What Is a Principal in Ballet?


What Is a Principal in Ballet?

Ballet is an art form that is highly technical and requires the utmost dedication to master. Within the ballet world, there are specific levels of skill and knowledge that denote status within the ranks.

One of the highest levels of ballet achievement is being a principal dancer, or principal. A principal dancer serves as the face of a company, performing leading roles in ballets and representing the organization at public events.

The path to becoming a principal requires years of training and dedication to perfecting technique. To be considered for a principal role, a dancer typically starts by developing their training at a young age, often beginning with early classes in their local dance studios.

As they advance in skill they may then take classes from more advanced teachers or attend more prestigious schools, such as the Royal Ballet School or The School of American Ballet. From there they may be accepted into a professional dance company as an apprentice or corps de ballet member and will continue to refine their technique under the direction of experienced instructors and coaches.

Achieving principal status is not easy; it requires immense talent, skill, hard work, dedication, artistry and self-discipline. Principals must be able to portray characters authentically through movement while also exhibiting technical mastery and artistry with every performance. In addition to excelling technically and artistically on stage, principals must also demonstrate strong leadership skills both inside and outside of the studio; this includes mentoring other dancers within the company while also promoting productions through interviews or other promotional events.

In some companies there are additional requirements for achieving principal status such as passing auditions or exams in order to demonstrate excellence across different areas such as pointe work, partnering, turns etc. This shows that achieving this level of success within ballet takes not only passion but also determination and commitment to mastering all aspects of performance including musicality, characterization as well as perfecting technique in order to create memorable performances for audiences everywhere.


Achieving principal status within ballet is no easy feat; it requires immense talent, skill, hard work and dedication.

Principals must excel both technically onstage but also exhibit strong leadership skills offstage in order to promote productions or mentor other dancers within their company. In some companies additional requirements such as passing auditions or exams may be necessary in order to reach this level; demonstrating that excellence across all areas is essential for achieving success within ballet.