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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Nervous about class and how to dress


luvsmusicluvs2dance

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it covers my midriff quite well.

 

OK, then I guess it wouldn't disturb me in class. :-) The worst was when I was supposed to be partnering someone who chose to not wear a leotard that day. Ugh.

 

The person I mentioned wears black tights, but they're still see-through :-(.

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The person I mentioned wears black tights, but they're still see-through :-(.

 

I can't imagine anyone wearing that in a ballet class here in Texas :shrug:

 

As to the other point on beginners wearing pink tights and leos, and ribbons on ballet slippers.. I'm pretty sure a lot of it is the allure and mystique of ballet. I have a friend who wants to wear the ballet look, but not really dance. And I think dressing up and wearing legwarmers and looking like a dancer is half the fun of starting ballet.

 

I definitely like dressing like a dancer even in real life, with a wraparound over my dance clothes. So stylish!

 

Mazenderan: I also felt like you did when I first started. It took me months to gather the courage to wear pink tights when I first started. And when I finally did, I was very embarassed. But no one took notice, and they all thought it was normal. So it was all in my head.

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Oh I danced with a lady who had the see-through black tights problem! Let me tell you every single soul in that class noticed it but her. She wore hosiery tights, not dance tights, white granny panties underneath, and a SHORT tshirt over, that barely hit at her hip bones. Oh it wasn't a pretty sight.

 

There are some days when I think ribbons on flats might be fun, and then I ponder the thought of sewing them on there and retract the previous thought with due haste. I hate sewing. I'm under the impression this is a tradition that goes back to the days before elastic existed and ribbons were how all shoes were kept on, but I'm usually wrong.

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I assume the same about ribbons on flats. They seemed to be standard in the UK, as portrayed in "Billy Elliot."

 

I think the prevalance of pink tights is more complicated than beginner / non-beginner. I've found that classes with more serious students tend to have more pink tights in them, even at the advanced levels. Among professionals, there are no hard-and-fast rules, it all depends on what the professional is trying to accomplish that day. Really, I think it boils down to the conflicting feelings of loving our body but also feeling not satisfied with it.

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Among professionals, there are no hard-and-fast rules, it all depends on what the professional is trying to accomplish that day. Really, I think it boils down to the conflicting feelings of loving our body but also feeling not satisfied with it.

 

Well said!!

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Where I go, almost no one wears truly traditional attire as far as color schemes go, and we don't have a more general dress code, either. However, if we're wearing something inappropriate for class, we do get corrected. For example, we have a teenage boy who sometimes comes to class with a kind of ("fashionable?") trouser whose crotch hangs down half way to his knees (and tugs them up periodically between jumps!) Our teacher has been quite vociferous that this is ridiculous and has even told his mother to make him wear pants that stay up!

 

And this week, I noticed he took a young girl aside after about 8 months not wearing traditional dress and said that he understood that for various reasons, people might not want to expose their bodies, and he had nothing to say on that particular matter, but that it was now required of her that she stop wearing trousers longer than her legs!

 

Also, when anyone has any kind of injury or infirmity they are nursing, he tells us when and what kind of warmer to wear when appropriate.

 

Heehee.. I notice in the beginning ballet class, most ladies are wearing pink tights, black leotards.. but in the int/adv levels, people are wearing black tights and colorful camisoles

 

...I guess for me I like honoring a tradition that I never got to be a part of as a child/teen. Maybe I'll feel like I've earned the right to dress down when my technique has improved to the point where I look like a dancer and not a student.

 

As to the other point on beginners wearing pink tights and leos, and ribbons on ballet slippers.. I'm pretty sure a lot of it is the allure and mystique of ballet. I have a friend who wants to wear the ballet look, but not really dance. And I think dressing up and wearing legwarmers and looking like a dancer is half the fun of starting ballet.

 

 

It's so interesting to see all the different interpretations of why someone DOES wear traditional attire in class.

 

When I first started back to class, I just went in what I had in the house: yoga tops and leggings. Ugh. I was constantly hitching up the leggings and tugging down the tops. What a pain in the butt. One week of that, and I realized I WANTED the convenience of a leotard and tights back again.

 

In my class, there are only 2 of us who come in black leotards and pink tights. In my case, this is what I grew up wearing, and so when I went shopping to go back to class, I just put the same thing back on without thinking about it.

 

After reading various discussions here about this, I did try to branch out, and now, about 30% of the time, I'll wear a different colour leotard, but still on the dark side, such as navy, hunter green, or maroon. I never go with a darker tight, however. I feel like I can't see everything in my leg in the mirror with a darker tight, and I suppose I'd feel like a butter cup or something in a lighter leotard, I'm not sure why.

 

Also, almost no one in my class really bares their hips. Our class is full of skirts, hip sweaters, baggie shorts, plasticky things, 2nd layer of trousers, sweats, etc. I'm about the only one who puts nothing else on there, although I do wear ankle warmers for my achilles' and longer warmers for my legs and sweaters in winter. For me, again, I just feel like I can't see everything that is going on when there is something there in the middle, and having something at the hips just makes me feel kind of overly-focused on the center of my body, when I'd rather just have a clean line from top to bottom with nothing breaking me in half.

 

Probably the only place I deviate much from tradition is in my shoes - I have overly narrow feet, and most shoes looked like baggies on my feet until I found the narrow width Angelo Luzios made out of the stretchy canvas. They fit so great I don't bother with instep elastic at all! What a renegade!

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Lampwick,

 

I too have been oggling that Bloch overall. I have a Sansha one in fleece (I can see horrified looks now. I dance in cold church halls that barely have any heating. Everyone comes covered up until it is warm....) which is absolutely fabulous, and a lot of folks here have the U.K.-based Wear Moi (also called Aurora, different than U.S./France Wear Moi) fleece Eskimo... If you get it, let me know what you think.

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I HAVE to wear pink tights, flats and a burgundy leo. I am not allowed to wear coverups or anything - but then again, I'm in a traditional class!

I have the biggest issue with finding a burgundy leo that is long enough for my torso, yet supports in the bust. :innocent:

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As an adult male amateur, I agree with most others here. I’m not sure there’s any great need to be too nervous about what one wears in an adult class. While I’m sure some people may take notice, to me personally, I’m much more concerned in class about how my own body is performing that day than what anyone else happens to be wearing.

 

The only time I might notice what anyone else is wearing is if it happens to be particularly odd or seemingly inappropriate to the purpose of the dance. I have to admit that having underwear obviously show under translucent tights, which I have seen, does seem odd to me. Not necessarily distracting, but odd. To me, baggy clothes just don’t seem appropriate for a ballet class.

 

I’m sure I’m influenced by the approach of my earliest adult instructor who placed an emphasis on the importance of being able to clearly see a student’s lines, both for her as well as the student being able to observe their self. She understood that while many of us may have limited talent, she still always stressed the importance of maintaining proper alignment both for the ascetics of the movements as well as safety. In this light, she was most insistent on appropriate attire with the younger students (she told them being over 30 had privileges!) but no requirement on color. Because of her reasoning and the emphasis with the younger students in class, the over 30 students almost always dressed accordingly. For comfort and modesty, some layering of warm-ups and chiffon skirts is common.

 

In considering what to wear in class, it seems the important criteria should be the appropriateness for the movements and objectives of the class, what you are comfortable in, and lastly, how you or anyone else thinks you might look in it.

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it covers my midriff quite well.

 

OK, then I guess it wouldn't disturb me in class. :-)

 

 

Hi: Citibob:

 

I have been dying to ask someone who might represent other adults as to what folks might be sensitive about seeing on others.

 

I have been getting more and more back acne since I had to discontinue the hormones medication that has kept it at bay for 25 years or so. I had to quit because they found I have a hereditary blood clotting disorder that is a contraindication so I am on the acne train at 47 and fighting it tooth and nail.

 

Anyway the question is: Should I be wearing leotards that cover more of it that my camisoles do to avoid grossing out my classmates, or stay cooler and not worry about it so much?

 

 

I wouldn't dream of letting my midriff out for all to see, but I am happy enough in pink tights as long as I have a skirt on. The skirt doesn't have to be long; in fact longer ones annoy me in class.

I feel funny wearing my black tights occasionally because I did have a teacher or two back in the day who insisted on pink tights and shoes. I still do it occasionally.

It is beige I couldn't deal with in a ballet class..on me. Black for Modern and flesh tones for Jazz don't bother me a bit.

I have never been in class with a prescribed leotard color. In fact, the teacher I had in elementary school ordered our gear in any choice of color. I had purple leotard and tights. The shoes were black and my mother insisted on that because she thought dirt would show more on pink.

I actually love the slimming nature of black leotards, but it seriously washes me out. I tried to spot in the mirror once when wearing black and could hardly find my face. There was just a pale blurr.

 

I love the teacher mentioned above who curtailed the wearing of pants longer than the legs in class. There is a girl in one of my classes that does that. She is a beginner on a budget and wears what she has. She has invested in a leotard now. Most do catch on to whatever the class norm is.

 

 

Laschwen

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Also, almost no one in my class really bares their hips. Our class is full of skirts, hip sweaters, baggie shorts, plasticky things, 2nd layer of trousers, sweats, etc. I'm about the only one who puts nothing else on there, although I do wear ankle warmers for my achilles' and longer warmers for my legs and sweaters in winter. For me, again, I just feel like I can't see everything that is going on when there is something there in the middle, and having something at the hips just makes me feel kind of overly-focused on the center of my body, when I'd rather just have a clean line from top to bottom with nothing breaking me in half.

 

Pirou, you inspired me!

After my last break from ballet, I've mainly worn solid black tights, due to being self-conscious with my body. So yesterday I took out my pink tights, and decided to wear them. And I brought a skirt along. But I remembered your post, I don't like wearing skirts during class either, and it covers up the line. Also, my body isn't going to get any younger, I may as well be happy with it while I'm in my twenties!

 

But then the entire class I was very self-conscious about my pink tights, and kept pulling my leotard down to cover more of my legs (not the most fruitful endeavour). And I told myself: no one notices, why are you being so self-conscious!?

 

Then after an hour into the class, the teacher said to me, in front of the whole class: "It's so nice to see you in pink tights! I can see your legs. And you've such nice legs."

 

I was so embarassed. Now the whole class is looking at my legs in sheer pink tights.

But then I'm like.. yeah, I've got nice legs. Yeah!

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Oh Laschwen, I feel for you with the acne! I've had cystic acne across my shoulders in the past, and I remember the acne being so inflamed & sore. I used to wear a tank style cotton singlet inside out under my street clothes, so that the seams & labels didn't rub on the acne.

 

I would go with a camisole for comfort's sake, because you would have less sweat & rubbing on the acne. Your classmates are more likely to be sympathetic than grossed out.

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Wembly:

Thank you for saying that. I know how you feel. My acne isn't cystic, this time, but I have been there.

 

I just wanted to clarify something I can't tell if we all have the same issue with wearing pink tights or not.

Sorry if this is blunt.

Personally, the fact that they are sheer bothers me only in that one can tell If I have waxed lately or not, which is a good reason for a short skirt.

The size and shape of my legs is not the problem in class in spite of a new bit of what I call "Old Lady Fat" appearing on my thighs. I am telling myself that it is just appearing in contrast to where I have shaped up in my legs lately.

I also figure that my teacher needs to see my legs properly and if the light color helps, it is to my benefit. I never felt that my black tights hid any of that fat anyway.

 

Laschwen

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I wear pink tights (black tights are really not worn for ballet here), but always with a skirt now. There are two reasons for the skirt: one is the bikini line issue mentioned above. The other is that I am a school teacher, and very occasionally a student from my ballet studio turns up in one of my classrooms. When that happens I'd prefer that there are still some mysteries between us and that they don't know the exact size and shape of my derriere!

 

p.s. the students that I have taught have been absolutely lovely about the situation.

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Laschwen... I guess I feel in a funny position being asked to answer your question. To me, I guess it's just about modesty. I like to maintain my modesty, and I prefer that others do the same. And in the context of the ballet studio, everyone pretty much agrees on which body parts and forms of presentation are and are not modest. Skin conditions don't change that. They are part of the human condition; something to be dealt with, certainly, but not ashamed of.

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