History Of Ballet

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Brief History of the Origin of Ballet The word ballet originates from the Italian word balletto which means to dance, to jump about. The history and origins of ballet dates back to the 15th century in the Renaissance courts of Italy and it spread to France under the influence of Catherine de ' Medici. In this era, Pierre Beauchamp from France created the five positions of ballet that we now use (Origin and History of Ballet, n.d.). Ballet became such a well-known form of art that a school of ballet was opened in France by Louis XIV in 1661. This form of dancing that is currently performed by a majority of female dancers was surprisingly only allowed to be performed by man until 1681. Women were allowed to dance but were required to wear…show more content…
The box is the platform at the front end of the shoes and it is this structure of the pointe shoe that enables dancers to stand and balance on their toes. The box is made from layers of paper and fabric that are tightly wrapped, glued together and then shaped into an enclosure. It is built to be a rigid structure to support the dancer 's toes. The sole is made from a piece of leather and is attached to the shoes with the use of adhesive and stitching for reinforcement. The sole are either scraped to provide a better grip or buffed to decrease the grip, making it easier for dancers to glide in certain ballet steps. The shank is what is seen as the insole of the pointe shoe. This part of the pointe shoe supports the arch of a dancer 's feet. Shanks are normally made from leather, plastic, cardstock or glue hardened burlap. Burlap is a rough fabric that is similar to gunny cloth and is used in mourning in religious occasions. The thickness of the shank determines the flexibility of it. The ribbons and elastic bands are the most important part in securing the shoes to the feet. The two ribbons do most of the work to secure the shoe to the foot while the elastic band helps to hold the heel of the shoe in place against the foot (Wikipedia,…show more content…
Therefore, dancers use soft materials to cushion the shoe so that they feel less pain when performing in them. Of the materials ballerinas turn to for comfort in their pointe shoes are athletic tape, cotton wool, toilet paper and gel toe pads. Prevention can also be taken to avoid the pain. Dancers are advised to cut their toenails a few days before a class or performance that uses pointe technique. Short toenails expose the skin under the toenail which is soft and dancing right away with freshly exposed skin brings more pain to the dancer 's toes and feet (Haley,
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