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5 Accessories Kids Need for Modern Dance

16 March 2023

There are a few basic accessories that children should bring to every dance class. Though the accessories listed below tend to be advised for any modern dance class, it’s still a good idea to check first with your child’s dance instructor.

Well-fitting trainers

It’s vital to wear well-fitting footwear for any dance class. For modern dance, it’s a good idea to start with regular trainers (you can wait for your child’s teacher to advise you if you need to buy any dance-specific shoes). Make sure the shoes fit! Whilst it can be tempting - especially with young children - to buy a size or two bigger than necessary to let your child “grow into them”, this can actually be very dangerous. Ill-fitting footwear causes most dance injuries in beginners. Because modern dance sometimes requires children to practise barefoot, make sure your child is comfortable getting into and out of their shoes for themselves. 

Water bottle

This is essential. Even in a short lesson, children will exert themselves enough to risk dehydration and overheating. Modern dance classes are run in a variety of venues, and you can’t rely on there being a tap or drinking fountain. Besides, most teachers like to give the dancers a quick minute here and there to grab a drink to keep the pace of the lesson going. Running out to the drinking fountain could disrupt the class and break the creative flow. When selecting a bottle, make sure it’s durable, in case it’s kicked over, and that it’s simple to open and drink from.

Hair accessories

This one’s mostly for children with long hair. Modern dance is not only energetic but also involves dancers experimenting with their bodies and coming close to one another. It’s important, therefore, to tie long hair back. Depending on your child’s age, you could send them with scrunchies, clips, hair ties or bobby pins. For younger children, you might need to check if parents are allowed to stay during the class. If so, you can help your child when their hair comes loose. If not, it’s a good idea to bind their hair before class.

Healthy snack

Whether snacks are allowed during lesson time will vary from class to class, so it’s best to check ahead. If your child’s teacher does allow snacks, it’s a good idea to take them. Dance nutritionists suggest healthy food with slow releasing energy, for example, fruits, nuts, granola or rice cakes. Avoid anything that’s too full of refined sugar, which might lead to an energy crash. Remember to keep portions small. While a snack is beneficial for keeping up energy levels, dancing on a full stomach can be uncomfortable. If your child’s class doesn’t allow snacks, encourage your child to have one just before they go in.

Extra clothes

It’s a good idea to pack extra dance clothes for your child. Modern dance classes will often feature a mix of vigorous dancing and slower, creative downtime, so having layers can help children to regulate their temperatures. They may also want to change before or after class.

Photo by Mary Taylor

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