Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet traditions

Guest white_swan

Recommended Posts

Guest white_swan

I have read on another forum that a ballet teaxher said that the girls must wear there tights under their leotards and not over it. She also said ofcourse a male dancers tights must be over his leo and he must not use inapropriate colours. In reply to this anither teacher said he will nit allow girls in his class if they do not stick to the tradition of wearing their BLACK leo's over PINK tights. So if the tradition is black and pink what about for example RAD who assigns a different colour leo to each grade, if the tradition is black and pink then they also do not follow the tradition anymore. I do like the black and pink combination but can not see what is wrong with using other colours aswell aslong as the students look the same. I peronaly also do not like the tights over the leo but times changes and fassion changes aswell. Anyway the clothes will definitly not change the dancer, if he / she is good, he's / she's good no matter what clothes she wear when training. Why di people always makes a fuzz about clothes ? Do't all trditions chamges as time goes by ? When it comes to the male dancer I like the dress code that RAD has for there male dancers.


Would please like to here your opinions about this.






Edited by white_swan
Link to comment

When in doubt, black and pink for ladies, black and white for gentlemen (note the ballet-traditional styles) are always correct. When entered into a school with a different uniform code, then abide by the school's requirements. Ladies wear their tights under their leotards, gentlemen wear their tights over their leotards, if used. A tight-fitting shirt may be substituted. Tradition does not override local regulations. There is this little other tradition, however, called DISCIPLINE, which will keep a lady from wearing her tights over her leotard and a gentleman under his which will make most people rather unhappy and wonder if the lady or gentleman involved really deserves that honorable title.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

The uniform for females in classes includes pink shoes, and pink tights with a leotard over them for classical ballet. The color of the leotard will vary by school. There is very rarely a uniform required in adult classes. However, if you are taking a class where there is a set uniform, then, that is what you have to wear, regardless of fashion or what you like or don't like. :shrug::innocent::D

Link to comment



I realized that while I'm clear on the dress code, and can guess the reasons for it (at least for women) I have no idea how or when the tradition evolved. It would seem likely that coverage has decreased over time, and that classwear would have been one of the first things to embrace the availability of stretch fabrics.


Would anyone know about the evolution of class wear, or care to share their own experiences from the 20th century? What did people wear to class before the black'n'pink? :shrug:




- Sanna

Link to comment

I don't know if anybody's done any exhaustive explanation of the history of practice clothes, but immediately before the modern leotard, a tunic worn over tights, which were also covered with a dance girdle which served both as support and coverage for the genital and gluteal areas. Tights, when not made of silk, were made from either cotton or wool jersey. Male practice costume was any variation on kneebreeches that could be made, including rolled-up trousers, if the real article were not available.


The tunic goes well back in the early part of the twentieth century, as Anna Pavlova is seen wearing one while taking class from Enrico Cecchetti. The leotard was around, but it was a sort of saggy baggy affair made from jersey. It was named for Jules Léotard. Here's a little blurb with pictures on Jules - please note the "precautionary drawers"!




His leotard was undoubtedly silk. He was very successful and could afford the best. So, the original leotard was what we would call a unitard today.


Before the tunic, the practice tutu with "precautionary drawers" was de rigeur. They looked like the costumes seen in the Degas pictures, although Degas played down the bloomers. The legwear was often "opera hosiery", as the tops were secured to garters which attached to the bottom of a rather stout corset. The pantaloons covered a lot! These practice tutus were designated as official practice clothing at the Paris Opera as early as 1824! The kneebreeches for men were made mandatory in that year as well.


Tights had been around since the late 18th century and were the brainchild of a designer named Maillot, which term is preserved today mostly in swimsuit design. They were expensive, though.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

(Whew, sorry for the lag in answering. :) You know you're too busy when it's a struggle to get to class, even... )


Thank you very much for the information, Mjr Mel, and for the link! Fascinating reading. :shrug:



(For me, the question of practice clothing is interesting especially as it reflects the view on the dance... and the clothing worn at practice might affect the dancing, in more or less subtle ways. It might be just me, but I think I notice this in my own dancing in ballet class as well: when I wear thick woolen socks and jazz pants, my way of articulating and phrasing the feet gets much fuzzier and clumsier than in tights and slippers. In folk dance, there is a tremendous difference between practicing in skirts and traditional shoes, vs. jazz pants and dansneakers.. :unsure:)


Getting rather derailed from the original topic here..



- Sanna

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...