Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Men in Tights


tangoking

Recommended Posts

I'm a newcomer to ballet. I've studied on and off for about a year. I love it; I find great satisfaction in the physical and mental discipline that it requires.

 

That being said, I am hung up on the issue of tights.

 

Do any other men out there feel uncomfortable wearing tights in class? "Edited content here to comply with BTFD policy" Is this not immodest?

 

Often I hear that it helps teachers to see body lines better; however, most (if not all) sharp-eyed teachers can spot poor technique through a pair of jeans.

 

I have read the "what we don't talk about" sticky. Although this post may approach this boundary set forth in that post, please understand that the question posed here in good faith to address a question that men face.

Edited by gcwhitewater
BTFD policy.
Link to comment

hello tangoking

 

I think that is a question many face when first taking ballet up to be honest, I have been doing now for coming up to 2 yrs, my girlfriend sort of dragged me to one of her classes (she has been doing since she was 6) and I got roped in so to speak, at first use used to wear like sport compression shorts, then once I started to enjoy the classes the teacher asked me to go appropriately dressed, so went on a few UK websites to look for men's tights anyway bought a couple of pair, of course been wearing dance belt from day 1, that has never bothered me and the "effect" it creates. Must admit to the first time tried them on, in front of my girlfriend felt a bit "strange" to say the least but she said I looked great and just forget wearing them.

 

So what I did was to wear them a few time under my trousers to get not only used to how they felt but also when I was out, to help the "mind" if you like about wearing them in a public place, yes under my trousers but still I had them on in public

 

Now does not worry me in the slightest, it is part of the attire to ballet dance, so far only worn in class though, we have a performance coming up in next few months that will be my first in public, yes it has crossed my mind what people my think, but then no different to an actor or any dancer etc only a costume at end of the day.

 

Sure after the first few times of wearing you will be fine

Link to comment

Tights and dance belts are a standard part of a male dancer's attire. If you are not use to being around other men who wear these I can see how it may be uncomfortable at first. You will get use to it. Incidentally, I consider myself to have a pretty good eye and there is quite a bit of technique that you can't see through a pair of jeans or sweat pants.

Link to comment

Wear tights and a dance belt all the time for ballet class. Only time I ever felt uncomfortable was when I first started and that was because no one explained the correct undergarment until the instructor asked me if I understood I needed to wear a dance belt also. For me tights are standard wear in class as a student.

I have never seen anyone, male or female take class in jeans.

Link to comment

TK, wear the tights. You'll get used to them soon enough. DB is the hardest part.

Link to comment

Before I began dancing I did a lot of swimming wearing the type of swimming trunks competitive swimmers use. I became a bicycle racer, which means you wear tights all late fall, winter, and early spring and things like skin suits (aptly named) for some races. While swimming I was running. No tights then, but now a days there are tights for runners. Wish I had them back in the days when it was cold.

 

The only time I've ever heard of males getting uneasy about wearing tights is in ballet. Strange in my little pea brain. I'm guessing that the issue is something else, perhaps wearing a dance belt. Yes, that's different. Takes a few hours to get accustomed to that. But it's part of the uniform, so you do it. After a short time, you think nothing of it.

 

Reminds me of bicycle racing saddles. First time you sit on one, after about 30 minutes you can't sit on one. Within a short time you can ride for hours and think nothing of it.

Link to comment

When I started, I was like most guys. The thought of wearing tights, although I knew wearing tights was inevitable since I really liked ballet, I was not ready for them when I started. I first wore shorts and sweats to class. They did not work. Shorts were short. Sweats were way too long and bulky. My teacher suggested tights so I finally bought a couple of pairs. The first time I wore them to class, I was given far more corrections and almost immediately improved. I was also able to see what I was doing in the class mirrors and was able to correct myself. Ever since then, I have been wearing tights to each of my classes. I now prefer wearing tights to class. A dance belt is no big deal. Just make sure you find your correct size. The ladies in class will not laugh at you. Do whatever you need to ease into wearing them, but once you wear tights I am sure you will get used to them and it will no longer be a big deal.

Edited by leopard dancer
Link to comment

I agree footed are a lot better. You are right leopard dancer certainly aids in technique for corrections given but like you also say self corrections as well. Black are certainly "less revealing" than light colours when you first start wearing ballet tights and are a bit self conscious about wearing them.

Link to comment

I have not seen anyone in class at my studios wear jeans to class. Jeans are simply not the dress code even for adult classes. Ease into tights with whatever you feel more comfortable that allows you to move freely or what your teacher approves as an alternate for now.

Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

I'm just a beginner, but after a couple of classes started to use tights and dance belt. All I can say is that it is appropriate and it just works so well and gives you the possibility to focus on dancing.

Link to comment

I've found that in the USA there's a strong cultural assumption that a man involved in ballet must be gay. Add in tights and slippers and you're dealing with some major self-image issues, especially if you're straight. I can't tell you how many people have asked me, "You dance ballet? Do you wear a tutu?"

 

Fortunately, these attitudes seem to be changing with the younger generations.

 

Looking around at the school where I take classes, I see a lot of the entry-level adult men wearing loose shorts and T-shirts. As you move up towards the more advanced classes you find more and more wearing tights or leggings and form-fitting tops. I suspect that once you lose the initial shyness the desire to be able to see positions and posture clearly takes over. There's nothing immodest about tights and a dance belt; it's the appropriate attire for the situation.

Link to comment

I would agree with all that's been said--tights and a dance belt are the right thing to wear the class. For any male in ballet, this is indeed "the uniform". In my experience, no one ever commented on what I was wearing. Sure, there have been many times when I was the only male in class, but the women in class have been overwhelming pleasantly surprised and supportive I was there. As for color, black is fine, although I like gray as it gives my teacher more information and thus the possibility for more corrections and suggestions. Ultimately there is only one thing to focus on in class--learning to dance!

Link to comment
  • 5 weeks later...

I've always worn tights in my adult ballet classes, even though the majority of my male classmates have opted for athletic shorts instead. I guess from the get-go, my aim was to maintain a traditional look with black tights, white t-shirt and black slippers, although initially I did share the typical male misgivings about wearing tights. Those misgivings disappeared pretty quickly, though, once I realized how perfectly suited tights are to ballet. They not only easily enabled both my instructor and myself to spot needed corrections in my technique, they also helped keep my legs adequately warm during the less active portions of class. I found them to be surprisingly comfortable as well.

 

I agree with the others who said getting used to wearing a dancebelt is really the tougher thing. My dancebelt felt quite "foreign" to me at first, but after a class or two I was used to it and I didn't really even think about it much after that. Of course, dancebelts are a must for all of us male dancers, so they're something we simply need to learn to adjust to. No huge deal, though, really!

 

As for negative comments, it just doesn't happen -- or at least not in my experience. Tights are part of the standard ballet "uniform" for men, so there's nothing unusual or weird about seeing guys in tights at a ballet studio. (Seeing them dancing in jeans definitely would qualify as unusual, though!) And as one or two others pointed out, there's so much to concentrate on during class that a classmate's attire is definitely not a focal point for anyone. So, don't feel self-conscious and slide on those tights! :yes:

Edited by Rick
Link to comment
  • 4 months later...

I'm a newcomer to ballet. I've studied on and off for about a year. I love it; I find great satisfaction in the physical and mental discipline that it requires.

 

That being said, I am hung up on the issue of tights.

 

Do any other men out there feel uncomfortable wearing tights in class? "Edited content here to comply with BTFD policy" Is this not immodest?

 

Often I hear that it helps teachers to see body lines better; however, most (if not all) sharp-eyed teachers can spot poor technique through a pair of jeans.

 

I have read the "what we don't talk about" sticky. Although this post may approach this boundary set forth in that post, please understand that the question posed here in good faith to address a question that men face.

 

Im suprised you still feel this way since you are a year into it. Black tights and a white shirt are standard for guys.

 

I have been taking ballet for six months and it was never an issue becasue I would wear tights in Martial Arts and Wrestling and it was no big deal. Now days men wear tights in all sorts of sporting activities because of the benefits of compression to the muscles.

Link to comment

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers CaliTights!!

 

It is wonderful that you've been taking ballet for 6 months - and it is also wonderful that you are comfortable with the regular men's uniform. As you can see, some men have a problem with this aspect, but once that hurdle is jumped, technique improves very quickly.

 

We'd love to know more about you, and ask that you stop by the Welcome Forum and introduce yourself. How many ballet classes do you take per week? How old are you? What are your goals with ballet? What started your interest in ballet?

 

We look forward to hearing more about you.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...