In my last post I mentioned something about Ballet Hobo Chic, the art some dancers have mastered of looking homeless yet fabulous as they plié and stretch. While I wholeheartedly support this fashion movement, you must know when you've taken it too far. Meet the Ballet Fashion Offenders:
I don't care if you really are a hooker with a heart of gold á la Pretty Woman. When the holes in your tights are so large that a small woodland animal could climb through them, it is time to trash them. There is a girl in some of my classes who wears two pairs of tights rampant with holes. And the holes are right under her ass. It looks trashy, and ballet is anything BUT trashy. Toss 'em, honey - no one thinks you're cool because your butt has built in air conditioning.
When 17 Layers Just Aren't Enough
Ballet Hobos love their layers. From socks, shrugs, LEGWARMERS, trash bag pants, arm warmers, t-shirts...anything goes. But you know what? Those layers have to serve a function, namely, to Warm Up your body (duh). Wearing layers for the sake of layers is just ridiculous, and you become a caricature of a dancer. And when you're wearing all those layers while it is 75 degrees outside (and in the studio), everyone knows you're just a giant poser. The jig is up. Drop the act.
It's OK to Go Up A Size
This is a highly delicate subject for most of us, as there is a very fine line between wearing clothes that allow freedom of movement, yet are also form-fitting enough for teachers to view proper body placement. You have to know your body, and know what works best for your body. For example, those with a little extra "love" may want to steer clear of open backs and Lycra. Those who are a bit top heavy may want to avoid low halters or other non-supportive designs. While I'm on the subject of leotards, if it is made for gymnastics, it's not made for ballet. There's a difference. Respect that difference.
Sweatin' to the Oldies
Some fabrics and colors show sweat more than others. While sweating is a normal part of ballet, there comes a point where it just looks gross. I don't want to see your back sweat in your grey lycra leotard. I don't want to see your boob sweat (sorry guys, but it happens) in your neon yellow leotard. And I don't want to see.....well, things I shouldn't.....in your white leotard.
Underwear is not a Layer
While some may call this a personal preference, I think most dancers would agree that underwear is not an acceptable layer. In addition to creating unsightly bumps and bulges, I really don't want to see your My Little Pony underroos. I don't want to see your white granny panties. Even men wear dance belts in lieu of undies. Women, it is time to get with the program.