Ballet originated in the Italian renaissance courts in the 15th century and soon Catherine De'Medici in the French courts discovered it and brought the dance over to France. In the 17th century, when Louis XIV decided he loved ballet, the dancing style was officially codified and given a set of rules and techniques to make it an official dance form. Shortly after this dancing schools were opened in various countries of Europe, the first of which were the Royal Danish Ballet and the Imperial Ballet of the Russian Empire in the 1700's. In the 20th century, England and America got involved and the Royal Ballet was formed along with the San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre.
In the modern day ballet is no less popular and it continues to flourish today in both its traditional form as well as in the neoclassical ballet style that was introduced by the American dancer and choreographer George Balanchine. Neoclassical ballet goes back to the roots of the Russian Imperial dance, but it is done in a very minimalist setting and the heavy sets and detailed narrative are removed so you just have pure dance with a modern look, but the traditional beautiful en pointe performance. Modern ballet choreographers have introduced their own takes on the traditional ballet styles with different methods of ballet being created to offer different styles. For example, the Balanchine method is very dramatic and fast, whereas the Bournonville method is more controlled and delicate.