When looking for your first dance leotard or whether you’re replacing an old one, there is a wide range to choose from. There are also a number of factors to think about so this article looks at what purpose you need your leotard for and how this may affect what style you choose.
Whether you are looking for a dance leotard for general dance class this will differ in comparison to whether you want a leotard for a recital or other dance performance.
Generally, leotards as part of a performance will involve a particular theme. Some dancers and their teachers are excellent costume designers themselves, being able to produce costumes completely representing the dance or show that they are performing in. Another way of making your costume better reflect the music you are dancing to, is to add sequins or lace to a basic leotard. You can also use face and body paint to add to the illusion that you’re are trying to create.
The use of colour is particularly important in costume production for a show. Nylon lycra leotards are usually a better choice due to nylon lycra offering more colours than cotton lycra. Also, nylon lycra colours tend to be much bolder and brighter, and there are even fluorescent colours available. With improvements in fabric printing, you can get leotards made in Rainbow Print, Polka Dot, Harlequin, Camouflage and a range of Animal Prints. This better aids your ability to help your audience depict what your performance is about.
There is an even greater style of leotards which you can get made in different fabrics. Long sleeved, short sleeved, gathered bustlines, polo neck etc. A new style which has slightly longer legs, called boy cut legs, is great for performers who want something that will cover their bottom a bit more. Companies such as Dance Gear manufacture such leotards and unitards in a range of different fabrics.
In comparison, when you are performing in a general dance class, you need to concentrate on comfort. For ballet beginners, most dance teachers will choose a ballet leotard as part of the uniform, which is generally basic and durable in style. This is often a basic short sleeved leotard with matching skirt or a sleeveless leotard with ballet tights or socks. Older students will generally wear a black leotard sleeveless leotard with ballet tights. If you have no uniform restrictions then you have a whole host of leotards you can choose from.
Bloch, Capezio and Roch Valley have been introducing more and more exciting leotards to try, which can be worn for a variety of different styles. Some styles do look more balletic particularly if worn in soft neutral colours, but more exciting colours and styles have been introduced for other forms of dance or contemporary dance. If being worn for regular use, remember to try these on and see if the leotard stays in place by doing some simple movements.
Remember to check with your dance school whether they have a uniform list before searching for your next leotard in case you have restrictions on what you can wear, but the Internet is a great place for you to start your search for your next leotard.