6 Ballet Facts You Might Not Know About

So My ballet season with First State Ballet Theatre has started a few weeks ago!

I’m back in the studio getting ready for the coming up show! Today, I thought it’d be fun to share a few random ballet facts with you if you don’t know anything about ballet - if you are a dancer you probably already know but it never hurts to double check, and hey, there were things I did not know and I’ve been dancing for 22 years!! Sharing them along with my most recent ballet photos I shot with Catherine back in July, under the 98 degrees heat!

But first, check out my ballet bio to know my ballerina life - Although I post ballet photos and share what I’m currently working on, I don’t think I’ve shared my actual ballet bio!

>> RIE AOKI <<

Photo by Tisa Della-Voipe

Photo by Tisa Della-Voipe

All right! This post is going to be a little bun-head, but again these random facts are really fun! And you will know a bit more about ballet after!


1. Women were NOT allowed to join the ballet

Ballet originated in ITALY(not France!) in the 15th century, but in general woman were not allowed to dance in public until 1681.. So couldn’t join the ballet!

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2. Pointe shoes are handmade and expensive

Every single pair of pointe shoes are handmade, and there are 21 manufacturers producing point shoes in the world. And each pair costs average of $60-$120 and lasts for a very short time. If it weren’t for pointe shoes, ballet world would be FILTHY RICH! Once you are a professional, the company will provide the shoes. But I’m sure that with all the money that went to my pointe shoes when I was a student, I could easily have a closet full of designer bags, or possibly a cute tiny house by now.

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3. And they hurt the feet

Despite the smiles we make on the stages, we always have some troubles in our shoes. I’ve never ever met any ballerinas who have non-damaged feet. Ballerina feet are UGLY! We wear “toe pads”, toe tapes, bandaids or wrap paper towels to protect our feet! It worths the pain, tears, and blood to be dancing on the stage!

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4. Tutus are MAGIC

According to several websites, the sight of tutu increases joy in 60% of ballet audience members. Remember when you are a little girl and saw a beautiful ballerina in a beautiful tutu came on the stage and took your heart?


5. And a tutu contains a lot of work

Every tutu requires roughly 100 yards of tulle, and takes about 120 hours to make. The average professional ballet tutu costs around $2000 and a ballerina wears 50-150 tutus in her life time! We don’t wear these tutus during the ballet class, and for rehearsals we wear practice tutus which I’m wearing in these photos.

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6. Male dancers are EXTREMELY strong

Us ballerinas flying, turning, or posing gracefully is supported by male dancers/partners. They can lift over a ton worth of ballerinas during a single performance! They lift all day… And the hardest part is, on top of carrying and lifting ballerinas, they have to look as graceful and beautiful as ballerinas!


Bonus Fact: Now it’s time for you to go see a ballet!

My first performance of the season is on Wednesday August the 28th, at The Freeman Stage in Selbyville, Delaware! I’ll be dancing this piece called “Ódiame” which is a passionated contemporary piece with full of emotion and cool movements. I LOVE the music and it makes me DANCE. I’m also dancing the classical Pas De Deux from Le Carnival de Venice, as known as Satanella - I’ve never danced this pas and am oh so excited to perform!


And followed by so many cool slash beautiful ballets this season, check out our website First State Ballet Theatre for upcoming shows’ details, and I’m hoping to see you there!

Hope you enjoyed today’s such-a-ballerina-post!


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