A Dancer’s Guide to Finding the Right Underwear

When we think of a dance costume, we immediately picture layers of floating tulle and sparkling sequins. It’s all about the wow factor we get when we first see the finished look of a beautiful dancer on the scene, ready to perform. We rarely think if the dancer’s wearing underwear or not. Dance undergarments may not seem to fit in the sparkly picture; however, not selecting the right ones can easily turn the wow factor into more of an ow.

Should Dancers Wear Underwear?

There’s a general belief that dancers don’t wear underwear. Some of the reasons for this may be the no panties rules that some dance schools have or the see-through nature of tights and leotards. However, it’s only a misconception. Although there may be situations that require wearing nothing under their costumes (this is especially true for very young dancers), most of the time, dancers should wear well-fitting underwear.

Dancewear massively impacts your dancing performance: it can highlight your moves or distract you from them. It has a great say in how you look on stage too. The same goes for the right underwear. If choosing a costume is critical, finding the right underwear that goes well with that specially crafted outfit is vital. So, how can you find the right pieces for you?

Types of Dance Underwear

ballerinas in underwear
Source: mamamia.com.au

Coming in various styles, cuts and colours, high-quality dance underwear designed with the dancer in mind should make you feel most comfortable, supported and confident as you step on the stage. Here’s the general breakdown.


Designed to be worn as either an undergarment in its own right, costume accessory or costume of its own, you can find endless briefs opportunities. The high-waist options highlight the natural body lines, while the low-leg lines enhance comfort and breathability.

If your costume requires discreet dancewear underwear, high-cut briefs may be the best option for you. Out of the vast tone range, choose the one that best suits your needs, meaning the one closest to your skin tone for a smooth finish. The high-cut leg-line makes for a discreet look under your dancewear or costume.

Do you wear underwear under a leotard for dance? It depends on your choice and preferences. But if you’re after a seamless transition from your tights to your leotard, consider seamless briefs so you won’t worry about them poking out from underneath your leotard. The seamless finish prevents any extra bulk, which adds to their invisibility.


G-strings have the same high cut leg-line as most briefs, but the g-string cut further enhances its invisibility. Usually coming in a seamless finish, they won’t display any bulk. Older dancers prefer dance underwear like g-strings over briefs, especially under dancewear or costume.


ballerina wearing a black dance bra
Source: whowhatwear.co.uk

There are a variety of bras and crops to choose from, whether you want minimal coverage or full support. Convertible bra tops and those with a clear back bra have under-bust elastic, while costume bras usually have underwired cups for additional support without sacrificing comfort or fit.

You can wear both options under costumes and leotards. Models with clear, movable straps across the back and the shoulders will allow you to customise the fit while maintaining maximum invisibility. The variety of colours and fabrics has made finding the ideal crop or bra for your needs simple.


A body stocking is what you need if you want something that covers more of your entire body. You can choose from seamless alternatives or double-fronted with detachable cups, depending on your demands for support and coverage.

Due to their low backs and adjustable multiway straps, increasing their adaptability and fit, you can easily hide them under leotards and costumes. The thin fabrics and the bodystocking design can assist you without sacrificing performance.

Crop Tops and Shorts

The crop tops and shorts combination is perfect for achieving an undergarment look without wearing an undergarment. Neutral colour tones make them another choice for undergarments or a minimal costume option. Choose shorts with a flattering and comfortable straight waistband and a crop with the same under-bust elastic as the dance bras with a double front for extra support. Options with a simple round neck are popular for younger dancers.

Dance Belts

Male dancers should always wear a dancing belt underneath their tights starting at puberty. The recommendation is to wear one even if they are not wearing tights. A dance belt should be as close to invisible as possible while smoothing out the inevitable male bulge so it won’t draw attention from the performance.

When choosing a dance belt, opt for one once it’s on and adjusted, nothing moves inside it. The right size for you is the one that preserves its shape on you regardless of the stretching, leaping, and contortions you engage.

What to Look for When Choosing Dance Underwear?

ballerinas in dance attire
Source: permanent365.gq


Stick to nude and light colours when choosing underwear. Wheat, salmon pink and theatrical pink are tones that flawlessly match any tight colour, being the perfect brief for exams, competitions and concerts. Such nudes similar to your skin tone won’t look bad even if the underwear pops out of the costume.

If you decide on dark-coloured pieces, ask someone to take a look when you’re in an area with bright lighting because it can occasionally show through (especially if the dress is a light hue).


Choosing dance underwear with moisture management properties will keep you dry while working hard. Opt for durable fabrics that are comfortable and supportive, such as cotton blends and spandex/microfibre.

The Takeout

You’ll look amazing on stage and project professionalism if you have a polished appearance, which includes the proper undergarments. Any form of revealing underwear is inappropriate on stage. To avoid costume malfunctions and to ensure that your performance is deemed acceptable, it is also crucial to wear the proper undergarments.