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Dance Tights vs. Normal Tights: What’s the Difference?

Studios often require dancers to purchase dance tights for class, performances, exams, and competitions. What makes dance tights so special? Are they really better suited to dance than normal tights? The short answer: absolutely! Read through our chart to find out more.

Young Dancers at the Barre


Dance Tights Regular Tights
Soft, woven waistbands lay flat under costumes and bodysuits without digging into skin Waistbands aren't always flat and are often made out of uncomfortable elastic
Material is thick enough to give legs uniform coverage under the lights, but thin enough to let skin breathe Very thin - fabric bunches to give uneven coverage onstage, often see-through under the lights
Can be found in full-footed, footless, stirrup and convertible foot versions for a variety of situations Almost always full-footed - can limit dancers who need to change between shoes quickly or wear accessories inside their shoes (pointe)
Fabric content includes spandex and other special fibers to increase durability Usually 100% nylon - very fragile, easy to tear while dancing

Shopping for Dance Tights

Stage Ready Tights

On top of the practical advantages to dance tights, artistically they can also make a difference! Judges in competitions and exams will dock marks if things like shoes and tights aren’t uniform across all of the dancers. If your dancer wears normal tights onstage next to the rest of their class in dance tights, the difference is often glaringly obvious, and can ruin the choreographer’s artistic concept.

We hope this post cleared up any confusion about why studios ask for dance tights over normal tights. If you have any further questions, pick up the phone or come visit Inspirations and speak with our dancewear experts!

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