In the past 3 or 4 months I have bought 4 Yumiko leotards, 2 of which I've had to sell on eBay because they were just horrible on a normal body like mine. Too many ballet brands are simply not inclusive.
I adore Yumiko leotards but their size medium is clearly a size small for normal people, it just took me several, costly, purchases to realise this. When you have to shop online due to lack of choice in local shops it doesn't help when brands have such confusing sizing policies. Ballet brands are the worst for making everything ridiculously small, which does nothing at all for the confidence.
The latest leotard which arrived for me was the Laura. I was excited for this one but good grief it was not good on me at all! The front was cut very narrow so my boobs spilled out of the sides. It was side boob taken to a whole new, horrifying level. I tested it by doing a cambre (back bend) and when I came back up again, my boobs were actually completely out at the sides! It was utter carnage.
It's precisely experiences like this that made me want to start Danseuse.
I was, and still am, fed up being made to feel like an oaf whenever I buy functional balletwear. It's like body-shaming every time I shop in a ballet shop. Whilst Dust and I are not making leotards (yet) we are addressing the sizing issues and making our sizes fair and more reflective of normal bodies. The Danseuse medium fits me perfectly and leaves me with no bulging areas, no bits spilling out in places bits should not spill out of, lengths are pleasingly modest and cuts generously loose.
I wore my curved hem Wendy shorts to class on Monday night and felt better than I've felt in ballet clothes for a long time. It left me free to focus on dancing rather than having to constantly check for escaping butt cheeks or boobs.
Danseuse Wendy Shorts
Even better, one of the other girls bought a pair of trousers and wrap tops from the samples I had and wore them to class and looked absolutely wonderful. I was so excited, not only to see our first customer wearing Danseuse, but also because she is a normal-sized women (who's also 46) looking gorgeous in ballet clothes. Women like her, and me, are the reasons for Danseuse being born.
But back to Yumiko. I appreciate that the brand is primarily designed for pre-professional and professional dancers, who do have those very lithe bodies, but it would still be nice for us recreational dancers to be included too. I have placed another order but this time in a large, so fingers crossed this one won't give me the dreaded mono-boob or boob spillage.
I will, of course, moan about it report back.