An important part of learning to dance is wearing clothing that you can move in, and shoes that give you the support you need feel sure on your feet.
Many brides plan to wear extremely high heels at their wedding. 4 or 5 inch heels may look great in a photo, but they will definitely be a hazard on the dance floor! For summer weddings, some brides choose sandals or even flip flop type shoes that may look cute and breezy, but will put a damper on your dancing. An open toe shoe will be an invitation to ruin that perfect pedicure when your not so limber groom does a tap dance on them.
When coming for a dance lesson, ladies should wear closed toe, flat or very low heel (1 inch) shoes with a leather bottom. Ballroom dancers wear shoes with suede on the bottom since this give the right amount of both traction and glide on a wood dance floor. But, it is not expected for you to buy special ballroom shoes though some brides do and wear them as their wedding shoe which is a great idea. Ballroom shoes are constructed for dancing and hopefully you plan to do a lot of dancing at your wedding! Definitely do not wear flip flops or open backed sandals on a dance lesson. It is dangerous, and you won’t be able to do the movements you are paying to learn!
For men, they have it much easier. They should wear a laced dress shoe. Most of these shoes already have a leather bottom which is great for learning to dance. Leather bottom is second place to suede bottom.
Avoid shoes with a rubber bottom like a sneaker. These stick to the floor and don’t permit smooth turning. They also can leave black scuff marks on the studio’s very expensive specialty wood dance floor.
Dancers bring their dance shoes in a separate bag and change into them at the dance studio. It is recommended that you do the same. Just like top basketball players would never wear their game shoes on the street. Doing this ensures that no dirt, gravelly bits, etc… find their way to the dance floor.
As for clothing, even though ballroom dancing is great exercise, you will find that ballroom dancers tend to wear business casual type clothes while taking lessons/ teaching. You will not see jogging outfits, loose sweatpants and tee-shirts at a ballroom studio. A typical outfit would be comprised of dress pants and a nice shirt. Dancers never wear jeans on the dance floor.
But while learning for your wedding, what is most important is to wear clothing that you can move comfortably in and clothes you won’t have to adjust while dancing. You should be able to lift your arms over your head without any restriction, and you should feel comfortable twirling without worrying about a short skirt flying up.
As we get closer to your wedding, you should bring in your wedding shoes and try out your whole dance in them until you feel comfortable. I bring a floor length full skirt for the brides to practice in to simulate the wedding gown. Men should start to wear a suit jacket to the lesson as well since dancing in his tuxedo or suit will feel very different than casual wear.
Remember, dancers have dress rehearsal for a very important reason. We want to feel comfortable on “show day” and wearing the type of clothes you will wear at your wedding will help you be prepared for any thing that comes your way.