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Ballet Talk for Dancers

another clothing question

Guest mic31

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It just makes the line of the top sleeker. It doesn't bunch or pull out of the waistband or over a suspender like a t-shirt or dance shirt will.

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I was wondering how long it would take before someone would get around to mentioning this.....:)


It does give a better line, but they are considerably more costly than T shirts and if you dislike wearing a dance belt, you might not be a happy camper.....

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I tried leo's once or twice. I always felt odd in them and stopped wearing them. They never really fit well either. I much prefer a unitard these days. Less fuss. The M. Steve's tank-tard is pretty sturdy and comfortable. No need to worry about a belt or anything like that.

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I wear them occasionally. The biggest advantage is that the teacher (and everyone else, wich does not nesecerrily need to be an advantage ;)) sees everything you do right and wrong, also in back,and muscles not showing under a t-shirt...

Disadvantage nr. 1: the bathroom-thing :)

nr.2: I feel a little odd in them

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Bal-Togs is the most common maker of leotards for men; they're sold in the major catalogs, etc. Also, some of the simpler "woman's" leotards actually work OK for men as well. My professional company uses them for most of the men's costume and nobody notices anything amiss.


Being able to see everything you do is a HUGE advantage and can help your technique greatly. The fact that most wear clothing that hides their body is one reason, in my opinion, for the lower general level of technique of men. I'm frustrated when I wear a T-shirt in class because I really can't see or correct what's going on in the mirror. In the end, dance is about presenting your body, and you MUST be comfortable with that.


Clothing that flops around is also a big disadvantage in class because you're always having to adjust it. For example, every time I bend over and touch my hands on the ground wearing a T-shirt, the T-shirt "falls up" on my body, exposing my entire chest and back. When we trains with clothing that misbehaves in that way, we unconsciously do a lot of things that aren't really good for our technique, adjusting our body position slightly so the clothing won't fall off.


Disregarding aesthetic considerations, you don't HAVE to wear a dancebelt with a leotard. There are full-bottom leotards for men, and bikini underwear works OK under them (as long as the underwear doesn't show under the loetard). The leotard then gives extra support, making a dancebelt unnecessary.


If you prefer the dancebelt thing, you can also try a thong bottom leo.


As for tops, options are tank, short sleeve and long sleeve. Questions of temperature aside, I prefer tank top because the armpits of anything with sleeves gets nasty REALLY FAST. Plus, it's an issue of seeing and presenting your body.


Bathroom isn't such a big problem. You only have to get almost entirely undressed if you wish to sit down.

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I buy these great T-Shirts from 2xist. I get them in small sizes. At barre, they fit close enough so the teacher can see everything and they don't fall forward. By center, they're loose from sweating so I tie them off in the back to make them fit close again. I've never had them come untied. When I wash the shirt, it goes back to it's original shape very well with out stretching. This also makes the shirt sit a little higher on the waist in center so I can see the alignment of my hips easier.

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I have to say I prefer the more traditional line t-shirts give. If the shirt fits properly, it will not hide anything, but for a closer fit, knotting the shirt or wearing a wide elastic belt is helpful. Many leotards produce a more contemporary line, so I suppose it depends on the individual. Professionally-trained male dancers didn't have sloppy technique in Bournonville's day, when they wore more clothing, so there's no reason they shouldn't have it now except for a general lowering of standards.

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I don't like the feeling of tight clothing around my shoulders (such as tight T-shirt). And I don't like tying my clothing in knots. It sounds neurotic, but that's just me. I can be particular, I suppose.


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