At various points throughout history, dance has played a part in the inspiration of fashion design. Most recently, there has been an influx of various dancewear ads and videos that have been streaming and causing somewhat of a stir among the dance community.
Some of the ads such as Free People’s Movement Ballet video have been condemned on social media platforms and caused quite a controversy. Click here to see the clip. Some feel that the ad is a gross misrepresentation of what it takes to call oneself a classical ballet dancer or “ballerina”. Others simply feel that dancer in video was expressing her dreams and escape from society and ask why should she be ridiculed for her abilities if she loves it and works hard?
On the flip side, American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) Soloist dancer and rising star Misty Copeland, was featured in an Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” ad which showcases her remarkable physique and incredible technique. Click here to watch the video clip. This ad has received rave reviews and here’s what some of the Smuin Ballet fans have had to say about it:
“Under Armour had hit it right on the button with their ad… Misty Copeland is outstanding”
“…this is a well thought out campaign! Eye catching and a great representation of professional ballet.”
“As a dancer, all I can say is FINALLY!”
It is keenly apparent that the majority of viewers felt this type of advertisement is a true representation of what a refined classical dancer looks like. However, does this sort of expectation place stress or doubt on young aspiring dancers that don’t feel like they measure up?
ABT Principal dancer Polina Seminova has recently been the cover model for Uniqlo’s AIRism athletic line and has also been praised for precision and her exquisite classical physique. Click here to see the video to Seminova being showcased in the ad.
Furthermore, there was a full-page ad in the August 2014 issue of Vogue magazine that reinforces once again that ballet and dance in general is an important element in the fashion industry. Recently ballet has shown up in Levis, GAP, American Apparel, and Vogue International ads (see the gallery at the bottom).
Even our very own multi-talented Smuin Ballet dancer/fashion designer Susan Roemer had the pleasure of having her S-Curve Apparel & Design athletic line showcased in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section. In addition to her stylish and sporty pieces, Roemer also relishes designing and working on her innovative couture lines.
It is quite evident that ballet has a huge presence in the fashion industry and likely always will. Given the fact that professional ballet dancers train over 40 hours a week on perfecting and sculpting their bodies into a muscular prototype, why shouldn’t there be homage paid to all the sacrifice and rigorous training that is required to achieve a career in such a competitive industry?
** Written by Darren Anderson (Smuin Ballet’s Communications Manager)