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What Should my Child Wear Doing Hip-Hop?

26 January 2023

When starting hip hop for the first time, it’s advisable for children to wear simple, comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict their movement and is safe (in other words, nothing that they might trip or get caught on). Example outfits might be a t-shirt and shorts, or a sweatshirt and joggers. Most dance classes will require children to be either barefoot or in trainers. If your child is wearing trainers, make sure they are well-fitting. Each hip hop class will vary in what it does or does not recommend children to wear, so it’s always best to check in advance. A good class will always advise you either before you start or during your trial sessions if you need to buy any specialist clothing.


Hip hop dancing is energetic and often acrobatic. For this reason, it’s important that the clothing your child wears isn’t restrictive at all. Examples of appropriate clothes are joggers, dance-pants, shorts, leggings, long-sleeved t-shirts, singlets, t-shirts or tracksuits.

What not to wear

For children just starting out, very loose fitting clothes can be quite dangerous. It can increase the risk of slips and trips, plus the basic moves in hip hop take a little time to master. It’s important that children learn these moves clearly without also needing to avoid tripping on the hem of their baggy trousers!


This will vary from class to class, but a regular pair of trainers is a good choice. Plimsolls are acceptable but trainers are better as they fasten more tightly and there is less chance of them coming off. Just as with clothing, your child’s shoes should be comfortable and unrestrictive. Make sure they're an excellent fit. We all know how quickly children grow but avoid getting shoes that are a little bigger for ‘growing room’ - it can be dangerous. As your child gains experience, it might be worth considering a pair of jazz shoes, which are versatile and used in a range of dance styles.

Street Clothes

Have a change of clothes for your child to wear before and after their class. It’ll help keep your child comfortable and is a good practice to get into. Make sure you do the same for shoes. Whatever shoes your child uses in class, it’s important to keep dance shoes just for dancing.


When we think of hip hop, we think of baggy t-shirts, high-top trainers, baseball hats and generous amounts of jewellery, and this is as much a defining feature of the dance form as the moves are. Don’t go all-in on the style, though. It’s far better to attend a few classes to get a feel for what the teacher allows and expects before donning baseball caps and high-tops. Most classes will allow the expression of style and fashion at some point, though children will need to reach a certain level of proficiency before they can come to class wearing this sort of thing.

Photo by Rainier Ridao on Unsplash

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