We are venturing into unchartered waters. In a few short weeks, the girls will begin ballet and tap lessons. Real ballet and tap. Or as real as it can be for four year olds. They will be attending an hour long class that meets once a week at a nearby dance school that has been in existence for many, many years. The girls were really interested in just ballet but this academy only offers a ballet/tap combo for the younger ones because an hour of just ballet or an hour of just tap would be too much. Or so I've been told.
I know enough about gymnastics to get by at the gym. Aside from the show leotards that we have to purchase once a year, there are really no rules in terms of what the girls can wear (to practice.) Last year, they wore dance type leotards that I had purchased at Old Navy and Target and now they mainly wear their show leotards, which are real gymnastics leotards. I'm sure the day will come when I'll hear, "But Mom, no one wears last year's show leotard to practice!"
We signed the girls up for a summer session at the dance academy as a trial run to ensure that the girls all liked it and that we liked it. The summer session was ballet and tumbling and the only items that they were required to wear were some type of ballet slippers. We had three pairs of those already from Target.
Now it's time for the real deal. The girls need real ballet slippers and tap shoes (a specific brand.) The academy actually made it fairly easy for us in that they had someone from a dance store at the academy last night for sizing. They even have a "donation box" at the school for gently worn shoes. The owner rifled through it and found a pair of tap shoes for Allie. They are about a size too big right now but she told us to just have Allie wear socks until her feet grow.
They sized all the shoes too big to allow for some growing room.
Three pairs of ballet slippers and two pairs of tap shoes cost us $116. I was expecting it to be closer to be more so that was a pleasant surprise. They can wear any color leotard and any color tights to lessons. If the leotard has a skirt it has to be four inches or less in length so that it doesn't get in the way when they kneel. The dance store that was there also had leotards on display. There was a really cute leotard but it was $30. Times 3.
Explaining dress code "rules" to four year olds (my four year olds) can be difficult. You have seen how they are when it comes to clothes. A few times this summer, Em wore her play tutu to ballet. I guess it wasn't a big deal because it does look like a real tutu. I do have to say that having little girls is so fun.