Classes, conditioning, and many, many rehearsals—ballet dancers are often so busy dancing that they don’t have time to think of themselves and what they need. Treat your ballet-dancing friend with a practical or just plain fun gift from this list! Despite the stereotype that they may be fickle, ballet dancers are actually extremely easy to shop for. Get them any tool to help further sculpt their body, a clothing item or accessory to wear to the studio, or anything to provide the inspiration for their craft, and they will be pleased.
Best Gifts for Ballet Dancers:
Based on the classic Shakespeare comedy of the same name, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of George Balanchine’s few full-length ballets, and arguably one of his most entertaining. Friendly for the whole family, this 2001 recording features the dancers of Pacific Northwest Ballet, one of America’s most highly regarded ballet companies. Follow along as fairies, butterflies, bugs, and hounds scurry around the enchanted forest and get caught up in the drama of the lovers as the meddling sprite Puck wreaks havoc upon their lives. This funny ballet is an incredibly enjoyable gift for well-versed balletomanes as well as those new to the art form!
Ballet dancers are always strengthening and stretching, trying to get into the best possible shape they can to prepare for a performance. A workout DVD is the perfect tool to keep your dancing friend motivated outside the studio. Professional dancers from the world-renowned New York City Ballet demonstrate each exercise (with spot-on form, of course) and your ballet-loving friend can follow along with their fantastic example. Set to classical music from a variety of famous ballets, this workout is 90 minutes long, with low impact and high precision required. It’s an especially wonderful gift for dancers recovering from an injury or for newbies looking for an additional tool to build technique.
For years, ballet dancers have struggled to find a function for the piles of dead pointe shoes that accumulate ever-rapidly in their closets and under their beds. Now, a solution has been found: “upcycling” pointe shoe parts to create wearable accessories! Petit Pas NYC works to combat this wastefulness by using old pointe shoe shanks and satin to construct gorgeous and unusual bracelets. Recently promoted by Pointe Magazine, recycled pointe shoe wristlets by Petit Pas NYC are the latest and greatest trend in the dance world. With a Petit Pas NYC “Demi-Pointe” bracelet, your dancing friend can show of his or her sustainable style as well as love of ballet.
Originally published in 1967, the Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet by Gail Grant is a necessity for young pre-professional students and recreational dancers alike. This small book provides pronunciations of and definitions for every classical ballet step imaginable. Learning how to correctly say, spell, and explain the French terminology of ballet will boost any serious student’s credibility. Even the most seasoned ballerina may occasionally wish to sharpen her knowledge of the language she speaks with her body each day. Practical and essential, this ballet dictionary is a perfect little gift for the studious and perfectionistic dancer in your life.
Now that your ballet-dancing buddy has sharpened up her French ballet vocabulary, why not give her a t-shirt that helps her show it off? This sweet cotton tee is emblazoned with the catchy rhyme “Plié Chassé Jété All Day” over a classic ballet pink base. Perfect for warming up at the studio or wearing out and about, this shirt shows that your dancer knows her steps! For dancers with a more lenient studio dress code, wearing while performing pliés, chassés, and jetés in class will hit the message home even more.
Edgar Degas’s Impressionistic paintings of ballerinas are known around the world and loved by dancers and spectators alike—now, his dancers can be found on the ankles of many an art aficionado! These Hot Sox Crew Socks depict Degas-style ballerinas clad in buns and beautiful tutus standing in repose. A great gift for your ballet dancing friend with a need for functional footwear (which goes without saying) and a love for Impressionism, these are great for warming up in before ballet class or showing off at an art museum. By wearing a pair of Degas-inspired socks, one can convey their love of several art forms—dance, painting, and fashion.
These days, one’s smartphone is their most treasured and frequently used possession. Decorating your smartphone with a case that reflects your personality is a must. Give your dancer friend a phone case that reflects her greatest love: ballet, of course! This handmade silicone case features the image of a ballerina shot from overhead, with her wrists crossed in front of her as she daintily sits, her beautiful blue tutu billowing out around her in a large ring. Your ballet-dancing buddy will love to carry a reminder of her passion wherever she goes.
A flowy and feminine wrap skirt is an essential for any classical ballet rehearsal. Give one to your ballerina friend and she will certainly wear it all the time! This skirt elevates any studio look to seem more professional. This skirt wraps around the waist and its ribbon is tied in a bow at the side or the back. Your ballet-dancing buddy can wear it over a leotard, under warm-ups, or even as a costume. The shorter version of this skirt allows one’s leg muscle tone to be shown off during class, while its longer version draws attention to the feet and makes the lines of her body appear longer. Vivace Dancewear, the Etsy shop that handmakes and distributes these skirts, has them available in a wide variety of floral prints and color schemes.
As any ballet dancer knows, you can never have too many leotards! This custom ombré leo by Barreto Dancewear is a wonderful blend of a classic cut with a modern twist. Handmade to order by Ballet Idaho principal dancer Elizabeth Barreto, the Samantha style leotard is available in an array of ombré shades. The mesh detail at the boatneck neckline will make your dancer friend stand out from the rest of the class in the best way. And knowing that your leo has been personally made and vetted by a professional dancer of the highest rank is another great confidence boost!
Does your ballet-loving pal lose his or her keys all the time? This punny keychain will remind your dancer friend exactly where he or she wants to head after a long day of dancing. It consists of a copper metal dog tag reading “Meet Me at the Barre” on a silver ring along with a pretty decorative pink bead and a silver pointe shoe charm. Full of kitch, this keyring can be further personalized with a small aluminum or copper disc with your friend’s initials engraved upon it.
Any dancer can tell you strong toes and feet are the keys to injury prevention. Help your ballet-dancing friend get even stronger with a set of Theraband resistance bands. These can be wrapped around one’s feet, legs, or arms to air in strengthening, such as by resisting against the elastic with flexing and pointing the toes, or performing clamshells, leg circles, tricep curls—the possibilities are endless! Theraband resistance bands are an essential tool for any dancer or athlete looking to build muscle tone and endurance without the bulk.
If the ballet student in your life complains about falling out of pesky pirouettes at the studio, a Turn Board is the perfect gift for him or her! With this board, a dance can sustain a turn in any position—passé, coupé, à la seconde—for far longer than is normally humanly possible. The Ballet is Fun Turn Board is the perfect size for your dancing friend’s standing foot and is slick on the floor but not too slippery. It is a wonderful device to help improve head spotting as well as staying centered over one’s standing leg. Purchase a Turn Board, and your friend will marvel at his or her newfound strength during pirouettes in class!
Can’t get enough dancing in at the studio? Bring the studio to your dancer friend with a ballet barre for home! Exercises performed at the ballet barre are the foundation for good technique, and your ballet dancer will be happy for the opportunity to hone his or her technique from the comforts of home. Whether it’s pliés, piqués, or passés, the ballet lover close to you will be grateful to have the assistance of the barre outside of just ballet class.
Ballerinas have long been regarded as style icons, and many runway fashions from over the years have been inspired by the frills and layers of classical ballet costumes. Now, your dancing friend can take her stage fashion to the street with this gorgeous tulle skirt! Handmade with the measurements of your body in mind, this mid-length layered skirt evokes the style of a romantic tutu and is available in hundreds of colors. It can be dressed down to wear to a casual get-together or gussied up for an outing to the opera or a summery wedding.
Tchaikovsky’s full-length ballet scores are some of the most artfully crafted in the entire repertoire. Give your ballet-dancing friend some inspiration with this two CD set of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. It features nearly three hours of classical music from all four acts of the famous ballet. Your friend won’t be able to keep from dancing to its beautiful melodies, from light and airy fairy music to jaunty mazurkas. Listen to this classic score, and you’ll understand why it is one of the most beloved of all time!
There’s no better way to stand out from the crowd in ballet class or at an audition than with a tasteful hair accessory. Purchase this lovely handmade floral bun wreath for your ballerina friend! Large satin flower blossoms, available in blush pink, cream, and burgundy, adorn an elastic that can be stretched around a ballet bun like a sophisticated scrunchie. She’ll feel like she’s wearing a classical ballet headpiece as she waltzes through the studio with her hair in bloom. Irina’s Little Things, the Etsy shop that makes and sells these bun wreathes, also carries a variety of other floral hair accessories perfect for placing in a bun or wearing to a semiformal or formal event.
Every performing artist knows how much stage makeup they accumulate by the end of each season—and there’s no better way to store it all than in a ballet-themed makeup pouch! Watercolor ballerinas in flowy pastel tutus flit in neat rows across both sides of this beautiful handmade cosmetic bag. Available in both a small and large size, this patterned clutch is perfect for toting stage makeup to and from the theater. As a bonus, this gift can also be used as a chic purse! Your ballet-loving friend or family member will appreciate the illustration’s retro charm and unique aesthetic. Now, she has a makeup bag that reflects her greatest passion.
Adorn your ballet lover’s home with some vintage ballet-themed décor! This beautiful deep blue print is a reprinted Ballets Russes poster from 1909. It features the image of a ballerina in a long romantic tutu, with her arms softly extended forward and her foot en pointe sustaining a low arabesque—your friend will find himself or herself inspired daily when he or she lays eyes on the lovely pose! Available in two sizes, it would look beautiful hung up in a child’s playroom, amidst a wall of posters, or in a frame over a fireplace. This print is a wonderful gift for the dancer who has a love for aesthetically pleasing interior design.