All About the Dresses

This is one of my favorite topics when it comes to dance. I love seeing the different types of dresses, especially solo dresses. I thought I would explain what the different dresses mean and what they are for. There are many variations of dresses, but these are the three I am most familiar with. The 3 main types of dresses are beginner uniforms, school dresses, and solo dresses and I’ll also touch a little bit on some other types of costumes and dresses.

Beginner Uniforms:

Beginner uniforms are what wear in your first and maybe second year of dancing. I wore mine for about a year and a half before I got my school dress. Beginner costumes, from what I have seen, tend to be a blouse or leotard and a skirt. I have seen that some schools have a jumper style dress with a blouse or leotard underneath. Or some beginners just wear school dresses.

beginner me

This picture is from when I was with my old school. The uniform for this school was a white blouse with a black skort. The beginner uniform for my current school is a black top and I want to say a red skirt. I did not wear this uniform because by the time I switched schools I was wearing a school dress.

School Dresses:

School dresses are the dresses a dancer wears in beginner II and in Novice. Sometimes beginners who are older will go right to wearing a school dress. They are simple and traditional in style and design. School dresses are school specific dresses. School dresses are usually the same for everyone. However sometimes the designs change and some girls might have the older style.

school dresses.jpg

The dress on the left is the dress I wore for my first dance school. On the right is my school dress for my current school. As you can see they are both different designs, but they are in a similar style.

Solo Dresses:

Now, these are the fun ones. Styles and trends in solo dresses are always changing. All solo dresses are different, no two are the same. These dresses are dancer specific. Dancers pick the colors and designs they like and designers then take the inspiration and make the solo costumes.

As beautiful as these solo costumes are, they have to be earned. One way to earn a dress is by getting a first in a novice dance. The other was a solo dress can be earned is after five years of dancing, with teacher’s discretion. Getting that first solo dress for a dancer is a right of passage. Dancers will have their solo dresses from anywhere around just a few months to a few years. There are so many things that are deciding factors of when a dancer gets a new solo dress. A lot of the time it’s because a dancer is growing or is simply ready for a new dress.


This is my current solo dress. This is also my first solo dress. When I first got this dress I was 13. I really loved, and still love, this dress. However I am getting a new one soon and I really excited about it. This new Dress is going to be blue and silver and I cannot wait.

Other dress Types:

There are a couple other dress types that I know of, performance and ceili. Some schools ave performance costumes for special events. We wore them for a while, but now we just wear our regular dresses.

performace costume

This was my performance costume, I actually really liked these outfits.

Ceili dresses are worn by a lot of teams for the majors-Oireachtas, nationals, and worlds- for their team dances. I have never worn one so I do not have a photo of this outfit.

I love  topics such ans this one and I hope to touch on other topics like thins in the future.


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