The dance belt is an essential piece of a male dancer’s apparel and is the first garment he will put on before class, rehearsal, or a performance. The dance belt is worn under tights or pants in place of underwear, and its sole purpose is to lift and support the male anatomy.
Dance Belt vs. Jock Strap
The dance belt is sometimes compared to a jock strap. For both, the purpose is to support the genitals. Like a jock strap, the dance belt has a soft support front barrier. The dance belts front barrier is a tight fit against the body to keep the genitals supported and tightly in place. The jock is a bit more forgiving and has more of a pouch shape for comfort while still supporting. Both have a thick waistband for a secure tightness around the waist. Both should never have a loose waistband. They should be snug fitting.
When it comes to true protection in contact sports, an athletic cup is worn. Though, I’m sure some dancers wish there was a cup when it comes to partnering a ballerina, especially when there’s an accidental knee to the groin during rehearsal or a performance. Otherwise, there really is no need for an athletics cup in a dance belt.
The dance belt should have a thin layer of padding to create a smooth surface, thus hiding all of the contours of the anatomy. This can be beneficial when wearing white or light colored tights on stage. It can be quite distracting to an audience member who’s enjoying a ballet but noticing the outline of a dancer’s anatomy. Not all dance belts have the extra padding, in fact, most are very thin.
Why a Thong?
A dance belt is primarily made as a thong, instead of the straps on a jock. The reason for this is to completely hide all traces of any underwear lines. All male dancers wear tights or tight pants. The surface of the butt should have a completely smooth surface, especially in tights. There are some dance belts made with a full seat, like brief underwear.
A full seat dance belt is a nice alternative for a male not wearing full-length tights for the stage. These are primarily used for ballroom dancers, children, superhero costumes, circus performers, and equestrian riders. It takes some time to get used to a thong dance belt. After a few times of wearing it, the dancer does become accustomed to it and the initial discomfort of wearing a thong does go away.
What Color Should It Be?
The dance belt primarily comes in variations of flesh tones. Different dancewear companies have their chosen flesh color. Some are lighter colored and some are darker. It really depends on the company manufacturing them.
The reason for the flesh tone is to blend in with a dancer’s skin. Since the dance belt is serving as “underwear”, you shouldn’t even know it’s there. This comes into play when wearing a costume on stage, with white or light colored tights. Sometimes, dancers have to perform shirtless. The dance belt should not be noticeable above the waistband of the tights or pants when shirtless. Again, the dance belt color should blend into the dancer’s skin in the event that there would be a “wardrobe malfunction”.