If you’re getting ready to start dance for the first time, here are some tips on what to wear. As always, check with your studio before you shop to make sure you know exactly what the dress requirements are for each class. Depending on which level you’re starting at, the style of dance you’re doing, which studio you’re going to, and even which teacher you’re studying with, the dress code can vary dramatically. Below are some general guidelines of typical beginner wear.
Ballet Shoes for Beginners
We recommend a full sole leather ballet slipper to help beginners strengthen their feet and for a real “ballet dancer” look. A nylon gym slipper is a more versatile option if your dancer is going to be doing multiple styles of dance.
Jazz Shoes for Beginners
Typically, if dancers aren’t barefoot, they’ll wear a leather jazz shoe to class. A nylon gym slipper is sometimes worn in the beginning years.
Hip Hop Shoes for Beginners
Hip hop dancers almost exclusively wear a clean pair of sneakers. If you want to get dance-specific shoes, ask your teacher as to what they would prefer. Otherwise, a pair of indoor sneakers usually does the trick.
Tap Shoes for Beginners
Beginning tappers usually wear an entry-level black tap shoe.
These items are often used in many styles, so they may be good things to have on hand. A basic tank-style bodysuit is usually worn for ballet, jazz, and tap, and can be used for others as well. Check with your studio as there are sometimes requirements for what colour this bodysuit has to be. If you aren’t required to wear tights, they can still be a good idea for keeping warm during the winter months. Basic black dance shorts will come in handy in almost any style of dance. Cover-up clothes like leg warmers or a sweater are great for keeping muscles warm before or after class.
In ballet, dancers usually wear a bodysuit, tights (light pink), a wrap skirt, and a wrap sweater.
Jazz dancers can have a variety of clothing options depending on the studio where the class is being taken. Some studios require dancers to be in a tank bodysuit, tan coloured tights, and dance shorts. Others are more relaxed and allow dancers to wear clothes that make them feel comfortable and that they can move in.
Hip Hop Bodywear
In Hip Hop, dancers often wear layers of street clothes that are comfortable and easy to move in (like a t-shirt, hoodie, and sweatpants or shorts).
Tap dancers usually wear a bodysuit, dance shorts, and tan-coloured tights.
These are extras that could come in handy during your dance class. Leg warmers help keep your muscles warm and cozy before, during, and after class. A dance bag keeps all of your things in one spot and makes them easy to carry back and forth from class. A water bottle is a good idea to stay hydrated. Healthy snacks keep dancers fueled during class.
Typically, studios are more flexible with dress code when it comes to adult beginner classes. Comfortable clothes that you can move in and that you feel confident in are most important. However, always check with your studio to make sure that you know what the expectations are.
For most styles, a form-fitting white t-shirt, black shorts, and the respective black shoes are standard for boys. Check with your studio to confirm requirements.
We hope this post gave you a general idea of what requirements may be in place for your first dance class. If you have any questions, remember to ask your studio. You can also give us a call or drop by our store to speak with one of our dancewear professionals.