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Coming into Inspirations and seeing a wall of dance tights like this…

Styles of Dance Tights

…can be a bit overwhelming for anyone - especially new dancers and dance parents!

Styles of Dance Tights

In this post we’ll break down what the different types of tights are and what they do best.


Footed Dance Tights

Full-Footed Tights

A full-footed dance tight is one that has, well, a full foot! Also known as a footed tight, this style is a standard tight that covers the whole foot. These are popular in almost every kind of dance and are often the most comfortable to wear (great for young dancers).

Footless Dance Tights

Footless Tights

Footless tights stop at the ankle, leaving the foot exposed. This style is popular in modern dance but used in other categories as well. We’ve also found that many young dancers who don’t like the feeling of socks or shoes on their feet prefer the footless style.

Stirrup Dance Tights

Stirrup Tights

Stirrup tights come all the way down the leg and pass under the foot leaving the heel and toes exposed. These tights are used most often in acro, contemporary, and lyrical dance. They let dancers maintain grip on the stage while still giving their legs a clean, uniform look under the lights. FootUndeez and turning shoes are often used with stirrup tights as well to keep dancers from slipping and sliding all over the floor!

Convertible Dance Tights

Convertible Tights

Convertible tights (also known as transition tights,) look almost like full-footed tights, but have a reinforced hole on the very bottom of the foot that allows dancers to slide their foot out and wear them like a footless tight as well! Widely popular in many styles of dance, these tights are a favourite for pointe users because of how easy it is to add/remove pointe accessories when switching between ballet slippers and pointe shoes.

Fishnet Dance Tights

Fishnet Tights

Used almost exclusively for jazz dance, “fishnet tights” refers to any tights that use a net-like material instead of the standard woven material. Typically full-footed, they’re also available in a capri form. In the full-footed style, they can come either seamless (normal netting all the way around the leg,) or seamed (with a flattering seam that runs down the back of the leg). Sometimes, this seam is dotted with rhinestones to give some extra sparkle under the lights. Professional fishnets are more heavy duty than the ones you can find at a department store and are designed to last longer and be more comfortable with a foot pad at the bottom.


 Colours of Dance Tights

The standard colours for dance tights are a light pink for ballet and a tan colour for jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and modern. Black and white are mostly used for styles like highland dance or Irish dance, but can be used in other styles depending on the choreographer’s preferences. With regards to fishnets, black is the standard colour but they are also available in shades of tan. For the most part, your studio will directly outline what colour your dancer needs for their class, so be sure to consult them before setting out to make a purchase.

Which type do I get?

9 times out of 10, your studio will have an outline that lists exactly which style, colour, and even brand of tights your dancer needs. It is very important that you follow this guideline and purchase the correct style and colour of tights. Judges of competitions and exams can dock marks if details like tights and shoes don’t match exactly. If you’re not sure what kind you need, contact your studio or teachers and request a list. Inspirations is usually given a list of requirements for most local studios, but requirements can change very quickly and sometimes without our knowledge, so your best bet is to go to the source.

Hopefully this post helped to answer any questions you had about dance tights. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or stop by our store to speak with our dancewear experts!

Inspirations Dancewear is Canada's Dancewear Superstore™, with our 13,000 sq ft Canadian retail store and warehouse full of year-round, in-stock dancewear.

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