These Photos Show Just How Much Rehearsal Fashion Has Changed Over the Years

July 12, 2017

Believe it or not, dance fashion has not always been a thing. Rehearsal wear used to consist of a leotard, tights and legwarmers—that’s it. But today, dancewear has exploded with the rise of athleisure, and rehearsals have become a place where dancers can show their individual style. Almost anything goes, from fun socks to running pants to beanies. Here’s a look at how three iconic companies have evolved their rehearsal fashion over the years.

Martha Graham Dance Company

Former principal dancer Peggy Lyman sports a skin-tight unitard in rehearsal, foot straps and all.

Martha Graham Dance Company members wear colorful leotards, baggy T-shirts, wool socks and Adidas running pants during a sweaty rehearsal.

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Paul Taylor’s dancers sport chunky jumpers and hair bows in rehearsal.

Paul Taylor assisting a dancer in rehearsal. Photo by Nick Mavroson.

Today, the style has shifted to open-back leotards and mesh leggings.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Ailey dancers kept it basic and comfortable with black leggings and cotton shirts.

Ailey in rehearsal with female dancers. Photo via Frank Goodman Associates.

This summer, Ailey dancers wore bright colored yoga pants and lots of layers.