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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adult male dance attire question


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I'm an avid amateur dancer and I take regular ballet, jazz and acrobatic classes. Normal dress code for men is a dance belt and tights, with either a t-shirt or leotard. Over time I grew curious on trying women's dance attire and found out theirs are much more comfortable: their tights are thinner and stretchier, and their leotard goes over the tights so the tights will never fall. I can see my body posture better too.


My question is, can I just wear women's attire to classes? Of course I'll still wear a dance belt underneath and my look is still very modest. I would wear a unisex leotard (not cami style) and white lady's tights (I shave so no hairy legs). I think I will dance a lot better in them.


Any thoughts, comments are appreciated!

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Richardcruz - welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! I moved your topic to the Men's Forum as I think it will be more easily answered by other males who may have experimented with the same issue.


Traditionally, men only wear a leotard under lights, and it usually a thong, to prevent any additional lines. If you are looking for lighter weight tights there are other brands - many of our members can suggest which they feel is the most lightweight & stretchy. If you feel that wearing the leotard on top pulls everything up, there might be some tips on how to roll your elastic in a way the pulls everything up.... There are also other tricks, like sewing shoulder elastic onto your tights, so that the tights stay up.


Ballet defines gender in a fairly formal fashion. Some schools/environments might be more accommodating to bending those gender rules than others... I'd suggest you contact your teacher about this in case the teacher, school, or classroom dancers are uncomfortable with someone dressing this way. Otherwise, there is no reason to dance "better" while wearing a leotard on top of your tights - a leotard and tights should not effect the way you move.

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Thanks for the quick reply. I thought the same thing you mentioned here, to check with my studio to see how accomodating they are. That was the primary reason I posted this message here to get a feeling of the general ballet population, especially to see how most dancers-amateurs like me, would think on this issue. If most responses are pretty positive, then I will feel more comfortable bringing this issue up on my class. If most people say no no, then I might just forget about it. The reason I posted this message originally in Adult Ballet Students board rather than this Men's Forum, was to solicit feedback from all ballet students, not just men, because in a dance studio you find a lot more ladies and their opinion might be more important.


Thanks again,



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  • 3 years later...

I found M Stevens tights to be thin and stretchy.  I have several pair, footed and not footed.  They are true to size.  I would not say they are soft and not durable.   A bit pricey but easy to wear, dry quickly and easy to get on.  They do get softer as they wear.

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