Dance Advice

5 tips for taking care of your dancewear

Ballet Rosa Josephine Leotard available at

Whether you’re shopping at Studio 7, Só Dança, or enjoying many of the other gorgeous brands at, dancewear can be expensive. If you’re looking to take better care of your dance clothes this year, here are some tips on how to wash and preserve your dancewear so that they last long, shine bright, fit well and smell great for every class!

#1. Keep it cool.

Washing clothes in cold water prevents shrinkage to already form-fitting dancewear. It also keeps colours from bleeding together.

#2. Wary washing.

Turn your washing machine to “delicate”, and use a little less detergent than the bottle suggests. For smelly clothes, add a half-cup of white vinegar to the load. You can also buy special detergent for athletic wear such as Zeroda Sports Wash or Radiant Laundry Liquid Sports Wash. Remember that hand-washing is always a great option, especially for spandex clothes that you don’t want to shrink down or stretch out.

Ballet Rosa Berenice Leotard available at

#3. De-funk.

Try not to let your dance clothes marinate in sweat. Yuck! Throw them in the wash as soon as possible. For very stinky clothes, soak them in a mixture of cold water and a half-cup of white vinegar for about 30 minutes before putting them in the laundry. And, believe it or not, you can put your clothes in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer. The icy temperatures will kill odor-causing bacteria until you’re ready to do a load of laundry.

#4. Turn them inside-out.

Flip tops, pants and leotards inside-out to prevent colour-fading in the wash. Also, the smell and sweat are mainly on the inside of the garments anyway.

Adult Camisole Multi Strap Leotard available at

#5. Dry carefully.

Ideally, it’s best to air-dry your dancewear by hanging items up on the line or in the laundry room. Laying clothes flat to dry can cause a mildew smell. If you are low on dancewear and need to throw your clothes in the dryer, turn the machine on low-heat and nix the dryer sheets, which can cause pilling on spandex fabric. Also, never dry dancewear with fluffy sweatshirts, towels or clothing with parts that might snag (zippers, embellishments, etc.).

By Mary Callahan of Dance Informa.

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