Model Kendall Jenner attempting to stand en pointe
Kendall Jenner has always been my favorite member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians more often than I'd like to admit, and I have to say I believe that Kendall is a sweet person and a talented model. However, when this photo popped up on my Instagram feed today, I couldn't stop cringing at it. She most likely has no ballet training, so she doesn't realize the error of her ways, but as a ballet dancer my attention is drawn away from her gorgeous face and drawn towards her feet. She is attempting to stand en pointe (which could have caused her SERIOUS injury because she is untrained) and her feet are not nearly pushed over on the box enough. It pains me to look at this because not only am I saddened by how ballet is being represented in the media, but I know how much it hurts when you fall off the box like that so I can't even imagine how much her feet must be killing her, especially because she isn't used to standing like that. This photo is the perfect example of how ballet pops up in mainstream media. People can say all they want about how ballet is "lame" and "outdated", but it's time to accept reality... if you are not already a ballet dancer, you probably want to be one, even if you don't know it. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at how ballet has influenced fashion over the years...
Romantic style tutus have seen in ballet since the early nineteenth century. The most iconic use of these costumes is in the ballet Giselle. The majority of the costumes hanging in my closet are these kinds of ballet costumes. When I was a kid, I would show people pictures of my dance costumes and they thought they were over the top. A few years ago, I started noticing ballet like tutus popping up in stores like Forever 21. While it still takes a daring person to wear a tutu skirt like the one pictured below, these common ballerina inspired skirts show that the fashion industry is stealing ideas from centuries old ballet costumes.
A leotard has become part of my daily wardrobe. I can't tell you how non-dance classes I go to in a leotard and tights because as a dance major, I have a technique class every day and I've gotten to the point where I'm way too lazy to change outfits in between classes. Leotards are a necessary evil for ballet dancers. It can be painful to look at every little kink in your body in the mirror; it really is IMPOSSIBLE to hide any imperfection when all you're wearing is a leotard and tights. On the flip side, leotards help both you and your instructor see where you're making mistakes in your technique. It's much easier to see if my hips are properly rotated when they're not being covered by shorts, leggings, etc. Ballet dancers have created a facade that leotards are our favorite things to wear so much in fact that fashion has decided to steal our look and sell leotards like the ones pictured below.
While buns have been a hairstyle both in ballet and the non-dance world for quite some time now, there's no denying there is a certain look to a ballet bun. In second grade, my dad would drive me to dance after school and at that age neither I knew how to do a bun nor did my dad (he still doesn't, but I've since learned). My mom would put my hair up in a tight, neat bun before I went to school so it would be ready for when I went to ballet class. Wearing my hair in a ballet bun to school was always embarrassing for me. It was a hairstyle most girls in my class never wore so I always felt like I stuck out. Times have changed since I was 7 years old. Not only have I stopped caring about where I wear a bun, but ballet buns have become something everyone wants to wear. This trend started with the sock bun look becoming mainstream when stores like Claire's started selling hair donuts. Now you'll see ballet buns outside the dance studio- everywhere from the workplace to the red carpet.
This is one of the trends that continues to baffle me. After a show during my childhood years of performing, the first thing my cast mates and I did was wipe off our red lipstick because we were embarrassed to go out in public with red lips. Wearing red lips looked great on stage, but you'd get the strangest stares if you went out to dinner with them afterwards. In high school, wearing red lips to a school dance or even on a dress down day with the right outfit was a common occurrence. Red lipstick has come into style in the past few years. Red lips are all over the red carpet, too.
Everything down to our shoes have been copied by the fashion industry. Both ballet slippers and pointe shoes have been imitated on the runway and in affordable stores. Bloch, a brand of dance wear, even has its own collection of ballet flats. Take a look at the similarities between dance shoes and every day shoes.
This next one is by far my favorite rip off of all time. While they're definitely not seen in mainstream fashion, these pointe shoe inspired heels are fashion's last ditch effort to try and copy ballet. The photo speaks for itself.
High heels designed by Christian Louboutin
Photo from Pinterest.com
Let's make one thing clear: I am not offended by fashion imitating ballet in any way. What I am offended by is the girl that will tell me ballet is stupid, boring, lame, etc. and says this while wearing red lips, a donut bun, and a ridiculously poofy skirt. If fashion wants to imitate my art form, it has every right to. But it DOESN'T have the right to mock it or misrepresent it. Kendall Jenner is a beautiful model and she probably didn't even know how poorly she was representing ballet when she did that photo shoot. Long story short, someone should have consulted an actual ballet dancer beforehand. All I ask is that non-dancers respect ballet for the beautiful art form it is, and praise it with these fashion inspirations, not mock it or misrepresent it.
Photos of Kendall Jenner originally published in Vogue
Hello there, my name is Becca and I am a 22 year old dance teacher from Massachusetts.
News & Events
9/18 Follow my new Instagram just for my dance things!
12/23 I was one of NDEO's Guest Bloggers this year! Read "Teaching is a Vocation. Not a Fallback" on their Behind the Curtain Blog!
9/27 I will be presenting my research at the National Dance Education Organization National Conference next week! See my research project by clicking the button below!
4/15 While working on PMA's production of The Addams Family, I got to combine my two favorite styles of dance (ballet and musical theatre) for "The Moon and Me"! Watch my talented students dance by clicking the button below!
2/20 I am choreographing PMA Theatre Guild's Production of The Addams Family! Come see these amazing high school students perform at Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen, MA April 13 & 14! Tickets available at the door.
2/20 I am stage managing BSU's Dance Kaleidoscope this year! Show dates are March 29-31 at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA. Come see this student choreography showcase!
11/5 I will once again be dancing in a BSUDC concert! Tickets to WinterDance are now available!
8/24 NDEO's National Honor Society for Dance Arts has published one of my articles in their newsletter! Read an updated version of "Audition Advice" here:
5/16 Interested in learning about movement concepts? Visit Becca's new Educational Dance website!
5/8 BSU Dance Company's Dance Kaleidoscope 2017 is now on Youtube! You can watch my performances by visiting the VIDEOS page!
4/23 I recently performed for the residents of Allerton House in Hingham, MA! You can watch part of my performance here!
Amesbury Children's Theatre presents...James and the Giant Peach Jr, featuring choreography by me! Click for tickets!
2/8 My piece "Barefoot" is now available to watch online! Click to watch!
2/5 Happy to say I have been cast in BSU Dance Company's Spring concert Dance Kaleidoscope! I will be dancing in 3 faculty choreographed pieces, including excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty in which I will be dancing the role of Lilac Fairy! Show dates are March 31-April 1 at Bridgewater State University.
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1/15 Ballet with Becca is now on Facebook! Click to visit the page, and be sure to like it while you're there!
1/14 I am happy to say I will be attending artEmotion's summer intensive in June! I will be dancing in the one week artEmotion Adult Program. If anyone would like to join or audition for any other artEmotion program, visit their website!
12/13 My photo gallery has been recreated! Click to see the new page, including photos from WinterDance 2016!