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Tights Question

Guest benny369

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Guest benny369

I just got into a ballet summer intensive that culminates in a final performance in which we need high-waisted footed tights, with shoulder straps. Now I've seen other men with these, and seen them in movies, but all I can seem to find is the tank unitard by Baltogs and I know this is not what they mean? does anyone know of a professional supply store or somewhere that has these kinds of tights? Also I was asked to bring character shoes with a light sole (as not to stain the floor), does anyone have any suggestions of good shoes for this purpose? Also, does anyone know any sites or good places to get cheap economy tights for men, it always seems like the women get all the deals, and we have to spit out 14 bucks a pair, so if someone knows of a pro supply or something like that I would be so thankful. Lastly, I am doing a modern performance in which we have to wear converse all-stars (kinda taken from Movin' Out), but i also have to do triples, and the rubber sole and the marley is not working out very well, does anyone have ideas as to how to transform the soles into better turning shoes? Ok now seriously my last question...does anyone know where to get dance jeans for men? I've seen Movin' out and they wear great jeans that stretch, and also in ABT's withinyou without you the men wear some tight fitting calvin klein stretch jeans, but I can't seem to find them anywhere, even Express' stretch jeans for men seem to be a little too stiff, and not formfitting enough...if anyone has ever had this problem or knows how to help me with it, I would be forever greatful. Thank you,


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Hi, Ben and welcome to Ballet Talk at Ballet Alert! Online!


I'd start here:




As it's a good general starting place for almost anything. The problem is, noplace I've seen on the web is really great for men's dancewear.

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For the record, you probably already know this, but you will not be able to buy the tights with the elastic suspenders already attached. Buy "regular" mens footed tights from a dance store/catalog, and 1 inch wide elastic from the sewing section of WalMart (WalMart is the devil, I know. . .) and get out the needle and thread. I recommend burning the ends of the elastic, a la girls with pointe shoe ribbons, I have had some elastics come apart at the ends in the wash.


As to the running shoes, I have no idea. I cannot concieve of trying a triple pirouette in sneakers on marley, but then I havn't seen "moving out" yet either. (Eagerly anticipating the Chicago stop on the national tour). Maybe your instructor would let you switch to jazz sneakers? They might have the desired look, but be more danceable. They are expensive though. . . Ahhh well, I am no help today, good luck though!




Not doing what you love to do is neither good sense nor common sense.

-Daniel Nagrin

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The major dance shoe makers now make "dance sneakers" that look like sneakers but work like dance shoes. That's what you need for your triple pirouettes.


Stretch jeans? I don't know. You might have to buy stretch denim and make them yourself. Certainly Movin' Out makes its own costumes.


Dancersteven is right, you buy tights and sew elastic suspenders onto them. That's all I've ever seen in 4 years of professional company.


Men's tights cost more than women's tights because they're made of heavier fabric.

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Think, everybody, think. We're talking about Converse All-Stars here. One of the most recognizable sneaker profiles in the world. I don't think there's a dance sneaker out there that looks like them.

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Ahh, I see! :wink: Yea, I suppose so.

(Where's the light bulb emoticon?)

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Guest benny369

I got a suggestion from a fellow dancer to buy the suede they put on ballroom shoes and try cutting out a piece for the toe and heel and putting it on with hot glue...does anyone think this will work? or should i try a different material...?




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Hotglue isn't so great for shoes. It can't put up with the stresses. Barge Cement, available at shoe repair shops, is made for this sort of job.

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Anybody see Matthews Bournes "Car Man"? All the dancers wore regular old Converse all Stars througout the entire production. They did triples and everything else in them on marley covered dance floors. I've also seen Hubbard Street do Jerome Robbins choreography in Converse all Stars as well. I recall for "Car Man" they used Converse High-Tops. I imagine it holds the foot better than a low rise. They're certainly cheap enough you could try both to see which works best. Plain colors like black and white are about the same cost as a pair of leather ballet shoes. Then again, you could really turn your instructors head and get the pair that has red and orange flames shooting across the sides. Sorry, I'm a bit of a fan of the classic Converse. I have quite a few which is why I recall seeing them used on stage (but I've never tried dancing in them myself).


As for the Sansha tights... They do make one with straps already sewn on. I ordered some last year and waited, and waited, and waited then waited more. They only make the mens line once a year so when it sells out, its gone. It took about 6 months to get the pair I ordered. The elastics were pretty much one size fits all which means they were too big and I had to re-sew them again myself to fit. Save the time and money. Get a pair of M Stevens from any dance store and sew your own elastics on.

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K, Mel, you know what kind of glue to use on a pair of sneakers? And where to buy it? Is there ANYTHING you do not know about?


(Insert sound of humble bows of respect)



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Get Barge Contact Cement in a tube at your local shoe repair shop. It's sort of like Duco Household Cement on steroids. Just be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area when you apply it, and let it dry thoroughly.


I been around the track a few times. Technology is sort of my business, as I'm a museum curator of military and industrial useful arts. (Day job, long story)

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Hi Benney


First of all Congradulations! You asked a lot of questions. Let me see if I can help.

I trained as a costume designer At NYU, Tisch School of the Arts and did construction on Broadway costumes at Parson-Mears. ("Another damm Cats costume!")


1. Tights, they stretch alot, try wearing one of the pairs that you currently have and see if you can pull them up that high. If not then go to the next larger size. From designing costumes for Shakespeare 's plays, I learned to cross the elastic in the back so that you make an X about the middle of your back. You need to stitch that in place so that it doesn't shift This will keep the elastic from creeping down your shoulders. Burning the ends was mentioned, I prefer to use a product called "Frey Check" it's a liquid that sticks the fibers together. I would hate to have you burn a whole in brand new tights!


2. the stretch jeans issue. On a production of West Side Story, I used stretch jeans for all of the dancers. I got them from Land's end. I believe they still have them. If you have a very small waist you may need to take them in. Go to the mall and check out some of the more trendy stores like Express or Raves ask the sales assistance (that's their job.) Depending on how much stretch you need you might try (forgive me for saying this) the women's side. Hey! Try Walmart Ladies area you never know!

3. Shoes/ sneakers Red Ball Jets! West Side Story again! The suede that was mentioned was a good suggestion. A couple of things I learned : Barge cement was another intellegent suggestion. You need to apply to both the surface of the suede and the shoe. Let it set the required time, then press the two glue surfaces together. Apply pressure books weights whatever. this is what makes the barge really stick!

I only did the ###### of the feet and it worked fine. It is important to try and find a flat bottom shoe. If it has a lot of pattern of a raised ridge on the edge take it to a shoe repair to have them ground flat. The suede will stick better as it will have more surface to grab on to! For a few bucks the shoe guy will do it for you. Keep with you a small tube of barge and a sheet of mediun grade sandpaper. If you start slipping too much rub the suede with the sand paper to remove the accumulated dirt. They will be just like new!

This is my first post on the fourm. Although extremely long I hope it helps! I really hate it when dancers and actors are ask to do all these things regarding costumes. A dancers job is to dance!

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I have a whole pile of sites that sell men's dancewear (I am going to put them on my website) but this is the best one I think because it has all the best brands and best products. It isn't the cheapest for shoes but otherwise it is a great site.



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