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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Is this too much?


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Hello! I've been lurking here but now actually have a question. My 7 year old son has been in ballet for a few years now. Luckily, there's always been other boys his age in his class and also luckily the school has been pretty laid back about what the boys wear, at first it was t-shirts and sweatpants. Next year came the requirement of school logo t-shirts, which was fine. Next year came the "tights" requirement, which had everyone a little upset because none of us knew any other "tights" except regular black ones in the girls dept. Happily, one of the moms found footed bodywrapper dance pants kind of tights that the school was okay with. Now this year they throw another requirement at us. Something called "Dance Briefs" : http://www.discountdance.com/image/250x300...jpg?r=411539903

 

OK, $17 dance underpants? For 7 year old boys?? Come on. Before I open my mouth and complain can some of the more seasoned parents or male dancers give me a reason why these are or are not necessary? This class he's in is still a pretty basic intro class, just once a week. He enjoys it but doesn't seem to have any aspirations to go on to be a professional or anything. I suspect once it gets too serious he's going to be giving it up, but we'll see. I do fear these requirements are going to speed it the "giving it up" process, though. Thanks.

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Mel Johnson

If they're proposing underwear as outerwear, it's a bad idea. All the little guys need is black bike shorts and a white leotard worn under the shorts. The prepubescents don't need dance belts.

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Sorry - 7 is too young. If they are briefs, then they won't know what he's wearing anyway. If the uniform is tights and a tshirt, then some tight white briefs under the tights is all he needs. (If he's wearing the leotard suggested below - and bike shorts - then nothing more will be needed.) If it is an issue (visually) then someone will say something. My DS was "required" to wear a dance belt when he went to the "real" ballet class. That was around 10. THey didn't have as many options as they do now so we really ignored it until about two years later.

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My DS has been doing ballet since the age of 7 - he is now 15, taking class very seriously for the last three years and he only needed them for performances from the age of 13, ( not for class) so I am sure your 7 year old can do without.

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Is this new requirement in writing only, or has the director/teacher specifically told you that he needed them? Every studio my son has attended has required dance briefs in their written dress code, but he never wore them and no one ever knew. He just wore nothing under his black leggings (he hates underwear lines). When he was 11.5 years old, he actually began to *need* a dance belt.

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That's what we did, too - it was listed as a "uniform requirement" but DS didn't use it since at the time they didn't make anything small enough. They told him to buy some women's tight underwear instead. We were kind of appalled. He also didn't use tights until much older, though, because we couldn't find anything thick enough. For years he was stuck with girls leggings which were pretty thick. And he knew nothing about his line at the time. So boys' briefs worked just fine.

 

Once he went to using a dance belt, it was for class and performances - he wasn't comfortable being in class without it. Even before he made the transition to tights.

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CoventGarden

I agree, special dance underwear isn't necessary until he's older. If they're not visible the school will never know.

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I believe the Bolshoi Academy may be the only school left in the world that requires "spankies"/dance briefs/cheerleader briefs as the only lower body uniform for male dancers. Because that is an elite environment, and the expectation has always been that is the unifrom, it does not bother me as much there. BUT, personal opinion is that boys have a difficult enough time with dance. Let's not make it more difficult by requiring a piece of clothing that is typically worn by girls under their cheerleader skirts.

 

I would find another school if they are asking for briefs to be the only lower body wear. If they are asking for briefs to be worn under opaque tights, then that does not bother me as much, though it will be hot in Summer.

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Thanks for the supportive replies! Noooo, the "dance briefs" aren't going to be used as outerwear (although I didn't even think of that, I hope that's not what they meant!) - I'm pretty sure they just meant: wear them under the tights. And they informed me just a few days ago about it by a brief email, no explanation or anything. I just found it annoying, trying to be so pushy about something like this at such a young age. His normal underpants are a dark color and seem tight enough to me.

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If they're to be worn under the tights, they might be good preparation for when he will transition to a dance belt. As with girls, boys mature at different rates, and some may need more support earlier than others, but you can't exactly single one boy out, and say "Only you must wear this item". Better to make it a rule which may make it easier for the day they must wear the really uncomfortable item!

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