It is important that the children have a uniform and wear their hair up off their neck.
It gives them a sense of pride in their appearance and helps to reinforce the belief that participating in ballet classes is a special part of the day. The West Hampstead School of Dance encourages this positive discipline when providing our ballet classes and we advise what ballet school uniform is appropriate for each class.
Fuscia leotard is worn from Grade 1
Over the years we have constantly searched for good quality and good prices from uniform manufacturers and so people usually buy the uniform from us.
There is no obligation to do so and we originally provided this service for both as a help for busy mums and to keep the costs down.
However, some do like a trip to the ballet shops in the West End and although more expensive this can be a memorable treat.
We are also developing a ‘nearly new’ and ‘loan’ system where clothes and shoes can be sold on after girls have grown out of them and so they can be
worn again by new students. The character skirts and shoes are particularly suitable for this satisfying ‘planet saving’ and ‘parents money saving’ practice! And the ones who pass their uniform on get something back as well.
The pink tutu is worn from the Nursery to Primary class
Black leotards from Grade 5
The younger children love to dress up of course and so ‘the pink tutu’ takes centre stage.
Unfortunately the traditional tutu doesn’t suit the smaller children, the very age group that are attracted to it. The material is thin shiny lycra or nylon which leaves them cold in class with bare shoulders and the spaghetti straps constantly fall off proving to be a real distraction. The tutu net on these stands up very nicely but is quite rough and scratchy for their young skin.
So we designed our own tutu ! It is a cotton/poyester mix which is warm and soft on the skin, has capped sleeves so the little ones shoulders don’t get cold and the net is several layers of soft voile and therefore not scratchy.
The girls wear this at the age of two and throughout Pre primary and Primary class.
Boys can wear whatever they find comfortable or the traditional boys ballet uniform which is the white short sleeved leotard with navy blue shorts up to Grade 3, then navy blue stirrup heeled tights, white socks and white leather ballet shoes.
When the girls reach Grade 1 they need to comply with Royal Academy uniform.
The fuscia leotard with no sleeves is our chosen design . For exam purposes this is worn without a skirt and they continue with the fuscia leotard until the end of Grade 4.
We have also designed our own character skirts.
There has often been a problem with the skirts creasing and being crumpled when parents bring them out of a bag at the RAD just before a student’s exam. This can be disheartening and can affect the girls confidence just when she needs to be composed and fully focused, so we have found a material which is almost crease proof, has the same weight necessary to flow nicely and does not look different to the traditional cotton skirts.
Fuscia leotards with character skirts and character shoes (low heels) up to Grade 3, then Cuban from there on
At Grade 5 they move on to a black leotard as their ballet school uniform. Girls like to wear designer and individual black leotards for class but they do have to wear the Royal Academy design for exam purposes.
RAD regulation leotards
Girls are free to choose what pleases them for class