Most Dance schools have dress codes for their pupils. It may seem like a lot to worry about for a simple dance class but there are many reasons why a dress code is important and a good idea.
Uniforms encourage discipline. ... As much as dancing is enjoyable, discipline is required to ensure everyone in class receives a high standard of teaching. Uniforms are a reminder that there are rules to follow and respect. A dress code teaches students discipline, helping with overall focus and energy.
By “dressing the part” dancers feel like part of the group. Our goal is to encourage the team spirit and the focus and respect that learning the art of dance requires. Dress codes go a long way in minimizing distractionsand help give classes a unified look.
As teachers started to notice how dangerous certain postures were, they started asking dancers to wear less and less so they could keep their bodies safe. Leotards were actually invented for the circus, but dancers started wearing them as an alternative to the dresses that hid the body. Keep your body safe.
The dress code ensures that your child’s teacher will be able to see their students’ alignment and positioning. The teacher needs to be able to see a dancer’s lines. Baggy clothing can mask bad habits, making improvement difficult. For Street dance this is not always necessary as Street is all about personal style and sometimes a baggy t-shirt can “add character”. Here at Danceworks we still like a fitted T-shirt so we can still see your child’s alignment as even though Street dance is not as technical as our other styles a dancer’s body still needs to be safe and in sync in rehearsals.
There are several items that are essential to have for any dance class:
For girls, the main article of clothing for Ballet, Tap and Acro is called a leotard. That’s what goes on your dancer’s body—like a swimsuit. Our ABD Leotards also have a chiffon skirt that either comes attached or separate depending on grade. We also have lycra shorts for Acro that fit over the top of your leotard which don’t interfere with your performance. Boys have a unitard (leotard and shorts in one) for Acro.
To cover their legs in Ballet and Tap girls wear tights, they go underneath the leotard. They can be footed if the dancer will be wearing shoes, footless if the dancer will be dancing barefoot for Lyrical/Jazz. Ballet/Tap socks are also required in warmer weather. Some styles of dance (jazz/tap) require black leggings (slightly thicker, cotton and form fitting) instead of tights. Boys usually wear black tights or leggings depending on the style of dance in which they are enrolled. For Acro no tights or socks are required as this is for an acrobat’s safety.
Black leggings are required in Musical Theatre, street dance.
Black Stageworks/Danceworks t-shirts are required for Street and Musical Theatre.
Shoes: Each style of dance has its own shoe.
Ballet shoes are soft canvas shoes, pink for girls and black for boys. Ballet shoes also come in various styles, with or without elastic or ribbons. Ballet shoes should fit like a sock (not with the normal thumb size room you’d look for in a trainer). They usually don’t come in left and right shoes but are interchangeable from foot to foot. That can enable a longer wear period before the big toe wears out.
Tip: Ballet shoes have elastic that runs around the edge of the shoe that allows the dancer to cinch the shoe around their foot for a good snug fit. Once a comfortable size has been achieved, simply double knot the elastic and cut it off with about 1 – 1 1/2 inch left. Then tuck these ends (naughty friends) under the edge of the shoe. They do not need to be untied and tied every time.
Jazz shoes are similar but cover more of the foot and sometimes have a very small heel. Jazz shoes for Street/Cheer/Musical Theatre is also an important shoe. Especially for exams, performances and annual shows. Jazz shoes are amongst the most versatile pieces of footwear in the dance world and it’s essential as they help you perform at your best. They’re flexible enough to be used for cheerleading too. Whether you’re looking for rubber or suede, slip-on or lace-up, full sole or split sole jazz shoes.
Tap shoes have metal plates on the ball and heel of the shoe to make the noise! You can’t Tap without them! They are made from a soft leather that break in very easily. These should fit as a normal shoe and are true to size
Always double check with your child’s teacher before purchasing and keep and eye on if your child needs new ones. We know children's feet grow so quick so its important to have the correct fitting to ensure comfort.
Uniforms can definitely be expensive! At Danceworks &Stageworks, we understand this concern. However, we know the importance of wearing a specific uniform to each class and would like to share that with you!
First and foremost, we want to see our dancers bodies! Seeing proper posture and alignment in our students is of upmost importance in a dancer’s training. The uniforms that we pick and are essential to our examining body enhance this and enable us to see what we need in order to help them improve. We want to see alignment from head to toe. The best way to see this is in tight fitting clothing. Specifically tights and a leotard for ballet & tap, or leggings for other street and cheer. No long baggy trousers that cover shoes especially for tap.
The correct shoe is essential to any dancer. Ballet shoes should be a comfortable secure fitting that supports the foot and allows it to move flexibly.
Tap shoes again should be comfortable that allows the foot to bend, point and flex with two taps, one on the heel and one on the toe.
Street dance and cheer should always have suitable shoes that allows the dancer to perform to the best standard. Jazz shoes we find are perfect.
Musical theatre should always wear jazz shoes, whether in dance, drama or singing, a comfortable soft shoe to practice and rehearse in makes a difference. Jazz shoes are also required on all performances including exams.
We want all our students to feel equal and a part of something! By having uniforms, it allows each dancer to feel part of that class and unifies them as a group. Performers are still able to show their uniqueness and personality through their class.
Dancers should always dance in time with each other and in time to the music. While having everyone in the same uniform, it makes a cohesive atmosphere and usually promotes dancers to dance together in unison. This is the team atmosphere we strive for.
Any professional dance environment will have a specified uniform. We would like to prepare and create a professional environment for our students. Prepare them for their future if dancing is something they’d like to pursue even in adulthood! When dancers all dress alike, it is a clean, professional class where all dancers are valued and respected. When all dancers are in proper uniform, they are showing their teacher respect. This is our standard and it is expected by our teachers. When you are dressed sloppy, it shows our teachers that you are not ready and prepared for class.
This rule also applies to our teachers, Stageworks & Danceworks teachers will also be in correct uniform and shoes to help set an example.
And last, but not least… feeling the part! When you feel ready for a specific class and look the part, you will dance the part! For each style, we have uniforms that will make you feel like a professional. When you feel that, you will dance that to the best of your ability.
Below is our Danceworks and Stageworks essential Uniform.
(hoodie & bag optional)
ABD Ballet pre prep-prep & primary
ABD Ballet Grade 1
ABD TAP pre prep-prep & primary
ABD Tap grade1-4
Acrobatic Arts Acro