What to wear to your dance lessons

There are many different styles of dance out there, but some of the most popular are ballet, jazz, hip-hop, acrobatic and musical theatre. These styles of dance require different types of clothing and costumes, all of which are suited to the types of moves undertaken.

The different styles of dancewear often reflect cultural tradition, and nearly all require different types of shoes. If you’re new to dance, the following will give you an idea of what you or your child should wear to these different types of dance classes.

Let us tell you what to wear to your dance lessons in our studio


Ballet is a classical style of dance that has been popular for centuries. This art form is claimed to be the core style of all dance. It is a progressive road that starts a young child in flat shoes, soft skin-coloured tights and a leotard. Some schools ask children to wear a short chiffon skirt in the same colour as the leotard. Boys usually wear a white T-shirt and black shorts or tights to their ballet lessons, and either black or white shoes.

While the ideal image of a ballerina always includes pointe shoes, they aren’t safe for very young feet. Dancers don’t usually start wearing these until they are around 12, and only for around half an hour at a time to begin with.

Generally, a dance school will set standards for the colour of the leotard and skirt which are to be worn. In the colder ACs in the room, a crossover in the appropriate colour can be purchased. Hair should be appropriately pulled back with no parts loose to prevent hair from distracting the dancer or limiting visibility in crucial moments.

Along with pointe shoes, children dream of wearing tutus. Generally, these are reserved for performances, although some schools may allow shorter versions to be worn in class.

Adult dancers learning baller might feel more comfortable in activewear if they are not confident wearing a leotard. This is perfectly acceptable as long as the clothing is tight to ensure proper form and proper instruction by the teacher.


Jazz dance is a bit funkier than ballet and less formal. It is influenced by many styles, such as African dance, modern ballet, tap and hip-hop.

Jazz incorporates special split-soled shoes for optimal movement and traction and tends to be a bit more colourful and creative than ballet in costume. Some jazz lessons ask for sneaker-style shoes, while others request a simpler, ballet-style shoes.

As it is a high-energy style, the requirements of jazz are more lenient in terms of hair pinning, and a ponytail is more acceptable. Generally, young students wear a leotard and some tight shorts or a tight top and activewear style tights.

It can be fun to shop for jazz wear. Look for good quality fabrics that are breathable and have strong elastic.

Hip Hop

Hip-hop is perhaps one of the most modern forms of dance. It is a raw style that is colourful and intense. What would be qualified as ‘street clothing’ is acceptable as long as it is form-fitting and flexible. Traditional shoes are typically high-top sneakers that are bright and colourful.

Ballroom dance

Last but not least, ballroom dancing is quite unique. Different styles of ballroom dance can culturally require different dance costumes. Typically, women wear a small heel to fit with custom and allow for quick, sharp movements. There is no need to show too much skin during practice, but some costumes require different levels of exposure for performance.

When you learn ballroom dancing, your teacher needs to be able to see what your body is doing, so they may ask girls to wear activewear tights instead of a skirt, or they may ask students to wear a leotard and a flowing practice skirt.

Before you or your child take up any style, have a chat with the teacher about what to wear to your dance lessons, what is appropriate and what is unacceptable. You may be able to wear your street clothes during your first trial, but committing to lessons will require some kind of special attire.

For more information regarding the required uniform for our studio, please check with our lovely office manager Miss Lisette or check here.

We hope you have a better understanding of what to wear to your dance lessons.

Ready to give dance a try? Book your trial class today.

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