How much do you know about Leotards?

If you are a bunhead like us, you would have grown up wearing leotards for ballet class. In fact, leotards have become so synonymous with ballet, that many of us probably don't ever stop to ponder about the reasons why we do so. 

Today, we hope to shed some light on some of the key reasons why dancers wear leotards. Read on for the deets and share the post if you agree! 

 (Photo Credits: Merv Kwok, Six Senses Photography)


History of the leotard 

An interesting fact that is lesser known, is that the leotard actually was named after a French acrobatic performer called Jules Léotard. He was a renowned 19th-century acrobat who was known for his daring Trapeze performances in the 1800s.

In his quest to push the boundaries of his impressive acrobatic feats, Léotard designed a tight-fitting, one-piece garment. This specially-designed garment helped to show off his physique whilst giving him unhindered movement. And just like that, the very first leotard was born.

(An image of Jules Léotard in the garment that bears his name)


In its early years, leotards were mainly worn by circus and acrobatic performers. Years later, leotards began to influence the style of swimsuits, with women's one-piece swimsuits bearing a similar appearance to leotards.

The popularity of leotards or bodysuits were further soared in the 1970s and 1980s, with the advent of the booming textile industry. Fabrics such as nylon and spandex were used to create colourful and elastic leotards. Leotards became popular among dancers in early 20th century. 

So why were leotards popular among dancers in the early 20th century, and why do we continue to wear leotards today? 


1. Leotards help to prevent injuries

One of the most important reasons for wearing a leotard is that it makes it easier for ballet instructors to identify and correct misalignment of hips, knees and ankles.

This is critical to any dancer because the misalignment of these bones could mean overtucking or forcing of rotation, which could hurt the dancer.

They can also become hard-to-change dancing habits, increasing the risk of permanent injuries.

Wearing a leotard also helps to keep the core muscles warm, preparing the body for the demands of ballet!


(Photo Credits: Merv Kwok, Six Senses Photography)


2. Freedom of movement? Yes please.

The most obvious and practical reason for wearing a leotard is the greater mobility, security and comfort that comes with a fitted yet elastic piece of clothing.

We can all attest to the fact that a good-quality leotard is so important to our ability to perform our best in ballet class or on stage. 


(Photo Credits: Merv Kwok, Six Senses Photography)


3. Looking sophisticated never hurt nobody.

The skintight nature of a leotard also accentuates the beautiful lines and complexity of technique that characterise ballet. 

These days, leotards come in such a wide array of colours and designs. We all love that extra confidence-boost that a gorgeous and well-fitted leotard gives us.


(Photo Credits: Merv Kwok, Six Senses Photography)


4. Respect for the art.

Last but not least, ballet etiquette goes beyond strict class discipline.

It also means upholding its legacy where dress code is concerned. Wearing a leotard is a mark of respect for the classical art’s historical beginnings.


(Photo Credits: Merv Kwok, Six Senses Photography)


Shop for leotards today at