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Old 09-27-2019, 02:19 AM
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What to Call A Male Ballet Dancer


http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...lnYzFOZyw_6ha8

The answer given by Cecil was correct back in my day (early-mid 80's) but sometime in the twenty-teens the term "ballerino" has indeed become popular. It used to mean only the "primo"or "noble" of an Italian troupe, but now it is used in the USA to mean any male who practices ballet. It was the same with ballerina, which in my mother's day meant only the Prima.

"Ballerina" and "Ballerino"were formal titles in Italy, which one would no more assume than one would self-declare "CEO." It meant the very best of the best, and was awarded only by the owner or directeur of the theatre. I don't know whether the usage has become more casual there or not.

Last edited by TruCelt; 09-27-2019 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 09-27-2019, 07:42 AM
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Very interesting. I've always wanted to know this, but have never gotten around to researching it.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:17 AM
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The wife of a colleague is actually a Ballerina. In fact, she teaches it. This is what she had to say when I texted her the OP.

"In the US my whole career and for my old instructors generations, "ballerina" is a female professional ballet dancer, and "ballet dancer", is a professional male ballet dancer. Prima Ballerina, denotes a certain level a female ballet dancer gets to within a ballet company. Usually the head female dancer. "Prima Ballerina Assoluta" is a title only given to sometimes a ballerina in a generation, my instructor, Maria Tallchief, was one of the four ever to be named. She was very proud of that.

Italy is the birth place of ballet, though Louis the 14th did basically steal it and helped create what it is today. The male names for excellent dancers may still exist, but I never heard it articulated or elevated the same way."
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
The wife of a colleague is actually a Ballerina. In fact, she teaches it. This is what she had to say when I texted her the OP.

"In the US my whole career and for my old instructors generations, "ballerina" is a female professional ballet dancer, and "ballet dancer", is a professional male ballet dancer. Prima Ballerina, denotes a certain level a female ballet dancer gets to within a ballet company. Usually the head female dancer. "Prima Ballerina Assoluta" is a title only given to sometimes a ballerina in a generation, my instructor, Maria Tallchief, was one of the four ever to be named. She was very proud of that.

Italy is the birth place of ballet, though Louis the 14th did basically steal it and helped create what it is today. The male names for excellent dancers may still exist, but I never heard it articulated or elevated the same way."
I am no authority on the Italian language, but parallel masculine constructions, i.e., "ballerino" and "primo ballerino", make perfect sense (verb: ballare). The primo ballerino would be getting leading roles. This assoluti stuff is definitely getting deep into ballet company politics, which one would have to look into to explain why no men are receiving such honours.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:24 AM
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Can we call them ballers?
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
Can we call them ballers?
On a dancer's salary?
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:11 PM
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I wonder what Dwayne Johnson would look like in a tutu...?
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:59 PM
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They're called "Tupac'ers"
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:04 PM
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You don't need to know what us ballerinas called them.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:56 AM
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What's wrong with male Ballet Dancer? I know in this PC world some people get upset when one says 'female' (professional), but it is a long standing term for that.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:49 PM
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Is there any precedent in French-to-English for the Spanish "ballerín"? It makes good sense to me, although I'd adjust the pronunciation to American standards, of course.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:08 PM
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Is there any precedent in French-to-English for the Spanish "ballerín"? It makes good sense to me, although I'd adjust the pronunciation to American standards, of course.
What do you mean? Just to pronounce "ballerin" as though it were an English word? bailarín = ballerin = ballerino. If you really insist on a more English-sounding version, you could always revive "baller", as suggested above, or make do with "ballet dancer"- neither of these being gendered terms, but the dancing community could cope, plus many of them probably understand some French, Italian, or Spanish (if not, better translate everything: pas de chat, arabesque, fouetté, écarté, allegro, you name it...)

Last edited by DPRK; 10-05-2019 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:40 PM
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As an amateur linguist, I would say the word that the OP is looking for is "danseur." "Danseuse" is its female form.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Is there any precedent in French-to-English for the Spanish "ballerín"? It makes good sense to me, although I'd adjust the pronunciation to American standards, of course.
The Spanish word is bailarín, not "ballerín". From Spanish bailar, to dance.
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Last edited by Nava; 10-07-2019 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:50 PM
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Grammatically it would be ballero since ballerina is the feminin of ballero.
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