Ballet Shoes, written by Noel Streatfeild, is a classic children’s novel that follows the story of three orphaned sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil. They are taken in by an eccentric explorer and his niece, who give them shelter in their home. As they grow up, the girls discover a passion for ballet and decide to pursue it as a career.
The novel has been read by millions since its publication in 1936 and has been adapted into several films, most notably the 2008 BBC adaptation. While Ballet Shoes is fiction, it is rooted in reality. The story was inspired by the real-life experiences of Streatfeild’s friend Gwen Raverat, who was one of the first British female professional ballet dancers.
Raverat’s story was similar to that of Pauline and her sisters; she was also an orphan who was taken in by an aunt after her parents died. Raverat developed a passion for dance at an early age and eventually became a professional dancer with the Sadler’s Wells Ballet Company. Her experience as a dancer in the 1930s provides valuable insight into the realities of life as a female dancer at the time.
In addition to Raverat’s story, there are other aspects of Ballet Shoes that are based on real life events. The character of Petrova is based on Streatfeild’s own sister who became a successful theatre actress. Other characters also have connections to historical figures; for instance, Posy is based on Margot Fonteyn – one of Britain’s most celebrated ballerinas – and her teacher Madame Fidolia bears a striking resemblance to Marie Rambert – another influential female dancer from this era.
Streatfeild herself was an avid theatregoer so she had plenty of material to draw on when writing Ballet Shoes; some characters were even based on people she had seen perform in London theatres or met while visiting backstage during rehearsals or performances!
Overall, Ballet Shoes is certainly not just ‘made up’. It contains elements of fact as well as fiction which makes it both enjoyable and educational to read. The novel combines history with imagination in an engaging way which has made it beloved by generations of readers since its publication 80 years ago!
Conclusion: Is Ballet Shoes a real story? Yes, although it is fictional at its core, many aspects of the novel are rooted in reality thanks to Noel Streatfeild drawing inspiration from her own life experiences as well as those of her acquaintances such as Gwen Raverat – one of Britain’s first female professional ballet dancers – making it both enjoyable and educational to read!