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Ballet Talk for Dancers



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Hi to all,


After a few years just attending classes with my girlfriend (who got me into ballet!) been asked to be in a show in coming months (my first) bit nervous, I guess. Wondering if anyone has any good tips on how to dress correctly make sure all OK. etc. Been told be "classical costumes".



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Hello Andrew and welcome!


I am not sure what you are looking for exactly regarding your appropriate "dress" for the show. I am sure the Artistic Director or Wardrobe Mistress can guide you in the right direction.

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Sorry maybe not made myself clear, not the actual costume as such more tips re wearing etc make sure stays as should be and to get "the right look"

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No need to worry Andrew, they will have people who will help you dress. A ballet costume can be daunting, especially for a man. The company seamstress of Costume master will try a costume on you several weeks before the performance, she will then adjust the costume to fit you.


You need to tell the Seamstress where the costume is tight or loose, don't assume they know. Typically costumes are borrowed or rented, and typically don't fit correctly.


Move around in it when you try it on, make sure you can raise your arms and bend over. Look at yourself in the mirror and make sure nothing looks funny. I once had a pair of pants where all the wrinkles pointed towards my crotch. :angelnot:


If you are given tights, make sure they go up far enough to cover your stomach and lower back. A ballet tunic is typically short, ending below the ribcage and slightly above the waistline. If you have a bit of a belly, make sure it does not poke out.


Costumes may be exchanged, sometimes at the last minute. You may wear shoes or boots that do not fit well.


As a beginner Male dancer, you may not dance much on stage, but may spend more time on stage than the principals. Be prepared for multiple costume changes, sometimes very very quickly.



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Hi Merde,


Many thanks for your reply, all noted, guess see what turns up in a few weeks time. I believe what you say about multiply changes to be right, sort of been told already and being on stage a lot, another learning curve as well I guess how to change in sort time ! For tights they ask we buy 2 or 3 new pair of our own, which guess is fair enough, not sure on shoe part yet


Thanks for your advice



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Sorry forgot to ask, on tights for show it is better to fit elastic on them , to go over shoulder to hold up correctly, as you say most like be short tunic, as I guess if roll them down will show




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Yes, elastic over the shoulder is the standard but I would check with your Wardrobe Mistress. I also preferred a small, cut t-shirt under a tunic. It helps to preserve the tunic and if worn for multiple acts, you can change shirts to avoid getting cold from sweating. Nothing worse than putting on a cold, wet tunic for act 2.

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Andrew, "Merde" is what dancers wish each other before a performance. It means "crap" in French.




Look around the Mens forum on how to sew on elastics. Ask the Seamstress if white or black elastics are OK.


Merde on your performance!

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Make sure your dance belt is closely matches your skin tone. Flesh tone is best unless you are really dark skinned. A white DB is really noticeable under tights, even multiple pairs.

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Thanks, infact just bought 2 new ones for the up coming show, Wear Moi ones, as with tights moved to that brand now.


Been told be both white and grey tights needed, and be a white shirt for one act then a more formal full tunic for the rest. We where also told, they prefer we only wear one pair of white and not double up. Seems be a fair few lifts to do as well, so going to have to work some on my arm strength its OK for the odd one or two , but think for what is needed in show then work needed !

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