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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

  • Easter Competition

    The rabbits name is

     

    It is not only rabbits that hop and jump, take a look at the Hop and Jump video:

     

     

    Leo the rabbits name

     

    Visit our Facebook page to enter the competition, the winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday 23rd April.

     

    The lucky winner will receive a £10 voucher to use at Nando's or on our website.

     

    Voucher

     

  • Dance School Dance Shows, Festivals and Competitions are all the same aren’t they? NO

    So what are Dance Shows then?
    STAGE
    Dance School Shows differ from Dance Competitions and Festival because they are usually only performed for the parents, relatives and friends of the children. The dancers are not competing with other dance teams, but just give the dancers an opportunity to show what they’ve learned for their family and friends.

     

    Of course there are many other benefits too. For the children dancing it can be an exciting and perhaps a nervous time too. It’s their opportunity to showcase the different dance styles (ballet, tap, modern, hip-hop…) and routines they’ve learned and no doubt they will all want to make their parents, relatives and friends proud of what they’ve achieved. Read more about Competitions & Festivals here.

     

    Newer dancers may never have danced on stage before, so the experience of dancing in front of an audience with bright lights, wearing the same costumes, make-up, hair styles and dancing in groups, duets, trios or even solo, will all be new and nerve racking but very exciting too. Obviously this all helps to build confidence and to overcome nerves. Also, it helps to prepare for exams or competitions.

     

    dance showYounger children may only dance once in a show weekend, but older or more experienced dancers may dance more than one routine in the same show several times over a couple of days (usually weekends) so that the audiences can come at different times to suit their life and work patterns.

     

    Many dance schools will do a show once every two years or maybe one each year. Often this depends on other activities like competitions and exams, where the dance school may already be heavily committed and will not have time for a show in the same year.

     

    Sometimes dances from dance shows may be used for other events such as; Charity events, Fetes, guest appearances in dance productions (e.g. Chance 2 Dance etc.). Or the dance teachers may prefer to choreograph a new routine.

     

    Dance Costumes

     

    Of course one of the big attractions of shows is choosing and wearing costumes instead of just the everyday dance wear used for practice.Gemma Leotard

     

    Usually the dance teacher will decide on the design/style and probably the brand/ where to buy even. They may then order them in bulk in all the different sizes for each of the children who will be taking part in the dance show.

     

    Other teachers may give parent the design styles/make of costume and let them buy individually, but there are obvious benefits if the dance teacher orders in bulk. Not least it makes sure that the costumes are all the same and often the price will be better too!

     

    (Choosing where to buy is obviously down to individual choice, but Dance Gear is unique in offering a huge Made to Order range at very affordable prices, fast delivery and no hassle returns or exchanges.)

     

    Once the dancers have their costumes Including the rights shoes, socks, tights and hair/other costume accessories it is obviously very important to keep everything together where it won’t be lost/dropped or get forgotten.

     

    Keeping the costumes on a clothes hanger in a bag with all the accessories is a good idea. Dance costume bags are also great to store all the costume items in neatly so that they don’t get dirty or creased or damaged.

     

    How do I look?

     

    Every child will want to look their best so making sure you and they know how to arrange their hair and – if required - make-up is important too

     

    Hair styles

     

    The dance teacher will again decide on the hair style they want (maybe on for long hair and one for short hair). Again making sure the hair accessories needed are all there is important (plus some spares!!) so Hair grips, Hair pins, Hairspray, Bobbles, Elastics, Bun-Nets, Bun Covers, Bun-Rings/Rolls and so on.

     

    Make up

     

    Make Up is a big essential for dance shows. How much make up will be worn will obviously depend on the age of the children and their parents/teachers but typically it may be:

     

    dance make up• Age 3-5 – Nothing
    • Age 6-12/13 – Bit of blusher, Lipstick, maybe eye shadow – check for an allergies!!
    • 13+ - Foundation, Eye Shadow, Eye Lashes (if told too), Mascara, Lip Stick, Blusher, Highlighter, Eye Liner etc.
    • Boys - No make-up – unless they wish too.

     

  • Artistic Gymnastics

    Artistic gymnast

     

    There are different forms of gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics, which has been quite successful in Great Britain, has a successful team which is ever evolving, with gymnasts who compete nationally and internationally and place medal positions at events such as the Olympic Games. Artistic gymnastics involves elements such as the balance beam, vault, rings, pommel horse, parallel bars, horizontal bar and the floor exercise. Female gymnasts would perform in four of these (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise), while male gymnasts would perform in six (floor exercise, still rings, vault, pommel horse, parallel and horizontal bars).

     

    During the floor exercise, gymnasts have to perform a routine which includes gymnastics elements such as balances, spins, and tumbling. These would form the main structure of the routine, while in between those elements you would find the choreography. All of the above play an important role in achieving the highest possible mark for the gymnast.

     

    In recent news, there is one particular gymnast who might have caught your attention, as her routine went viral beginning of January 2019. Katelyn Ohashi, is a retired artistic gymnast who recently competed a floor routine with her school UCLA (University of California). Her routine, featuring a Michael Jackson song and choreography scored a perfect ten from the judges. Katelyn recently performed this routine again, only changing the choreography and music choice to songs and movement inspired by Tina Turner, Janet Jackson and Beyonce. The reason for this, is due to the backlash anything Michael Jackson had after the showing of Leaving Neverland broadcasted, and Ohashi who wanted her routines to be inspiring said:

     

    "The goal of my routine is pure joy, and after the documentary, not everyone was feeling that way, and you can never discredit someone’s feelings,” Ohashi said. “So yes, it was in the back of my mind because my main goal is to find as much joy as possible in this routine." (Kady Lang March 22, 2019).

     

     

    This routine is a great example to show how choreography comes into this part of the sport. Traditionally however, floor exercise routines tend to look slightly less dancey, even though choreography is still an important factor.

     

    If you want to check this, videos are available online where you can watch hundreds of artistic gymnastics routines, and the difference in performance is clear. Choreography is still visible, however the execution is slightly more robotic in comparison to what we watched above in Katelyn Ohashi’s routine. Other routines to watch out for are those performed by USA treasure Simone Biles, as this gymnast is quite a performer as well as a powerful gymnast.

     

    latest news

     

    In current news, the 2019 European Championships are being held this week in Szczecin, Poland 10th-14th April. The team representing GB is a powerful one, including all around European champion Ellie Downie and junior European all around bronze medallist Amelie Morgan. This will be Morgan’s first time European event as a senior. Also in the team, is Alice Kinsella, Commonwealth Games beam champion and concluding the womens artistic team is Claudia Fragapane, who has stepped in after replacing 2018 British all-around champion Kelly Simm due to an unfortunate foot injury. This will be Fragapane’s first major event, since the 2017 Wold Championships.

     

    The mens team also consists of names that may be familiar, with Max Whitlock, 2017 European all-around bronze medallist James Hall, 2017 5th all-around European gymnast Joe Fraser, 2018 ring medallist Courtney Tulloch, 2018 all-around British Champion Brinn Bevan and finally, current European floor champion Dom Cunningham.

     

    Coverage for this event will be available across the BBC, or alternatively, links are available on the British Gymnastics (BG) page, where you can watch the event live. Scheduled times are listed on the BG website (link available below).

     

    https://www.british-gymnastics.org/news-and-events/news/latest-news/8232-watch-the-2019-artistic-european-championships-on-the-bbc

     

    For further news and updates you can check out the British Gymnastics twitter page and also updates from the gymnasts themselves on their personal pages.

     

    Wishing the team the best of luck.

     

    Dance Gear

     

  • Aesthetic Gymnastics

    Aesthetic gymnastics is a cross between numerous of sports. Unfortunately, aesthetic gymnastics does not run in the UK, and so many people do not know of its existence. It is extremely popular in Finland, which is where it was founded with the first competitions held in 1950.This is a great sport to get in to, as it involves a mixture of different sports all blended into one.

     

    This extraordinary form of gymnastics includes elements of cheerleading, rhythmic gymnastics (RG), artistic, acrobatic and dancing. The main objective is to combine all of the above, whilst making it look ‘aesthetically’ pleasing. To make all this possible, tremendous effort goes in to the choreography, with a noticeable attention to detail. Many retired gymnasts, dancers and cheerleaders find themselves getting involved with this sport after retirement. Rhythmic gymnastics is very similar to aesthetic gymnastics, as it requires many of the skills used in RG so gymnasts moving from RG to aesthetic gymnastics really excel in the sport.

     

    Aesthetic gymnasts

     

    To look at a rhythmic gymnast, and an aesthetic gymnast, you probably couldn’t tell the difference. Both sports carry the same sort of style, with slit back hair in neat buns, make up, stunning leotards filled with Swarovski crystals, and toe shoes. As many similarities as aesthetic gymnastics has with RG, there are some notable differences. For one, there are more participants involved in an aesthetic gymnastics routine, with six to twelve gymnasts performing altogether during one routine, whereas in rhythmic there are either individuals, or a maximum of five within a group. Furthermore, there are no apparatus used in aesthetic gymnastics, whereas in RG gymnasts can either perform free hand, or use apparatus such as ribbons, hoops, ropes, balls or clubs.

     

    Aesthetic gymnastics also has many elements of dance acro and acrobatic gymnastics. Although much of the structure of the routine is combined by choreography and elements (balances, turns, leaps), the rest is pretty much packed with lifts and tricks. The same sorts you would find in an acrobatics gymnastics routine, or even cheerleading.

     

    Below are a couple of clips featuring snippets from various aesthetic gymnastic moments, explaining a little about what this sport consists of, and clips from choreography, to breath-taking stunts which will have you re-watching each, in order to comprehend how such things are even possible.

     

     

    Aesthetic gymnasts 2

     

    Trivia time

     

    Can you spot the difference?

     

    Can you guess which of the below are rhythmic gymnasts, and which aesthetic gymnasts?

    a.
    a

     

    b.
    b

     

    c.
    c

     

    d.
    d

     

    e.
    e

     

    Answers:

    1. Aesthetic Gymnastics
    2. Aesthetic Gymnastics
    3. Rhythmic Gymnastics
    4. Rhythmic Gymnastics
    5. Aesthetic Gymnastics

     

  • The BBC Dance Season, featuring influential choreographers

    Sir Kenneth MacMillan

    (11 December 1929 to 29 October 1992) Sir Kenneth MacMillan was born in Dunfermline Scotland. He was a British ballet dancer and choreographer who became the artistic director of the Royal Ballet in London between 1970 and 1977 and remained its principal choreographer until his death 29 October 1992. Between 1984 and 1989 became associate director of the American Ballet then artistic associate of the Houston Ballet from 1989 to 1992.
    Sir Kenneth MacMillan

     

     

    Michael Clark

    From the outset, Michael Clark’s performances have been marked by a mixture of technical rigour and experimentation, intense and fine-tuned choreography intersecting with elements of punk, Dada (Dadaism), pop and rock. His productions repeatedly break new ground, provoking and electrifying audiences.
    Michael Clark

     

     

  • Dance Gear Leotards - Women’s & Children’s Leotards. Made to Order in the UK. Next day Dispatch.

     

    Spoilt for Choice

    Imagine walking into a dancewear shop and being offered a choice of nearly 5000 Leotards all in your size! Do you think you could find what you’re looking for?

     

    Too many to choose from did we hear you say? Well don’t worry – we’ve made it easy.

     

    Beth LeotardFirst browse the designs and choose the style(s) you like. You never have to worry about whether we’ve got your size in stock, because with 10 sizes to choose from, you know it will fit you. (Check the size chart to be sure, but don’t worry too much because all of our fabrics have 4 way stretch and there’s some overlap between each size) Then just focus on the colour or pattern swatches and click on each to see an outline image of which ever fabric/colour/pattern you’d like to see.

     

    Styles like nowhere else - Over 50 of them too

    You’ll find we have the everyday popular styles – short sleeved, long sleeved, sleeveless camisole, tank and so on, but then we’ve added styles you might not find easily elsewhere, such us skirted leotards or a diagonal body split or polo neck or silhouette side panels, or cut out waist.

     

    Just browse and see what you think. And we’d love to hear what you think too with any suggestions you may have.

     

    4 way stretch Fabrics – so it fits well and moves with you

    For everyday wearGeorgina Catsuit we offer hard wearing Nylon Lycra or for a bit more comfort Cotton Lycra.
    But when you want to look your best, then there’s shiny Metallic, or lots of Patterns like Leopard or Tiger or maybe something calmer like Nerida Pink or Glitter Marble, and if it’s something for a soft warm feel there’s Crushed velour.

     

    And they all stretch, so you’ll still get that snug fit and freedom to move.

     

    Made to Order

    So what does mean? Well you choose from the designs and fabrics we offer and we make it in your size and choice of fabric and style.

     

    But what’s great is that we usually dispatch the next day (orders before 2pm) and we offer a no hassle exchange or return and your money back. Now how’s that for service? Try doing that anywhere else!

     

    Run by Dancers for Dancers

    With over 40 years and two generations of experience, in the dance world, we understand your needs in depth and we’re very happy to help with questions and advice, so don’t hesitate to contact us with your queries. Email: sales@dancegear.co.uk

     

    Secure Payment

    So shop with confidence and when it comes to payment we offer both PayPal and Sage Pay for quick and secure transactions – or give us a call on 0121 420 1999.

     

  • Rhythmic Gymnastics

     

    Rhythmic Rhythmic gymnastgymnastics is slightly less known in the UK, however it is an ever growing sport and getting a higher recognition in Britain, especially since events such as the London 2012 Olympic Games in London were hosted, and the Commonwealth Games in Wales 2018. Both events included gymnasts from Great Britain participating. Rhythmic is an all-girls sport, and its training consists of gymnastics, ballet and dancing. As is in the word ‘rhythm’, having ballet and dance training is a necessity, as the routines are highly based on body and facial expression, as well as the elements. In rhythmic gymnastics it is a requirement that all routines involve at least two dance sections which involve a certain amount of steps. This would be marked and it is as important as the executing of the elements as it can boast up the gymnastics score for artistry.

     

    Elements in rhythmic gymnastics (RG) consist of: balances, pirouettes, leaps/jumps, and throwing of the apparatus. You also get extra marks for masteries (in other words original tricks with the apparatus). Example of masteries can be easily be found on YouTube, example of a few can be viewed on the following video:

     

     

    Also worth watching, would be Bulgaria’s ensemble team performing their new clubs and hoop routine, which is packed with a handful of masteries making the routine exciting and thrilling to watch:

     

     

    Apart from performing a free hand routine, rhythmic gymnasts are also required to execute routines which involve ball, hoop, rope, ribbon and clubs. Depending on the age/level, the gymnast would have to perform a certain amount of the above apparatus, the free routine tended to be performed by the younger gymnasts. At Olympic level, individual gymnasts would be required to perform in four apparatus, whereas teams would perform two. In a team, the first routine consists of all apparatus being the same (e.g. five balls), where the second would have two of one and three of a different apparatus (e.g. two clubs, three hoops).

     

    Rhythmic gymnast with ball

     

    As an individual, a rhythmic gymnast performs on the carpet for 1:30 minutes, while gymnasts performing as a group perform for 2:30. When performing as a team, only five gymnasts are permitted to compete on the competition carpet, however your team should consist of two additional members (reserves). One reserve attends competitions and has to compete in one of the two routines, where the seventh gymnast would not attend the competition.

     

    Rhythmic Gymnasts

     

    Musicality plays a vital role in RG, and it can affect the gymnasts score tremendously. The gymnasts routine should tell you a story, and this should be visible to the judges/audience. As a regulation, music in rhythmic must include a variety of tempos, showing a clear fast and slow section. With this, the gymnast must also reflect on the music and show this to the judges through their body movements and choreography. A good example of this would be Salome Pazhava’s 2015 World Championships hoop routine:

     

     

    This routine demonstrates a clear dynamic start and later a slow balletic moment. She shows this by performing a few balletic steps within this section of the routine.

     

    Rhythmic Gymnast

     

    Ballet is a requirement in a rhythmic gymnasts training, as it aids in the gymnasts posture, body alignment and expression. Even though flexibility is a vital part of rhythmic gymnastics, it is essential to have the strength, stamina and correct technique for injury prevention to the gymnast. In rhythmic, you must be able to balance, pivot, and leap whilst dealing with an apparatus in your hand, all while making it look easy and elegant. A good example which demonstrates good use of balletic movements and artistry in RG would be Russia’s Alexandra Soldatova’s 2017 ball routine:

     

     

    To conclude, rhythmic gymnastics is a beautiful sport, filled with elements of dancing, ballet stunning leotards and it is catching to the eye. If you are feeling inspired, and would like the opportunity to have a taste of a rhythmic gymnastics lesson, there are many RG clubs around the UK to attend. If you are struggling to find one, there is a club finder on the British Gymnastics website, for any gymnastics clubs near you.

     

  • Prince Charles and his wife Camilla meet Carlos Acosta

    Prince Charles-Camilla the Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall and Carlos Acosta CBE

     

    Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, met with Carlos Acosta CBE on the 25th March 2019, he showed the couple his dance school the Acosta's dance studio in Havana on their official British Royal visit to the Caribbean island of Cuba.

     

    Although this visit had more to do with building diplomatic bridges between the UK and Cuba, rather than us indulging in the rich dance culture that Cuba has to offer. Nevertheless as we have a great interest in dance here at Dance Gear, we have to take advantage of these opportunities when they present themselves.

     

    Carlos Acosta, who will take up the position as the new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in January 2020, said of the country of his birth, hopefully Cuba will continue to open up culturally and economically.

     

    Everything in this country’s culture is inspired by Dance, and Dance is a part of everyday life there. Cuba has a rich fusion of Iberian and African traces, add to this the island's rich musical heritage, you end up with a total unique mix. These dance styles have permeated and fed there way into Western dance cultures, with many world-class dancers across many disciplines making their way to these shores, Carlos Acosta being one of many.

     

  • BBC Radio 2 Danceathon for Comic Relief

     

    DANCEATHON 2019

     

    The BBC Radio 2 Danceathon presents Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly who co-present Strictly Come Dancing amongst other of their achievements are raising money by dancing for over 24 hours for Comic Relief.

     

    There will be loads of other special guests dropping by to help then in their quest to raise money for special causes.

     

    You can follow Claudia and Tess by going direct to the link below and follow them in real time.

     

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/emxp8g/live/cmjdgw

     

    Dance Gear has made its donation; you can do the same by following the instructions on the BBC website.

     

    Keep going both for this great cause!

     

  • Mummy in a Tutu - Dance Gear Brand Ambassador for 2019

    We're delighted to announce that Mummy in a Tutu has agreed to become one of our brand ambassador's for 2019!

     

    dance gear brand ambassador

     

    As part of the ambassador program we sent some dance gear to Mummy in a Tutu's daughter, Alyssa, to model. We think she looks great!

     

    Alyssa wearing pink crop top

     

    Alyssa with dance bag

     

    You can check out the rest of the photo shoot over at the Mummy in a Tutu blog.

     

    Alyssa's outfit consists of the following items:

     

    Dance Gear Zoe Leotard
    Dance Gear Jazz Pants
    Roch Valley Soft Vanity Case

     

    Click on any of the links above to shop now!

     

    We'll be working with Mummy in Tutu throughout the year on various dance related projects. Keep a close eye on the blog for more announcements!

     

    Photography courtesy of Mummy in a Tutu

     

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