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

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

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.

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What to Wear 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 a 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 and narrow brim.

Ballroom shoes should be flat and have a smooth bottom so it will be easy to move around in.

It should be securely attached to the feet and will 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 Class for Her

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

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.

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

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?

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

Some dance students and even 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.

Related: Best ballroom dance shoes: A beginners guide

Important Things To Consider When Choosing A Ballroom Outfit

difference between ballroom and latin dance feature

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

You don’t know if you are going to stick with dancing, after all.

You can search for old clothes in your closet that is 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, which means that you are going to 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.


Ballroom dancing is a style of formal dancing with a partner. Although it is a kind of social dance, it can also be considered a dancesport.

Getting into it has a lot of advantages, such as helping keep your body fit and making better social relationships.

As you continue your journey to learn ballroom dancing, have fun with it.

There may be times that you can’t follow the steps properly, but it is what makes this hobby challenging but fulfilling.

Always remember to look good without compromising your comfort and performance.

The above-mentioned list of what to wear to ballroom dance class will help you have fun while learning. Have fun!

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Last update on 2023-03-15 /Affiliate Links / Source: Amazon

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

  1. Dave

    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

      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

    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

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

  3. 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.

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