While many dance classes restrict the color of leotard you can wear, the cut and style is often left open for you to choose. Getting a leotard that feels comfortable and makes you look good involves many different aspects including hip cut, torso length, and neckline. One of the most critical parts of a leotard is the sleeve style, though. Below you will find some aspects of sleeve length you should consider before buying your leotards. 

Does the Sleeve Length Compliment Your Body Proportions?

You will tend to look best if your hip-to-shoulder ratio is as low as possible. While you may not be able to change the composition of your body, you can change how you accent your form in order to make your ratio look lower. For example, if you have wide hips and narrow shoulders, you may want to wear three-quarter sleeve leotards to add visual weight to your top. Similarly, if you have wide shoulders and narrow hips, you may want to wear spaghetti straps or sleeveless leotards to balance out your appearance. 

Do You Tend to Feel Hot When You Dance?

Some dancers naturally get hotter than other dancers when they dance. If you tend to overheat when you dance, you may feel best in a spaghetti strap leotard. However, if you sweat a lot when you dance, you may want to opt for a sleeved leotard that will wick the moisture away from your body, preventing the feeling of sweat rolling down your underarms or sides while you are dancing. Long sleeves are also a good option if you get cold during breaks, although you can also opt for a shrug to put on and take off as necessary. 

Do You Fuss With Small Straps or Off-the-Shoulder Sleeves? 

If your leotard fits you properly, your straps and sleeves should stay in one place and not move as you dance. If they move around, you may need to take them in slightly to get the perfect fit. After you have the perfect fit, if you still find yourself running your fingers under your straps or pulling your sleeves up or down your arm throughout class, you may want to choose a different sleeve that you are less likely to fuss with. Keep in mind that your leotard should feel like a second skin — it shouldn't be something that you constantly adjust during class. 

Do You Need Extra Bust Support? 

If you are a dancer who needs extra bust support, you should consider whether your bra straps will be visible while you wear your leotard. While some instructors allow bra straps the same color as the leotard or in a skin-tone color, others demand that bra straps not be visible while you are in your leotard. For that reason, many full-busted dancers decide to use leotards with a sleeve that fully covers the shoulder area. 

Do Your Fellow Classmates Tend to Wear a Single Style? 

Even if there is not a rule about the sleeve type in your class, if all of your classmates tend to wear a similar style of leotard, it can be a good idea to follow the trend. If everyone else is in three-quarter sleeves and you are in a tank, your arms can stand out any time you are in block or a line. However, if your classmates have mixed styles, you can feel free to choose the sleeve length you like best. 

Choosing the perfect dance leotard is a personal decision. Sleeve length is just one factor, but it is an important aspect to consider before finalizing your purchase.