“I’m ready to dance! What do I wear?”

Welcome to Joy of Motion! We’re here to help you make dance part of your daily life.

Today, we’re going to address the perennial question: what does one wear to dance class? We’re going to talk about adult dancers first and then chat about youth students.

Adult Students
We recommend students attend class with their hair pulled back and dressed in comfortable, form-fitting attire that does not restrict movements. For most classes, leggings, yoga pants, or athletic shorts with a tank-top or fitted T-shirt are great. For ballet classes, you certainly can wear a leotard and tights, but you also won’t be alone if you skip that. For hip hop classes, you can go with looser-fitting athletic pants or sweatpants.

Now let’s discuss footwear! The only classes that require specific footwear are tap and flamenco, so we encourage you to call our studios for some guidance. For hip hop, we suggest sneakers. For ballet, you can obviously wear ballet shoes if you have them, but socks do work as well. For anything else, you are fine in socks or bare feet. Just make sure that you wear different shoes on the street than you do in the studio — we need to protect our dance floors!

Chances are, you have clothes in your existing wardrobe that are great for dance class. But if you’d like to stock up on dance attire online, we do have an Amazon Affiliate store, which includes items picked by our studio staff and faculty and sorted by style.*

Youth Students
Joy of Motion partners with Footlights Dance & Theater Boutique in downtown Silver Spring, which is a great option for youth dancewear needs! (Use code JOM10 for a 10% discount.) If you’ve never bought dance shoes before, it’s a good call to get fitted in person by an expert. Our attire guidelines for youth students vary with both age and style, but it’s most important that students have their hair pulled back and wear clothing in which they can move freely and comfortably.

Kid Motion (for ages 2-4): comfortable and non-restrictive clothing, such as leggings or athletic shorts and a T-shirt (please avoid costumes); students can wear socks unless they are taking a style-specific class (in which case, they may need jazz, ballet, or tap shoes)

  • Ballet (age 5+): leotard and tights OR solid color T-shirt with black leggings or black ballet tights (click links for examples); ballet shoes
  • Hip Hop (age 5+): comfortable loose fitting clothes; sneakers or tennis shoes (no open-toed shoes)
  • Jazz (age 5+): leotard or solid color fitted T-shirt; jazz pants, leggings, tights, or bike shorts; jazz shoes
  • Modern (age 5+): leotard or solid color fitted T-shirt; dance tights, leggings, or fitted sweatpants; bare feet
  • Tap (age 5+): comfortable and non-restrictive dance attire or activewear; tap shoes
  • Contemporary Technique (Grade 3+): leotard or solid color fitted T-shirt; dance tights or leggings; bare feet
  • Flamenco (Grade 3+): leotard or solid color fitted T-shirt; long skirt or fitted pants; flamenco shoes/boots or hard soled shoe with heel
  • West African (Grade 3+): comfortable and non-restrictive dance attire or activewear; bare feet
  • Pointe Prep (Grade 6+): same attire as Ballet; theraband also required

Again, the key thing is to select dance attire in which you can be comfortable, creative, and active. Please feel free to call our studios with any questions!

*We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.