We've gathered a small collection of our all-time favorite Ballet dance quotes for you.
And, what's interesting is that, although we know that these quotes are specifically about Ballet, mainly because of who said them, quite a few of them don't actually mention the word Ballet.
It's just really obvious what they are about when you read them.
That's probably because Ballet has such lore and legend and mystique about it, and everybody knows just how physically demanding it is, so there's not much explanation needed.
Naturally, some focus on the pain and suffering of a dancer's life, like "You've never felt pain until you've walked in a dancer's shoes" and that helps to keep up the sense of magic that surrounds it; that only a few extraordinary beings can ever truly call themselves Ballet dancers.
Of course, everyday life is not quite so excruciating as some of these quotes make out, such as "The ballet toe shoe is one of the few instruments of torture to survive in our time". The Ballet pointe shoe, these days, is made quite comfortable with the additional of some carefully placed padding! But we don't want to be the ones to reveal the tricks of the trade...
And one of the quotes that we find ourselves, as dance professionals, using frequently, is "You don't have to know about Ballet to enjoy it, all you have to do is look at it".
In our every day work we constantly come across people who stay away from dance, and in particularly Ballet, because they are a little afraid of it; they don't feel that it is 'for them'. And we use this quote to sum up that there's no special knowledge or experience required in order to enjoy dance at any level as either a participant or a spectator.
But perhaps the most telling of all of these quotes is the one from Mikhail Baryshnikov
"I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself".
You can get a very clear feeling from that of the amount of pressure the top dancers put on themselves, the dedication required to maintain their art and just how seriously they take their craft.
And of course, all due respect must be made to the great man himself, Balanchine, who was able to sum up a great deal of the myth, magic and mundane about Ballet in a way few others could.
Agnes de Mille
Hopi Indian saying
We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance
To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.
One may judge a king by the state of dancing during his reign.
Dance is the mother of all languages.
Dancers are the athletes of God.
In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet.
Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!
Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.
Dancing is the poetry of the foot.
Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.
Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals.
If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.
Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.
Dance till the stars come down from the rafters
Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop.
Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is not mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.
Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.
W B Yeats
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Please send me your last pair of shoes, worn out with dancing as you mentioned in your letter, so that I might have something to press against my heart.
Mr. Miyagi, The Next Karate Kid, 1994
Never trust spiritual leader who cannot dance.
Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's Heaven on Earth.
When you take dancing lessons, you learn steps and you learn steps and you learn steps. It can go on for a long time. And then one day, you just learn to dance, and it is so different.
Let us read, and let us dance. These two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
Let us know your favorite Ballet dance quotes - or indeed quotes about dance in general, using our contact us form.