For any ballet dancer, a leotard is an essential piece of your dance wardrobe. But with so many different options available, how do you find the perfect leotard for your needs?
Whether you’re just starting out in dance or you’re looking for a new leotard for a big performance, we have all the information you need. Here, we’re breaking down all the different types of leotards that are available, along with advice on choosing the best ballet leotard for you.
How do you pick a ballet leotard?
Most of the time, picking a ballet leotard comes down to personal preference. While your dance school may have a uniform, it’s often a personal choice for teen and adult dancers to decide what is the most comfortable leotard for dance class.
A dance leotard should be comfortable and flexible, allowing you to move and dance freely. The straps should fit snugly without digging into or slipping off of your shoulders when you move, and your teacher should be able to see your movements and technique easily.
How tight should a ballet leotard be?
A ballet leotard’s fit should be snug but not too tight. It should be comfortable, fitting like a second skin without any excess fabric, creases or wrinkles. While it should be snug, a ballet leotard shouldn’t dig in, be too tight, or limit movements – the most important thing is that it is flexible and allows comfort when dancing.
What is the best leotard brand for ballet?
It is always a wise to choose a high-quality leotard from a trusted dance brand, such as Bloch. When purchasing from Bloch, you can be assured that not only are you buying a leotard that is designed with dancers in mind for perfect fit and function, but that it is also made from the highest quality materials with excellent stitching. A leotard from Bloch will withstand many washes and wears and still look beautiful.
What are the different types of ballet leotard?
There are many different types of ballet leotards to choose from, depending on the dancer's age, occasion and preference. Here are some of the most popular options:
- Cami leotard
A camisole leotard comes with straps that are often adjustable and offers a simple option with clean lines. Cami leotards can have thin or wide straps and can feature straight or low, open backs.
- Tank leotard
A tank leotard is another classic option that comes with thicker, tank straps. Tank leotards are often the most popular dance school uniform as this style is considered the most comfortable and makes for a perfect, no-fuss option.
- Halter leotard
Halter leotards have a halter neckline. They often have a small stand-up collar made of soft material or have short zippers, which can be worn up or down as the dancer prefers. Zipped down halter leotards offer increased ventilation and zipped up halter leotards are useful in colder studios. This style of leotard can be useful for dancers with a fuller chest, as it offers more support due to the increased fabric over the chest area.
- Sleeve leotard
You can choose from short sleeve leotards, which include cap sleeve leotards, or long sleeve leotards, depending on your preference. Long sleeve leotards smooth the upper body, and the elongated colour provides an elegant continual line. Long sleeve leotards are also useful for keeping warm during colder temperatures.
Short sleeve leotards provide some coverage of the upper arms. Another very popular choice is a cap sleeve leotard, which sits slightly more open on the neckline and has pretty sleeves that cover the shoulders and only a part of the upper arm.
- Ballet tutu dress
A ballet tutu dress is a leotard that comes with a built-in tulle skirt. It offers a classic ‘ballerina’ look for performances and is popular for younger dancers just starting class for the first time.
- Skirted leotard
A skirted leotard comes with a built-in skirt and is popular with younger dancers. It doesn’t offer the same layering and ‘poof’ as a tutu, but it does give younger children something to hold onto in class. It’s more convenient than a separate leotard and skirt as the two pieces are one.
- Support bra leotard
These come with additional built-in bust support for a comfortable, secure fit.
- Adjustable strap leotard
Adjustable strap leotards are a good, versatile option for class. They can be adapted from a cami to a criss-cross style, which can be helpful if you switch between ballet and other dance styles, and it adds variety in your dancewear.
What are the best ballet leotards for toddlers?
Do you have a toddler just getting started with dance? Parents of younger dancers and toddlers will often opt for tutus or skirted leotard options.
A ballet tutu dress offers an adorable look that little dancers will love. They come with an attached tulle skirt to give that classic ‘ballerina’ look that younger children get excited about. For something a little more streamlined, you can also choose a ballet leotard with a skirt. This offers a leotard and skirt combination, but with a single-layer skirt. Again, this comes attached to the leotard, so you don’t have to worry about it coming loose or getting lost—perfect for toddlers!
What are the best leotards for teenage or vocational student dancers?
Tank and cami styles are great everyday training options for teenagers and vocational ballet students. These basic leotards are simple, comfortable and aren’t distracting while you’re working on your technique. If you’re performing, auditioning or just want to add a special leotard to your wardrobe, we recommend exploring performance leotards, as these leotards are adorned with additional detailing and embellishment.
Can you wear a bra with a leotard?
For older dancers, the question of whether or not you can wear a bra with a leotard is common. The answer is: it depends on the leotard.
Ideally, you don’t want straps showing alongside your leotard straps. This means some styles, such as cami strap leotards, aren’t preferred. Other leotard styles, including sleeved and tank leotards, come with thicker straps and higher backs so you can wear a bra without it showing. You can buy specific dance bras, which are similar to sports bras. Many come with clear straps, so they aren’t as visible when worn with a leotard.
For the best of both worlds, you can choose a support bra leotard that comes with built-in supportive shelving, for a comfortable, practical option.
Ballet leotards from Bloch
Are you looking for a new dance leotard? Whether you’re stocking up on your basics, need a stand-out option for a competition or just looking to treat yourself to a pretty leotard, we have a huge range of stunning, high-quality options. Explore our full collections of children’s dance leotards and adults dance leotards to discover your new favourite.