Just like Thinx underwear, the activewear line comes with the period-proof technology built in, so you get to dance commando in the gear. That means that each leotard and unitard has four layers of fabric that makes them "anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant," according to Thinx. We got to check out the company's new releases earlier this month, along with a performance by the all women's New York City-based modern dance group MICHIYAYA in which each dancer was wearing one of the aforementioned leotards or unitards.
Sure, the new gear looked pretty cool. But we were curious what professional dancers thought of these new leotards and unitards. After all, they're pretty specific garments — do dancers even need them? Luckily, we tracked down a dancer who actually put them to the test.
"The fabric is lovely; it’s super simple but flattering. It was comfortable to rehearse in all day, which not all skin-tight clothing is," says Eran Bugge, who has been a professional dancer in New York City for 12 years.
Bugge has an IUD, so she only experiences light spotting, but she still needs some period protection when she dances. The unitards work best for her, since unitards are worn frequently by people in her dance company. An added bonus: She doesn't have to worry about the ubiquitous unitard camel toe during her period anymore. Bugge also says she often wears a Thinx thong under her normal practice unitard to avoid that, but having the period-proof technology built in should help streamline things.
Trying to keep up a dance regimen while menstruating is a stressful fact of life for dancers who get a period. Bugge's first memory of getting her period is realizing she was bleeding as she changed into her leotard and pink tights for ballet rehearsal in the back of a minivan. When she arrived at the studio asking for assistance, all they had were giant overnight pads. "I took ballet class with this diaper on," she says. "You think everyone can see it, and it’s uncomfortable." As for leaks? Take it from Bugge: "Pink tights are not very forgiving."
However, Bugge does have one concern about dancing while free-bleeding into a period-proof unitard. "Part of my job is I sit on men’s shoulders, so I’m not sure if I would want a leotard to be my only barrier while dancing with my colleagues and all up in their business," she says. “But for someone with a heavy flow who wanted backup, it would be ideal.”
The need for period-proof activewear doesn't only apply to ballerinas and modern dancers. According to Paulina "Pow" Creque, a pole performer and instructor living in LA, "Sometimes my period gets in the way to the point where I can't even train." Creque hasn't gotten her hands on Thinx's new activewear line yet, and even though she's slightly skeptical it will be able to capture everything she's looking for, she says she's always down to try something new.
"Once, I had my heaviest day on the day of a performance. It was horrible — let's just say I was glad we had to wear black," Creque says. "When you're in the middle of a show, you barely have time to go change a tampon, and then you have to worry about that stupid string hanging out. I'm in a lot of very vulnerable positions on the pole!"
As far as we can tell, it seems like dancers certainly have a need for period-proof activewear — whether or not Thinx has completely solved that problem remains to be seen. But given the company's pretty great track record (we're admittedly fans), we'd say these leotards and unitards might at least help a few dancers get through their monthly (menstrual) flow.