8 Dos and Donts When Buying Dancewear

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8 Do's and Don'ts When Buying Dancewear

Dancing is a wonderful way to exercise, gain grace and confidence, have fun, and meet people. Whether a woman chooses ballet, jazz, tap, modern, flamenco, hip-hop, or ballroom dance, it is important to choose the right kind of dancewear and shoes for the occasion. Not only does the right dancewear help a dancer look and feel great, choosing the appropriate gear enhances her comfort and safety. Several factors enter into the proper choice of dancewear, so it is a good idea for a woman to know what questions to ask, what to look for, and what do avoid when purchasing dancewear. She can find a wide array of retail choices in dancewear, with an immense selection of leotards, skirts, tights, shoes, warm-up gear, and accessories available for every kind of dancer. Because many dancers move quickly from one style to the next, it is easy to find gently used, or sometimes never-worn, dancewear. Women who love to dance find that utilising an online auction source such as eBay is a great way to find fabulous and budget-friendly dancewear options.

1. Do Ask Your Teacher About Required Dancewear

When a woman is enrolled in a dance class, it is important that she ask her teacher what dancewear and shoes are needed for her dance style and skill level. For instance, a traditional ballet class normally requires leotards, or one-piece stretch bodysuits, of a certain fabric density, colour, and style. These requirements allow the instructor to see the body line and muscle definition of each student to ensure she is performing each warmup, position, and step properly. In addition, the traditional ballet colours are black or pink leotards and white, tan, or pink tights. Ballet tights should be purchased in a density of at least 40 denier, which is heavier and more opaque than pantyhose or tights worn with street wear. A denier is the unit of measurement used to identify the thickness of a fiber. Tights of 60 denier are appropriate for class, but they are generally more costly than 40-denier tights.

2. Don't Ignore One’s Body Type

Whether a woman dances for her own enjoyment as a casual student or as a professional, it is crucial for her dancewear to suit her body type. While many dancers are petite, it is not necessary to have that body type to get the most out of all that the dance world has to offer. It is important for a woman to ensure that her leotard, the primary garment for many types of dance classes, offers sufficient support throughout the bust area for comfort while dancing. For this reason, many leotards include a shelf bra or an inset bra to eliminate the need for wearing an unsightly, uncomfortable, or lumpy brassiere while dancing. Many leotards are made with a blend of nylon and an elastic material such as Lycra or Spandex, also known as Elastane. The elastic component supports and shapes the body, also allowing the instructor to assess a student’s body lines, technique, and movement quality.

3. Do Buy Dancewear That Fits

It is crucial for dancewear to fit the buyer well. Ill-fitting dancewear is uncomfortable, unattractive, and sometimes hazardous. For example, a leotard that is too short through the torso can ride up during even the most gentle warm-up stretches, and this can be distracting during active dance routines. Leotards, skirts, tights, and other garments such as warm-up sweaters and trousers fit more closely than street clothes do.

A woman should check her measurements against the size charts provided by the seller. Critical measurements include the bust at the fullest point, the waist at the natural waistline, and the hip at the widest part. It is important that the measurements are taken while standing. The sleeve length is measured with the arm relaxed at the side. The measuring tape should reach from the midpoint of the back of the neck, over the shoulder, and past the outside of the arm to the wrist bone. For a proper fit of tights, unitards, leggings, and jazz pants, measure the inseam from the top of the inner thigh to the ankle while standing. Stretchable items should always be measured while they are loose. Every manufacturer has a slightly different sizing standard, so the buyer should verify measurements with the seller to confirm that the item fits.

4. Do Buy Dancewear Appropriate For the Dance Style

If a woman prefers jazz or modern dance, her dancewear may be designed for a more casual look. A formal pink-and-black ballet outfit does not lend itself to an exuberant, funky dance experience. A woman who prefers hip-hop dance definitely wants to dress the part, with street-smart trousers, elbow and knee pads, and sports bra tops that show off her abs and her moves. Likewise, there is a vast array of style-specific dancewear for women who prefer belly dancing, ballroom dancing, flamenco, Western dance, or Irish and Highland dancing. Each style has its own dancewear appropriate for practice and performances, so it is important to know what style is customary.

5. Do Buy Dancewear That Does Not Wilt

The design of dancewear has advanced considerably since the days of 100 percent nylon construction. The use of Lycra and similar elasticised fabrics provide additional support and stretch to leotards and dancewear, but those fabrics can also increase the dancer's perspiration level. Moisture-wicking materials are a favorite of many dancers, enabling them to warm up and dance as vigorously as they want in comfort, no matter how hot it is. A welcome change from fabrics that collect moisture from perspiration in unattractive blotches, these breathable fabrics draw moisture from the skin and spread it evenly throughout the surface area of the fabric. This process enables the moisture to evaporate rapidly, leaving the dancer more comfortable.

6. Do Buy Appropriate Dance Shoes

Most dancers need some sort of footwear to get the most out of their art. For the jazz or modern dancer, a low-cut, flexible shoe with thin leather or suede soles is a popular choice. These shoes feature full soles or split soles, with leather or suede only on the ball of the foot and the heel. Ballet shoes also offer a choice between full and split soles, although they are lighter and more flexible to accommodate the footwork and articulation. For the more advanced dancer, pointe shoes are available, with a stiffened block of fabric, paper, and adhesive in the toe to provide the extraordinary support required by that level of ballet. Pointe shoes are delicate, so be sure to enquire about their condition before committing to a purchase.

For women who enjoy ballroom dancing, proper footwear is essential. Specially designed ballroom shoes have heel heights between 3.75 cm and 8.25 cm. It is important that ladies who ballroom dance not wear street shoes for lessons or performances. Ballroom dance shoes have additional arch reinforcement and a heel cup to support the foot.

Dance shoes must fit properly to avoid discomfort and injury. Ballet slippers and jazz shoes should fit the foot like a glove; they are sized smaller than outdoor shoes, and the sizes vary according to manufacturer. Before purchasing a pair of dance shoes, the buyer should verify sizing with the seller to determine whether the shoes fit.

7. Do Consider Used Dancewear Carefully

Women who take an exercise dance class such as zumba may lose interest, or weight, after a while and choose to put their cargo trousers up for sale. A ballet dancer may find that the warm-up sweater she just bought does not fit, or a tap dancer may have sustained an injury, compelling her to put her brand-new tap shoes up for auction. A woman can find a fantastic bargain for used competition or theatre costumes, which are rarely worn more than a few times. When purchasing a costume, ensure that bra cups for shape and modesty are still intact. Discontinued styles are often available when the original owner or retail store needs to make way for newer styles. When considering a used costume, ensure the rhinestones, beading, and other embellishments are intact; nothing looks worse than a patchy costume with missing adornments. Fasteners such as snaps hooks should also be intact. Be sure to enquire whether the items were kept in a smoke-free household. Because of the personal nature of some pieces of dancewear, tights and similar items are better purchased new unless it can be verified that they have been freshly and thoroughly laundered.

8. Don't Forget the Accessories

The dance world offers a vast assortment of accessories. Warm-up sweaters and trousers for the beginning of class or rehearsal are a great addition to a woman's dance wardrobe. Belly dancers can find a gorgeous array of finger cymbals, decorative coins, or hip scarves. Likewise, ballroom dancers may find accessories such as dazzling rhinestones beads to adorn their costumes as well as wire shoe brushes or shoe bags to protect those beautiful shoes. Tap and theatre dancers love top hats, gloves, invisible shoe straps, and even replacement taps.

Shopping for Dancewear

The brick-and-mortar options for buying dancewear can be limited when a woman knows just what she wants. Smaller shops often carry small inventories and place special orders for customers. It is rare to find many specialty items in dance shops. Mail order vendors may have a larger selection of items, but a customer may have to order from several sources to find what she needs and pay a premium to do so. As an online auction site, eBay offers an extensive assortment of dancewear that is easy to find and assess.

Buying Dancewear on eBay

While searching for the just the right dancewear items in a store can be a difficult chore, eBay offers a vast selection of dancewear to suit any dance style, skill level, budget, and personal taste. To begin your search on any eBay page, enter a search term such as "women's dancewear" in the search box. Several subcategories that narrow your search to clothing type, dance style, and brand are visible for you to browse further. You may also look for a specific item by entering it directly, such as "women's tap shoes". The eBay search engine also offers suggestions for related items that you may wish to consider.

To gain confidence in your transaction, eBay allows you to assess the reliability of a potential seller by examining feedback ratings, comments, and completed auctions. It is also important to communicate with the seller regarding the condition, size, and delivery options with respect to the item you wish to purchase.


Dancing is a great way for a woman to stay in shape, meet new people, explore her creativity, and gain confidence. A woman can enhance her experience by ensuring she has the proper dancewear, footwear, accessories, and accurate information to purchase the right item for her needs. Purchasing dancewear on eBay is a great way for a woman to start or add to her dance wardrobe. Whether she is looking for flamenco shoes, elbow and knee pads for hip-hop classes, or a one-of-a-kind ballet costume, the eBay marketplace offers a dizzying array of choices. A woman can find the right garment or accessory for dancing by asking focussed questions, using eBay's search options, being aware of the correct sizing for her build, and choosing the appropriate fabrics and styles. By becoming familiar with a seller, the purchase and return policies, and the shipping costs, a woman can purchase the dancewear of her choice through eBay with ease.

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