dancer lonni olsen in leggings and a crop-top teaching a combination at cli studios

Dance Attire for Each Style: How To Dress For Class

You’ve signed up for class and you’re counting down the days until you get to step into the studio! BUT, have you figured out what you’ll be wearing? Your outfit plays a huge role in your overall experience – it’ll help you move comfortably, freely, and feel confident! If you’re totally lost when it comes to choosing your dance outfit, we’ve got you covered with wardrobe tips for every style of dance.

Ultimately, it’s all about being comfortable!

If you’re taking a dance class, you’re likely going to be moving and grooving for at least 45 minutes! You’ll need an outfit that is comfortable enough to move freely in. The good news is that you probably already have clothing in your wardrobe that’ll work for dance class! T-shirts, tank tops, workout leggings, sports bras – these are all clothing items that are perfect for physical activities like dancing. Each style of dance is unique and requires types of clothing that will help show your posture, alignment, and form.

While we’re here to help guide you to the most appropriate dance attire, when it comes to choosing your outfit for different dance styles, we always suggest checking in with the studio to make sure you’re wearing the proper clothing.

What to wear to Contemporary & Lyrical dance classes

choreographer mark meismer wearing a tshirt and shorts teaching a combination to a female dancer in a sports bra and leggings and a male dancer in joggers and a tank top

Contemporary dance includes elements of jazz, ballet, and lyrical, which means that you’ll want to have clothing that allows for a wide range of motion where you can move freely. Your outfit should be fitted, but not too restrictive!

You can always wear layers like sweatpants, sweatshirts, or long-sleeved t-shirts to class and remove them as you go along. For contemporary dance, students usually keep their feet bare or wear dance socks.

In this style of dance, there’s an emphasis on groundedness and connection through mind and body, so you’ll want to wear clothing that promotes comfort above all else. This way, you’ll be able to dive deeper into your intention and narrative while dancing!

What to wear to Hip-Hop dance class

dancer ysabelle capitule teaching at cli studios wearing basketball shorts, a loose-fitting tshirt, and a baseball cap with her assistant in a sweatsuit

Dressing for a hip-hop dance class can be a fun way to showcase your unique personality! But go for comfort first, then add pieces that make you feel good. This style of dance requires loose-fitting clothing that’s super easy to move in. Grab your favorite sweats, t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers to top it off!

If you’re going to wear sweats make sure they’re lightweight. Heavy fleece will make you sweat more than you need to! Same goes for t-shirts. The lighter weight, the better for your movement.

Pro-Tip: make sure you’re wearing sneakers with less of a grip on the soles, so you can spin, turn, and slide your way through class without squeaking too much 🙂

What to wear to Ballet dance class

choreographer melissa sandvig wearing a blue leotard and a black ballet skirt teaching ballet class

Ballet requires checking your alignment! Make sure your outfit is tight-fitting so your teacher can get a good sense of your posture throughout the class. Clothing like leotards, tights, ballet skirts, or dance shorts will be perfect for ballet class.

Plus, add in a few warm-ups like shrugs, leg warmers, or pants to keep your muscles warm before class starts and at the barre! While most classes will require ballet slippers, it’s important to check in with your studio to make sure you have the appropriate shoe.

What to wear to Jazz dance class

choreographer marguerite derricks and assistants wearing all black leggings and shirts in a jazz dance class

Ah, how we love this energetic, technical style! Jazz is such a fun dance class to take, but it does require a lot of core strength and alignment. This means, similar to ballet, you’ll want tight-fitting clothing that showcases your posture. You’ll also need either jazz shoes or bare feet.

You can opt for dance shorts and tights with a fitted t-shirt or sports bras and leggings – whatever works best for you. We’re sure you have some of these articles of clothing in your closet!

What to wear to Ballroom dance class

dancer paul karmiryan wearing slacks, a button-up, and dress-shoes while he teaches class with two female assistants in black skirts, crop tops, and heels

Ballroom is all about precision and style! Lightweight and breathable clothing is a must-have in class. While you don’t have to show up in a suit or a gown, consider wearing a flared or flowy dress or skirt, or a button-up and slacks. For your feet, you’ll want dress shoes or comfortable heels – something that you know you can dance safely in!

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