What Ballet Leotard is Best for Me?

What Ballet Leotard is Best for Me?

What Ballet Leotard is Best for Me?

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 a “what ballet is best for me?” quiz so that you can find the best ballet leotard for you or your child.

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 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 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 color provides an elegant continual line.

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.

Which Ballet Leotard is Best for Me? Quiz

If you still aren’t sure which leotard to choose, take our ‘which ballet leotard is best for me’ quiz to help you decide.

Is your dancer a toddler?

Parents of younger dancers will often agree that a tutu dress or skirted leotard is the best ballet leotard for toddlers.

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!

Is your dancer a child?

When children start regular dance classes, their teacher may request specific leotards. Exam boards usually require a standard ballet leotard for exams, too.

Starting around the age of seven, children will often stop wearing a skirt at their ballet classes. Instead, dancers will wear a simple tank or short sleeve leotard so that the teacher can see their movements and alignments more clearly and so that the dancers are comfortable in class. Children may progress to wearing camisole leotards later in their training, which provides a more elegant, grown-up line.

If you are purchasing a leotard for a child, a simple strapped or sleeved leotard is usually the best option. A standard leotard, such as a children’s cami leotard, allows the teacher to see clearly, ensuring the child’s technique is safe and correct.

Are you a teenage or student dancer?

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.

Do you plan on performing or auditioning?

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.

While Bloch performance leotards are perfect for on-stage wear, they can also be worn in dance classes frequently—without losing any quality. It’s smart to have a performance leotard option in your closet for occasions when you want to put on a good impression, such as auditions.

Do you often get cold in the studio?

If you are prone to getting cold in in your dancewear or live in an area with cooler temperatures, leotard options with more coverage may be a good choice for you. A leotard with a sleeve that covers the dancer’s shoulders, such as a long sleeve option, is useful for keeping warm. If you prefer to keep your shoulders visible, a halter leotard with a zipped-up style can help with coverage.

Will you wear a bra with your 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.

If you prefer to wear a bra with your ballet leotard, you ideally don’t want bra 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.

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.

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 favorite.