Ballet and gymnastics are some of the most popular sports among little girls. Large-scale events, such as the Olympics, championships, and major dance productions, also garner millions of interested individuals across the globe. With that said, there is nothing more exciting than signing you or your child up for dance or gymnastics classes. But whether they are toddlers or teenagers, every sport has a set of ground rules and regulations that every student must follow.
Among the nuances behind these sports, attire is more particular and important. You will find that dancers and gymnasts often wear leotards. While they may look similar, there are specifications required to ensure the athletes’ safety while making difficult moves. Many parents of first-time dancers are challenged with the dilemma of finding the right leotard. This guide covers the basics of choosing the perfect sportswear for you or your child.
Material And Fit
Leotards are generally made with a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex, but the main component that differentiates the leotard requirements for dance and gymnastics is spandex. Whether you are participating in gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, aerial hoop, and other sports derivatives, it is pertinent to pick a tight-fitting leotard with a high percentage of spandex. As gymnastics requires you to work with various equipment, it can be a safety hazard for loose clothing to get caught into the props. Moreover, spandex makes the material slightly more slippery, enabling you to work with bars easily.
On the contrary, dancers can enjoy leotards made with looser fabric and a higher percentage of cotton. Moreover, whether you signed up for ballet, ballroom, jazz, and other dance classes, you can also wear a range of other materials, including velvet, lace, mesh, and more.
Nothing is more fun than expressing yourself through your leotard, especially if you have to wear it for hours in every dance class. When it comes to design, gymnasts often have more freedom to pick out fun, printed leotards in various cuts and styles. A tank-style is often preferred for classes, while a long-sleeved cut is the standard requirement for competitions. However, if you participate in group gymnastics, the entire team may be required to wear the same leotard, even during classes. Gymnasts may also be allowed to wear cycling shorts.
Dance leotards are a little more toned-down, but they can still look super-fun and personalised because you can wear a wider range of materials. But dance studios are notorious for being strict about attire, especially if you participate in traditional dance styles, such as ballet. In that case, the studio may impose a dress code that will require you to wear a specific colour, cut, or material. Most dance studios also allow you to wear dance-specific accessories, such as legwarmers, skirts, and cardigans.
When purchasing a leotard online, it is pertinent to get your exact measurements and compare them with the retailer’s size chart. Cross-check the measurements for every leotard you intend to purchase as different materials will result in different fits, so you will not necessarily wear the same size across all leotards made by a brand. The most important parameter to look out for is the girth measurement, which is essentially the length from the shoulder to the crotch. As leotards are one-pieces, so getting the torso distance right is extremely important.
For to-be athletes dreaming of performing pirouettes on stage or doing back walkovers in world championships, finding the perfect leotard is one of the most important aspects of your career. Ensure to ask your dance studio about the dress codes and other rules to prevent purchasing leotards that cannot be worn in class.