Dress for the Dance You Want

When it comes to attire for your lessons, it really is a matter of personal preference; however, dressing the part truly makes a difference. A long dress for foxtrot or a fun skirt with fringe for salsa can help put you in the right mindset to add your personality to each dance. How do you know where to start when choosing your practice clothes for the first time? When do you wear what? It can be confusing, so let us help clear up a few questions for you!

If the heel fits…

Taking care of your feet can help improve your quality of life and allow you to maintain the appropriate level of physical activity, Ballroom dancing is a low-impact aerobic activity that helps increase flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. Keeping your feet healthy is key to achieving your dancing and wellness goals.

We recommend new students wear sturdy, comfortable shoes (that will not fall off your feet) to provide extra support and comfort while you are in the beginning stages. More experienced students should wear dance shoes, which have flexible heels and a suede sole to allow the correct amount of friction. It can be a process of trial and error to find the perfect shoes, but we can help you find the right dance shoes for you!

What about my clothes?

In the beginning stages of learning to dance, comfort is key. Some students come directly from the office, others from a day of running errands, so we understand that it is not always feasible to wear dance clothes. We recommend that you wear something comfortable and moveable, but that also helps get you into the mindset of ballroom dancing.

Typically, gentlemen wear slacks and a polo or button-down shirt with dress shoes, and ladies wear slacks or a skirt (that allows movement) with a blouse. Students who are looking to exercise may be more likely to wear fun yoga pants and a gym top, and students who love the art of dance are more likely to wear practice clothes designed for dancing

and shoes associated with the style they are dancing.

Smooth & Standard Dances

If you’ll be dancing more formal styles such as waltz or quickstep, it’s best to have attire that reflects the style of the dance and helps accentuate your movement. Ladies may want to wear a practice dress or a leotard with a long, flowing skirt and closed toe shoes. Gentlemen should consider dress slacks(ideally made for dancing), and a button-down shirt or practice shirt. When preparing for a competition it is also important for gentlemen to practice in a jacket made for dancing so they can get comfortable with the feeling.

Rhythm, Club, & Latin Dances

There is generally more freedom in attire for these styles. Ladies typically wear a shorter practice dress or a combination of skirt and blouse (made for practicing ballroom dance). Feel free to get wild! Gentlemen usually wear dress slacks and a top that allows movement. Gentlemen also enjoy the benefit of the more adventurous trends in dance clothing for these styles. No matter what you decide to wear, try some fringe, mesh cutouts, or other daring options – now’s the time to step outside of your comfort zone and let loose!

Not ready to decide on dance clothing yet?

Have no fear! If you are still unsure about what to wear, but want to look the part, we’d recommend these safer options:

  • Golf pants
  • Polo shirts
  • Button-down shirts
  • Yoga Pants
  • Bodysuits under slacks or skirts
  • Flats or sneakers without sticky rubber soles or slippery plastic
  • Dress shoes with leather soles

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