What does a grown woman wear to ballet class?

Thank you for all the suggestions for my office bake sale!  My co-worker and I are still going through the recipes to figure out what we can make — and make well for Friday. I will definitely keep you posted! But, pretty celophane, ribbon and tags have all been ordered.

Are you ready to be a part of my online therapy session? LOL.  Growing up, I very begrudgingly took 12 years of piano lessons when all I really wanted to do was dance, sew, take pictures and do theater. I can now play Sweet Hour of Prayer from memory. And if VERY hard pressed can play for song service at church if there aren’t more than two flats or sharps. That’s about it. I showed little-to-no promise in that arena and my parents finally let me quit my freshman year of high school.


But, I’ve always wanted to dance. I’ll devour every bad movie about dance. It started with Dirty Dancing as a kid and continued with Centerstage, Step it Up (1 and 2), The Way She Move— you tell me there’s dancing and I’ll see it. I almost put my back out last year showing off  the Single Ladies dance.

So, last Saturday I started an adult ballet class. Partly because I stopped working out this year and it shows. But, mostly because I wanna DANCE (insert jazz hands)!  It’s my second week and I lurv it! I feel like I’m finally doing something I’ve always wanted to do for myself.

My  biggest dilema going in was what in the world was I going to wear? The London Ballet-trained instructor insisted on a leotard and strongly suggested pink tights. After consulting with Leslie (she of the amazing ballet legs), she reminded me that nothing shows cellulite more than pink tights and I promptly bought the black ones! I also had to cover my rear end which cannot be constrained by a leotard. I didn’t have time to whip up a skirt. But, H&M’s tiered tutu to the rescue. And so to answer the question of what does a 30 something wear to ballet class… Voila:

Yes. I’m clearly rocking the drunkface. But, I was on the phone when my friend snapped it for me. Then, the room filled with lithe 15-year-olds and I wasn’t going to take my photo again in front of them and their gazelle-like legs and skinny thighs.

When I signed up for the class, the instructor asked me what my goals were. Others in the class said ‘to go on point’ or ‘to perform in a recital’. I told her blunty, ‘I want dancer’s legs.’ He reply, ‘That’s going to be up to you’. So, I’m registered through December with the next session starting in January.  I’ve now got the Jalie pattern for leotard and skirt in my cart on PatternReveiw.com. I’ll probably do one with sleeves next time as I feel a little swimsuity in this. But, trust. There’s always going to be a fun tutu on the bottom. I swear half the fun of this class is coming up with the outfits!

Ahhh, and I haven’t been keeping up with my nail polish photos. The weather’s crappy and I like to take pictures outside. But, I’ll throw this one out. It’s China Glaze Cords with China Glaze Techno layered on top. Both can be found at Head2ToeBeauty.com:

And so you understand the glittery goodness, here it is blurred:

Ok. Toodles for now. I’m meeting a friend for drinks this afternoon and need to clean, clean clean because Marji from Fiber Arts Afloat flies in tomorrow! Tres cool, right?  She’s visiting for a few days. The list of things I have for us her to work on is boundless. Sloper, pants fit, new measurement, SWAP. The mind truly reels.


  1. Oh, how fantastic! I can’t believe I haven’t seriously thought of taking adult ballet classes myself. I took ballet when I was 6 and 7 and just adored it, but APPARENTLY, my parents found it too much of a pain to take me to lessons, and so stopped after only 2 years. To this day I SWEAR (half in jest, full in earnest) I could have been a real dancer had I only been allowed to continue!

    Or maybe the teacher was tired of my dad pulling such pranks as having me ask her when we’d be getting our “one-ones” which he told me we needed before we got “two-twos”. I love my dad….really.

    Anyhow, I hope you enjoy every minute of your lessons and I think you look just adorable in your outfit – looking forward to seeing what others you come up with!

    • Oh!! I forgot to say that I got to take it for like one year in elementary school and my parents made me quit but I STILL had to take piano! I too had dreams that I could have been a dancer given the opportunity 🙂

  2. As someone who danced for years (I have a Diploma in Dance Education) I can certainly understand your desire, but it is seriously hard work! I think your outfit is perfect and you look very, very cute. Enjoy yourself, it will make you feel on top of the world. I want some of that nail polish, too. I’m going to see if I can track down some China Glaze in Australia.

  3. I loooove your outfit! Good ol’ H&M. It’s awesome that you’ve found a form of exercise that gives you such pleasure.

    And the nails – sequins/sparkles are so in now, aren’t they!

  4. That ballet outfit is excellent. And while pink tights would be fine for a white girl like me, you need black or brown. Otherwise, you’ll just look odd. People sometimes give automatic answers, like wear white underwear under a white outfit, instead of considering the skin tones of the wearer. You look perfect; good luck in your bake sale quest.

    • Agreed! I thought it would just look silly on me. I am looking for a brown pair though. That makes a ton of sense.

      • I hope you enjoy your class! I took community ballet classes for years. I was awful but I loved it. My stomach never looked flatter. I finally quit when my favorite teacher moved away. The one who followed just didn’t understand how to teach adult beginners.

        At one point I did have an African-American instructor and she also said that pink wasn’t really a great color for darker skin tones. She always gave us the option of pink or skin-colored tights under shorts or a skirt. She didn’t like black because she claimed she couldn’t see the muscles as well through black. Then I had another instructor who didn’t care what type of tights or leggings we wore as long as he could see our knees.

  5. Good for you! You look very cute:) I am no dancer but both my girls have danced for years. One prefers the ballet side and the other jazz, tap and hip hop. Last night was their year end concert.

  6. How adorable are you in that outfit??!! I love it. If I didn’t have a dress code I’d ask you to make me one of those skirts. Much better than flaunting the pink-tighted bits that stick out the bottom of my black leotard. *sob* Seriously though, I’m glad to hear you are enjoying it so much!

  7. OK that’s it. I am finding an adult ballet class pronto. I must plie and pirouette. It’s driving me almost as crazy as not playing the piano as well as I used to. I wonder if my old toeshoes have survived the ages … must call mom.


  8. That is so cool. Your outfit looks just right. I suffered through piano lessons, whilst wanting to dance, so both of my daughters started dance aged 3 – one loves it and one has just insisted that she is totally finished with it – after 9 years. I am such a mean mother, but both my teenagers have gorgeous dancer’s legs. Maybe I will take it up instead. I would need a much longer skirt though…

    • Oh, I bought a longer one from Forever 21! Just in case I couldn’t get away with the black tights!

  9. The outfit is cute. Am I the only one who is disappointed that the link went to BEYONCE doing the Single Ladies dance?

  10. I think it’s a great outfit! I joined an adult ballet class a little over a year ago (first time for me, my parents were anti-ballet too), and it’s still a blast. I did go for the standard black leo, pink tights uniform, but always, always with the black chiffon wrap skirt over top!

  11. Good for you, enjoy the classes! (I loved the “insert jazz hands” – it was like you were right there doing it!).

  12. Fun! I did ballet for years. Pointe sucks and hurts. I’m willing to hurt myself when I run distance or do high-impact sports (played co-ed hockey in college) but not for ballet. I didn’t love it that much. That tutu is seriously cute!!! Good for you for tackling something you have always wanted to do. 🙂

  13. Ah! I love it! I took jazz for six months. I have to be honest about it – I totally sucked. Sewating like crazy in a leotard and tights didn’t help. Then I discovered swing dance. I can wear regular clothes (including pants, yay!) and most of the dancers are grownups who have as many body flaws as I do and don’t give a hoot as long as you can follow or lead. Keep up the dancing, whatever type you do!

    And remember this (I used to tell this to my swing dance students): No one looks at the beginner dancers. People only watch the good dancers. And they only watch themselves.

    It’s true!

  14. I’m not a dancer or even dance oriented but I can identify with wanting dancer’s legs. Have you ever seen “Red Shoes”? Old movie, caught it on TCM before they went to the digital format. Wonderful movie, worth renting if you haven’t seen it. Love the tutu.

  15. Very cute dance outfit. My daughter takes ballet and I love her teacher’s dance outfits–the sheer short circle skirts, wrap sweaters…it is all in the accessory pieces! I am knitting a pair of leg warmers for my daughter’s birthday. hope you enjoy the class!

  16. Love the tutu! My daughter at age 5 insisted on a black tutu and tights – she refused to wear pink. Pink is for little girls she said. Even at 5 she was a much older woman.
    She still has dancers’ legs at age 24 – so keep it up and you will too

  17. It’s never too late to fulfill a dream:-)
    Your outfit are really cute and fit you perfectly.
    Enjoy your lessons!

  18. Good for you for taking an adult ballet class. I’ve wished I had one nearby. I, too, ended up doing piano when I really wanted to dance. Years ago as an adult finally took a class. It was wonderful — great therapy. I’d arrive at class, stressed out from work but by the end of the session, I was calm. It’s great exercise. Now, I take my 4 year old to dance. I take off her coat and then she races into her class. Enjoy your class.

  19. Have you seen the movie “Every Little Step”? It is a documentary about the auditions for the revival 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line” musical on Broadway.

  20. !!!!!!!! Now I love you even more! After my baby comes (and I am medically cleared to exercise), I am going to also take ballet! I took it when I was little, probably from ages 4-6. I loved it so, so, so much. I think it is the most beautiful form of self expression a woman can perform. I am so excited for you!

  21. Good for you! I think everyone should step back and think of those things we always wished we had been able to learn/enjoy/accomplish and then DO it! I began piano lessons at the age of 56 and it was the absolutely best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I hope you really enjoy your lessons! (You look mahvelous….)

  22. LOVE the tutu! I also dance with every bad dancing movie out there. I almost put my own back out with the Centerstage movie. I’ve always dreamed of being lifted in the air like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. I don’t yet have the confidence to take a dance class but DH and I are doing dance videos at home. Baby steps…. Have fun with your class!

  23. Perfect outfit! I took ballet as a kid through the community center. I couldn’t remember the names of the steps so I never knew what to do. I felt very unsure of myself. My ballet moves might have been fine but the correlation of name-to-action just wasn’t there. French was very difficult for me as a child in ballet and then again in high school as my required language class. I got a D- while getting A’s in my other classes. Go figure. Now my hubby and I are taking Ballroom. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Dancing is so much fun. Enjoy yourself!!!!!

  24. I’ve always wanted to dance, too! I remember asking ALL THE TIME to take dance lessons, but parents made me take the clarinet. I even wanted to take piano lessons, too, but no, I got the clarinet. Maybe I’ll sign up for a dance class, too. That sounds like a blast! I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable with a classroom full of 15 yr olds, though. I’m 40 and would love to have some women my age in class so we could have fun and feel like we were in it together….cellulite and all!

  25. I just watched the Beyonce video and man, I’d love to be able to dance like that!! Beyonce is seriously talented! As for me, unfortunately, at 40 and after 3 kids….well, I’d end up in traction if I tried that. 😉

  26. That outfit is fabulous on you! And good for you for doing what you always wanted to do. I know you are going to feel so motivated and happy just to finally do it (perhaps sore too). My mother pushed me into ballet classes because she was a frustrated ballerina (had the desire but not the talent nor the body type to rise above the corps) when I really wanted to play the piano. Unfortunately for my mom’s aspirations I may have a natural turnout but no balance or talent for dance — I am a walking dancing clutz.

    From about age 3 I begged for piano lessons, but my parents were sure I would give up on it and so stonewalled me all the way. I am seriously considering adult lessons; they are next in my line of “me” things: first I started exercising again then I started sewing again, although the exrercise has been erratic while I get back into the sewing groove, and next: music.

    Have a wonderful time with Marji; I know you will.

  27. I started ballet at the ripe old age of 23-in those days that was considered OLD! I quit when I got pregnant with my third child, but I never regretted the experience. What I learned has helped me avoid injury when I exercise, and I am more likely to have good form. Now, don’t ask me if I really exercise right now! I’d love dancer’s legs, too. Maybe they’re in there somewhere under the fat!

  28. Renee, I love love love your ballet dress! The tutu is to die for. I’ve always admired ballet dancers. So graceful, such great posture. And I need to get the sparkly china glaze. Do you think Sally might have it?

  29. I never danced until college, and then I took as many classes as I could. I performed in two dance groups my senior year, modern dance and international dance. I had a lot of fun and gained some grace, but sadly I didn’t get fabulous legs. They were more toned, but still stubby and cellulitey. I hope you have better luck in that part of your plan!

  30. Eeeee! So excited for you! I danced competitively through high school and now take classes just for fun (jazz, hip hop, etc). It is seriously the best exercise out there and I know it makes me so happy to do it. Have a great time in class! And remember, point those toes!! 😉

  31. I took a few adult classes last year and it was so fun. I wore pink tights with a black leotard hahaha..I think I was the only one in the class with a leotard on. Everybody else had on big t-shirts and leggins..that is an adorable tutu.

  32. Ah, piano torture, I remember it well :-).. Good for you taking something you want, and love! We have to do something new once in a while if we don’t want to get fossilized, eh?
    Now I hope you’re treating it like a good yoga class, and not being quite so goal-oriented about getting somebody else’s body in the process? Don’t ruin your fun at it, OK?
    And you know, your tutu is very cute. But what do you think when you go to the swimming pool and everyone is in normal suits, but the fat lady is wearing a skirt? You can spot instantly not only that she’s the fat lady but that she knows it. So wear a tutu when you’re in the mood, by all means, but don’t be the only one in the room to wear one…

  33. I wanted to dance too, but I stuck with piano long enough to major in it in college. I took a hip-hop class a few years ago that was a lot of fun, but you don’t get dancer’s legs that way. A couple of my friends took ballet but it wasn’t really a beginners class, it was more for people that had dance lessons as kids and missed it.

  34. Okay, according the owner of my daughters dance studio, who has been a professional dancer all of his life, there is a technical reason for the pink tights and hair in a bun: pink tights enable the instructor to clearly see your leg muscles and how you stand and move so your form can be corrected and you learn proper technique. Black tights obscure muscle definition. The bun (or in your case, smooth your hair down as best you can since your hair is short) is required because the teacher needs to be able to see your neck and shoulders at all times so that you can perfect your lines. A ballet teacher who insists on pink tights and a bun is a serious teacher. At my daughters school the kids are dismissed from class if they are “out of uniform” for ballet.

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