What is Ballet Mime?

In a ballet performance, dancers tell the story through body movements, facial expressions and gestures rather than words. Often mime is used to relay specific elements of the story.

Popular Mimes in Ballet

Demonstrated by Rehearsal Director Stephanie Hutchison.

Circle your hands around one another over your head.
Place your left hand on your heart followed by the other hand on top.
Bring your arms up to the side of your head, then bring them down quickly so that your  hands, with fists clenched, are crossed in front of your body.
Point to your wedding-ring finger with the index finger of your right hand.
Hold your arms out, palms together,
as if praying.
Gesture with one hand gently up to your ear.
Press one hand away from you leading with the palm of your hand, your hand should be flexed at the end of the gesture and your arm completely straight. Look in the opposite direction away from the person you are
miming to.
Hold up your hand with your palm out.
Let your fingers trace tears as they fall down your face.
Make a cradle with your arms and rock them to and fro.
Stretch your arms out with  the palms facing up. With your hands, gesture a warm welcome.
Make a deep bow, with your arms raised, palms to your face.


  • Have a partner guess what you are miming from the list above
  • Create your own mimes, start off with single words

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