Tips on Choosing the Right Legwear for Your Ballet Class

So, you’ve decided to start ballet classes. Congratulations! For your ballet classes, you will probably need to get some ballet clothing (check with your studio or teacher what they require and what they allow). Ballet clothing that you will probably need to get includes a leotard, dance legwear and shoes. In this post, we will focus on dance legwear.

Dance Legwear

Most ballet classes require their students to wear dance legwear to allow the teacher to see the students legs and muscles clearly. Because dance legwear come in different types, getting to know a little bit of them will help you choose which dance legwear to buy. Again, check with your studio or ballet teacher their preferred colour and styles.

Types of Dance Legwear

Footed – they cover every centimetre of the feet, ankles and leg. Similar to stockings what differs this type is that it is made of a more durable fabric;
Footless – tights that are cut off at the ankle;
Convertible – this tight has a small hole under the foot to allow the user to either make it into a footed-tight, or roll-up around their ankles. These tights offer the benefits of wearing them to and from class and allow for adjustment to ballet pointe shoe pads;
Stirrup Tights – come with a hole cut out under the heel;
Seamed – feature a back seam;
Body Tights – they cover everything from the neck down. Body tights can have cami straps or be long-sleeved.


Dance legwear can be made from different kinds of fabrics including Supplex, Lycra, Microfiber, Nylon, etc. Deciding on which material to choose is really a personal choice. Nylon tights are more traditional but they tend to bag at the knees. Supplex with Lycra, on the other hand, don’t bag at the knees and are soft and nice. Microfiber tights have similar characteristics to Supplex with Lycra.

Colours and Their Uses

  • Ballet Pink – used for ballet
  • Salmon Pink – also used for ballet
  • Tan – used for jazz, tap
  • Toast – used for physical culture, physie
  • Black/White – different uses

Gloss or Shimmer Dance Legwear

These tights have a shiny glossy finish and are only used for performance work. They are available in different styles (footed, footless, convertible and stirrup) but have no limited stretch and are not as durable as other tights. They also snag easily, so make sure you get an extra pair with you when performing.

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