Apparently Tiktok and the world have caught on to the ballet aesthetic. Finally. I’m not saying I called it, but I AM saying Edgar Degas was onto something circa 1870. For the olds in the back (myself usually included), balletcore is just a cute little term for the ballerina aesthetic. Leggings/tights, wrap sweaters, tutus, dance dresses and the ubiquitous and never going anywhere ballet flat. Can I also add, the bun. THE bun. And maybe a hair ribbon. Or a neck ribbon.
The Mood Board.
There was a hot minute last year where I decided I wanted to take ballet classes again. After all, I was a childhood ballerina. So I ordered some cute shit on Amazon and showed up at The Dance Foundation for their free adult class. (Not knowing that I would be in a class with other adult professional dancers who maybe capped age at like 26 aka Geriatric Ballerinas, jk. Sort of.)
That class kicked my ass on so many levels— physically (I haven’t taken a ballet class in 25 years) and in terms of my own ego— I had a 25 year old tell me how good it was for me to do hard things as my brain ages. And I have a big revelation that at this point in my life (later 30s), I only do things I am excellent at. I have worked hard to build a life where I do what I want and I do it really well. It was so SO good to get knocked off my pedestal of excellence or whatever.
Anyway, here is the cute stuff on Amazon to taste Balletcore, an amuse buche, per se. Please check out your local dance supply shops in your city before ordering from a mega giant shopping lord.
A category all their own, the ballet slipper shoe. I’ve combed the Internet recently for all the good ballet shoes on the market. Here you go. You’re welcome.
Top: Black ballet slipper, SSense. No longer available.
First row, from left: Miu Miu, Anthropologie gold ballet flats, Repetto Red Silk
Bottom, from left: Chanel ballet flat, Simone Rocha, Miu Miu
(Those red silk Repetto are singing to me.)
RANDOM BALLET INSPIRATION.
Watch: Suspiria. Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson are witches in a coven disguised as a ballet corps. They’re a corps with corpses. (See what I did there?)
This is absolutely one of my favorite movies ever. It’s gorgeous and has a soundtrack by Thom Yorke. And I don’t even like horror films. Ugh, BEAUTIFUL.
Also consider: You can buy merch from your favorite ballet company! I love these sweatpants from ABT.
I also love this red velvet bag from the Paris Opera ballet.
And also, BALLET BEAUTIFUL. This was a whole workout thing that happened a few years ago and the ballerina who started it really built it out into a whole culture. Their products are BEAUTIFUL. And while I haven’t actually done the ballet classes, I’ve thought about it more than a few times.
And let me say this too— while ballet has a long history of body shaming and exclusion, contemporary ballet is evolving and you can find bodies of all varieties popping their pointe and port de bras with the best. I’m not diminishing the deeply traumatic practices of historical companies and directors. I just feel the need to acknowledge this here. I actually quit ballet at ten years old when I was told by a famous prima ballerina from the Russian Ballet that my feet were no good and I was too fat to ever go professional. It stuck with me my whole life. I’ve seen friends battle eating disorders, verbal abuse and sexual aggression inside reputable companies. This is a real thing. (And probably a thing for a whole OTHER kind of blog post). But you maybe came here just for the fashion today. It’s okay. We can be multifaceted.
(Now go watch Suspiria!)