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6 Things You Should Never Wear to a Dance or Ballet Recital

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By Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance (Performing Arts)

Are you attending a dance or ballet recital and are not sure what you should wear? Well sometimes to know what to wear, you need to know what Not to wear!

Some things you should avoid wearing to a dance or ballet recital as a member of the audience are a Hat, a tuxedo or evening gown, too much perfume, bright fluros, noisy jewelry, tight or short clothing that is hard to sit in.

Some of the items in the above list might sound a little odd, but I will explain why in the following list. Most of these apply to both males and females!

1. A Hat

So the queen never goes anywhere without a hat and most definitely would not be seen without one at the ballet.

But you know what – she has her own private box and no one in their right mind would complain to her about not being able to see over her head – but the person sitting behind YOU will!

2. A suit or tuxedo or evening gown

Even if the dance recital is being held at your state theatre or similar you do not have to go overboard and hire or wear a tuxedo or evening gown.

There is simply no need and you will be overdressed unless your ticket specifically says that you should.

If you were going to the opening night of the opera or ballet this might be appropriate.

So unless you Tuxedos regularly and evening gowns regularly to events, you do not have to go out and buy something extravagant that you will never wear again for the occasion either as there are plenty of other options.

3. Too much Perfume or Cologne

Try not to do overkill on the perfume or cologne as you will be sitting next to other people who may not appreciate the lingering smell. A little will go a long way!

You may also get a chance to see your dancer before the show and too much perfume or cologne could trigger allergies or runny noses and watery eyes which is not great for the make up your dancer is wearing, nor is sneezing in the middle of the performance!

4. Bright Fluros, Glow in the Dark or Neons

So bright fluorescent colors are in again and if they aren’t at the time you are reading this maybe you just like them??

At any rate, although you might want your child or relative on stage to be able to locate you in the audience, being so noticeable that you distract them instead and they forget their dance is probably not the best strategy for their first dance recital!

Being in such bright colors could also distract other dancers or audience members behind you from appreciating and watching the show as well!

5. Too much Jewelry

Do love to wear an armful of bangles or layers of chains that clang and clash each time you move?

Remember you don’t want to distract the other members of the audience from enjoying their experience or distract the dancers on stage making them forget their dance routine.

6. Anything too short or tight

This tip has nothing to do with being conservative or telling people what they can and can’t wear – just to make that clear!!!! – it is about comfort and not having to move a hundred times to readjust your clothing!

Remember you will be sitting for most of the event and however good your legs look male or female you may be uncomfortable (think prickly seat material or vinyl sticking to the back of your thighs) or even cold sitting for sometimes more than an hour (I have been to a recital that lasted almost four hours!).

If you wear something too tight or short, you will inevitably spend your evening pulling at your clothing and moving around in your seat (which can be annoying for others around you as well) only to stand up to have red marks down the back of your legs from your seat!

You want to look nice for any photos and be able to sit for 1-2hours without squirming because your clothes are annoying you or your perfume is overpowering, so avoid these clothing and accessories as much as possible.

For information on what are some good outfit choices and suggestions head to our article What Do I Wear to a Ballet or Dance Recital? (Ideas for Men & Women)

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