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#1 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do young teens do for their periods during ballet class? Underwear isn't usually allowed.

I'm talking about teens that are not ready for tampons. The peel-n-stick pad won't work with tights. Or maybe they just don't use the "wings" that are supposed to wrap around underwear?

I tried to remember back when I was a young teen and in dance class (back in dinosaur days), and I had one of those old-fashioned belts that the pads' ends attached to. I don't think they sell those any more, or the pads with the long ends.

I'll probably encourage my dd to use cloth pads - I do myself. But even so, those pads wrap around the underwear and I just don't see them staying in place well with tights.

Thanks.

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#2 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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Is there any way you could discreetly talk to the instructor of the class and get her opinion on the matter? I bet they would know exactly how to deal with the tricky issues of menstruation and leotards: they've probably had to address it a hundred times!
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#3 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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I agree; this had to have come up before. Also, I wouldn't completely assume that tampons are out. My 13-year-old (who started menstruating four months ago) started using tampons this cycle. She's a competitive swimmer, so we have a similar situation. She asked and I bought some slender ones and she figured it out herself. I'm not saying that all young teens will feel comfortable with them, but my dd found that it wasn't a huge ordeal for her.

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#4 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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You know, it really ticks me off that tampons are pushed as the best, necessary, modern, only option. (Nobody here said that, it's just an attitude that seems to come up in every group I have ever been in a conversation about periods with. :

I can completely understand why someone would not want to use them. I think they are uncomfortable.

I started using them when I was 13, I was on the swim team. But to be honest, I only used them on heavy days. The other days I would just put my suit on and get in the pool right away. Then I would go straight to the change room and get dressed when I was done.

For a dance class I think it is silly that young women can not wear underwear for class for just this reason. Does the class allow shorts or a skirt? You know, the little tiny kind that go over a leotard? I saw the older girls at my DD's gymnastics club wearing these all the time.

My other thought is that a pad may work just fine with tights. I would go for the super thin kind so that does not seem obvious. Your DD could try it out at home to see if would work.

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#5 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 09:39 PM
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The other days I would just put my suit on and get in the pool right away. Then I would go straight to the change room and get dressed when I was done.
So you were bleeding into the pool? GAH!

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#6 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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The other days I would just put my suit on and get in the pool right away. Then I would go straight to the change room and get dressed when I was done.
Ugh....this scares me!

Justine, wife to DH :cop:, mom to DS(14) :, DD(13) and DS(8)
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#7 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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Boo to your DD's ballet class for banning underwear. I mean, it *is* bulky and obvious under a leo, but fer the love of little green apples... Can a kid not wear little shorts over her leo, or with a body skimming top and the undies of her choice for a few days?

If you can discretely ask the teacher for suggestions, I would. I don't think tampons are that big a deal (but yes, get the "junior" kind with the smooth applicators), but I think your daughter will best be able to enjoy and absorb her dance class if she's comfortable.
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#8 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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What about a thong? You can stick maxipads to them just fine.

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#9 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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I actually got my first period on the morning of a ballet performance in which I was to wear a thin white leotard. I starting using tampons right then and there!

But, a wingless pad would stick to the tights worn under the leotard (I assume tights are worn). If ballet skirts are allowed, then that would help with coverage also.

It stinks at the time to be a young girl dealing with this situation, but most (not all, but I don't recommend starving oneself to avoid menstruation) every dancer has to deal with it on a monthly basis.

I would have loved a Diva cup had I known about them - talk about discret, I could have even avoided the whole "take your purse with you to the bathroom, it's that time of the month signal" that I hated in high school.

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#10 of 77 Old 02-20-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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I danced for years, and wore wingless pads stuck to my tights for about a year after I started my period, then started with jr/slender tampons when I was about 14, and would just wear them for the class and then go back to pads when I was done with class...class was only an hour, so it wasn't a big deal...by 15 I was in tampons full time because I HATE pads...cloth, disposable, I HATE that 'dripping' sensation (TMI!). And frankly, a pad mushing around when trying to dance was very uncomfortable IMO, so I totally get why they discourage it.

I'm going to teach my daughter about cups, I HEART my Mooncup UK, and I've heard that there are ones that will fit even young girls. Hopefully she'll be interested.

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#11 of 77 Old 02-21-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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FWIW in serious ballet classes underwear, shorts, skirts etc are all really no nos.

-Angela
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#12 of 77 Old 02-21-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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Yeah, we were allowed warmup shorts (the knit ones) and legwarmers during warmups, but once barre began it was just shoes, tights, leotard, hair up off the neck, no jewelry.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#13 of 77 Old 02-22-2009, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, one teacher I asked said that at her school (where she took when she was younger), girls were basically forced to use tampons! Nothing else would be allowed, and a female teacher would take the girl to the bathroom to assist. The only alternative was to sit out.

Yikes! That seems entirely too invasive in a very personal choice. Thank goodness DD isn't taking dance at THAT school.

I have found a possible solution. A sort of dance belt/menstrual belt hybrid. Elastic around the hips, and a nice strip of cloth that goes from front to back and the pad can be attached to that. OR that strip of cloth can actually incorporate a cloth pad. This is worn under tights.

I'm particularly interested in this because I have never found tampons to be comfortable. I have a tipped uterus, and I guess that changes the position of my cervix inside my vagina, which makes tampons feel terrible. And genetics being what it is, dd probably has a higher-than-average chance of having a tipped uterus, too.

I just want dd to be able to choose whatever she is comfortable with, and not be forced into using anything.

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#14 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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I always wondered this, I was in gymnastics but grew too tall to keep going before I started menstruating, so there was never an issue. DD wasn't interested, but I would be she'd tell any teacher whatfor if they tried to force her into using something she didn't want to, or not let her wear underwear and shorts for the couple days a month she needed to. Probably good she wasn't interested

I'm never swimming in a public pool after this thread though. Was on swim team too, but again, I had to quit before I started menstruating...I cannot imagine bleeding even a tiny amount into the water. Or swimming behind someone that was, ewwww.

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#15 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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What is "too young" for tampons? If she wants to use them - why not? I used them with my 2nd period. So much cleaner than pads. I understand it is a personal preference, but I don't understand how her age is relevant?

If it is a comfort thing like the poster above (I have a tipped uterus too) she can try the little ones. I still use the "slender" ones that are kind of hard to find.
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#16 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 03:44 AM
 
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Well, one teacher I asked said that at her school (where she took when she was younger), girls were basically forced to use tampons! Nothing else would be allowed, and a female teacher would take the girl to the bathroom to assist. The only alternative was to sit out.

Yikes! That seems entirely too invasive in a very personal choice. Thank goodness DD isn't taking dance at THAT school.

Wow. I would not be comfortable with that. That's creepy. Is that even legal??
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#17 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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I took ballet and pointe for 5 years after I started menstruating. What worked for me was extra-thin, extra-narrow pads in my tights, with leotard over. This worked fine, even for my 2-hour classes.

Now, this ballet teacher was old-school, she danced on Broadway back in the late 40's and her mother was a principal ballerina back in the 20's/30's. She's at least 85. Anyway she demanded that we wear tiny wrap-around skirts that just covered our butt and the top of our thighs, for modesty reasons *grin* Which made it nice and easy to disguise the pad in my tights.

At any rate, if her teacher absolutely won't allow something like that, then tampons sound like her only solution sad but true. The belt/pad combo would be VERY obvious and lumpy...I wouldn't recommend it. Ballerinas can be mercilessly cruel to classmates, unfortunately.

Have her try a very slender tampon on a non-ballet day, so she can see if she is comfy enough to dance in it. I always found tampons quite uncomfortable, so even when I first tried a tampon when I was 16, I didn't wear them to ballet, because they hurt when I bent to the ground or did large leaps, like Grande Jette's.

Anyway, sorry for that novel I just wrote I can't seem to reply briefly to anything, lol. Hope that helps

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#18 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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I was a dancer throughout all of my teenage years. I used sea sponges in dance class. We weren't allowed to wear underwear/skirts/whatever. I can't use tampons or mooncups comfortably, but sponges are a-ok.

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#19 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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I'm a dancer and ballet teacher so even now I have to deal with that question. As an adult, tampons/instead cups are my friends. When I was your dd's age and still figuring myself out I liked to use the really long thin pads without wings (they do make those) - I'd just stick them to my tights and pull the leotard over the top. Never had any accidents, but like pp said it felt bunchy to dance in so I soon switched to tampons just for class. The thin ones didn't actually show either (though in my teenaged insecurity I felt VERY conspicuous!) and once we finished barre we were allowed to put on our skirts, so that helped too.

I like the idea of the sea sponges or sea pearls though, wish I'd known about it then!

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#20 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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I know very little about dance - what's the reason for the no-panties rule? And what's the difference between "barre" and other parts of class?

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#21 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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I know very little about dance - what's the reason for the no-panties rule? And what's the difference between "barre" and other parts of class?

Never took ballet, but as far as I know, no panties because of form. Thongs are allowed in most ballet schools I know of, but bigger panties are a lines/bulkiness issue.

And barre is in front of a mirror to check your form, so much the same reason AFAIK

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#22 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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I know very little about dance - what's the reason for the no-panties rule? And what's the difference between "barre" and other parts of class?
The reason for the "nothing but leotard and tights" rule (which is what it actually is - not just no panties) is that the teacher doesn't want *anything* that prevents her from observing the line of the student's body, and making sure that each technique is being done correctly. (How necessary this is is an open question - actual professional dancers work out in a variety of outfits, because they have a variety of physical needs. Little shorts may obscure the line, but might be the extra layer that keeps a hip warm enough to prevent reinjury. Wristwarmers, legwarmers and ace bandages aren't exactly uncommon.)

Barre is sometimes called "warm up", but I've had classes that were nothing but. A lot of the time, barre (which generally involves dancers holding on to a bar at about hip height) is the part of class focused on practicing and perfecting the technique behind each move. The idea is to go slowly enough to get everything perfect, and give the teacher time to check that you're doing so and suggest improvements. Barre should also get your muscles warm and prepare you to work at higher speeds with no supports.
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#23 of 77 Old 02-23-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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Thanks for answering my question! I appreciate it!

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#24 of 77 Old 02-24-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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I always wondered this, I was in gymnastics but grew too tall to keep going before I started menstruating, so there was never an issue. DD wasn't interested, but I would be she'd tell any teacher whatfor if they tried to force her into using something she didn't want to, or not let her wear underwear and shorts for the couple days a month she needed to. Probably good she wasn't interested

I'm never swimming in a public pool after this thread though. Was on swim team too, but again, I had to quit before I started menstruating...I cannot imagine bleeding even a tiny amount into the water. Or swimming behind someone that was, ewwww.
sort of OT, my friend's water broke while she was swimming, and no they didn't tell the people at the pool, she was too focused on the whole baby thing!

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#25 of 77 Old 02-24-2009, 06:04 AM
 
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My daughter takes dance, is a serious dancer, and she is allowed to wear undies (which she does for modesty sake). She also refuses tampons and uses pads.

I am glad we have never had to deal with the no undies thing, she would likely have quite before giving in to that, no matter how serious a dancer she is (and she is VERY serious).

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#26 of 77 Old 02-24-2009, 10:06 AM
 
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Ugh....this scares me!
ewwwww i never wanna swim in a public pool again isnt blood considered human waste?
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#27 of 77 Old 02-24-2009, 10:12 AM
 
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Why not tampons?
My dd got her first period during the summer (at age 13) and didn't want to miss a minute of swimming or an upcoming pond party with friends. I bought and explained how to use the tampons, offered to come in and show her (got a big no), and with some practice she did figure it out pretty quickly.

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#28 of 77 Old 02-24-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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Ummm, ok, I guess my dd won't be doing ballet because I see this whole thread as being completely ridiculous. A young girl forced to use tampons? Panty lines getting in the way of seeing body form? Seriously I am a massage therapist and I even give massages to people in underwear and no it doesn't even get in the way of me seeing every muscle in their body :

I really have no place in this forum since my dd is 2 but came across the thread from the homepage So. that's my disclaimer. Feel free to ignore my comments

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#29 of 77 Old 02-24-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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No disclaimer needed!

I too find the idea that someone feels they have the right to tell someone not to wear underwear, or to limit their choice during menstruation, a little apalling.

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#30 of 77 Old 02-24-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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Something that I haven't seen mentioned would be to wear 2 leotards - one as "underwear" and one over it. I danced for many years, and at some of the schools I went to, this was pretty common. Granted, these were adults, but a lot of the dancers had a favorite leotard that was too beat-up/holey to wear alone, so they would just do one on top of the other.

Another thing to try would be to go to a nice department store and look for some "no line" panties that would be entirely covered by a leotard. One of my fellow dancers just could not handle the no panties thing (she felt it was too immodest), so this is what she did.

With regard to the dance instructor, what if your dd had a note from her dr saying that she couldn't use tampons for some reason? Could they really argue with that?

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