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1. a female ballet dancer
2. US the principal female dancer of a ballet company
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a female dancer in a ballet troupe. The term was first used in the second half of the 19th century after the triumphant performances of Italian virtuoso dancers. In prerevolutionary Russia the title of ballerina was bestowed on leading female dancers of the imperial ballet troupe; a ballerina received a certain salary and performed certain roles. Today it is customary to apply the term ballerina to all female ballet dancers.


Khudekov, S. N. Istoriia tantsev, vol. 3. St. Petersburg, 1915.
Skal’kovskii, K. V teatral’nom mire. St. Petersburg, 1899.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
* May lower your blood sugar levels 6 Due to its Chinese mallow content, ballerina tea may be able to lower, or at least maintain your blood sugar levels.
In a country like Egypt, though ballet is always considered a symbol of beauty, luxury, and smoothness, seeing a ballerina dancing in the crowded streets can be a cultural shock for many.
THE photographer who snapped the iconic image of the little ballerina girl of Balsall Heath says she is "delighted" to discover what became of her - thanks to the Birmingham Mail.
Kelly paints a raw portrait of the sexual expectations placed on ballerinas, beginning in the 19th century.
Bussell explores the history of the ballerina, travelling from Versailles in France to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg and back to Covent Garden - the theatre which played host to Marie Salle, Bussell's earliest dance heroine, nearly 300 years ago in 1734.
A ballerina is like a globe stand: She represents the axis, and her dancing is the world that revolves around it.
The young dancers will be appearing in an Angelina Ballerina mini-show which will feature favourite class songs, audience participation and a new number from the Angelina Ballerina musical.
On the day of the recital, the girls perform for a rapt audience, first as Sugar Plum Fairies, then as feathered swans, and finally as blue-and-white "stars." Part documentary, part children's book, part coffee-table tome, Ballerina Dreams makes a wonderful gift for anyone who appreciates the powerful journey of pursuing a dream.
We have teamed up with Angelina Ballerina TM and The Prince Of Wales Arts & Kids Foundation to offer the trip of a lifetime to a young dance fan - a VIP tour of Buckingham Palace accompanied by one of the stars of the English National Ballet.
What turns out to be most compelling here, however, is how these senescent ballerinas and ballerinos achieve a poignant ecstasy as they recall the exploits of their youth.
They work 40 weeks per year (they could work 52, but nobody wants to mess with a batch of burned-out drag ballerinas) and are booked through January of 2009.