Ballet Leotards – A Wonderful Piece of Dancewear

Adult's LeotardsChildren's Leotards

The ballet leotard is a truly wonderful piece of dancewear. Its snug formfitting qualities make it completely flexible and ever-adaptable. It elegantly shows off the curves of the dancer’s body, is breathable and provides the foundation for a fantastic dance costume.

Another wonderful aspect of the ballet leotard is that it has a fascinating history. It was developed by revolutionary French acrobatic performer Jules Léotard who developed the art of trapeze. After studying for the legal profession, Léotard began to experiment with trapeze ropes, bars and rings suspended over a swimming pool. Soon afterwards, he joined the Cirque Napoleon and went on to become the first ever performer a complete a full mid-air somersault. Several years after his death, the skin-tight garment which he used to wear to perform in became known as the leotard.

Since then, the leotard has taken many different forms. During the 1920s and 1930s, it had a significant influence over the design of bathing costumes worn by hundreds of visitors to seaside resorts. By the 1950s, dance leotards were being worn by professional dancers on Broadway as well as other stage performers. This trend continued for many years and in the late 1970s the disco craze saw the leotard become a very colourful fashion garment. This was emphasized by an increase in the popularity of aerobics which aided the ever-increasing popularity of the leotard. Through the 1980s the leotard continued to be worn for exercise wear, and through the 1990s it became popular to wear the leotard as tops with jeans.

Today, the ballet leotard may not be a fashion accessory but it’s still one of the most important pieces of dancewear for the dancer. The dancer is spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a new leotard. Many dancewear companies such as Bloch, Capezio and Roch Valley manufacture cheap ballet leotards to a very high quality. These companies have many years experience in producing very high quality dancewear for dancers of all abilities.

Over the years, the ballet leotard has developed into many different forms with countless colours, styles and cuts. The most basic is the tank leotard which has thick shoulder straps, is sleeveless and is close-fitting to the torso. This style is mainly used for dance classes or rehearsals and is one of the most popular leotard designs. Similarly, camisole and cap sleeve leotards are often used for rehearsals whereas long sleeved leotards are often considered to be more suitable for performances. Other leotards often used for performances are frilled and skirted. The frill or skirt is usually attached near the waist of the leotard. However, sometimes the skirt can originate from higher up the leotard such as on the Lyrical Dress whether the skirt originates from just under the bustline to create a light and airy feel to the garment.

Click here for Adult's Ballet Leotards

Click here for Children's Ballet Leotards