Adult Ballet Woes

Ballet is wonderful.  Discovering it as an adult is awesome – mostly.  Because there are some aspects of ballet that really, REALLY make me wish I was one of those seven year olds running around in tights and tutus rather than an average 30-year-old trying to remember the difference between en dedan and en dehors.

Today, that frustrating aspect of ballet happens to be leotards.  Specifically, achingly pretty leotards that I cannot wear.

I know I have limitations as far as dancewear.  Most leotard sizing assumes I am a pre-pubescent teenager of average height with no curves to speak of.  I am, in fact, an adult woman of normal size and shape.  I am by no means fat.  But I am certainly not ordering size small (or medium for that matter!) leotards.  I am much taller that most dancers at 5’10”.  I have a sizable chest.  I have – gasp! – hips.

I’m pretty happy with my body, and I work pretty hard to keep it in shape.  I like the way I look in a fitted dress or a great pair of jeans . . . but most leotards make me look a bit frumpy.  I steer clear of camisoles (too much bounce/not enough coverage for the girls!), and stick with halter and tank leos.  And my leotard collection is decidedly black, for obviously slimming reasons.

But then I saw this beauty online and before I knew what had happened, it was in my mailbox.


Screenshot (15) Screenshot (14) (via Discount Dance)


I knew it had no built-in support or lining.  I knew it was too high cut (you can see her hip bone!!).  I knew the zipper front was a disaster waiting to happen for anyone with actual breasts.

But see how pretty?!?


I’ll be returning it.  I guess this adult beginner isn’t meant for fancy colors and lace.


11 thoughts on “Adult Ballet Woes

  1. Awe man… it IS pretty… Discount Dance does that to us all… I think there something hypnotic about the background on that website. FWIW, AllAboutDance has a similar inventory and free shipping both ways… helps with uncertain purchaces like this one.

  2. Aahhhh nooo.. I hate the ancient struggle of finding a ‘normal but pretty’ leotard.. There are so many fancy schmancy leotards that I only WISH I could wear. I too have hips. They get in the way of a size M. More recently I had a leotard that was a size XL (imagine my dismay). Ahhhh well… we can’t have anything, can we??

  3. I am also in need of a new leotard, I have had mine for a few years now and it is faded, and stretched. I cant seem to find one anywhere! I am also not a tiny girl, I am short but I have very defined curves to put it nicely. When will a clothing company start to manufacture dancewear for real women! Just because I am not a size 4 or smaller doesnt mean I can’t or don’t want to dance. Plus I want to dance and feel comfortable as well as pretty while doing it! When will the companies start to realize they have an underserved market that they could cater too?

  4. I am very small for an adult and even I have a difficult time finding leotards that fit my chest and body. Ballet dancers don’t have curves and even a little curve makes the Leo fit queerly.

  5. I share your woes. Imagine yourself at my age, which brings a whole new set of limitations. I can’t wear any of the pretty, low cut in back, leos. And in most, at the smallest, I have to buy a “large”. Sometimes an “extra large”. Where I am curved is not where I want to be curved, or to have excess. In all the wrong places! Glad to hear you were trying All About Dance. At least it’s free shipping both ways.

  6. I totally feel you. The only leotard style I can wear is the basic short-sleeve full-coverage style, and it doesn’t provide support. I need to wear a sports bra or two under it to avoid the painful bouncing. I so wish I could wear one of the cuter styles, especially the open back ones, but that would be so distracting during class because I would be checking nonstop to make sure I haven’t broken free of it.

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