You’ve signed yourself or your child up for dance classes. Now what? It’s time to go shopping! You need dance clothes, shoes, maybe a new bag, and hair supplies. Dance fashion is its own unique industry and getting your dance wardrobe in order is one of the most anticipated “Back to Dance” activities that dancers look forward to each year.
Most dance classes in Winnipeg have a dress code they expect their dancers to follow. If you have a copy of that, dancewear stores can always help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Stores like Mallabar even have studio specific online stores to help you shop! All you need to do is create an account and the Maples Dance store is there for you to shop in!
Below are some things to keep in mind as you shop for dancewear.
What colour and style of dance shoes do you need? For example, does your studio prefer black or beige jazz shoes? If you’re taking hip hop and the studio indicates you need indoor runners, make sure you invest in a dedicated pair of indoor runners, so you don’t bring sand and stones onto the studio floors. Do tap shoes need to be a specific brand?
All these questions should be answered when you register or view the studio dress code. Typically, if a specification isn’t listed or told to you at registration, then the dance studio has no preference.
When sizing your dance shoes, you want them to fit properly. For younger dancers, it’s common for parents to want to get a pair of shoes that the dancer can grow into throughout the year. Unfortunately that is a bad idea as a shoe that is too big will hinder a dancer’s development and increase the risk of trips and falls during class. The last thing anyone wants is for a young dancer to get injured because they have the incorrect shoe size.
It’s smart to invest in a couple good pairs of dance tights (both ballet pink and beige) to last throughout the year. If your dance studio has a colour preference for body suits and other dancewear, be sure to pick up a few items that fit the requirements.
Investing in good body suits, dance tops, sports bras, dance pants or shorts, and dance skirts is worth it! While there is an initial investment, high quality dancewear items last longer and are more comfortable for a dancer to wear during class..
Having your hair pulled back is a requirement for almost every dance studio you go to.
Take some time to learn to do a proper bun and ponytail for dance class. Invest in good hair elastics, hair nets, bobby pins, and clips to help keep your dancer’s hair secure throughout class.
Don’t let “dance hair” frustrate you in the early stages. After a few classes of styling your hair you’ll be a pro who can do a bun in under 3-minutes!
Dancers often like to top off their dance outfits with other items like leg warmers, dance sweaters, ballet skirts, and warm-up pants. These are a fun way to add your own personal style to your dance outfit. These items also make you feel good and, when it comes to leg warmers and sweaters, they keep your muscles warm as you dance, which also reduces injuries.
Yes, dance shoes and clothes can be expensive. Help ease the stress on your wallet by signing up for email lists and following the social media of local dancewear stores like Harlequin and Mallabar. They often have Back to Dance sales and Year End Clearance sales to help you stock up at a fraction of the cost.
Make Your Items Last
Commit to taking good care of your dance shoes and clothes, and they’ll last a long time. Take time to hand wash more fragile items like tights and ballet skirts. Follow the washing instructions on your bodysuits, dance pants, and dance tops. Most importantly, hang-dry any shrinkable items like knitted sweaters and leg warmers. Dancewear is expensive, but durable if it's cared for properly. If you take good care of it you will get your money’s worth.
Remember to put your dancer’s name in their shoes and keep all your dance items in a dance bag. This way your items stay together and are less likely to get lost, and if they do get lost, they are easier to identify in the lost and found!
Where Can I Buy My Dance Clothes?
For students taking dance in Winnipeg, there are a number or excellent local dancewear shops.
*Note: stores like Walmart also tend to carry dance apparel options for younger dancers and Old Navy has some great active wear for kids and teens!