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Support Systems for Busty Dancers

Let's be frank: Most dancewear isn't designed with larger breasts in mind. But that paradigm is—slowly—changing.


Capezio BraTek leotards, for example, feature built-in bras with adjustable hook-and-eye closures in the back, and Jule Dancewear, founded by Miami City Ballet dancer Julia Cinquemani, manufactures several leotard styles modeled off of a compression sports bra for a more supportive fit.

In general, if you're bustier, you should look for leotards in sturdy fabrics that will hold their shape as you move and sweat. Embrace tank straps, mock turtlenecks, and sleeves. If you need a bra under your leo, choose a leotard style with a higher back to hide the band.

When it comes to sports bras, be prepared to shop around to find a style that makes you feel comfortable and contained. Contemporary ballet dancer Laura Morton goes to Target for inexpensive compression sports bras with a wide band and racer back. She often buys her stage bras a size small, noting, "when it's snug, I don't move as much."

Commercial performer Latrice Gregory prefers a sports bra with wire cupping, a front clasp, and a hidden zipper, but points out that this ultra-supportive style isn't perfect for every situation. "The right support puts the breasts up where they're supposed to be, which can make them really obvious," she says. "If I'm trying to minimize, a softer yoga-style bra (with the right shirt) can accomplish that."
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All photos by Jayme Thornton. Wardrobe styling throughout by Chloë Chadá Van for The QUIRK Group.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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