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Over or Under?

Guest Leotardtightsballet

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Guest Leotardtightsballet

Hi. I'm a beginning male ballet dancer who hasn't taken a class yet. I don't mind wearing a leotard, tights and a dance belt. I've been wearing them to get used to them. What I'm wondering is... As a male ballet dancer, do I wear the leotard over the tights, under the tights, or do I wear them the way that is most comfortable for me and not worry about what anyone else thinks of my dance outfit? Also, I've read that black is the usual color for men's tights but is there anything wrong with wearing white tights for class for a man?



Thanks for any and all replies,


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  • Mel Johnson


  • davidg


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Yeah, there really is. :angry: There are too many CONTROLLED exhibitionists in this business now.


And the leotard is worn over the dance belt, under the tights.

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Onstage, yes. When you've got something to show off as far as technique, yes. Spare me the sight of an adult male beginner in pale tights. Charcoal grey will suffice.

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Have to agree with mel here - white tight onstage, black ones in class. And I still have'nt seen a male dancer with his leo over his tights -No offence to anyone, but I think I would fall asleep laughing that day.

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The 80s are a notorious period in ballet clothing. It was the "grunge" age, and its ill effects are still being felt.

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Guest jdavidb
The 80s are a notorious period in ballet clothing.  It was the "grunge" age, and its ill effects are still being felt.


Hey Mel I didn't know you were here. It was World Book encyclopedia, and I screwed up because I found that book. He's got leg warmers on but I can't tell if it's leo under or over. It could even be a unitard.

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Yeah, they started doing a lot of bike suits in the 80s. Unitards, too. Not real bad on the whole, (unitards look great on some people) but thigh-length things make it tough to teach beginning students in.

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Have to agree with mel here - white tight onstage, black ones in class.


Ballet insists strongly on pink tights (which look similar to white) for women, even beginners. People don't seem to be too offended by their bent legs and bad feet. Q&A forums will explain that this is so one can better see the legs, train better, make correction, etc.


If we insist on black tights for men, the logical conclusion seems to be that we don't really care so much that our men ever train their legs and feet well. This begs the question of "why"?

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The reasons for allowing male students to wear black tights has nothing at all to do with whether one can see the line better or not. Think about it.

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But the point is well-taken when it comes to lighter-color tights for men. Naturally, nobody I would want to associate with wants boys in pink tights, but that's why I like grey. Part of the reason that men wear black tights is that they used to wear black wool breeches to class, much like the fellow in "Flower Festival at Genzano". Nijinsky can be seen studying a score while seated at a piano, and he's wearing rehearsal breeches and woven sandals. (Musta been a publicity shot for "Faune")


Black is "the uniform", but I don't yell when any male student wears grey. It also goes back to the summer breeches they'd wear, made from sailcloth. Ouch, scratchy.

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