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Ballet Core: What Dancers Are Actually Wearing

By: Ashley Schroer


Ballet core has been a trending aesthetic for a long time at this point, and there have been many dancers sharing what they actually wear to their ballet classes. As a dance major at SRU, I wanted to ask some other dance majors what they’re really wearing to their day-to-day dance classes. On the day that these pictures were taken, all the dancers shown had ballet class at 9 am and improvisational dance at either 11 am or 1 pm. Some had evening rehearsals, as well. Pale pinks and ribbons are typically associated with the ballet core aesthetic. This isn’t common in the SRU dance department (granted it is more modern dance-based than ballet-based). Still, brands such as Lululemon (specifically the Dance Studio collection), Nike, and Target can be seen in almost every SRU dance class.

Ashley (Freshman BFA Dance Entrepreneurship & English: Creative Writing)

For my classes, I wore a long sleeve shrug from Capezio layered under a PacSun shirt, with Lululemon Dance Studio Jogger dupes from Amazon, and my socks are from Columbia (underneath these layers I had a leotard from Mirella, and ballet tights and legwarmers from Capezio). I always layer up, especially on the days that I have ballet class followed by improvisation. The two styles are super different and that helps me have as little laundry each week as possible.

Daniya (Freshman BFA Dance Performance and Choreography)

After ballet class, Daniyah changed into leggings from Target, a black t-shirt, and put on her New Balance shoes to get some food from Butter and Honey (a very popular spot to get food at within the dance department) before improvisation. All-black outfits are a staple among dancers. They’re simple and always look professional. They’re also everywhere in the SRU Dance Department during the months leading up to student-choreographed shows, where the works are presented to faculty members and other choreographers for feedback.  

Belle (BFA Dance Performance and Choreography & Adaptive Physical Activity Minor)

For improvisation, Belle put pants and a shrug from Amazon over her ballet leotard from Discount Dance and exchanged her ballet slippers for socks from Fila. Outfits that can go from one class to another and also look “normal” outside of the dance studio are the best kinds of dance outfits. They allow you to easily go from style to style without having to bring a change of street clothes.

Maddi (BFA Dance Performance and Choreography)

Similarly to Belle, Maddi put Lululemon Dance Studio Joggers over her Mirella leotard to wear for improvisation. She also traded her ballet slippers for Nike socks, which are, in my opinion, some of the best socks to dance in. Maddi’s outfit can seamlessly switch from ballet class to more contemporary and modern-based dance styles because Lululemon Dance Studio Joggers are a popular ballet warmup, as well as a popular choice for modern and contemporary dancers.


Abbey (BFA Dance Performance and Choreography & Management)

After ballet class, Abbey traded her leotard and tights for a shirt that she bought at a concert, Lululemon Dance Studio Joggers, and socks from Target. Joggers and a t-shirt is an outfit that you’ll see multiple dancers wearing in every class at SRU, but every dancer finds ways to make this outfit unique to them. Abbey did this by including merch from one of her favorite bands.


Bree (BFA Dance Entrepreneurship & Theater Minor)

Thrifting is really popular among dancers at SRU. Bree is demonstrating this with her thrifted leggings and Nike shirt. Clothes for classes aren’t the only thing that dancers commonly thrift - a lot of the student choreographers at SRU thrift the costumes for the works that they choreograph. In this year’s BFA Capstone Concert on April 28, 2024, there is a piece about the importance of sustainable fashion in the dance industry if you’re interested in learning more!


Emily (BA Dance & Secondary English Education)

With black being the most common clothing color for dance majors at SRU, green comes in at a close second. If you ever look into an SRU dance class, you’ll likely see at least a few people wearing the color green, like Emily and her sweatshirt from the SRU Bookstore, Amazon leotard, Boscobel pants, and socks from Walmart. Besides green clothing being easily accessible through the SRU bookstore, most dancewear brands carry the majority of their apparel products in a shade of green, making it common for dancers to own.

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