What to Wear to Ballroom Dance Class: Beginner’s Guide




What to Wear to Ballroom Dance Class: Beginner’s Guide

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Are you new to ballroom dance class? Not sure what to wear? This guide will help you choose the right clothes for your first class.

Ballroom dancing is very social, so looking your best is important. You’ll want to wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Read on for tips on what to wear to ballroom dance class.

What Should a Beginner Wear to a Ballroom Class?

No matter what kind of dance techniques you are going to study, it is important for both men and women to wear lightweight clothes that are comfortable and breathable.

These clothes should sway along with your moves without making you feel hot.

When it comes to shoes, choosing the kinds that are easy to slide around is appropriate.

It’s best that they securely attach to your feet, too, so they will not come off when you’re on the move.

What to Wear to Ballroom Dance Class for Him

Depending on the time of year and event, the attire for men should support learning.

On cold days, men can wear a light sweater or layer that can be easily removed as your warm up and cool down during the ballroom class.

Avoid wearing heavy clothes as they tend to get hot while you dance.

Among the appropriate clothes and shoes that men can wear in a ballroom dance class are the following:

During private or studio dance lessons, men can wear shorts.

They don’t have to wear a suit-and-tie combo because it is too formal and aims to practice.

However, more formal attire is required if you plan on dancing on a night out or during a special occasion.

Men should wear long pants and a suit and tie.

A hat is unnecessary, but if worn, it should be a fedora hat, newspaper hat, or any kind with a small, narrow brim.

Ballroom shoes should be flat and have a smooth bottom, making it easy to move around.

It should securely attach to the feet and not stick to the floor.

Examples of good ballroom dancing shoes are dress shoes with a rounded shape that are made specifically for dancing. Here’s a popular choice.

On the other hand, dress shoes with huge square toes are not recommended as they are quite bulky.

Slip-on footwear can slide off and cause an accident when dancing.

What to Wear to Ballroom Dance Class for Her

Like what men need to wear to ballroom dance class, women’s attire should also be comfortable and easy to move around.

The general ballroom attire for women is a flared dress or skirt.

Fitted slacks paired with a blouse are also appropriate.

Avoid wearing clothes that reveal too much skin while dancing.

Avoiding A-line skirts, V-neck blouses, and other restrictive clothes is also recommended.

Aside from comfort, you must also consider looking respectable while dancing.

On your first ballroom lesson and succeeding sessions, wear shoes that will be comfortable when you stand all night or move around.

However, sneakers and rubber shoes are not acceptable.

Wear shoes that will be securely attached to your feet.

The heel, if any, should be securely attached to the shoes. This is a popular choice for ballroom dance practice shoes.

What Not to Wear to Ballroom Dance Class?

As a newbie, you don’t want to look awkward or uncomfortable during the dance lesson.

Some dance students and instructors share many instances when they pulled their skirts down, tugged on their shirts, felt too hot, and had sweat marks while in the studio.

To avoid these instances, here is a list of attires that should not be worn in a ballroom dance class:

  • Ballroom dancing involves turning, twisting, sliding, wiggling, and more. Avoid wearing slip-on shoes, high heels, flip-flops, and tennis shoes.
  • Avoid wearing fitted skirts or dresses, as these can limit your movements.

Movements in ballroom dancing consist of opening/closing legs, and you don’t want to tear up-fitted bottoms.

Jeans are not appropriate because they are too hot and tight.

  • Do not wear short T-shirts, hanging tops, bra tops, backless tops, spaghetti straps, sweaters, and strapless tops.
  • Also, consider your partner’s comfort by not wearing too revealing tops.

Important Things To Consider When Choosing A Ballroom Outfit

Since it will be your first time being part of a ballroom dancing class, avoid buying expensive outfits.

You don’t know if you will stick with dancing, after all.

You can search for old clothes in your closet appropriate for ballroom dancing.

As a woman, you don’t have to wear heels, but if you want to, don’t choose heels that are as high as 6 inches.

For men, a ½-inch heel is acceptable.

The heels must be securely attached to the shoes to prevent ankle sprains.

Ballroom dancing is a partner dance, meaning you will dance with one or more partners.

Practice good hygiene to keep everybody in the dance studio comfortable.

Bring towels or extra shirts to change clothes when you sweat too much.

Avoid spraying strong perfume or cologne, and keep your breath fresh.

If you are in doubt, ask questions. Knowing and following the dress code for important social gatherings and events is required.

If it is a formal gathering, wear the appropriate ballroom dancing attire.


Is There a Dress Code for Ballroom Dance?

Yes, ballroom dance often has a dress code to enhance the elegance and formality of the event. The specific dress code can vary depending on the type of ballroom dance and the level of formality.

For competitive ballroom dancing, participants typically wear ball gowns or evening dresses for women and tuxedos or tailcoats for men. These outfits are designed to showcase the dancers’ movements and add to the overall aesthetic of the performance.

In social ballroom dancing, the dress code is usually less strict, with women wearing cocktail dresses or formal skirts and men opting for suits or dress pants with a shirt and tie. It’s always best to check the specific dress code for each event to ensure you are appropriately attired.

What Should be Avoided in Wearing Ballroom Dancing Attire?

When it comes to ballroom dancing attire, there are a few things to avoid. First, avoid wearing sneakers, as they can detract from the elegance and formality of the dance.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid clothing with excessive embellishments or distracting patterns that can hinder the visual flow of your movements. Steer clear of garments that restrict your range of motion or hinder partner connection, like overly tight or constricting outfits.

Lastly, avoid wearing excessive jewelry or accessories that may become entangled or pose a safety risk during dynamic dance movements. Opt for tasteful and functional attire that allows you to move comfortably and gracefully.

What Shoes to Wear to First Ballroom Dance Class?

For your first ballroom dance class, it’s essential to wear the appropriate shoes that provide comfort, stability, and flexibility. Ideally, choose shoes specifically designed for ballroom dancing, such as dance sneakers or dance shoes with suede soles.

These shoes offer the right amount of traction and glide on the dance floor, allowing you to execute turns and movements smoothly. Avoid wearing regular street shoes, high heels, or shoes with rubber soles, as they can be too slippery or restrictive.

Opt for lightweight and supportive shoes that allow your feet to move and pivot easily, ensuring a positive and enjoyable dance experience.

About the author

5 responses to “What to Wear to Ballroom Dance Class: Beginner’s Guide”

  1. Dave Avatar

    My wife and I learned ballroom dancing before we got married so we could show off on the dance floor during our wedding reception.  We had lots of fun learning how to dance; we did a waltz dance to the Tennessee Waltz during our reception.  It was really a lot of fun learning how to do ballroom dancing.  That is not something most boys learn in gym class – or girls either for that matter.

    I must confess that I could not dance at all – never mind ballroom dancing.  That’s what made it even more fun to learn!

    Anyway, I read with interest your suggestions concerning proper dress when learning ballroom dancing.  I enjoy your suggestions to wear loose clothing (but not too loose!), and shows that will be comfortable and not likely to stumble over or come off.

    Thanks again – anybody who is even thinking about learning ballroom dancing should go for it; it is a skill very few of their friends will have and is a whole lot of fun.


    1. Jonathan Avatar

      Hey Dave! That sounds awesome congrats… Waltz it’s one of the best dance for weddings… Hope you share the wedding dance video sometime… Take care!

      Thanks for sharing,


  2. cjciganotto Avatar

    Hello Abraham,

    I love dancing, I have a lot of movement and explosion. 

    I would love my lady to learn to dance a certain style like “rock and roll”. 

    I had not thought about the dress but reading your article I will follow all your recommendations. 

    In every couple dance we must emit energy and be careful with our sweat. 

    I live in Argentina the Ballroom Dance is similar to Tango? 

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting article. 

    Greetings. Claudio

    1. Abraham Avatar

      Hey Claudio!… Thanks for sharing your story… Tango is one of my favorites…

  3. Mary Ann Avatar
    Mary Ann

    Hi Abraham,

    This is a very interesting topic. My husband and I once took ballroom dancing classes, as total beginners. It sure would have been nice to have this information. We paid our money and showed up. While we had fun, I do remember times my husband would be sweating quite a bit – knowing to bring a second shirt and towel would have helped! I do remember seeing some women not appropriately attired. Too bad the instructors didn’t think to do up a list of do’s and don’ts.

    We are in Mexico for several months and contemplating taking Salsa lessons. 

    Thanks for sharing.

Latest posts

  • How to Do a Basic Waltz Progressive Step

    How to Do a Basic Waltz Progressive Step

    You want to step into the world of waltz with confidence and grace. Well, look no further. This article will teach you how to master the basic waltz progressive step. By following these simple instructions, you’ll be gliding across the dance floor in no time. So, let’s get started and unlock the power within you…

    Read more

  • Very Fine Mens Perseus Ballroom Dance Shoes Review

    Very Fine Mens Perseus Ballroom Dance Shoes Review

    Looking to enhance your ballroom dance performance? Look no further! The Very Fine Mens Perseus Ballroom Dance Shoes are here to elevate your dancing experience. These handcrafted shoes, made with soft leather, provide flexibility and conformity to your feet. With a high-quality suede sole for excellent traction and slide, you’ll glide effortlessly across the dance…

    Read more

  • Review: Very Fine Mens Dante Dance Shoes

    Review: Very Fine Mens Dante Dance Shoes

    Looking for the perfect dance shoe? Look no further than the Very Fine Mens Dante Dance Shoes. It’s like the key to unlocking your dance potential, giving you the power and control you need on the dance floor. With its affordable price, superior quality, and glove-like fit, these shoes are a game-changer. The suede soles…

    Read more