Preparing for Class

The world of dancewear can be a scary place for an adult dancer – we are here to help you through it!


The Basics

These are the rules for all classes run by DAS:

  • Hair must be done up away from the face. Pony tails are ok, but a braid is better, and a bun is best (certain classes have more specific hair guidelines – look below for more details)
  • Jewelry is ok, but nothing long and dangling. Please no big hoop earrings or long necklaces!
  • Don’t chew gum or anything else you could choke on.
  • Avoid using strong fragrances or scents.
  • You probably want to cut your toenails, especially if you’re taking Pointe or Tap classes. But not too short either! Ingrown toenails can be caused both ways.
  • Bring a water bottle! However, note that no other food or drink is allowed inside the studio.
  • COVID regulation face masks are to be worn at all times in the dance studios and common areas

First Time?

Don’t go out and buy anything yet! All styles of dance can very easily be done in comfortable clothes and socks. It is best to wear something tight if possible – leggings and a tank top work fine (baggy clothes for Street is usually more comfortable). This way, the teacher can see your muscles and posture well enough to provide adequate instruction. Once you’ve decided you want to commit to the class, you can purchase the relevant dancewear (see below).


Where to Buy

Dance Street is the only dancewear distributor in Saskatoon, but they have two locations – one east side, and one downtown. Check out their website for more details. If you’re unsure about what to buy, they will help you! Just show them the lists laid out below, and they will get you exactly what you need.

*Dance Alive Studios is slowly building a network of specific dance attire that is size-inclusive and comfortable (some products available online, some in-studio). Feel free to contact us with specific requests to see what we have in store, and visit our DAS Store for products we’re currently selling.


* On Gender *

Attire in the dance world, specifically ballet, can be inherently gendered. The attire listed below is given in terms of “feminine” and “masculine” suggestions. Students are welcome to choose whatever combination of acceptable attire they feel comfortable in.



Ballet Attire

Feminine

  • Hair – Anything that is strictly out of the face and doesn’t come undone when whipping the head around in turns, preferably a bun, French twist, or tight braid
  • Bodysuit ($40-$80) – Any colour, any style, typically black.
  • Tights ($30) – “Porcelain”-coloured Capezio (recommended), or “Salmon”-coloured Bloch/Mondor, footed or convertible
  • Shoes ($30) – Canvas half-sole ballet slippers, preferably Bloch. *Other brands include SoDanca, Capezio, and Sansha
  • Skirt/Shorts (Optional) – Some people just feel more comfortable with a little extra coverage. We recommend ballet skirts (simple example) over shorts because they still allow the tops of the thighs to fit together with the least amount of material in the way. Shorts can also skew the line of the hips, making it more difficult for the instructor to see the proper alignment.
  • Leg warmers (Optional) – These are a great idea for sore spots, or to prevent cramping. They’re also fun and add to your ballet style! All forms are welcome, provided they stay in place and do not prohibit movement.
ALTERNATIVE DANCEWEAR – Bodysuit sizes can be frustrating because they rarely come in variable torso lengths. Ballet tights can be daunting as well, because the variation of sizes isn’t great, and the waistband can be uncomfortable. We have found some alternative options in the past few years that keep the functionality of ballet attire without making you miserable. However, these items cannot be purchased at Dance Street, and must be special-ordered – sometimes online individually, sometimes through Dance Alive. If you are interested in some alternative dancewear, feel free to contact us.
  • High-waisted dance briefs ($30) – These V-cut briefs are basically like wearing half a bodysuit. They are comfortable, they come up very high, they don’t roll down, and they don’t cut in. They can be worn over the tights with a tight tank top or crop top to simulate a bodysuit. Only available to XXL
  • Custom-designed bodysuits ($80) – This store on Etsy will take your measurements and hand-make you a bodysuit that fits well and looks great! All sizes available.
  • Inclusive-sized tights – We are still doing our best to find good quality dance tights in sizes larger than XXL. The dance world is very frustrating for its narrow view of “plus-sized”, and we may end up sourcing these specifically at some point. If you have a lead on anything, let us know!

Masculine

  • Hair – Anything that is strictly out of the face and doesn’t come undone when whipping the head around in turns, preferably a bun, French twist, or tight braid
  • Bottoms – Leggings or tights, shorts are acceptable, as long as the muscles of the legs and hips are easily visible.
  • Top – Tight t-shirt or tank top.
  • Shoes ($40) – Black canvas split-sole slippers, Bloch or Sansha.

Pointe Attire

Feminine

  • Hair, bodysuit & tights – Same attire as ballet (see above).
  • Shoes ($100-$150) – Wear your normal ballet slippers if you do not have pointe shoes already.
    *Do not purchase pointe shoes without consulting with the teacher first. Purchasing your first pair of pointe shoes is a fairly involved process, and can be very unsafe without proper guidance.

Masculine

  • Hair & clothes – Same attire as ballet (see above).
  • Shoes ($100-$150) – (See comments for feminine). Men do not typically wear pointe shoes in the ballet world, but DAS offers the same opportunities to all. Be aware that male pointe shoes are not made in Saskatoon, and therefore will likely need to be ordered in from Toronto, which can incur extra costs.

Tap Attire

  • Hair – Anything that is loosely out of the face and stays in place during turns
  • Clothes – Something comfortable and easy to move in, preferably tight rather than loose.
  • Shoes ($150) – Black tap shoes, any style (Capezio 455 Lilina Cuban heel character shoe in black is a good starter feminine shoe, Oxford-styles are more typically masculine)

Jazz/Lyrical Attire

  • Hair – Preferably up and out of the face, especially for quick turns and head whips in Jazz, but loose hair can feel fun in these styles (as long as it doesn’t interfere with technique and safety)
  • Clothes – Something comfortable and easy to move in, preferably tight rather than loose (leggings & a shirt is a typical outfit)
  • Shoes – Half-slippers in beige, Bloch or Capezio (dancer preference)

Street Attire

  • Clothes – Something comfortable and easy to move in, sometimes baggier clothing feels more fun.
  • Shoes – Non-marking, indoor sneakers. It is very important that your shoes are clean – dance floors are extremely expensive, as are other dance shoes. Rocks and dirt can ruin these prematurely – please do not wear your outdoor shoes. 
    *The less grip the better, since lots of street moves involve turning and gliding our feet on the floor. Ardene has inexpensive less grippy sneaker-style shoes that are great for Street dance on our floors.

Acro Attire

  • Hair – Anything that stays out of the face and provides a smooth surface for rolls (ideally French braid)
  • Clothes – Anything form-fitting and comfortable, cannot restrict movement or snag body parts, tighter is safer
  • Shoes – Bare feet are required for adequate floor grip

Embodied Movement Attire

  • Clothes – Anything comfortable and easy to move (and breathe!) in.
  • Hair – We spend a fair bit of time lying on our backs. Make sure your hair is done in such a way as to not be too uncomfortable in that position (you may just take it out as well).
  • Shoes – This is more of a restorative mobility class, so socks are permitted, but you may remove them to have bare feet for some progressions
  • Other equipment – We sometimes use props in this class, you can bring your own yoga mat if you prefer and we have massage ball kits available for purchase on our DAS Store.

Embodied Strength Attire

  • Clothes – Anything comfortable and easy to move (and breathe!) in. There are sometimes cardio elements in this class, so you may want to choose clothing you can easily jump and run in without needing to fix.
  • Shoes – This class focuses more on cardio and body weight progressions, so indoor runners are encouraged.

Embodied Mind Attire

  • Clothes – Anything comfortable and easy to move (and breathe!) in – preferably something warm, soft, and cozy, so that you are ready to relax!
  • Other equipment – We sometimes use props in this class, you can bring your own yoga mat if you prefer and cushions and blankets are encouraged

RAD Ballet Exam Attire

Description coming soon!