For ballroom practice, workout clothes are good, though casual attire works for social classes. For International dance practice Tuesdays and Thursdays, however, we do have a dress code. (You'll find out why several weeks into classes.)
International Practice Attire
Guys should wear slacks; if you wear jeans to practice, you're going to dance a solo for us (which may involve dragging your partner out onto the dance floor). Shorts are okay for Latin, but please wear long pants for Standard practice. Also, do please remove anything in your pockets before Standard practice, or someone is going to get hurt. Girls, it is recommended that you wear skirts to practice - shorter skirts can show off your hip movement in Latin practice, and you have the option to wear long skirts during Standard practice. Leggings are also a popular option. Everyone, please do not wear baggy shirts or pants. The coaches won't be able to see your body movement as well, and they need to be able to do so to give you the best feedback.
A helpful tip: Shower before practice and make sure your breath is minty fresh. If you smell like your last meal, people won't be so eager to dance with you - unless you ate mints.
Sample practice attire
Team Competition Attire:
Guys, wear nice black pants and a collared shirt. Wearing a vest and a tie doesn't hurt for Standard. You can take those off and unbutton the top buttons of your shirt for Latin (or switch to a new shirt because you'll probably be sweaty by then). Girls, wear a long skirt (below the knee) for Standard and a short skirt (above the knee) for Latin. Everyone, you want to look nice and dressy for Standard, and you want to be flashy for Latin. Note that guys can get away with dressing all in black for Latin; girls, you want to stand out!
Sample competition attire
Other sample attire / places to order online
Capezio (workout clothes & dance shoes)
Dance Dress Pro (costumes)
RAINBOWSHIU: Dance Wear Super Store (costumes)
Tango Rouge Ballroom Dancewear (costume)
For Saturday classes, dancing in socks is recommended for most dances, unless you have shoes that won't mark the floor or you bought ballroom shoes (which you probably won't do unless you're part of the team or plan to join the team in the future). We don't want to scratch the studio floor, and socks make it easier to do the steps, which often involve tracing the floor.
Shoes are a must for those who want to participate in our International dance classes, but they can be pricey. As a start, girls can dance both Standard and Latin dances with a pair of Latin shoes, and guys can dance both Standard and Latin dances with a pair of Standard shoes. Eventually, many but not all will buy a pair of both types of shoes, but it not not a requirement. You may also want to get a shoe brush, which you can share with someone else (shoes, you can't). Eventually, girls will also want to buy replacement heel caps, as they do wear out.
When first starting out, you will most likely want to go into an actual store to try on shoes so that an expert can help you try out shoes and figure out your size (many are sold in foreign sizes) and can differ between Latin and Standard Shoes. Be sure to specify that you dance International style. Girls, your standard shoes should not have open sides; that's American. Guys, don't tell us what on earth you plan to do with open-anything-side shoes (or where you got them)!
For starters, we highly recommend going to Amelia's Dance Shoes. Don't forget to contact Ann beforehand, so she'll be prepared to give you the help and attention you need. (Don't worry if you don't know your size yet. Tell her your American shoe size, and she'll estimate the European size.) Also, she rotates between her store in Dallas and at Ft. Worth. If you call her ahead of time, she'll be able to grab shoes from her stock in Ft. Worth or order shoes in your size if necessary!
Once you know your size, you can order your shoes in different styles online!
Supadance (great quality, though pricey)