Mime can be used extensively in ballet to tell a story. While it rarely makes an appearance in modern ballet, classical ballet has a distinct and sophisticated vocabulary of mime, where particular gestures imbue the performance with precise narrative meanings. Choreographers and ballet dancers often use stylized mime sequences to convey emotions such as love or anger, climactic events such as marriage or promises, or important personages such as the king or queen.
Balletic mime used to be an important part of dance performances in Tsarist Russia and fell out of fashion in the 1950s, coming to be viewed as old-fashioned and even archaic. However, some classic works of ballet that incorporate mime have been preserved or revived by ballet companies such as the Royal Ballet and the American Ballet Theater in the present day. Some ballets make heavy and effective use of mime, including The Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.