Ballet is the pillar of the dance world, and is a well known performing art. Whether you have a child who is about to wear their first leotard, or you are an adult ready to step into the dance room, we have composed your “Ballet Supplies 101” guide for you ! Time to take the hassle out of getting ready for classes, from all ballet socks, and leotards, to dance supplies… It can all feel so overwhelming !
But first, what even is ballet?!?!
Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It is characterized by grace and precision of movement, as well as formalized steps and poses. Ballet is performed to classical music and typically tells a story or expresses a mood through movement. Ballet dancers must train for many years to master the technique, strength, and control required to perform the demanding movements of the dance form. Today, ballet is performed not only in theaters, but also in opera houses, schools, and dance companies around the world.
Now that you know a bit more about the art, let’s saute into it, for all your ballet needs!
First and foremost, the most essential item of clothing for a ballet dancer is the leotard. A leotard is a form-fitting, one-piece garment that covers the torso and has straps that go over the shoulders. They come in a variety of colors, styles, and materials, such as cotton, nylon, or lycra. Some leotards also have a built-in shelf bra for added support and coverage. Leotards are a staple in ballet, gymnastics, and other dance and acrobatic disciplines. They allow for a full range of movement, while also providing support and coverage for the torso. Most studios will require you to wear black leotard, while others may have a specific color per level.
Another important item of clothing for a ballet dancer is the tights. Dance tights are a type of hosiery worn by dancers, gymnasts, and other performers to cover their legs. They should feel almost like a ballet sock ! They are typically made of stretchy, form-fitting materials such as nylon or lycra, and are worn to provide a smooth, seamless look under dance costumes or performance clothing. Dance tights come in a variety of colors, including flesh-tone, pink, and black. They can come in different thicknesses and can be either footed or footless, depending on the preference of the dancer. Most studios will require you to wear pink tights. It is suggested to purchase convertible tights if you are taking other genres of dance before or after ballet.
Leg warmers are worn by dancers to keep their muscles warm before and after class or performance. They also provide extra support and coverage for the legs and can be used to cover up any areas of the legs that may be exposed when wearing a shorter leotard. They come in a variety of colors, styles, and materials, and can be worn on their own or over tights. They are usually worn around the calf area but they can also be worn up to the knee. Apolla K Warmers are a great asset to have, not only do they keep your legs warm, but offer gradual compression as well. Consistent Kinesio compression throughout gives muscles and joints support without restricting movement. These full length compression leg warmers stay up, don't get in the way, keep gorgeous lines and keep you warm...all while helping to energize your muscles and stabilize your joints!
Finally ballet footwear! Ballet slippers are an essential piece of footwear for ballet dancers. Ballet slippers, also known as ballet shoes, are a type of footwear worn by ballet dancers. They are typically made of soft, pliable materials such as canvas or leather, and have a smooth, flat sole. Ballet slippers are designed to be worn by dancers to provide a minimal amount of protection for the feet while allowing the maximum amount of movement and flexibility. They come in a variety of colors, including flesh-tone, pink, and black. They are secured by a drawstring or elastic strap across the arch of the foot to keep them snugly in place. They are a must-have for any ballet dancer, as they allow for the proper execution of the ballet technique, and also protect the dancer's feet from injuries. To further protect your feet it's recommended to pair Apolla Compression Joule socks on top, or under your ballet slippers. The Joule Shock ankle compression socks are for barefoot dancers or to be worn in or over pointe shoes, in ballet shoes or ANY shoe while keeping dress code and protecting your body. This versatile Sock is so much more than a brace from your local pharmacy, you will love the targeted ankle support for dancers and all the ways you can wear it while dancing longer and stronger! This is the perfect ballet sock combination.
But Boys & Men can dance too!!
Men typically wear form-fitting clothing, such as a tight-fitting t-shirt or tank top, tights, and ballet slippers. The tights are often black and the ballet slippers are typically in black color. Ballet slippers are the traditional footwear for ballet class, they are flat, flexible shoes with a canvas or leather upper and a smooth sole. Men's ballet attire is typically more simple than women's, but the focus is still on form-fitting clothing that allows for a full range of movement. Men should wear their hair short, or tied back, to keep it out of the face during movement.
What about your hair?!
For women, a bun is the recommended hairstyle for ballet dancers and other performers, as it keeps the hair out of the face and off the neck, allowing for a full range of movement. Here is a step-by-step guide for creating a bun:
- Brush your hair thoroughly to remove any tangles or knots.
- Gather your hair into a ponytail at the crown of your head, using a hair tie. You can also create a bun with a low ponytail at the nape of the neck.
- Twist the ponytail clockwise until it forms a tight, spiral shape.
- Coil the twisted ponytail around the base of the ponytail, tucking the end under the bun.
- Use bobby pins to secure the bun in place, making sure to crisscross the pins for added hold.
- Smooth out any flyaways or loose hairs with a hairbrush or your fingers.
- For added security and a neater look, you can use hair net to cover the bun.
It's important to note that for ballet, it's best to use a bun-maker or hair doughnut to make a neat and round bun. Also, if your hair is short, you can use hair extensions to make the bun look fuller. It's also recommended to use hair spray and hair gel to keep the bun in place and to make it less flyaway.
Keep in mind that the key to a good bun is to make sure it's tight and secure, as well as to practice making it. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to create a neat and tidy bun in no time.
In conclusion, ballet clothes are specifically designed to allow for a full range of movement, while also providing support and coverage. Leotards, tights, and ballet slippers are essential items of clothing for any ballet dancer, and come in a variety of colors and styles to suit the needs of different dancers. It's always best to check with your ballet school or instructor for any specific dress code requirements. With the right attire, dancers can move gracefully and elegantly, and fully enjoy the art of ballet.