Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Beginners

Page:
Page 1 of 6: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Ballet - Beginners
The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! (karma: 48)  en>fr fr>en
By MystikMinxmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 620, member since Mon Mar 07, 2005
On Mon Nov 28, 2005 09:10 PM
Made sticky by Etoile_Filante (19013) on 2005-11-29 02:08:23 Informative post, and very usefull
Made unsticky by pharmadancer (87219) on 2007-07-23 06:28:29 post is in FAQ

Leotards, Tights, Shoes, and Legwarmers, Oh My!

The New Female Dancer’s Guide to Ballet Clothing

Ok, so you’ve decided to start dance classes or ballet classes. Congratulations! And Welcome to the World of Ballet. ;) For classes, depending on what your studio or dance classes are like, you’ll need a new wardrobe…of ballet clothing! What to wear and what to get can confuse the new dancer, so this is a guide to help you out!

First though, a note to all new dancers: Check with your teacher or studio about what you should consider getting for class, and what they require and what they allow. Some studios are more recreational and allow a variety of colors, styles, and different outfits to be worn to class. Others are more strict and traditional, and prefer only one color of leotard, tights, and shoes. And some restrict what kind of warm-up gear can be worn in class. So it is best to check with your teacher first, before you go out and buy stuff. That way to you don’t spend money on something that either you don’t need or can’t wear in class. ;)

Okay, on to the clothes!!

The Leotard:

Leotards come in many different types, sizes, cuts, brands, fabrics and colors. There is a whole world of wonderful leotards for you to choose from out there! Different types of leotards include camisole leotards, tank leotards, halter leotards, short-sleeved leotards, and long-sleeved leotards. Other kinds include boat-neck, off-the-shoulder, one-shoulder and turtle-neck leotards.

Image hotlink - 'http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y164/MystikMinx2/LeotardTypes3.jpg'

Brands:
Brands include Capezio, Mirella, Bal-togs, Eurotard, Prima Soft, Gilda Marx, Gaynor Minden, Danskin, Harmonie, Natalie etc.


Choosing a leotard:
For the first time dancer, it is highly recommended that you Go To A Store In Person to try on leotards and choose your first leotard. Why? Because your leotard should fit you just right…not too tight, or baggy, or uncomfortable. And the sizing of leotards is a bit different than Real World sizes. Sizing, Type, Style, Cut….every leotard fits differently! And most brands are cut and sized differently than other brands. Going to a store allows you to try on different sizes, different brands, different types of leotards and different styles. Yes, ordering online looks nice and easy, but choosing a leotard is not easy. Trust me on this…I went to a store and tried on about 40 different leotards (and these were only the black ones!) before I found the perfect one for me. What type of leotard you get is completely up to you, but it has to fit your body. Also, check with your studio to see if they are preferential to one particular type or color of leotard. Once you get the general idea of what fits your body and what you like, then ordering online will be just fine.


Trying on a Leotard Part 1- Fitting and Comfort:
Ok, so you finally made it to the dance store near you…and you have allll these leotards to try on! Yay!! So you grab your first 10, and head to the dressing room. But what should you look for in a good leotard? And what are the signs of a bad leotard? And what are some things you should do while trying on leotards?

Fit: Does the leotard fit you right? Is it too tight or loose across your butt, stomach, shoulders or breasts? Is it long enough or short enough for your body, length-wise? Is it too tight over all, or too loose?

Ok here’s the real deal….Some people wear a size small in the Real World, and in the Ballet world, they wear a size small too. And some people wear a size small in the Real World, but in the Ballet World, they actually wear a size medium. And that’s perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong or shameful about going up (or down) a size or two when trying on leotards. Your leotard has to fit YOU just right, without being constrictive or baggy.

The leotard should fit you right all over. Look out for a leotard that is too tight in the crotch area…a leotard that is too short is not a good idea. Likewise, a leotard that is baggy is also not a good idea. A leotard should fit kinda like a glove…close to your body, but not too tight or too loose. A leotard that is too tight, or that doesn’t let you move, or one that doesn’t cover all your areas right, is NOT going to be a good leotard to dance in. Basically, you don’t want to be constantly adjusting your leotard while in class or have a leotard so small that its ready to pop seams every time you move.

Tall Dancers or Girls with Long Torsos: A few different brands make leotards in X-Long…to help fit the long torso that many girls have.

Bigger-Chested Dancers: Looking for a leotard that will give you ample support in class? Most leotards have some sort of lining on the front of the leotard, but they don’t offer much in the way of support. A few different kinds of “bra” leotards exist. Mirella makes two leotards that are good for girls who want more support: Mirella Leotard with Cups, and Mirella Square-Necked Leotard with Underwire. Gilda Marx also makes a few leotards that are good for bigger-chested dancers. If you wish, you can also wear a comfortable bra or sports bra under your leotard, but check with your teacher first to see if this is allowed. Some studios or classes are more lenient about this, and some are stricter and don’t allow straps to hang out of the leotard.


Comfort: Is the leotard comfortable? Does the leotard pinch or not stretch right across certain parts of your body? Does it ride up in the behind? Does it hurt your neck or shoulders? Are the straps in a good place for you?
Comfort in a leotard is something that is also important. Leotards shouldn’t pinch your back or shoulders, or ride up in the back. Straps that hurt your shoulders or neck aren’t such a hot idea either…who wants to deal with neck and shoulder pain from a leo that isn’t comfy?? A leotard that makes you uncomfortable or hurts while in class will not a happy dancer make. And you want to be as comfortable in your leotard as you can be…Especially if you plan on taking more than one class a week, or even more than one class a day. Who wants to spend lots of time in something that is not comfortable at all? Yeah, not me either. So make sure your leotard is comfortable. And to do that, you can try some of the things below to ensure good comfort and fit.

Trying on a Leotard Part 2- Moving About:
Another thing to keep in mind when trying out leotards is to practice moving in them while you are wearing it in the dressing room. Do a bend forward and a back bend…See if the straps and front of your leotard stay generally in place. Does the leotard pull away from your chest or do the straps dig in or move around? Beware the leotard that you can fall out of! So make sure that your leotard stays on for all the different moves that you would do. Also do leg lifts, and see what the leotard does when you are moving your legs about. Does it give you wedgies? Does it pull uncomfortably? This is the sign of a bad leotard for you, and you should probably put this leotard back on the rack. A good leotard should have some give, and stretch nicely when you move your body and legs about.

If everything is fitting right, everything is comfortable, and everything stays in place while you move about…then this could be the right leotard for you! Don’t worry if you go through most of the store’s leotards and only find one or two that you like…that’s perfectly ok. And if you find a leotard that you like, but it’s not in a color that you need for class, no worries! Get the brand, size, and make of that leotard and order it online in the color you need.
A few great online stores:
www.discountdance.com
www.dancedistributors.com

check out JOJloverofdance’s link here: www.dance.net . . . for all the best online dance stores


Leotard: $20-45 depending on brand


Tights:
Most ballet classes require you to wear tights…they allow the teacher to see the person’s legs and muscles clearly, and they also give the legs an unbroken, seamless line.
There are different kinds of tights out there, as well as different colors. Pink is by far the most popular color for tights. Ask your teacher what color tights you should get for class…some teachers don’t care, but some are strict about what color they like to see on students.

Types of tights:
Convertible: Has a small hole under the foot that allows the dancer to either make into a footed-tight, or roll-up around their ankles.
Footed: Rather obvious, they cover every inch of the legs, ankles, and feet. Like stockings, only made of a more durable fabric.
Footless: Tights cut off at the ankle.
Seamed: Has a back seam.
Stirrup Tights: Has a hole cut out under the heel.
Body Tights: Full body tights. Covers everything from the neck down. Can be long-sleeved or have cami straps.

Image hotlink - 'http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y164/MystikMinx2/TightsType1.jpg'

Fabric:
There are also different kinds of fabric used to make tights. Tights can be made with Nylon, Supplex and Lycra, Supplex and Nylon, Microfiber, etc. It’s really a personal choice about what kind of tights you want to get.
-Nylon tights are more “traditional” but they supposedly bag at the knees.
-Supplex with Lycra are soft and nice, and don’t bag at the knees.
-Microfiber tights are like the Supplex with Lycra ones, nice and soft.

Since you can’t try them on in the store, it’s really just a pick a kind and see if you like it thing. Oh, and if you hand wash your tights, then they are more likely to last longer, without runs and stuff. And *don’t* put them in the dryer.

Tights: $9-16

Ballet Shoes/Slippers:

The minute you start ballet, you immediately start thinking that it will only be a matter of time before you are en pointe, and dancing in Swan Lake. Wait! Hold up! To get to pointe takes a LOT of time (read: years) and work. You most likely will not be dancing en pointe any time soon if you are a new dancer. So put away those pointe shoes dreams for at least a year or two. The only shoe that you’ll be dancing in will be a ballet slipper. Which is perfectly fine….as a beginner you’ll learn that ballet slippers are really all you need to learn and then hone your technique.

Once again the best way to find the perfect ballet slipper for you is to go to a store, get fitted, and try them on. When trying them on, do some releves and tendus...point your foot, move about in them...basically you want to get a feel for them on your foot.

The ballet slipper should fit your foot like a glove...not too tight or small, and not too loose or big. When standing up with your feet flat on the ground, you want your feet and toes to lay flat in the shoe. Don’t buy a ballet slipper if your toes are crunched up in them, or can’t lay flat at all. Ballet slippers stretch, but not that much. Also, do not buy ballet slippers with the intent to “grow into” them. This is a bad idea, since you don’t want to be tripping over the toes of your ballet slippers. Just buy them to fit your foot, it will be a better move in the long run.

Type of Slipper:
Ballet slippers come in different types and materials. There are also a whole bunch of different brands to choose from. Basically there are two different types of ballet slippers: full-sole and split-sole.

The “traditional” slipper was a full-sole, so called because the leather sole ran the length of the foot. Split-sole shoes are newer shoes, so called because there is half a sole under the heel of the foot, and half a sole under the ball of the foot. And there isn’t a leather sole under the arch of the foot. Full soles are considered “better” because they make the dancer really work the foot (ie: make it stronger) to see the arch of the foot. Split-soles allow the dancer to see the arch of the foot a lot easier. But what kind of shoe you want is really up to you.

Image hotlink - 'http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y164/MystikMinx2/SlippersType1.jpg'

Materials:
Slippers also come in three different materials: Leather, Canvas, and Satin.

Leather and Canvas are the most popular; Satin is rarely used for class work…maybe more for recitals. What kind of material you want is also up to you.
Leather:
Leather is more a classic shoe material…it doesn’t stretch that much, and has a more smooth appearance.
Canvas:
Canvas is well, cloth, so it does stretch. You can wash canvas shoes, which you can’t do with leather. A note about canvas shoes: they may pinch for the first week or two of classes, but they do stretch out.

Image hotlink - 'http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y164/MystikMinx2/SlippersMaterials1.jpg'

Elastics:
Elastics keep your shoes on. Most slippers come with elastics so you can attach them yourself, or they have pre-attached elastics. Normally, you’ll have to do some sewing to attach the elastics. Get someone who either knows how to sew or learn to do it yourself, because sewing actually goes hand-in-hand with ballet dancing. Ballerinas are always sewing elastics or ribbons on their shoes, so it’s a handy thing to learn to do now. Anyway, back to the elastics. There are a few different ways to position the elastics on your feet.

One strap elastics: One strap, from one side of the shoe to the other, straight across.

Criss-crossed elastics: Form a cross over the instep of the foot, holding the shoe on better.

Image hotlink - 'http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y164/MystikMinx2/Elastics.jpg'

Ballet Slippers: $11-26


Ok so those are the basics you will need for your ballet classes! Leotard, check! Slippers, check! And tights, check!

You should be all set to start your classes looking and feeling like a real dancer! Good luck, and look for my next installment on Warm-up Gear!

~Kiki :D

146 Replies to The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures!

re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By LittleSwan Comments: 196, member since Sat Sep 21, 2002
On Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:01 PM
Yay! First reply! I really liked this post, it was very informative. My studio is more recreational, so I used the same leotard I'd used for gymnastics. It still fits me perfectly! I really didn't know that about the soles of the slippers. So thanks for the information!
//LittleSwan
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By Danseusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2375, member since Wed Sep 08, 2004
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 01:19 AM
Heh, sticky material! W00t. Loving it.
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By tapnjazzbabymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1265, member since Fri Mar 25, 2005
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 01:21 AM
wow this guide is pretty great! you must of spent a lot of time on this. congrats and karma!

love keely..xoxox
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By razzle_dazzle4 Comments: 344, member since Tue Jul 12, 2005
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 06:22 AM
Wow! What a fabulous post! That was fantastic! Very informative. Must have taken you a very long time. Thank you so much for posting. :)

~ razzle_dazzle4 :D
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By ParisAlmamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 957, member since Sat Mar 13, 2004
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 06:36 AM
Excellent imformative post!!

Woot! its a sticky!

Paris x
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By BallrinaWattudePremium member Comments: 173, member since Tue Sep 20, 2005
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 07:34 AM
Wow! Great information! Very informative!!! The information about the leotards was very helpful!!!
Karma for you!!

Thanks!

Vbeans
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By dancersrmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 207, member since Thu Jul 22, 2004
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 03:29 PM
really great thread that gives loads of useful information whether you are a beginner or advanced. thanks!
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By elmer Comments: 29, member since Thu Nov 24, 2005
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 09:50 PM
oh gosh! if only i had all these great info before i got my stuff. Shall keep all the points in mind when i buy my next set of leos. Thanks for the informative post! :)
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By rockinjamie Comments: 116, member since Fri Nov 11, 2005
On Sat Dec 03, 2005 08:20 AM
karma, karma, karma to you!!!! well done!
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By buhbamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 887, member since Mon May 16, 2005
On Sun Dec 04, 2005 04:06 AM
IM starting ballet after christmas, you are a GOD for making this post, thank you so so so so so much! KARMA :)
emma xox
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By sassandbide Comments: 155, member since Thu Oct 27, 2005
On Sun Dec 04, 2005 06:16 AM
great post it definatly gave me some shopping ideas
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By kelbo267 Comments: 51, member since Sun May 08, 2005
On Tue Dec 06, 2005 05:13 AM
Thanks for that post. You really helped with the fitting information.
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By slip_jig_genny Comments: 171, member since Thu Oct 06, 2005
On Tue Dec 06, 2005 01:21 PM
Very helpfull post. I was actually wondering about these things. When can we expect info on pointes (to help keep the dream alive...)!
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By BerensDancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2110, member since Tue Nov 01, 2005
On Wed Dec 07, 2005 07:59 PM
this was a really helpful post!
i was actually kinda wondering about some of this stuff... lol

gwen
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By livefordancex Comments: 178, member since Fri Jan 21, 2005
On Wed Dec 14, 2005 03:55 AM
great post helped me loads
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By pinktutubalerina Comments: 15, member since Mon Dec 12, 2005
On Thu Dec 15, 2005 06:55 PM
wooo.... that was really helpful and 'informative' thanks heaps
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By BalletGirl21 Comments: 236, member since Sat Dec 17, 2005
On Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:11 AM
wow that helps me a lot i have been wondering if lether shoes of canvas shoes are the best and this relly helps me



Alex
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By Aliciamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 682, member since Mon Dec 19, 2005
On Mon Dec 19, 2005 02:56 AM
Where I first started Ballet the school told me I had to get one particular leotard, one particular pair of flats and one particular pair of tights. I now dance somewhere else and I can wear what I want. This has really opened my eyes to what's out there and how much better you can present yourself for class.
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By Ruthy2006 Comments: 3, member since Wed Dec 14, 2005
On Mon Dec 19, 2005 03:13 PM
ace bit of writing that definately will help when deciding on a christmas leotard later on in the week!!


Ruthy ;)
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By dancinqt5013member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3865, member since Wed Aug 17, 2005
On Mon Dec 19, 2005 05:23 PM
Wow! That must have took you a lot of time to do. Karma for all your hard work. It was very helpful.
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By flashing_toes Comments: 24, member since Mon Dec 12, 2005
On Mon Dec 19, 2005 08:34 PM
Amazing!! It helps so much and I really appreciate it!! Thank you for the hard work you put into this!
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By Prima_ballerina5member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1078, member since Fri May 27, 2005
On Wed Dec 21, 2005 07:56 PM
Wow! That was really helpful. You can tell tat you put a lot of effort into writing it. Thanks!
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By Dream_Always Comments: 68, member since Thu Nov 03, 2005
On Thu Dec 22, 2005 09:25 AM
oh this is very helpful, ive been wondering what the difference between a full sole and split sole was! =)
re: The informative guide to choosing leotards, slippers and tights! With Pictures! en>fr fr>en
By xoxoAnnettexoxo Comments: 171, member since Fri Mar 05, 2004
On Thu Dec 22, 2005 07:10 PM
great post! ! i learned something from iy. Thank you so much for posting!!
Page:
Page 1 of 6: 1 2 3 4 5 6

ReplySendWatch Draw