When a boy takes up ballet, getting him outfitted in appropriate dancewear can be a challenge. Most dance belts only come in adult sizes, based on the theory that a pre-pubescent boy doesn't need the support and protection he'll need later in life. Some ballet studios don't require tights for boys, hoping to avoid anything that might cause a boy who's unsure about dance to quit. They worry a thong-style dance belt's initial discomfort might become that tipping point.
Dance belt manufacturers make full-seat dance briefs for boys. They are a compromise because the full-seat leaves a visible line under tights, their support isn't solid enough for advanced dance movement, and they don't package the male bulge for aesthetics. But - like a training bra is for girls - they are a first step in teaching young dancers to consider their support needs. They are designed to be worn "up" just like a regular dance belt, so if you or your young dancer is getting a first dance brief, read the "comfort" section in the Complete Guide to Dance Belts for wearing tips.
Sooner or later, every young male dancer has to face wearing tights for the first time, and with tights comes the need for a real thong-style dance belt. If you need to introduce a boy to his first dance belt, you might want to read "The Dance Belt Talk".
Dance belts that work for young dancers:
-Body Wrappers new ProBelt is available in waist sizes down to 24”. Their other models of dance belts and briefs are available in both boys sizes 8/10 & 10/12, which fit a 24" and 26" waist respectively, and mens XS, which will also fit a 26” waist
- MStevens dance belts are sized at least a size smaller than most. Their size S will fit a boy with a 24" waist. They are made of a spandex/nylon blend called "Milliskin" which is light weight, stretchy, and smooth on the skin, making them a popular first dance belt, even though they aren’t as supportive as other brands.
- WearMoi makes dance belts down to boys size 8/10. These were introduced in the USA by boysdancetoo, whose catalog states, "The best men’s dance belt available, for boys too! The narrow elastic band is outrageously soft. The cup has a soft interlining padding that provides support, comfort and a good look under tights. The thong is thin, flexible and is as comfortable as a thong can get."
My Son Can Dance is a blog written by journalist Nina Amir, whose son Julian has been dancing since age 3. She offers a mother's perspective and humor in dealing with the dance belt issue she faced when Julian was a teen dancer:
The Difference Between a Dance Belt and a Dance Brief
"Diana", from Southern California writes about the trials and tribulations she faced fitting her 11 year old ballet dancer with his first dance belt:
My son has a 23" waist. I bought the smallest MStevens, which is still about an inch too big around the waist. He did try it once during class, but found the extremely narrow thong uncomfortable.
The Capezio full seat belt in the Youth Medium size was very tight, although the sizing chart at the "Discount Dance Supply" site indicated it would fit 23"- 25". The Youth Large fits well, but my son is not comfortable with the panty lines. This one runs small.
We have had great success with the Wear Moi in the boys' 8/10 size. The size chart said 20" - 23", which seems accurate.
I have referred all the other moms of boys at my son's school to your site. Everyone really appreciates having a place to get our questions answered. I know my son and I will be coming back for more reviews and advice as he grows into the adult sizes.
Diana, thanks for your comments! Size charts don't work as well as a mother's first hand experience. I've used your information to modify the size recommendations throughout "Dr. Dancebelt's Guide".