If you have a budding ballerina or ballerino in your family, you’ll know that a ballet costume is more than just a cute outfit for pirouetting around the living room in. As well as being nice to look at, dancewear should be comfortable, durable and allow for movement. However, if you’re new to the world of ballet, it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing clothing.
To get the lowdown on selecting ballet wear for your little ones, read on.
Tights are an essential part of a ballet dancer’s wardrobe, and for good reason. From accentuating form to helping improve circulation and prevent strains, a good pair of tights can perform a range of functions. These garments come in a variety of styles. Convertible tights have a small opening in the soles, so they can go from full-footed to footless easily. Stirrup tights, meanwhile, are footless but have tight bands designed to support the arch of the foot. You can also get full-footed or footless versions. Whatever you choose, be sure to get tights that are the right fit for your mini Anna Pavlova or Mikhail Baryshnikov. Junior sizes can be found at tights specialists, such as Stockings HQ.
Children’s ballet slippers should fit snugly. They should be tight enough to not leave any excess material around the toes but loose enough to not curl the toes. Most kids start out with single-soled leather slippers, as these are both comfortable and durable. For added security, you might want to opt for ones with straps if your child is very young. As your youngster progresses and begins performing in shows, it might be a good idea to get a pair of satin shoes, as these can look great on stage. If your little one is performing pointe work, meanwhile, they’ll need a pair of pointe shoes to support and cushion their toes.
Leotards allow instructors, examiners and audiences to see the movement of a performer’s body easily. They also help children to observe their form and technique when looking in a mirror. These items of clothing are available in a variety of designs. For the summer months, you could dress your tiny dancer in a sleeveless or cap-sleeved leotard, and when the colder weather hits, you could opt for long-sleeved versions. If you have a little girl, you might want to choose a design that comes with a chiffon skirt. Leotards are available in nylon lycra and cotton lycra. Whatever material you choose, you should make sure that your child’s skin can breathe. You should also ensure that it’s a snug fit but is flexible enough for your son or daughter to move around in comfortably.
Remember that above all else, your child should be comfortable in what they’re wearing. If they’re constantly pulling up their tights or fidgeting with their leotard straps, you probably need to get a better fit.