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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet attire -- undergarments


Agnes1022

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I am almost too embarrassed to ask questions about the role of undergarments worn under tights, but I am compelled to ask after reading some definitive responses to Do you allow shorts in class?.

 

For anyone past puberty, there's always the issue of personal hair, and monthly periods for women. I find that wearing the right cut, seamless bikini does not cause things to peek from underneath the leotard. And wearing liners keep sweat stains from showing on that part of the leo.

 

As for feminine hygiene during one's period, I can't imagine how professionals deal with it during practice and at performances. I think the female population can identify with the issues that I am alluding to.

 

So if the wearing of shorts and skirts are viewed dimly, then what do female dancers do to address the hair and period issues?

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The teens are not allowed to wear skirts at the studio where I dance, but the director allows me to wear a skirt since I am a high school teacher during the day, and occasionally one of the kids from the studio turns up in one the classes that I teach, and I'd prefer that they didn't know the exact size and shape of my bottom for reasons of classroom discipline! The teens are allowed to wear shorts sometimes in class, but not while preparing for exams for performances.

 

I wear beige coloured seam free undies from Target under tights (i prefer the full body tights- no elastic lines at the waist), plus now that I am older I find that a leotard which allows me to wear a bra is a very good idea.

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Ballet celebrates the body perfect - and that usually means the body young. If neither is still the case, then a bit of adjustment to make it look closer to the ideal is quite in order; indeed, I'd say it's advisable.

 

Jim.

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I wear nude or white discreet knickers under my tights and leo and, for all the same reasons as for you, they're indisposable for me as well. However, I do cringe if I see huge granny pants flashing from under somebody's leo or even leo and shorts...

 

I also wear tiny shorts to class. I've tried going shortless, but quickly returned to the shorts routine, very much for the reasons jimpickles so gracefully described above ;). I have a skirt as well, but feel that it breaks the lines at weird places and floats around me disturbingly :shrug: , so hardly ever wear it.

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I don't typically wear underwear under my tights and haven't had a problem IF my leotard fits properly. If the leo is too short in the girth or generally moves around I can see how there would be problems but mine is as snug as my underwear and hides just as well. I'm guilty of dancing in the dreaded shorts, but it's honestly because I can't find a skirt that fits and trust me, NO ONE wants to see me in just a leo and tights. A while back someone posted a link to some larger waist skirts that I'm looking forward to trying. I kind of like how they floof up in the breeze or when you're turning. It's very reminiscent of twirling in a skirt when I was a wee one.

 

Now, I do insist on wearing a bra (or two). I'm a little over endowed in that area and wouldn't be caught dead otherwise. I'm always on the search for the perfect, hideable sports bra to wear under leotards. I despise the look of the Y back bra but sometimes you're stuck with what they sell.

 

In reality, I am probably too overweight to be dancing at all, but I've never managed to quit so my classmates are stuck with my nasty body. Oh well. The shorts are the least I can do to spare sensibilities.

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In reality, I am probably too overweight to be dancing at all, but I've never managed to quit so my classmates are stuck with my nasty body. Oh well. The shorts are the least I can do to spare sensibilities.

 

Heck no! Because if you're too large, then I'm too large! All of my classes this year are exercises in humility, as my adult class has now been folded into the Level IIIB class (ages 9-12) for lack of enough enrollment. And, my other, more advanced class has always been with the sylph-like teens. Not only do I have the old lady flabby upper arms to gaze at (get those elbows up!), rounded tummy and "sturdy" legs, I am also the TALLEST dancer. After seeing me perform in last year's Nutcracker in Snow and Flowers, my stepmother said to me, "You were the BIG one!" :devil: Granted, she originally hails from another country and another culture, but still.....and no comment on my dancing, otherwise.

 

I absolutely must wear a bra under my leos and have experimented with strapless ones to go under cami-styles, as well as nude underall-type undergarments with clear straps. The dancer's versions of those garments don't provide enough bust support for me so I visited a department store and got a slenderizing version with an underwire bra. It's very supportive but is too squeezing for regular classwear--I save it for performance. For class I generally wear a tank leo with a regular bra. One or two days per month I need to wear underpants of some type in order to accomodate the use of backup protection, but otherwise I'm fine with just tights.

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I performed onstage in a professional theatre dozens of times in nothing more than a leotard and pointe shoes. We did many ballets with no tights.

 

The hair situation was dealt with quite quickly, inexpensively, though not painlessly at the local salon :devil:

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The answer is tampons, of the correct absorbency, changed as necessary

Got to chip in here - on a bad day when I was younger, using the maximum absorbancy it would still sometimes last no more than about 20 minutes - if I was sitting still I would be fine but moving around seems to cause increased flow and leakage.

 

I cheated if I ever had a performance, I was on the pill (due to heavy, painful periods) from about 14 so I would take 2 packs in a row to get me past a performance if needed. Doc said it was OK - I did check.

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The answer is tampons, of the correct absorbency, changed as necessary

Got to chip in here - on a bad day when I was younger, using the maximum absorbancy it would still sometimes last no more than about 20 minutes - if I was sitting still I would be fine but moving around seems to cause increased flow and leakage.

 

 

 

And ditto for me--45 minutes is the absolute maximum time a super+ will last some days, thus the necessary "backup" protection I mentioned before. If you haven't experienced this issue, you don't know what it's like to try to keep ahead of it. This is not your "average flow." It is more common during the teen years and again at perimenopause, and the medical term for it is menorraghia. Please don't assume that everyone can easily manage their monthlies with the correct size tampon and regular changing--most can, but not all, and I would be leaving class at least every half hour if I had to rely solely on tampons.

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I have also found that periods get heavier as I get older, and also that the period pain has got much worse, so I usually don't dance during the first two days anyway, as I am at home tucked up with several hot water bottles.

 

The first time that I noticed the upper arm jiggles I cracked up laughing! I figure that having me in the class tells the teens that you don't need to have the perfect ballet body to dance, and to have confidence in yourself.

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CDR, Lovelylight, and Wembley, I sympathize with both of you dearly as I too am in the same situation. I would like to make a plug for any of the younger ladies reading this thread that this condition should be evaluated by a doctor. It's not necessarily abnormal but should always be checked out especially if it's a change for you. In some instances, medication can be helpful and necessary.

 

We should probably swap topics before the moderators become anxious and lock us out though.

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dancing_dentist

Lampwick, had I get the role of performing without tights, I would definitely refuse. I would never ever expose my striaes and cellulites to the world!! :D

Anyway, I strictly forbid my students to be absent during their period days. We don't get to choose our exam day, or performance days, right? What if the exam/performance day comes right on their period days? So, I advice them to use tampons, or a very slim sanitary pads for those who are concerned with virginity issues (which is a big issue in my culture). I advice them to wear high panties, with a leotard which is not too high-cut on the hips.

As for the hair issue, I always schedule a special "girls' talk" session for them, whether to pull out or shave them. It was a bit awkward at first, so I usually invite some of the older girls to share thair experience with the younger girls.

:devil:

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dancing dentist,

We all used a product called "airbrush legs", or "pantyhose in a can" that Sally Hanson makes. It's basically a spray-on instant tan for the legs. Worked fabulous for bruises, varicose veins, uneven skin, and cellulite. Everyone's legs look flawless on stage:)

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Ok I wasn't going to say anything else, but this is really bothering me. Dysmenorrhea and menorraghia are real medical conditions. This isn't "a few cramps." If a woman has these conditions she is physically incapacitated. That might mean she misses her exam. Yup. She might miss her exam if she had the flu, tendonitis, a sprain, or the measles too but you wouldn't advocating coming to class with these conditions in case they were to happen during an exam/performance time now would you. I find it strange how strongly the "dance through the pain" seems to be recommended in this case. It's sad to see that people, even other women, still believe this is all in the head.

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