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Ballet Talk for Dancers

T-shirts


slhogan

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Okay, this is super trivial, but I'm wondering about Tshirts that boys wear to ballet class.

 

My son has been wearing a white tank leotard under his black tights. Now he wants to wear a Tshirt (he says his shoulders get cold in class). The dress code says they are supposed to be "fitted" but when I try them on the small size is more form-fitting but not nearly long enough to keep tucked in. It just looks too small on him. The medium size has the length but is pretty baggy around the chest. Any suggestions? Also, are Tshirts supposed to be tucked into the tights or left untucked? Does it matter? His audition for the Houston Ballet Academy is Saturday and I don't want him to look sloppy.

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Knock, knock: Parent of a DD, but I know that the boys' parents at DD's school had this problem with the little kids. They went to Limited Too, or similar stores and bought white girls tees (which are more fitted than boy's tees) and then cut the tags out of them so their sons didn't know that they were wearing - horrors! - girls clothes!

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There are a few solutions to this:

 

If the smaller, shorter shirt is truly skin-tight, there is probably no need to tuck it in.

 

If it is not skin-tight but still form-fitting, you can tie a knot in the back of the shirt at the hem so it fits tightly around the waist.

 

You could get a piece of wide elastic (approx 6" wide) and sew it into a belt for him to tuck the shirt into.

 

You could get a small elastic belt often sold by dancewear stores and fold the hem of the shirt under it to create a clean line.

 

There's also the option of a leotard with short sleeves, but I always found leotards too inconvenient and uncomfortable to bother with. My preferred solution is the wide elastic belt as I feel it requires the least adjusting between combinations and has the secondary benefit of helping hold the tights up if you haven't put elastic suspenders on them.

 

EDIT: There is also a dancewear catalog--I forget which one at the moment--that sells men's dance shirts that are quite fitted and made of very nice material.

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I've made shirts using pattern #2212 from this company http://www.jalie.com/catalog/casual.html#965

I really like that there are 22 sizes in this pattern. I made a little boys size 5 and a men's small from the same pattern (I traced the sizes I needed first).

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Another option is to head either to Target or any sporting goods store.

 

At Target, if you go the the underwear section, Target's label MERONA has form fitting shirts in a variety of colors that are very cool and breathable.

 

Also at any sporting goods store, UNDER ARMOR is becoming popular in the dance studio along with NIKE, REEBOK and other companies version of the material.

 

So there are many options, just depends on how much you want to spend.

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Some more options for a small boy:

 

DS wore his tshirts knotted in the back for a long time. This worked great but some teachers didn't like it. I don't think I'd try it for an audition. Getting girls' shirts works great - try the girl's section at Target. They have some generic, short/cap sleeve scooped-neck shirts right now for the fall. They're "slimmer" through the shoulders and chest than the boys. Don't dry them, though! They shrink in length. Get the Pointe Dancewear has an MStevens miliskin shirt - it's an exclusive so you have to go through them. Most of the "fitted" dance shirts we've found only come in men's sizes. At 14, my DS is just now able to wear the men's small. DS has also used the UnderArmour. You can get a Rawlings brand now that is much cheaper, as well as similar styles/brands from other discount stores. The white can be very thin, though, and can make some boys self-conscious. So if you use this option have your son try it on before you buy it. Finally, one mother told me she simply put darts in the side of her son's regular t-shirts.

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I honestly think you may be stressing too much over the issue. When I was a student, I would wear a t-shirt size smaller and knot it in the back. This was fine for all auditions and even when attending any school. Many other boy students would do the same thing at many of the auditions that I went to and it did not stop any of us from being accepted to the school.

Remember, its about talent. Not about the way you dress. Granted don't come in looking like a shlub, but if you can't get your hands on a skin tight t-shirt, go ahead with the knot in the back. It's fine!!!

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I honestly think you may be stressing too much over the issue.

 

No stress-- just curious about how the Tshirt is supposed to look. When he started ballet we automatically went with a white leotard since he was used to these with his competive gymnastics background (in the gym they call them "step-ins" rather than leotards because they are shirts that you step into rather than pull over your head). The leotard looks so nice and fitted with clean lines; the Tshirt seems so sloppy in comparison. I'm just trying to get a feel for what a Tshirt would look like since he just learned those were an option and now wants to ditch his step-in.

 

Thanks for you ideas, everyone! Glad to have you as a resource! If he doesn't knot his Tshirt in the back and it hangs lower than his waist, should it be tucked into his tights or does it matter? Yes, I know he isn't going to be accepted or rejected based on his shirt being tucked in, but I'm still curious. We have never seen any other boy ballet dancers (except for professionals in costume), and I'm just trying to visualize this.

 

--Laura

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slhogan,

 

My son is a smallish 11 year old. He started out with the white short sleeved leos, but has since discovered the M.Stevens shirts that were mentioned in the thread. We purchased them through get the pointe dancewear, which you can access through the tutu.com website.

 

He has also worn knotted smaller sized t-shirts, but he is picky and doesn't like how the knot looks. It looks fine to me, though.

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I for one never cared for the knot. I found fitted tee shirts much better, whether they were tucked into the dance belt, or rolled up around a web waistbelt.

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The knot can also be a challenge to tie. My DS mastered it, but it took a while. I could never do it for him. Your son would need to be able to re-tie it himself if it came undone in class. While this is not a make or break for an audition, boys like to look good in dance class, too. Girls get lots of leotards to choose from - in lots of pretty colors. It's nice that boys can think about options - even if their options are all white.

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Knotting the T-shirt has never been allowed in any of the schools my DS has attended. And, I wouldn't recommend it for an audition. IMO, it is better to get a fitted T-shirt which you can tuck into the tights or wrap around a belt - much cleaner looking.

 

For 2 years, he wore a fitted white leo, which looked the best, although he didn't really enjoy wearing it. Back to T-shirts now, which in Canada, he buys at the Bay store - some type of Miliskin/Lycra mens' underwear line, but at $40.00 a shirt now they are getting pricey. And speaking of MStevens - we ordered their footed white tights for performance, but he called me from school yesterday, big panic - they are see-through and wants another pair. Last minute rush order. But that's a whole other issue!

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Compression t-shirts look the best, they fit tight to the skin and even wick the moister away from the body. Many sports stores offer them, even for younger guys, also, Target has a great selection. I would go to the little girls or juniors section if I could not find his size in the mens or boys section.

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My son's instructors have always been particular about wearing a very fitted shirt. Our local dance shop has ordered Bal Tog dance shirts for him. They are fitted and come in cotton or lycra. I always have several of the Target Merona ones as they are good as well. For auditions, His instructors have always coached him to wear a white leotard with tights folded with a belt. Of course Houston required him to wear a leotard this summer although I am not sure how tightly they enforced it as I saw many boys wearing whatever they wanted on observation days.

 

Anyway, my son has never been allowed to wear a t shirt knotted at the bottom. He mostly wears lycra dance shirts that are available from several dancewear companies.

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