Ballet dancing began in European courts during 16th & 17th centuries.
Louis XIV of France, at the Palace of Versailles near Paris, was one of the first dancers.
Royal friends and family who visited the palace took part in huge celebrations and parties, called "ballets de cour", in the gardens and ballrooms.
Louis XIV danced his first ballet at age 13. His most famous dance was as the Sun God, Apollo in "Le Ballet Royale de la Nuit" which lasted over 12 hours.
Behavior that was expected in the palaces gave ballet it's elegance and precise actions.
In 1672, Louis XIV created Academie Royale de Danse. It's director, Pierre Beauchamp recorded steps and positions of dances, including 5 positions of feet, that we know in ballet today.
During the mid-17th century, royal visitors were replaced by professional dancers in ballets. Dances began to be performed in theaters as part of operas.
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