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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Chafing from Dance Belt


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I hope it is okay to post about this. We really need help with this chafing problem, and because my son is the only male in his dance studio, there's nobody there we can ask about it.


My 15 yo (almost 16) DS has been wearing dance belts for years and has never had problems with chafing until now. I don't know if it is some sort of change in the way the belts are being manufactured or what, but he finds that they are becoming rather painful to wear after awhile because of the way the elastic in the thong part rubs the upper part of his derriere (closer to the area where the thong part meets the waistband, but in the valley). Any recommendations on how to deal with this? He's tried putting a bandaid in the area, but that slips when he gets sweaty. He can't use any gauze wrapped around it because it would show through the tights. I've been debating sewing an additional layer of fabric onto the thong part, but don't really want to add bulk to the dance belt.


He wears the Capezio/Harmonie dance belts because he says they provide the most coverage and support. That said, he also "Double-Dancebelts" for all classes and performances because dancebelts are so thin these days and he's becoming an older dancer (he learned about the necessity of double dancebelting from a visiting Cavalier during his 2011 Nutcracker- and we greatly appreciate advice from male dancers, since my DS is the only male dancer in his studio!).


Does anyone have any suggestions on how to alleviate the chafing? 15 yo boys don't like to communicate much about things of a sensitive nature, but I know enough from him to know 1) it hurts! and 2) the approximate location of the pain from his description. I've recommended keeping the area clean and using polysporin on the tender spot, but I just don't know that it's the right solution. I suggested powder to him, but he said that would come through his black tights and he's probably right about that.


Could this be an issue of size of dance belt and maybe he needs to go up a size? I'm only a mom and don't know how these work, and his dad wasn't a dancer and didn't wear these, so he doesn't know much about this either.


I'd really appreciate input here!

Edited by zballet
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Some of our male dancers or parents of male dancers will be of help shortly I'm sure. But in the meantime here are some suggestions:


First, do check the fabric that the dance belts are made of. Even purchasing the same item, there could have been a change in fabric content.


Secondly, there are some anti-chafing products on the market primarily used by runners. These products not only protect the body from chafing but also provide a barrier if there is already chafing so that you can continue your activities while it heals. You do have to be careful about ingredients if there are allergies though. Some items names are: Bodyglide, Sportshield, Gold Bond Friction Defense, Skinstrong, Squeaky Cheeks, Sportslick, Mission 5 hour and Skinstrong which is a spray so easy to use in tough to reach places. Many of these products can be used in advance of blisters on feet also.

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I have never used anything for chaffing in that area and can only think of a few instances in my career of experiencing that. I would imagine the "gold bond" may be useful. Make sure the tag is cut off as that always seemed to bother me. Also look for loose threads and remove those. I am not sure of which model the Harmonie is (searched for it but inconclusive) but the "quilted" with the wider elastic waist is the most discreet and there is no need to "double up" with it. I would imagine doubling up would create more chaffing. Dance belt selection is a personal preference but that is the recomended belt for my gentlemen. There are lots of options these days and they do seem to be getting thinner and thinner which is why I like the "old school" quilted.

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It's the Harmonie quilted one with the wider elastic that he uses, and you can tell from pictures taken from before he double-belted and after about the difference in coverage from doubling-up, so he definitely prefers to wear two.


Momof3 you may be quite right about allergies! I'm allergic to latex, so it is possible that he is, too, and as the belts wear out, the latex could be irritating him through the thinning of the fabric covering. We also switched detergents over the last few months, so that may be affecting his skin, too. Hmm, food for thought- thanks!


I love the suggestions for things like Bodyglide if I don't get a chance to look for that or a similar product at a drugstore before then. I'll be at a swim meet this weekend with my other DS and I know they sell it there for swimmers because I've seen it, so I will pick up some for my dancer to try.


Gcwhitewater, we've found that dancebelts have changed over the years and he can't always get the ones he likes because they seem to modify them or change them in some way, which frustrates him. There's one brand where the quilted lining bunches up in the crotch when it gets washed because it's not actually stitched down well at all (well, I guess I should say it's lined, but not quilted as it should be!). I can't remember that brand. It's frustrating because things like that can't be returned, so if you order online, you are totally taking a risk because you can't feel the product or look at it closely- you can only go by pictures and reviews. Our local dance shops carry a limited supply, so we have to hope that they have what works and then if we find something we like, THEN we can reorder online, or continue to get them from the local dance shop. We've run into the problem that the local dance shop can't get the products they used to carry. Grrr. We might also have to try one of the leos with the built-in dancebelt. because maybe that will hold it away from the body a bit better in that area.


Momof3 and gcwhitewater, your suggestions are great! Thank you, thank you!!!

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Could the chaffing be a fungal infection? Fungal infections can make the skin very raw and sore. Perhaps he can try an anti-fungal a few times a day for a couple of weeks to see if it improves. If it does end up being fungal, you may need to really sterilize the belts to prevent a reinfection.

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Slhogan, how can you tell if it's a fungal infection versus chafing? I'm heading to the drugstore this afternoon to try to find something to help his poor, raw, rear. He has a small area that is slightly scabbed where the belt has rubbed the skin. Like I said before, it's higher up, so it's not in an area that would've been contaminated by..er...you know, but it's in a high-sweat area, so I guess it's possible that it could be fungal? Maybe I'll pick up an anti-fungal for him to use when he gets home from dance, along with one of the anti-chafing products to use before he goes to dance, and perhaps we'll be able to get this problem sorted out!


Thanks again for the suggestions.

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My son had the same problem after a summer intensive and he used the Band-Aid brand anti-chafing balm. It looks like a little deodorant stick and it is in the first aid section. I hope he feels better soon!

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Boymom2, thanks for that suggestion! I am relieved to hear that my son is not the only one to experience this problem, though I hate to hear that yours had to experience it, too! I will look for that! I went to Rite-aid yesterday and spoke with the pharmacist. They don't carry any of the products off the list that Momof3 gave me. He said not to use the Gold Bond powder right now because the skin was broken, but to use polysporin until that was healed. He asked my son if he had the various symptoms of a fungal infection (itching, etc.) and my son said no to all of them (I can't remember off the top of my head all the questions he asked him). So, it does sound as if it's just a chafing issue. The pharmacist suggested looking for the anti-chafing products at the sporting goods store next door, but when we went there, the store said they no longer carry them and that we need to go to a specialty store that caters to cyclists. I KNOW I have seen some of these anti-chafe roll-ons at swim-supply stores, so I will definitely look for it this weekend when I am at a swim meet with my other child. I think it's usually around $9, as I recall. My son should be able to use a disposable cotton make-up pad to run it across the top of the roll-on (to keep the roll-on part clean) and then wipe the area where he needs to apply it to prevent the chafing. Maybe I will see if Walgreen's or CVS carries the BandAid brand- it's likely less expensive than the specialty ones from the swim supply place.


I KNEW it would be a good idea to ask for input here! Thanks! The polysporin has helped with the worst part of the rawness. Now we need to work on prevention.

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I bought the BodyGlide this weekend- $9.99 for the stick that looks like deodorant. DS says that he doesn't need it now, but with more auditions next weekend, I imagine he'll be glad he has it! I spoke with the guys who sold it to me and they agreed that for guys it's a must have- apparently other athletes have a similar issue with jockstraps and this stuff really helps with that problem. They suggested having him wipe the stick onto a paper towel, then wiping it onto his skin to keep the stick clean so it will last longer. Sounds like good advice to me, so I am sharing that advice.

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This was a good topic to bring up-- thanks for sharing!


DS14 hasn't yet encountered this problem, but I think I'll give him a heads-up that should he start chaffing he needs to take care of it asap and not let it get bad before telling me about it.

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DS got two new dance belts today in a larger size, so we will see if that is also going to make a difference. Teen boys seem to be notorious for not wanting to deal with sensitive issues (it's more fun to complain about them!). The area started to heal, but got bad again when he stopped looking after it- grrr. Now we're back to the polysporin and bandaids. He hasn't tried the Bodyglide yet (not sure why he's afraid to try it!), but once that derriere gets healed I've got to figure out a way to convince him to use it on a regular basis! Hopefully the larger dance belt will help, too.


Slhogan, it's a great idea to give your DS a heads-up to take care of the problem immediately should it arise and to tell you about it! It never occurred to me that we'd have to deal with this issue. I guess girls get blisters from their pointe shoes while boys get chafing from dance belts- we hear about the blisters and see the girls taping their toes, but chafing in the rear is something altogether more embarrassing for the boys so nothing we'd ever hear about!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey, ZBallet! Hope the chafing issue has corrected itself. Lots of good info out here. I wanted to throw this out as well , which may or may not be of use - I was on twitter the other day , and saw a person with the handle "Dr. DanceBelt" (dancer,teacher,etc) ... Well I subscribed to his twitter feed (is that the right way to put it?) and saw that he has a website that goes by the same name. I made my DS go on there and read all kinds of dance belt info ... It has a lot of good stuff. Also, if you have twitter, you could go on there and find him and ask him questions. He seems very nice & answered a lot of my (dumb mom) questions. Hope this may be another weapon in your ballet arsenal, lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...

3DancersMom, thanks for that info! The problem has been solved. DS went up a size in his dancebelt and the problem has disappeared! It's hard to get our sons to talk about their issues with things like this, and it didn't occur to him that the dancebelt might be too small because it felt fine to him (aside from the chafing). I convinced him to go up a size and voila, no more chafing- hooray!!! I'm not on twitter, but I will try to get DS to check out Dr.DanceBelt.

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  • 5 months later...

Dr. Dancebelt is definitely a blog/resource male dancers and parents of male dancers should check out! Super informative, and from what I understand it's been around for YEARS and YEARS! Glad to hear the issue is resolved, we hadn't had this one happen to us, but it could just be the elastic wearing and becoming rough. My son prefers the wear moi dance belt, and I think it's because the fabric and the elastic is MUCH softer than some of the other brands. We get ours from boysdancetoo.com, we haven't bee able to find it anywhere else yet.

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