“Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits!” - Anonymous
More and more people are choosing to learn how to dance.
But how do you get ready for your first dance class?
Tango shoes, tights, pointe shoes, leotards, skirts, petticoats, shorts, culottes, etc., what accessories and dancewear do you need for learning how to dance?
Here are the answers to all your questions on dance accessories.
Buy the Right Dance Clothes
Learning to dance costs both time and money. Don’t worry, though! Dancing is an activity that doesn’t necessarily require a lot of equipment.
It’s up to each person to decide exactly what they’ll need and how passionate they really are about dancing.
However, here’s some advice to get you started when choosing your dance apparel to make sure you get the right clothing.
Choosing a Top
It’s important, when learning to dance, to wear comfortable clothing, especially when it comes to tops. You also need to be aware that you’ll get hot while dancing and exercising. You may also be required to wear several layers in some instances.
That’s why a lot of dancers opt to wear a leotard and a top they can take off if they get too hot. It should fit nicely and allow you to train comfortably.
When you're practising in class, you don't need to worry too much about dance costumes. You can often wear a camisole or a top you can move around in comfortably.
Buying the Right Bottoms
Choosing the right bottoms is important because your legs need to be able to move about a lot.
We tend to think that loose trousers like jogging bottoms are perfect for learning to dance. However, if they’re too loose, they could end up hindering your movements.
Leggings and tights are often worn with tops or you can get unitards. They won’t hinder your movements and you won’t get too hot in them, either.
There are specific dance tights and dance pants you can get which are better suited to moving around a lot. They'll come with an elastic waist. Depending on your style, you might need footless tights, especially if you're not wearing shoes and don't want to slip on the parquet.
There are different uniforms for different disciplines. While you'll probably only wear a tutu if you're doing ballet, there are many different dance skirts available for dancers. You need to be able to move in your skirt, especially for disciplines like Argentine tango.
There are dance shorts available for both men and women. Like we said about tops, you also need to get comfortable bottoms when you dance.
Knowing what to expect during your first dance lesson may help you choose the right dance wear!
Some people prefer to dance barefoot. However, shoes can help keep your feet in the right position and help you to avoid certain injuries. Arguably, dance shoes are the most important thing a dancer will buy.
You need the right shoes for the style of dancing you’re doing, too. While women will have to wear heels for Argentine tango, ballet dancers will need ballet pointes (also known as ballet slippers).
Given how many different styles there are, you need to make sure you have the right footwear. While a ballerina will opt for a pointe shoe, the only real ballet shoe you can get, if you're doing ballroom dance, you'll need ballroom shoes.
Of course, you can't do tap dancing without tap shoes but you can do rhythmic gymnastics without any shoes.
Invest in a Dance Bag
Whether you’re doing evening classes, private tutorials, group classes, a dancing training, you’re going to need to have your own dancing equipment. To transport all this equipment, you’re going to need the right bag.
Dance bags are usually cylindrical holdalls with handles on the top.
While this bag is very common amongst dancers, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only type of bag you can get. However, it is very popular for just how good it is at transporting dance equipment. You can carry it either on your shoulder or in your hands.
In addition to the bag, you need to carefully choose what you put in it.
To get the most out of your dance classes, make sure you bring a bottle of water along so you can stay hydrated throughout. You can also bring along a change of clothes to put on once you’ve finished. This can be useful for regulating your body temperature once you finish.
In any case, a good bag is one that doesn’t weigh you down. You may have to spend the whole day with it because you don’t have time to go home before your dance class. It has to be both discreet and practical.
I recommend getting a bag just for your dance equipment. This means you won’t have to empty it out after each session.
Discover the benefits that dancing can have on your mind and body!
Extra Accessories for Learning to Dance
Sometimes there’s equipment that you wouldn’t typically think of. These accessories aren’t essential, but they can be really useful.
It’s always a good idea to have a few accessories in your bag as you never know what’s going to happen.
If you have long hair, these might be essential. It can be really annoying trying to dance and constantly having your hair in your eyes.
Most ballet dancers will have their hair in a bun. A simple ponytail can also do the trick.
Make sure to bring a load of bobbles and hair clips. You can also buy nets that go around a bun so that it stays in place throughout a dance show.
Protection for Your Feet
When you learn ballet and have to wear ballet pointes, you often need something to protect your feet.
You can buy silicone or foam toe covers to protect your pointes as well as lambswool toe protectors. You can also get spacers to put between your toes to avoid bunions.
You might also need varnish and toe caps for throughout the year. Of course, you can get these as and when you need them. You don’t need to buy everything for your first lesson. It’s a good idea to wait and hear what your dance teacher has to say.
Learning Materials for Dancers
It’s not always obvious what you should get. Sometimes you’ll need more than just weekly lessons in order to make as much progress as you want to. It might be worthwhile investing in some extra learning materials.
You can buy books on the history of dance and certain dance techniques. Some books can show you certain steps and provide you with some good tips. Of course, you can’t replace a teacher with books, but they can help.
Using a DVD can often be more effective than a book since you can see exactly how to learn a certain step with a DVD. You might get it wrong if you were just reading how to do it.
DVDs are generally sold in terms of the style of dance and the level (beginner, intermediate, expert, etc.).
You can also find free content and paid-for content to complement your dance tutorials.
Platforms like YouTube offer plenty of videos on how to dance and learn dance moves. It would be a shame to not use them.
All these learning materials can be used to help you learn how to dance on your own. This is very useful for those who, for one reason or another, cannot get dance lessons.
What is the best age to start dancing? Clearly, younger dancers cannot learn from YouTube, right?
Find the best dance classes near me are there.
Where Can You Buy Dance Equipment?
There are plenty of ways to buy your dance equipment. You can get clothing, shoes, DVDs, etc. in both stores and online.
Sports shops often sell dance accessories, too. You can find dance equipment in places like Decathlon, for example, where you’ll find an entire aisle dedicated to dancing and performance arts. However, there’s nothing stopping you checking out the other aisles, either.
There are also dedicated dance shops. These shops are more likely to be found in larger cities. They’ll have a better range of products and more choice.
If you don’t live near one of these shops, don’t forget that a lot of them will have an online store. More and more of them are going online. The internet is great for finding plenty of accessories. You can compare prices and products.
There are plenty of different dance accessories (shoes, clothing like tutors, tights, tutus, leotards, etc.) available online. However, there’s one big disadvantage to buying online. You can’t see the quality of each item.
For those on a budget, you can also find second-hand accessories. You can get everything you need without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re doing ballroom dancing, Latin dancing, modern dance, hip hop, Zumba, belly dancing, pole dancing, tap, contemporary, flamenco, or jazz, you’ll be ready to go!
Learn more about dancing in this complete guide for the beginner dancer!