Dancers and parents alike often ask us: “Is dress code important?” The answer is absolute! Wearing the appropriate apparel is critical to a dancer’s success in both class and beyond. Here Dance to EvOLvE’s dance director, Brittany White, reveals why dress code is so important in dance class.
Ballet and tap dress code.
I believe there are a value and real importance in a dress code during a structured dance class. However, I do question how seriously and when that dress code should be implemented. The clothing dress code helps a young dancer focus during class by:
1. Understanding they are going to a structured class (compared to an unstructured playtime)
2. Ensuring that the clothing is not a distraction during class. To this end, please leave the fairy wings et al at home!
3. Ensuring that a dancer is appropriately dressed to be necessarily covered
I do not think a dress code is necessary during general movement or ‘Mommy and me’ type classes. Of course, dance leotards, tights, and tutus always add to the fun. However, they are not required for the educational development of any tiny tot dancer during dancing class.
If you’re mindful of money (and who isn’t at this time of year?), a basic pair of leggings and a t-shirt will suffice. I would suggest setting aside the leggings and t-shirt for dance class only. In doing so the dancer learns that these clothes are affiliated with a structured class and not just playtime.
The dress code that I do struggle with is when a dance studio requires a specific leotard or a specific color for a children’s dance class, that is usually sold or branded by the dance studio.
This doesn’t benefit the dancer but it does create additional revenue for the dance studio. Money disappears quickly enough as it is when you have children plus there’s little point in spending money on expensive dance clothes that your little ones will quickly grow out of.
What’s more at that age, dancers should be having fun, and what is more fun than picking out your favorite color leotard? Even if a studio does have a strict dance code, don’t get sucked into the unnecessary pressure to buy. You can find great dance clothes at great prices at www.discountdance.com or www.dancedistributors.com.
That being said a dress code becomes more important as the dancer gets older, especially in ballet classes. Proper dance attire enables the teacher to see the dancers’ positions and movements in order to give necessary corrections for the benefit of the dancer’s education.
A dress code also teaches discipline, which is important in art as demanding as dance. For a very traditional ballet class, students are usually asked to wear a black (or solid color) leotard and pink tights. This is because pattern leotards can be a distraction to the teacher’s eye.
The other parts of a dress code in dance classes include hair pulled back in a bun (or at least a ponytail) and proper shoes. These are important for the dancer and should be adhered to.
Dress code for hip hop dance class.
A dress code for a hip hop class should be very general. To promote the culture and energy of the hip hop style, the dress code should simply be sweats, t-shirts, and tennis shoes with laces.
Dancers will often do floor work and this is why long stretchy pants are needed. Meanwhile, t-shirts are important to cover the dancers as they start moving. Tied tennis shoes with less traction are good for sliding and turning. Girls’ hair should be pulled back so they don’t develop bad habits of fidgeting with hair while they are dancing.
Importance of dress code.
Overall a dress code is important in any dance class but the strictness should depend on the age and where to buy the required clothes should always be questioned or sought out at lower prices if preferred by the parent. Nothing should keep us from dancing…