Equipment and Gear Overview

You don’t have to worry about investing in some sort of dance shoe because most modern dance classes will recommend dancing in socks or bare feet. If a specific modern class incorporates a more contemporary style you might want to throw on your ballet or jazz shoes. 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!)
  • Towel
  • Ponytail holder to pull your hair back
  • Band Aids to help with blisters if you’re not used to dancing barefoot



Generally anything that shows off your body lines in an appropriate way works for modern class. You will see everything in class from long jazz pants or leggings with a loose top to spandex shorts with a sports bra. Men can wear shorts and a t-shirt or something that fits tighter to better show off body lines. For a more classical modern Do not show up to a modern 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 teacher and the style of modern you are dancing, you might want to choose a different outfit. For example, certain modern or contemporary styles are very physical and require a lot of floorwork. In this case, sweatpants and long sleeves might save you from floor burns and unnecessary bruises. Bring layers and you can’t go wrong.


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 modern class. When in doubt, check with your studio.


Generally bare feet work the best for modern. If a certain style of class has a lot of turning you might want to throw on your jazz or ballet shoes. They allow you to turn with ease while still being able to point your toes and dig into the floor for traction. Lots of dancewear companies make minimal coverage shoes that are made to make you look barefoot even though the ball of your foot is covered and protected. Look for “dance paws” or “foot undeez” at your local dance or costume store.