Clothes for dancing are pretty specific.
The idea is that you wear clothes that allow your teacher to see as much of you as is possible. If you’re hiding a non-turned-out hip or a raised shoulder under a pile of layers then you’re not doing yourself, or your technique, any favours. But aside from that requirement, the specifics are a bit looser – colour and exact articles of clothing are usually up to the dancer.
My teacher is pretty un-fussy, particularly with those of us who aren’t teenagers any more, and so I usually wear some kind of combination of leotard-vest-leggings-tights-skirt. The only thing that really matters is the shoes – you can’t do ballet in bare feet, or socks, you need proper ballet shoes (particularly, obviously, if you’re doing pointe work).
And yet, if you do an exam then things are a little different: ballet shoes, hideous pink ballet tights, and a navy blue, sleeveless leotard. That is it. Nothing more. And let’s not forget, this is an exam, in front of a stranger.
Because I have to say that I’m not exactly comfortable in that kind of outfit. I’m all about layers, and being covered up, and not displaying my every lump and bump to all and sundry, so maybe ballet isn’t the best choice for me.
And yet, despite the lack of layers, and the horrible pink tights, I love it.
In summary: clothed, sort of.