When you're first starting out with dance it can be difficult to know what to wear to dance class. Sometimes studios have guidelines for dance wear, but it can still be hard to figure out. Today I'm going to go through each style of dance and show you what is appropriate to wear in each dance class you have.
Before we get into each style let's talk about studio uniforms. Sometimes studios have a very specific uniform they want each of their students to wear. This definitely does not apply to each establishment, so this is something to look into when joining a studio. The uniform usually only applies to ballet, so the leotards will be a specific color for each level. This leotard will most likely be a certain style from a specific brand and will sometimes be embroidered with the studio's logo on it. Along with this leotard students will be required to have tights and the proper shoes. Now that we have learned a little bit about studio uniforms, let's get into what to wear for each style of dance.
If you have a child who is about 6 or under and they're taking dance class they will typically be in a combo class at most studios. Combo classes usually offer tap, jazz and ballet, or at least two out of the three. In these classes, kids can usually wear any sort of leotard they want in any color. It can have a skirt attached, they can have a leotard with a separate skirt, or they can just wear a leotard. Tights are usually optional at such a young age, but some studios will require them. Kids in these classes will need shoes that correlate to the styles that they will be learning. So, if their combo class has all three styles of dance they will need jazz shoes, ballet shoes, and tap shoes. However, sometimes kids are allowed to wear their ballet shoes for the ballet and jazz sections of the class. This is something you can ask your child's teacher about if you are unsure of what they would prefer. Hair should be pulled back away from their face so it does not get in their eyes.
Once dancers start to get older they start taking more specific classes for each style of dance. So let's start with ballet. In ballet, kids are required to wear a leotard, tights, and ballet shoes. Most studios require the leotard to be black, and the tights and shoes to be pink; however, not all studios are the same. Hair should pulled back neatly into a bun.
For a jazz class students can wear leggings or shorts for bottoms, with a t-shirt or tank top. Some locations have more of a strict dress code policy on whether or not kids can wear outfits that show midriff, so this is something to ask about at your child's studio. Usually these items can be any color. Most of the time kids will wear jazz shoes for this class; however, sometimes teachers prefer, or will allow, half soles instead. Hair should be pulled back out of the face in a ponytail, bun, etc.
Tap dance wear is very similar to jazz, the only main difference is the shoes. So, in tap class we wear tap shoes, but everything else is the same as jazz. At a young age tap shoes will be a more patent material that is shiny. As kids get older they will start to wear tap shoes that are leather and lace up in order to produce a clearer and stronger sound.
Lyrical and contemporary will again be very similar to jazz and tap with the main difference being the shoes. In these classes, students will either wear half soles, toe paws, socks, or go barefoot. This all depends on what the studio or teacher requires for their classes. Again, hair should be pulled back.
In a hip hop class students should wear either sweats or leggings with a t-shirt. Usually for hip hop you want to dress in looser fitting clothing in order to get more into the feel of the style; however, sometimes studios allow you to wear what you would wear to jazz, tap, etc. Usually hair should be pulled back, but sometimes studios will allow students to have their hair down for hip hop. For shoes, any pair of sneakers you have will work.
There are quite a few different styles of dance out there and it can be confusing to know how to dress for them. I hope this helped guide you when getting ready for classes this season. If you're still unsure about a few things you can always ask the owner of the studio you attend, or the specific teacher for a class you're curious about. And be sure to stop by Dressed2Dance to shop awesome looks for every style! We hope you all have an incredible dance season!
Brianni at D2D