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Classical ballet baby names

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Ballet baby names for girls and boys

Classical ballet has inspired nursery decor, baby clothes and more. Now, this beautiful art form provides delightful inspiration for your next baby name.

Ballet baby names for girls and boys

Classical ballet has inspired nursery decor, baby clothes and more. Now, this beautiful art form provides delightful inspiration for your next baby name.

Ballerina baby

Graceful turned-out legs, fabulous pointed feet and gorgeous extensions. Find out how your next baby name can pay tribute to the glorious art form of classical ballet.

Ballet pioneers

Classical ballet began in the social courts of the Italian renaissance and was introduced in the 16th century to France, where it quickly gained popularity and became a professional art form.

  • August: The Bournonville ballet technique is taught primarily in Denmark and was developed by August Bournonville. Consider Augusta for a girl.
  • Catherine: Catherine de Medici introduced ballet to France in the 16th century.
  • Enrico: The Cecchetti Method training system is named after Italian ballet dancer Enrico Cecchetti.
  • George: Dancer, choreographer and Russian defector George Balanchine developed the American-style techniques most often used by the New York City Ballet and its School of American Ballet.
  • Grace: The French ballet school Académie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace is named after Princess Grace of Monaco.
  • Louis: King Louis XIV founded the first ballet school and the first professional performing company
  • Marie: Marie Taglioni was a pioneer of pointe.
  • Nikolai: Nikolai Legat developed the Legat Method, a popular ballet training system in Russia.
  • Pierre: Pierre Beauchamp, the head dance master for the Académie Royale de Dance, developed the five positions of classical ballet.

Ballet terminology

As part of their formal training, classical ballet students learn the pronunciation, meaning and precise form associated with ballet vocabulary. These terms make even the most basic movements sound elegant and refined.

  • Arabesque [a-ra-BESK]: Perhaps the most well-known step, arabesque refers to the position of the body supported on one leg with the other extended behind.
  • Avant [ah-VAHN]:  The opposite of arriere, avant means "to the front." There's also Devant [duh-VAHN], which means forward or in front. Either would make a pretty cool name for a boy.
  • Balancé [ba-lahn-SAY]: When accented thusly, the term sounds quite a bit like the name Beyoncé! For a boy, consider Balançoire, which is pronounced Bah-lan-SWAHR.
  • Ballon [bah-LAHN]: Ballon is the technique of floating in the air while performing jumps and leaps.
  • Cabriole [ka-bree-AWL]: This step, in which extended legs are beaten in the air, can be executed at 45 degrees (petite) or 90 degrees (grande).
  • Chassé [shah-SAY]: This gliding movement is not all that different than a child riding a pretend horse.
  • Demi [deh-MEE]: Meaning "half," demi is applied to positions to suggest a smaller version of the movement. Consider Demitri for a boy.
  • Épaulement [ay-pawhl-MAHN]: Take Paul or Paula to the next level with this ballet step.
  • Jeté [zhuh-TAY]: Consider Jeté for a girl and Jett for a boy.
  • Piqué [pee-KAY]: Some refer to this step as pointe.
  • Relevé [rehl-leh-VAY]: Literally translated, relevé means "lifted."
  • Sissonne [see-SAWN]: Sissy might be the nickname for Sissonne, which is a jump from two feet to one foot.
  • Tombé [tahm-BAY]: This term, which describes the act of falling, has a nice masculine sound to it.

Famous ballets

From Coppélia to Paquita, your favorite ballet can provide a truly inspired baby name.

  • Coppélia — This romantic ballet tells the love story of Franz and Swanhilda.
  • Don Quixote — Kitri and Basilio are the heroes of this historical ballet.
  • Giselle — The beautiful Giselle dies of a broken heart and join the Wilis of the forest.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream — Based on the Shakespearean play, this ballet features Titania, Oberon, Puck, Hippolyta, Theseus, Helena, Demetrius, Hermia and Lysander.
  • Nutcracker — This traditional holiday treat takes young Clara on a dreamy journey to the Land of Sweets.
  • Paquita — After being abducted by gypsies, Paquita learns of her nobility and finds true love with Officer Lucien d’Hervilly.
  • Swan Lake — Odette is the star of this famous tale of love and betrayal.

Best ballet dancers of all time

Only a handful of ballet dancers throughout history have been classified as truly "famous."

  • Anna Pavlova (1881–1931) — A Russian ballerina, best-known for her creation of The Dying Swan, Pavlova was the first ballerina to tour around the world.
  • Erik Bruhn (1928–1986) — This Danish ballet dancer began his career at age 9 and became a soloist with the Royal Danish Ballet at age 20.
  • Frederick Ashton (1904–1988) — Born in Ecuador, Ashton moved to England in 1919 and became a resident choreographer of The Royal Ballet during the 1930s.
  • Margot Fonteyn (1919–1991) — Considered the greatest English ballerina, Fonteyn danced professionally until she was 58 years old.
  • Marie Camargo (1710–1770) — This beautiful dancer was the first ballet dancer to shorten her skirt, which enabled her to showcase her outstanding technique.
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov (b. 1948) — Russian-born Baryshnikov started dancing in Leningrad but eventually found his way to the American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.
  • Rudolf Nureyev (1938–1993) — Nureyev was a Russian dancer, choreographer and director who was often paired with Margo Fonteyn.
  • Vaslav Nijinsky (1890–1950) — Nijinsky is remembered as one of the most talented male ballet dancers of the early 20th century.

Still looking for the perfect name? Check out our database of over 30,000 baby names >>

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