Wondering which dress, pants, or shoes will be the most appropriate for ballroom dance lessons?

When you’re getting ready to come to ballroom dance lessons at Arthur Murray DC, it’s important that you wear the right clothes. You don’t need to come to your first lesson decked out in a sequined outfit, but rather, you should have sensible clothing that will allow you to move freely on the dance floor.


We don’t expect beginners to buy dance shoes, but it’s important to have shoes that will allow you to move around safely during your ballroom dance lessons. The ideal is a dress shoe with a smooth sole, which allows you to glide without sticking. Athletic shoes often have too much grip, which can be dangerous on the dance floor. Women should wear shoes with at least a strap on the back because women often travel backward during dance lessons.

Dance shoes typically have sturdy 2-inch to 3-inch heels, but if you don’t have shoes that match the description, flats are acceptable to start.

Clothing for Dance Lessons

The most important thing to remember when getting dressed for your ballroom dance lessons is that you need to be able to move comfortably. You’ll have to lift your arms above your head for spins, so you shouldn’t wear a jacket or shirt that bunches up at the shoulders or restricts your movement. Women often like to wear skirts because they look pretty when dancing, but it’s important that the skirt is full or stretchy enough to allow full strides. In addition, it’s important that it’s not too long, which could trip you up. For men, trousers are fine, and again, it’s important that pants be loose enough to take full strides.

Clothing for Performances

If you end up doing a ballroom dance performance, this is when you have the chance to dress in one of those fun costumes you see on TV. You’ll still want something that allows you to move, but women may get to wear a long, flowing skirt and men may get to wear a tailored suit made for dancing.

At Arthur Murray DC, we get you on your dancing feet with a complimentary private lesson for first timers. You don’t need a partner, special dance shoes, or any knowledge of dancing. After teaching you for a full session, your instructor will be able to recommend a dancing program that will suit your goals and level of progress. We are here to help and welcome all questions about our programs, what to expect, and what to wear.