A RIGHT ROYAL PURSUIT
The press has announced that young Prince George of England will include ballet among his studies this year. Regardless of the kerfuffle about how the news was perceived, the ballet community gives a resounding "Bravo!" After all, Ballet and monarchy are well acquainted as it was advanced by one very famous king.
The origins of the art form are found in the early courts of Europe and refined under the auspices of France's King Louis XIV. In fact, ballet evolved from the stylized movements of fencing, and was considered an athletic skill crucial to any peer - poet or politician - hoping to cut it at court. In Louis' 17th century palaces, lavish spectacles stretched across days of feasting. Arguably the most famous was Le Ballet de la Nuit in which the 15 year-old royal appeared as Apollo. They didn't call him The Sun King for nothing.
Boys who are into in the athleticism and heroic grandeur of ballet are to be encouraged. It only takes a glance at the physique of any professional ballerino to see that this "sport" builds muscle and reaction speeds on a par with anything in the field.
What isn't visible on the surface is the mental toughness, resilience, and artistic sensibility that strengthens in the process. And a guy who stays true to his own interests - whatever they may be - has a maturity and independent spirit that's nothing to laugh at.
So if this young prince is keeping up the royal connection with classical ballet, we salute George and the parents who support him. He's not the only Prince to believe that ballet ROCKS!
MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A YOUNG DANCER'S LIFE!
GIVE TO MBT's BOYS' SCHOLARSHIP FUND
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
A Short History of Ballet from The Victoria & Albert Museum
The Fencing / Ballet Connection from the Academie Duello (Swordsmanship Academy)