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You made the decision, you contacted the teacher and now you are attending your first ballet class. As an adult starting something new can be a bit intimidating. If you are anything like me you may be worried about what to wear, how hard it might be, will anyone laugh at you if you cannot do it, will your partner be ok feeding dogs, children and not setting the house on fire whilst you take an hour to yourself, and all sorts of other things. Taking those first steps to the ballet studio will be hard and filled with trepidation, and yes, fear.
I can’t help with the partner not setting the house on fire and looking after the family properly, but I can help you with what to wear to your first dance class.
The most important thing is to make sure you feel comfortable. Sorry no, not the kind of comfy that means you have taken your bra off, have your lovely warm pj’s on and are now going to relax with a rather large gin and tonic. Despite how good that sounds! You can though, set that gin bottle on the side ready for the celebration when you have completed your first class!
To be comfortable you need to make sure that you can move easily and without any restriction. Your arms and legs don’t want to be stopped from reaching their full range of motion. Similarly, I find I am not comfortable with anything too tight. Despite the fact that you will inevitably hold your breath whilst dancing, you do need to be able to breathe fully and deeply so sports bras from the back of the closet that are years old and too small may not feel good.
I have a spare tyre and a muffin top, so I don’t do leotards. Or Tutus! They are not generally required for adult dance classes and whilst some folks in the class will wear them, I don’t. I feel too self-conscious. For me, comfortable clothing means a decent sports bra that will support my tatas well, especially during allegro.*(see note at end)
I also love a legging with tonnes and tonnes of Lycra or Spandex that will help hold my wobbles in place so that they do not put me off dancing when I move and jiggle. My current favourite pair is a high waisted pair from Under Armour. Super comfy and great hold! If you are not as wobbly as me, you can get away with any good fitting and comfortable legging.
Other than making sure my tatas and wobbly bits are all held in place, I will wear a fairly baggy t-shirt because I am not keen on tight fitting tops. Here any t-shirt will do. At the end of the day, you have to find something to wear that makes you feel comfortable.
It seems each style of dance requires different shoes. You may ask yourself why?
In ballet, the shoe needs to be light and flexible to make sure you have free movement of the foot and can use the foot to help extend the line of the leg. The ballet shoe has a suede sole to reduce the friction between the foot and the floor. This helps the dancer slide across the floor, turn and feel the floor.
Ballet shoes are not very expensive, but if you want to try a couple of classes before splashing out for specialist gear, you can do your first couple of classes in socks. Socks will reduce the friction between the foot and the floor allowing you to turn, slide and feel the floor. Trainers, pumps or other shoes with rubber soles give too much friction and so will not allow you to move easily during ballet.
I hope you have found some useful advice in this post about what to wear to your first ballet class. if you have any questions, please do feel free to ask in the comments below.
In a ballet class, the allegro is the fast section of the class. In this section you will do some small jumps and fast steps which help to get your heart beating. Don’t panic though – you don’t need to jump too high or too hard. It is best to concentrate on form and safety then getting carried away and hurting yourself jumping too high. I keep my jumps nice and low and still get a decent workout.
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