You are proud of your little ballerina. And you should be – she gets better and better in what she does with every following class, so investing in quality pieces of dancewear is no problem for you. As a matter of fact, you love it. Knowing that you’re doing everything in your power for your little miss to be as comfortable and as stylish as possible when doing what she loves is the best part of being a ballerina’s mommy.
The proper attire is critical for any dancer’s success. It should be tasteful and appropriate for her age, reflecting the seriousness of the dance studio where she’s learning her moves. When shopping for dance attire, make sure your little ballerina has a quality pair of well-fitting tights, quality ballet shoes or slippers and a couple of dance leotards for girls. Dancewear and shoes can be expensive, so besides choosing the right ones, you should also make sure you properly take care of them to keep them looking as good as new for as long as possible.
For your miss to do her best while performing and look good at the same time, opt for dance leotards for girls that are made from high-quality material and properly take care of them so that they maintain their texture and stretch. Leotards in solid colours should always be turned inside-out before washing so that they maintain their hue longer. Wash them on a gentle cycle or by hand, using a gentle detergent. Never use softener when washing leotards as it can build up on their fibres and make them less breathable. The water can be cold or warm but never hot. And make sure to never tumble-dry these pieces of clothing. Instead, put them on direct sunlight or near a heat source. If the leotard has stains, treat the stain before washing the piece. Find different stain removal solutions and choose the one that will work best for that particular type of stain. For example, for stains as a result of perspiration, blend a solution of cool water and oxygen-based bleach (follow the directions on the package). Then, soak the leotard in the solution overnight and wash it as usual.
Metalic leotards are usually used for competitions and they are a bit more complicated to care for than regular leotards. If you don’t care for them right, they can break during washing. Because of this, always wash a metallic leotard by hand. Be gentle and don’t rub it too hard.
Tights and leggings
Ideally, leggings and tights should be hand-washed with a mild detergent and cold water. If it’s necessary to wash them in a machine, do it on a gentle cycle and put them in a mesh bag to protect their fibres. As for drying, leave them to air dry.
The tutu is a very important garment in the world of ballet dance. It shows that the dancer is more experienced in the practice. Most tutus are sold separately from dance leotards, but if you have bought one that comes as one piece, the washing instructions will be the same as for the leotard. It’s best to wash tutus by hand. Fill a large sink with lukewarm water, add a few drops of mild detergent and then squeeze the piece gently. Fill the sink with water once more so you can better rinse the tutu. Then, hang it to air dry. If the tutu has metal hoops, make sure you remove them before washing.
If, for some reason, your ballerina ends up with a poor-quality dance costume, don’t wash it before she needs to use it as it may fade or lose its shape. Costumes made of inexpensive materials can usually withstand a few uses but if you want to give them to someone else, then stick to their cleaning directions. Most of them should be washed by hand in cold water and mild detergent. Dance costumes should not be wrung. Instead, use a towel to remove any excess water and let them air-dry.
Most dance shoes have suede soles in order to provide the dancer with more flexibility. It’s that spot that typically accumulates a lot of wax and dirt. To clean the sole, you can use a suede brush after every use. Canvas shoes can be washed in a washing machine on a gentle cycle in cool water. Do not forget to place them in a mesh bag and when done, allow them to air-dry. For ballet dance shoes made of leather, use a leather cleaner or good saddle soap. Also, a good trick is to spray a bit of a window cleaner on a white cloth and gently wipe the shoes.