Ask Ms. Roxanne!
If your child is taking Dance Basics class, tap and ballet shoes are required. The girls wear pink ballet shoes and black Mary Jane style tap shoes. Boys wear black ballet shoes and black oxford style tap shoes with tie laces or slip on jazz tap shoes. If your child is in Jazz 'n' Ballet class he or she will only need ballet shoes and athletic/tennis shoes. All other classes wear athletic/tennis shoes with the exception of the Darts Dance Team in which case please talk to Ms. Roxanne about the details.
When buying dance shoes, please make sure they fit properly and do not have a lot of extra room. Just as new sports shoes are needed when children's feet grow, the same is true for dance shoes. If ballet shoes are too big, teachers cannot see how the toes are working inside of them and the child will not be able to make the correct movements. When tap shoes are too big, the taps are not on the right part of the feet to be used properly. They can also be kicked off and become a metal missile.
If you cannot afford both ballet and tap shoes, I recommend getting the tap shoes first since they are so different from normal shoes and take some time to get used to walking and dancing in them. I also have parents who ocasionally want to sell their children's shoes since they outgrow them quicker than they wear them out. I pass the price they ask on to others who are in need of shoes. Every once in a while I have shoes donated to pass on to other students. If you are having a hard time purchasing shoes, let me know your child's size & I will let you know what I have available. Everything is kept private.
Mark your child's first name or initial & last name (not initial) on the inside of the shoes, not the bottom which will be noticible when dancing. Quite a few students can wear the same brand and size shoe so it's possible for dancers to mistakenly take them for their own. If there is a name in the shoe, it can be located easily.
Over the years I have seen the shoes needed at local discount and athletic stores such as Walmart, Target, and Academy. I'm not sure but boys' black ballet shoes may also be available there. Boys' oxford style tap shoes will probably have to be purchased at a dancewear store such as Backstage Dancewear in Webster on HW3 and Medical Center Blvd. It is always a better idea to go where the child can be properly fitted by a knowledgeable employee.
Please be aware that the house slipper style shoe found in some stores by the dancewear is not a ballet shoe. These do not stay on the girls' feet when they try to dance and do not properly or fit the foot. If you place them on the floor when off the foot they will curl up. These are not the right shoes. Please make sure the shoe is leather, not nylon or terry cloth.
If your child will be wearing dance shoes for class, please make sure he or she wears shoes that are easy to unfasten and put on independently. I promote children changing their own shoes in class due to time restrictions. Since we want to have as much time as possible to have fun dancing, we have minimal time for the children to change back into their school shoes and get to their classrooms. Please do not purchase the girls' tap shoes with the elastic that snaps across the foot unless she is capable of unsnapping and snapping the elastic herself. These shoes are even hard for me to snap and the foot will not go into the shoe without unsnapping the elastic. I prefer the shoes with the grosgrain ribbon that goes through the eyelets or the velcro strap. Your child's Dancemobile teacher will remove the ribbons in class and put black elastic through the eyelets and knot it so your daughter will be able to slip the shoes off and on herself. If your child takes a class that does not require dance shoes, tennis shoes are best. Please do not send your child to dance class in flip flops or Crocs. These shoes will have to be taken off for dance since they can be dangerous and cause ankle injuries. When children are barefoot, they may step on a staple or tack. They can also stub their toes or someone can step on their foot. Most day cares do not allow bare feet.
Please do not send your child to school with their dance shoes in a plastic store bag. I have interceded many times when children put these over their faces and heads. This is a suffocation hazard for your child as well as others in the class and school. A small dance bag with a good closure is the best way to keep dance shoes contained while children are walking to the dance area so shoes are not lost in transit. Mark your child's name on or inside the dance bag since other dancers may have the same bag. Please only include dance related items in the bag and keep school supplies, toys, and lunches in a separate bag. Dancemobile dance bags are available now. They are red with the Dancemobile logo in black in a backpack style with a drawstring closure for only $5 and make great gifts. Contact Ms. Roxanne to purchase.
If your child has shoulder length hair or longer, please pull hair back in a ponytail, pigtails, or bun. Front bangs may need to be pulled back also if they are long enough to get into the child's eyes. If your child is tumbling, pigtails on the sides of the head work best so as not to interfere with rolls. Headbands will not stay put while dancing. Even though some do not have dance class until afternoon and a long day of school activities, dance students need to have their hair up for class. When I see a dancer with hair longer than shoulder length that is not up, I will pull up into a ponytail with a hair band. This takes valuable time away from dance class. I've been taught how to keep hair secure for hours (even styles with many lengths.) If you need hair tips please call or email me. Make sure hair articles will stay in by having your dancer shake her head around.
Your child will get the most out of class by being dressed for movement. Leotards and tights are not required at most facilities. Please do not put your child in jeans or dresses on dance days. These hide places that need to be seen and can cause injury when moving in them. Stretchy shorts, leggings, and sweats are great.
If your child does wear dancewear for class, the best advice is to wear a two piece dancewear outfit under a cover up or uniform that can be easily removed at class time. This also allows the child to go to the restroom during the day without having to undress and have the possibility of an accident. This is important especially if your child's dance class isn't held until the afternoon. If children wait to change until the dance teacher arrives at their door to take them, it throws off the schedule and limits class time. Dancemobile does not require certain colors of dancewear, however leotards with a large or long attached net tutu are not appropriate for class since teachers cannot see the child's legs. They are also distracting since the girls love to play with them. Short dance skirts with an elastic waist the child can easily pull off and on alone (no longer than mid-thigh) are allowed though. If you have any questions about dancewear, dance bags, or shoes, please call me or email me.
Black boys' oxford tap shoe. The one pictured has ties which teachers will tie, however, there is a slip on jazz style tap that is best because it slips on to the foot quickly and easily. (not pictured.)
Girls tap shoes come in many styles. The ones with ribbons are best. The teacher will remove the ribbons and tie elastic through the eyelets to enable the child to put on her own shoes. There is a nice shoe with velcro straps that is wonderful as well. (Not pictured.)
Girls pink ballet shoes are pictured. BOYS wear the same style in BLACK. Please make sure the top is leather and the bottom is suede.