June 23, 2013

A Paler Shade of Pink

Peachy or a paler shade of pink? Depends on the light and skin tone underneath. Both feet pictured are mine.

When it comes down to legwear for ballet class, I prefer black leggings over pink tights. Black feels more grown-up, post-grad, individual, even slightly rebellious. Although I never went to a ballet school that required pink tights, so I'm hardly expressing a new-found freedom. Mostly I prefer black because I feel less exposed, as opposed to the overexposure of pale pinkness. And it's no secret that black is slimming. You don't really see women wearing almost white opaque hosiery outside of ballet, do you?

Having said that, pink ballet tights are not without advantages. For one, you see more. Muscle tone becomes more visible, and it's easier to correct and maintain proper alignment. You become more aware of your placement. That is why I do wear pink from time to time. Usually, I add black long shorts and a longish black skirt on top. Like I said before, I don't like to look/feel too bare in class. But a couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge. For the duration of barre, I skipped the skirt and extra layers, wearing only my leo, short shorts and those pink tights. Guess what? It wasn't half as bad as I feared. Sure, at first I felt self-conscious. I wish my bottom half would have a more ballerina-esque look. But I worked the pink tights to my advantage. I pulled up, lengthened, stretched, pointed and presented my feet to their max. The unbroken line of ballet pink tights and shoes made my lines look longer. And pretty good, if I may say so.

Practicing my passé retirés (front to back) for the show.
Wearing Danskin tights.

The last time I had worn pink, was for our spring show. I had been gifted a pair of Danskin's "Style 32 Backseam Footed Tights," in a semi-opaque ballet pink. I was told that they look very flattering under stage lights. The weave is such that it lets more of your own skin tone through, and they did make my legs look nicely defined. The backseam was a bit tricky though, I had to make sure it was in a straight line. The waist goes up very high, right under my boobs, and the waistband felt a bit constricting. But it worked well under the thick fabric of my tutu's bodice. So, all in all, a good choice for the stage.

Fresh out of the package. The ribbons, by the way, are still waiting to be sewn. 

My current pair of tights is from Gaynor Minden. I was in fact contacted by one of GM's distributors in Europe, Dancemania, and asked if I would like to try and review some of their Gaynor Minden products. Would I ever! Trying out dance stuff has to be one of my favorite jobs! I made sure that they were looking for an honest review, and then chose some products for my first goody bag ever. So, the tights. They are called Adult Convertible, and are made up of 85% nylon (70 den microfiber) and 15% spandex. I checked the sizing from their chart, and size medium was a perfect fit for me. The waistband could be a bit wider and softer, but I suspect that ballet tights are not made with the average woman in mind. After the first wash, I stretched it out some, and now it fits more comfortably. I have worn and hand-washed the tights for about two weeks now (seven or eight classes), and so far, no snags or runs. The colour is as peachy pink as my Bloch pointe shoes, but pales when you put them on. They are quite opaque (70 den), but I like that they feel a bit more supportive than my usual leggings. The best feature is the convertible opening under the foot. Compared to my Bloch tights, the finish is done with much better attention to durability. At first, I thought the opening was too small and would snag when I rolled it up from under my toes, but it stretched well enough.

After two weeks of wash & wear, the color is a bit paler. But I've never met or seen a pair that doesn't turn from ballet pink to ballet grey, at some point(e). I know you're wondering about the pointe shoes with just the elastics on..
But more about that in a later post!

I have to admit that being asked to test-dance the GM tights gave me the push I needed to step out of my ubiquitous black leggings. I'm not going to ditch them forever (I always have a spare in my bag), but I am going to get more mileage out of my pink ballerina tights. I'm beginning to like how they look on my legs.

June 16, 2013

First Tutu

Took off my tutu, left the theatre, went home, took the trash out, removed my stage make-up, would have loved a cold beer, drank milk instead and thought: was this already it? So many hours and weekends spent in rehearsals, and then the show was over in an instant. I did well enough, could have done better (there's always room for lots of improvement), but I didn't fall over or forget any steps. Somewhere between the nerves and trying hard not to f*** up, I actually had a moment were everything was just fine. And I'm so pleased with the way our (mostly) adult corps de ballet held its own - it really was a lovely and impressive performance all around.

It was also my first time in a real tutu.

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, ...