We’ve all heard the song “The twelve days of Christmas.” So for those wondering how to apply those lyrics as inspiration for the shopping list for the dance enthusiast in your life, look no further.

While individual tastes may vary, there are a few things that most active people, particularly dancers, can appreciate and possibly even need.

12. Knee brace or tape/wrap – Even if the dancer in your life isn’t injured, it never hurts to be prepared for what could happen.  Wrapping a sore knee with a brace or athletic tape provides additional support and can help prevent a more serious issue down the line. 

 11. Jumbo supply of protein bars or other snacks – While most athletes learn what their bodies need and what to expect over time, dance newcomers may not realize how much energy they can expend and how often they need to re-plenish those energy stores.

10. Collection of dance movies, starting with the classic “Dirty Dancing” and on through the decades to the recent “Step Up” series and beyond. Nothing gets an artist more worked up than watching fellow artists create and inspire. Plus, it’s no secret that we love to learn, master and repeat the choreography on our own over and over again while imagining that we’re the film’s protagonist fighting for true love and the local dance program.

9. A good sports bottle – One can never be too sure where or when pure drinking water will be available. So it’s always a good idea to carry water along to keep hydrated and prepared for anything.

8. Dance video game like Just Dance – Dance games aren’t just for silly fun, they are also highly interactive, creative, and can even help sharpen a dancer’s skills in picking up choreography and focusing on minor details. The more accurately a participant mimics each step, the greater points they score.

7. iTunes gift card – So that the dance enthusiast in your life can keep current with the latest tunes to keep them inspired and grooving beyond the studio.

6. Subscription to favorite dance magazine – While it is important to keep up with the latest trends and info in the industry, it is also highly beneficial to stay connected and informed within a larger dance community outside of ones own local scene. Dancers can also often find details about auditions and other pertinent matters.

5. A good hoodie or other layering garment – In addition to obvious reason of keeping muscles warm, hoodies helps to retain body heat and regulate temperature by minimizing heat loss from the head. While leg warmers and headbands may have gone out of style, other staples like scarves, beanies and lose sweatshirts are still in vogue and essential for keeping comfortable and warm.

4. Sturdy dance bag – While one would assume that every dancer would already have a dance bag, the daily wear and tear of lugging around ones life possessions can wear out any bag quick. Having a bag that allows for more even distribution of weight can save a dancer from back strain or other injury. Plus, newer gear tends to come with conveniences that support the latest in tech, like device charging capabilities, water proof compartments and more.

3. Foam roller, hand held massager or both – Apart from the obvious relief that these often overlooked items provide, their consistent use are also proven to minimize the risk of certain strains and injuries.                                         

2. Extra dance shoes – Whether dance paws, jazz shoes, split sole dance sneakers, ballroom dance heels, tap shoes, or other footwear, having a variety of footwear to choose from can be just as integral to the movements themselves.

Just as they say a girl can never have enough shoes, the same applies to the average dancer. With the exception of contemporary, some African and a handful of others, most dance styles require specific/certain footwear. Much like a basketball player wouldn’t wear soccer cleats on the court and it wouldn’t make sense for a football player to wear ice hockey skates on the field. As such, for optimal performance and safety, it is important for dancers to wear the paper footwear that each style demands.

1. Gift card for more classes – If practice makes perfect and knowledge is power then there is no disputing the tremendous benefit that having access to more classes (whether group classes or private lessons would have

Happy shopping, Happy dancing and Happy Holidays!