To anyone who hasn't taken ballet classes before, this is a very pertinent and serious question: Where, exactly, does one purchase ballet clothing and shoes?
Keep reading for some helpful hints - and if you still have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We promise to do our best to answer any question you have.
Local Vs. Online
The first step to deciding how to buy your uniform supplies is to decide whether you'd like to shop online or locally.
Shopping locally is often a great way for new students to start out - you have the benefit of trying out a few different styles and sizes of the items you're looking at, and ideally, you can walk out of the store with your supplies in hand on the same day. It can also be nice to support the local economy!
Shopping online is typically a little cheaper than going to a brick-and-mortar store, and if you know what you are looking for, probably faster too. You can easily compare items and prices at multiple sites within minutes and then take advantage of the best deal available. The downside is that you may have to pay for shipping, depending on the store; you will have to wait even longer if you need to exchange items for a different size and have to wait for additional shipping time.
General Retailers For children's ballet supplies (ages 6 and younger), you can often find the supplies you need at general retail stores that don't necessarily specialize in dance supplies. These stores include Walmart, Target, and Payless Shoes, for starters. The benefits of going this route include not having to make an extra trip on your shopping day! The drawbacks, however, are that these kinds of stores may or may not carry the items you are looking for, depending on the store location - you may want to call ahead and ask. Also, these stores tend to market some items - including ballet "slippers" and certain kinds of tights that are too thin or the wrong color - as "ballet" items, when in reality, they are not quite what you're looking for. We recommend using a critical eye if you choose to go this route!
Dance Shops One of the more reliable ways to shop locally for your ballet uniform items is to visit a nearby dance specialty shop. To find the one nearest where you live, it is usually best to use a search engine like Google to search for "dance stores" near your area. Regardless of which store you decide to visit, it is usually best to call ahead and ask about hours and availability of the items you are looking for. Many dance stores are singly owned and managed, and some have opening hours that vary from week to week depending on the availability of the owner.
Shopping online is fairly easy. Much like with shopping locally, we don't have a particular store that we recommend above any others. A quick online search is usually the best way to begin browsing products.
When considering sizes, make sure to read the fine print: most ballet items are labeled with speciality sizing that is not the same as the sizing for typical clothing and shoes! The fine print usually includes conversion charts to help you translate sizes.
If you're unsure on a size, make sure to order the bigger out of the two sizes you're considering. Most ballet uniform items are stretchy and also tend to run small.
Finally, you can also consider that some local stores allow you to place orders online or by calling the store; most offer shipping as well.
If you still have questions, make sure to contact us.