Different Types of Dancewear

There are a wide range of different garments designed specifically for the art of dance. These garments are collectively referred to as dancewear. They are predominantly designed with two key objectives which are to allow complete freedom of unrestricted movement for the dancer, and also to look stylish as every dancer wants to look their best when they perform. This article is here to give you a quick run down of some of the key pieces of dancewear available today.

Leotards
The leotard is a skin-tight one-piece garment that covers the torso of the dancer but not the legs. Usually worn with a pair of tights, the leotard is available in many different styles such as camisole, tank, long sleeved, short sleeved, and frilled and skirted. The leotard is highly popular amongst dancers due to its flexibility and durability, and is worn for both practice and performances.

Ballet Shoes
Sometimes referred to as soft ballet shoes or ballet slippers, these are a type of shoe designed specifically for the art of ballet. They’re designed to protect the feet and enhance the technique of the dancer. Made from either leather, satin or canvas they’re very soft to touch and very lightweight too so that they don’t restrict the movement of the dancer. Ballet shoes also tend to be light in terms of colour as they’re mostly available in pink and white, though they’re also available in bolder colours such as black, red and even gold.

These shoes are wore by ballet students before they learn to stand on the tips of their toes or “en pointe”; a technique which allows the ballerina to appear to float around the performance space as though weightless. However, it is also not unusual for soft ballet shoes to be worn for performances which do not require the dancer to perform en pointe.

Pointe Shoes
These are much harder than ballet shoes as they’re designed to allow female ballet dancers to dance en pointe for long periods of time. This style of performance has come to epitomise what ballet is about. To achieve this requires a great deal of strength, skill and stamina from the ballerina as well as many years of commitment, discipline and hard work. The result is a style of performance which is simply beautiful to witness.

Tap Shoes
This is a type of dance shoe that is specifically designed for the art of tap dancing. They have metal plates attached to the heel and toe of the shoe in order to enable the dancer to make a percussive tapping sound as their feet hit the floor. This allows for a highly exciting style of dance which allows them to become an intrinsic part of the music to which they are performing.

Tights
These are a hugely popular piece of dancewear and used frequently by many dancers. Similar to everyday fashion tights, they are made from a very light, thin and stretchable fabric. They help accentuate the legs whilst allowing for complete freedom of movement. Tights can be footed or footless and sometimes have a stirrup to prevent them from rolling up. There are also convertible tights which have a reinforced hole in the bottom of the foot which allows them to be rolled up and turned into footless tights.

Tutu
The ballet tutu is a special type of skirt worn by ballerinas specifically for performing ballet. They’re available in many different styles though the most iconic is the “pancake” tutu which has several layers of net which extend horizontally from the ballerina’s waist. These garments are beautiful to look at and spectacular in performance. Other types of tutu such as the Romantic Tutu have a soft net which hangs down from the waist.