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Dance Gear | Dance Wear Blog

Read our dance wear blog for the latest news, trends and tips on all things dance

  • The Greatest Dancer Episode 2

    Series 1; Episode 2

     
    Dynamic Dads
     

    Dynamic Dads someone said in the audience, “ The Full Monty”, implying they were going to bare their bodies and not their dancing expertise. This group of middle aged man, when I say middle aged, what I mean is if they lived until 110. They had no dancing background, working as a lorry driver, finance broker, machinist and a karate teacher. The latter looked as if he’d just eaten Bruce Lee between two loaves of bread. Being Dynamic Dads means you have to be a dad to be part of the group, they have probably like most parents taken children to and throw from dancing schools, sitting in the car waiting until it’s time to go home after dancing lessons, shows and festivals, that could have been me. They received the 75% required, RESPECT.

     
    Mindtrick
     

    Mindtrick, took his inspiration from a fly, but they audience didn’t share he’s 360 degree vision and swatted him with their imaginary rolled up newspaper.

     
    JSD Minis
     

    JSD Minis proved to be a big hit with the viewing public and show what great fun it can be being part of a group, having fun and forming friendship’s for life. Well done girls.

     
    Chris Fonseca
     

    Chris Fonseca lost he’s hearing as a result of contracting meningitis as a child, you would of thought this would have proved an impossible barrier to overcome , but no, through vibration Chris can imagine this as music and dance. What an amazing and inspirational guy.

     

    Participants: Dynamic Dads (Street) Fionn (Contemporary) Mindtrick (street) Company Jinks (Commercial) Afro Queens (Afro Dance) JSD Minis (Modern Jazz) Mark Short (Commercial Jazz) Chris Fonseca (Street) The Globe Girls (Commercial)

     

    Roll on Episode 3

     

  • Ballet Dancing is Great for Your Child’s Health – and Fun too

    So you and your child have decided learning to dance would be good and fun too, but what type of dance should you go for first?
     
    Ballet
     
    Well ballet is amongst the most popular types of dance and forms the basis of many of the other dance styles, so it’s usually a good place to start. Also of course many girls dream of being a ballerina so that helps too!
     
    And while boys may prefer the idea of hip hop or other more energetic dances, ballet is great for developing the body to make you a better dancer – whatever style you choose.
     
    Ballet classes also provide a great way for children to express themselves in a structured and positive environment, and also provide a good opportunity for them to learn important skills that they will carry with them into their adult life.
     
    Ballet for Toddlers
     
    ballet toddler
     
    Ballet classes can be attended by both boys and girls and many start from as young as 3 years of age (or even younger). This is particularly beneficial as young children are very receptive and tend to learn new skills quickly.
     
    And it helps to burn off that boundless energy too!!
     
    In ballet classes for young children, the emphasis will largely be on structured play. Good Toes (pointed), Naughty Toes (flexed) and running around with arms pretending to be a fairy ballerina, are well known routines that most toddlers will experience.
     
    They will go on to develop technique a little later on as their bones and muscles develop.
     
    Ballet for Beginners
     
    Posistions of the feet
     
    As they progress they will start with the basics – starting with the 1st and 2nd positions (out of the 5 -6 feet and arm positions). Learning the basics will help with turn(-ing feet) out and flexibility, before progressing on to higher grades where they will learn 3rd, Open 4th, Closed 4th and 5th  , which are harder to do without learning to turn the legs out. They all help to develop balance, core strength, flexibility and posture.
     
    Ballet –En Pointe
     
    Pointe shoes
     
    Usually children will have been dancing for some time and are around 14-16 years old before their dance teacher will start to teach them how to dance on their toes – En Pointe. They need to be able to perform the basics well and their bones and muscles need to be sufficiently developed to cope with dancing on their toes. Their muscles and bones need to be strong to be able to hold the body weight up on their toes without it causing pressure around the ankles. Some may be younger but their dance teacher will decide when they are ready.
     
    (To see if you have the strength – rise up on demi-pointe in 1st position off the barre and hold for about 10 seconds. Your body should feel lifted and steady; – you shouldn’t be rocking or swaying as this means your strength needs more work before going En pointe, so that you don’t get any injuries!)
     
    Great Exercise
     
    Learning to ballet dance is also an excellent form of exercise, helping to improve the skeletal and muscular system, which is something that many professional sportsmen and women work very hard to achieve.
     
    Developing their core strength will also help your child to enjoy and be better at other sports and activities too, and if your child is active when they’re young, they’re much more likely to maintain a good level of fitness throughout their adult life.
     
    Active children are also more likely to develop healthier eating habits.
     
    Life Skill Benefits
     
    ballet chat
     
    For many children, ballet has a positive influence on their self-esteem and confidence, especially as they develop into teenagers and young adults.
     
    Ballet classes are also a great place for your child to develop social and interpersonal skills; for example, they’ll take part in group work usually taking turns and sharing their ideas. Working like this with their classmates at such an early age will help them develop and build relationships and natural team work.
     
    Ballet classes can also help with mental health, especially at time of stress such as during school, college/University exams.
     
    Their time in classes can help them to have break and to let off steam away from busy or pressurised environments, just enjoying an hour or 2 where they can feel free and express how they feel in their dancing.
     
    What Do I Need?
     
    If your child is thinking of starting ballet classes, you will need to buy them basic dancewear such as a ballet leotard and ballet shoes & tights.  But don’t worry, it can all be bought for relatively little. It’s a good idea to purchase from a specialist dance shop rather than a general retailer as they’ll be able to offer you specialist advice about what dancewear your child needs.
     
    Dance Gear is run by dancers for dancers and are experts in providing dance wear with over 40 years’ experience. For more information about our extensive range of dancewear and shoes, why not take a look at our website https://www.dancegear.co.uk.
     
    We’ll also be happy to help you choose the best items for your child and we offer a no hassle exchange or refund if you’re not happy with anything.
     

  • The Greatest Dancer Show 1

    James Clifton & Cheryl Cole on the Greatest DancerJames Clifton & Cheryl Cole on the Greatest Dancer

    The new show ‘The Greatest Dancer’ debuted last Saturday which we here thought was fantastic. It featured all dancing styles including tap dancing which we really enjoyed. How nice it was seeing it being portrayed in a modern and contemporary way by TJ and Hamish.
     
    If you didn’t manage to see the programme, we really recommend you should take the opportunity and view via the BBC iPlayer.
     
    Yassaui Mergaliyev - Greatest Dancer Yassaui Mergaliyev ballet dances to La Esmerelda by Cesare Pugni

    The audience deciding on their fate of the performers with a minimum of 75% required in order to open the doors allowing them onto the stage and the judges and audience beyond.
     
    Series 1: Episode 1 featured Frobacks (Street), KLA Latin Formation (Latin), Yassaui Mergaliyev (Ballet), Dee Dee Wilde and Pan’s Fans (Disco), D’relle West (Voguing), James Clifton (Freestyle) Ellie (Contemporary) Urban Jokers (Street) TJ & Hamish (Tap) Andrew (Freestyle)
     
    Andrew - The Greatest Dancer Inspiring dancer Andrew gets a standing ovation!

    If the judges thought that the act was technically good the audience still has the power to allow each act to progress, or be sent home, this was the case with Yassaui Mergaliyev.
     
    Having that other vital ingredient such as the X factor or however you what to interpret it, such as connection with the audience, originality, timing and so on.
     
    Great show the BBC, a big thumb’s up from Dance Gear.
     

  • The Greatest Dancer

    The Greatest Dancer
     
    Coming soon to BBC1 The Greatest Dancer
     
    We are all wondering what exactly the format is going to be, will it be like it says on the tin, the greatest all round Dancer, or individually, or as part of a group, maybe across all different dancing styles, so I bet you are wondering how exactly it is going to work.
     
    From the early concept of a pilot show that was staged back in February at the Hammersmith Appllo in London called The Greatest Show, it has now changed into the The Greatest Dancer. My understanding is now it will feature Soloist, Duos and groups auditioning similarly to the X factor with possible audience participation similar to I'm a celebrity get me out of her, but the format is yet to be revealed.
     
    According to the BBC press release the show is open to all genres of dance including Ballet, Tap, Ballroom, Jazz, Modern, Street and so on. Participants will be taken to the NEC in Birmingham to perform in front of two producers, but if the dancers are aware that they are being watched by an audience sitting behind a mirror seems unclear. If they get the audiences approval, the mirror will open with loads of surprised faces, lots of hugs and kisses and they will be put through to the next round.
     
    There is a prize of £50,000 at stake, but the accolade of being crown the Greatest Dancer is far greater, with guest appearances on Strictly Come Dancing to look forward to.
     
    The Judges have been named as Cheryl Cole from X Factor fame, Matthew Morrison, an American actor, dancer singer-songwriter who has performed on multiple Broadway shows and has starred on a television show called Glee, and Strictley Come Dancing Professional Oti Mabuse.
     
    The programme is scheduled for January, so let’s get ready to be inspired.
     

  • How to Survive your Child’s Christmas Dance Show

    Two Dancers
     
    So the rehearsals are under way and as ever, Christmas goes from seeming like weeks away to – help – it’s only 6 weeks away!!
     
    And as well as all the food and present shopping and getting ready for the family descending, your little one has got a Christmas Dance show to get ready for!
     
    At Dance Gear we’ve helped literally thousands of Mums (and Dads) get their child’s dance costume made to order in their size and colours and style on time. As dancers and parents of dancers ourselves, we know a little about getting ready for that all important event!
     
    We know that your child – whether a beginner, or a more experienced dancer - will be nervous and of course you and they want to everything to go well.
     
    So as the old saying goes: “Prepare to plan; OR Plan to fail!”
     
    Don’t miss rehearsals
     
    Dancers Rehearsing
     
    It goes without saying that the more practice your child gets, the more likely they will be to perform well. Building confidence is one of the best ways to overcome nerves on the night – for your child and you!!
     
    And if you are there for some of the rehearsals too, to hear what the teacher is saying and see what the show will be like, you’ll be more able to get your child completely ready.
     
    Get their costume and accessories ready early
     
    The dance teachers will decide the style, colour etc. for the costumes – hopefully in plenty of time - so you can order it and make sure it fits properly and add the sparkly bits or other finishing touches.
     
    On the day though, the costumes will probably be hung up in the changing room and as many of them will be the same - but different sizes maybe – labels on everything is good idea.
     
    Be prepared for problems
     
    Ok so you’ve made a list of the costume and accessories and shoes and things you need to take - clever you!!
     
    But what happens if she ladders her tights?
     
    Or falls over and grazes a knee, or …
     
    So maybe having one or two other bits in your kit bag would be a good idea, like:
     
    Clear nail polish to stop a run in those tights and a spare pair of tights
     
    Invisible plasters;
     
    Water, snacks, safety pins, hair spray, spare hairband, ribbon, small sewing kit, sequins, etc.
     
    Don’t Rush
     
    Get there early so that neither of you are fretting about that. And keep as calm as you can; children pick up on your moods and feelings.
    But prepared to wait around beforehand as everyone gets ready.
     
    Last but not least – Enjoy it! And Good luck
     
    Dance Gear has over 40 years’ experience of selling dancewear and we’re happy to help with advice and guidance at any time.
     
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  • DANCE COSTUMES FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOW

    Xmas Banner

     

    So you’ve done all the hard work and rehearsed and rehearsed until your feet ache and your head is spinning.

     

    Now comes the fun bit – finding a dance costume for your show!

     

    Your Dance teacher has probably got some ideas, but before you and your teacher make your minds up, why not explore the Dance Gear Dancewear range.

     

    With over 80 colours and patterns in 5 different fabrics and with lots of the garment designs where you can choose to have your costume made in any TWO of the huge range available, you’re bound to find something truly unique.

     

    The Fabrics:

     

    So there’s Nylon Lycra with 4-way stretch;

     

    Nylon Lycra Red

     

    Cotton Lycra for that little bit of extra warmth and comfort but still with plenty of stretch;

     

    Nylon Lycra Vert Green

     

    Shiny Metallic for that stand out colour which catches the light;

     

    Metallic Silver Fabric

     

    Printed with anything from animal prints, to strong vibrant autumn or winter patterns; or stripes and diamond patterns or musical patterns and many more to make a bold statement and help to create a theme for your show;

     

    Printed Safari Fabric

     

    And velour for that crushed velvet look and extra warmth;

     

    Velour purple Fabric

     

    The Dancewear:

     

    So whether you want a leotard or a catsuit, or crop tops and leggings or skirts or tutus, all of them can be made in 10 sizes and any of the colours or patterns and many can be made in combinations from the range of colours/patterns. There are literally THOUSANDS OF CHOICES.
    Imagine a tutu with the body in one fabric and then the layers of nets in alternating different colours:

     

    DGTUTU Nylon Lycra Red with Red and White Net

     

    And don’t worry Mum, Made to Order doesn’t mean they’re expensive. Prices start from as little as around £10 and we usually despatch them the day after you order them.

     

    So why not have a look and if you have any questions just gives us a call or email us and we’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.

  • Help Protect Our World

    Dance Gear Direct has always taken sustainability seriously, with all of its dancewear made under the Dance Gear brand, being made in its own factory here in the UK. We feel that people involved in dancing have always been mindful of their responsibilities in protecting the planet, but the BBC Blue Planet series II this year has exposed the dangers we all face if we fail to protect the world we live in.

    Earth Dancer

    We are all individuals and Dance Gear Direct has helped thousands of dancers express their own individuality with the unique fabrics and style combinations they can provide, such as (April Unitard in Fluo yellow and Printed Kaleidoscope) (Harmony Leotard in Printed Superstar and Black Lycra) (Megan short sleeve leotard in Printed Musical Notes and Musical Beats) But when it comes to protecting the plant, we all must act as one.

    Help protect our world

    The world's a stage. Dance Gear can help you dance your part.

  • BONFIRE NIGHT

    BONFIRE NIGHT

    Remember, remember!
    The fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder treason and plot;
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot!

    Houses of Parliament

    Over 400 hundred years ago on the night of November 4th 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught under the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder.

    He was one of a number or people who tried to kill the King because of persecution of Catholics.

    Ever since then we have celebrated the failure of the Gunpowder Plot

    Dancer Fireworks

    WHAT WILL YOU WEAR TONIGHT??

    Michelle in LightningLeila in GalaxyTammy in SuperstarGeorgina in Black

    AND WATCH OUT FOR THE FIRE FAIRIES

    When the fire is going out and the people have left you never know who might gather round!!

    Fire Ballerina

  • How Halloween Dance Costumes Began

    How Halloween Dance Costumes Began

    History of Halloween

    Long, long ago when dark forests covered much of the land (and way, way before electricity or phones!) a troupe of wandering minstrels and dancers were on their way through the forest to perform for the Lord of the Manor for Halloween.

    It was the night of October the 31st, cold and dark and thunder rumbled in the distance. The ancients believed this was the time when the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead was blurred and that ghosts of the dead returned to the earth and other scary creatures roamed the earth. There were wolves and bears and wild boars abroad too. It was Halloween!

    NICO Haloween copy

    On this night the Druids built huge bonfires to burn crops and wore costumes of animal heads and skins.Centuries later as Christianity spread the Celtic Druid celebration ( SamHain) was replaced by All Saints Eve or All Hallows (eventually becoming Halloween).

    All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils

     Halloween Costumes

    The minstrels and dancers dance costumes were inspired by the ideas of Halloween and were bright and scary to entertain the Lord and his guests

    As the thunder grew louder lightening flashed (lightning dance catsuit);

     

    The fiery glow from the bonfires cast shadows all around (metallic red Capri pants and  dance crop top);

     

    while dark witches tried to hide by turning into black cats – black net skirt and black tights and leotard;

     

    others saw a bear with sharp claws lurking in the trees ( claw costume with  leggettes/ crop top/ shorts.

    Halloween 2

    Still others went for more exotic wild animals like leopards and tigers

    Leopard/safari/ tiger costumes)

    The minstrels preferred Harlequin costumes (black and white and fluo harlequin costume

    Nicola-Combo-Child-Printed Harlequin and Nylon WhiteZoe-Printed-Adult-Fluo Harlequin

    Create you Halloween Costume

    For hundreds more ideas, quick delivery, and affordable made to order costumes visit www.dancegear.co.uk

  • Beautiful Tutu's for all Ages and Occasions.

    Beautiful Tutu’s for all Ages and Occasions

    shutterstock_714951238Often, when you ask a little girl what she wants to be when she grows up, ballerinas are high on the list. It’s no wonder. Their poise, graceful posture and costumes are beautiful and wearing tutus is high on their wish list.

    We make and send out countless beautiful tutus throughout the year - for all ages, and in a variety of colours and fabrics.

    Designing and manufacturing here at Dance Gear sets us at a unique advantage, as our customers can order their tutu of choice in any combination they like, chosen from over 80 fabrics. We offer L30-18-Pink-Front-CHILDa fast service and are proud to be a UK manufacturer. We have complete control over the entire process, to make sure that customers get what they want.

    We have an exciting variety of colours available, depending on which fabric you choose. If you are unsure on sizes, you can check our sizing guide to help you to decide or of course call or email us and we’ll be happy to help.

    In our made-to fabric range, choose from almost any fabric you like, such as Cotton Lycra, Nylon Lycra, Metallic, Velour or even a Printed fabric.

    Romantic White TutuFor a more classical design, dancers often go for a Romantic tutu.

    It is formed from longer layers of net, and is attached to a bodice. Sometimes, these are embellished but look equally as elegant in a plain colour. Our adult designs can be made in children’s sizes and vice versa.

    To see our full range of tutus, head over to https://www.dancegear.co.uk/

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