Professional dance wear garments like unitards and leotards for men are created with the same emphasis on fit, comfort, aesthetics and professionalism as those for female dancers. Because the dance community is a concentrated group of artists where few make it to public acclaim,  you may not know that men wear ballet leotards at all, but they do.

One thing that both male and female dancers need is practice clothing that allows for a complete range of motion. It really isn't too farfetched when you learn that leotards were invented by a man to be worn by men. I have included a few tidbits about leotard history at the bottom of this page.

The intense training for ballet and other professional performing arts are just as difficultArtem Ovcharenko in RaymondaCredit: By Ирина Лепнёва (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons for the male roles as the female roles. Men in dance careers have to make it look easy and effortless on stage. It takes a lifetime of dedication and daily practice to become a great dancer.

Many dancers almost live in their practice clothes as they go from one class to the next and from one rehearsal to the other. Leotards, tights and shoes need to last, be comfortable, easy to care for and make the body lines look fabulous.

Whether male or female, the right leotard should be the perfect combination of  easy-care, comfortable materials like high-quality cotton and Lycra blends.

It also makes sense to find reputable dance supply manufacturers that offer durable garments that are going to last awhile. Dance training is expensive and so are the accessories that dancers need to perfect their technique.

V-Neck Leotard With A Built-In Dance Belt

Classic, traditional and professional aesthetics

With  professional dance academies, stricter dress codes may require the male dancer to wear white tops with their tights. It is a time-honored tradition for young boys in Russian schools to wear white t-shirts and tights to class.

Because dance training requires extensive movement, regular t-shirts ride up and come out of tights. You have to wear a garment that stays in place throughout barre work, center work, jumps and variation practice.

 Ivan by Wear Moi

This white leotard mimics the look of a snug t-shirt perfectly. This is the kind of clean, professional dance garment that fits the body like a glove and meets the high standards of  dress code that many top-notch schools have.  I love the polished  and professional lines of this leotard.

Mens "Ivan" V-Neck Leotard with Built-In Dance Belt,WM125WHTM,White,Medium
Amazon Price: $36.00 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 25, 2015)
The male dancer's classic practice garment with dance belt and thong back style for freedom of movement.

Trendy Zip-Front Garment By Wear Moi

Euro-style design that acentuates the dancer's form

Although a male dancer may or may not do a routine dance practice wearing his garment as shown in this picture, you can see how sleek and aesthetically pleasing it fits the body.

 Not only does this leotard work for dance practice, it can go from class to street without looking out-of-place. The v-neck styling gives this garment an attractive European fashion vibe.

Condor by Wear Moi

Zip-front features are really a personal preference in a male garment. This one happens to have enough style to look good outside of the dance studio under regular street clothes. It would definitely work with athletic warm up suits or jogging pants and jeans.

Mens "Condor" Zip Front Leotard with Built-In Dance Belt,WM122BLKM,Black,Medium
Amazon Price: $41.50 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 25, 2015)
Comfortable fabric and easy to put on and take off. The dance belt provides excellent support.

The inspiring dedication of the male ballet student

Men's Full Body Tank Unitard

Practical and popular for many dance genres

Men's Tank UnitardCredit: www.discountdance.comThe full-body tank suit is a design that has a lot of versatility in the performing arts world.

Both female and male dancers of many different genres use this garment.

 Unitards are used as a stand-alone work-out garment for class, or can be worn as part of a costume for modern, lyrical, ballet and other types of dance.

This particular design is manufactured by Allen's Bodywear. The deep armhole design is perfect for total freedom of movement during port de bras exercises and partnering.

Unitards are practical because they allow you to keep your leg muscles warm without having to wear several layers at the same time. Maybe they aren't for every class situation, but they make an excellent addition to a dancer's wardrobe.


Interesting Tidbits About The History Of The Leotard

Jules Léotard made his maillot design for men

  • Jules LeotardCredit: By The Anome at en.wikipedia Later versions were uploaded by Iain at en.wikipedia. [Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsYes, there really was an inventor of the leotard and that was his name; Mr. J. Léotard.
  • He called his fabulous creation the Maillot, which means bodysuit in French.
  • His creative Maillot design evolved into today's bathing suit.
  • Although body-hugging clothes are no big deal today, in 1859-60, it was a news-worthy invention. Women must have swooned to see men in such tight clothing.
  • They say that necessity is the mother of invention; nowhere is this more true than how the leotard came to be .
  • Little did he know how many sports and performing arts genres would embrace his body-hugging invention.
  • Swimmers, figure skaters, dancers and gymnasts can all thank  Jules Léotard the next time they put on a swimsuit, leotard or ice skating costume.


A Practical Basic For The Male Dancer

The Cotton Tank

 Men's Cotton Tank LeotardCredit: www.discountdance.comCotton tank leotards are a staple for both male and female dancers.  This design by Baltogs is perfect for ballet practice, yoga classes, or any type of exercise class.

Find out more about the Baltogs men's basic leotard, check sizes or see other styles here.

Cotton materials are breathable, comfortable and wick sweat away during strenuous training. I love the clean aesthetics of a tank leotard.

This garment is made of 92% cotton 8% Lycra for stretch and fit. The dancer is wearing his tank leo under tights; a professional, polished look for any serious dance artist.