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Dance Gear Essentials

Depending on the style of dance and the studio’s dress code, required dancewear will vary.  So it is best to consult the studio before purchasing dance gear.  

But for those who prefer to prepare ahead, here is a list of essentials that will likely suit any dance style:



A leotard serves as a smoother and shaper, showing off the dancer’s form while allowing full range of motion.  It is important that the leotard be close-fitting enough to support the dancer, but not too tight or restrictive.  Some leotards for females include a built-in bra, but dancers may still want to wear a bra or sports bra underneath.


Leggings or Jazz Pants

Leggings are snug to allow visibility of the dancer’s leg muscles, but for added coverage, leggings are made with thicker materials than tights. 

Jazz pants tend to fit somewhat close around the buttocks and hips, but then loosen around the legs for a more comfortable fit.  While jazz pants may be worn in most dance classes, they are not ideal for ballet, as they may block the instructor’s sightline to the feet and get in the way of proper ballet technique.



Because tights are very close-fitting, they can be worn under jazz pants or as visible dance attire. 

Tights help to keep the leg muscles warm and pliable, and material is soft, permitting dancers to move at their maximum.  Since tights are designed to conform to the dancer’s muscles, they also allow dance instructors to survey the body for any needed corrections. 


Dance Shoes

Ballet will always require ballet slippers, but jazz shoes should be a suitable start for most other styles.  Shoes directly affect performance, so it is very important that dancers choose the right fit. 

Ballet slippers should hug the foot like a glove, but without being tight to cause suffocation or discomfort. 

When selecting jazz shoes, dancers should pay close attention to the heel, how slippery the sole is, and how snug the shoe fits, since most jazz shoes have a more narrow fit than street shoes.


Dance Bag

And to carry it all, get a dance bag with its own flare that speaks to you.  Dance bags can be duffle, backpack, sling back, or tote.  Simply choose the bag that’s right for you!

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