How to dress for middle school dance

What to Wear to a Middle School Dance – and Other Tips

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Is your child preparing for his or her first dance? Find out what to wear to a middle school dance and other things kids should know before heading out.

As a tween, the question of what to wear to a middle school dance isn’t small. I still remember my first dance. I was a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal growing up, but for the big Saturday evening event, I went to my friend Jenelle’s house. We spent hours straightening our hair, picking out the perfect babydoll tops and getting our makeup perfect – though, looking back, it wasn’t all that good.

Of course, we were like 12 and not much dancing went on, but we were excited for the social event – and the possibility of getting asked to dance by that one guy who was so totally cute.

But I also remember being incredibly nervous for it. What if I didn’t know that one dance everyone is doing? What if I’m not dressed up enough or have gone too all out?

Kids are under a lot of stress trying to navigate and make the most of middle school. And if you’re wondering how you can help them prepare for this rite of passage, take these tips – which include what to wear to a middle school dance and what to expect once you get there – from a metro Detroit teacher and veteran school dance chaperone to heart.

Things to know about timing and fees

Depending on the school, some dances might be held over the weekend while others may throw them at the end of the school day.

Birney K-8 School in Southfield hosts dances and parties for all grades throughout the year. Elementary-aged kids enjoy festivities the last hour of their school day, while middle school dances typically start at the end of the day and last an hour and a half.

“Our middle school dances start in sixth grade,” says Sheronne Moorer, Birney’s communications teacher for grades 6-8. “And generally, there’s a charge for the dances.”

Moorer says that the school charges the kids $1-$3 to get into the dance.

What to wear to a middle school dance

Since this particular school requires a uniform, Birney also offers kids the chance to “dress down,” which brings their grand total to $4-$5.

Kids that do choose to dress down for the dance typically wear jeans and a T-shirt but are welcome to go semiformal. This means a dressy shirt, a skirt with leggings or dress pants for girls and a button-down shirt and dress pants for boys, WikiHow explains. Hair and makeup can be worn how it normally is and shoes can be simple flats or nice tennis shoes.

And if the dance is themed, consider bringing and age-appropriate costume to change into before the event.

Eighth graders, like those that attend Birney, may also get a special semiformal dance at the end of the year, depending on the school. Moorer says that her students pay $25 for that dance, which provides a meal, photo booth and more.

One step above semiformal are the formal dances, like high school homecoming and prom, which require a suit for boys and a dress for girls. Some schools may allow pantsuits or other types of formal attire for those uncomfortable in a dress or a suit. Check with yours for details.

The dance scene, once you arrive

At the dance, kids can expect a DJ to play the kid-friendly versions of popular songs that they might like and can dance to. Boys and girls are welcome to dance together – but most don’t, Moorer says.

“(Usually) girls are in one corner and boys are in the other,” she explains. “Sometimes, those that like to dance will, and then a circle forms around them.”

If boys and girls do choose to couples dance during a slower number (or otherwise), the school staff here expects them to maintain space between them,” Moorer adds.

This means couples should keep it PG and school-friendly. At some schools, kids can be removed from the dance for inappropriate conduct, such as grinding or making out.

Kids should also be aware of policies that bar them from bringing guests or from leaving and re-entering the dance, which some schools enforce.

Can’t dance? No problem

Sure, dancing can be fun (and have some great benefits for kids, too), but if your child isn’t into it, he or she can still have fun at that first dance.

Some schools, including Birney, offer other activities for the kids that aren’t interested in busting a move.

“We have different teachers that man different rooms of crafts or (dance lessons),” says Moorer, who teaches the hustle during the school dances. “If we’re not using our gym for the dance, there might be open gym so kids can throw the basketball around and things like that – (and) teachers who have hobbies they want to teach the kids can also do that.”

In addition, the school sells snacks to complete the experience.

Do you have any advice for kids heading to their first school dance? Drop it in the comments.

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11 Outfits for Middle School Boys to Wear to a Dance

Finding an outfit to wear to your first middle school dance can be difficult. After all, everyone at your school will be there and you don’t want to stand out–or do you?

What you wear to the dance depends on the type of dance it is. Below you’ll find 11 outfits that a middle school boy could wear to various middle school dances. Let’s get started.

1. Flannel and Jeans

A flannel paired with a solid T-shirt and jeans is the perfect look for almost any school dance, especially the more casual ones. With this outfit, you can walk in feeling calm and collected.

Don’t be afraid to wear this type of outfit simply because you wear similar ones to school every day. A flannel shirt and jeans tell everyone that you’re confident enough as is. You don’t need to get all dressed up to feel smooth.

If you want to step up this look, choose the color of your flannel based on the type of dance. For example, if you’re going to a Valentine’s Day dance, wear a red flannel. When possible, match the color of your shoes to the flannel. If you don’t have shoes that match your flannel color, wear solid black, white, or gray shoes instead. This outfit works with both blue, black, and grey jeans.

The undershirt you wear with your flannel doesn’t matter much. However, it should be a solid color that doesn’t conflict with the color of the shoes, jeans, or flannel. Once again, if you want a more casual style, wear a solid-colored graphic tee underneath the flannel.

2. Full Suit and Tie

Wearing a full suit and tie for the first time, especially to school, can be nerve-wracking. You may be wondering what if no one else wears something similar. Below we’ll discuss how to look classy in a full suit without looking too dressy.

For those more formal dances, such as Valentine’s Day, Winter Formal, or Middle School Prom, a full suit and tie is an appropriate outfit for boys to wear.

The first thing you can do to make a full suit look a little more casual is to wear a colored shirt. This also gives you an opportunity to dress more for the occasion. For example, if you’re attending a winter formal, a light or dark blue shirt is a good option.

The next step to make a suit look a bit classier is to wear a solid black, skinny tie. If you’re wearing a navy or gray suit, match the tie to that color. Reserve wider, multi-colored ties for less formal events such as church.

While a pair of black dress shoes will complete this look, middle school boys can wear whatever they feel comfortable in. When possible, try to choose solid-colored shoes that don’t clash with the color of your suit or shirt.

3. T-Shirt and Jeans

For many middle school boys, getting dressed up for a school dance can make them feel self-conscious or out of place. In these instances, a comfortable T-shirt and jeans are a good option.

This outfit gives middle school boys the flexibility to choose every bit of their clothing. They can wear different colored jeans, solid or patterned T-shirts, and any type of shoes they want.

A T-shirt and jeans are appropriate for more casual events, such as an end-of-the-semester dance. Remember, there’s not much of a difference between this outfit and the outfit that you wear to school every day.

Before wearing a T-shirt and jeans to your middle school dance, make sure that the school isn’t enforcing a dress code. Some nicer events require attendants to wear something a bit classier than a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

If you choose to wear this outfit to your middle school dance, wear it with confidence. You could even coordinate your outfit to match your date or your friend groups’.

4. Button-Up Shirt, Tie, and Jeans

Very few middle school dances require you to dress exceptionally formal. However, you don’t want to wear something casual to all of them.

If you want to find a happy middle ground between classy and casual, then a button-up shirt with a tie and jeans is the perfect option.

When planning this outfit, start with your jeans. Are you going to wear regular blue denim jeans or opt for another color such as black or grey?

Once you have your jeans picked out, decide on the color of your button-up shirt. You could wear a plain white shirt or any solid color for that matter.

Like many other outfits on this list, you can customize your clothes to match the color scheme of the event. For example, at a homecoming dance, wear one of your school colors!

Next, pick your tie. Stick to ties with minimal to no color change. Additionally, avoid busy patterns. If you matched your shirt to your school colors, wear a neutral-colored tie or match it with another school color.

Last but not least, find shoes that don’t clash with the colors of your outfit. It doesn’t matter if these shoes are casual or dressy since the outfit mixes both styles.

5. Bright Colored, Skater Boy

When picking an outfit for your middle school dance, find one that matches your personal style. If you like to wear bright colors, find an outfit that incorporates them.

Additionally, if you tend to dress with more of a skater style, do the same at your dance.

This style allows you to incorporate aspects of other outfits such as a flannel shirt and jeans as well as high-top sneakers and a backward ball cap.

Know your school’s dress code policy before attending the dance. Many schools don’t allow hats to be worn during school; however, they may alter this rule for the dances. Don’t show up with your favorite hat just to take it off at the front door.

You should also consider the fact that some schools ask students to remove their shoes since they could damage the gymnasium floor.

If your shoes are a crucial part of your look, wear a pair of socks that provide a similar look.

This is an important factor to remember for any school dance. If the school will ask you to remove your shoes, you don’t want to have worn old, stinky socks. Plan ahead and wear a clean, nice pair instead.

6. Cowboy Classy

Once again, your personal style should play a significant role in what you wear to your middle school dance. If you prefer to dress with more of a country style, you can dress it up for the dance.

Start with a button-up shirt with a fun pattern or color. Pair this shirt with your best pair of jeans–this means the pair with the fewest holes and grass stains.

If you want a very classy look, add a bolo tie or your favorite belt buckle to the outfit and slip on a pair of dress boots. For those that only have one pair of boots, clean them up a bit and add some boot polish before the dance.

Get permission from your school to wear a cowboy hat or plan to leave it at home. However, if you and a group of friends plan to go out to dinner before or after the dance, wear the hat for this portion of the evening.

You could also add a suit jacket to this look for a classier finish; however, prepare to take it off as the gymnasium heats up throughout the dance.

7. Polo and Jeans

Wearing a polo and a pair of jeans to your middle school dance is another perfect combination of mixing classy with casual.

Middle school boys can wear whatever color or patterned polo they want or match it to the dance theme. They can also pair it with any color of jeans.

Another benefit of this outfit is that it works with any type of shoe. If you have a pair of dress shoes, wear them! If not, wear your favorite sneakers.

No matter what your day-to-day style looks like, this outfit is an appropriate choice for all middle school boys. This outfit can be dressed up with a suit jacket.

Is your school hosting an outdoor dance on a warm summer evening? If so, you may want to wear something other than jeans. Pair your polo of choice with some knee-length khaki shorts. This outfit also works for indoor dances, but be aware that it creates a more casual look.

8. Business Best

If you want to make a big impression at your middle school dance, then you’ll need to dress up.

While your business best might seem too professional for a middle school dance, it’s the perfect option for a formal dance or any event that you plan on bringing a date to.

If you do have a date for your middle school dance, ask them what they plan on wearing. Do your best to match the style and color. They’ll appreciate the attention to detail.

If you’re going to the dance by yourself, match the color of your dress shirt to the theme or time of year.

Make sure you wear dress shoes with this look otherwise your shoes may feel out of place. However, if you don’t have dress shoes, just wear a solid-colored pair of sneakers. It’s middle school, not a job interview.

9. Costume Dance

While most school dances permit casual or formal wear, some schools will host costume dances. If this is the school dance you’re preparing for, get creative with your costume!

First thing first, you need to understand the school’s dress code. Very few schools will allow those who attend the dance to wear a mask, whether it’s a part of their costume or not. Additionally, the costume you choose should be age-appropriate.

Another rule to follow is that your costume shouldn’t include any weapons. The school will take these away whether they are real or fake.

Need some costume ideas? Pick from the following list:

  • Lumberjack
  • Mad Scientist
  • Favorite Movie/TV Character
  • Pop Culture Reference
  • Popular Meme, TikTok, or Vine Reference

If you are going to the dance with a date, find a way to match your costumes.

For those who aren’t a fan of dressing up in costumes, you can still find a way to join in on the Halloween dance fun. Find a shirt with your favorite superhero logo on it (or some other popular label). Pair this T-shirt with some jeans and sneakers.

10. Button-Up and Jeans

Another semi-formal option for middle school boys to wear to dances is a button-up shirt paired with jeans. You can make a button-up shirt look more formal by unbuttoning one or two buttons from the top to show off a graphic T-shirt.

This outfit is casual enough that you can wear it to school and not have to go home and change before the dance. Who knows, you might decide to wear this style more often!

11. Hoodie and Sweatpants

In general, middle school dances are fairly casual events. For this reason, you can wear basically whatever you want. Even something as casual as a hoodie and sweatpants could be an acceptable option for a boy to wear to their middle school dance.

Before wearing this outfit to your middle school dance, consider where the dance is. Indoor dances tend to get quite warm, fairly quickly. However, if the middle school is hosting the dance outside, a hoodie and sweatpants are the perfect clothing items to keep warm and comfortable.

Remember, some school dances have more formal dress codes for school dances. Know the rules that your middle school will enforce before you get there and plan your night around that.

Overall, it doesn’t matter what outfit you wear to your middle school dance. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident. So long as your outfit provides you with both of these characteristics, the dance is guaranteed to be a success.

DRESS-CODE or how to look your own at the dance. What to wear to the dance?

Contemporary Dance , Modern Jazz , Contamination - Many people practice barefoot or half in socks, how is it?)) can be seen in class. If you have jazz shoes or Czech shoes, you can also wear them. Clothing can be any, as long as it is very elastic and does not hinder movement.

GO-GO - On your feet - heels!! What courage is enough, take them. It is easier to learn right away to stand and dance on them than later, as different muscle groups work. Clothing is preferably tight and short: shorts, skirts, leggings, leggings, you can even dance leotards. T-shirts, tops are suitable upstairs, when the arms are open it is very beautiful and comfortable.

Hip-hop - this is where your fantasies run wild - pants, shorts, t-shirts, t-shirts - put on whatever you want! The main rule is that everything should be comfortable.

LA Style , Dance Mix - everything is clear with shoes - sneakers, clothes, as in Hip Hop, wide pants, loose T-shirts. For girls, you can be more sexy - short T-shirts, tops, but the pants are still wider.

Ragga Dancehall , Dancehall - Shorts, loose pants, comfortable sneakers, tank top, shirt, Bob Marley in the player, dreadlocks and afro pigtails are welcome! Clothing should be loose, although if you feel more comfortable in your own leggings - go for it)) Since there is a load on your knees, you can take an elastic bandage with you so that there are no injuries if you have weak knees or you are just starting to practice Dancehall.

Latina , Strip Latina - shoes in two versions: either shoes with a small steady heel, or any soft slippers. As for any dance, clothes, first of all, should be comfortable - elastic short pants, the same T-shirt, you can wear a medium-length skirt.

Reggaeton - You can wear sneakers on your feet or, if you feel confident in heels, latin shoes. From clothes, shorts, tight-fitting trousers, short tops are best suited, in general, everything that does not restrict movement.

Strip , Strip+Go - Works out best with stable heels. If you still feel insecure with an extra eight centimeters under the heel, ballet flats or socks will do. From clothes - tight-fitting trousers, shorts and T-shirts or tops, knee pads.

Jazz - Funk - It is best to wear sneakers on your feet. And above - all the brightest and tightest that you can find)

House - Complete chaos in clothes. Wide pants, long shorts, favorite sweatpants)) T-shirt, sweatshirt, t-shirt - it doesn't matter. And sneakers, and not Khoper ones, with thick soles, but light ones, you can fabric.

Electro Dance - we dance in whatever we came from the street, but change of shoes is required. Tight jeans, tight T-shirts, sneakers and a cap are the usual style of Electro dancers, it is comfortable to dance in this attire! But if you are just starting out and you don’t have the necessary equipment yet, you can dance in any other comfortable clothes.

Tribal , Belly Dance - well, of course, these are jingling belts, all in coins or beads. They are especially interesting to work with. Everything that will be under the belt is not important. You can dress the same way as for Latina. Comfortable pants, tank top, mid-length skirt or shorts. On the feet - ballet shoes, Czechs, sneakers, socks, or barefoot.

Breaking - sneakers on the feet, a little higher - wide pants or shorts, the main thing is that it is not narrow between the legs)), otherwise they will tear. Even higher - anything: T-shirt, T-shirt, etc. You can take a hat or cap with you for standing and spinning on your head.

Sexy R'n'B - looked at Pussicket Dolls and dressed the same)) Tracksuits, shorts, leggings, leggings, wide pants, tops, short T-shirts, in general, anything. It is better to wear sneakers on your feet, but if extra centimeters under the heel do not bother you, then heels are perfect.

Stretching, Body Ballet, Body Make - Comfortable, stretchy clothing, ballet flats or socks (Sneakers are required for Body Make). The teacher must see what you are doing, so it is better not to wear bulky hoodies and harem pants that hide your short knees and elbows.

Booty Dance - We put on sneakers on our feet, above - short shorts in which you can easily move your "booties", and we complement this with a tight-fitting T-shirt or even a bodice from a swimsuit, because it will be hot;)

High Heels - As the name implies, it is best to wear high heels on your feet. High or low - it doesn't matter, the main thing is on a stable one. And everything else you can choose according to your taste: leggings, short top, T-shirt, shorts... In general, everything that goes well with heels and you like in the mirror:)

D'n'B - Put on what What will be comfortable: T-shirts, jeans, sweatpants. On the feet, sneakers, and skater ones, thin for d'n'b are not adapted.

Wedding dance - for the first couple of lessons, comfortable clothes that do not hinder movement are suitable - in order to determine what exactly you want. But from shoes you should take both comfortable shoes (sneakers, ballet flats) and shoes in which you plan to dance your FIRST newlywed dance. It's also a good idea to bring a photo of your wedding dress and suit. And then the teacher will tell you what is better to come. And, of course, the last lesson will be unforgettable, in wedding dresses) so that there are no surprises at the celebration itself, and most importantly, the dance has become the most memorable in your life!

How to dress better


Zumba is a groovy fitness dance, so it is best to practice it in non-restrictive sportswear that allows you to spend a lot of energy and at the same time stay in a comfortable state. It should be made from lightweight, breathable materials. From shoes, sneakers or sneakers are best.


The basis of stretching is muscle stretching, development of flexibility and plasticity. Clothing should be selected sports type, which stretches well and is comfortable. As you know, muscles become maximally elastic when they are warm, so clothing should keep warm, but not be hot. Shoes can be sports light ballet flats, soft sneakers, Czech shoes. You can also wear socks.

Afro House

This is a combination of traditional rhythms of Africa and modern electronic music of Europe. Even in clothes, the individuality of this direction is visible. The second name of this musical and dance direction is kuduro (or kuduru). Unlike most of the dances taught by the Salsa Social school, kuduru implies that girls do not wear dresses or skirts. Pants, shorts, leggings would be more appropriate. Yes, and heels here will be superfluous: choose comfortable shoes like sneakers, sneakers. For men, everything remains standard: T-shirts, comfortable trousers and also sneakers or sneakers.


Wear light, comfortable clothing for training. Leggings, T-shirts, shorts are suitable for girls. Men can't go wrong with soft pants and T-shirts. Try to avoid baggy things: it is easier for the teacher to follow the correct movements when the body is clearly visible.

Salsa de Casino (Cuban Salsa) / Salsa Los Angeles (Salsa LA)

Salsa is an incendiary, energetic and beautiful dance! Also, clothing should fit all these qualities. For girls, these are elegant tops, medium-length skirts, comfortable-style dresses, they should not hinder movement, but rather lay down to stretch, allowing you to make energetic movements and not interfere with the partner to guide the partner in the dance. If you are not a fan of skirts, elegant shorts, breeches, leggings are also suitable. Men are advised to wear comfortable trousers and a loose shirt or T-shirt. Shoes can be any, the main requirement is comfort. Although girls most often dance Latin American dances in thin heels, it is not necessary to do this during training. However, retraining may be more difficult than expected. For men, these can be comfortable boots, sneakers or sneakers.


Bachata is less loaded with movements, but at the same time elegant, erotic and spectacular. The style of clothing is similar in choice to the dancers of the Salsa direction. For girls, comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement is also welcome, all possible tops, T-shirts, blouses, skirts, dresses, trousers, leggings, the main criterion of which remains comfort, which allows you to completely immerse yourself in the dance. From shoes, it is preferable to choose shoes with a small heel, but for the first time of training, shoes without a heel are also acceptable. For men, clothes are still trousers and a shirt, a T-shirt, and shoes are shoes, or sneakers, sneakers.


The girl can wear elastic tight-fitting clothes or a flared skirt. This will allow the teacher to monitor the correctness of the exercises. Too long skirts should be avoided: the gentleman can get confused in it, because the dance involves close contact. Men should avoid oversized trousers and sweatshirts for the same reason - the teacher needs to see if the student is moving correctly or just rocking to the beat. Shoes can be any, the main requirement is comfort. Although women most often dance Latin American dances in thin heels, it is not necessary to do so during training. However, retraining may be more difficult than expected.

Reggaeton (Reggaeton)

Reggaeton - dance without constraint: passionate, energetic and incendiary. More comfortable clothes for him are loose pants or shorts, a T-shirt. Shoes should be with good cushioning, the dance is very active. Sneakers, jazz shoes or other shoes with a slight rise that will fix the foot well are ideal.

Ladies Styling

Ladies styling is a collection of choreographic movements that promote the discovery of femininity, the manifestation of sexuality and charm. Therefore, we wear tight-fitting and comfortable clothes for you, and it is very important that you feel attractive and sexy in them - tight-fitting sports trousers, a short top. In the first lessons, you can wear comfortable sneakers or sneakers, but after learning the movements, you should switch to comfortable shoes or sandals with stable heels.

Tango Argentino (Argentine Tango)

Forget T-shirts, sweatpants, and sneakers here - elegant style is welcome here! Sports shoes are not suitable because of the rubber sole, the foot must slide easily on the parquet. An ideal option for girls is an elongated skirt and bodysuit, classic trousers are also suitable in combination with a blouse. From shoes - pumps with a low steady heel at the beginning of training, then you can switch to closed dance shoes.

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