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Ballet Talk for Dancers

When do they start wearing one?


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If you don't mind my asking, when do boys start wearing a dance belt?


My son is 11 and never wears any underclothing under his tights (his tights are thick). Will it someday just become obvious that he needs one? On a friend's suggestion, I told my son how a lot of girls his age start wearing a sports bra under their leotard and how when their breasts get bigger it hurts to jump around. I told him that boys have a similar thing called a dance belt that holds up his private parts. I told him that whenever he felt like he needed one to let me know and I'd get one for him. The 2 minute discussion completely mortified him as he's a very private person.


Comparing him to other boys, he seems to be average or perhaps a bit faster than average in physical development. At what age should I expect him to need one? Just wait until his teacher pulls me aside about it? Wait for him to ask? Should I be staring at his crotch when he dances to see if he's needing more support?


At what age do they usually start wearing one? I've seen full-bottom belts for younger boys, but he absolutely hates underwear lines under tights, so I don't think he'll go for anything like that. I'm assuming he'll want the regular thong-type and not until he absolutely has to wear it.


Finally-- how in the world do you get a dance belt that fits? Do I just measure him over his tights and order a few different types? Does it come with instructions that explain how it should fit? I'm pretty sure when the day comes he's going to want zero help from me. This doesn't seem as easy as taking my older daughter to the store and helping her try on bras.

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Hope you find my answer useful if rather direct.


Father of a boy of 16 who is at a UK vocational dance school and has been since 11.


From the moment he began ballet at 10 years of age he has worn a support. You just need to.


They come in many sizes and colours and are just part of the uniform.

Retail outlets should size up for you if you are unsure. The thong type are normal.


If you take exams in the UK every boy wears a support (thong) and a belt with shorts or tights rolled around to make them taught which shows better line.

The above is standard wear for RAD exams.


Other boys in his class must wear supports and his teacher should be able to advise.


Best of luck.

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My son was 10. A teacher took us aside separately and said it was time.


Is there a male teacher at the ballet school, or a trusted older male dancer, who could have a little talk with him and let him know it is merely another item of male wear like the tights.


We went to a ballet shop and they very matter of factly handed him various styles to try on, no big deal was made of it. I also bought a few other items, like shoes and tights at the same time, so it was made to look like just another purchase.

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DS seemed to know when he needed one. I'm thinking around 12. Before that he wore tight underwear - never just plain tights. He was actually told by a school at 10 he had to wear one, but there was absolutely nothing available. But over the last several years we've seen them become available for young boys! The point is - he just kind of knew when he needed it and after that point he wouldn't dance without it.


I recall that there was a thread in the men's forum a few years ago - maybe four or five years ago - where there was a discussion on how to best wear the dance belt. Maybe you can find that (I'm terrible at searching and posting links) and have him read it himself. That would help him explore the idea in a very private (i.e. alone) forum!

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I would get him a dancebelt asap. I always wore something under my tights--first briefs, then a dancebelt. I don't believe they're available in specific waist sizes the way trousers are; I've always seen S, M, L, XL size options. If the waist fits comfortably, the rest probably will, too. Everything should be covered and lifted without being uncomfortable. It really isn't a big deal--just part of the uniform the same way tights and shoes are.

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The men's small may still be way too big for an 11-year old, though. At that age, even an MStevens small would not have fit my son, and they tend to be smaller than some other brands. I did notice on tutu.com, though, that Bloch now has an extra-small (26 inch waist). And they have "dance trunks" as well that might provide a better fitting size. If they fit tightly, they shouldn't hurt his line too much. Though if he is already worrying about his lines, then he would probably be open to the dance-belt concept and value.


As an aside - during that period, my son was told to just get women's bikini underwear until he grew into the smallest size dance belt. Needless to say that was not an acceptable solution - for DS or DH. It's interesting for us to see that things really have changed quite a bit over the last 7 or 8 years in regards to boys in ballet, and though the selection of dancewear is still small, it really is a lot larger than it used to be!

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I say once they hit the double-digits, they need the whole uniform. So, 9 no, 10 yes.

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It is a part of our school handbook that boys (no matter the age) wear briefs for little boys and dance belt for older ones. Tee hee. When we started, I did not know what a dance belt was. Thought it was the elastic some of the older boys had around the waistband of their tights to roll the band (why??).


One of the male gust teachers asked the boys to stay after and explained about dance belts. We went to the dance store and they were quite nice about it. talked about "quilted" and non-quilted,sizing, and what color to wear under whilte tights (nude) and a few types to try.


As with Cheetah, we bought a few other things - shirt, shoes, to make it a little less akward.


Good luck!

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Several on-line stores sell full-seated dance belts or briefs for younger boys, actually in boy sizes.

There are also a couple good sites that describe in scientific terms how everything should be positioned when wearing the belt.

I read one that I felt was informative and not awkward at all.

I let him read it and also let him choose the material of the belt as well as whether to order one with a full seat or not.

He is only 11, so we opted for the full-seat option.

I think in a couple years, he will be ready for the thong, which is the style most acceptable for performance as it doesn't show lines.


When he attended his last dance school, I asked the director and she didn't even know what a dance belt was.

Now, he attends a pre-professional school and his teacher said that all boys should wear one.

She said in Europe, they start wearing them, when they start dancing.

That is what moved us in the direction of looking for one.

None of the local dance stores carry them, so we had to order them.


My son wears a 10 slim jeans (about 23 inch waist), so we ordered a size 8-10 child's size belt. It was too small.

I ordered an adult small (about 25 inch waist), but it is slightly too large.

For him, I think an X-small adult belt would be best, but they are hard to find.

The website I mentioned indicated that most males feel most comfortable ordering a size larger than they would normally wear.


Long story short: Yes, have him wear a dance belt or at least a dance brief. Once he hits puberty, he will definitely need a dance belt.

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He absolutely won't wear briefs or full-bottom anything-- I've bought him several different types but he never puts them on. He's at a RAD program and dance belts are required in theory, but the reality is that his teacher has never commented on his underclothing or lack of it.


Per Mel's suggestion, I did some googling and found a web post where a young man goes into specific details about how to wear it, what direction everything should be pointed, etc. :blushing: I thought the belt was like a bra-- just keeping everything from jiggling around and providing extra modesty. I didn't realize they, uh, move everything forward to prevent injury. As he's to the point where he's doing a lot of jumps, I think he'll appreciate that safety feature.


Okay... I'll start looking for a thong-type in his size and also ask his teacher (whom he respects and trusts completely) to pull him aside and tell him he needs to get one before the upcoming RAD exams.


Thanks for the sizing suggestions. This should be fun :blink:

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Have a look at Mondor dance briefs (thong and full brief type). This type are very soft, no itchy threading, edges or labels to contend with & simple sizing options xs, s, m, l, xl ect. My son is a bigger boy than average & in a medium size, but his other more slimline dancing friends who are also 11 are in a small. We were just about giving up hope after having had tried both Bloch & Capezio dance belts without success because of the visable edging (Bloch) and the itchy labeled panel that was impossible to remove without destroying the brief (Capezio). The Mondor thong was the saving grace plus the dance outfitter making it clear that if you went to vocational school then everyone wears one!

Hope that helps?

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