Ballet Leotards – The Most Comfortable Clothing For Dancing

It’s hard to find a piece of clothing that’s as comfortable as the ballet leotard. This is especially important when we take into consideration just how much freedom of movement is required by the body to perform ballet well. When performing, the last thing you want to worry about is uncomfortable clothes.

The roots of the ballet leotard can be traced back to a surprisingly recent history – as recent as the 1800s when Jules Léotard developed the art of trapeze. At the age of 18 Léotard decided to leave behind his prospects of training for the legal profession to begin experimenting with trapeze bars and ropes suspended over a swimming pool. By the end of 1859 he had made his first public appearance as a trapeze artiste and soon afterwards went to be the first performer in history to perform a full mid-air somersault as he jumped from one trapeze to the other. Throughout all of these performances, he wore a one-piece skin-tight garment which he called his maillot. Several years after his death, this maillot became known as the leotard, a name which it continues to bear today.

The reason that the leotard has become such a crucial piece of clothing for dancers of all abilities is because of the formfitting qualities it possesses as well as its comfort. Both of these are qualities that were absolutely paramount to the success of Jules Léotard. Without the formfitting qualities, he would not have been able to conduct the impressive manoeuvres in the air, and if his maillot was uncomfortable, he would not have been able to perform for the full duration of his shows. This is the same for dancers today who are required to perform demanding movements for extended periods of times. Professional dancers need to be highly athletic and are often exhausted at the end of a performance making the leotard one of the few pieces of clothing that will enable them to perform for such long periods of time whilst allowing for complete freedom of movement, the audience to fully see the placement of their body, whilst also preventing them from overheating!

Over many years, the ballet leotard has undergone many developments. It is now available in many different styles such as tank, cap sleeve, polo neck, camisole, short sleeve, long sleeve amongst many others. Within each of these styles there is a multitude of variations which has led them to become a fashion item as well as a functional piece of clothing for the dancer. In addition to this, it has become synonymous with dancing and choosing the right leotard is considered by dancers to be just as important as choosing the correct pair of dance shoes.

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