A Few Tips and Tricks for Tying a Ballet Skirt

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01
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Grab a Ballet Skirt

Ballet skirt
Tracy Wicklund

Many ballet dancers enjoy wearing a ballet skirt during ballet class. A ballet skirt is a very short, circular skirt made of sheer fabric that ties around the waist. The color of a ballet skirt is usually matched to the color of the leotard worn underneath. Some girls mix and match colors, especially among pale pink tones and black.

Some ballet instructors allow dancers to wear ballet skirts during class, but some prefer them to be strictly warmup gear, along with sweaters and shrugs. Extra clothing worn on top of basic leotard and tights is sometimes distracting for the dancer and often hides the true lines of the dancer's body, which can impair the learning experience.

If you would like to wear a ballet skirt over your leotard, you may be wondering how to tie it around your waist. The following illustrated steps will show you how to properly tie a ballet skirt.

02
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Center Skirt at Waist

Ballet skirt
Tracy Wicklund
The first step in tying a ballet skirt is to center the skirt at your waist. Start by loosely holding the skirt with both hands out to the sides. Make sure to center the skirt by positioning the tag at the middle of your back.
03
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Check for Centering

Check for Centering
Tracy Wicklund
It is very important to make sure that the skirt is properly centered on your back before you begin tying. If your skirt has a center tag, position the tag directly in the center of the small of your back. (Shifting the skirt a bit to either side will result in a lopsided look, something a ballerina tries desperately to avoid while dancing.)
04
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Cross One Side Over

Tracy Wicklund

Holding the ends of the skirt loosely with your hands, cross one side of the skirt in front of your body. Be sure to avoid pulling the skirt too tightly, as doing so will cause the skirt to be tied too tightly around your waist and can affect your comfort and mobility.

05
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Cross Other Side Over

Ballet skirt
Tracy Wicklund
Cross the other side of the skirt loosely in front of your body. It is very important to ensure that the skirt remain centered at your waist. Don't pull the skirt too tightly to avoid bunching.
06
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Tie at the Waist

Ballet skirt
Tracy Wicklund

Bring both ends of the skirt together at your back and tie loosely. The strings of the skirt may be quite long. Tie the strings around your waist the same way you would tie your shoe, starting with a simple knot. Again, avoid tying too tightly and bunching the fabric.

07
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Check String Lengths

Ballet skirt
Tracy Wicklund
Using a mirror or a friend, check the length of the strings to make sure they are even. Perfectly even strings will give a clean, neat appearance.

The ears and the tails should be the same length. If one side is longer than the other, adjust as necessary, retying if needed.

08
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Tuck Strings Under

Ballet skirt
Tracy Wicklund
Once you ensure that the skirt is tied evenly, hide the strings by tucking them under the skirt at your waist. If the strings are too long to tuck in, feel free to trim them a bit, but be careful not to cut them too short. The strings can simply be tucked under the skirt, allowing them to fall loosely beneath. Wearing a ballet skirt that is too long will cause your legs to appear shorter.
09
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Properly Tied Ballet Skirt

ballet skirt
Tracy Wicklund

After tying your ballet skirt, stand back and admire your appearance. The skirt should hang flat, enhancing the natural lines of your body. To flatter your natural waistline and the look of long legs, try to buy ballet skirts that aren't too long. Most dancers prefer their ballet skirts to gently dust the tops of their upper thighs.