Dancer's Domain

Last Updated 10/08/2015

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Ballet Dancer Must-Haves

dancer must-haves

Taking a ballet class is a wonderful way to tone up, improve coordination and dance away stress. But before you get started, you must have some very specific supplies. Here's a comprehensive list of must-haves for every ballet dancer, new or seasoned.


Beginners will need basic flexible, flat, adjustable leather ballet shoes. In most cases, you will need to sew on an elastic strap that holds the shoe to your foot. Many studios require pink shoes, though several colors are available. Be sure to check with your instructor.

Advanced ballerinas may dance en pointe. In this case, hard-toed shoes will be required. Again, check with your teacher for specific requirements and have a dance shoe specialist assess you for a proper fit.


Ballet is a discipline where body form is of utmost importance. Because of this, large, baggy clothes are generally banned in class. Instead, most teachers require tights covering the legs and a leotard on the body. Occasionally, a ballet skirt is permitted.

Some instructors are very particular about the colors allowed in class. Light pink tights and black leotards are universally accepted and are a safe bet. If you prefer a more daring color scheme, be sure to check with your studio first.

Hair Products

Since ballet is a dance style that incorporates a lot of turning and fast movements, long hair should be secured away from the face. Shorter styles should also be pinned back to avoid hair falling into the eyes. An assortment of cloth-covered elastic bands, barrettes, hair pins and/or headbands should be kept in your dance bag. A travel-sized bottle of hairspray is a good idea as well.

Special Supplies

Dancers en pointe will need a supply of cotton or foam pads to cushion the toes. These are applied before the foot is inserted into the hard-toed shoe. Moleskin is often applied over the satin on the outside of the toe box to prevent slipping and preserve the tip of the shoe.

Odds and Ends

Dancers should keep a repertoire of extras on hand to make class time smoother. Some of these things might include


Ballet dancers have use for many dance-related necessities. Therefore, a gift card to a local dance supply shop or an online outlet might be appreciated. This way, the dancer can buy any clothing or supplies they may be in need of.

On a more personal note, a picture frame or photo album to hold the dancer's performance or review photos, a poster of a famous dancer or ballet production, tickets to a local or nearby performing ballet, ballet-themed movies or books, a ballerina Christmas ornament, or a set of ballet image note cards are all good gift choices.

Taking stock of supplies needed and making sure they are all on-hand is the best way to start any dance class or season. Extras are fun, but these necessities will make sure you dance time goes smoothly.

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