Monday 26 January 2015

American Ballet Dancer

Wendy Whelan is one of the most well known American ballet dancers. She was born in Louisville Kentucky. She danced with the local ballet teacher at the age of three. After performing the role of a mouse in the nutcracker she was accepted into the Louisville Academy of Ballet. At the age of fourteen she got the opportunity to go to the School of American Ballet for a summer course. The next year she was accepted as a full time student.

The audition for the School of American Ballet is held for children from the age of six, upwards. At the age of six the children are examined on their general flexibility and the flexibility of their joints, their feet are looked at to see if they have good arches which are helpful for ballet. After that, the six year olds are told to do whatever they want to a piece of music. This allows the teachers to look at the child musicality.

The American School of Ballet is the official school of the new York city ballet. The school was opened by George Balanchine. If dancers are good enough after they graduate for the school of the American ballet they may be accepted into the company in the new York city ballet. Students in the school must live on campus. They have to continue with their academic lessons while taking their dance classes. Most of the students either attend Proffessional Children's School or a public school nearby that allows the students to leave in the afternoons to attend their ballet classes. The Students are taught Balanchine's unique style. his style is described as neoclassical ballet. it is a soft romantic style that uses smooth movements.

information from:

Friday 16 January 2015

Russian Ballet Dancer

If you search the best ballet dancers in the world, Anna Pavlova is the first to appear. Anna pavlova was a Russian ballet dancer in the late 1800's and early 1900's. At the age of 10 Anna Pavlova was accepted in to St Petersburg imperial ballet school in Russia.

An audition to enter the St Petersburg imperial ballet school (now known as the Vagnova Academy) consists of three sections;

  • looking at the students proportions
  • assessing the height of their jump
  • testing their degree of turnout in their legs
  • assessing their general appearance
  • they have a general physical  exam by a doctor to check for any injuries that they may be prone to, or other things that may affect their dancing careers in the future
  • they access the students musicality, rhythm, co-ordination and overall artistic talent
If a dancer passes all these test they may then be accepted into the school. The students live on campus. Younger students have 2 hours of dance and 6 hours of normal academic classes. Older students have between 4 and 6 hours of dance and around 3 hours of classes. The teaching is very strict and students are expected to push themselves as hard as possible, if they are to make it into the professional world of ballet.

Friday 9 January 2015


Hi I'm Emily and this is my blog on the geography of ballet. I will be looking at why the best ballet dancers come from different countries and different parts of the world.