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Awesomely Awkward! 10 Vintage Photographs of Girls in Dance Uniforms

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Sheer sleeves? These should make a come back.

When I was four years old my mom enrolled me in ballet. I remember being out of my mind excited waiting for my first class. When that day finally arrived I pulled on my leotard and ballet shoes and practically sprinted from our car into the studio.

It took exactly two and a half classes for three things to happen: I was bored to tears, my teacher pulled my mom aside to let her know I was “a little too chubby to be coordinated,” and I developed the most wicked case of chafe from the legging and leotard combo.

Needless to say, my childhood dream of becoming a ballerina was short-lived. Not long after that I took up soccer and basketball and for a number of reasons (my distaste for wearing spandex among them) I never again attempted any form of dance.

For the most part I had come to terms with the way that all went down, until I stumbled across a collection of vintage dance photographs on These Americans. Now I can’t help, but feel like I was robbed of the only chance in life I had to strike a pose wearing an outfit made of fringe, sequins, and sheer sleeves, in other words, a trifecta of awesome.

I guess I will have to live vicariously through these girls. Have a stroll down memory lane with me and check out these vintage photographs of girls in dance uniforms:


  • Caught off guard 1 of 10
    Caught off guard
    "Just act natural." There's something you never hear at these photo shoots.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • Perfectly poised 2 of 10
    Perfectly poised
    If I concentrate really hard I can almost remember the days when wearing this fabric wouldn't make me cringe.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • Fringe benefits 3 of 10
    Fringe benefits
    There are benefits to wearing fringe. I can't think of any right now, but I know there must be at least one.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • I’m a fan of feather fans 4 of 10
    I'm a fan of feather fans
    They make for perfect cover ups.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • How about those fancy headpieces? 5 of 10
    How about those fancy headpieces?
    I imagine that this headdress created quite the blindspot while dancing.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • Double dancers 6 of 10
    Double dancers
    If you have to be forever immortalized in a dance photograph it's always best to bring a friend.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • Sheer madness 7 of 10
    Sheer madness
    I'm not going to lie. Part of me wishes we could bring these sleeves back in style.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • Triple threat 8 of 10
    Triple threat
    A sheer sleeve, sequin, and fringe combo.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • Now that’s fashion 9 of 10
    Now that's fashion
    This kid was color blocking before color blocking was a thing.
    Photo credit: These Americans
  • Let’s make this quick 10 of 10
    Let's make this quick
    This can't be a comfortable position to hold for a photograph.
    Photo credit: These Americans

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