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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adults and Dance wear


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OK I started out with some of the same issues - for the first couple years it was mostly black everything, and I tried to dance in the back corner of the studio. But I'm an old-fashioned guy (I prefer the term "classicist") so I've settled on black tights, white shirt, shoes, and socks. Major Mel set me straight once about white socks even over full-footed tights. Trust me, guys have body image issues too - but if a middle-aged guy is going to start taking dance classes, you just have to get over it.


Usually I dance on black marley, and I try to always wear white on my feet so the teacher can see what they are doing. Occasionally when I dance on wood I'll wear black socks and shoes; it makes a longer line and I figure there's enough contrast for my feet to be visible. And a couple years ago I noticed all my white dance shirts were turning gray - so I dyed them orange! Meant to get a dark red, but a salmoney orange is what I got. Also bought a new set of whites, and now I alternate orange and white shirts. (I separate the colors now, too. Some of us are slow learners.)


I machine wash cold / gentle; most items get worn once and washed on average every 10-15 days, so say 30 times per year. In six years I've never lost any dance clothing, and only one set of tights has a tiny hole near the knee. Well, except one brand of tights (2 pair) that were short-lived.

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I am guilty of having lots of clothes and doing lots of laundry! I've danced my entire life, and some things are really old and beloved. I have tights I bought in 1990!

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I was absolutely THRILLED when I finally fit BACK into tights I'd bought way back then!! LOL!


Pulled out my little storage box from ages and ages ago and found the jazz-style pants I used to use. They are sewn and re-sewn in some places but I fit into them comfortably now, again. It's lovely!

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I'm in the same spot as missvjc -- somethings are hard to get rid of... but I have recently gotten rid of stuff, because then I can get new stuff!!!!!!!!!! YAY!


I machine wash my dance stuff, delicate cycle (Woolite and Woolite for Darks). If I put anything in the wash with clasps, etc, I put those things in a lingerie bag. Air dry dance stuff. No runs, no loss of color (except the certain brands of tights that always lose color anyways...)


By this time, I know styles/colors/etc that work well on me. Darker skin requires REALLY pink tights to make them look pink and not a weird washed out greyish-peach.

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I do a small wash for dance clothes, no zippered or Velcro clothes permitted to scratch and create runs. Dry on low heat. Rarely a problem.


I found a old pair of black bike tights, the waist elastic had completely disintegrated, I thought about sewing suspenders on them but decided it was not worth it.


I typically wear black tights with a snug athletic T-shirt (under armor style) they breathe and help wick moisture. I've worn mens gray tights with gray shoes occasionally, you really see the line of your leg! One of my teachers really liked it as well, she is French and it reminded her of class in France.


I've become a fan of black running pants as warmups, they are slim and you can do warmups at the barre in them. Loose pajama bottoms really hide the leg line.

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I also machine wash everything (on a "delicate" cycle). It has never damaged anything. I even machine wash my ouch pouch toe caps :o (well, only once so far, and nothing bad happened, so I'll do it again :sweating: ). In my country, we hardly ever use dryers, so everything gets hung out to dry.

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Its not lazy to machine wash your dance gear, think of it like this, while the machine is doing it's thing you can be at another ballet class doing your thing in a backup leo outfit.

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I had my first-ever ballet class the other night. I decided I'd waited 44 years for this and I was darned well going to do it up right, so I went for the classic look: black leotard (with a back solid enough to cover my bra), pink tights, pink slippers.


It's a very large class but I think I noticed only one other woman with the same look. (Fine by me, I'm not all that interested in what people are wearing.) (So why do I read all these clothing threads avidly? Hmm ...) There were no men so I can't report on their choices.


I find that even though I have about thirty pounds still to lose, there's nothing like wearing a tight leotard to make me want to pull it all up and suck it all in! Loose clothing wouldn't have been so helpful for that, I think. I'd be happy to have leotards in other colours as well, but there's no point buying more until I know I'll want to continue. Also, because I have psoriasis, there are some alarming red patches on my ultra-white legs, but the pale pink tights seem to camouflage those well enough. So, the classic look is working fine for me so far!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Violets!!!!!


I hope you do decide to stick with it, and good for you for your healthy outlook on form. :dry:

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Black tights, booty shorts, various sports tops. Basically what I already have on hand to teach/rehearse belly dance.


Honestly, I would not feel comfortable in a leotard and pink tights, so I am glad I am not required to wear them. Leotards, swimsuits, etc, anything with an elasticized leg never stay in place on my booty -- they always creep up. Plus my beauty aesthetic has been too long influenced by oriental dance, an aesthetic just about completely the opposite of ballet when it comes to the female body shape -- I want my torso lengthened and hip width emphasized. Anything that visually increases my hip to waist ratio is good :thumbsup:


Of course, if my teacher asked or required us to wear something else I would. But she just wants us to be able to see our feet and legs (so no loose yoga pants).

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I can't wait until I can fit into tights and a leotard! I'm currently too overweight for even the plus size ones I've seen, but I suspect it's just one or two more months before they'll fit. I currently wear a fitted tank top and short pants/long shorts that are tight. The pants are not the most pleasing as they chop my leg in half, but it was really the only things I could find that were tight enough for my teacher to see my body clearly. :thumbsup:

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Summer: Black footed tights, black canvas slippers and black or white tight fitting T-shirt.

Winter: I'll either double up on the tights with a long sleeve "heating" under armour type shirt or wear a black long sleeve unitard, both underneath a white or black T-shirt.


Other guys wear footless tights or bike shorts with any color T-shirt. There used to be a young guy that only wore a black unitard with black shoes.


As for the women, it varies from the black and pink tights combo to standard gym type outfits. We don't really have a dress code in adult class, although the new teacher seems to favour the more traditional look, which gets more corrections!

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OK, I'm going to take my first class EVER on the weekend. I'm sooo nervous, excited and somewhat panicked about a number of things, not the least is, what I should wear? I was thinking of a fitted T, leggings and do I absolutely have to wear slippers? This is a pre-beginner class so I have no idea what to expect. I guess if I make the investment in ballet slippers, I'll have to continue, won't I?


Did I mention I am nervous?

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I took my first class at a new studio last night and was the only person in pink tights & leotard (pale green). Everyone else except for one woman in a black leo, no tights and a black skirt was in gym gear/pants/t-shirts/etc. They probably thought I was a little strange but everyone at my old studio was in leo & tights and I personally find them much more comfortable and easy to dance in!


Clairelea, I'm sure your class will be fine- congratulations for taking up ballet! A fitted t-shirt or singlet top and leggings are fine for your first class- you want something that is easy to move in. I wore socks for my first class but ballet slippers are much easier to dance in and I invested in a pair after the first week. They come in leather or canvas and most people prefer one or the other, but no need to definitely get one or the other to start with. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your class!

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