top of page
Young Dance Students

Dress Code

This is an excellent and informative read to the many “Whys” you and your child may have regarding the dress code. I retrieved this off of another Studio’s Website. “Beyond the Barre” 

This is an excellent and informative read to the many “Whys” you and your child may have regarding the dress code. I retrieved this off of another Studio’s Website. “Beyond the Barre” You may not be super excited about wearing only a leotard and tights in the studio. You may feel a little awkward, a little naked. And why do you have to wear this anyway? I mean, leggings are form- fitting, right? And can't I at least wear a skirt?


Some teachers are sticklers about dress code; others are pretty laid back. But no matter what kind of teacher you have or how serious a dancer you are, dress code is extremely important.


1 - Injury Prevention I've got news for you. Your teacher wants you to be healthy and functioning. So the short answer is, dress how she tells you to so you don't get broken. Now here's the long answer. You have two bony knobs on the front of your hips, and two knobs behind above your glutes (right inside the dimples). Hand Book Keep your body safe. Wear your dress code.


2 - Tradition Ballet is one of the oldest forms of dance out there, and we've been wearing Leo/Tights for a while now. It's culturally accepted, and part of ballet is being part of the traditions of it. Respect the tradition and wear your dress code. 3 - Respect If your teacher wants you to wear leo and tights, wear it. If she wants you to wear leo, no tights, socks, and high bun (like RAD), do it. If she wants you to wear a tutu to class, wear it. Do what your teacher says. It's their studio, it's their rules. You don't question your school dress code, so why would you question your teacher's dress code?


4 - Leotards Some teachers have a good reason besides all of the above. For instance, my teacher had picked out a specific leotard for the level 4 students. It had a strip of decor starting at the top of the shoulder strap and running down the body to the hip. It was a pink strip in black. I liked it but didn't understand the specific need for that leo... until she was training me to teach, and pointed out that she could see if a student's hips or shoulders were twisted from far away just by looking at the strips on the leotard.

5 - Uniformity helps the teacher notice mistakes. If everyone is wearing the same thing, the teacher is able to pick out little things (a hip too high, an elbow in the wrong spot, a wrist dropped, etc) because the eye isn't distracted by a bunch of little differences between every dancer.


All in all, if a teacher has a dress code and they feel it is important, you should feel the same way and respect them by following their rules. Why does my hair have to be in a bun?


#1 - Muscle Memory

Does your child have bangs or pieces of hair falling down in the face? How about little frizzies tickling their shoulders? In the middle of a combination or rehearsal, they may reach up and brush their hair out of their way. When a dancer does this all the time, after a specific step, or in a rehearsal, it actually becomes muscle memory, and they will continue to "brush their hair away" onstage, even if it is slicked back and pinned up!


#2 - It's a problem for turns

For ponytails, dancers tend to wince or close their eyes when they spot, or whip their head around. You cannot turn without spotting your head, and you definitely can't turn with your eyes closed. This is legitimately a safety hazard. 

#3 - Balance

The ballet bun helps to center your balance. It is that extra orientation you need for pirouettes, tour jetes, and partnering. This is why it's important for your bun to be centered, rather than off to one side.


#4 - It helps the teacher If everyone in the room matches perfectly, it is easier to pick out exactly what is wrong and who is wrong. A shoulder or elbow in the wrong place, the head placement not being correct, or even trying to figure out who is turning the wrong direction can be disorienting if everyone's hair, clothing, and accessories are different. This is important because it helps prevent the dancer from being injured due to bad technique.


#5 Because the teacher said so Even if there was no other good reason, if your teacher has a rule at her studio, you need to follow it. If you respect your child's teacher, your child will see that respect, and it will transfer to them. The overall atmosphere in the dance studio will be more learning friendly, professional, and respectful.

Notice one that isn't in here? Tradition! Tradition is important, it's a good reason to have a ballet bun. People may have done things a long time ago and it's a tradition, but that tradition may not be founded on anything important.. But the ballet bun is extremely important, and there is no replacement for it!

The front ones are called the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (or ASIS) and the back ones are called Posterior Superior Iliac Spine (PSIS). These bones are essential in helping a dance teacher see if their student has proper hip alignment, which then will indicate whether everything else the student is doing is correct. If these bones are not lined up, there is a high chance the student will end up over- tucking, forcing rotation, and hurting themselves. Teachers can't see the bones if the student is not wearing correct tights and leotard.


Then there are the knees. If a student is wearing leg warmers or sweat pants, the teacher cannot see if the rectus femoris is activated properly (active without gripping). They can't see if the knee is over the toes, they can't see if the knee is straight or bent.


As far as the ankles (again, leg warmers or long pants) your feet are the foundation of the rest of the body. If the ankles are pronated, supinated, domed, or if the toes are gripping the floor and the teacher can't see it, the dancer is at risk.


Before dancers wore leotards, they wore dresses. Full dresses in dance class! Can you imagine? Teachers could still see the knees and ankles, but not the hips and back clearly. As teachers and doctors started to notice how dangerous certain postures were, they started asking dancers to wear less and less so they could keep their bodies safe. Leotards were actually invented for the circus, but dancers started wearing them as an alternative to the dresses that hid the body.

bottom of page