Congrats – you gathered the courage to sign up for your very first ballet class, at last. Regardless of your inspiration, whether you have been dreaming of doing this since you have known about yourself or you got inspired by the latest dance competition show – you are probably very excited and full of questions. And since we are big fans of girls with big dreams, we want to support you and help you get prepared and be a confident ballerina.
To ease your stress, before you start getting ready for your very first dance lesson, I suggest you go and check on your studio’s website whether there are guidelines for certain pieces of clothing they ask their students to wear. Usually, ballet shoes, hair tie and bobby pins, leggings or yoga pants and a t-shirt or a tank top are all you will need! What’s important is that you are comfortable and can move without being restricted by your clothes.
Wearing form-fitting clothing is important so that your teacher can easily see whether your form is correct as well as whether you are using the right muscles for each exercise. When wearing form-fitting clothes, it will be also easier for you to correct yourself when looking at the mirror. Comfortable clothes are the key! You should be able to learn and dance without being distracted, so make sure you choose what feels best for you. It is completely okay to start with the essentials and upgrade your dancewear as you go.
If your studio doesn’t require colour-coded dance apparel, you can wear whatever colour of leotard you want. Your leotard should fit quite snugly and shouldn’t have any baggy bits or folds if you’re standing up straight. The simpler this piece of dance wear is – the better. Your best bet is buying one with a low back and spaghetti straps as it will allow the teacher to see your back, shoulders and your collarbone line, to ensure you’re doing your moves the right way.
Some people always wear an undergarment underneath their leotards, while others feel uncomfortable wearing anything. It all really comes down to personal preferences – there are many brands that have leotards with built-in bras which some women may find more comfortable and supporting.
What to Bring to Your First Ballet Class?
Other than the proper dancewear, you should also bring a water bottle and something to keep your sweaty clothes in after you finish with the class. You may also want to bring a small towel to wipe your sweat, to increase your comfort if you need to place your ankle on the barre or to simply place it under your hands at the barre to avoid spreading germs.
What Will Your Teacher Expect from You?
You should, always, always, always be on time. And that means early. After you’re finished with your first class, if you have any questions, you should feel free to talk to your teacher. And if you really have to leave early, let him/her know on time. Also, you will be expected to remove most jewellery from your body and to refrain from chewing gum for your safety. Wear your hair up or keep it away from your neck and face. Do your best in class and apply the corrections he/she advises you to do. Your ballet teacher will not expect you to do everything perfectly, but you might as well do your absolute best!
For ballet classes, you want to wear pink tights so that your teacher can see your lines, but black tights are also fine. However, if you opt for a black model, make sure you wear them over your leotard, not under. You shouldn’t wear stirrup tights unless you’re in pointe shoes and it looks cool.
Skirts and Warmups
If you feel more comfortable that way, you can also wear a short skirt if it doesn’t obstruct your teacher from seeing your line. As for warmups, you can wear a black shrug knit or a crop top. You can also wear legwarmers (although they are reserved for pointe shoes only), but keep in mind that they do cut your line.
And last but not least, do not compare your performance to how other dancers are doing! Ballet may take years to master, particularly if you’re taking the class only once a week. It really is a waste of energy to compare your skills or progress to that of someone else. Once you get to your first class, do your best to relax, enjoy yourself and immerse in the experience. You know what they say, ballet is one of the most exquisite ways to exercise both your brain and body!