What do Toddlers Wear to Ballet Class?

Studies show that ballet improves brain function, boosts memory, and can even reduce the risk of dementia later in life. Ballet is also a top way to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and practice motor skills. Once you've enrolled your child in classes, the next step is to find their ballet attire. 

For many parents new to the dance world, they might feel lost when buying attire for ballet classes. Have no fear. This article can help. 

For all you need to know on what your child should wear for their ballet classes, read on for our basic guide. 

1. Ballet Leotards

Once you've found the best dance studio for your child to attend, the next step is finding the right dancewear. For ballerinas all over the world, their uniform is strict and specific. While some studios may be more relaxed with their attire requirements, it's certain that girls enrolled in ballet will need a leotard.

While men's ballet attire often calls for slim-fit white tee shirts and black tights, girl's ballet leotards are a must. Leotards are form-fitting pieces that allow a dance instructor to see the body's posture, lines, and movements. Leotards made with cotton, spandex, and lycra also help keep the dancer secure and comfortable when dancing.

Before shopping for your child's new leotards, be sure to check with the dance studio to ensure that there are no requirements in color, style, or brand. Some dance studios will sell their own required leotard with the studio logo and colors. However, most allow for a wide variety of styles and brands.

For your child's first leotard, you can't go wrong with a simple black or pink option. The leotard should fit snug on the body without causing discomfort or restriction when moving. Your child might like a long sleeve, halter top, tank top, or short sleeve leotard. 

Be sure to buy at least two leotards to ensure that your dancer always has a backup option in case one tears or gets misplaced. Also, consider having your child try on the leotard with ballet tights underneath to ensure the best fit. 

2. Ballet Tights 

ballet tightsWhen you've found a high-quality leotard, the only undergarments your child will need are tights. While many parents might mistake tights with pantyhose, these are two different garments. Ballet tights are thin, flexible, and form-fitting to the legs.

You can find ballet tights at your local dance supply, studio, or online at many different apparel shops. It's important to buy tights meant for dancing rather than stockings meant for casual wear. These are made with different materials and won't fit the body in the right way.

Most ballet classes ask for pink tights, but some may ask for skin color or black. Be sure to consult with your child's studio before purchasing a pair of tights. There are several different kinds of tights to choose from. 

One type of tight comes with a hole in the bottom of the foot so that a dancer may slip their foot through it. This allows for barefoot dancing without the risk of slipping and is also worn in some ballet pointe classes. This type of tight is also known as a transition or convertible tight. 

Another type of tight comes without any hole in the foot, which allows for maximized protection of the heel and toes. Most ballet classes will ask the dancer to keep their feet covered with tights while inside their ballet shoes. We recommend this type of tight for maximized comfort.

When your child tries on their tights, the waistband should come up to at least the belly button. While it's important for tights to fit snug, they shouldn't feel uncomfortable or restrictive. Be sure to buy at least two pairs of tights, as runs and tears can happen often. 

3. Ballet Shoes 

Wear ballet shoes to ballet class

Another piece of classical ballet attire your child will need is ballet shoes. Both boys and girls who take classes will need a specific type of shoe depending on the studio and class. Some studios will want leather, canvas, or mesh material. 

Leather ballet shoes are often thicker and more durable than canvas or mesh shoes. But, they are also stiffer and more restrictive. For this reason, young ballet dancers and those new to the art may prefer a canvas or mesh option. 

Many leather and canvas ballet shoes come with drawstrings to allow for an adjustable fit. Others come without a drawstring and have a flexible strap that sits across the top of the foot. If your child wears a shoe with a drawstring, be sure that they tie and tuck in their strings to keep the shoe from slipping off. 

You'll also find a variety of colors to choose from. For male dancers who wear white socks, we recommend wearing white ballet shoes. For male dancers who don't wear white socks, black ballet shoes are another option. 

In ballet, the foot should continue the line of the leg, so consider buying shoes that are the same color as the tights. 

More experienced female dancers wear pointe shoes, which consist of cardboard, paper, leather, and satin. These shoes are fit specifically to the dancer's foot and are only available for dancers who train in more advanced pointe classes. 

4. Ballet Accessories

Once you've acquired the ballet tights, leotard, and shoes, accessories are next.

As ballet dancers must have their hair in a slick ballerina bun, hair accessories are often a top option to show off a unique style. Some dancers might enjoy using colorful clips and hair ties. Others might use hair nets or sock buns for a simple look.

Another accessory your child might like is a ballet wrap skirt. Most ballet schools allow dancers to wear these skirts during class. Or, they might enjoy wearing leg warmers while warming up at the barre. 

Before purchasing any accessories, be sure that they are allowed in the studio's dance classes.

Shop High-Quality Ballet Dancewear 

If your child is ready to start their dance class, consider shopping for their ballet attire today. The right clothing can help your dancer feel confident and comfortable on the dance floor. 

For more information on all things dance, check out the rest of our website and shop our dancewear today.

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