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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ankle socks?


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The first time I saw boys wearing white ankle socks over black tights was at a summer intensive audition. DS got into this summer intensive, and now I have to locate the ankle socks! I have looked at Discount Dance, department stores, etc, and I don't really know what to buy. Where do I get ankle socks for boy dancers (he is 11-- going on 12)?


What is the purpose of wearing socks over tights? I am not a dancer, so not sure if it adds support, cushion, or is just for looks?? DS and I are so used to black tights with black shoes.


Last question: Why are ballet slippers sold with two elastics when DS's school tells them to use one? What is the difference between using two crossed elastics or one?


Thanks so much!

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I don't know about the elastics; but I buy all of DS's ankle/crew/whatever-thin-socks-he-needs at Target or Wal*Mart in the girls section. I just don't tell him the source! DS is also young, so the older dancers may need socks that are more purpose manufactured, so that might not be helpful at all.

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Make sure you get the thinnest socks you can find--preferably dress socks rather than athletic socks. Ideally they should not be thicker than tights.


It is easier for teachers to see the line of the ankle and foot if you wear white shoes and socks. Also, white shoes simply worn over black tights would look awful, so you have to wear white socks for aesthetic reasons, too.


The elastics are mostly personal preference--crossed elastics (when properly sewn) tend to do a slightly better job of holding on the heel and pulling the shoe up to conform to the dancer's arch when he points his foot. If you decide to use two crossed elastics, here is how to sew them:


As a general guide, fold the heel of the shoe down and sew the elastics approximately at the crease or a little behind there depending on what works best for you. Sew the other end of the elastics in the middle of the arch--not forward of there. A lot of students sew their elastics too far forward, and it looks very strange.


As a final note--you may already have him do this, but at his age, he should be learning to sew his shoes himself. Around age 12 it should be entirely his responsibility.

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Thank you! I find that chain/department stores can be hit-or-miss, so are there any ballet suppliers of these socks?


In addition to learning how to do his own laundry at summer intensive, I will work on getting him sewing too. I think that SI will be a great learning experience on a number of angles!

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The Shoe Room at Canada's National Ballet School sells Freed white socks for $6.95. They are great quality thin socks. I bought 2 pairs last year for my son and they are still in great condition (I handwash them - they are quick-drying). You can purchase them online from The Shoe Room if you can't source them locally.

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I think I found our best pairs at the drugstore - very thin ladies' socks that fold over at the ankle. Very cheap!

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I second Target - the girls section. There are packages of ankle socks that are fairly thin - not thick like boys socks. My son never cared that the socks were from the girls section - he just cared that they worked well for what he needed. As far as he is concerned he is one of the only boys at his dance school so really, what's the big deal about wearing girl's socks? : ) On a side note, the socks that my son likes the most don't come in a package of all solid white - there are some socks that have "girlie" patterns on them as well, so he is very popular when we buy new packages of socks - he gives the patterned socks away to the girls in his ballet class. Everyone at our ballet school jokes that it's his way of "marking" his "Ballet Harem."

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I've always wondered the same thing about the socks over tights and am so glad I now have an answer. My son has Freed socks, but just got them. Up until now, he's worm Target or Kohls girls socks (the thinnest "dress" socks I could find).


Both my children wear ballet shoes with two elastics because those shoes fit their arches better when they were fitted. The single elastic didn't conform as well to their wide feet. The two elastic shoes fit them like gloves, so we stick with what works.


Now that I've been reminded, I need to get myself to Target for new socks for the Spring performance this weekend!

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  • 1 month later...

Hopefully you already found them, but just in case, or for other moms needing another option... Academy in their shoe section now carries Sock Liners for girls. I just bought girl's XL "tube sock" liners. They fit him somewhere between high ankle & crew sock height, which seems perfect. Also, since they are for girls, they are narrower than men's would be, so they fit nice and snug like tights so they don't slip like most socks would do. Much safer! They are nice and thin so he can wear them either with footless tights or over his tights. He wears Sansha 14 canvas shoes for size reference. (Their size selection was dismal, but check online!)


ETA they also have fairly flat seems which he really appreciates.

Edited by ByTheLake
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I am still looking- the girls' socks at Target are the right thickness but too small (he wears size 6 shoes). I don't think we have an Academy here because I haven't heard of it. Are there any other similar store types?

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Does your school have a source? I should think that if socks are a required item in the boys uniform, then they would have a source :shrug:

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OK- so I called the SI (which is out of town) and they said that the boys wear regular boys' tube socks from the store! I think those will be very hot and not fit with his current sized shoes. For now we will go with the thinner girls socks from Target- and the Sansha socks are a good sourse. Doublejoy- are the sizes for boys or men? My son wears men's size 7 shoes.


Thank you!

Edited by expat123
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