What is the perfect outfit for your balletclass?
- by Anne-Marie Pos
- Aug. 22, 2019
What is the perfect outfit for your balletclass? And what do you really need specifically to be able to dance well in your balletclass? What is the outfit of a recreational dancer and are there any differences in levels? Is there a difference between the outfit of a recreational balletdancer and a professional balletdancer? In this article, I will take you along and explain what you really need and what the differences are.
There are some items that you really need for your balletclass. And there are three main reasons why you have a certain outfit for ballet. Firstly , these are the best items to do ballet in as optimally as possible. Secondly, your teacher can see your body move in tight fitting clothing and give you targeted feedback so you can become an ever better dancer. And thirdly, this has grown over the years and is part of the ballet etiquette. Like football, hockey or swimming have certain outfits, ballet has this too. This is determined in the field.
The recreational dancer in balletclass.
- The novice dancer
To take a balletclass you need the following:
- ballet shoes
- ballet leotard
- ballet tights
As a novice, you are now going to learn the principles of ballet technique and it is important that you do not get hindered in your movements, nor distracted by poorly fitting or loose clothing. Your teacher has to see what you are doing . Ballet is also about directing muscle groups that you don't normally use much and this has to be observed and guided by the teacher for good performance.
If you are not sure about taking up ballet, if you are hesitant if you will really like it, you can start on socks instead of ballet shoes. But talk about it to your teacher. On the one hand, on socks, you can feel and perform the movements of your feet and specifically the toes, but on the other hand there is a danger of slipping and falling with certain steps and dancing across the floor. This is not really ideal, and it is advisable to purchase ballet shoes as soon as possible.
Beginners are advised to start on shoes entirely made of leather. These shoes feel a little bit as street shoes, so switching to these shoes will not be a big difference. The leather will become smoother and take the form of your feet. In these shoes you will make the muscles of your feet stronger, because you have to put some effort and force. and feel resistance from the shoes when you want to stretch through. In this way the articulation and strengthening of the feet muscles happens naturally. You will develop strong feet, able to, for example, execute ballet jumps easily and with succes.
Because canvas shoes are even lighter than leather shoes, you are even closer to the ground and you can really have contact with the floor. Of course, this can be a plus. And more advanced dancers also indicate that this is precisely one of the reasons to purchase canvas shoes. Be aware that to go to canvas shoes you already need to have good muscle memory and know how to use your feet.
Balletshoes exist in many colors. Mostly you see pink, however, there are also schools or studios who like to have their dancers wear black shoes in the ballet class. Ladies often wear pink or black and men white or black. Nowadays canvas shoes are available in many shades. That is a good thing, because in the past I had to dunk my shoes in tea or powder them to get the right skin tone. The adult balletdancer has enough choice. My choice for the perfect ballet outfit goes out to pink, as an extension of your pink ballet tights, as it will help you create those beautiful , long lines with your legs. But of course you could also say that about black tights and black shoes. You choose.
As a final point about shoes, you have shoes with a whole, continuous sole and shoes with a split sole. Again, I recommend starting on leather with a whole, continuous sole to activate the feet well and make the muscles stronger. Later, when you know how to straighten and roll through, you can switch to canvas with a split sole.
Then we arrive at the Ballet leotard. Make sure that your leotard is made of breathable material and stretches along with your movements. In the past, ballet leotards could look and feel like a bathing suit, but no more. In terms of quality you can also pay attention whether it is easy to wash in the washing machine and make sure It will not change color or deteriorates. That would be a shame.
As an adult ballet dancer, you have a choice of many colors and several models. With spaghetti straps, short sleeves, long sleeves or around the neck. An open back or crossed straps over the back. If you are just starting out, I recommend you to keep it simple, in one color and a not complicated model that suits you well. Something you can move well in and not have to tug at during your balletclass. Nowadays there are a lot of ballet leotards that have a double layer in for extra firmness for the bust and you can wear a sports bra under many leotards. It is advisable to do so. With your perfect outfit you want to have everything in place so you can dance wonderfully, without being distracted by poorly fitted clothes.
The adult, male ballet dancer can wear a tight fitted T-shirt or a tank top with leggings or shorts. Here in Rotterdam we have the Dansspeciaalzaak Paraddy, and the owner of the store can give you great advice and help. Students of Codarts and dancers of Scapino ballet also buy their ballet gear here.
The perfect Ballet tights for a novice ballet dancer are pink and footed. They also come with a seam at the back. They are pink because this is the color that after many years of ballet etiquette is simply agreed upon as part of the training gear. Footed so that your muscles and feet stay warm and the line of legs and stretched feet continues and does not stop. And with a seam along the back, so your teacher can see if you are using the right muscles and standing straight. Because if the seam is skewed, you are crooked.
Gentlemen often wear black or white leggings or, in the summer, a shorter, tighter bottom, a supposedly cyclists model. Under these leggings or shorts, the dancers wear a dance belt. Dance belts are specialized, athletic and supporting undergarment specifically designed for dance. Again, go to Paraddy on the Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam for professional advice.
The intermediate and advanced dancer
As an intermediate ballet dancer, you are now familiar with the basic posture and basic movements and can also perform them nicely. You still need feedback from your teacher, so the perfect outfit in your balletclass still consists out of tight fitting clothes. You can now go ahead and vary. For example, add an extra ballet skirt around your leotard. And put on ankle or leg warmers over your ankles or calves. On top of your leotard you can now, at the beginning of the training, put on a tight sweater or cardigan. You can now also go ahead and vary in fabrics, colors, prints and styles of your leotards.
You can now also put on the footless, pink tights (like thin leggings) and without a seam, or a black tights, with or without foot. The tights actually belongs underneath your leotard but you will see that professional and advanced dancers will wear them over their leotard as well. This is a fashion statement and sometimes a dancer feels more at ease, and bit more covered with the tights over the leotard.
As a last version you will also see many recreational dancers with a short black bottom over the tights and leotard. This, again, gives the feeling of being somewhat covered. For the teacher, in principle, it doesn't matter very much, most importantly is simply that the teacher can see what your body and muscles are doing and can intervene when it is not going right.
The professional in the balletclass.
If you look at a balletclass at a professional company like the Royal Ballet or the Scottish Ballet , you see the dancers in a variety of clothing. But the basis, or the perfect outfit, is always present. For the ladies ballet tights, a leotard, ballet shoes and point shoes. In addition, a mix of ballet skirts in all shapes and sizes (short and up to the knee). The gentlemen wear long trousers, leggings or shorts with a tank top or a tight -fitting T-shirt.
And when the lesson starts you will see many different warm up clothes. After the first foot exercise and plie's and tendues the top layers of clothing and extra socks or warm up boots come off. The recreational dancer needs a lot more feedback from the teacher and will be asked not to have warm up clothes on from start of the first exercise. You also see a difference, a recreational dancer wants to wear loose fitted clothing, so the teacher cannot see the body properly. That does not work well. The professional balletdancer wears layers, but they are tight and on the body-fitting clothes.
Your hair with the perfect ballet outfit.
To make your ballet outfit even more perfect, we also have to talk about your hairstyle. Because a well-fitted hairstyle can make or break your outfit. Your hair must be out of your face and away from the neck line. We do this so that you are not distracted by hairs getting in your eyes or mouth and are trying to fix your hair instead of focusing on your exercise. It is also important for your teacher to see what you do with your neck muscles.
In general the perfect hairstyle for the balletclass is a balletbun. Everything neatly to the back in a tail or braid, then wrap around and fasten with pins. Possibly with a mesh over it. There are many tutorials on YouTube how to make a balletbun. Bangs or loose-hanging hairs can be fixed with pins and you can use a gel or hairspray.
Obviously, a balletbun will not be possible with every hairstyle or hair length. So you have to start experimenting yourself to find out what works for you. In any case, make sure that it is tight, out of your eyes and face and that you do not have to deal with it during the class. Because missing the explanations of an exercise because you have to do your hair again is a bit unfortunate.
We can conclude that the "perfect" outfit for the balletclass consists out of three things: ballet shoes, a leotard and tights. The exact implementation of this may vary and is subject to the preference of the teacher or school where you will train and your own level and preference in style.
Your clothes should f it well to make sure you can perform your ballet movements optimally. You have to feel good while you look like someone who trains in ballet. Are you that one person who takes ballet dancing seriously, loves it and goes for it completely? Then the perfect ballet outfit is a must. Go for it in one of our group classes right here at Artship.
Have fun dancing!
Good Dance Speciality Store in Rotterdam:
Studio Paraddy, Witte de Withstraat 11A, 3012 BK Rotterdam
And of course you can look on Ali Express or AliBaba and order.
Outfit ideas for Adult Ballet Class
An example of the perfect ballet outfit
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