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Ballet dates back to the Italian Renaissance courts in the 15th century. The word "ballet" is French, and has its origins in Italian, Latin, and Greek languages, all of which had similar words meaning "to dance" or "to jump about." Classical ballet as we know it today came from Louis XIV, who an avid dancer and performed in ballets as a child.
With highly technical movements and a particular vocabulary, various forms of ballet have evolved over the centuries, including Russian, French, Italian, contemporary, neoclassical, and Romantic. When most think of ballet, they are likely imagining Romantic ballet, a classic style that traditionally features women who have mastered precise, fluid acrobatic motions and pointe work. However, there are three common kinds of ballet: classical, contemporary, and neoclassical.
French, Italian, and Russian ballet are all categorized as classic ballet, which is based on traditional ballet technique. Although neoclassical ballet is similar in that it conforms to classic techniques and vocabulary, it typically includes fast dance tempos, as well as non-traditional technical feats. Meanwhile, contemporary ballet combones modern dance with classic ballet.