Partner Dance Wear

Partner dance wear can cause some concern among new pupils.

Quite often, dance teachers have pupils ask them, a bit worriedly, "What should I wear to a dance class?". So here's what I tell my pupils about dance wear.

Don't worry - the answer to that isn't "sequins and glitter" (guys, breathe a sign of relief).

At the beginner level of social dance, it’s not that big of a deal. Wear what you want.  That's it really. Don't worry about it. Anything goes. Well, almost...

The one thing that's a bit of a no-no is rubber soled shoes. They stick to the floor and making turning hard, which is hard on the knees and ankles. But as for anything else? Honestly, at the beginner level, I’m very laid back about what dance wear my pupils turn up to class in.

Ordinary clothes and shoes are absolutely fine. You don't need anything special and don't need to buy any specific dance wear at all.

You know, that's something that makes learning social dance and going to classes so accessible as you just do it in your everyday clothes.

I mean, as you progress and you become more advanced, you might want to think about investing in a pair of dance shoes. But at the beginner level, it's just not necessary so don't let anyone talk you into buying special dance wear until you are absolutely sure you're going to get good use out of it.

Partner dance shoes

There are of course other dances that do require special kit, almost from day one...

For Ballet classes, you probably won't get much out of them unless you actually wear some proper Ballet slippers, and you certainly won't enjoy Tap classes if you're not in Tap shoes.

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Ladies, I would recommend you wear a heeled shoe rather than flats. Heels will give you a bit of help with the correct posture for social dancing, and also more accurately reflect that type of shoe you're likely to be wearing if you go to a dance, wedding or social function.

Of course, when I say heel, I don't mean six inch stilettos! We don't want you to
A) trip over and do yourself an injury
B) accidentally punch a hole in your partners foot or
C) pit the lovely floor of the dance studio with little dents.
You get the picture!

And if you don't have or don't feel comfortable in shoes with a heel, that's OK. Just your favorite shoes will be fine.

Partner dance clothing

Perhaps also check what you are wearing for range of movement. The only thing I can think of that might restrict this would be a long tight skirt. But then how often do you wear those?

And perhaps make sure that whatever top you're wearing doesn't prevent your partner from easily getting you into hold.  But that's getting into very fine detail.  Seriously, whatever you feel comfortable in and normally wear is fine.

The last note to add is that if your class is taking place in a dance club, where there might be ordinary social dancing after the lesson (rather than a dance studio), they may have a dress code (no jeans or something similar), so just check before attending.

I have to say though, speaking about my own classes, what my pupils wear is something I'm very relaxed about.

Feel comfortable and feel good. And you'll concentrate on the dancing better!

› Partner dance wear