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During a ballet, a story is told not through words, but through dance and music. 

There are many different famous ballets you can see throughout the year.

While “The Nutcracker” is a popular show to see around the Christmas season. “Swan Lake,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Cinderella” are among other popular ballets that are put on year after year. 

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If you have never seen a ballet before, you may not know what to expect of the show. 

How long will it be? Are there intermissions? And, of course, perhaps the most important question of them all, “What do I wear?” 

Don’t let the fact that you aren’t an expert in the art of ballet hinder you from attending a show. 

This guide will answer ballet-related questions to get you ready to attend your first show. 

  1. What should you wear when attending a ballet?
  2. How early should you arrive for a ballet performance?
  3. How long is a typical show’s run time?
  4. When is the appropriate time to applaud during a performance?
  5. Are there certain shows that are better suited for children to attend?

1. What should you wear when attending a ballet?

The good news is that you’ll see people in all types of attire. It’s likely that you’ll see people wearing very casual clothes, all the way up to elegant gowns. 

“There is no dress code. We encourage our patrons to wear whatever they would like,” Jessica O’Neill, a media relations manager from Boston Ballet, told Fox News Digital. 

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“Many come straight from work and wear business casual attire, while others attend in jeans.”

The exterior of the Boston Ballet building

Don’t stress over choosing an outfit for the ballet. 

Wear whatever attire you are most comfortable in for the event. 

2. How early should you arrive for a ballet performance?

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to arrive around 30 minutes before showtime, in order to give yourself ample time to find your seat. 

Arriving earlier is a good idea to give yourself more time to explore. 

“The lobby doors open 45 minutes before the performance and the house opens for seating 30 minutes before the performance,” O’Neill said of Boston Ballet. “We encourage our patrons to arrive early and enjoy the theater before the program begins.”

A close-up of ballet slippers

3. How long is a typical show’s run time?

The run-time of a show will vary slightly depending on the ballet you are going to see.

O’Neill said the typical run-time of a show is two to three hours. During the show, there are one or two intermissions. 

4. When is the appropriate time to applaud during a performance?

“People typically applaud during bows, or sometimes during especially challenging choreography,” O’Neill said.

As a first-time visitor, if you are unsure about when to clap, simply follow the lead set by the others in the theater. Once everyone begins to applaud, join in to show your appreciation for the performers. 

A dancer leaping in the air on stage

5. Are there certain shows that are better suited for children to attend?

As a general rule of thumb, age 5 and up is the ideal age for bringing children to their first ballet. 

That said, younger patrons are allowed at many venues. For example, Boston Ballet allows children over the age of 2 at their shows, according to O’Neill. 

If you are trying to decide what show to take your family to, there are certain ballets that may provide a more enjoyable experience for young children. 

“Some ballets are better suited for children, including story ballets like ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Cinderella,'” O’Neill said. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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