Dance Practice Clothes: What to Wear to Feel Comfortable

Written By Alla Levin
August 16, 2022
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Dance Practice Clothes: What to Wear to Feel Comfortable

Beginning dancers may have a question about what to wear to classes. Firstly, you should choose the most comfortable clothes that will not hinder your movements, and in which you will feel as confident as possible.

Secondly, the choice of a particular outfit largely depends on the style of dance that you are going to learn. This short but comprehensive guide from will help you prepare for your first lesson.

Basic Recommendations

When choosing clothes and shoes for dancing, you should, first of all, think about your comfort. At rehearsals and training, style and beauty are not the most important.

You should be able to move freely and perform all movements with full force. This rule is significant for beginners. Although some dance styles require specific clothing or footwear (for example, high heels dance is simply impossible to imagine without high heel shoes), beginners should still opt for convenience.

Besides, it is also essential to consider a specific style. The fact is that in some cases, clothing emphasizes your active movements, making them more expressive (for example, in a street dance); in others, the emphasis is on the work of your body and muscles (for example, in ballet).

While some styles, like tap dance, may require specialized shoes, other types, like contemporary dance, require no footwear or the use of half-sole socks.

Dance Styles and ClothingDance Styles and Clothing

Although there are a vast variety of styles in the modern world and they are all intertwined, forming new eclectic trends, several main types can still be distinguished. We will look at clothes suitable for basic styles and lessons.


Ballet is a rather strict direction. As a rule, dance schools list things you must purchase before classes start. As a general rule, a tight-fitting outfit is required that emphasizes your movements, allowing coaches to see your mistakes. For types, you will need:

  • Leotard. It is made of elastic fabric (e.g., knitwear or elastane), can be on the straps or with long sleeves, and is practically not felt on the body.
  • Tights or leg warmers. They help the body keep muscles warm, protecting them from injury and providing freedom of movement.
  • Ballet or pointe shoes. Their choice is quite a complex matter. They have a rigid toe box that allows dancers to stand on their toes.

In some cases, it is acceptable to replace specialized clothing items with tight-fitting yoga clothing, especially if you are not a professional ballet dancer.

Modern dance

Modern dance is a fairly broad category, which can include a huge variety of directions:

  • locking;
  • popping;
  • hip-hop;
  • break dance;
  • dancehall;
  • waacking, etc.

In this type, there are practically no rules and requirements for clothing, except for one thing — your comfort. You can choose loose sweatpants or tight leggings, an oversized t-shirt or tank top, modern sneakers, or soft flats.

The main thing is that the apparel you choose is made of breathable fabric, which at the same time wicks away sweat well. Modern dances usually differ from many others in their active movements, sharp turns, and jumps, so to protect your knees from injury, you can use elastic bandages or knee pads.

Partner danceDance Practice Clothes

It is another broad category. Partner dances are danced with a partner (hence the name). This group includes a ballroom, social, and even folk dances. Usually, these directions have a fairly clear list of requirements for artists’ outfits (heel height, skirt length, and so on), which can vary greatly from each other.

However, these requirements are only important for performances and professional artists. The choice of clothing for training is not regulated. Therefore, you can come to class in comfortable sweatpants and a loose T-shirt. In this case, it is more important to pay attention to shoes. If you know you’re going to be wearing heels at concerts, it’s best to start with those shoes so you can get used to them. For beginner dancers, it is better to choose low heels and gradually increase their size.

Belly dance

Belly dance is a special kind of oriental dance. In this case, the main focus is on the abdomen and hips, so it is advisable to choose the right outfit. Usually, dancers perform in short t-shirts or crop tops that show the audience the movement of their abdomens (although it is optional for training).

Your pants should have a loose fit. Flowy fabric accentuates the direction of your legs and hips during turns.

Purchasing a special hip scarf decorated with beads or artificial coins will not be superfluous. It is a hallmark of many styles of belly dance and not only puts focus on your hips but also serves as a kind of musical accompaniment.

You can also choose a brightly beaded top to make your outfit look as authentic as possible. Usually, belly dance is danced barefoot or in thin ballet flats. Sneakers or high heels are best left at home.

Dance Practice Clothes: High HeelsDance Practice Clothes

Dancing in high heels is a relatively new trend. Based on the name, you can understand that special attention is paid to footwear here. It can be shoes, ankle boots, and even boots. Keep in mind that closed shoes provide better support for your feet and protect against injury, but it’s important to get the right size.

For added stability, you can choose models not only with high heels but also with thick soles. Such footwear is needed both for training and performances. By and large, any dance designed for high heels can be performed in regular sneakers.

There are much fewer requirements for clothes in this style. You can choose any outfit that will emphasize your body. For lessons, you can purchase stretchy leggings and a loose T-shirt.

Unique Outfit For Each Dance Style

There are many dance styles, and there can be many outfits for training. Before starting classes, ask your coach or trainer what clothes and shoes you should buy. It is possible that in your wardrobe there are the right things.

When choosing the right apparel, always put your comfort and safety first. Pay special attention to shoes because the wrong size or inappropriate shape can cause health problems. The perfect outfit will make your dance practice comfortable and give you confidence.

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