The seemingly effortless grace and elegance of ballet dancers, coupled with the ethereal costumes, have long provided a breath-taking form of entertainment for the public. Ballet has been around for much longer than most of us realize. It originated in Italy during the Renaissance period. There, the earliest forms of ballet were practiced in the royal courts, as a form of entertainment for the nobles. Through the years, ballet evolved tremendously; the classical ballet style was developed during the 17th century, and subsequently led to several other forms such as neo-classical and contemporary. Today a good deal of modern dance is also strongly influenced by ballet styles and techniques; although, ballets today are a far cry from the first ballets. In its early days, ballets were primarily comprised of male dancers. It was simply considered unseemly to have female dancers on the stage. Later on as women gradually began to be included, there was the issue of costuming. While today's ballerinas wear form-fitting, short, or nude-colored costumes, earlier versions included very long skirts and full body coverage for modesty. Since costuming makes up such an important aspect of ballet, over time the costumes became increasingly advanced and elaborate. Since ballet has existed for so long, several specific performances have made a name for themselves, even to people who are not avid fans. Some of these include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Sylphide, Giselle, and Romeo and Juliet. Have a look through the following collection of ballet resources to start learning all about this wonderful dance style.