A ball or globe is any of a number of sphere-like objects, generally used as an everyday item but sometimes also used as a decorative item for special occasions. The earliest known example of a ball may have been found in the tomb of Cleopatra. She was buried with an ivory ball on a trip to Nile. The Egyptians were accustomed to burying their dead with such an object and the ball may have provided the first symbolic example of the human body in Egyptian art.
The ball has become almost ubiquitous, with everything from footballs to kitchen stoves having at least some decorative ball decorations. This popular pastime is probably best recognized by the ballroom dance, originally introduced to the world in a French ballet in the late nineteenth century. The French called it a “pan de flotante” (literally, “ballroom dance”), and it was eventually brought into popular use by American audiences in the early twentieth century. The main performance technique was quite complex, requiring a combination of spinning, jumping and acrobatic moves. The ball became a symbol for strength and suppleness for both men and women, and soon it was adopted as the ideal tool for stage performances.
Ballroom dances require a lot of grace and suppleness to move about, so the ball has played a vital role in such dance. As a result, balls are often used to mark victories in competitions. Competitors often award winners a specially made ball which they can take home as a trophy. Today, the exact same ball is marked on championship awards.
Of course, in order to play the game of ballroom, you need a ball of some kind. A standard ball will weigh between five and eight ounces, and may be round, square or rectangular. A well-made ball has a flat surface, but is still able to provide a degree of spin. The flat surface provides an ideal surface for acrobats to exercise their moves on, and the ability of the ball to absorb sudden jerks and turns makes the game very exciting for the spectators.
Today, the game of ballroom continues to evolve with the use of many new materials and fabrics which have changed the nature of the game. In particular, the clothes worn by players have had a huge impact on how the ballroom game is played. For example, today’s clothes are much lighter in weight and fabrics such as Lycra and cotton allow players to feel more comfortable in their activity than those designed years ago. This means that dancers who do not perform well on flat, smooth balls have an easier time using clothes to help them get over bumps and grind against other competitors on the court.
Of course, ballroom isn’t the only type of dancing that makes use of a ball. Freestyle, lyrical and other contemporary styles of ballroom dancing all make use of a ball in one way or another. You’ll often see ballroom dancers incorporate the use of a ball into their routines, particularly when they’re performing routines in quick, energetic movements. That said, if you do decide to invest in a ball for your own use, be sure to get plenty of practice using it so that you can maximize its uses in your own dance.