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Ballet Talk for Dancers

dark-colored leotards only


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While looking for a new leotard at local dancewear stores, I was struck by the fact that nearly all of the leotards I found in Adult Large sizes were in dark colors. Has anyone else had this problem?


At the third store I visited, I asked if they were going to get any lighter colored leotards (can we say traditional pastels?) in Large anytime soon. One of the women there told me pointedly that usually people of my size prefer not to call attention to themselves. This would be an outrageous statement no matter to whom it was made, but I'd like to add that I only weigh 120 lbs. Needless to say, they won't be getting my business again anytime soon.


I know I can find lighter colored leotards online, but it's nice to support local businesses (when they deserve it), and it's nice to be able to try something on to make sure it fits and is flattering and not have to worry about sending it back.

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Isn't it funny how ballet-sized "large" is very far from "large" in the rest of the world?


Anyway, in the shop's defense, it has probably found that the lighter colors don't sell in the larger sizes. I don't get it--one of the loveliest photos I took last year was of a 5'10" teenage dancer of "medium" bone structure (very fit, of course) in pink tights and a pastel leotard.


If you like pastels, I'd recommend figuring out which brands and styles work for you and then mail-ordering. Some brands/styles run a lot longer or shorter than others. There are other threads about fit, but briefly, I am 5'4" and long in the torso, and Capezio and Mirella large, medium, or medium-long (Mirella) seem to work for me. Both brands make a number of lovely pastel colors.

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:yes: That is an absolutely outrageous remark! I never cease to be enraged by the way some dancewear retailers take it upon themselves to give sneery, judgemental hints about whether you 'ought' to be dancing at your age/size, whatever. Enthusiastic amateurs are the backbone of their trade, but some of them sure do know how to sap the joy out of it. They are businesses, not the gatekeepers of Swan Lake. Imagine if people selling running gear or whatever started having a go at anyone who didn't look like they'd be ready for the Olympics!


Anyway, if you're going to wear pink tights (which you may well not) there's no harm whatsoever in a more unbroken line. I have a black and pink dresscode, but given that I am already curvy on the backside and quads and skinny on the top, I am not sure that the optical illusion of reducing my top half while expanding the bottom really is so flattering.


I second Koshka's suggestion of mail order - perhaps you could go into that shop, try on all their dark coloured leotards, say 'no thanks', note the style numbers and go off and mail order in another colour? Serves them right. :secret:

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