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Dance Belts and Guys...


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I don't know where to put this...... but hoping someone can help me out with this with a few ideas.... :( I hope it's okay to be frank.


The good news is there are suddenly more adult men taking classes at the variety of schools I go to!


The issue though, is with dance belts - and not just the act of wearing them, but how to.


It's a thing some of us 'older' women in the classes have been pondering over for a few years now. We've found that the men who danced in their youth are totally fine. It's the ones who are just starting or started recently. That said - the two that I am particularly thinking of have been dancing for about three years now. One has worn a belt and is fine when he is performing, but does not wear one to class but rather some fitted but not tight boxer-type shorts and then a knee-length unitard that is close fitting but not tight. The other does wear a belt usually but not, shall we say, with care. A third new student got the 'support talk' over the weekend with two of us present as well, and...... well - this is how it went:


The teachers usually just kinda mention it, and then say 'if you have any questions ask x or y' (the two guys who also danced in their youth). However, guys x and y are very very very very shy and don't say much more then where to get them from. X is a good friend, but if we try to non-chalantly bring it up he turns bright red. He's not going to be one to hold a conversation about it, and was not really comfortable discussing this with a female teacher and with two female students and friends in the room. Y is new to my studio and none of us really know him well enough to ask him to talk to the other guys about it. He also usually takes the advanced classes, while the other men take the beginners and intermediates - they don't see each other that often. He was not present at the past weekend's small talk.


While their comfort level is their own personal issue, this has started to become a problem in pas de deux. Again most of us 'older women' were relatively okay with it, although it did provide for some uncomfortable situations, to say the least. The younger ones we dance with however, are now increasingly dreading pas de deux and sometimes feel uncomfortable in classes as well. As the number of guys has increased and the issue seems to have exponentially increased, a lot of the adults are now feeling uncomfortable, and I'll be honest and say that I've had my moments as well. I've danced with some of the younger girls for about 4-5 years now, and they feel fairly comfortable talking to me, and I also think that sometimes their discomfort is apparent. We don't think the particular teacher will be of much help - I really wish they had a male teacher for so many reasons. My friend and I are at a total loss of how to discuss the matter with this particular group of guys. I've thought about printing out a topic from here and handing it to them, but I think that would embarrass them further...... any ideas would be greatly appreciated!




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Could you ask your teacher to create a standard "how to dress for class" handout? The matter of how to wear a dance belt could be incorporated matter-of-factly, along with "no underwear for ladies" (if that's the policy) or "bras should be tasteful but supportive" or whatever.


Somewhere on this board I've seen a dance belt use described with a fairly innocuous "everything points up". Descriptive, but not too graphic.


Some guys just don't get it. My husband wears compression shorts or running tights when he takes class. He feels supported, and thinks that's the end of the matter. Unfortunately ... support is only part of the issue. I don't know how the other women feel, but I'm embarrassed for him. Luckily, it's easy for me to talk to him about such things! I can imagine how difficult it would be to talk to a stranger.

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Here's a search for you:




There are 65 separate posts on there, all more or less having to do with this issue.


Pick and choose and possibly print to help with giving advice. Look at each post, then look at the whole thread to which it belongs. Sometimes printing the whole thing provides context.


How to introduce this material at your school is a matter of group dynamics. Each group is going to be different; sometimes the same group will be of different mindsets at different times! How you introduce the information is going to be up to you, but at least here's some information to use as raw material.

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My modern teacher, a wonderful woman with a shaved head and tattoos put it bluntly and put it best on the first day of class


"I don't want to see anyone flopping around. That includes the guys"


then told of an incident involving a huge football player that took her class and wouldn't wear one, and certain things getting twisted and a visit to the emergency room.


This approach probably worked because we were all college students.

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Once or twice, I've been told to adjust myself :thumbsup: Sometimes our anatomy does not want to do what we want. I'm sure women have been in similar situations.


You should mention it to the teacher and let him/her deal with it. If a guy were to say anything about a woman dancer and her ample cleavage, we'd be called pervs.


I was once in a class where a woman dancer had a leotard that became translucent as it got wet with sweat, I kept my mouth shut, and my eyes on my own dancing.

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Thank you all for your suggestions and help, as always. MJ - we've seen the way one teacher mentions it, and don't think that's going to change! However, I think Treefrog's idea is excellent, and something could easily passed out with the start of the new term in January. I don't know that the other school would do that, so we'll have to think a bit more about that one.

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Don't know if this is any help, but I learned about dance belts from a web search. No mention was ever made by the studio or anyone there - the dress code is "leotards and ballet shoes", period. And frankly, their proper use is no more obvious than a bra would be to a stone age aborigine. Fortunately I was interested enough in ballet generally to start searching the web during the first few months of taking class. It took another 6 months to learn about rolling tights down over a belt, instead of pulling them up every five minutes. There is very little information available to men from any source. I'd expect most adult beginner men would be very glad to learn of any resource for this information - I sure as heck was. Just passing on the URL for a few appropriate forums might work better than you'd expect.

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