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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Your Preferred Color of Tights: Black or Other??


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YMMV - Your "Mileage" May Vary

My tights wardrobe for ballet class includes several colors, e.g. maroon, grey, blue, brown, rose, teal, plumb, plus two custom patterns (from LuckyLeo).  Rarely but occasionally I will wear my black tights to class.  That said, my instructor asked me to stay away from black as the studio dance floor is black, and that combination makes it more difficult for her to ck my muscle contortions.  Besides, I like switching colors around.  The classes i take are all adult beginning ballet.  At a recent class another student said that she is accustomed to seeing men in black, only in black, and in nothing but black ("so help us God!").  She stated this in such a way that i almost think she disapproves of my varying colors.  She wears nothing but pink tights with a black leo, topped with a longer-ish black tee shirt.  I do appreciate that she started dancing as a young woman many years ago, and so i get that she may be steeped in tradition.  On one hand, i want to wear what i want to wear, etc, but at the same time, i don't want to ruffle feathers. 

So, i just thought i would ask other guys in adult programs do.  Do you tend to stick with black tights?  What other colors do you wear, and how often do you switch things up?  Thanks.  M

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I mostly wear dance shorts in black or grey, but that’s my normal palette anyway - shorts because every studio I dance in is too hot. I’d wear black tights more formally, perhaps, or because I’ve run out of clean shorts. 

I’d try to avoid black tights on black floors (and maybe grey on grey floors) but other than that, who cares? Wear what you’re comfortable in unless your teacher has a reason they need you to wear something else. I wouldn’t worry too much about other students’ opinions on these things.

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I just wear black because that's what I have, and with my personality I don't usually like to make a splash with what I wear. Wouldn't mind doing white with a costume at some point - that would be fun. But I wouldn't worry about what another student thinks about tights color. I have been to adult classes in 25+ different studios, and none of them would have had a problem with various colors of tights. If a teacher says something to you then I would respect that. Some formal schools have guys in grey or blue so I don't know why she would be hung up on black.

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On 11/4/2019 at 4:27 PM, Andy32 said:

Wouldn't mind doing white with a costume at some point - that would be fun.

Oh, it sounds like fun, until you have to try and find really opaque white tights. Trust me on this. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi in my studio the adult students are allowed to wear whatever is comfortable for them, but provides some suggestions on what would be best. Once you’ve been there awhile the instructors encourage you to start wearing tights, ( if you hadn’t started wearing tights right off.) that said the studio uniform is black tights with a red shirt with black split sole canvas shoes. When I finally switched to tights I went straight to black tights, I have pretty much stayed with the black tights and red shirt but have lately started broadening my colour scheme, I have included blue and grey shirts and blue tights, the only thing that’s been said is “oh different colour tights/shirt, nice” I suggest wear what feels comfortable to you and is still ok with your studio, other students can just accept it. Thanks Ed

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wear grey a lot! I also have several colors. Black and only black is what most studios prefer. Although, I think this stem from ease of acquisition. Black does however hide some of the musculature. If you are an adult most studios don't care.

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  • 7 months later...

She sounds rather rigid. Men are not wearing "only black" tights, especially on stage! Though it's usually the dress code for men, It's not mandatory or given, so help us god! 😉

Me for myself, I am a bit traditional, so I am switching between Black, White and Gray. 

Personal choice? M. Stevens' white tights. It just looks the best. Especially on me. 
I have done many photo shoots as a dancer, and it simply wins every time. For me shiny whites are the best look and tights of choice for every occasion - 
be it a photo shoot, performance or class.

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  • 2 months later...

Maybe consider that what you wear may or may not be construed in the context of a ‘uniform’ or ‘uniformity of look’.  If uniformity is a priority, then choices are prescribed.  In some cases, for-profit studios prescribe and retail (with a marked up margin) specific brands, models and colors for leotards, so that they can generate more revenue and profit, as well as uphold a uniformity of look rather than a motley crew. Levels can be color coded.  Boys in leos and shorts, Children in leo and tights, Senior men in unitards... is another differentiation for levels of achievement.  Hair that is long has to be worn up, in a bun (bunheads) for safety and for no distractions, similarly.  

You generally attend classes to learn, not to set out fashion statements. At the same time, dance is tied into self expression and what you elect to wear and how you wear same does reflect personal style and self image, mood, etc.  In the end, it is how well or not you perform.  (Costume wearing is another topic.)

So these are some of the factors that enter into any discussion about choosing among colours, patterns or plain, cut (low vs high waisted men’s leggings), fabric finish (flat vs reflective), footed vs non footed with socks or not, suspenders vs belt, etc.

Leggings and tights cover the leg hairs on males, which might be a consideration like underarm hair, facial and head hair grooming, breath mints and other community, social and hygiene considerations.

Uniforms and dress codes are not common for adult recreational ballet classes, nor for company classes taken by pros.  Uniforms and uniformity are features of schools, academies, serious training programs and conservatories teaching youngsters and older students by the classfulls.  So context is key perhaps.

Black tights worn dancing on a black floor are just fine when there is sufficient lighting.  When there is insufficient lighting, even white tights lack some definition.  So > Red Herring.  Matching socks and shoes in a contrasting hue to the calves and thighs are sometimes good for readily visualizing the pointedness of the toes and degree of plantar flexion of the ankles (so proper technique).




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