Trite as it may sound, dance is art in motion. Classical ballet is the closest mere mortals come to the aesthetic ideals set forth by those Greco-Roman sculptures which inform our collective concept of beauty. As dancers, we stand to benefit immensely from an understanding of where we fit in the world of the arts and how our bodies act as extensions of those ephemeral moments turned eternal that comprise a painting, sculpture, or photograph. There’s a reason some of the greatest choreographic works are either directly inspired by the visual arts or call to mind some particularly great works. When choreographing Apollo, Balanchine turned to the reliefs on ancient urns for inspiration. Dancing Swan Lake this Spring, I could not shake the stereotypical image of Madonna and Child from my head as I held my wrists crossed over my tutu, imagining my tears rolling off my cheek and over my right wrist.
Without an understanding of art, épaulement lacks context, emotions are flat and two-dimensional- in short, our own art loses its color. As such, why not indulge in the museum? Spend an afternoon wandering its halls, taking in and internalizing the frozen human emotion that adorns it walls. Trust me, it helps bring joy to our practice and roots dance in a language that all can enjoy.
It’s 90 degrees out. You’ve just finished an hour and a half class. Your hair would scare even a troll doll and your makeup has been either sweated off or reabsorbed into your skin. But you have a reputation to maintain-you’re a dancer, a modern day Margot Fonteyn. So what’s a girl to do? All this summer we’ll be posting outfit ideas that you can pull on sweaty and pull off gracefully.
Today’s pick has us dreaming about a tropical vacation while remaining perfectly suited for city life.
Exhibit A: Black Crop Top
Crop tops help to show off the abs we all work so hard for and allow a slight breeze to reach your overheating core. Black has the advantage of hiding the sweat. Bonus points: you just might be able to get away with going bra-less with this one.
Exhibit B: Breezy Shorts
The shorts pictured are admittedly relegated to dreamland given a dancer’s budget, so use them as a guideline when assembling a similar outfit. Look for something high-waisted for a flattering silhouette and opt for a bold print to liven up the outfit.
Exhibit C: Supportive Shoes
As dancers, our feet are our children. We care for them, invest in them, spoil them. As such, comfortable footwear runs high on our lists of priorities, especially when the weather is beautiful and we want to walk everywhere. My summer shoe of choice are Birkenstocks- I even wear them walking around my house, I love them so much. Judging by how many of my friends already have at least one pair in the closet, I’m probably preaching to the choir here.
Exhibit D: Dance Bag, Upgraded
I know the tendency with dance bags is to go for something big, shapeless, and washable, but the easiest way to pull an outfit together is through the addition of a nice bag. I’ve been using a leather bag for the past year and have suffered no ill effects. It also encourages you to be pragmatic about what you carry with you, instead of lugging your entire leotard collection around with you. Just make sure to remove the things that need to be washed or aired out once you get home (keeping the bag unzipped helps too).
Exhibit E: Hints of Gold
Nothing says summer like beautiful, gilded accessories. Incorporate some delicate pieces into your look to pull it all together. Don’t go for anything too heavy since the shorts are bold enough. If you are wearing a high necked crop top like the one listed above, skip the necklace for today. We’re aiming for a max of one sartorial focal point per body region.