Classical ballet is known for its rigorous technique, its graceful, flowing and precise movements and ethereal qualities. A theatrical and codified form of dance, it originated in the Renaissance courts, blossoming during the reign of Louis XIV in France, where the world’s first ballet school, the Académie royale de danse, was founded in 1661. There Pierre Beauchamp invented the five positions of ballet, to which the corresponding arm positions were added in the 19th century. The five foundational positions, all performed with “turnout” (outward rotation of the thighs from the hip), are based on the principles of aplomb (stability), rigour and clarity. Around 1820, ballet was enriched with the pointe technique, which opened up a new range of possibilities.