The Australian Ballet

Ballet 101

Understanding ballet terms, hierarchy, and more

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For the ballet-curious

What’s behind that enchanted world you see on stage? How did ballet evolve? What should you wear to a performance? Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this breathtaking art form.

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Senior Artist Nathan Brook with artists of The Australian Ballet, Don Quixote (Nureyev) 2023
Photo Rainee Lantry

Understanding ballet hierarchy

Decoding the ranking hierarchy for dancers and the history behind the structure.

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Giselle, performed in 2019. Photography by Kate Longley

Going to the ballet

What to wear, when to clap, where to sit: we’ve got all the tips for a perfect night out.

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Swan Lake, performed in 2016. Photography by Kate Longley

A short history of ballet

The evolution of ballet spans half a millennium. In this short history, we explore some of its most important (and juiciest) developments.

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Swan Lake, performed in 2016. Photography by Daniel Boud

Ballet FAQs

Everything you always wanted to know about ballet.



Delve deeper into the art form with dancer profiles, guides to our ballets, photo galleries, interviews and more.

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