10+ Holiday Gifts Every Dancer Will Love

December 5, 2023

’Tis the season for giving—and receiving! And while Taylor Swift tickets might reign supreme on your winter wish list, check out the picks below to find the season’s most covetable dance goodies. 

After all, is there anything better than new gear to jumpstart a new year? We’ve compiled over a dozen items that make perfect presents for dancers—from head to toe.

Fancy Footwear

Engineered by dancers, Fuego sneakers are said to “boost spin ability while reducing friction and torque on a dancer’s knees.” In addition to high and low tops, the company also makes a new split-sole sneaker ($130), endorsed by Miami City Ballet’s Ella Titus, and available in six colors.  

Show your Midas toe-touch with Pastry’s Pop Tart Glitter sneaker ($70) in gold. Available in both adult and child sizes, this sneaker can brighten up the studio even on the most wintery day. (You’ll pray your teacher wants the entire class in these come comp time!) 

Don’t worry, bunheads—we have a glitzy shoe for you, too. Merlet’s Sparkle pointe shoes (75 euros) are covered in crystals and available in seven different shimmering colors to channel your inner Cinderella. Dorothys can choose Merlet’s Crystal pointe shoe (from 90 euros) in a bright ruby red—though it isn’t sparkly.  

Rather new to the pointe-shoe market is Virtisse, a female-owned pointe-shoe maker, worn by students and pros internationally, including dancers at San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet. Consider their newest model, Violette ($116), for a slightly tapered box, a U-shaped, medium vamp, and shanks that come in soft, medium, and hard. 

Gotta-Have Gear

Set your New Year’s resolution now: Bendier, more flexible feet can be attainable with the help of Superior Stretch’s SuperiorArch® foot stretcher ($67.50). Pro tip: Keep this baby at home…it’ll easily be the shiny new tool of the studio that everyone will want to try. 

Part armoire and part suitcase, Glam’r Gear’s Mobile Changing Station™ Dance Duffel Bag is a bag and a space organizer rolled into one. Perfect for competition or convention dressing rooms (aka ballrooms), it allows you to schlep your gear, then set the rack up anywhere—no closet required. 

You’ll also love AK Dancewear’s multi-purpose backpack ($69) that’s great for dancers on the go—at dance, in school, or during travel. It even comes with special air-ventilated shoe compartments and insulated pockets to keep your snacks warm.

Stop taking barre holding on to your kitchen table. Ask Santa for Boss Ballet Barres’ Portable Barres ($299). The Intermediate Series are available in 4-feet or 6-feet lengths, with the shorter option weighing in at only 34 pounds. 

Full-Body Fabulousness 

Going solo this year? You might want to put a new costume on your list. LA Dance Designs offers gorgeous, stage-ready designs. Take the monotone Cosmic leotard ($140), for instance, which features mesh cutouts and futuristic lines to complement any contemporary ballet solo. Just For Kix also boasts stunning lyrical costume options, like the embroidered, dusty lavender A Little of Your Love leo-and-skirt combo ($69.99).  

Rep your favorite competition or convention brand with items like Peak Threads (from Elevation on Tour) “Be Kind” T-shirt ($27), available in pepper or blue.

Let’s face it: Leotards don’t last forever. Treat yourself to a piece from Zidans’ new dancewear collection, Concealed, for the moodier or dark-and-stormy days, then choose Bloch International’s Vienna short-sleeve leotard ($57) for a hint of luxe adorning a truly classic style. Order it in black so it’s audition-ready, and pair it with Eurotard’s classic ballet wrap sweater ($34). Ballet chic was never more classic. 

Brain Power

High schoolers: It’s never too early to ask for dance-specific college-prep courses. Francisco Gella Dance Works offers a wide variety of virtual workshops and consultations, while Boca Ballet Theatre offers a college fair ($299), complete with classes and sessions with visiting faculty from the top conservatories. Hop on your chance to register for 2024’s fair, held Labor Day weekend. 

Dance into Life ($35), by Joe Tremaine and Laurie Johnson, can provide compelling insight and advice for a career in showbiz. Take this read with you to auditions or read before bedtime for an extra dose of dance inspo.

Forty exercises easily accomplished at home—in your pajamas—are found in Pajama Pilates ($17), available through Balanced Body. Each page includes step-by-step instructions—illustrated!—with modification options. Pack this guide in your overnight bag and never skip a day of Pilates.

Of course, a trip to your local dance retailer never disappoints. Ask for a gift card you can use in-store to try on apparel or get professionally fitted for new shoes (a must for safety and health). And who knows—the shopkeeper may know what your friends have been eyeing, too. Happy shopping!