The History of Ballet

Grade 6-12

Is everything beautiful at the ballet? The traditional art form, pioneered centuries ago, is going through growing pains as it tries to recapture the American imagination, beyond tutus and pointe shoes. In this two-hour course, we'll trace ballet's voyage to America, how it's slowly started to adapt for contemporary audiences, and what it's doing now to stay relevant.

Photo of Alexandra
Instructor: Alexandra V.

Hi there- I'm Alexandra. I graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa from Columbia University as a Hispanic Studies major. Since then, I've worked full-time as a journalist, while also tutoring talented students to ensure they reach their potential. I have also been dancing for over 10 years now.

The History of Ballet

Grade 6-12


July 22-July 25, 2020

1 week (twice a week)

  • Wednesday @ 2:00 PM
  • Saturday @ 2:00 PM

Eastern Time

60 min sessions

Alexandra V.

Course Outline

  1. Lesson 1: What Is Ballet? (60 min)

    Wed, July 22 @ 2:00 PM

    Eastern Time

    We'll talk about ballet's European origins, and how the art form was turned on its head by the father of American ballet, George Balanchine. Then, we'll see how the genre has changed over decades, comparing traditional story ballets to neoclassical repertoire, and even looking at some of the more contemporary work being pioneered today.

  2. Lesson 2: Who Has a Role? (60 min)

    Sat, July 25 @ 2:00 PM

    Eastern Time

    Ballet has long had issues with diversity, and the question remains: Who gets to contribute? With a history of primarily white male choreographers and artistic directors, a stereotypical "ballet body," and a complicated legacy of racism, which voices get to be heard today?

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