phone: 094 925 8184


Ballet is a formalised form of dance with its origins in the French court, further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. It is a highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary. It has been influential as a form of dance globally and is taught in ballet schools around the world which use their own culture and society to modernize the art. Ballet dance works (ballets) are usually choreographed dance set to music (usually orchestral or piano). It is best known in the form of classical ballet, notable for its techniques, such as pointe work and turn-out of the legs, its graceful, flowing, precise movements, and its ethereal qualities.

Three ballet dancers performing a grand jet´┐Ż jump. Photo by Jeff Medaugh from Denver, US. (cc)

The word ballet comes from the French and was borrowed into English around the 17th century. The French word in turn has its origins in Italian balletto, a diminutive of ballo (dance). Ballet ultimately traces back to Latin ballare, meaning to dance.

This page is an abridged version of the Wikipedia entry for ballet. Wikipedia also has a comprehensive glossary of ballet terms.