What to Wear to Dance Class: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Congratulations — you finally took the first step and signed up for dance classes at your local studio. The moment you’ve been waiting for is nearly here, but just as you’re about to walk out the door to your Tuesday night ballet lessons, you pass the mirror: You forgot to plan out what to wear!

What you wear to your first dance class is an important decision to make. Certain clothing styles are better-suited than others for accentuating and experiencing specific dance types. For this reason, what you wear will vary depending on the type of dance classes in which you are enrolled.

If it’s your first time attending dance lessons in Charlotte, NC, don’t back out at the last second due to a fashion faux-pas: Plan ahead by reading up on what you should wear so you can have the best experience possible.

What to Wear to Dance Class by Style

Ballroom Dance Classes

what to wear to dance classWhen you think about ballroom dancing, the first image that likely comes to mind is a room full of men in suits and shiny shoes, and sparkling, full-gowned women floating along the dance floor. While this isn’t an unrealistic snapshot of what to expect in a competition setting, students aren’t expected to show up to dance lessons in their full ballroom attire.

The most important thing when selecting your ballroom dance class outfit is to choose clothing that is comfortable. When learning new dance moves, the last thing you need to worry about it fidgeting with uncomfortable or distracting clothing. The following are just some examples of what you might choose to wear during your ballroom dance class:

Men Women
  • Cotton trousers
  • Dress pants
  • Cotton/cotton blended polo
  • Button down shirt
  • Oxfords
  • Loafers
  • Slip-on canvas shoes
  • Skirts or dresses
  • Button up blouses
  • Dress shorts
  • Booties
  • Wedges with back strap
  • Low pump
  • Ballet flats

Perhaps even more important than comfort are the type of shoes you wear to ballroom dance lessons. Ballroom dance shoes typically have suede soles that encourage dancers to glide and spin more effortlessly on the dance floor. Especially if you intend to stick with this style of dance, you may wish to purchase shoes made specifically for the ballroom.

Ballet Dance Classes

find out what to wear to dance classDuring ballet lessons, instructors will zero in on your posture and form to help you perform your best. For this reason, it’s recommended that you wear tight-fitting clothing that makes it easier for your instructor to guide you through the proper alignments and positions. Yoga pants and sports bras are a great place to start; however, as you become more advanced, you’ll want to invest in a unitard or leotard with tights so you can work to perfect your technique.

Regardless of your ballet skill level, it’s important that you wear soft ballet shoes to practice. These shoes are made specifically to allow you to more easily point your toes while dancing. If you’re an advanced ballerina, you may eventually take pointe classes. In this case, you may be required to get a pair of pointe shoes. These are a special type of shoe worn by highly skilled ballet dancers that allow them to dance on the tips of their toes. Only purchase these shoes for dance class if you are instructed to do so by your teacher.

Tap Dance Classes

learn what to wear to dance class in charlotteMost of the movement that occurs during tap dance classes happens from the knees down. Tap dance classes can be very intensive and athletic, so wearing comfortable fitness clothing that allows you to move freely is a must.

Of course, the most important thing to wear to tap dance class are the shoes: To start, get a basic pair of flat tap shoes. However, as you progress, you may wish to try more advanced styles that require different types of tap shoes. Some tap shoes have a small heel and the better-quality tap shoes are often heavier, so choose carefully and speak to your dance instructor before selecting a new pair.

Jazz Dance Classes

Similar to ballet, jazz instructors have their eye out for great posture. As such, it’s recommended that you wear something that’s tight-fitting yet comfortable at the same time. Yoga clothing, leggings, and fitness attire are all suitable things to wear during a jazz dance class since they encourage free body movement and allow your instructor to easily view your posture.

You’ll want to purchase a pair of jazz shoes for this particular style of dance. These shoes offer a little more support than their ballet slipper counterparts, but they still allow you to point your toes and move your feet freely. However, some jazz dancers prefer to nix the shoes altogether. In fact, many dancers choose to practice jazz in bare feet when they’re just getting started and aren’t prepared to invest in a specific style of shoe quite yet.

Contemporary Dance Classes

Contemporary dance classes draw from many different styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, and modern. This style of dance is renowned for its fluidity and technique, so it’s critical that you wear comfortable, form-fitting clothing similar to what would be worn during a jazz class.

Most beginners choose to practice contemporary dance in their bare feet. However, as you evolve, you may want to have protection for your feet. The best shoes to wear for contemporary dance are half shoes or foot gloves designed specifically for dancing.

Hip-Hop Dance Classes

Hip-hop dance classes offer a little more freedom when it comes to clothing selection. Baggy pants and loose-fitting T-shirts are typically worn by dancers of all skill levels. Just don’t wear pants that are too baggy, or you might end up dancing right out of them in front of your peers — yikes!

When it comes to the shoes, most dancers opt for sneakers. It’s important to select sneakers that aren’t as grippy as sports training shoes. Hip-hop dance moves often involve sliding and quick movements, so being able to move across the floor easily is a must.

Still Not Sure What to Wear to Dance Class? Ask the Experts!

If you’re enrolled in dance classes at QC Dance Studio and aren’t sure about what to wear, don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor. Our dance experts are here to help you have the best experience possible, from choosing your wardrobe to signing up for your first competition. We’ll provide you with a detailed dress code for your first dance lessons so you arrive to your first class with confidence, answering any questions you may have along the way.

Begin your dance journey today by registering for dance lessons in Charlotte, NC online!

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