This article is from the Ballet and Modern Dance FAQ, by Tom Parsons email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
There's no satisfactory answer to this one. Theoretically, even
though the Italian "ballerina" means simply "female dancer," only a
*principal* female dancer is supposed to be called a ballerina. If that
restriction were universally observed, then the nearest male equivalent
would be the French premi`er danseur ("first dancer"). But in practice,
people use ballerina to refer to any female ballet dancer, and in that case
all you can say is "dancer" for the male.
I suppose you could be pedantic and use the Italian masculine form
ballerino, but people probably wouldn't understand you and, worse, are
likely to mis-hear the word as "ballerina," which could lead to endless