The best outfit to wear to a ballet class includes stretchy garments like a leotard or yoga pants to allow you to move easily. For a professional-level ballet class, dancers wear leotards or black tights with fitted shirts. For a more casual adult ballet class, participants often wear athleisure such as yoga pants or sneakers.

Panaprium is proud to be 100% independent, free of any influence, and not sponsored. We carefully handpick products from brands we trust. Thank you so much for buying something through our link, as we may earn a commission that supports us.


wear ballet class leotard

The most traditional outfit to wear to ballet class is a leotard. This body-hugging garment comes in several styles, including a sleeveless and leg-less variant, a long-sleeved style, or a full-body leotard that has legs. 

The benefit of a leotard is that it contains super stretchy material, allowing you to leap and spin with a full range of movement. As you warm up for class, you will probably want a long-sleeved top or a hoodie over your leotard to keep you comfortable, though. You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable hoodies to check out here.

Black Tights and Fitted Shirt

wear ballet class fitted shirt

For male dancers, the traditional outfit for class is a pair of thick black tights or leggings and a fitted shirt often either a white tank top or t-shirt. You can also sometimes wear fitted workout shorts and a tank top to class, or a full-body leotard.

As you pick a fitted top, look for a shirt or tank top made out of moisture-wicking fabric that will keep you cool and dry as you dance. A 100% organic cotton tee will feel soft, but will soak up your sweat and feel clammy by the time you get twenty minutes into class!

You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable tank tops to consider here.


wear ballet class tights

Opaque tights made out of super stretchy, elastic material also form an essential part of a ballet class outfit. For children, white or pink tights make the most traditional choice. For men and women, opaque black tights also make a popular choice.

Finding sustainably made tights for your ballet class may seem challenging at first because hosiery often contains elastic fibers that require a complex factory-made manufacturing process. But you can find ethical tights if you take a look at this list of the 10 best ethical hosiery brands to help you out!

Wrap Skirt

wear ballet class wrap skirt

For women, pulling on a simple elastic-waist wrap skirt over tights or leggings adds a touch of elegance to a ballet-class outfit. The wrap skirt can also help to simulate the skirts often worn in ballet performances, too. Dancewear wrap skirts can come in a hip-length, knee-length, or even calf-length style. Plus, they come in lots of pretty sheer prints like florals or stripes, too.

You can find the 15 best affordable and sustainable wrap skirts that you will love here!


wear ballet class tutu

Adults do not often wear costume elements like tutus to a dance class, preferring to save these fancier garments for the stage and official dance performances. But for girls just starting out in the ballet world, wearing a fun tutu to class makes the experience more magical. You can find dancewear tutus that drape softly down to the knee, or tutus that stick out from the waist made from stiffened tulle.

Make sure your little ballerina goes to class with a cozy sweater over her leotard and tutu so she doesn’t get chilled before class starts, though! You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable cardigans to check out here.


wear ballet class socks

For young children or adults taking a casual ballet class, comfortable socks can make the best footwear choice at least for the first few classes. Many dance studios require specialized footwear. This protects you as you dance, and also protects the polished floors in the studio.

For beginners, ballet slippers with flat soles may eventually take the place of your socks. But for the first class, you can safely show up in socks! Look for padded socks that also feel soft and breathable to keep your toes from getting sweaty as you dance. Take a look at the 20 best affordable sustainable and organic socks here.

Ballet Slippers

wear ballet class slippers

Professional dancers typically wear either ballet slippers or pointe shoes to a ballet dance class. Children usually wear flat, soft ballet slippers with an elastic band across the arch of the foot to help keep them in place. For a casual adult ballet class, you might get away with wearing sneakers, or you may need to purchase specialty ballet slippers, depending on the dress code at the dance studio.

Unless you dance professionally, you probably will not wear pointe shoes with a hardened toe to allow you to dance on your toes.

For your first class, you may want to wear one of these ten best affordable and comfortable ballet flats until you learn the footwear rules for your class.

Yoga Pants or Leggings

wear ballet class yoga pants

Both professional and casual dancers often wear yoga pants or leggings to a ballet class. These soft, stretchy pants give you a great range of movement, just like tights.

Professional dancers tend to wear tights more often than yoga pants because the skin-tight hosiery shows the precise movement of the legs, which allows the dance instructor to see what is going on more easily. But for a casual adult ballet class, yoga pants will work just fine.

Find out how to pick the best yoga pants for you here!

Sweatpants and T-Shirt

wear ballet class sweatpants

If you take a low-key adult ballet class like a barre class or a class at a local senior center or community center, you may find that athleisure outfits like sweatpants and a t-shirt work just fine. These low-key classes focus more on getting in shape and getting a good workout than on looking like a professional dancer. 

You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable sweatpants and joggers to try out here.

Sneakers or Gym Shoes

wear ballet class sneakers

On a similar note, some more laid-back adult ballet classes that focus more on the athletic side of things will also allow sneakers or gym shoes instead of traditional ballet slippers. For these classes, focus on finding close-fitting, comfortable shoes that feel lightweight and allow you to lift your legs easily.

You can find the ten best brands for ethical sneakers in Australia and New Zealand here.

Was this article helpful to you? Please tell us what you liked or didn't like in the comments below.

About the Author: Hannah Cobb

More, More, More