Ballet Costumes
The Wardrobe of a Dancer

Ballet Costumes bring beauty and dazzle to the stage, they are a major part of every ballet performance. Discover here, the history of costumes and the wardrobe of a modern day dancer.

The costumes bring a great meaning and purpose to every ballet performance performance. Each of the ballerina tutus plays a significant role in both the era and character of the ballet.

When you watch any performance and the curtain rises, it is a glorious sight to see the stage.

You see dazzling dresses, elaborate designs and magnificent costumes.

The stage look so spectacular, suddenly you see the shining presence and perfect dancers in their beautiful costumes.


Please ask any question or relate your experiences at the bottom of this Ballet Costumes Page‏. I designed this section especially for you to have your say.

History of Ballet Costumes

ballet costumes

At first, in Europe, the ballet dance costumes were rich and flowing. They had a heavy brocade on the cloth, ornaments and huge head-pieces. The costumes were very extravagant and made the dancer's movements very limited.

The ballerina costumes have developed a lot and in the eighteenth century, a ballerina called Marie Camargo shocked her audience. Camargo was the first ballet dancer to shorten her skirt and even though it was only to her ankle, the audience were stunned.

Another ballerina called Marie Salle, also brought new ideas to the audience. Salle got rid of bulky petticoats and instead, she performed in a slightly flimsy muslin dress.

The female dancers became no longer hidden beneath their costumes, they were unraveling to become more free. These adjustments of the costumes let the audience appreciate the dancing more.

In the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, ballet techniques changed a lot because of the costumes. The female ballerinas wore calf length white skirts and the male dancers wore tights with short jackets and long-sleeved shirts.

Modern Day Dancer

ballet costumes

Dancers are given much more freedom in the designs they wear for performance today. For example, with more modern style of dance like Balanchine, you see dancers on stage in just leotards and skirts giving the ultimate freedom to move on stage.

For the modern day dancer, it leg warmers and warm woolly clothing that have become the key must-have items for dancers.

Professional ballet dancers wear ballet clothes that are very snug. You will see layers of clothes all designed to keep the dancer's muscles warm throughout the daily schedule of rehearsals.

Professional dancers can stylize their ballet wear to their own accords. They have the freedom to choose their own dance outfits and leotards.

Behind the Scenes

ballet costumes

The costumes on stage are worn to perfection. Behind the scenes, there is a lot of work that goes on to make sure every costume is as perfect as it can be.

Every ballet company has a costume department to supply the ballet dance shoes and costumes. Each dancer has to go for fittings to make sure their costume is right for their measurements.

Ballet costumes play a huge part in the thrill of being a ballet dancer. The costumes enhance the whole atmosphere of the performance, as well as the dancer's feeling a million dollars every time they step onto stage!

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