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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Fear of talking


Thomas

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Hello! 

I'm a 20 year old student, and doing ballet now for almost 1 year. It was something i always wanted to try, because this sport was really out of my comfortzone. I played rugby and basketball for 12 years and i must admit, Ballet has gained my greatest respect, as it is a lot harder then the sports i've already practised! 

In the beginning, every move i made was quite a disaster, because i'm quite a clumsy and rude person. But after practising week after week, i'm starting getting the hang of it! I love the sport and would really like to continue for a few years, but i got 1 big problem: No one of my surroundings knows i'm doing this ( i study abroad). And i'm afraid of talking about it.

A lot of my friends and family do have really that old stereotype and are still pretty conservative, which is why i keep this hidden for everyone i know. Certainly because i played mainly rugby and basketball, sports that are completely different to ballet. How on earth can i deal with this problem?

Another thing that bothers me is the ballet clothing. Because i really want to continue for a few years , i was interested in buying some ballet clothes ( now i have only a pair of ballet shoes). I would love to wear grey tights and a leotard, because it gives me the idea of complete dedication to the sport, and because it fits better then just sports shorts that i'm wearing now. The problem is that everyone in my ballet class is wearing just normal sport clothes, and if i would be the only one to wear grey tights and a leotard, i might stand out too much and look like some cocky guy who thinks he's a professional...

Because i do not have someone to talk to nowadays, i came here to this forum, hoping someone is experiencing something simular

Could someone give me some advice?

Thank you very much! 

 

 

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Great Post, Thomas.  I am the only male dancer at my studio, and starting out there are so many questions, and seemingly no one to ask.  I encourage you to do the tights.  Leotards may be a little more difficult, in part because every man has a different sized torso, and finding something that fits correctly may be a challenge.  But don't let that stop you from trying some as you go along.  Easing into your "look" with tights topped with a simple tee shirt may be a good way to begin.  I remember visiting a studio in a larger city once and I asked one of the young dancers if he tucked his white dance socks under the leg of his tights or if they are worn over the tights.  It was great being able to ask some one such a simple thing.

In time you will get used to telling people you like to dance.  You are entitled to enjoy dance, regardless of what anyone says or might think.  My fear of what others might think of me stopped me from starting to dance.  I let my fear do that to me, and have since learned that life is simply too short to allow my fears stop my soul from breathing, which for me is what dance does.  Stepping into the studio for your first class was the hardest part.  Besides, who can argue with you say "its something I enjoy."  Congrats.

 

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Doubleturn

Hi Thomas. It is wonderful that you are enjoying your ballet classes and intend to continue. With regard to dress code, it might be worth looking at company classes to see what the Professionals wear. There are lots online. Many have a variety of cover ups, shorts, tracksuits bottoms, sweaters etc which they gradually take off through class as they get warmed up. Perhaps that would be a way of easing into the tights and leotard look. Wear them underneath, but with a "sporty" type garment over and just take it off later in the class.

Good luck.

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luv2plie

Congrats on starting ballet! Since you are a male dancer .....please wear a dance belt with your tights.

 

Good luck 

 

 

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Well, I'd go with laughing and pointing at them for being idiots, but I understand that's harder when you're younger, and don't have a wife and two kids and thirty years of martial arts practice when you start.

"Ballet dancers are effeminate/gay" is an idiotic stereotype (which was trotted out when my eldest son started it and quickly trotted right back in when I started shortly afterwards) has always been an idiotic stereotype and will continue to be an idiotic stereotype - just look at the number of straight couples dancing in top level companies. Why spending hours in rooms full of scantily clad women is supposed to make you gay I have never worked out - surely rugby would be more attractive to gay men? And even if it was true, so what? It's all very weird.

On clothes, I think I'd go with dance shorts (the ones that come to just above the knee, not the really short ones, unless that's what you want!), dance belt and t-shirt to start with - actually, that's what I normally dance in and pretty common here for male dancers outside of formal school classes - and you can work your way up to leotards and tights in more formal settings like workshops or intensives. 

Edited by Colman
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Just a follow up on this.  When I wear a tighter tee shirt my teacher has an easier time reminding me to firm up my abs.  Learning when to tighten those abs is one of my challenges, so I find it helpful to wear a snugger fitting top when its clean!  

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Johnny Simpatico

The problem with shorts is they don't keep knees and ankles -- complicated and vulnerable bits of anatomy -- warm. I like Doubleturn's advice. Wear plenty of stuff and shed it as you become hotter ... and more confident.

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Hey Coleman, do either of your boys dance?  I have three adult children, all living on their own, and none who dance(d).  The closest thing was one daughter took gymnastics for a few years.  It strikes me as kinda odd that my children NEVER ask me how dancing is going.  I wonder if somehow having a father who takes ballet embarrass them.  

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5 hours ago, Johnny Simpatico said:

The problem with shorts is they don't keep knees and ankles -- complicated and vulnerable bits of anatomy -- warm. I like Doubleturn's advice. Wear plenty of stuff and shed it as you become hotter ... and more confident.

I’ve never had any problem keeping joints warm, so not a concern for me. I can keep warmups on for about a minute after I start moving. 

Edited by Colman
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4 hours ago, MattMan said:

Hey Coleman, do either of your boys dance?  I have three adult children, all living on their own, and none who dance(d).  The closest thing was one daughter took gymnastics for a few years.  It strikes me as kinda odd that my children NEVER ask me how dancing is going.  I wonder if somehow having a father who takes ballet embarrass them.  

All four of us dance, wife, me and two boys. 12 year old might be serious about it, hard to tell yet. 

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Godfather

Hi,

At our studio, the only dress code for adults is wear something comfortable that you can move in, that being said when I started I wore sweat pants and a t-shirt, part way through my first year I started wearing a dance belt and tights under my sweat pants, then when I started my second year I lost the sweat pants and my progress really came along much faster, as the instructor could now ‘see’ what I was doing wrong and make the corrections I desperately needed. The only response I got in studio when I lost the sweat pants was “Good for you!” 

As for telling other people that I dance, well while I am careful about who I tell, I am not ashamed that I dance (I’m not saying you are either) and when word got around at work (I’m in the Canadian Navy) that I dance, I got some good natured teasing which I responded to with good humour, but the less than good natured teasing I got I responded to by mainly just staring at the individual until they got intimidated and apologized. 

When you do something you love it is never wrong, but it can be difficult to defend your choices to other people, my advice is follow your heart, do what you love and what makes you happy, others will accept your decision or they won’t, it still comes down to who you let influence you. If you Love something follow your heart regardless of others opinions, it is your life, and later in life I find I regret the things I wanted to do but didn’t most of all.

Thanks 

Ed

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Thanks for the great post, Godfather.  Spot on.

".... .... he shoots ... ... HE SCORES!!!!!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you very much for all those kind reactions! I now wear a black tights with a sporty t-shirt and i really love it! Epic idea! It is more comfortable and my teacher really appreciate it Before the answers on my question, i never heard of a dancebelt. I looked a bit on the internet and i found a lot of variation ,  which is making it a lot more difficult to choose! What kind of dancebelt do i need to wear? 

Narrow waist or larger waist?

Thong or full seat? 

Which kind of color? 

Which trademark? 

Thank you ver much for your help!

Thomas

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ascballerina

Moderator hat on:  Thomas, you might want to post a new topic related to your dance belt questions, as we generally try to keep discussions fairly on-topic here! B)  I'm sure you'll get all kinds of good answers.

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