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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How many adults actually wear a leotard/tights to class?


missyr

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I always wear a leotard and tights, though not always black/pink. More often it's color/black. I usually wear black shorts or a very short black skirt over it. And always a proper bun with a net.

 

I must admit clothing really influences how you think about people. Last Tuesday a new girl came to our class and she put on a ton of 'company/pro dancer' junk and black shoes. I didn't look much at her clothes and first but I saw the black shoes and thought: 'Oh, probably an adult beginner who doesn't know black shoes are for men.' Of course she turned out to be a very good Russian dancer, but the shoes put me off.

 

I hope this isn't a silly question.. What is a bun net? Is it just like a regular hair net that goes over your whole head, or does it just go over the bun?

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You can buy "ballet hair nets" from companies like Bunheads that come in all colors (blond, brunette, black, red, etc) but I think they're pretty much like regular hair nets that you wrap just around the bun (twice or more plus pins)...or at least that's what I do, but I buy the cheapo hairnets from the drugstore at 1/3 the price ;)

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LaFilleSylphide

The bunheads hairnets are a lot less noticeable than the kinds you buy at drugstores. The mesh netting is very, very fine, yet still durable. If wrapped well, it keeps fly aways to a minimum and is almost undetectable. The drugstore kind look like large diamond-hole heavy fishnet over your buns usually. I take pretty good care of my hairnets from that brand and they still work quite well months and months later. I'm an advocate of wear whatever is within the bounds of dresscode that makes you feel comfortable and confident. I dance better when I feel confident.

 

In my case, I prefer interesting leotards in unique colors, pink tights (because my legs are short), and perhaps I start out with a bunch of layers if it's cold. Many of the places I live are hot, so often I end up in just leotards & tights. I also like the legs of my leotards higher to elongate the length of my legs - Grishko and Wearmoi both have highercut leglines on their leotards. I realized the other day how few black leotards I had. Well, I actually have a lot, but in comparison to my other colors I seem to have very few. Don't worry so much about how you look, worry about how you dance! I've been in classes where people wore all kinds of crazy things and it didn't even matter. Bring extra clothes on your first day and start shedding them according to your comfort level.

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Here's a question for you all: how many leotards do you actually own?

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The bunheads hairnets are a lot less noticeable than the kinds you buy at drugstores. The mesh netting is very, very fine, yet still durable. If wrapped well, it keeps fly aways to a minimum and is almost undetectable. The drugstore kind look like large diamond-hole heavy fishnet over your buns usually. I take pretty good care of my hairnets from that brand and they still work quite well months and months later. I'm an advocate of wear whatever is within the bounds of dresscode that makes you feel comfortable and confident. I dance better when I feel confident.

 

 

 

Thanks, I will have to get some of those. My hair is fairly long,thick, and layered, so it is impossible to put it in a bun without a million flyways.

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Yes bun nets are a must for layered hair! Mine is layered as well and I cannot do a proper bun without a net.

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Just a comment on how others view you. I'm a retired dancer, I take class about 5 or 6 times a week at Steps in NYC. The ballet classes there are populated by a wide mix of dancers, professionals from major ballet companies, and amatures, and many modern or jazz dancers who take ballet as well.

 

I know one young lady, I believe she is 21 years old, she is a brilliant ballet dancer. We all know how difficult it is these days to get a company position, but this girl is not to be believed and dances as well or BETTER than many of the dancers I see from NYC ballet and ABT. She has short hair, tends to wear bike shorts and a T-shirt, and black ballet slippers (her pointe shoes are, though, always pink). She just doesn't present as a ballerina. She NEVER advances to the next round at auditions. I don't know what she wears at auditions, but if her class attire is any indication....

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LaFilleSylphide

That's definitely why being "In the bounds of dresscode" is appropriate. Every dancer should know what is appropriate for what occasion - that's one reason I pack extra clothes in my bag. If I enter an open class filled with a flock of pink legged black-birds, and I think I might feel like the odd duck out, I have a handy dandy black leotard ready to go! I seriously overpack, and let me tell you that it's a delight for me and for any friends that might need a legwarmer or shorts at moment's notice. I do have to say though, most company and pro dancers I know look like bridge people who stumbled upon Bill Cosby's treasure trove of oversized knit sweaters.

 

I'm sure they attended their auditions looking like normal people though. As for leotards... gosh, I don't even know how many I own. At least 20+.

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See, this makes me giggle - because I own maybe six or seven gymnastics leotards for trampolining, but these are usually high backed, and have either a high neckline or a turtle neck type cute. They are all sparkly, although mostly black, and weirdly, when upside-down on a trampoline and with a pair of shorts over them I feel ok! Bigger things to concentrate on I guess......

 

Makers of ballet leotards do assume that all women who dance are flat chested, which I suppose is all well and good for professionals, who tend to be of a slight build, but not so much for the rest of us. I have looked at the bra-tek leotards, but when one is, ahem, lets say, a double F cup (not to put too fine a point on it!) - a shelf bra really isn't sufficient! XL is apparently a C cup......I wish! :rolleyes: At present I'd feel the need to wear a big t-shirt over the top anyway, so its a bit of a moot point.

 

Don't really know why I feel so differently about wearing a leotard in ballet class than on the trampoline. I guess there are no mirrors in the gym!

Edited by doormouse
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Are black ballet shoes for men? I had no idea. I don't have any personally but I see tons of women wearing them-- with black tights, which are far more popular in most classes I attend than pink. I know that (full) black tights and pink shoes are a faux pas-- at least according to the instructors I've heard comment on them?

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I always wear a leotard in a dark color (black, navy, burgandy, hunter) with either pink or flesh color tights. I am self concious of my thighs so I always wear booty shorts (black, pink, blue, gray, brown). Occasionaly I will wear a tank on top and very rarely, black leggings.

 

If your studio has no dress code, then wear what makes you comfortable. I've seen the whole range in adult classes, but I would say the majority have some sort of leotard/tights combo.

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LaFilleSylphide

Usually black and white shoes are reserved for men because they tend to wear black or white tights. The general rule is: "Extend the line of your leg". If a dancer is wearing white tights or socks, then black shoes would not extend that line from his ankles to toes at all. It would be a weird colorblock of white then cut off by black. If one wears black tights, then wearing pink shoes would also be weird... ruins the line. So if a girl wears black tights, the more natural decision to extend the length of her legs and feet would be to wear black shoes. Pink tights, pink shoes, no tights pink or tan shoes, etc. etc. I suppose if you aren't wearing tights, it doesn't matter - you could also wear white or black shoes too. However, some people just wear whatever they have on hand or whatever's comfortable to class. I really hate that blocky mismatched look of not having shoes that go with what tights you're wearing though. One couldn't really call it a "look" so much as either "could care less" or "doesn't know better".

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Salfordnurse

LaFillieSylphide I totally agree with your point of mismatched tights shoes combination. It's also quite jarring to look at. There's a girl in my adult class who wears black tights, and what I first thought were legwarmers over them, but turned out to be large hot pink fluffy socks. Well she wears the black tights pink socks and then black shoes over them. It really does look odd, and quite mismatched. It's very jarring if you catch sight of them during class. She wears them all through class, not just during warm up. Wen we do across the floor work travelling from one corner to the other, we do it in groups of 5 or 6 so we have more space, I've started to go in a different group, as if I can seriously through me off my steps if I catch sight of it. I know I should focus more on myself and what I'm doing but seeing a flash of hot pink in the corner of your eye is very off putting.

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Redbookish

Moderator hat on: Can we make sure we keep this conversation within the bounds of respect for others, please? And that means specific criticism of specific classmates is not on. If you wouldn't say it to the person in question, don't write it here.

 

We've had the "Isn't it ridiculous to see pink tights and black shoes/black tights and pink shoes?" debate before. People are adults and can wear what they like within codes of decency and appropriateness.

 

Thanks.

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LaFilleSylphide

Yeah, that girl is probably me. Hahaha, just kidding! I do tend to wear leotards and tights to class - I wish I had more of a penchant for skirts, but outside of that, when I'm in a cold weather situation I tend to start with a lot of layers. I like those knit pants that are like sweats (but sweater knit), and interesting v-neck sweaters and legwarmers. I also like fleecy overall warmers over my leotards and tights, but by the 3rd hour, I usually end up in just leotards and tights with leg warmers. Like I was joking before, I am probably the girl with hot pink "Moon Boots" on over my shoes. I actually love those gigantic, cushy, soft moon boots in the winter mornings if I know I have to get pointe shoes on pretty quickly in the day. Those patterned mukluk things are so hideous, but admittedly very comfy during the icy winters of a snowy locale!

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