Tutus, Tights, and Tap Shoes-Oh My!


Hi everyone! I hope the dance season is off to a great start-we’re so excited to be dancing with you! This week, I sent out some reminders to our dancers, including a reminder about our dress code, so I thought I’d take the time during this blog post to talk about what the dress code is, why it’s important, and answer some FAQs!

What is the dress code?

The dress code is outlined in our handbook here! We’ve updated it in recent years to make it more inclusive-that’s why you’ll see skin tone tights instead of tan tights, and more than one option listed. Dance wear has come SO far in recent years-now there are many more options for skin tone tights and even shoes….because who’s skin does those tan tights match anyways?? And anyone remember the tan shimmer tights? Those were….something. 🙂

Why is the dress code important?

The dress code is important for a few reasons! First off-getting dressed and ready for class puts our students in the right mindset to dance, and eliminates distractions. Imagine going skiing right after school without putting on a helmet, coat, or snow pants! You’d rightly be distracted by your clothes and the cold. The same goes for wearing a long dress to hip hop, or dancing with your hair down. The act of putting dance clothes on and pulling your hair back also teaches discipline, which is important for dancers to develop!

The dress code is also important because it helps our teachers see the dancer’s movements. Baggy sweatpants hide your knees, which means our teachers can’t really tell if your knees are straight, or if you’re engaging the correct muscles. It’s important for our teachers to be able to see all those things in order to properly instruct the dancers!

Safety is another concern! Legs get tangled in dresses while doing floor work in hip hop class. Jewelry can fly off. Ever been whipped in the eye with the end of your braid while spotting? Ouch. Pants that are too long can be tripped over, and the wrong shoes can be slippery!

Some questions about the dress code!

What if my dancer has a sensory issue with the dress code? We get it! Sometimes it’s the feel of the tights in the shoes, or the tight feeling of a leotard. If that’s the case, please talk to us! There are lots of options now for seamless dance wear, and we can talk through some other solutions too-whether that’s tights that roll up so they don’t cover your feet, socks, etc.

My dancer is feeling self conscious about wearing tight fitting dance clothes-what to do? We get that too. Truly, we’ve been there. I never want that to be the reason a student doesn’t want to come to dance! Maybe that means a tank top or tee shirt over your leotard, or a longer dance skirt. You can always talk to us if that’s the case and make sure what your dancer is comfortable wearing is okay for class.

Need new dance shoes? ABDC has some gently used pairs that we sell for $5 (or trade us for a pair that no longer fits/you no longer need). And if we don’t have the right style/size, there are a few dance stores in the area (Dance This Way in West Concord, and Damien’s Dancewear in Chelmsford are a few).

The bottom line? The dress code IS important, and we DO care about it-for the safety and progress of our dancers! That being said-the MOST important thing to me is that dancers come to class and leave class feeling confident and energized. Communication is so important to us-so if you have any questions or issues with the dress code, please let us know! The more we know, the more help we can offer 🙂

And just for fun-if you were a dancer yourself at one point in time, what’s the ugliest costume you ever had to wear?? Mine was a lime green unitard, with a ribbon belt, and flowery sleeve puffs. If you’ve read to the end of this post, ask me about it and I’ll dig up a picture for you as a reward 🙂