With the dance fitness craze at a fever pitch, you need the right tips and hacks for your gear to get the most out of your experience.
As a Master Vixen Workout Instructor, I’m asked about tips and tricks on how to step up your gear for dance classes ALL. THE. TIME. Although this sounds oddly specific, I really do receive these inquiries at least once a week. And if you’re a dance veteran, you know that even the smallest upgrade to your outfit makes a world of difference. Perfect example: How can you achieve that dance mind-body connection if the sock in your right shoe is slipping? Those that can relate know the weight of a wardrobe malfunction.
If you don’t feel comfortable dancing, your experience will be shot. After five years of instructing dance fitness formats at a rate of 2 - 4 classes a week, I make it a priority to feel comfortable and secure. I’m here to spread the wealth and share the top swag secrets that have a made a world of difference for me!
Dance Shoe Tip: Dr.Scholl’s Athletic Insoles
Much like Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, I too am obsessed with taking care of my feet. My feet bruise and blister at the slightest movement - to the point that I carry medical tape on me at all times for emergency wrapping, but I digress. The point is that your feet are your number one priority when it comes to dance, but much more so for dance as your feet are tasked with rapid, agile positioning and movement. You could easily google articles on what types of shoes are best for your chosen fitness program, but if you’re like me, you:
Are confused by all these competing articles and experts
Don’t have the budget to buy different pairs of shoes for every issue your feet have
Don’t want to give up those really cute Adidas shoes you bought for yourself just because they lack arch support
What’s a quick, affordable, practical solution? Foot pads! I highly recommend Dr.Scholl’s Athletic Series Sports Insoles. They provide a comfortable fit, arch support and gel padding (crucial for shock absorption). I’ve used the pads for everything, from teaching to walking around town. The best part is you can just slip the pads in and out of different shoes.
Dance Leg Wear Tip: Compression Sleeves
Let’s slowly move up the body and discuss our legs. I have mild shin splits. Even at mild, they hurt like hell. Yes, just like above, there are shoes that can help with this kind of issue, but shin split pain doesn’t just turn off. You can’t wear your orthopedic sneakers to the office or to sleep. I’ve found compression sleeves to be helpful. The sleeves help with overall circulation and support. I slip these on underneath my work clothes, my dance outfits and even wear them to go to sleep. These sleeves can also help with knee or ankle pain. There are sleeves for all different parts of the body - just google your ailment and see if there’s a sleeve right for you.
Best Dance Tops: Fishnet
Crazy that people are always talking about leggings, but never about tops. Wearing something too constricting can make you feel hot and self-conscious (like when you get pit stains too early or your top keeps riding up). As an instructor, I’ve fallen in love with loose fishnet tops. The breathable material allows for wonderful ventilation, especially when dancing. And ladies, that fishnet also gives a peek-a-boo look to that super expensive sports bra you bought. If you feel too risqué, you can always wear another top underneath or buy a fishnet top that blocks off parts of your upper body. I always purchase my fishnet from Amazon!
Best believe I'm also wearing my insoles AND fave make-up (read below) in this pic!
Waterproof Makeup for Dance
Personally, I use dance as an outlet to express myself through clothing and make up. And as a Vixen Workout Instructor, I encourage my students to live their own concert and persona. This can mean anything from moving with confidence to dressing the part. With my predisposition to want to try wild looks and Vixen requiring me to look like a Rockstar, all bets are off. I have a rainbow’s worth of lipstick and lord knows what else. But what does that matter if you sweat your whole look away 5 minutes into class? My secret is waterproof make-up: specifically, eyeliner, mascara and primers. Here are my top three:
L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Precision Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner - I’ve been wearing this baby for nine years. The liner dries on almost like glue or a film. This keeps the eyeliner looking shiny for hours, and if you mess up, just peel it off. I use this liner so much that I have an Amazon subscription for it.
MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks - These particular lipsticks always last for me. These are so strong and stubborn that they typically leave a lip stain, which is great if your making out with your water bottle between routines to hydrate.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Another gem I’ve been using for years. With this primer you could buy the cheapest drugstore eyeshadow and it’ll make it look rich in color and last for hours. Sleep, sweat, rain, my shadow has lasted with that primer. FYI - It's pricey, but a bottle can last up to a year.
Mascara - Lancôme is my go-to brand for waterproof mascara, but a lil’ secret: if you make your eyeliner thick enough, no one can even tell whether you’re wearing mascara or not
For more of my dance gear faves, check out my Amazon "Dance Gear" list. I'm constantly adding in new products that have come in clutch!