You may be wondering why your child has to wear a specific uniform to ballet class.
It may seem a little silly that all the students need to dress the same, but I promise it serves a great purpose! It is important for students to wear their uniform because it makes the class look clean - matching the feel and essence of the classical ballet form as a whole. If all the students in a class are dressed the same with their hair nicely pulled up, the teacher has a much easier time looking at the class - free of distracting colors or shapes - and is then able to provide the necessary corrections to help each of the dancers grow.
The Ballet Bun
The student’s hair is one of the most important parts of the uniform. A girl's hair should be pulled tightly away from her face and secured into a bun. Their bun shouldn’t be too high or too low; it should sit right on the crown of the head. If you can draw a straight line from the jaw, through the ear, to the bun then you know that it is in the correct place. The bun should also be made to be as flat as possible - like a danish breakfast roll! This way, the visual lines created by dancer's hair becomes part of her beautiful dancing overall, rather than sticking out and becoming visually distracting.
Next comes the leotard. Leotards are shaped much like a one piece swimsuit, but they are made of cotton or lycra. The fit should be snug; this allows the teacher to see the student's alignment and placement, a crucial aspect of ballet training.
The tights that are part of the ballet uniform are different than the tights you might wear with a dress to church. They are specific to ballet and are a very similar color to the ballet shoes. This allows the visual line of the leg continue through the foot. Practically, tights serve the same purpose as your underwear, for hygiene. Ballet tights are made fairly thick, to reduce runs and snags, and are also very stretchy, allowing the dancer to move freely without fear of ripping or tearing the tights.
Finally, ballet shoes are the final piece to the uniform. Much different than slippers, ballet shoes are leather or canvas shoes that are very lightweight. They should fit snug to show the best line of the foot and leg (you can read more about shoes here).
Hopefully the uniform is a little less scary now. Now that you are more familiar with the uniform, you have more of an understanding as to why it is necessary! If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask your instructor or a member of the Front Desk Team.
Many thanks to Ms. Torie Arrington for this great article.