Skip to main content

Tights, Tutus, and Shoes: Is Learning Ballet Expensive?

June 18, 2020

Tights, Tutus, and Shoes: Is Learning Ballet Expensive?

If your child is interested in taking ballet lessons, one of the things that is likely going through your mind right now is wondering how much it is going to cost. Many people believe that dance classes, and especially ballet classes, are quite expensive to participate in. While it’s true that there are certain supplies your child will need to learn how to dance ballet, purchasing these items does not have to break the bank. Here you will find a rundown of everything your child will need, as well as how much you can expect to pay.


The Basics Of Ballet

The leotard is the iconic foundational garment that is worn when practicing and performing ballet. Because the leotard is form-fitting, it allows the instructor to see the student’s body position and alignment. This is important so that they can make the necessary adjustments to the dancer’s form. The most common leotard color is black, but some studios allow students to wear whatever color they wish, and other studios use the leotard color to indicate the student’s level.

The cost of a leotard ranges from $10 to $30, depending on the size, fabric, and sleeve length. You may want to have several leotards for your child, so that you don’t have to do laundry as often. On the other hand, if your child is just starting to learn how to dance ballet or is in the middle of a growth spurt, you may want to purchase just one leotard and wash it more frequently.

Dance Skirt

ballet dance skirt

For a little more coverage, many female ballet students choose to wear a dance skirt. This includes the iconic frilly tutu, as well as simple crepe or satin skirts. Because of the wide variety of styles available, the cost of a dance skirt can be anywhere from $5 to $40. To make the most of your money, pick a skirt in a neutral color that will coordinate with any leotard.


ballet tights

Your child will be expected to wear tights with their leotard to ballet class. Pink is the most popular color choice, though black, white, and nude are widely used as well. Dance tights are made in a variety of styles – footed, convertible, stirrup, and footless. You may want to have more than one style to give your child a few options to coordinate with different outfits. Dance tights are usually inexpensive and cost around $5 to $15 a pair.

Ballet Shoes


One of the most important items that your child will need to learn how to dance ballet is the ballet shoe (or slipper). This specially designed shoe supports the dancer’s foot while allowing for a full range of movement. Ballet shoes are typically available in pink, black, white, and nude, with pink being the most popular. Ballet slippers are made from canvas or leather. Many dancers feel that canvas ballet shoes are more comfortable; however, leather shoes are more durable and typically last longer. Ballet shoes come with either a split sole or a full sole. Consult your child’s dance teacher to determine which style of ballet slipper is best suited for your child.

As your child’s skills progress, they may have the opportunity to learn how to dance ballet en pointe. In this style of ballet, the dancers wear special shoes that allow them to dance on the tips of their toes. This requires an incredible amount of ankle strength and stability and is not suited for a novice dancer. The special ballet shoes required to dance en point may cost around $80 or more.

Hair Supplies

ballet hair

Girls are usually required to wear their hair in a tight bun on top of their head, which keeps their hair out of their eyes while they dance. For this hair style, you will need hairspray, elastic hair bands, bobby pins, and a bun roll. If you don’t already have these items around your house, these can be found for just a few dollars at most drugstores.

Dance Bag

Ballet bag

Your child will need a bag to carry his or her belongings back and forth to ballet class. One option is to use a bag that you already own, or you can also purchase a special dance bag for $10 to $30. You may wish to have the bag personalized with your child’s name or initials for easy identification.


Although you will need a few items, it doesn’t have to be expensive for your child to learn how to dance ballet. You can ease the burden of these costs by starting with a few basics and periodically adding new items. With these essentials, your child will be ready to dance the day away!

Free TakeLessons Resource

Photo by tom@hk, Arild Nybo, bronx.zaimoku_woodpile, Bunches and Bits {Karina}, Amy

Megan L. is a writer and musician living in San Diego. She loves supporting independent artists and learning more about music every day. Megan has been working for TakeLessons since November 2011. Google+

Megan L.