Everything you need to know about Ballet clothes and what dancewear to wear to your first Ballet class is here.
You have probably seen pictures of dancers in rehearsal or class wearing Ballet clothes that look like they've come straight out of a dumpster.
Ripped tights, holes in every other item of clothing and Ballet slippers that look like they've been chewed by a dog.
It is true to say that Ballet dancers, perhaps in rebellion at the 'immaculate' visions they become on stage when in costume, take perverse pleasure in turning up for class in clothes that a tramp would think twice about.
But, every one of those rips and holes has been danced for and sweated for and they are worn with pride. Well, usually.
Sometimes it's really obvious which rips and tears have been added for dramatic effect – and they don't have anything like the kudos of truly worn Ballet clothes.
It's a dance thing and you're now part of that world, so you might as well get used to it.
So what should you wear? Well, first, and most importantly, call your teacher or dance studio and find out what they recommend.
This is part of the information that you should always get before you go.
Also, ask if the studio has a dress code
- the teacher may be relaxed about what you wear, but could be teaching
at a studio that has a strict code. Or, the reverse could be true in
that the studio may have no dress code at all but the teacher might be
fussy and expect a certain uniform.
For adult beginners, most don't, but always find out first.
Generally they will tell you if you must have the right shoes or if socks are OK (see our Ballet Shoes section).
And then, as far as the Ballet clothes themselves are concerned, they will probably say something like "Just wear whatever you feel comfortable in".
This is what they mean:-
Comfort is the key.
If you don't feel comfortable in the dancewear you've got on, you won't be comfortable enough to dance as well as you truly can.
You don't need expensive new Ballet clothes. You can wear fitted jogging pants or leggings and a t-shirt.
Just make sure that you don't wear anything too tight or too loose.
Very loose fitting jogging pants hide the line of your leg so the teacher can't see if your hips and knees are positioned correctly.
Loose clothing can also flap around which is annoying and distracting (for you and your fellow class-mates). So wear something semi-fitted and comfortable. And that allows for the full range of motions.
That's all you need to know about dancewear for Ballet - it's pretty flexible.
There is always a startling array of Ballet clothes (or sometimes lack of them) in classes.
So just as long as you are comfortable and have a go at the dancing, that's the important thing.
You can always go searching for outfits at your local dump as you become more proficient...
It is as important to be comfortable in your head and your heart as in what you are wearing.
So finding the right class to dance in should get your best attention and the outfits can follow.
But do try to get hold of some proper Ballet shoes.