You will definitely want to invest in jazz shoes however most studios will allow you to get away with socks or bare feet for at least the first class. If a specific jazz class incorporates a modern or contemporary style you might want to ditch the fancy shoes and always wear socks or go barefoot. On the other hand, some jazz funk classes might prefer you stay in sneakers to fit with the style. Generally you want more tight fitting clothing to show off body lines however being comfortable and appropriate is key to feeling your best in class. See the apparel section for more details.
- Water bottle (Stay away from sugary sports drinks!)
- Ponytail holder to pull your hair back out of your face!
- Band Aids to help break in those new jazz shoes!
Apparel For The Beginner
Generally anything that shows off your body lines in an appropriate way works for jazz class. You will see everything in class from long flared jazz pants with a loose top to spandex shorts with a sports bra. Do not show up to a jazz class in street clothes or anything that doesn't stretch and bend with your body. You want to be comfortable but still look like you meant to show up to class that day and didn’t just walk in off the street.
Also, depending on the style of the teacher or class you might want to choose a different outfit. For example, if a choreographer has more of a “feminine” style class, women might want to wear more tighter-fitting clothes that show off their body lines. If the choreographer has more of a “jazz funk” style of jazz you will want to dress more like a hip hop dancer. Or let’s say you are taking a “broadway jazz” class. You will see more “character clothing” depending on the teacher or the particular dance combination’s style for that day. For example, Bob Fosse style jazz might want a sophisticated leotard and tights “look” with character jazz heels.
If you are unsure of what to wear just stick with the basics like I mentioned first and you can’t go wrong. Also, bring a lot of clothing options and layers with you to class so that you can mix and match until you feel confident.
Whatever you want! If you have extremely long hair you might want to pull it back away from your face to keep it from bothering you and distracting from your dancing. Buns are also accepted and recommended a lot of the times in jazz class. When in doubt, check with your studio.
Tan or black slip on jazz shoes are a general “must have” across most jazz dance class styles. They allow you to turn, leap, point your toes, and dig into the floor for traction. You will definitely want to invest in jazz shoes however most studios will allow you to get away with socks or bare feet for at least the first class.
If a specific jazz class has more of a modern or contemporary style you might always want to wear socks or go barefoot. On the other hand some jazz funk classes might prefer you stay in sneakers to fit with the style.