I get this question a lot from new dancers and parents of little ones just starting ballet. Some people believe it's immodest to go commando under dancewear, and others think pants are necessary for proper hygiene. The plain and simple answer to this question is no, it's not appropriate to wear underwear beneath a leo and tights. In this post, I'll unpack why.
Don’t wear underwear!
It can be difficult to conceal underwear beneath your leotard and, to avoid a points deduction for an inadvertent flash of underwear, many dancers go without while competing.
This is not so bad as swimmers don’t wear any underwear and a leotard is very similar to a swim suit in respect to cut and style. (Did you know that many synchronized swimming teams wear dance leotards in their competitions because they are more “glitzy” than available swim suits?)
If you feel uncomfortable going without, there are some tricks and tips that can help you keep your underwear from showing.
Beware!: If you do plan on not wearing any underwear do remember that some Lycra fabrics are very thin and, especially under bright competition lights, can be see-through.
If you have a higher cut leotard then it might not work since the sides of your panties would show. I’d also be a bit worried that if the leotard and panties are both of a slick or smooth fabric that the leotard could slide or shift over and show your panties.
When dancers are in higher level classes, they must obey strict dress codes where it is prohibited to wear underwear beneath dancewear. It's best for young students to get used to this early on. Additionally, visible underwear draws the eye to a student's waist and hip area. It's actually much more modest for girls to wear just their dancewear so the teachers, students, and others can focus on dancers' smiling faces.