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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ideas for covering upper arms

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I'm trying to find a way to have something on my upper arms that's fitted and keeps everything together (floppy arm bits plus a tendency to drop my elbows a bit is a bad combination!) that isn't overly hot. I am a very hot and sweaty person, so combine high humidity in South Florida plus 3/4 sleeve leotards.. it can make sweat management a challenge (I'm feeling bad for my classmates especially on turning combinations lately :blushing: ) not to mention the leotard itself can get a little rank over time. In the past I've done the camisole/tank leo plus cut out crotch from tights and wearing over top, but that can get really ratty looking pretty quickly. I was considering a thin shrug and just chopping the sleeves around the elbow but I'm not sure if there are any that would be light enough to not exacerbate the heat issue.

Anyone have any clever ideas? :)

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Why not have a short sleeved leotard?????????????? That's what I wear even in our hot, humid summers, as I need to wear a bra and my upper arms are also not as firm as I'd like them to be. If you can't find a leotard with short sleeves (definitely not the cap sleeve type as they are so non-flattering!) get a seamstress to shorten the 3/4 length sleeves. That way they will still be close fitting and a length that hides the flab, but short enough to give you some relief from the humidity. By the way some materials seem to reflect the heat more than others. I don't think I have smelly sweat, but one of my leotards always smells a bit rank after class and the others don't, so I wreckon it's something in the mix of the fibres. Talcum powder is quite good under the arms as it dries the area and gives a nice smell. You can keep a cottonwool ball covered in talc in a little bag and dab yourself surreptitiously from time to time.

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Agree that nicely cut short-sleeved leos are not that easy to find nowadays.


Talcum powder is quite good under the arms as it dries the area and gives a nice smell. You can keep a cottonwool ball covered in talc in a little bag and dab yourself surreptitiously from time to time.


I agree with the talcum powder; but just one caution - if any of it gets onto the floor, it is very very slippery!


There sure are leos which tend to smell bad after short use! There really must be something in the fabric, as Hamorah has mentioned! So annoying!


I always use cut-off-tights (crotch cut out, feet off), as I am always COLD and need some covering on my arms, but dislike long-sleeved leos. Yes, the tights get ratty, but as they are fairly cheap, one _can_ replace them ever so often.


Shrugs are also great, but I have found them to be too thick for summer (even for me!) and they sometimes make one look as if one is - well - shrugging. :)


keep us posted on what you decide to do!



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I bought a bunch of stretchy T-shirts from Walgreens and Walmart and use those over my leo in class. I'm in SF too, and yes, it can get quite miserable even with some air conditioning. I sweat just LOOKING at the barre, as well! :)


Where in SF are you, if you don't mind my asking...? I'm wondering if we're in class together at some point (I take at four different studios).

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I've not seen a short sleeved leo that would cover enough for me personally, I do have a couple (not cap sleeve) and I think it gives the worst line as it cuts right into mid upper arm and only adds to the droopy effect :)

I might just go back to the tights situation, just the last time I wore that to class I saw the teacher give me a funny look so I was wondering about less scraggly alternatives. I vaguely recall seeing some manufactured similar item, maybe it was still lingering around on dannyswarehouse.com ? But it was essentially a sewn version of what we do with old tights (ideally without massive runs and holes as well), but I haven't run across it anywhere else.

And there's no amount of talcum powder that's drying me out - to give an idea after my last class I had a couple very small patches of dry spots on my otherwise completely soaked leotard.

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Have you checked out Discount Dance? I remember seeing some very lightweight (probably similar to tights) coverups that tied in the front and were pretty.

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I find that using black tights for the cut-off thing sometimes looks a bit more elegant.


As for similarly-made items, but that are a bit more finished --

Capezio Layers

Danskin Piece-its

AMB Designs

Prima Soft

Bloch (has a mesh, tie-in-front version)


Have a good look around, not just on Discount Dance but also All About Dance, Dancewear Distributors, Danny's, and Dancewear Solutions... or do a google search.

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I was curious about people that had actually used some of those options or had any other ideas, what the weight of the items were, etc. I had come across the Capezio Layers which looked lighter weight but it doesn't seem to be made anymore? I didn't see it on Capezio's site and the stock in the various sites is limited to bright colors. I'll check out the other items, I did do a fair amount of looking around but hadn't seen most of those. Thanks for the suggestions.


And yeah, I do use black tights, I'm not a fan of pink tights over anything. :rolleyes: Maybe I just need to refine my tight cutting technique to minimize the mass of runs it seems to turn into at the shoulder/chest region. I'll have to experiment with the next pair of tights that needs to be retired.

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Use really really sharp scissors - ideally scissors made for cutting fabric, that never ever touch paper - and you'll want to get those sharpened every once and awhile. If you see a run about to start, use a little drop of clear nail polish on the run, and it will prevent it from "running away."

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Yeah, you can use the clear nailpolish, or even hairspray or fraycheck on the runs. And the sharp scissors thing is right!


Layers are lightweight, and kinda cute. I had one but didn't like the color and gave it to a friend, otherwise I would just send it to you! I'm not sure if Capezio still makes them, but they are definitely still available at many stores/online retailers.

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