What Are the Ranks in a Ballet Company?


When it comes to the world of ballet, there is a strict hierarchy that must be adhered to, with each role having its own set of responsibilities. Each rank in a ballet company is distinguished by the length and complexity of the dancer’s roles and by the level of their artistic and technical ability. Here, we take a look at the various ranks within a ballet company.

Corps de Ballet

The Corps de Ballet is comprised of dancers who are usually ranked in three groups: coryphées, sujets, and quadrilles. Coryphées are usually second-rank dancers who perform solo roles as well as partnering with principals.

Sujets are third-rank dancers who also perform solo roles but primarily act as part of an ensemble. Quadrilles are fourth-rank dancers who mainly perform background roles.


Principals are typically considered to be the most experienced and talented members of a company. They take on leading roles in ballets such as Swan Lake or The Nutcracker.

Principals often have extensive solo work or duets, trios, and pas de deux (dance for two). They also serve as mentors to other members of the company.


Soloists come after Principals in terms of seniority and ability within a company. They may be called upon to dance major roles or variations from classical ballets such as Giselle or Sleeping Beauty. Soloists will often be asked to substitute for Principal roles when needed.


Demi-soloists rank one step below Soloists in terms of seniority and ability within a company. They will usually dance minor principal roles such as corps work with solos from famous ballets like The Sleeping Beauty or Swan Lake.


In conclusion, understanding the different ranks within a ballet company is essential for any aspiring dancer looking to join one. From Corps de Ballet right up to Demi-soloists, each role has its own unique set of responsibilities that require different levels of skill and experience – all working together to create beautiful performances that audiences around the world can enjoy.