What Are the 4 Styles of Ballet?


Ballet is a form of dance that has been around for centuries, and the four styles of ballet are Classical Ballet, Neoclassical Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, and Character Ballet. Each style is unique in its own way and has its own set of characteristics.

Classical Ballet is the oldest style of ballet and is based on traditional French techniques. It is characterized by precise footwork, long lines and high extensions, with an emphasis on technique rather than storytelling. Ballets such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker are examples of Classical Ballets.

Neoclassical Ballet emerged in the early twentieth century as a response to the more rigid rules of Classical Ballet. It places a greater emphasis on individuality and expression over technical precision, allowing for greater creativity in movement. It often features minimal music and costumes to let the choreographer’s vision take precedence.

Contemporary Ballet draws on elements from both Classical and Neoclassical techniques to create a new style of dance. It is often characterized by more abstract movement that incorporates influences from other forms such as jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. This style allows dancers to express themselves more freely.

Character Ballet, also known as Folk or National Dance, is based on traditional folk dances from various cultures around the world. This style emphasizes storytelling through movement with exaggerated gestures and facial expressions. Dancers often wear costumes that reflect the culture they are portraying.


The four styles of ballet each offer something different but equally beautiful to audiences around the world. Whether it’s the technical precision of Classical Ballet or the creative freedom of Contemporary Ballet, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in any one of these styles.