As a dance teacher, one of my pet peeves is students (and their parents) who ignore our dress code. Sending a child with stained leotards or street clothes, hair that looks like it hasn’t been brushed in a week, and a dirty face is just unacceptable. Not only is it disrespectful, but it can be dangerous to not dress appropriately. In dance, we have certain attire such as leotards, tights, etc. for a couple reasons-it was not arrived at randomly. In ballet, a uniform appearance is what we strive for to create the lovely picture of the corps de ballet posed in a dream-like setting. Imagine how distracting it would be if one of them had black ballet shoes instead of pink, or one had sloppy hair while everyone else was the picture of perfection. A neat tidy appearance is part of the discipline of ballet but it is also for safety reasons. It is necessary to keep hair out of the face for turns so the dancer can see to spot their turns and so that the hair does not hit the dancer in the eyes when they snap their head in a turn. Hair should be in a secure bun that does not have to be readjusted during class. This wastes time in class and is a distraction to the dancer, their teacher and classmates. With all the new hair accessories that are in the stores now, there are no excuses for not having hair in a bun unless a child has very short hair. If done properly, a good bun can be done in the morning before school and will last all day only needing a touch up before dance class. A uniform appearance for all in class also makes it easier for the teacher to see important corrections. Jewelry is dangerous to the dancer and other students, baggy legwarmers, street clothes, etc. keep the teacher from seeing the child’s muscles and alignment. As we mentioned before, and in our dress code, the bedroom slippers that Target markets as ballet slippers are unacceptable. They are very dangerous because they do not fit the foot snuggly like ballet shoes and are very slippery. Following the rules and practicing good grooming at dance class teaches children respect and discipline that is essential for success in any career and in life. It is also very frustrating to other parents and students who DO follow the dress code. It will also affect how teachers/directors treat you and your child, especially when considering them for performance opportunities. Parents, we are counting on you to back us up the same way we will back you up when it comes to your child following your rules. As always, thanks for reading and please tell us your tips on how you get your child properly dressed for dance class.