It’s not just tights, a leotard and a bun.
What a dancer wears shows her level of respect for the teacher and enables the teacher to see all the dancer’s movements.
When a student walks into dance class half-dressed in dance clothes and half-dressed in street clothes or wearing a leotard with no tights in ballet, the dancer isn’t taking class seriously.
When parents send younger dancer into class knowing their dancer’s hair is a hot mess, or tells their dancer it doesn’t matter, the parents aren’t taking the class seriously – and they’re sending that message to their dancer.
“How a dancer presents herself can change how the teacher looks at the dancer,” Ms. Buffi says. “Plus dancers are much more likely to talk in class or slack off if they are not dressed as they know they should be.”
Ms. Lindsey says, “It is totally disrespectful to come to class with crazy hair or to wear jazz clothes in ballet or to show up for ballet without tights. It is like showing up to work in your pajamas, which I hope you wouldn’t do!”
Proper dance attire isn’t just for ballet and it isn’t just out of respect for the teacher. It is to provide the best possible instruction for dancers.
By wearing pink tights, teachers can see dancer’s muscles to determine if the proper technique is being used. A leotard shows the dancer’s lines and positioning.
“We will stop class or rehearsal to tell dancers to put their hair in a bun,” Ms. Buffi says. “You can’t spot turns with crazy hair. And if you’re just learning turns, long hair will whip around and throw you off balance.”
All this said, the faculty at Charleston Dance Center understand when you forget to pack a pair of tights or you accidentally grab the wrong color leotard. Just don’t make it a habit!