[[caption-width-right:300:Tutu? Check. Pretty girl? Check. Tchaikovsky? BIG CHECK.[[note]]Pictured: Alina Somova, principal ballerina of the Mariinsky Ballet, as Princess Aurora in ''Theatre/SleepingBeauty'' -- score by Music/PyotrIlyichTchaikovsky.[[/note]]]]

Think [[PimpedOutDress tutus]], pretty girls, and [[Music/PyotrIlyichTchaikovsky Tchaikovsky]].

The art of ballet is formalized performance dance that has evolved into a new concert dance. It all started during the Italian Renaissance as a dancing pantomime for fencing, much different from today's perception of the art, and developed through French courts' social dances. France's early influence is made apparent through the "vocabulary of ballet", the steps and forms with their own names. During the 18th century, its technicalities developed so that it became a dramatic art on par with {{opera}}. By the 19th century, Russia had adopted its own style and continued to train even under Soviet rule.

Today the most common 'schools' (training methods) of ballet include the Cecchetti method developed in Italy; the French or Paris Opera Ballet method out of France; the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) method developed in Great Britain; the Vaganova method developed in Russia; and the Bournonville method developed in Denmark.[[note]]Despite being commonly cited on this list, the Balanchine 'method' taught in the United States is not actually a training method at all but a particular aesthetic style taught by Balanchine ballet companies. Most Balanchine dancers start in another method and learn Balanchine technique later on.[[/note]] These methods are all used to varying degrees worldwide, and are not confined to the country in which they were developed.

Ballet dancers typically start at around 8 years old[[note]]though classes for children younger than this are frequently called 'ballet', these focus on musicality and movement, not classical technique[[/note]] and continue training into their late teens. When not taught properly, ballet can result in crippling injuries, which is one of the reasons why lessons are considered fairly expensive. Because of the [[HollywoodPudgy pressure]] to sculpt a 'Balanchine body', the promise of a short career, racism and sexism (sometimes to the extreme), and [[TrainingFromHell intense training]], being a ballerina is not some princesslike girly sport. Dancers will perform sick and hurt, often on bleeding feet.

Anna Pavlova, Mathilde Kschessinska, Alicia Alonso, Margot Fonteyn, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Vaslav Nijinsky, Natalia Makarova, Maya Plisetskaya, and Gelsey Kirkland are some of the world's most famous past dancers. More recent dancers include Tamara Rojo, Paloma Herrera, Gillian Murphy, Alina Cojocaru, Carlos Acosta, Svetlana Zakharova, David Hallberg, Natalia Osipova, Polina Semionova, Alessandra Ferri, and Diana Vishneva.

!!!Well-known Ballet Companies:
* American Ballet Theatre (USA)
* Creator/LesBalletsTrockaderoDeMonteCarlo (USA)
* The Bolshoi Ballet (Russia)
* The Cullberg Ballet (Sweden)
* English National Ballet (Great Britain)
* The Australian Ballet (Australia)
* The Mariinsky (or Kirov) Ballet (Russia)
* The National Ballet of Canada (Canada)
* The National Ballet of Cuba (Cuba)
* The New York City Ballet (USA)
* The Paris Opera Ballet (France)
* The Royal Ballet (Great Britain)
* The Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark)
* The Royal Swedish Ballet (Sweden)
* The San Francisco Ballet (USA)
* La Scala Theatre Ballet (Italy)
!!Famous Ballets (by choreographer)
* George Balanchine
** Apollo
** Theatre/TheFirebird (staging)
** The Four Temperaments
** Jewels
*** Emeralds
*** Rubies
*** Diamonds
** Theatre/TheNutcracker
** Serenade
* August Bournonville
** Flower Festival in Genzano
** La Sylphide
* Mikhail Fokine
** The Dying Swan
** Daphnis et Chloé
* Agnes de Mille
** Theatre/FallRiverLegend
* Marius Petipa
** La Bayadere
** Theatre/{{Coppelia}} (staging)
** Le Corsaire (staging)
** Don Quixote
** La Esmeralda (staging)
** Theatre/{{Giselle}} (staging)
** Theatre/TheNutcracker
** Paquita (staging)
** Theatre/{{Raymonda}}
** The Sleeping Beauty
** Theatre/SwanLake (staging)
* Christopher Wheeldon
** Theatre/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland
** Polyphonia
* Various Choreographers
** Cinderella
** [[Theatre/LaFilleMalGardee La Fille Mal Gardée]]
** Theatre/TheRiteOfSpring
** Romeo and Juliet

Tchaikovsky's ballets are probably the most well-known and successful. Other famous composers of ballet music are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Minkus Ludwig Minkus]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolphe_Adam Adolphe Adam]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Prokofiev Sergei Prokofiev]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9o_Delibes Leo Delibes]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Stravinsky Igor Stravinsky]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Copland Aaron Copland]], and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cesare_Pugni Cesare Pugni]].
!!Works with major involvement of ballet:
* ''WesternAnimation/AngelinaBallerina:'' A cartoon series about a ballet loving mouse.
* ''Literature/BalletShoes'': A book about three adopted girls living in 1930's England. Together they are being trained in dance, with varying degrees of success. The youngest sister Posey is the daughter of a ballerina, who gave her up to focus on her career. She's the one of the sisters that have the most success.
* ''Film/BillyElliot'': A young boy rebels against the prejudices of his working class friends and family to pursue his love of ballet. Set during the mining strikes of Thatcher's Britain.
* ''Film/BlackSwan'': The intense stress of life in a ballet corps drives one dancer to paranoia and madness.
* ''Film/BrainDonors'': The plot revolves around shyster Roland Flakfizer's management of the Oglethorpe Ballet Company and its star-crossed leads. As a remake of ''Film/ANightAtTheOpera'', RuleOfFunny is the key motivation here.
* ''Series/{{Bunheads}}'': A ballet dancer-turned-showgirl clashes with her mother-in-law, a dance mistress who runs a ballet school in her home.
* ''Manga/TheCherryProject'': About a figure skater training in ballet.
* ''Series/{{Dance Academy}}''
* ''Series/FleshAndBone'': A young dancer escapes an abusive home-life to join a prestigious ballet company in New York.
* ''Literature/FlowersInTheAttic'' and its sequels, particularly ''Petals On the Wind'': Narrator Cathy trains in ballet from a very young age, eventually joining a ballet troupe and marrying the male lead. She and her husband are both well known in the art, and their son grows up to become a famous ballet dancer in his own right.
* ''Theatre/{{McQueen}}'': The mannequins and twins provide ballet during every change, in some fantasy sequences, and in as many scenes as Dahlia. Dahlia even joins in at one point.
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'': Combines ballet with MagicalGirl tropes.
* ''Film/TheRedShoes1948'': Romance and ambition collide, tragedy ensues. Based loosely on the Creator/HansChristianAndersen tale of the same name.
* ''Manga/{{Subaru}}'': A manga with ballet as its main performed type of dance and story following the titular character's drive to become a professional ballet dancer.
* ''Manga/{{Swan}}'': A {{shojo}} about a young ballet student striving ToBeAMaster.
* ''Film/TheTurningPoint'': Aging ballerina and her retired friend rehash old professional rivalry. Mikhail Baryshnikov's film debut. Received eleven Academy Award nominations, [[AwardSnub all of which it lost]].
* ''Literature/ReservedForTheCat'': Based on the story ''Literature/PussInBoots''. The main character is a French ballerina, who on the advice of her telepathic cat, masquerades as a famous Russian ballerina who is the sole surivor of a shipwreck and signs on to be the star of a music hall in Blackpool, England.