Alternate title: the gift guide my boyfriend wished he had when we first started dating
Hello lovely significant others! This post is for you! Whether you’ve just started dating a ballet dancer or your SO has just gotten into ballet, it can be hard to find something that they’ll love as a gift and won’t be cheesy or cringey.
Probably the best gift you can get your dancer is the chance for her to see her favourite dancer live onstage. Bonus points with this is that it also shows that you have an interest in the things she’s passionate about, and you get to learn more about ballet (so you can understand her better when she comes home from class upset about her fouette turns).
In the realm of activities, ballet is on the higher end of the spectrum. If your budget is a little larger, get in touch with the studio where she takes classes and pay for her next semester (or a portion of next semester). Alternatively, if you know she’d love to attend a master class that’s coming to town or train with a certain teacher, enroll her in the class or get in touch with the teacher for private lessons. Just make sure you confirm she’s at a good level for the class before you enroll her though, and it might be a good idea to “gift certificate” this instead.
3. Training aids
If your dancer is serious, chances are she’s probably training and stretching outside of class. Training aids like therabands, flexibility bands, turn boards, and other training tools can be a great gift for the dancer looking to up her game. Don’t be limited by ballet either – tools like yoga mats, yoga blocks, pilates equipment, and ankle weights can also be good gifts. Keep in mind though that these could also be seen as a “hey you should work out more” gift, so it depends on your dancer. If you know she has some space where she lives, getting a portable barre could also be a great option, I have one from Vita Vibe that I got on Amazon that was super easy to set up.
Dancewear like leotards and skirts can be difficult to purchase because oftentimes dancers have uniforms or dress codes that don’t allow for fancy leotards. Warmups on the other hand can be a great gift because they’re worn before or after class! These can include booties, pointe shoe covers (if your dancer is en pointe), legwarmers and sweater tights (my personal faves), and a range of shrugs and sweaters. When looking at colour options, keep in mind that anything light pink is probably a no-go (it’s seen as childish or immature).
5. Leotards and skirts
Leotards especially can be a great option for a gift since there are so many styles and brands to choose from, but you really need to know your dancer well to get one she’ll love. Look at her studio’s website online to see if her class has a dress code (or ask her, she probably won’t assume anything. I LOVE when my SO asks about ballet things) or what brands she usually likes wearing to class for clues. Skirts can be a cute extra if you don’t know her exact size (as with leotards it’s important to have the right size since they’re so snug fitting)
If you’re not quite sure, go with a gift card to her favourite brand or dance store! Companies like Elevé, Luckyleo, and Yumiko offer custom leotards that are made to order, so your dancer will be able to get something that’s exactly what she wants.
Bonus: don’t get these
Getting a dancer tights is like getting someone else socks or underwear for Christmas. Like yeah you need them but thanks? I guess?
Unless you have the ~exact~ size your dancer wears for shoes and you know she’s worn the same size and style for a while, stay away from shoes. Shoes have to be custom fit practically every time they’re ordered, and unless your dancer has gone through quite a few pairs and has found one she loves, chances are she’ll be in a different pair next time she purchases. Pointe shoes especially are very finicky when it comes to sizing (my shoes have an 7-digit code for example, and if even one of them is wrong the shoe doesn’t fit and I can’t wear them) and are expensive.
Anything related to exams
It’d be like the same thing as getting her textbooks for school.
getting your dancer a ballet-related gift for Christmas doesn’t need to be complicated. If you can, sneak a peek into her dance bag or dancewear drawer to see what brands she likes (and her sizes), or check though her Instagram if she has one to see what brands she follows. Alternatively, just ask her because chances are she loves talking about ballet too and won’t find it weird in the least if you ask her what her favourite brands are.