Children's Ballet Class Essentials (& Where To Get Them)
Is it your child’s first ballet class and you’re looking for the essentials so they’re prepared?
Read this and you’ll know everything your kid needs to come to ballet class prepared. It’s not too complicated once you get the hang of it.
Ballet Class Essentials
1. Ballet Shoes
These are the most important pieces in a dancer's wardrobe. Ballet shoes allow the dancer to glide on the floor with strength and agility. They also allow them to articulate through the feet and give off a clean, finished look.
When children are learning to dance, it's important to have a perfect grip on the ground so they can learn how to control their body properly.
- Leather Full Sole Ballet Shoes - Many older ballet schools and teachers will recommend that your child has this particular type of shoe because they believe this sturdy shoe builds their foot strength. After lots of practice, a dancer will one day progress to full sole pointe shoes so these shoes are a good way to prepare. However, in my experience, these shoes are too bulky for children and they often complain about them and don't want to wear them.
- Half Sole Canvas Ballet Shoes - These shoes are made up of soft canvas and are complete with two half soles on the ball of the foot and heal, leaving a gap on the arch of the foot. Half Sole shoes allow dancers to easily articulate through the feet and the canvas makes them feel soft and comfy!
- Draw Strings - I highly recommend getting ballet shoes with no draw strings. The elastic drawstrings found on most leather shoes and some canvas shoes create an obstacle for young dancers taking ballet class because they constantly come un-done.
The best shoe for your child is a canvas ballet shoe, with half soles and no drawstrings. You can find canvas ballet shoes here.
A leotard is a one-piece stretchy garment that covers a dancer's body from the crotch to the shoulders. Leotards allow dancers and teachers to see their body alignment clearly, they also allow dancers to move with ease and comfort.
I recommend simple and comfortable leotards for children. When leotards are not the correct size or have too much going on, this can create a major distraction during ballet class. You can find the perfect leotard here.
Tights cover the legs from the toes to the hips and they go underneath the leotard. Ballet dancers wear light pink opaque tights. Dancer's wear these certain tights so they and the instructor can easily see if they are doing movement correctly and using the correct muscles. Tights also allow a barrier so the legs are not bare.
Convertible tights or footed tights - Tights should always be over the dancers feet, however, convertible tights have a small hole placed underneath the foot. The hole makes it easy for dancers to take the tights of just the feet if they need too. This is a great advantage when transporting your child to and from dance class without getting the bottom of their feet dirty. If the convertible tights create a distraction, children should wear footed tights so there is no option to take the feet out.
Color - Ballet tights should be a very light shade pink. If they are too pink, it can be hard to see the dancers legs clearly.
Material - Tights marked as 'ultra soft' are the way to go, that way there is no complaining about them being uncomfortable.
You can find the best ultra soft, light pink, convertible tights here.
Skirts are an optional addition to the ballet wardrobe. I always tell parents that I allow skirts unless they become a distraction. Tiny dancers love to wear skirts because they add some pizzaz to their outfit and they love twirling in them.
If your child does wear a skirt to class, I suggest something simple that they won't be distracted by. You can find a simple yet fun ballet skirt here.
5. Hair Accessories
It is crucial that your child's hair stay out of their face while dancing. Having hair down around the face can be one of the biggest distractions for children in ballet class.
For short hair - Use clips or bobby pins to hold the hair away from the face. Headbands are usually not a good choice because they are often taken on and off and played with.
For medium length hair - Place hair in a tight pony tail.
For long hair - Place hair in a tight point tail, next twist the money tail, wrap it in a small circle and pin it in place using one hair tie and some bobby pins.
6. Ballet Bag
Having a special place to keep all of your child's dance attire is the key to staying organized! It is all too often that parents forget just one shoe or one piece of their child's ballet outfit because it was not all kept together. Having a bag with separate compartments for shoes, clothes and accessories can be a life changer! Check out this awesome ballerina backpack here!
Getting your child prepared for their first ballet class isn't as intimidating as it seems. Follow these 6 tips for ballet class essentials and your child will be twirling in class with ease and grace!
To find all of these essentials in one place, visit The Ballet Land.