Why a dress code? Isn’t dancing just for fun?
Most of our teachers are parents themselves, and we can definitely understand that there are weeks where just getting your child to class is an accomplishment! And when you’re already paying for tuition, it can seem like the icing on the cake to have to purchase certain colored leotards! We wanted to share a few reasons why these details matter and offer a few suggestions to set your student up for success:
– Dancers that are in properly fitting dance clothing are not distracted by their clothing. Tights should be specific dance tights (not sweater tights or something you would wear under a Christmas dress). Leotards should cover their bodies, provide adequate support where needed, and have enough stretch that they stay in place while dancing. Tank tops, pants, and shorts should stay put while dancing and not leave dancers exposed. Most leggings (unless they are specifically sold for athletic activities) are not going to work.
– Dancers shouldn’t be concerned that their hair is going to fall out or be constantly pushing it out of their face, or that their tummy is going to show when they do that layout or handstand. Inappropriate clothing distraction that pulls away from their training. Ballet dancers need a bun and all other dancers need a ponytail or hair pulled back in french braids. Most students are going to need an extra hair tie, bobby pins, clips, and a little hairspray for it to be secure. Feeling lost? Ask your child’s teacher. Most dance teachers have many years under their belt of putting their hair up and can offer some hints to make it easier. We have videos of how to do buns on our facebook page.
-Dancers that look like dancers start to feel like dancers. Have you ever heard that you should dress for the job you want not the job you have? Same idea. Hockey players need their gear, so do dancers.
-Dress code can help to remind dancers that they are a part of a group. It is also easier for the teacher and the students to spot mistakes, and make sure that students are aligned and using the correct muscles, in order to prevent injury. No one wants to have to sit out of class due to a pulled muscle that could’ve been prevented.
-Dancers that are dressed appropriately are more confident. Most likely your student’s teacher will remind the class about dress code from time to time. Some kids really take these gentle reminders to heart! Give them one less thing to stress about in class by helping them pack their dance bags, and knowing that they have specific items to bring to the studio, just for their dance class.
-Dancers that are dressed appropriately allow the teacher to focus on the student- not what is wrong with what they are wearing. I am definitely guilty of this. If I have a student that isn’t dressed appropriately I tend to focus on that rather then their dancing. A shirt that is constantly riding up isn’t just distracting to the dancer, it is distracting to the teacher!
At the start of each session we would encourage parents to look at how much their child is dancing though out the week and take the time purchase enough dance wear. One nice leotard and a pair of dance tights is going to be better then several ill fitting options. Your child will most likely need to try things on to get a good fit. Make them jump up and down and stretch towards their toes. Does everything stay where it should? Dedicate these outfits only for dance class, not for everyday wear. Test run the hair. Find a small bag to keep their shoes in. By taking the time to purchase items specifically for dance class you are sending the message to your child that you believe in them, that what they are doing is really important, and that you are trusting that they are going to work hard and take their training seriously. Set them up for success and keep the focus where it should be..on their dancing!
P.S. Thanks to our friends at Flourish Dance Academy for the help!