Shoes and Attire

What to wear to hip hop dance class


Regular athletic sneakers are appropriate for hip-hop class.

The same kind of non-marking athletic shoe you’d wear to a fitness class is good for hip-hop class. There’s no need for a split-soled dance sneaker or other specialty shoe.  There’s nothing wrong with it if you already own a pair; we just wouldn’t suggest going out and buying these specifically for hip hop. Your best bet is a sturdy pair of athletic sneakers. People wear a wide variety of them, so you don’t need to get a certain style or brand to fit in with your fellow dancers in a beginning hip-hop class. Dancers may favor certain brands, but not to the point that anyone would look twice if you didn’t have the “right” shoe. We don’t recommend dancing in thin canvas “tennis shoes” (think Keds) or other sneakers intended for casual wear, as they don’t have appropriate cushioning and support to protect your feet and knees and also lack the stability features that will help keep you from twisting an ankle. Some sneakers with black soles can leave marks on the floor, so please don’t wear these.


Wear something comfortable to move in that you don’t mind getting sweaty.

Sweatpants or other loose-fitting athletic pants and a tank top or t-shirt are the usual attire for hip-hop class. If it’s cold, wear a sweatshirt or some type of layer to make sure you get warmed up in class; this helps prevent injury. Most dancers tend to dress down for class, wearing something easy to move in, casual, and fairly plain. (But clean and freshly washed! Don’t get that casual.)

Pants are more common than shorts.

Unlike exercisers in gym fitness classes, dancers don’t tend to wear shorts or pants above knee length. And hip-hop dancers in particular tend to wear normal to baggy pants, rather than anything extremely fitted.

Consider going light on the jewelry, or skipping it altogether.

In dance classes in general, the less jewelry, the better. You can easily lose or break jewelry items while dancing, and possibly even injure yourself or someone else.

Dress to feel comfortable.

Not only comfortable moving, but one thing that’s not often mentioned: as a new dancer, you may find you feel less noticeable, and hence less inhibited and better able to dance and concentrate in class, if you dress down a little and strive to blend in.

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