Following the dress code

One of the perks of being an adult dancer is that ballet schools and studios don’t require a dress code.

My school isn’t any different.

You’re allowed to dance in the clothes you feel the most comfortable in.

I’ve always worn dancer attire for the most part. The times when I haven’t worn tights, I’ve had teachers who have voiced some displeasure or joked with me about not being able to see the line.

I’ve always worn a variety of sports-related long, loose fitting shirts to go along with the tights (and a dance belt), and the last few years, a pair of warmup pants that usually come off toward the latter part of barre.

The only time I was required to follow a dress code was in a college ballet class. The two places I danced as a teenager were so happy to have a boy in class, they didn’t enforce a dress code on me.

The non-adult students at our school are required to follow a dress code (leotard colors are different for girls depending on the level, but company its black with pink tights, for boys, it’s white T-shirt (or leo under tights) and black tights.

Evidently, some of the kids had gotten a little lax about following the code. Mrs. O sent out a letter last week informing students they must follow the dress code in all non-open classes with the exception of the Saturday morning company class I’m in.

How does this involve me? If you follow my blog, you know I’m in two company classes in addition to the open classes I take. The Saturday class, I guess, is our version of casual Fridays, so it’s pretty much dress as usual.

Monday night’s class? Dress code is in place with the company girls I’m in class with.

As the only adult and the only male dancer in class, I felt an obligation to comply with the dress code even though it’s not required for me to do so.

So I brought out the white T-shirt to go along with the black tights, the first time I’ve done so since my college days.

For some reason, it seemed a good fit for the class. My Monday class is the most formal I take.

Oh yeah, and the rule requires no warmup pants in class. I (along with a few of the girls) wore them when I came into the room. But they came off when class began.

If you follow my blog, you also know this is the class that is my most challenging. But tonight was probably my best in the class all year.

One of the challenges for me is that Dawn C. uses different terminology for steps and combinations than my other teachers. But I’m beginning to pick that up. She uses a different phrase for tour jete that I can’t possibly spell. And I found out that the double A (or double assemble’) turns were actually chaines.

Hence a better class.

My en buate (I know that’s spelled wrong), saute basque turns and brises are beginning to come around.

And we had a really cool grande allegro combination (Pique, chasse, tour jete, chasse, fouette, chasse (in other direction), assemble’, prepare, three saute basque turns, step grande jete. It was fun. Just wished I could have jumped a little higher, but I was too busy analyzing the combination, making sure I was turning the right way.

It was a good way to end a stressful day. And it was finally good to see some progress in the class.

8 responses to “Following the dress code

  • RO

    We have a pretty strict dress code. I think that’s also nice because everyone kinda looks the same and you never have to worry about what to wear to class.. But, sometimes I wish I could just wear a different color or a pair of sweatpants to class haha..!
    That combo sounds lovely!! A nice way to end a stressful day indeed 🙂

    • Dancescribe

      Somebody made the comment that the class really lacked color! But it was neat actually to be conformed to the code. I thought it really added to the formalness of the class.

      • RO

        Yeah that’s what I think too! We all look really neat and uniform. In contemporary class we all get to wear what we find most comfortable and it does look like a mess sometimes, haha..

  • lili

    (Long time lurker, commenting for the first time)

    Our dress code is that if you are over 25, you can wear what you want. A father of one of the teenagers in my class complained to me that it isn’t fair, but I pointed out that I would be perfectly willing to follow the dress code if he was willing to cover all tuition for me. With age comes privileges and responsibilities!

    I always follow the dress code. I dance better in a leotard and tights, and I find that teachers take me more seriously as an adult.

    • Dancescribe

      Lili, thanks for posting!

      I do appreciate that our school allows leeway for adults, even though for the most part, I do wear tights.

      For this particular class I’m in, since the girls I dance with have to comply, I felt it was the right thing to do.

      I am amazed that a father complained about how an adult was dressed. I know a lot of the parents at our school, and I don’t think it really bothers them one way or the other.

      When I danced as a teenager, it was a different story. At one of the schools I took classes at, a mother complained that if the girls in class had to wear leotards and tights, then I should have to wear tights, which I eventually did in that class.

  • mercietchatons

    There has been plenty of leniency I’ve seen in several studios as far as adults, as well as the latest studio I now attend. Even the youngest of students can wear almost anything!!! I mean anything- almost what they wore to school.
    Having been on the end of teaching, I really prefer students- even adult ones- stick to a strict ballet uniform. It is the best optimal way to correct the body, and see it. Rehearsals are the best though, that’s when I get to wear whatever color leotard I want. Other “fashionable” bits usually come off quickly as they are too warm, or cumbersome. I do no like cumbersome-ness when dancing D8

    • Dancescribe

      Our school is the same way when it comes to rehearsals. They don’t mind it being a little more informal since we’re going to be there for two or three hours.

      And my teachers are the same way. Even with adults they know who are serious, they’ll encourage us to be close to code.

  • The Dancing Rider

    Glad class was good!

    We get a little leeway in ours re dress code, but I’m half traditional, half avante garde. In my old class, years ago, we were not even allowed to wear skirts. We wore solid-colored dark leoatards, with a little dance belt at the waist, and seamed tights. You heard me, seamed tights! This gave way to solid tights, but they had to be pink.

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