What Is Dance Underwear?

Sheri Cyprus

Dance underwear is an undergarment designed for dancers to wear under leotards and costumes. The underwear is available in different coverages for men and women. Although all of it is made to minimize the appearance of lines under dancewear, the smallest underwear pieces tend to show through costumes and leotards the least. Dance underwear is sewn from skin-toned, snug-fitting stretch fabric to provide dancers not only with a smooth appearance under dancing clothes, but also comfort and ease of movement.

Dance underwear is worn under leotards.
Dance underwear is worn under leotards.

For male dancers, a minimal undergarment is called a dance belt. It is high cut at the thighs to allow maximum leg movement as well as help prevent injury. Yet, although a dance belt is open at the back and fits snugly at the front, it also minimizes the details of a male dancer's anatomy to be less distracting to the audience. Belt style dance underwear has a thicker middle back strap than regular thong undergarments. The waistband of this dance thong underwear is also much thicker than non-dance undergarments.

Dance underwear provides flexibility for performers.
Dance underwear provides flexibility for performers.

Dance thong underwear is also available in women's versions. Female dancers may wear thong dance underwear under tights to avoid visible lines. Of course, thong dance undergarments aren't worn under skirts as too much skin will be shown. Boy short and brief styles for female dancers offer the next level of minimal coverage after thongs. They both offer suitable coverage for wearing under dance costumes with skirts. Boy short underwear for dancers ends just at the top of the thighs and tends to not ride up as much as briefs.

Briefs in both men's and women's styles is cut to give more movement at the thigh than boy short undergarments. Briefs are popular dance underwear for male and female dancers, as they offer comfort without usually showing lines under leotards or costumes. Sometimes, male dancers wear boxer briefs under pants. The dance pants are typically looser, such as that of some costumes, rather than snug-fitting like leotards. Boxer brief dance undergarments are more streamlined than boxers which are more like shorts, yet the bottom lines will still often show under tighter dancing pants.

Women's undergarments designed for dance include matching bra and underwear sets. Typically, these are briefs and a seamless bra. Like other undergarments for dancing, they're designed for comfort and movement. Women's bra and brief dance underwear is also sold separately so that female dancers can mix and match the pieces as needed.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I can't be comfortable in anything but bikini briefs while dancing. I have friends who wear underwear with more material and friends who wear dance belts, but I have to stick with what works for me.

Since the bikini briefs are designed for wearing while dancing, they are sheer and thin, so I don't have to worry about bulkiness. I wear regular cotton briefs when I'm not dancing, so this is what I'm comfortable with.

If I were to switch up my type of dance underwear, I believe it would affect my performance. I can't afford to think about anything but the movements while I'm dancing, so I'm not going to distract myself with different dance underwear.


@cloudel – You might be surprised at how comfortable dance thong underwear actually is. You really can't feel it as you are moving around, and there are no pantylines to worry about.

If I will be wearing pants or snug shorts while dancing, I go with a dance thong every time. It looks as though I'm not wearing anything under there, and the seamless look is what I need to achieve.

However, our dance troupe learned from one of our member's mistakes with a thong. She wore one with a skirted costume, and she fell on stage and exposed her buttocks to the audience. We now know to never pair a thong with a skirt.


I really don't think I could wear dance thong underwear, even if the strap were thicker than most. It seems like even a thick strap would end up in the crack with all that moving around.

I would think that the best dance underwear would be that which stays in place at all times. It seems that boy briefs would be the best option for both males and females, but sometimes, I know that costumes don't allow for this.

My cousin had to wear a mini-skirt for her theater dance performance, and her underwear had to be made into the skirt. It was bikini style, like the seat of a swimdress, because anything longer would have shown as she danced around the stage.


My dance underwear reminds me a lot of my swimsuit. I have a padded seamless bra and boy shorts, which is exactly the type of thing that I wear while swimming.

The boy shorts perform just as well under my dance outfit as they do in the water. They are snug against my thighs, and I don't have to worry about them riding up as I'm doing movements that require me to spread my legs a lot.

I love the seamless bra, because it doesn't have those little plastic adjustable buckles in the back that create lumps under my clothes. I pull it on over my head, and it hides so well under whatever I have to wear the night of my performance.

Post your comments
Forgot password?