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The etiquette of... sweat?

je danse dans ma tete

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This is something I've been wondering for a while.


In my classes we are allowed to wear any leotard colour, style, material etc. that we desire. I have many black leotards, but I love colour and have quite a few that are pale blue, burgundy, lavender etc. Also have quite a few cotton ones.


I usually wear my coloured and cotton leos to my easier classes because I sweat less. Usually, if I am working as hard as I should be, I am showing sweat marks by the end of barre. Sometimes, if i am not too hot, I will pull a tank top on over my leo but I really could care less as my teacher always says we are not working hard enough if we are not breaking a sweat.


I know (see that) everyone sweats- some a lot, some a little depending on various factors, Sometimes I sweat 'gracefully'- or glow as they say- and other times I am drenched. So I was wondering, is there a certain etiquette in the studio regarding sweat? Like, should I make sure to always have a tank top or something to pull over when I start sweating? Is it considered rude or gross or inappropriate to be 'wet' and should I just stick to black leotards?


A silly question I know, but I really am cluelss on this one so any insight would be appreciated!

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I personally wouldn't worry about it too much, most likely everyone else is as sweaty as you. I personally just make sure I have on a decent deodrant on those days I feel more err stinky :) (tends to be hormonal, so most of the time I don't bother). As for the wetness, if you feel self-conscious then as you said dark colors are better, but I don't think anyone else is really going to be offended! On the other hand if you are one of those people who sweats bucket loads a small hand towel is handy just to keep it a bit more in control.

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Um, this is a very delicate subject. Some articles of clothing become somewhat see through when even slightly wet.



Be extra careful and ask your teacher and fellow dancers.


Happy New Year!

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I usually come IN to class already sweating if I've done a warm-up beforehand. If not (and it's not usual for me NOT to warm up), then I'm sweating by the end of the tendus.


I always wear deodorant and ALWAYS have a towel. I've only had some of the smaller pupils in school/class comment on how much I'm sweating. The teacher usually steps up and says something like, "Why aren't YOU sweating, too?" *grin*

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I went back to ballet classes when I was 29 having had a break for several years (during which time I was teaching).


It was private lessons and the studio I went to was very cold but I would be sweating after the plies. By the time we got to centre work I would be pretty much drenched and pirouettes were a nightmare. Not only would the sweat flick off my face but also my hair as it was short and I couldn't put it up. After them I would see blobs of sweat all over the floor - gross!! Luckily there was nobody else there to get sweated on!! :D


I thought the fitter I got the less I would sweat but it didn't seem to be the case. I never used to sweat much as a teenager so I guess it's an age thing.


So basically I'm just sympathising with you really! The only thing I could do was mop the sweat off me after every exercise with a towel.

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I don't think that it would disturb anyone if you sweat a lot as long as you don't make the floor wet so that it is getting too slippery to dance :D

I sweat a lot in summer and I have a towel ready to clean it away once in a while (it's annoying to have it all in the eyes).


As long as you wash your leos after each class, it shouldn't be a problem. Fresh sweat is not gross, it does not stink and most people sweat.

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I agree about not making the floor slippery.


Also, if there's a floor exercise part, if you forget to bring at towel, there will be all sorts of detailed body imprints on the floor afterwards. We have fun going round afterwards, making personal comments, and laughing.



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Oh dear, I sweat like anything at the barre, and tend to wear dark leotards because of that. I have a towel, and use a t-shirt as well, although it's weird -- by centre practice I dry off! I was actually talking about this with my pro-dancer sister, because I was commenting on being embarrassed about getting hands on corrections, and she said 'Oh, any teacher who's been a professional will be well used to the shower effect!'

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As a teacher, I have always associated sweat with the phrase "Blood, Sweat and Tears", the very makings of a dancer :) For some reason, though, one aspect of sweat has become more bothersome to me when taking class or teaching as I have gotten older, maybe after having had my children. Just and FYI- TMI- don't like the look of sweat on my leotard, "below the belt" shall we say. In my youth and twenties, I either never paid attention or was working too hard to care. Now, if I show up for teaching or to take class, if I do not have a skirt, I feel- UMMMM, very self-conscious :)

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Okay so I think we've established that a little bit of sweat is okay in the ballet studio!


I was more concerned about having little dark patches on my leotards than anything else (ie whether that would be considered rude). Perhaps my use of the term drenched was hyperbolic, but it is very good to know that if I ever start 'dripping' I am in good company!


I like the towel idea, I think I'll start bringing a little facecloth with me. Thanks for all the replies! :)

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Excuse me Jim. That was my butt imprint on the floor you were laughing at while I was off to get my towel.


Don't feel bad. Go back and watch te movie "Fame". The ballet teacher asks "Where's the sweat Sheila?" So maybe it wasn't Sheila, but you get the idea.


I was once in an outdoor summer Shakespeare project where my partner regularly dripped sweat on me. :) At least in class you can wipe it up between combinations instead of ignoring it and maintaining a serene smile for the duration.

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Just don't eat a lot of garlic beforehand because that'll come out in your sweat. Not even kidding . . . I had to dance with a guy that had garlic literally coming out of his pores. It got so bad that I said something to the director who instituted a 'No Garlic' policy for the duration of the show.


But I'm sure your sweat is just fine. It's not dancing if you're not sweating.

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That goes for hot peppers and raw onions, too. Those aromatic oils get into your system and can even "infect" your costume. I had to share a tunic with a guy who liked to eat all that stuff, and when I put the thing on, it was merely "perfumed" with kitchen scent. When I started to sweat, the stuff went to work on ME! I felt like I was trapped in a stuntman's firesuit! Inside-out with the fire going!

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