PREFERRED SHOE COLORS AND STYLES:
Please talk with the instructor to check his/her preference. These are general guidelines that apply to most classes.
TAP - Flat, black, lace up tap shoes
JAZZ - Black, slip-on or lace up jazz shoes
HIP-HOP - Black, split-sole dance sneakers
MUSICAL STAGE - Black or Tan slip-on jazz shoes (depending on the class)
BALLET - Soft leather, split sole, pink slippers (see below for details)
Young Children's Developmental Dance - Attire requirements:
- Young girls - A leotard, tights/leggings, and pink split-sole ballet slippers are preferred. Dance skirts are optional.
- Young boys - A tight fitting t-shirt, shorts/leggings, and black split-sole ballet slippers are preferred.
- Certain classes may also require tap shoes. See the class description for this information.
BALLET CLASS ATTIRE POLICY/REQUIREMENTS:
It is difficult to assess a child’s progress when students do not come dressed in appropriate dancewear. We ask that the children please arrive to class in black leotards, pink tights, and ballet slippers (soft leather, split sole, pink slippers). We also request all students come to class with hair secured neatly back, in a bun, with a hairnet.
DRESS CODE EXPLAINED
Many dance schools require a specific dress code for attending ballet class, and for good cause. Close fitting leotards and tights have a purpose. The student dressed appropriately, in body fitting attire, will have movements seen by the teacher. The student’s successes will be celebrated and encouraged. The student’s errors will be gently corrected. If the instructor cannot observe a student’s form, both brilliance and mistakes will go unnoticed.
In a well-founded dance class, students are not just taught a series of steps. Students are taught technique and form—the proper way to execute steps. This not only allows students to move forward, but also to do so safely, with as little strain to the body as possible. Appropriate attire makes this part of the teacher’s job possible.
Certainly, the teacher’s job is also to teach and demonstrate dance steps in a graduating level of difficulty. However, without proper technique training (how to do the steps) the students will not be capable of performing the steps taught—at least not performing them well. The students will not progress and, in all honesty, the student’s family is not getting its money’s worth in lessons.
Therefore, proper form and technique serve a purpose. In simple terms, these are golden secrets that the teacher shares with students, over years, in a coaching style relationship. Mastery of these little hints, clues and methods, allow dancers to move on, confidently and successfully, to more complicated and advanced steps. Without the knowledge of good technique, (alongside repeated practical application of good technique) more advanced skills cannot be accomplished.
Proper technique, postural alignment and placement must become habitual. When the teacher cannot observe whether or not a student’s form is correct, the teacher cannot praise or correct. And this is the teacher’s job. The teacher cannot perform this job without seeing a student’s body.
The more uniformly a class is attired, the easier it is for the teacher to detect non-uniformity in placement, alignment and proper technique. If your child forgets dance clothes one week, there are clean extra clothes in the dressing room for borrowing. We all forget sometimes! Simply take the borrowed dancewear home, launder and return for someone else on their off days.
For the same reasons listed above, I request all students come to class with hair secured neatly back, in a bun, with a hairnet. Loose, fall in the face or flying hair draws a teacher’s focus away and distracts from her/his true purpose; attending to the student’s dancing. Loose hair also distracts the attention of the child who sports the loose hair!
Instructors are happy to demonstrate a 3-minute bun at the beginning or tail end of any class. Once one learns this technique, a bun is quicker and easier than any other way to secure the hair! If you or your child has forgotten to pack hair accessories, these are also available in the dressing room, in a box, inside one of the cubbies, on the far right. The box is marked. Do not return, once you’ve used them, they are yours.
If your child requires a new pair of slippers, please purchase soft leather, split sole, pink slippers. Slippers made of bonded sateen and foam, available at local general retail stores, are not good choices for several reasons.
These satiny shoes are upturned at the toe-end and make the proper demi-pointe and full pointe positions of the arched foot difficult for the student to achieve, and difficult for the instructor to evaluate. These slippers are also very slippery on the floor surface, which is finished to suit a leather soled dance shoe. The good news is the leather shoes should not be any more expensive than the satiny ones.