Real Men's Dancewear - Ballet Wear for Men

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Male ballet dancers have never been as well served by men's dancewear suppliers as female dancers. From researching my male dancer friends, it seems that finding basic things like a comfortable, supportive dance belt or a unitard that doesn't disappear up your ... is not nearly as straightforward as it should be.

So what is available?

Men's Dance Belts

Capezio Men's Full-seat Dance Brief
Capezio Men's Full-seat Dance Brief

This style is for those of you who don't like that uncomfortable bit of floss at the back - but I have only one word for you: VPL. Ladies are well acquainted with the dreaded Visible Panty Line, and a full-bottomed dance belt is likely to give you one - not a good look in tights.

 

Some men may have trouble getting the sizing right in this style - if you have big glutes, the back coverage simply won't be adequate in your normal waist size. Why manufacturers make these things for the average man's butt rather than a muscled dancer's shape, I have no idea!

Of course, you'd buy the full style if you're dancing contemporary and using it as a costume - but then, order at least one size larger.

Thong Style Dance Belt

A thong may not be the most comfortable thing in the world, but under costumes, it's the most practical.

If you like a cotton belt, Capezio's quilt front dance belt is a good option, as the addition of lycra will help it keep its shape and provide support for longer. However, for the ultimate in comfort, you should also consider the M Stevens dance belt (below).

Mens Dance Belt with Thong Back,1007BLKL,Black,Large
Mens Dance Belt with Thong Back,1007BLKL,Black,Large

Everyone who buys one of these dance belts reports how amazing it feels, as though you're wearing nothing at all. Unfortunately, some men find the support is lacking. Whether that applies to you depends on what you're used to (and perhaps on your size, but that's a discussion I'm not getting into...).

 

For every man who says this dance belt isn't supportive, you'll find someone who reckons it is. One dedicated user solves the problem by wearing two at once - so if you like the idea of wearing what feels like a second skin, that may be a solution!

Men's Unitards

There aren't many unitards designed specifically for men. Yumiko is a name causing some buzz in ballet circles with their range of handmade, custom dancewear. They also make a limited range of ready-to-wear items, and their range for men, especially, is worth seeking out. They have men's unitards in the range. Quality is excellent and since the range is designed by a dancer, you know it will work.

Men's Leotards

There's a real lack of decent men's leotards. Most men wear leotards inside their tights, anyway, so why not go for a figure-hugging T-shirt instead, and avoid the wedgie?

If you must have a leotard, you'll have to resort to "unisex" leotards, which are often just ladies' leotards re-labelled. While men can get away with wearing women's unitards, female leotards are often too skimpy around the butt and crotch even in the largest size. Look for Milliskin material, to give you the best chance of achieving a wearable fit.

Men's Tights

Tights are an easier option, and available in suspender, footed, and footless varieties from several manufacturers specifically for men.

Tall men may find Capezio's men's tights aren't long enough in the leg, even in large sizes, so my recommendation would be M. Stevens' Milliskin tights. Yes, they are unisex - but the four-way stretch mean they fit the longest legs effortlessly, and they're featherlight without being see-through.

Adult Unisex Milliskin Footed Tights,1099WHTXL,White,XL
Adult Unisex Milliskin Footed Tights,1099WHTXL,White,XL

The other great thing about these tights is they take dye well, so they're the perfect tights for performance while still being durable and comfortable enough for class.

 

Speaking of tights, here's what some members of the Anaheim Ballet have to say about them...

Ballet Shoes

I notice that many male dancers seem to prefer canvas shoes. Canvas ballet shoes are less expensive than leather - but of course, they also wear out faster (though gaffer tape can do wonders to extend their life!!). It's a matter of personal choice.

These Grishko canvas flats are not unisex, they're men's shoes which means they fit much better. Split sole.

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Comments 7 comments

_DANE_YOUSSEF_ profile image

_DANE_YOUSSEF_ 14 months ago from California

IS WEARING TIGHTS STILL such a stigmata for males? I guess it is, considering the fact that there’s still this horrendous uneasiness every boy goes through when he has to “suit up.” The average boy’s process of thinking is, “First, they’ll try to force you into tights. Then, they’ll try to put a tutu on you. Then make-up… and before you know it, you’ll be a full-blow girl! Your penis and testicle will disappear!”

Boys see their mothers and the women in their family wearing tights… and they seem so feminine, so designed to distinct women as… women. Make legs look feminine and… flawless.

… And yes, ballet is an especially feminine art form. I remember some woman at the ballet studio saying, “It is the one of the few girl sports there is—that women are just traditionally biologically designed to be better at. And men still get more attention and worship and are in such demand in ballet because there’s so precious few of them willing to do it. In major league sports, the guys still get paid so much more, it’s a direct insult. The girls don’t have as nearly as big an audience as the boys do. Whenever there's a man willing to do it--and do it well, he gets all the praise. They'll just give a boy a lead role because there's a drought. Just like out there in the dating scene. Men's bodies aren't traditionally so equipped to do ballet. And they're usually such babies about putting on those tights--just like they are about picking up tampons or pads. Unless those guys are gay. Then they can't WAIT to put on tights! And make-up! And maybe they'll even throw on a tutu or two! Gay men do have that perfect feminine sensibility. They do make the best dance partners--except for the Russians. Just keep THAT in mind."

Strong words, Name Omitted. Strong insightful words.

OK, so here it is… It’s ballet. You pretty much only have to wear ‘em when you perform… or when the instructor demands a dress code. Look, where whatever you want… if they let you. Where whatever helps your performance. Tights give you the maximum allowment of movement. They do help with circulation. And… yes, they hide any leg imperfections. They keep the legs warm enough. And they will absorb sweat in a subtle enough way so it's not so obvious you're pretty much sweating to death! And seeing as how ballet is centuries old--and so are a lot of the ballets that are still danced today, the classical plotted storied stuff--"Nutcracker," "Sleeping Beauty," "Swan Lake," "Giselle," "Romeo & Juliet"-- people wore tights back then--including the men. They've been dancing these roles since these ballets weren't period roles, they were "present day stuff."

Tights in ballet… well, it’s an institution. I guess a necessity. Try wearing footless tights with socks at first--thin tube socks that allow the feet freedom of movement... Just... wear whatever's right. Dress... appropriately...

---Sincere As Always... and Merde, Dane Youssef


_DANE_YOUSSEF_ profile image

_DANE_YOUSSEF_ 2 years ago from California

THE REAL HERO'S UTILITY BELT by Dane Youssef

If a guy's willing to wear the standard jock-strap in any other sport, he should know--and be comfortable enough--to wear the "dance-belt." Keep in mind that ballet truly is…the ultimate sport.

If the boy asks, “Why?” Just tell him… “It’s just like wearing a jock-strap.” And have his father tell him what happens when one—any jock---plays virtually any sport without wearing a jock. Except boxing, of course. Or let him see himself what happens.

Yes, ballet is a sport. In fact, it’s the ultimate sport. It makes anything else—even those sports that involve riding down snowy cliffs at break-neck speed or driving vehicles that have no speed limit.

A man should protect himself. Just like the woman keeps her toes taped and padded with gel inserts and cotton balls when she does Pointe. Have that belt and made a nice firm cup over it at the same time. Accidents can happen. A guy needs less protection (just like anything else in life), but he still needs it. Women need more accessories when it comes to doing anything… and this is certainly no exception.

Tell the boys that they can dance. Tell them they’re supposed to. Ladies… ask them to dance with you. Tell them that they have a place in ballet… An important place…

--As Always, Dane Youssef


_DANE_YOUSSEF_ profile image

_DANE_YOUSSEF_ 2 years ago from California

THE REAL HERO’S UTILITY BELT by Dane Youssef

If a guy’s willing to wear the standard jock-strap in any other sport, he should know–and be comfortable enough–to wear the “dance-belt.” Keep in mind that ballet is a sport–the most brutal one of all. And like anything else, the men need A LOT LESS ACCESSORIES than the women do.

If the boy asks, “Why?” Just tell him… “It’s just like wearing a jock-strap.” And have his father tell him what happens when one—any jock—plays virtually any sport without wearing a jock. Except boxing, of course. Or let him see himself what happens.

Yes, ballet is a sport. In fact, it’s the ultimate sport. It makes anything else—even those sports that involve riding down snowy cliffs at break-neck speed or driving vehicles that have no speed limit.

A man should protect himself. Just like the woman keeps her toes taped and padded with gel inserts and cotton balls when she does Pointe. Have that belt and made a nice firm cup over it at the same time. Accidents can happen. A guy needs less protection (just like anything else in life), but he still needs it.

Tell the boys that they can dance. Tell them they’re supposed to. Ladies… ask them to dance with you. Tell them that they have a place in ballet… An important place…

–With Infinite Sincerity, Dane Youssef


_DANE_YOUSSEF_ profile image

_DANE_YOUSSEF_ 4 years ago from California

by Dane Youssef

I hear from oh-so, so, so many--usually male, X chromosome and all--who say they WANTED to take ballet when they were younger. But of course, if they had, they surely would've been killed once the word got out. Once the secret is revealed (and it always is, no matter what), the other children will brutally rape, lynch and crustily any boy who dares even to show the slightest interest in anything ballet-related.

Why? Any guy who wears pantyhose and house slippers and prances about for any given reason... well, there is no justifiable cause, is there? Not even if it's an art form, not even if it's your life passion. Not even if there are countries where those who dare to dance "the ballet" are right up there with the football, baseball, basketball and hockey right here in the U.S.

Ballet is a men's sport, too. And that's not just this ballerino here, speaking. For ballet's sake's, some of the most famous ever to dance the dance were men. Vaslav Njinsky, Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Martins, Edward Villella, Alexander Godunov, Ethan Stiefel, Sasha Radetsky and Vladmir Makalov. And that's just to name but a few. I doubt you reading would want to go through the entire Encyclopedia.

Point is--the boys do have their place, just like all the women who've been screaming for a spot in the mainstream mostly dominated by the male sex for the last few centuries. The ladies are the stars, and they ARE much better equipped. But... ballet is unisex now. Oh, what am I saying? It has been for quite some time. So... don't you think it's time a lot of us finally embraced it already? If not now, in the Marvel age... the 21st century... then when?

--For Every Boy Who Dared To Dance... Dance "The Ballet," Dane Youssef


michael colucci 5 years ago

Hey girls. Just wanted to post that there is a new all men's and boy's dancewear website that is amazing! www.boysdancetoo.com


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 6 years ago from Sydney Author

Kimberly, I couldn't find any good photos of male dancers, but I found a wonderful ballet photographer and have been using her photos in all my other ballet Hubs!


kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

Marisa each ballet hub brings me back many wonderful memories and the hubs are beautifully art directed.

Bravo

Kimberly

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