I don't think they could go and actually watch a ballet and not think it's hard, even it if the difficulty is only recognizable in the Hoofer. Besides, a sports hero told them it was hard.
That reminds me of the man sitting next to me one evening who said to no one in particular, during the first applause interruption, "That didn't look hard." "You thought it would look hard?" I asked. "Yeah, they told us it was hard." "Well, it is hard, but they're so good, they make it look easy." "Oh." I'm sorry I didn't pursue the subject or remember now whether he stayed.
I saw some ballet excerpt either on the Ed Sullivan show or Firestone Theater or Bell Telephone Hour and was hooked, just like the first time I saw figure skating and gymnastics.
There was no influence from the presence of a guest celebrity or the thought that it was hard when I got hooked, either, but the two of us, or three, counting the man on my right that evening, make a statistically insignificant sample. These examples support my position but not very much.
The thing that bothers me about the generic approach I'm questioning is that if some few of 'em do like it, then what? They're on their own, right? Or if they don't like the first one, or the whole program, and decide never to return, unaware that ballets are not all the same, then what? The concentration on "newbies" - people who have never seen any ballet, right? - seems to me to drop the ball as soon as it's in play. Or maybe ballets are all the same? Ballet is ballet is ballet?