Costumes for Ballet Dancers

One of the most important items for ballet dancing is not surprisingly the shoes! Although many types of dance need special shoes, you can recognize a ballet dancer immediately by her/his shoes. Ballet dancers wear ballet shoes, also called ballet flats or ballet slippers. These shoes are designed to help the dancer slide across the floor and avoid injury. Many ballet shoes feature elastic on the sides to ensure that the ballet shoe does shift or move while you are dancing.

If you are new to ballet and are attending a dance class, don’t forget to wear or bring your tights and leotard in your dance bag. Both tights and a leotard are standard ballet wardrobe items! If you are taking a dance class, check with the ballet instructor about what you are expected to wear. The instructor might ask you to buy a certain brand of shoes or a certain color of tights. Leotards are skin-tight garments that cover your torso and are commonly made of cotton or spandex.

You can also find hair ties, band-aids (for blisters), deodorant, a water bottle, and warm-up clothing, such as sweat pants and sweat shirts in a ballet dancer’s bag. Ballet dancers also frequently keep their hair in a tight bun, to keep it out of their face.

Tutus are a common garment worn by ballet dancers when performing. Tutus feature a ruffled skirt with several layers of silk or nylon and a sleek leotard body. Fun Fact: The earliest version of the tutu was used in 1832 and went to the knee of the dancer! In the 1880’s the tutu was redesigned to reveal the whole leg; we still use a similar version of this tutu today!

If you are getting ready to take a ballet class, or are preparing for a performance, talk to your instructor and to other dancers to know what to wear! If you are looking for a ballet class check out the classes that we offer at!


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