What you need for ballet....
As an adult most classes won't have a set uniform. For your first class, if you don't want to spend out a small fortune, its fine to wear something comfortable, leggings and a t shirt work great as your teacher can still see your line and form. However, when you decide you want to carry on and make this a hobby or more, you may want to buy some bits so you feel the part and can move with no restrictions.
A Leotard is a ballet basic; they come in a verity of styles and colours so you're sure to find something to suit you. A basic, plain leotard will properly set you back from £10, going upwards if you want something with lace, embellishments or extra details. Tights are also great! Don't worry they don't have to be pink, if you're like me I prefer black ballet tights in adult class. We’ve got a whole blog post on tights here.... Also tights generally go on first then leotard. ;)
If you're feeling a little self-concisions in this skin tight outfit and dreading the thought of an hour starring at yourself in the mirror wearing it- don't panic! There are a number of added options for you, a simple pair of shorts over the top of your leotard helps hide a bigger bum or a ballet skirt. If it's up top you're feeling self-conscious add a t shirt or wrap top over on your upper half.
Ideally, put your hair up. One, it will be out of your face and you won't be constantly fiddling with it or trying to get it out of your eyes. It also allows your teacher to see your top vertebrate of your spin so they can see your alinement. A bun is great for this and although it doesn't have to be scrapped back and held in place with 3 cans of hairspray, pins and hairnets but it does look better being neat don't you think?
Ballet shoes come in a range of options and if you're going to buy something buy shoes first, not just ballet but any style of dance, start with the shoes. Leather is most common but you can also get canvas or satin. Again colour option is up to you, pink and black are the most common but tan, white, red, any colour of the rainbow are available. When it comes to soles you can pick from full or split sole. Really it's personal preference so try both on and see what you prefer. Split sole means basically that, the sole is split with the middle section missing which does help you pointe your foot more. A full sole is one solid piece and can help to make feet stronger as you have to pointe your feet more to curve the shoe, but as I said personal preference.
For younger students many schools will have a uniform. Most will let your little one do a trail class or two first before buying uniform. The first time you buy it will always be the most expensive as you need everything but after that hopefully things will need to be replaced at different times. Some schools will have a second-hand box where you may be able to pick up some cheaper, used clothing. Just a word of warning about worn, second hand dance shoes; It is possible to pick up the previous dancers bad habits if the shoes are very worn in places.
If the school does have a uniform, it is worthwhile making sure you get it right first time or it could get very costly in the long run. If children need a certain leotard for an exam (many exam boards have a set uniform) you’ll end up spending more if you have brought a cheaper version first and then having to buy another for the exam!