Guide to Choosing the Right Leotards for Ballet

Leotards have come a long way from the time they were made famous by the French acrobatic performer Jules Léotard. In the beginning, leotards were mainly won by performers in the circus and acrobatic shows. Then the leotard became a favorite style of swimwear, later adapted by professional dancers where they paired fancy, bright leotards with stockings.


It was only in the 1970s and 80s that the Leotard started gaining popularity in aerobics fashion. During this time, leotards were a runaway hit among students and practically everyone on the street.

The icon of aerobics videos, Jane Fonda, immortalized the garment, back in 1982, with a horizontal striped red-and-black leotard, which she wore on the cover of her first exercise video, “Jane Fonda’s Workout."

Today, the leotard has wholly taken the fitness world by storm with innovation in style, fabric, design, color thus making it a must-have in the wardrobe of dancers, athletes, gymnasts, acrobats, sports, by both men and women.

Although the leotard was primarily a garment worn by men, it is undoubtedly become more popular among women, over the years. Leotards worn by men, are slightly different in style and cut, depending on the wearer’s requirement.

How to choose the best leotard for children learning ballet:

Investing in the right dancewear and dance gear required for the class is as important as selecting the proper studio and teacher.

There are several types of leotards available today depending on the purpose ballet to gymnastics. Here we will cover leotards for ballet, and this guide would be of help to parents who are interested in enrolling their kids for ballet lessons.

Schools usually do have guidelines for their students regarding dance uniforms and other etiquettes. It’s not surprising that a leotard would probably feature among the top items in the checklist to get started.

Style & Size: The very first thing to determine is the style of the leotard that is prescribed for young dancers. The Bloch Chasse Seamed Tank Leotard is perfect for starting out.

A long sleeve leotard is also worth buying as the child progresses through the levels. Regarding style alone, there are several styles of leotards available for children, which can be considered for various purposes.

These leotards are styled keeping in mind that children need to feel comfortable and confident in their dance uniforms and costumes, given any condition.

While selecting the right leotards for kids, it is crucial that size is just right. You could try out leotards that are age appropriate and also check if the child is comfortable in it.

Buying a large size would not allow the child to move around freely without worrying about the dress and if it is too tight, it might tug at the shoulders or arms.

Once you have chosen the right size as per the brand, you will know the ones to pick each time.

Fabric: Leotards are mostly made with a blend of Cotton and Spandex, keeping in mind the comfort, stretch, and breathability. Leotards are hence made form-fitting, yet flexible material. Since materials like spandex and lycra can return to its original form, they are more durable in the long run and are hence value for money.

However, in case your child is not comfortable with any of the above materials you can also go in for a cotton leotard. Cotton leotards soak up moisture more than the microfiber fabrics.

Quality: There should be absolutely no compromise when it comes to the quality of leotards. Investing in a few good quality leotards is always a right decision especially if your child is interested in going to the next level in dance.  

Finally, ensure that you have leotards well planned for all the events and performances in the calendar. When your child starts learning ballet and moves into newer levels of learning and eventually performs on stage, you would want to see that your child’s costume is also in sync and it adds to their confidence on stage or in class.

Always purchase leotards with your child, so that he/she can try the one best suited in terms of size, fit, style and personality.

In conclusion, no matter what your style and your personal preference are. Spend some time in researching the quality, pricing and the right fit which is key to picking the right leotard.

You may or may not find the perfect one at the very first instance, but at least you can minimize the risk of ending up with a wrong one by following certain basic pointers.

Ultimately, it is also about the comfort that will give you the confidence to pursue ballet and grow in it.

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