8 Dancewear Tips And Tricks

by | Feb 16, 2015 | Beauty & Style, LIFESTYLE

Adult students aren’t expected to be perfect, nonetheless, it’s important to look clean and presentable for class. Suiting up in the appropriate dancewear can be expensive and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Cut costs and save time with some easy, no-frills techniques that will help you look your best.

1. Wash your shoes.

ballettrail

Ballet technique shoes can get really dirty. Week after week, your shoes are mopping up dirt, dust, and hair from dance surfaces. Not to mention, your sweaty feet are setting up a nice, cozy home in your shoes for bacteria to flourish and some serious stank to set in. Sure, your shoes are your main accessory, so they’re going to get worn out. But don’t be afraid to toss those puppies in the wash once in a while. This is particularly true for canvas shoes with a higher absorbency, thus higher risk of ick. It’s recommended however, that you let them air dry to avoid shrinkage.

2. Tuck drawstrings.

tuckdrawstrings

Nothing screams clueless beginner like untucked drawstring (as cute as the above photo is). The elastic drawstring on top of your toes is designed to tighten the fabric for a snug fit around your foot. Once the drawstring is tightened and tied in a bow, tuck it under and out of sight. It may pinch a little bit, but it’s a small price to pay for looking more professional. Only the kindergarten kiddies let their drawstrings flop around. Spare your teacher and the audience of this tacky mistake and tuck your drawstring!

3. Wear a sweater skirt.

sweaterskirt

Ballet skirts are flowy, whispy, and feminine. But these little lightweight fashion items get pricey. A two-ounce skirt costing $45? If you’re not prepared to open your wallet but you want something pretty to grace your backside, consider wrapping a sweater or sweatshirt around your waist. This offers coverage and gives the impression that you’re wearing a skirt. I did it all the time. It’s a great alternative to shorts and you can choose different fabrics and prints straight from your own closet.

4. Pull out your shank.

shank

If you have some pointe experience under your belt and you need a better fit, try deconstructing the shank from your pointe shoes. The purpose of pulling out the shank, or the inner sole, is to soften the arch of the shoe, making it easier for you the get over your box. This method is not recommended for dancers with high arches. High arches require full, harder shanks. And it definitely shouldn’t be attempted by a complete novice. It’s dangerous and a waste of money, unless you are working with a pair of older, “dead” shoes. However, if you want to practice the feeling of pointe without actually dancing on pointe, pulling the shank out of a pointe shoe allows you to wear them like technique shoes.

5. Recycle tights.

tights

Don’t throw away old tights! Cut out the crotch with a pair of scissors and pull the tights over your head to create a makeshift shrug. The waist band should now be around your breastbone/ribs, and your arms should come through each leg. This is a nifty way to recycle tights that have seen better days, and it doesn’t matter if they’re pink or black. This is a common trick a lot of professionals use, so if you want to be the cool kid on the block, find those shears.

6. Always use bobby pins.

balletbun

If you want that clean, sleek, ballerina look, pull your hair into a tight ponytail, either at the nape of your neck, or high on the crown of your head, and wrap it into a tight bun. This look won’t last, however, if you don’t secure the bun with bobby pins. You can find them at your local drugstore for a couple of bucks. Slightly open each bobby pin and slip 4-6 all through the base of your bun to avoid helicopter ponytail as you spin across the floor.

7. Create your own legwarmers.

legwarmers

When it’s cold outside, or in the studio, wearing legwarmers can protect your muscles from becoming too stiff. Give your legs added insulation by making your own legwarmers. Find a cheap sweater, either from your own drawer, or the thrift store, that’s too small for you. Cut the arms off and pull them over your calves. Ideally, you want to use fabric that contains spandex so it stretches and conforms to your shape. If necessary, you can hem any opening that starts to fray.

8. Use a Sharpie.

Sharpie

If you’re going to perform on pointe and you need to wear colored pointe shoes, skip the messy dyes and use a Sharpie marker. It’s cheap and easy with virtually no clean up. Plus it’s fun! When did you ever think you’d get to color your shoes?

This is just a small list to get you on your way. If you have any other tips and tricks that you would like to share, leave a comment!

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