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I was reminded the other day that last year I'd been putting together something on what to expect if you're new to ballet, so thought I'd post it in case it's of use, and for comments and feedback. I'll put the various sections in separate posts (in no particular order) to make it easier if people want to add or comment. Noise If you’ve only ever seen ballet on the screen before, you’ll more than likely be surprised at the amount of noise dancers generate in real life. Not only can pointe shoes make quite a bit of noise tap-tapping against the stage (this seems to be particularly prevalent with Russian companies), but ballerinas aren’t actually quite as weightless as they appear. At times, for instance in Act II of Giselle, when the whole corps de ballet hops flatfooted across the stage in unison, the noise can be pretty loud. And the male dancers, who usually wear soft ballet slippers, don’t always land from jumps as quietly as they might, either. Plus you can often hear the sound of breathing quite clearly, especially if the dancer has just done something demanding. Not to mention voices from offstage (again, something you tend to find with Russian companies, for some reason).