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Runs, stains, child size, oh my! Professionals share tights catastrophes

Arch Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Steven Vandervelden.
Photo courtesy of Só Dança.

Photo courtesy of Só Dança.

You’ve been rehearsing for months. You did a solid warm-up and applied some extra hairspray for those fly-aways. Your costume is on, your makeup is set, you have time for one final big breath before curtain, but then you look down, and… Oh, no! You have a run in your tights

It happens. It is live theater, after all, and you are only human. If you’ve ever had a tight disaster, hopefully you can laugh about it now. 

But maybe you can avoid some tights tears? Só Dança’s new run-proof tights collection are actually run-proof, super soft and made to last! They come in six different styles offered in children and adult sizes, and over 10 color choices.

Photo courtesy of Só Dança.

Photo courtesy of Só Dança.

“Our research and development team spent over a year searching for qualities not seen before on the market,” explains Susie Riefenhauser, marketing consultant for Só Dança USA. “What we found was the perfect blend of denier, the unit of weight used for determining the balance of softness and thickness. We wanted to push innovation as much as we could. One of the signature properties featured is that the tights are run-proof. The durability is out of this world. Combine durability, softness and a hold factor, and we believe our tights are pure luxury.” 

Unfortunately, these professional dancers didn’t enjoy such a luxurious experience. Here they make us laugh our tights off! Enjoy!

Mary Beth Hansohn. Photo by Rachel Neville.

Mary Beth Hansohn. Photo by Rachel Neville.

Mary Beth Hansohn, freelance dancer and faculty at Broadway Dance Center

“I was on tour with a dance convention, and, as an instructor, I had to perform in a faculty show in each city. I had to rush to the performance after teaching my last class of the workshop. I was performing the White Swan variation. I had my tutu, but then I realized I left my tights in the hotel room. I performed White Swan in a white tutu, pointe shoes and bare legs.”

Lauren Fadeley, principal soloist with Miami City Ballet

Lauren Fadeley in 'The Sleeping Beauty'. Photo by R.L. Furlong.

Lauren Fadeley in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. Photo by R.L. Furlong.

“I was a demi in Theme and Variations so I was standing in my fifth position in front of the corps girls waiting for the curtain to go up. A friend behind me noticed something strange in my tights, and when I looked closer, saw that a toe spacer was on my calf inside my tights. I have no idea how it got there or how I didn’t feel it, but at that point my ribbons were sewn in and there was not enough time to try to get it out. We tried to move it down in my tights, closer to my shoe, but I definitely did most of my first performance of Theme with a lump in my tights. I always double check before I go on stage now for any foreign objects after putting on my tights!”

Shannon Maynor. Photo by Rachel Neville.

Shannon Maynor. Photo by Rachel Neville.

Shannon Maynor, dancer with Eglevsky Ballet and CelloPointe

“When I was in San Francisco Ballet School, I got tights that were control top because I thought I needed things to be sucked in (I didn’t). Needless to say, they’re not meant for dancing. It took me 10 minutes to squeeze my body into them. It was a very uncomfortable pas de deux class!”

Eric Vlach, retired dancer

“In high school, our performing company got accepted to the national high school dance festival to perform a ballet piece. My director went costume crazy and opted for teal unitards. I was in good shape, so the unitard itself wasn’t a problem, but my abundant leg hair was. The fabric was sheer, and my leg hair ‘sprouted’ through everywhere. It was gross. Instead of changing the fabric, the director made me shave my legs. It took me over an hour, and I went through five razor blades and dozens of nicks. Never again!”

Virginia Horne. Photo by Liza Voll Photography.

Virginia Horne. Photo by Liza Voll Photography.

Virginia Horne, retired freelance dancer and GYROTONIC® teacher

“Connecticut Ballet had a school show at a middle school, and the director had a bag full of black tights that had been laundered. As we go to each grab a pair, they are all child size medium! And the only way they go on is if you do a deep second plié and rip the crotch, or cut the feet off and they become footless knickers. It was a sight. We ended up all cutting off the feet so we could pull the tights up past our thighs. I think some of us had to snip the elastic waistband, too.”

Barry Kerollis, choreographer/faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway

Barry Kerollis in 'The Nutcracker'. Photo by Glenn Mata.

Barry Kerollis in ‘The Nutcracker’. Photo by Glenn Mata.

“Around the time of my second dance competition, the director of my school decided it would be appropriate for me to start wearing tights on stage. Previously, it had been all jazz pants and baggy dress slacks. After a long conversation that ended in my agreement to wear these much more revealing bottoms, as professionally as possible the director pulled out a brand new dance belt. She started by explaining why it was so important for me to wear one under my tights. Next, she shared that the front was for support and protection, the waistband would be tighter to keep it from sliding down, and the rear was thin to prevent lines on the back of the tights. After surviving this uncomfortable conversation that felt like the male dancer equivalent to the ‘birds and the bees’ talk, I felt willing to wear this professional attire. Then, my mom walked in to pick me up and quietly asked if she had shown me how to use ‘it’. To which the director responded, ‘Yeah, I gave him the thong.’”

Guilia Pline, BFA Dance Boston Conservatory, Physiyoga instructor in NYC

“When I was dancing in college at the Conservatory, we had a crazy schedule that involved 15-20 minutes of time between classes, usually rushing from Pilates to ballet or ballet to modern. No time to change or think about changing clothes. I woke up one morning in a rush, threw on a pair of nice pink tights and dashed off to my first class. All went well until I was arriving at my second class, a modern class, when I realized that my tights were not convertible. I quickly had to cut a hole at the bottom of those $20 tights to yank the bottom up and be barefoot. Unfortunately, the hole I cut created a run all the way up the back of both legs, and I completely trashed the pair of tights. I had to be in class annoyed and picking at the holes forming all the way up my legs with each move and deep plié.”

Sheena Annalise and Daniel White. Photo by Noel Valero.

Sheena Annalise and Daniel White. Photo by Noel Valero.

Sheena Annalise, artistic director, Arch Contemporary Ballet 

“I was in the middle of of an amazing contemporary pas de deux lifting section, and I got my partner’s makeup on my tights where makeup could be mistaken for other bodily functions… Fun. But you just own it and hope the audience knows men wear makeup on stage, and it wasn’t me.”

So tomorrow, when you pull on those tights, have a giggle and remember that “normal” people don’t have to navigate tight catastrophes, but they also don’t have the joy of dance in their lives.

Só Dança’s run-proof tights can be purchased at your local participating dance retailer.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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