What to Wear to Ballet Class: Staying Comfortable and Safe


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Are you excited for your or your child’s first day of ballet class? Yes, it can certainly prove thrilling yet daunting at the same time, especially if you don’t know what to wear to ballet class.

Don’t worry; we’re here to help. We'll talk about the gear you should bring and wear to a ballet class both as a parent and student.

What to Expect During the First Lesson

Before we learn about what to wear to ballet class, first, let us give you a little bit of context on what you can expect in your first session.

Most Classes Are Structured the Same

Classical ballet is very heavy on tradition. That’s why a lot of classes, no matter where you are training in the world, will be structured more or less the same.

The class will begin at the barre, then move on to exercises meant to refine your fundamentals, and finally, deal with activities that involve more challenging forms.

Punctuality Is a Must

You are expected to come at least 15 minutes earlier than your class and ready for warm-up.

That said, you must arrive even earlier than that if you’re not dressed yet upon arriving.

You Are Not Expected to Do Everything Perfectly

During your first class, no one expects you to do everything perfectly.

However, you're expected to follow and apply the corrections given to you to the best of your knowledge and ability.

Your Progress Is Unique

Don’t compare yourself to other students. What really matters is your discipline and dedication to the art.

You’ll start gaining confidence and seeing improvements before long.

What Should I Bring to Ballet Class?

Let us now talk about the gear you should bring to the class: the essentials and as a student and parent.

The Essentials

Here are the most essential items you should bring to class:

These items are a must for girls. It is crucial to keep your hair out of the way during rehearsals because it minimizes any hindrances when making forms.

Tidy hair also makes it easier for your ballet master or mistress to see your posture.

  • A Hygiene Kit

Ballet requires rigorous physical activity so be sure to pack a hygiene kit with you.

It must contain towels, big and small to wipe off the sweat, and deodorant or body spray to keep your odor in check.

  • A Notebook and a Pen

It would help to write down any of the corrections provided by your instructor to remind you of them when you practice at home.

You might want to jot down any new terms you’ve learned as well.

  • Water and Snacks

Finally, don’t forget to bring a water bottle and some fruits to snack on during breaks.

By the way, it is not ideal to chew gum or lozenges during rehearsals. It can increase your risk of choking, given the swift and intense movements you’ll be performing.

As a Parent

Aside from the essentials we have mentioned above, here are other things that you might want to pack into your child’s dance pack as a parent:

While it’s still a good idea to pack them as an adult student, having one handy as a parent will ease your mind that you have something to clean minor cuts and scrapes. 

It can also help clean dirty hands during and after practice, especially if the students are not allowed to leave the studio area until rehearsals are over.

  • Bandages

You might want to pack some bandages of different sizes as well.

  • A Camera

Please do not use one with flash, and do your recordings discreetly.

  • Reading Material

You can bring reading material or anything that can keep you entertained while you’re waiting.

As a Student

For the adult student, we also recommend bringing the following:

  • A Disposable Razor

A razor is great for last-minute touchups and emergencies, both for your legs and underarms.

  • Makeup Bag

Always keep a makeup bag handy in your dance pack since they come in handy if you need to wear one for an emergency audition after rehearsals.

  • Extra Photo and Resume

This is for the advanced student who wants to prepare for unexpected opportunities.

Just keep it in a folder or plastic envelope where it won’t get crumpled or wet.

  • Extra Clothes

Finally, you will need to bring sets of clothes for changing.

You need extra dance attire and a casual set to change to after rehearsals.

tips on what to wear to ballet class

What to Wear to Ballet Class

Ballet is one of those practices that follow strict rules and traditions, so many people get immediately intimidated by it, even if they’re just watching as an audience.

If the audience is expected to dress a certain way, then you can be sure that the rules are even more strict for students and performers.

The question is, what is your dance attire? It is traditional for women to wear pink tights.

It should specifically be ballet pink or in a similar hue, no bright fuschia and neons allowed, a black leotard, and a pair of pink ballet slippers.

You can also wear a short ballet skirt if you want. 

For men wondering what to wear for ballet class, you can wear black tights with a fitted shirt, preferably white, black ballet slippers, and a dance belt.

By the way, a dance belt is not a “belt” per se. Instead, it is a kind of undergarment used by male ballet dancers to protect and support their genital area.

We are basing this information on traditional practice, so we recommend further inquiring with your dance school to make sure you have their required attire on point.

How Do You Dress for Ballet Class?

Wear the ballet class outfit we have mentioned above and keep your hair neatly in a bun and out of the way. That applies to both women and men with long hair.

It is also considered proper etiquette to wear ballet class attire with no holes or tears in them, especially your tights.

Can You Wear a Bra in Ballet?

Let us now move on to what to wear for ballet class in terms of undergarments. For women, we recommend wearing seamless underwear, but it should provide decent coverage.

Yes, you can also wear a bra as part of your ballet class outfit.

Just be mindful of your chosen color. It should either match your leotards or your skin color.

In this way, it wouldn’t look too uncouth if your strap accidentally peaks through.

How to Wear a Dance Belt

If you’re a man, and you’re going to wear a dance belt for the first time, then beware.

It won’t be the most comfortable thing in the world. You will get used to it eventually, though. We have a few tips to help you out.

  • Decide on the Color

We recommend getting one closest to your skin color to allow your dance belt to remain practically invisible even under a pair of white tights.

  • Make Sure That It’s the Right Fit

Dance belts are usually sized according to the waistline.

By the way, this tip applies to all the other pieces in your ballet class attire.

  • Put It On

You need to do this in a safe space where you won’t feel awkward being naked and rearranging yourself, for lack of a better term.

You also need ample time to do this properly. Don’t rush.

Pull the dance belt all the way up so that the thong lines up and the thick band reaches your waist.

  • Adjust

Scoop your genitals to make sure that everything is tucked and safe inside.

You should also point your penis facing upwards to give it the support it needs and achieve the silhouette you’re probably aiming for.

  • Make Final Adjustments

Shake around a bit. Nothing should be moving around. Pull your tights on and check the look in the mirror.

You should feel confident in how you look and knowing that the belt will keep you supported throughout your rehearsal or performance.

What Do You Wear to a Ballet at Home?

The great thing about practicing ballet at home is that you won’t be required to follow the same strict dress code you’re obliged to in the studio.

You should wear the right footwear, though. Wearing the right pair of shoes in ballet is critical for added traction and support while also preventing injuries.

You might also find it more comfortable wearing your support garments, like your bra and dance belt, especially if you want to get used to wearing them more.

To Sum Up

Dressing up for a rehearsal is not that complicated. The traditional attire for women is just ballet pink tights, black leotards, and pink ballet shoes.

On the other hand, men should wear black tights, a fitted white shirt, and black ballet shoes.

As for the undergarments, women can wear bras as long as they are appropriately colored. Meanwhile, men should wear a dance belt to give their genital area coverage, form, and proper support.

How you wear your hair is part of the dress code too. Those with long hair should keep it neatly in a bun.

Men with short hair won’t have any problems, as long as their hair wouldn’t hinder their eyesight and movement. Otherwise, you might be required to tie your hair back as well.

Finally, don’t forget to pack other ballet essentials along with a change of clothes during practice to make your rehearsals more convenient and enjoyable.

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