I hope that those of you who have downloaded my Leotard Guide are finding it helpful. Here is a quick excerpt that focuses on the trick to finding the balance for your hip-to-shoulder ration. Balance is key when it comes to getting a good photo in the right leotard.
Request your own free copy of the Rachel Neville 2013 Leotard Buying Guide now to see the photos that accompany this post and to learn more about how you can find the balance for perfect audition shots and dance wear.
Hips vs. Shoulders – Find the Balance
Few dancers are lucky enough to have an even hip-to-shoulder ratio. In my teens, I was one of those Bambi dancers with long legs (and pretty great feet if I’m going to boast), but with hips wider than my shoulder girdle.
I went through a phase when I was about 15, after a summer at Boston Ballet, where I wanted all spaghetti straps and high cut legs, pinched and cut down as low as possible, till I realized that those suits really only served to accentuate the imbalance and made my hips look wider than they were.
From about 16 on, the majority of my leotards were cap sleeves, long, and my favorite, ¾ sleeve leotards.
Meet Emily Neale, a dancer with Ellison Ballet School. Emily has a very similar body shape to my own: long legs, with hips a little wider in ratio. In her first group of photos, we see that the wider the strap placement on her shoulders the more even her shoulder-to-hip ratio looks.
Also notice the effect that a gather at the bust has on her. It tends to draw the eye downward and creates a more narrowing effect in her ribcage.