May 14, 2012

My Ballet Bag

Hold-all ballet bag. I can fit everything in here, except for my macbook..

Two pairs of pointe shoes, Bloch Balance Europeans (size 6 XX). Two, because I'm trying to figure out which pair to wear for our spring show. One is slightly more worn, to the pointe that they are about to die on me. A regular pointe class might be too much already. The other pair has a little more life left, but I need them for class. Then again, the entrance of the wilis in Giselle calls for quiet shoes.. So: old pair gets to go on stage, and younger pair gets to do all the hard work in class. Seems fair enough.

Black short "professional" ballet skirt. The pro-tag is courtesy of Bloch, I have no such illusions of grandeur. It's a short and flimsy skirt, but somehow makes my popo look smaller and my legs appear longer. Gotta love that! I have two other fave skirts, and alternate between them depending on on my mood. I also have this huge black, long-sleeved, wide-necked viscose t-shirt, which doubles as a long skirt. I just wiggle out of the neck-opening, and use the sleeves to tie the thing around my waste. Very practical.

Soft ballet shoes, flatties, slippers.. What do you call yours? Mine are from Bloch, and I usually wear their model "Pump" in ballet pink. Sometimes I also buy Sansha Pro1, because you can't get the Blochs here in Helsinki. Sansha has a nice advantage: you get a free mesh-bag matched to the color of your shoes! Mesh-bags are great for storing pointe shoes, as they allow the shoes to air out even before you get home after class. And I can fit my ouch-pouches in there as well. Don't want to forget those!

Leotard(s). On Tuesdays I have three classes (with one hour break after the first), so I pack two. Currently my favorite is hot pink with double spagetti straps and some lovely detailing at the bust line. The colour really wakes me up! Pink convertible tights, black leggings (which I often wear on top of the pinks), aforementioned skirt, self-made sheer top. Just cut out the gusset of old or new tights/leggings and hey, presto! I might pack leg warmers, but usually ditch them after first pliés. I also carry old socks which I wear on top of my slippers before class. Never during class.

Small scissors, Bunhead's Stitch Kit, skin-coloured fabric tape to patch up canvas flatties, lamb's wool, jelly tubes for big toes (don't use them all the time, only when toes cry for it), small tin box for hair pins, snap clips and elastics, hair-brush, travel-sized hairspray, mirror, elastic ankle brace (just in case), antiperspirant, water bottle, nut/fruit-protein/energy bar, chapstick (lip balm), tiger balm, ibuprofen.. Plus all the other stuff a girl needs to leave the house!

That's pretty much it. Hope I didn't forget anything.. :)


  1. I'm so jealous that you fit in 3 classes in one day! My school only has 3 classes I can attend over the course of the week (i.e. adult classes) and finances mean that I can't afford to go to more than 2. Do you work outside of class on the days when you do multiple classes? I imagine it's seriously exhausting.

  2. Hi Lindy!

    Triple Tuesday is only once a week. And yes, it is exhausting, but only the last 10 minutes! You get used to it is all I can say. And my Tuesday teacher is just beyond awesome, so I go in highly motivated. The first class starts at 4.30 pm, which makes it's possible to get work done before that. But I don't get home before 10 pm, and that is a bit tiring..

    I do understand about finances and budgets; there have been times when I could attend only one class per week. It sucks, but you do the best you can with the classes you get.

    At my school, you can pay either for a fixed number of classes, or purchase a 4-week "anytime" card. My minimum of three days and five classes costs the same as that anytime-card. I figured I might just as well do three classes on Tuesdays :)On other days (Mon, Thu, Fri) I have one or two classes at most. Usually pointe after a regular technique class.

    Two classes per week will keep you in shape, and when fortunes / circumstances change, you will be ready to dance a whole lotta more! :)

    1. Thanks for the reply :-) Yes, even after a few months, my body is feeling more ready for ballet than it has in years so (fingers crossed) there should be more classes in the future :-)

  3. Talking about what we have in our ballet bags and what we wear in the class, ive a question that i don´t dare to ask other people in my own class...
    What kind of a bra (if any) can you wear under your leotard. Im nowadays just using a normal strap shirt because i can use a bra with it, ive got leotards but if im honest im completely flat in them that im ashamed of wearing them. Any advice on that?? :)
    A friend told me that most ballerinas don´t have much boobs...but well, those are some pros and im not,, that doesn´t make me feel better.

  4. Hi Baluka!

    It's true, most ballerinas have next to nothing in the boob department! It's pretty much part of the "ballerina-look". Of course there are also curvier dancers, but mostly it's flat up front.. ;)

    As for myself, I don't wear a bra under my leo. I just don't need it. My boobs are a size A, and the extra bust panel in leos is enough support. Although some years ago, before I lost a lot of weight, I used to wear a sports bra under my tank leotard.

    I didn't mind having biger boobs outside of dance class, but I was longing to wear skimpy leos with spagetti straps instead! Now I'm really happy being a small-boobs girl again :) You have lots more pretty leos to choose from, and your boobs don't get in the way!

    But it doesn't matter if your boobs are big or tiny or inbetween. You can wear colourful sports bras and match or clash them with your leos. And if you don't need the support, enjoy the skimpy leos.

    Remember that boobs are not relevant when it comes to your dancing. The fact that you love to dance is most important! :)

    1. I can't stay away of this boob conversation ;)

      I agree that flat boobs are part of the ballerina look.. I can say that my boobs are so tiny that it's hard to even call them boobs.. It's true! But I'm fine with that. People understand when you just tell them that you are a ballet dancer ;).

      But anyway it's so much more practical to have smaller boobs when it comes to ballet. You can just use leotard and it gives you enough support without any bras.

      But like Johanna just said it really doesn't matter what size your boobs are when you are dancing. Because I have never seen anyone dancing by using their boobs..


    2. I had to get in on this conversation too! lol.

      Frankly, I'm jealous of all you small-boob girls. I have the opposite problem, and it has made for some exhausting and frustrating costume discussions with my teachers and classmates. I have yet to find a leo I can wear without a bra. My favourite leos are cap sleeve models, so I wear my sports bra with those, but the leos we've been required to buy for exams and performances are all tank or camisole style, and I end up using flesh-coloured convertible bras and pinning the straps to the leo. Not so fun!

      A couple of the lucky small-chested ladies in my class have felt the need to help themselves fill out their leos, though. They will often still go without a bra, but they take the pads out of a padded bra and put them in the lining of their leos instead.

    3. For you from an ex-modern dancer and her 36DDs in ballet: the capezio bra-tek leotard. For your exams it may just do the trick. Camisole style and it'll hold them if you size up.

      You can also wear a flesh leotard under a regular one in a pinch.

      And they're supposed to make the costume to fit you, not make you to fit the costume. :) When I was in company our costumes were someone's homework, so everything got made.

    4. I'm jealous now! Lol. My studio sucks at taking that sort of attitude for costumes. matching leos were ordered for us for the exam and for the performances, and neither were cap sleeve like I requested.

  5. I keep way too many things in my dance bag because it also doubles as my gym bag. You would think I were going on vacation every time I leave the door for dance class!

  6. Oh dear, I've got exactly that same problem with my pointe shoes right now: other pair is almost too soft, the other not just quite soft enough...

    And about that bra problem... Capezio has nice bra with a silicone strap at the back, so it is almost invisible when worn under costumes.

  7. I find it really hard to get leotards to fit, I'm 30 and only just started dancing last year so I don't have a typical dancer's body! I find that even when leotards are big enough in the bust, waist and hip areas, they are usually too short, or if they're long enough, the bust area just doesn't quite cover me. It's not so much that I need the support as just needing the sides of my boobs to be contained within the leotard! I'm 5'7" tall and usually wear a UK size 14, although I have big hips and wear a 34D or 34DD bra, so getting leotards to fit can be a serious pain! Sansha make ONE style in a XXXL (yep, triple X!) that fits, Bloch's size L come up short, some Roch Valley styles in a size 6 fit, but others leave me constantly grasping at the sides to keep my boobs in! It's just no fun, the dancewear companies really should do more to cater to slightly larger girls, I mean, size 14 isn't exactly plus size, it's just not ballerina size!

    1. Hi Nicola!

      You're right - ballet leotards rarely come in standard grown-up & womanly sizes. It's about time the big brands realise that not all dancers are kids/teens or professionals - and that we come in many shapes and sizes!

      Do you wear a sports bra under your leo? You could layer a racer-back bra with an open back leo, and make a statement with contrasting colours (if you like). I've seen lots of pros layer leos and tops, it makes for an interesting change - and gives xtra coverage/support.

      This sports bra looks very stylish, wish it would come attached to a leo:,default,pd.html?cgid=Tops_Bras&dwvar_111034_color=LUCY%20BLACK

      Leos with cap or short sleeves are another look which works well to hold boobs in. You could also make a top out of leggings/tights. But regardless of cup and hip size, for some reason all girls/women with long torsos have a hard time finding a good fit. What gives?

  8. I am so jealous of the kind of ballet school you go to. I'm from Belgium and finding a good ballet school near my hometown is impossible. I want to have the real ballet girl lifestyle.. Go to school, come home, pack my bag and spend my evening at my ballet school doing as many classes as possible. Unfortunately, where I live things work differently. Unless you attend a professional ballet academy at the age of 12 you will never be able to dance your whole evening just because the schools are so little, only have 1 or 2 teachers which aren't really good teachers most of the time. They give only 1 class per week to your "age category" cause that's how you are divided most of the time and after doing a year of 1 class per week in a certain level you go to a level higher where you learn nothing new and classes are exactly the same as the year before. Point classes are unprofessional they just put you on point shoes even when your feet and legs aren't strong enough so they can charge you for an extra class and shows are only once every three to four years. Ballet classes in Belgium make me unhappy and demotivated, I went to France once for a ballet internship at Ecole Supérieure de Dance de Cannes and it was the best ballet experience ever. Point is that stupid classes where I don't develop because I don't learn new things, teachers that don't really care about you only about their money and rules such as "you can only wear black leotards from our school (again for the money)" made me so fed up that I'm not dancing anymore at the moment and it is killing me. My last ballet teacher threw me out of her school for being severely ill for 2 months and not being able to attend classes for those 2 months.. I wish I lived in Helsinki so I could attend your school.


To That Special Ballet Teacher

To that special ballet teacher, who not only teaches you about technique, but helps build your confidence, nurtures your inner artist, ...