Choosing the Proper Dancewear
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
You've found ballet shoes, and you've checked with your new dance studio to be sure you know their dress code. Now, let's find a leotard and tights for your dancer!
Leotards come in all different colors and styles! How will you ever choose? Well, if your dance studio has a dress code, you've got a head start. But, for the sake of those of you who's studio doesn't have a dress code, let's get started choosing a leotard...
Like ballet shoes, you can find basic leotards at stores like Target and Walmart, or you can more choices and better quality leotards at a dance store or online. Most little girls want pink, but don't worry, if she doesn't want pink, there's black, blue, lavender and every other color you can possibly imagine. But, let's face it, pink will probably be the easiest to find!
Some leotards come with an attached skirt or even an attached tutu. But take it from a dance teacher, an attached tutu is not preferred. We want to be able to see what your child is doing and their body placement when they are performing steps in class. An attached tutu hides their waist and hips - two of the most important body parts when working on proper alignment.
So, go ahead and choose the color and style your dancer will like! Maybe order a couple of leotards in different styles and colors so she has a choice each week.
Now, we need tights! There are almost as many choices of tights as there are leotards. But they aren't nearly as exciting. Most ballet classes require ballet pink tights. NOTE: ballet pink tights are not the same as pink tights that one might wear with a dress! Ballet pink (that's the actual color) tights have lycra in them so they stretch when your dancer moves and stay, well, tight. Good ballet tights won't bag at the knees once your dancer starts moving around.
Some of the choices you'll find for ballet tights might be confusing. For a young dancer, footed tights are preferred, however, if your child has issues with texture and feel, she may want "convertible" or "transition" tights - this means there is a hole in the bottom of the tights and they can pull the tights up above their ankles. Convertible are really useful for older dancers who wear pointe shoes - they can get to their feet to put bandaids on or tape their toes, etc... But, for a beginning, footed tights should be just fine!
And one more thing you might find helpful! The waistband! Some ballet tights have an elastic waistband that can be uncomfortable. The really nice ballet tights have a waistband that is smooth and soft against your skin. It doesn't rub or dig into your waist. The pink footed tights highlighted above have the soft knit waistband.