Forum: Ballet / Costumes

Costumes
Ballet tights
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:37 PM

I am a 24 year old male and have recently taken up ballet after two of my female friends who have danced for years encouraged me to take it up. I was a bit unsure at first but as one of them has a small studio in her cellar I gave it a go. It was a lot harder than I thought but I enjoyed it. After a few private lessons my friend Danielle asked would I like to borrow her black shiny footed tights as they are easier to move in. I was unsure but quite also wanting to try them. I tried the tights on and Couldn't believe how comfy they are. After a few lessons wearing the tights she gave me a pair of her navy blue shiny footed tights and offered me a leotard to wear over them as opposed to a Tshirt. Would a leotard be better to wear than a Tshirt?

16 Replies to Ballet tights

re: Ballet tights (karma: 1)
By SilverGreyDancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 192, member since Mon May 17, 2004
On Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:55 PM
Stick with the tee shirt!
re: Ballet tights
By CinderEmma Comments: 135, member since Mon Sep 05, 2016
On Sat Apr 08, 2017 06:34 AM
If you are seriously interested in taking up ballet, you should invest in the proper attire: a dance belt, male leotard, male tights, and the proper shoes. The reason you must purchase male tights is because males wear their tights OVER the leotard, and if you try that with female tights, you will have this unsightly cotton panel right over your crotch.

The dance belt is needed to prevent others from seeing too much of a man's "down there" which will be clearly visible through a leotard and tights. However, that doesn't mean you have to give up the comfort of female tights. I personally, don't see any reason why you can't still wear female tights under your leotard as long as you wear male tights over your leotard. (You may get kind of hot, though).
re: Ballet tights
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sun Apr 09, 2017 08:34 PM
I have the dancebelt, the tights are footed black shiny Lycra with white socks. I have worn a white Tshirt sometimes but my friend said to wear the leotard over the tights as it would keep them up. She's gave me a black Lycra leotard to try
re: Ballet tights (karma: 1)
By melissaga Comments: 323, member since Sun Feb 14, 2010
On Fri Apr 14, 2017 02:00 PM
Men's leotards are constructed differently than women's leotards and are never worn on the outside!

Your friend is giving you advice suitable for women, really students. And, even then, not all women wear their leos over their tights. Take a look at photos of professional ballet dancers in rehearsal or class. Most of the women wear their tights over their leotards. A fitted T-shirt would be just fine in place of a leotard. Most men I know seem to prefer that.

You are an adult ballet student. You do not need necessarily to follow the rules and regulations of young students.
re: Ballet tights (karma: 1)
By SarahdncrPremium member Comments: 634, member since Wed Jul 29, 2009
On Sat Apr 22, 2017 03:59 PM
Edited by Sarahdncr (214611) on 2017-04-22 16:10:34
Melissaga has given you excellent advice. What your friend has been reccomending you wear,....and how you wear it,..is generally for females.

Again, as an adult learner, you have a lot more latitude in what you can wear for adult beginner ballet lessons. Stick with just a T-shirt on top. You do not even have to wear a white men's T-shirt which is traditional. Usually only Pre-pro programs require their boys to be wearing white T-Shirts. As you are just starting out, see if you are going to like taking ballet enough first, before you invest in a few men's leotards.

A T-shirt will get you by just fine, as you are just starting out. Here are a few more hints:

1. You should be wearing men's tights. And, again, since you are just starting out, you could probably skip men's tights for now, and get by with men's bike shorts or men's sport-tights. Men's dance tights are much, much heavier/thicker and opaque then traditional women's ballet tights that are much more sheer---as CinderEmma has already pointed out.

You want to be wearing men's tights. ANd skip the shiney stuff. Regular men's tights will do for a serious class, and you want your instructors to see that you are going to be serious right? If you are really worried about your tights slipping down, then many men who dance wear suspender mens tights
for just such a reason.

2. CinderEmma also mentioned a dance-belt. This is one item you DO need to wear,...always. But not neccessiarily for the reason she stated. Yes, obviously you DO want to keep "things" covered up-got it.

However, what men (Males) really need a dancebelt for is more to do with keeping "things" in their place and not moving around! Think of a dancebelt as a sports bra for your male anatomy. In ballet, once you get to moving across the floor, doing some jumping, etc. You are going to want to make sure that "things" are protected from moving around. You do not want to give yourself a hernia for no good reason do you? Didn't think so.

Hope you do enjoy getting to learn ballet as an adult. It's never too late to start. Good Luck with it!
re: Ballet tights (karma: 1)
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sun Apr 30, 2017 04:47 PM
Thanks for the advice, I had the dancebelt to begin with and was advised this was a must.:I've stuck with a white t-shirt as opposed to the leotard as advised but stuck with the footed black lycra tights with white socks, the lycra ones are much more comfier than the others
re: Ballet tights (karma: 1)
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Mon May 08, 2017 12:47 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2017-05-08 12:58:46
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2017-05-08 13:15:20
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2017-05-08 13:28:29
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2017-05-08 13:32:56
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2017-05-08 14:02:18
Sarahdncr wrote:



Here are a few more hints:

1. You want to be wearing men's tights. And skip the shiny stuff. Regular men's tights will do for a serious class, and you want your instructors to see that you are going to be serious right?

2. You do not want to give yourself a hernia for no good reason do you? Didn't think so.


DancerTell, curiously, exactly what sort of training are you receiving in the 'small studio' located 'in the cellar' of your friend? (I wonder if it is legitimate instruction being provided by a qualified teacher, that's all.)

It's great that you want to take up ballet and a friend is willing to show you the basics for all the right reasons, but if you are actually serious (wish to be taken seriously) and were to attend a conventional adult program, then probably the type of clothing appropriate for you for the setting would generally be set out in some kind of a formal or informal school dress code. (Rarely, I think, would a legitimate, knowledgable teacher provide a 24 y.o. male beginner with inappropriate cross gender clothing items and advice, such as trying out attire intended to be worn by and in the same manner as a young female student.)

Depending on the fabric fibres used, footed (and unfooted or convertible) dance tights can have either a more matte or a more reflective look to them once they are stretched taut over one's legs, regardless of whether the product is intended primarily for male or for female dancers. What is important for guys is that the material is opaque enough (and not necessarily how thick: some very thin material can be quite opaque nowadays), not whether it is shiny. Unless your school or show choreographer/costumer specifies otherwise, the choice of matte/shiny is left up to the dancer. (Sheer dance tights (commonly worn by females) generally do not provide modest coverage of the glutes / backside, especially when flexing the torso forward in grand port de bras. But the fabric of a full seat leotard covers the rump.)

There's not a lot of evidence showing that dancing can lead to hernias, so you can relax I think. Here's but one of many explanations of inguinal herniations, a structural weakness. www.emedicinehealth.com . . .

There are several ways to keep one's tights held up securely, including wearing an elastic waist band, using elastic suspenders and wearing a leo top externally, though the latter is not generally considered to be the convention for male presenting dancers.

There are advantages and benefits to guys training while wearing both leo tops and (fitted) T-shirt tops as well as athletic compression shirts. Since you have been given a leotard to try, you might as well test it out (wearing it OVER the tights, as a younger girl would, in order to keep the tights held up) to see whether wearing it is to your liking and whether it fits you properly. You'll be training in a cellar with a friend so nobody will care what you have on, right? The color, the sleeves, the neck line, etc. ... there's no one to pass judgement on you. So wear whatever you feel the most comfortable in.

You are not subject to public conventions if you are doing private lessons. If you feel comfortable in the attire of (and given to you by) a young female dancer and can learn ballet technique effectively while wearing same and presenting as a female, who is going to fault you? But in order to receive correct instruction, you might want to look into enrolling in a formalized program where dress codes can be referenced.

Good luck with your private lessons.
re: Double post
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Mon May 08, 2017 12:55 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2017-05-08 13:08:08
ERROR: Double post
MOD: please remove, thanks.
re: Ballet tights
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Mon May 08, 2017 02:19 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2017-05-08 14:32:37
Dancertell wrote:

I've stuck with a white t-shirt as opposed to the leotard as advised; but stuck with the footed black lycra tights with white socks. The lycra ones are much more comfier than the others


DancerTell, it seems like you are enjoying your beginning ballet experience and trying on different types of female dance wear, comfy and not so comfy.

But you are missing the point (by picking and choosing selected advice out of context): if you opt for a fitted white t-shirt (that should reach no lower than the top of your pelvis, so that your hips, lower front torso and glutes are unobsured for corrections) WHILE you are wearing sheer women's tights rather than opaque men's tights, you are not properly attired in terms of modesty, for example when you bend over in grand port de bras. You are combining half a male (upper body) with half a female (lower body) types of clothing. Plus your tights are not being held up, which isn't great for training seriously.

So get either a male or a female outfit that you enjoy wearing in private, but don't mix the two together, unless of course your ballet interest revolves around your enthusiasm for wearing comfy clothing irrespective of conventional gender norms.
re: Ballet tights
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sat Jun 10, 2017 07:22 PM
It's just a friend who has danced for years it's nothing formal, she is just teaching me the basics as a friend. She wants me to take part in a class and is getting me prepared
As for the tights, she had some extra pairs and suggested they would be easier to dance in
re: Ballet tights
By CinderEmma Comments: 135, member since Mon Sep 05, 2016
On Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:32 AM
Edited by CinderEmma (277630) on 2017-06-12 11:33:41 To change a word.
Yeah...no dancer can ever have too many tights! Especially FREE ones! Tights wear out fast and buying tights over and over again gets to be
most expensive!
re: Ballet tights
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sun Jun 18, 2017 04:31 PM
The tights are opaque as they are lycra, I prefer these as they are the comfiest and they are footed, I also opted for the leotard which I wear over the tights
re: Ballet tights
By rmdanceguy1 Comments: 903, member since Sat Nov 19, 2005
On Mon Jun 26, 2017 04:36 PM
I agree with Stormtrooper. If you are truly serious about ballet classes, you really should take a class at a studio with an experienced teacher who can teach you proper technique so injuries or bad habits do not form since you are starting out as a beginner.

It is great that your friend wants to help you out of class. It is great you are getting dance wear from her, but the recommendation to wear mens dance wear holds true.
re: Ballet tights
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sat Jul 15, 2017 07:22 PM
I have started a proper class now with a teacher. There is 6 of us in it and im the only male. The class is really good, i wear the footed lycra tights with white socks and was recently encouraged by one of the girls in class to wear a leotard over the tights instead of a tshirt. My teacher had a spare purple leotard and said to just wear it over tje tights as it was easier and more comfier
re: Ballet tights
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sat Jul 15, 2017 07:32 PM
Thanks for your advice, the tights are just basic footed shiny lycra ones my friend said they are unisex. They feel great and are really comfortable, my friend leaves hers on around her house and i leave mine on now aswell
re: Ballet tights
By Dancertell Comments: 12, member since Sat Apr 01, 2017
On Sat Jul 15, 2017 07:39 PM
Ha cool, the more tights the better

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