If you’re a dancer, you have a bag. And probably a big one, to fit your dancewear, dance shoes, regular clothes, water bottle, snacks, wallet, personal items… The list goes on. Whether you live in NYC and take classes at BDC around your work/audition/rehearsal schedule, or you’re visiting the Big Apple and are busy sightseeing before or after class, you probably need a lot of stuff with you every day. But why not lighten your load a bit?
There are ways to pack smart and best dress from the studio to the street without packing your entire closet. Here are some of our favorite items (available at the BDC Shop!) and tips on how to still look fashionable while also comfortable and practical.
#1. Layering is our best friend.
Layering your clothes is one way to not have to carry them in your bag all day! But don’t think Joey from Friends wearing all of Chandler’s clothes. You can wear multiple layers but still look cute! The Shop at BDC sells supportive, comfortable sports bras in grey, hot pink and ultraviolet, and they can be worn all day – in class and as your base layer walking around town. BDC offers tank tops and crop tops with fun sayings (like “Living My Best Life”) and inspirational dance quotes (like Mikhail Baryshnikov’s “Dancers are made, not born.”). Or you can get a BDC crop tee as a fun souvenir, one that can be worn all day long with high-waisted pants. Men have some options, too! There are muscle tees with BDC’s address on them, so you can always be reminded of where you took some of your favorite dance classes.
We love this super cute, lightweight hoodie that quotes “New York is for dancers”. It looks great over a colored tank or sports bra, and is flattering and comfortable for outdoor wear or in class as a warm-up. Men can look stylish and still represent their dancer self with this beach-inspired hoodie. Zip up this BDC track jacket to keep warm during your ballet barre, and then unzip it as you walk out on the street to show off your favorite tee underneath. Or wrap this BDC logo hoodie around your waist while you’re sightseeing, and then wear it when you’re warming up or cooling down from a dance class.
From sports bras to t-shirts to sweatshirts, the BDC Shop has tons of items you can layer and pair to keep warm, look stylish and save room in your dance bag (that can then be used for souvenirs!).
#2. Comfort is key.
NYC is the city of walking. Sure, you’ll take the subway or a cab, but you’ll still do tons of walking from place to place, subway to the studio, in museums and in Central Park. Sure, Carrie Bradshaw looked glam every day like she was straight off the runway with her staple Manolo Blahniks, but that was television. As active dancers (who also need to take care of your feet), heels are not ideal. But not to worry! There are ways to still look fashionable and comfortable. Take a note from some celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon, who make flats look cool. For instance, Gwen rocks black and white Adidas Superstars, which you can also rock in a street jazz class at BDC, and then take them out on the street.
While flip-flops may seem like an easy option, they’re not the best for city walking. Opt for sneakers or shoes that provide arch support and are secured to your feet. Learn more on proper foot care from BDC’s own Joy Karley here. The Shop at BDC also sells the EHS Fabulous Foot Kit, which contains implements to massage your feet, prep them for class, and prevent and alleviate pain.
#3. Dance is already fashionable; just be yourself.
The fashion world loves the dance world. Designers are inspired by ballet – tutus, lace, leotards, legwarmers – and the athletic look for street dance is in fashion. So consider yourself lucky! If you wear these fun Dance Rainbow leggings on your way to class, you’ll fit right in in NYC – and be able to jump into a dance class super quickly. And slip on a pair of these BDC logo sweatpants over your tights for a warm, layered look.
Also, people can probably tell just by the way you walk, or by your immaculate posture on the subway, or by your hairstyle that you’re a dancer. You don’t need to walk around in your leotard and pink tights and “DANCER” booty shorts to let them know. It’s not the most fashionable thing either. Don’t forget that BDC has dressing rooms as well, so save the leo and tights for the studio.
#4. Accessorizing is fun!
Nearly everyone in NYC will be carrying a bag of some sort, and, luckily, backpacks and tote bags are in. The Shop at BDC sells various fun, cool bags in different styles, so there’s something for everyone. New Yorkers are known for their fashion taste and attention to detail, so not only will wearing a hat be completely accepted and cool, but it’s also a great way to protect your face from the sun during all that walking! We especially love BDC’s floral-accented hats.
#5. Don’t come to NYC without shopping!
NYC is one of the shopping meccas of the world. From the upscale shops on Fifth Avenue to the huge department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, shopping will surely be part of your time here in NYC. The Shop at BDC sells great souvenirs for your friends back home (or for yourself!), like this BDC Skyline Towel, colorful socks and instructional DVDs from some of your favorite BDC faculty, such as Find Your Fifth: A Ballet Class in New York with Matthew Powell.
Dressing from studio to street can be easy, comfortable, fashionable and fun! And the Shop at BDC has surely got you covered, from head to toe. Check out all the fabulous items online or on location at the BDC studio. For more, visit www.shopbdc.com.
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.