Dancer Trends

11 'Dancer Chic' Fashion Trends That Are Only Socially Acceptable In The Studio

All the things that make you go "Oh, they definitely dance."

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Dancers are a special breed, even when it comes to their fashion choices. In class and rehearsals, dancers have different needs for their bodies. They must keep their muscles warm in layers of clothing, but still have full mobility in their joints. This is where abnormal, unusual and downright weird clothing choices come into play. To dancers, their practice clothing is just an everyday appearance, but to anyone else, these trends are anything but trendy.

1. Trash Bag Pants/Shorts

While not made out of actual garbage bags, trash bag pants and shorts are a staple in the dance world. They trap warmth with elastic bands on the waist and the knee, but allow for full extension of the legs. But yes, they do look like part of a Pennywise costume.

2. Slicked-Back Hair

While eliminating loose hair is essential to avoid knocking other dancers out with long locks, hairstyles like this give you the world's largest five-head, created the illusion of male-pattern baldness. No amount of restorative shampoo will ever recover a dancer's hair from the amount of gels, hairsprays and clips necessary to create such a look.

3. Tights Over A Leotard

Leotards and tights are an obvious part of a dancer's uniform, but putting the tights over the leotard is a mark of a real professional who doesn't give a crap how many people stare at them to make sure they have pants on.

4. Puffer Vests, and that's all.

While these vests are trendy outside of the dance world, most people would wear them in the winter. With a long-sleeved shirt. And real pants. But in those cold and drafty theaters, puffer vests pair perfectly with just a bra top and shorts. Because sometimes you want only your torso to be toasty.

5. Knitted Pants

This weird legging/pant combo looks like it could have been pieced together by a homely grandmother who can no longer see well enough to find a good color scheme. These pants usually have stripes on them of all different sizes (don't ask me why, I don't know. No one knows.)

6. Knitted Shorts

Those oh-so-cute knitted pants also come in shorts! Similar to the puffer vest, this clothing item only warms up a very specific area of your body! So, if you're looking to keep your buns toasty warm this Nutcracker season, opt for the shorts!

7. Rompers

While rompers are definitely in style for the rest of the world, there is something about a dance romper that just isn't as...well...flattering. The pant legs are usually longer in length and cinched up at the bottom, making the rear end look 10x larger than it is. There is usually some additional gaping in the strap area, which means pulling up the straps for hours. No one is shaped like this. No one.

8. Thigh-High Leg Warmers

I mean, you could also just wear pants as a means to the same end, but who wants to be like everyone else when you could achieve that homeless cabaret performer look with these?!

9. Shrugs

Again, if you only need to warm up a ridiculously small portion of your body, look no further than the shoulder shrug. Your arms, palms, and half of your upper back will thank you.

10. Dance Studio Jackets

These jackets usually have too much bedazzling on the back to be suitable for outside wear, but expressing your home studio pride is all the rage at the barre...even if you haven't danced there in years.

11. Booties

Ya know what's hot? Feet that look like little mushrooms.

Dancer fashion will forever live in infamy among the general public, but dancers never get to go outside anyway, so it doesn't matter. All is well, and these fashion sins will stay confined to the studios in which they belong.

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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The Relaxing Physical Activity For The Person Who Loves Competition

How rock climbing changed my view on what it means to challenge yourself.

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I recently went rock climbing with my friends and walked away excited, proud, and craving more. In high school, I participated in competitive activities like tennis or tryouts to make the band. While I love these activities and don't see them leaving my life anytime soon, rock climbing changed my perspective on what accomplishment can feel like.

In sports, especially when competing in tournaments or for a spot, the fun of the game can be overshadowed by not-too-friendly competitors. It makes sense because everyone is fighting to win and prove that they deserve to be on the team. However, the relationship between everyone becomes more invested in maintaining a position than having fun and creating a family. Don't get me wrong, I love this highly-competitive arena, but rock climbing was the first time I had done something where I did not feel the need to compete with those around me.

One of my best friends coaxed me into going to a place about an hour away from my home. I was nervous to climb in front of others since it was my first time in years, however, my friend assured me it would be fine. It turns out she was 100% correct! We went with two other girls who were both very experienced and belayed us up and down walls. They were extremely supportive, and my best friend and I found ourselves attempting to defeat walls we never would have dreamed of climbing alone.

Climbing can definitely be competitive, but when surrounded by the right people, it gives you a chance to grow. It taught me that my biggest competition is with myself. My nervousness to embarrass myself in front of others was holding me back. When I truly started feeling comfortable, the main competitor was the wall. I found myself feeling like I was on a team that did not need to compete with each other but wanted everyone to succeed at their own rates. It was a great experience to feel fully supported and encouraged without the side order of having to constantly maintain rank.

I would recommend rock climbing to any overly competitive person like myself! It helps you challenge your own boundaries instead of other's and will help you to reflect on what it means to challenge yourself, mind and body, and how you work to overcome obstacles.

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