Basketball, volleyball, swimming, track, cricket… there are countless ways to promote an active lifestyle for your child. Whether it’s a team or individual sport, the point is to get them moving and in shape. And if your child has expressed an interest in dance, even better because dancing is one of the best forms of exercise available.
Aside from promoting agility and physical strength, dancing also helps children learn to express themselves through movement. Plus, dancing burns calories and is also a lot of fun! The first time you take your child to their first dance, movement or ballet class, one of the things you’ll notice are the photos of little girls in tutus and little boys in white t-shirts and tights on. That will probably have you thinking if you’ve missed something. The dance teacher recommended wearing an outfit that allows movement, but what do they really mean by that?
What do Children Wear for Ballet or Other Dance Classes?
For your child’s first lesson, regardless of the style, any clothing that doesn’t restrict their movement, cause them to trip and fall, or cause distractions will be fine. For the feet, barefoot, socks or trainers are fine. Considering that every dance style and class can be different, I’ve put together a list of the most common dance attire used in dancing classes and some helpful tips on how to choose them.
A leotard is used for most types of dances, so I’ll start with it. Dance instructors tend to require them because they’re comfortable to move around and are also durable enough to handle heavy amounts of activity. Most leotards for girls cover the torso and leave the arms and legs exposed.
As your child moves up to the dancing world, you can update to a long-sleeved leotard. When shopping for dance attire you’ll find leotards available in different types of fabrics. Leotards made from a mixture of spandex and cotton are the most common option as they are more durable and stretchier than a pure cotton leotard.
Leotards are generally recommended for female dancers while male dancers are often required to wear black tights with a white t-shirt. But girls can also use a pair of tights under their dancewear. Tights are very comfortable to wear, and the fabric stretches as your child moves around in class.
I would advise not to put your child in a tutu unless all the other children are wearing it, or it is part of the uniform. This is because sometimes ballet teachers actually don’t like tutus because they prevent children to get to participating fully in class. If the dance teacher gives the green light for the tutu, go ahead and get one. A variety of tutus are available on the market and your child’s age should be your guide as to which one to choose. In terms of style, the pancake is quite popular, but if you’re unsure about which one to get, your child’s dance instructor should be able to help.
It’s true that your child can dance in socks, but because they have no suitable grip, they might easily slide across the floor and possibly injure themselves. Dancing barefoot means there will be too much friction between a child’s skin and the floor so they won’t be able to glide around as they should. The most important things to consider when picking a good pair of shoes are the type of sole, the material and the fit.
Children’s full-soled shoes were once regarded to be the best for providing additional traction on the floor and superior support for a dancer’s foot. However, dancing shoes have evolved a lot with technological advancements and some split sole designs now offer the same level of support as full sole designs. The material the shoes are made from also plays a role. Leather, canvas, and satin are commonly used in the production of dance shoes and they all have their pros and cons.
Leather is long-lasting, but it’s tough to keep clean. Canvas shoes are pliable and easy to clean, but they are not long-lasting as leather shoes. For a few dance sessions, satin shoes will look lovely, but they can get dusty after a while. When it comes to supplies, some dance instructors have preferences. Before making a final decision, contact them.
You’ll need something to carry all of this essential dance wear to and from class. Nowadays you can find dance bags in a range of shapes and sizes and in some pretty designs. You can start with something small and basic and then update to a dream duffel bag as your child starts to participate in competitive dance.
How to Choose Dance Attire Apparel Size
Here you have two options. One is to take your child shopping with you and the other is to take their measures home and go from there. When it comes to taking precise measures, there are a few ways it can be done. For example, for taking their foot measures, you could coat their foot in paint and have them press it down on a white piece of paper.
We all know that children grow up too fast, so if you want to go up a size to leave them some room to grow, this is fine as long as the shoe isn’t too loose. Wearing a shoe that is too big can cause your child to trip and hurt themselves. Leotards and leggings are comfortable to dance around in unless they are too tight for your child.
A leotard, for instance, needs to be snug without being so tight that the straps dig into your child’s shoulders. You’ll also want to avoid going up a size because a large leotard makes it difficult to move in and will probably make your child feel too self-conscious to do much.