Male Dance Essentials
Most dancewear is available in both female and male designs, including dance shoes and accessories. Still, there are a few items that male dancers, in particular, should possess:
This is a major one – the dance belt.
As uncomfortable as it may initially feel, a dance belt is necessary underneath tights for male ballet dancers, and is also often worn underneath long pants by male modern dancers.
This undergarment is a replacement for underwear while dancing, and mimics the shape of either a brief or thong. Most dancers use the thong version to avoid underwear lines and for less restriction to the rear muscles. Since dance belts are made differently from underwear, however, it is best for male dancers to purchase one size bigger than their normal underwear size.
Dance belts are used to support and protect the male genitalia, as well as to conceal the appearance or outline of the male anatomy while performing. Thus, the audience is not distracted by a visual of or movement in the crotch area. The dance belt creates a smooth, seamless bulge and holds everything completely in place.
Many studios will not require men to wear a leotard, although leotards are available for male dancers. However, dance instructors will want to get the best view of the male dancer’s form, including the positioning of his arms. For this reason, tank tops are ideal for male dancers given that they showcase the arms and upper body. Dancers are not restricted by sleeves and the instructor can still check for any mistakes in the dancer’s form.
Tights or Jazz Pants
Here again, tights and jazz pants are available for the female dancer, but are also essential for male dancers.
Men’s tights - which are typically thicker than female tights - are designed in various styles, including footed, footless, and convertible. Most male dancers prefer footless tights for ballet technique training and footed for performances.
Tights for men generally come in black or white - white typically reserved for a staged ballet – but other basic colors like gray and navy blue may be found as well.
Some male dancers prefer to wear their tights underneath long pants, or opt for only jazz pants, especially if dancing a genre other than ballet. Jazz pants cut for men are typically tailored for comfort and added length.