As everywhere where people gather, so also in the ballet studio there are some fashions and trends around. Dancer-fashion, if you like. Some trends are limited to certain theaters or geographical places, but there are some generals as well. Like layers;
Without being over-the-average up-to-date on the latest trends in the world of fashion, folks who are enjoyed putting on a bunch of layers of clothes a while back. Now, that’s something we’ve been doing for ages. Apart from the more practical use, where several layers of clothes help in warming up and keeping muscles warm in cold studios, it also creates the image that you are an individual with your own style and esthetics (I mean, you may very well be as well, but thats not the point). Dancers love to stand out. We are often a little eccentric, after all, we are artists, and our job is to expose ourselves in front of an audience. So, the clothing needs to say: Check it out people: I’m here! I’m myself! I’m free!
Instead of telling you about the good stuff seen in ballet studios around, I’m going to focus on the ugly – after all, it’s way more entertaining. Here’s a list of a couple of less fortunate things often seen in the ballet studio:
Use the following garments with extreme caution:
- Shorts over trousers (unisex). A typical “modern dancer” thing, I believe. All about not following the conventional way of dressing. Just have to be special, don’t you?
- Sleeveless turtleneck sweaters for men. Not my favorite. I guess the idea is to keep you warm, though still showing your perfectly toned biceps… Not cool!
- Sauna-pants. Although widely spread amongst both male and female dancers, and a trusted tool for warming up, rest assured: It doesn’t matter how well you look, the sauna-pants doesn’t. Meant to increase sweating in certain areas by using not-breathing material, not unlike the livingroom-saunas you can buy on tv-shop. Come to think about it, who comes up with these ideas?
- Socks over pointe-shoes. Adding colors, patterns and warmth to your shoes, at the small cost of totally losing all control, grip and feel of the shoe. And it doesn’t look well, either!
What I do like, is dancers using old tee’s to put out a statement in class, like band-shirts or tee’s with a funny saying. Most of the big brands in dance-wear (almost without exemption grown out from a major pointe- or shoe-producer) has their own clothing-collection with clothes aimed at dancers. Although you might find some cool stuff, I often find them too dull, or just girly. Although few, there are some producers that focus on dance-clothing apart from what you get from the big brands. Check out the small firm HD-wear, they have some really sweet stuff, or:
Get yourself a Tights and Tiaras T-shirt to rock in ballet class, or outside. This black piece of fabric is a no-brainer to get noticed, and show the world your support of dance and Tights and Tiaras while you’re at it!
Tee’s that really kicks ass, though, are the ones you find yourself. My colleague once attended a real serious swan-lake dress rehearsal with a neon-green shirt, with the text “I only dance drunk. Let’s get pissed” written all over it. Now, that’s a tee-shirt I can like!
As for more successful dancers-fashion-statements, maybe I’ll get back to the matter. I wrote about what look is generally “expected” of a male dancer and our shaving issues already… And please remember, we’re all individuals. You might like it. I might not. I am right.
Have you seen any strange dancers lately?
Not to mention the creations one can stumble over in a public gym… (geez…)
Any additions to my list?
See you soon!