The Ballerina Look: Dance-Inspired Fashion Trends

Whew! Things sure have been crazy around here the last few weeks. But I'm finally back in my dorm, completely unpacked and ready for another interesting, stressful, but hopefully rewarding semester.

 I purposely picked classes I knew would be a breeze this semester, because as is true with most students, second semester is always a lot harder to get through than the first one. The temperatures drop and the big winter slump sets in. In northeast Ohio this means five months of grey skies, slush and the not-so-unusual winter storm. Therefore, my schedule this semester is a piece of cake. I'm taking two writing classes – Media Writing for my major and Poetry Writing I for therapeutic reasons – American Politics, I'm finishing up my last math sequence (finally!), and I'm also enrolled in two dances classes, Studio Jazz and Dance as an Art Form.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no dance virgin. I took four years of jazz when I was younger, but I was a lot more limber and stronger then. My midnight snack of choice, pineapple pizza, has definitely taken a toll on my once clean, muscular physique. I can't even describe how badly my abs ache right now from fifty minutes of full-on stretching I just endured in my jazz class. I noticed as I glanced around the studio that, although I was not the only girl with a pained look on her face, I am definitely not half as flexible as these girls, especially the dance majors (who are easy to spot!). I don't think I'll ever quite reach that level of poise, grace and flexibility that I'm sure has taken years of practice, but I am going to make it my personal goal to try as hard as I can this semester. I mean really, how cool is it that I get to work out and get a grade for it?

However, just because I will never be a prima ballerina doesn't mean I can't look like one. I love the soft pinks and blues and flowy, satin fabrics that people associate with the dancer, and apparently, lots of other people do, too. The look has been all over the place – from the runway to fashion spreads in various magazines. Lucky for me, these fashions will not only look super-chic but they'll also be practical too.

Here's the basic rundown on dance-inspired fashions.

What's it about? It's all about minimalism and the uncomplicated. Think soft colors like light pink, grey, off-white, taupe and light blue. The look is feminine but sporty, chic yet comfortable.

 Key pieces: Ballet flats. A girl can never have enough shoes, right? I found my latest obsession in the Feb '07 issue of Teen Vogue. At a mere $14.99 at it won't be long before these babies are finding a spot in my armoire.

Leotard-style tops: Not as embarrassing the real thing and no pink tu-tu's involved.

Matte Jersey Skirt: For a cheap version of this chic runway style, try Izaac Mirahi for Target.

Loosely-fitted off-the-shoulder sweatshirts and leg warmers: Two other styles we saw flourish in the 80's are now once again socially (and fashionably) acceptable.

Manicures and Tight Buns: To complete the look, don't forget the final touches!

So while being the star of the studio isn't exactly my calling, that doesn't mean I (or you) can't look like one.

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