Why was he King Louise the 13th?

The Book Time to Say “Please”! is by Mo Willems. His book on manners has his signature style. Groups of ebullient mice narrate this humorous text as young children try in vain to get what they want, learning along the way that it is helpful to say Please, Thank you, Excuse me, and I’m sorry. Oh, and you have to mean it, too.

This week the second graders asked me... "Why was he King Louise the 13th?".  We then talked about the fact that Louise the 12th and Louise the 14th may not have been all that on the dance floor.  So - we do attribute much of BALLET HISTORY to King Louise the 13th.

Ballet wins again!

Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century. Noblemen and women were treated to lavish events, especially wedding celebrations, where dancing and music created an elaborate spectacle. Dancing masters taught the steps to the nobility, and the court participated in the performances. In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici — an Italian noblewoman, wife of King Henry II of France and a great patron of the arts — began to fund ballet in the French court. Her elaborate festivals encouraged the growth of ballet de cour, a program that included dance, decor, costume, song, music and poetry. A century later, King Louis XIV helped to popularize and standardize the art form. A passionate dancer, he performed many roles himself, including that of the Sun King in Ballet de la nuit. His love of ballet fostered its elevation from a past time for amateurs to an endeavor requiring professional training.

Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet, by Jennifer Homans, 2010

This week the second graders asked me… “Why was he King Louise the 13th?”. We then talked about the fact that Louise the 12th and Louise the 14th may not have been all that on the dance floor. So – we do attribute much of BALLET HISTORY to King Louise the 13th.

All the kings horses and all the kings men learned to say please and thank you this week. It was a great mash-up of armor, layered dresses, and stabilized bowing to get both verbal and non-verbal gestures managed!

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