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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

  • 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

  • How to Choose the Perfect Ballet Shoe

    All About Ballet Shoes
    Step-By-Step Guide on How to Choose the Perfect Ballet Shoe

    The golden rule of choosing dance shoes, whatever the style of dance, is comfort. This is absolutely essential in order to ensure you give your best possible performance. In ballet, having a comfortable pair of ballet shoes is no less important than any other style of dance.

    With such a wide variety of ballet shoes available, it can often be very confusing knowing which ones to choose especially if you are just about to start learning. There are so many styles available and if you are a novice, you need to make sure that you choose the right ones. Most dance schools have a uniform and it's quite likely that your ballet teacher will require you to buy a particular pair of ballet shoes so it's best to talk to them first. For those of you who want to get a head start or don't have a uniform, here is a helpful guide to make sure you choose the best ballet shoes for you!

    Step 1: Type of Ballet Shoes 
    Soft Ballet Shoes

    There are two different types of soles available with soft ballet shoes - split sole and full sole.

    Full Sole:

    • Reaches from the toe right down to the heel without a break
    • Elastics are either attached or within the shoe
    • Offers the extra support required by beginners especially.
    • Encourages the foot to work harder in order to achieve en-pointe.
    • Over time, this will develop and strengthen the muscles in the arch of the foot enough to allow the dancer to progress to split sole ballet shoes.

    S0209-Pink-Top-and-Sole         -LSS-Red-Top-and-Sole

    Split Sole:

    • Has a break in between the ball of the foot and the heel
    • Elastics are either attached or within the shoe
    • Provides more flexibility of the foot
    • Gives a much nicer line which can help result in a more polished performance.

    -S2S-Top-and-Sole       S0277-Top-and-Sole

    Once you have progressed to the split sole ballet shoe, you are just one step away from advancing to the pointe shoe. This type of shoe has a different structure to the soft ballet shoes discussed in this article. They have a 'box' and 'shank' which together support the dancer's foot allowing them to stand on the tips of their toes and move around the performance space as though weightless. This highly rewarding skill takes many years of hard work and commitment.

    Pointe Shoes

    A Demi Pointe:

    Demi pointe have some features of both the soft ballet shoe and the full pointe shoe:S0135-Top-and-Sole

    • The toe box is softer and the sides or 'wings are not as deep as in a pointe shoe
    • Demi pointe shoes have no shank so are more flexible and do not have the support required for pointe work
    • Demi pointe shoes are used to make the transition from soft to pointe shoes, but should not be used for 'en-pointe' performances.



    Pointe shoes vary in size and fit to suit individuals, but all have the same internal structure:

    1  Pointe 3 copy

    • The box is a hard enclosed space at the end of the shoe, designed to support the toes.
    • The end of the box is flattened to create a platform enabling dancers to stand 'en-pointe.'
    • The shank is a piece of rigid material which provides support for the arch of the foot whilst 'en pointe.'
    • Most pointe shoes are only made in flesh colours, so that the dancer almost appears as though they are performing barefoot
    • Come with a strong hard-wearing suede type bottom so it can be bent to break the pointe shoes in.


    Pointe shoes DO NOT come with pre-attached elastics or any toe protection, such as Ouch Pouches or Animal Wool. They are sold separately -you need to choose protection which makes your toes feel most comfortable or get advice from a fitter. Any other accessories such as pointe shoe elastics, suede caps (to improve the grip of the pointe platform on the toe box and stop wear of the fabric), ribbons and more are also available to purchase separately.

    Step 2: Type of Fabric

    The next thing to consider is the fabric from which ballet shoes are made. The vast majority and most popular ballet shoes are manufactured from leather and canvas though satin ballet shoes are also available which are very attractive. Though ballet looks very dainty and delicate, ballet classes require a lot of endurance and your ballet shoes will need to be equally hard wearing. Each ballet shoe comes with either a suede full sole or split sole bottom to help with better grip and rotation when wearing the shoe.

    • The most aesthetically pleasing appearance
    • Ideal for special occasions
    • Lacks any give therefore is unable to stretch and mold to the shape of your foot.
    • We also have these in a 'Wide' fitting as these can come up fairly thin measured.


    • fairly durable and will outlast most pairs of satin shoes several times over
    • will retain their shape
    • can sometimes snag and form holes
    • they are machine washable making them easy to maintain
    • Some dancers also feel that they allow them to better feel the surface of the floor through the shoe than other fabrics.


    • Hard wearing therefore will usually last much longer than any other of fabric.
    • They require the dancer's foot to work harder to stretch which helps develop the strength of the muscles in the feet and legs.
    • More expensive than canvas or satin.


    If you're not sure which ballet shoes to choose, leather is almost always the best choice. However, if you're not ready to spend that little bit of extra cash just yet, it's a good idea to start off with a pair of Satin ballet shoes. If you decide that you enjoy ballet classes, then you can always buy a pair of leather ballet shoes when your canvas ones need replacing. Remember though, before you go out and buy any ballet shoes, check with your teacher to see whether there are any particular shoes they recommend.

    Step 3: Try the Ballet Shoes on!

    Once you have decided on your chosen fabric and type of sole, you will be getting close to finding the right pair of ballet shoes. Before you make your final choice you will need to try them on.

    • Put on your ballet shoe.
    • Put your leg out straight forward with the toe pointed forward and touching the floor.
    • Is there ample space for a good pinch at the back of this foot?
    • Is there enough room for the toes to wriggle around a little but not enough space for the foot to move around inside the shoe?



    If the toes are jammed into the end of the shoe, then you need to go for a bigger size.

    You need to make sure that when wearing the shoe, you have enough room at the front of the shoe for your toes. There doesn't need to be a massive gap around all the toes, but you do need to be able to see the tip of the big toe through the ballet shoe but still have a bit of room around the other toes. This is so when a dance teacher looks at your pointe, they can identify that the tip of the toe is in the correct position within the shoe. The leather ballet shoes do give a little once worn in, that's why you don't want a huge gap at the end or they will end up too big.

    Step 4: Consider the Elastics

    Finally, you need to consider the elastics. Most ballet shoes come with elastics included but they may not be attached. This is because every dancer has slightly different shaped feet which means that the elastics need to be in a slightly different position. Some beginner shoes come with the elastics pre-attached which is great for novices. If the elastics you choose aren't attached then it's important to attach them to ensure that they offer your ankles better support and protection.

    To do this;

    Place your ballet shoe on a flat surface with the sole facing down.

    Keeping the sole of the ballet shoe flat, fold down the heel of the shoe against the lining, and on the outer side of the shoe use a pencil to lightly mark where the folded upper meets the binding.


    Stitch one side of the elastic onto the lining and binding but be very careful not to put the needle through the ballet shoe upper.


    Put on the shoe and pull the elastic over the instep, mark where the elastic meets the binding and stitch the elastic to the other side.


    Following these steps will ensure that the elastic is sewn on in the correct place and your ballet shoes are as comfortable as possible!

    Dance Gear Direct are experts in providing dance wear with over 30 years' experience. For more information about our extensive range of ballet shoes please visit our website

    We also provide Pointe shoe fitting by appointment, in our shopCall 0121 420 1999

  • Everything you need to know about Dance Sneakers

    What are Dance Sneakers?

    Dance sneakers are a type of footwear designed for dancing. They are specially designed to support the feet, but still allow for bending, spinning, and movement. Dance sneakers should only be worn for dancing; they are not intended for general use, because they often do not provide enough arch support for daily walking.

    What types of dance sneakers are available?

    There are different dance sneakers available for different types of dance, such as Modern, Street and Hip-Hop.

    Often, dance sneakers are designed with a split sole. This means that there is sole support in the front, underneath the toes and ball of the foot, and the back, underneath the heel of the foot. There is very little sole support in the middle of the foot under the arch, however.

    DS33 GHP    DS19-Black-Patent-Top-and-Sole-2012     DS100 BLK

    This split sole design allows the foot to bend much more freely when dancing. Some feature straps along the side to give the arch a small bit of support. Other types of dance sneakers have a very thin, extremely flexible sole over the entire sneaker.

    Some dance sneakers feature additional benefits, such as smooth spots on the soles to make spinning easier, or notches in the heel to make it easier for a partner to lift another dancer. Sneakers are typically lace-up; slip-on shoes are not common. The sneakers are typically made of leather, canvas, suede or performance meshes; leather and suede shoes tend to be more expensive than others. Again, the style, type, and features of the shoe vary depending on the type of dance for which it is intended.

    What features should I look for in a pair of dance sneakers?

    Dance sneakers are designed with keeping the dancer's demands such as the flexibility and comfort during the movements. They employ innovations such as;

    • Dynamic Resistance Technology [DRT]; this makes use of lightweight materials like sleek leather along with mesh upper. This givesS0538-BK-2T-1S good breath-ability to the feet with comfort.
    • Smooth spin circles for the quick effortless turns and the finger notch in the heels provide the confident partner lifts.
    • Variable lacing system to give a foot hugging fit for the dancer.
    • Grooves on the forefeet to increase flexibility in the movements.
    • The insole can be removed and cleaned; they are made up of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate [EVA] to provide supplementary support to the feet.
    • The mid sole is usually made up of Poly Urethane [P.U] to give excellent cushioning to the feet. This allows the dancer to be more comfortable during action.
    • The split sole design gives the best arc support and enables excellent orthotic inserts to be used
    • Light weight non-marking out-soles give essential shock absorption for the dancer and they also add to the agility of the person.

    What types of dance are dance sneakers used for?

    Dance sneakers are used for many styles but are particularly popular for:

    shutterstock_70304335 hip hop urban landscape Break dancing; Hip hop; Street dance; Modern..

    And more..

    Where can I purchase dance sneakers?

    There is a wide range of dance sneakers available on the market from many major dance brands such as CapezioBloch and Roch Valley.

    If you're buying your first pair or if you're not sure what size to choose, it's a good idea to get them fitted at a local dance shop. However, if you're confident that you know what size and style you want to purchase then you'll find much more competitively priced dance shoes online. These sneakers are generally not found in general shoe stores.

    Dance Gear Direct are experts in providing dance wear with over 30 years' experience. For more information about our extensive range of ballet shoes please visit our website

  • Everything you need to know about Ballet Leotards

    Step-By-Step Guide on How to Choose the Perfect Dance Leotard

    A dance leotard is a piece of dancewear designed specifically for dance. It's skin tight, covers the torso leaving the legs and usually the arms free, and its main purpose is to allow for complete freedom of movement.

    CC123-BD-B CC102-AT-F BD101 X-Cross Camisole Leotard

    The dance leotard is particularly well suited to dance because of its tight fitting or formfitting quality. This holds the leotard close to the dancer's body to accentuate their physique whilst allowing them complete freedom of unrestricted movement. In turn, this allows the dance teacher, choreographer and audience to clearly see the placement of the dancer's body which is highly important to provide the best possible performance.

    Step 1: Choose your style

    There are simply hundreds, if not thousands, of different designs of leotard available between which we can choose the one that fits us better. The most popular ones are:

    Beth Child's Tank Leotard with scrunched bust

    Tank: This is the most basic of all leotards. It consists of a simple sleeveless tank-style torso.

    Camisole: These are similar to tank leotards but have thinner shoulder straps which allow for more intricate designs such as double strap, criss-cross back, lattice back or rib back.

    Short Sleeved: This style of leotard has short sleeves and can have several variations on design such as an open back, ruche or polo neck.

    Long Sleeved: As the title suggests, leotards of this nature have full length sleeves. Similar to the cap sleeve variety, the long sleeve leotard can have several variations on design such as an open back, ruche or polo neck.

    Frilled or Skirted: The frill or skirt is usually attached to the leotard near the waist of the dancer. However, sometimes the skirt can originate from higher up the leotard such as on the Lyrical Dress where the skirt originates from just under the bust line.

    Child's Lyrical Dress Skirted Sleeveless Camisole Leotard

    Step 2: What fabrics are available?

    When you think of ballet leotards, you probably think of Cotton Lycra or Nylon Lycra in black, white and pastel colours such as pink and blue. However, leotards actually look superb in a range of different fabrics too. Here we have some examples of the most popular ones:


    Nylon Lycra: It has a slight shine. It offers a wide variety of colours which means that even the most basic of leotards can be used to either contrast or harmonise with the themes explored by the dance.

    Cotton Lycra: It has a matt finish. As well as nylon lycra, cotton lycra also offers a wide variety of colours with the same benefits.

    Metallic: These fabrics have a light reflective quality to create a glittery or sparkly effect.

    Printed FabricsLeotards made from printed fabrics are available in prints ranging from tiger or zebra through to harlequin and rainbow.

    Velour: It has the rich appearance and feel of velvet.

    Dance Gear one shoulder sleeveless leotard with thin strap and skirt


    Step 3: What's my size?

    If you want to know if a leotard fits you or you want to know if you've bought the right size, you can follow the next steps in order to find it out:

    1. Try it on and move around.
    2. Bend forward, backward and maybe to the sides too.
    3. If the straps on the front of the leotard don't move too much then it's likely that the leotard is a good fit.
    4. Other good tell-tale places of a well-fitting leotard are between the legs and under the arms. If your leotard pulls under the arms or between the legs when you try it on you need to choose a larger size. If, however, your leotard is baggy in any way, try a size smaller

    Step 4: What about children leotards?

    RAD Faith Women's; gathered bustline leotard


    The importance of choosing quality leotards cannot be underestimated in providing the correct fit for your child. More and more dance teachers are allowing their students to wear their own choice of leotard, so there is a range of factors to consider when buying yours so we thought we'd outline a few of them here:

    Firstly, does your school follow a regulatory body?

    RAD Chloe Child's Leotard with scoop neck and short sleeves

    Before you purchase your dance leotard, check with your dance teacher whether your school follows a certain regulation such as RAD or ISTD. There are different uniform requirements for different exams, so your child may start in a short sleeved leotard but change to a sleeveless dance leotard as they progress through different grades.

    Different styles make a huge difference

    Fashion leotards with more intricate strap designs are genCHLOE-Main-CHILDerally more limited to adult leotards. However, an increasing number of leotards with fashionable designs such as criss-cross straps, spaghetti straps and low backs are becoming available to children which further increases your choice.

    Ensure that you get the correct size

    When your child tries their leotard on at home or in a shop, allow them to do a few simple movements to see whether there is any irritation and whether there is a suitable amount of growing room. If you get the leotard too large though, there may be the risk of the leotard falling down off the shoulders. Equally, if the leotard is too small it may cause some discomfort in areas such as under the arms.

    Capezio and Bloch Leotards


    Capezio and Bloch provide excellent choice of style, design and quality to all their dance leotards and now provide a large variety of children's leotards. A number of these are in cotton with a mixture of nylon to give better stretch but also breath-ability.

    Dance Gear's own unique range of leotards is also available in over 80 colours & patterns and five 5 fabrics. We even make leotards in a combination of two different fabrics for something completely unique .Purple and pink colours being particularly popular with children. Don't ignore other makes as well, Roch Valley have a variety of different styles for children.

    Dance Gear Direct are experts in providing dancewear with over 30 years experience. For more information about our extensive range of ballet leotards, please visit our website

  • Mum of Three review of Dance Gear

    Posted By Sarah Mummy on Aug 1, 2017 | Dance Wear by Dance Gear Ltd.

    Dance Wear can sometimes look a bit boring – leotards, leggings, shorts, crop tops… They come in pink, black and lilac. The leotard might have a skirt. It might have thin straps or thicker ones. But it can all be a bit the same. Which is where Dance Gear comes in.
    mum of 3 -1

    The UK company doesn’t just stock dancewear brands like Roch Valley and Bloch, they also have their own unique Made to Order range. The range includes 80 different designs, each available in over 80 different fabrics, colours and patterns and 10 sizes to fit the smallest children right up to adults. That’s over 64,000 unique choices!
    That must be expensive, right?
    Not at all! The prices are no different from any other ready-made dancewear you would buy.
    When my daughter was offered the chance to choose something from Dance Gear’s Made to Order range, she was overwhelmed by the choice. My daughter has uniform items for her ballet and tap classes, so doesn’t often need anything different to wear for dance. But over the last year she has done a choreography show at her dance school and a ballet dance in the school leavers’ play, which meant she wasn’t wearing her usual ballet uniform. And just when we were offered something to wear from Dance Gear, she had decided to enter the talent show at her Scout camp.
    mum of 3 -2

    She looked at a whole range of leotard shapes, with patterned fabric and velvet fabric, as well as the more regular cotton. But eventually she decided to go for something entirely different and went for a crop top and hotpants. Initially she chose a crop top with regular sleeves, before picking one with a long sleeve and a shoulder strap. She chose the bright fluorescent pink in nylon lycra, which costs just £9.95.
    She finished her outfit off with a pair of hot pants in the same material, which are just £7.75.
    Her outfit was manufactured especially for her at the company’s site in Birmingham and actually arrived the next day!
    Dance Gear is run by a dancing family and staffed by people who have been professional dancers, as well as enthusiastic amateur dancers. They all know the importance of getting the right outfit, which is sturdy enough for energetic dance classes, but also stands out as something unique and individual.
    If you’re looking for dancewear that is good value and unique, you should definitely check out Dance Gear!
    We were sent a crop top and hot pants for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.
    mum of 3 -3

  • About Summer Dance Schools

    What are Summer Dance Schools? shutterstock_193667849

    Summer Dance School programmes can run from as little as a week to the whole of the school holidays, with most being residential. They are an excellent way for children to learn and explore all types of dance. Many, dancers find them a refreshing experience, with a new approach to learning from exciting new teachers and choreographers and often progress quickly as a result.

    Most summer dance programmes will offer a wide range of dance genres including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Hip Hop. Emphasis is generally placed on overall dance technique and working to advance the dancer's artistic skills. Some summer schools, however, are rather more specific in their genre, such as high-end ballet classes. These aim to polish a dancer's skills, perhaps in preparation for entry to a dance academy. Summer schools like this, usually take the format of daily classes in techniques, such as classical ballet and repertoire work, focusing on enhancing students' overall technique and aim to fulfill their desire to improve and advance in their chosen genre.

    What do I look for when choosing a Summer Dance School?


    Choose a summer dance school which offers a programme which best fits your child's wishes and needs, but which will stretch them at the same time. This of course will depend on the age of your child and what type of dance they want to focus on.

    A younger child could benefit from a programme which offers a range of classes, and different styles of dance; whereas an older student may prefer to choose a more intensive programme, which will challenge them and help to strengthen their abilities.

    Another consideration is whether you and/or your child is happy to stay away from home. Residential schools tend to be more intensive and therefore require a greater level of commitment and dedication. These tend to be more suited to older children.


    Why do Summer Dance Schools take place?

    Dance teachers incorporate summer dance programs into their studios for various reasons. Most of which allows them to;

    • Focus on the individual needs of a child
    • Incorporate many of the important aspects in training, such as strength, and
    • Increase the child's knowledge of dance.
    • And of course to meet the needs of thousands of school children, who would otherwise stop dancing during the long summer holidays.

    In addition to the benefits that dancers may gain, summer schools also allow colleges and dance academies to get a glimpse of the potential talent they may have auditioning, and to get an idea of a dancers' potential suitability for their courses.

    What are the benefits of attending a Summer Dance School?


    Apart from the obvious benefit, that dancers usually learn valuable techniques in a short but intense period; other benefits may include:

    • A chance to meet other like-minded and motivated dancers
    • A welcome break from their regular dance school
    • Allows dancers to connect a little more with their individuality, away from the regulation of their school dance classes
    • Mixed abilities of students take part
    • And best of all, a chance to have lots of fun!

    What do you need to take to a Summer Dance School?

    Most summer dance programmes finish with a dance display or competition, so an eye-catching leotard or tutu is a must. Apart from your usual dance wear, accessories are always good to have along with a fashionable but practical dance bag. Dance Gear Direct have a fantastic selection of Dance Gear's made-to-order dancewear, along with a variety of dance bags and branded items from Bloch, Capezio and Roch Valley.

    If your dance wardrobe is in need of a refresh, how about browsing the latest selection of bags, dancewear and accessories online at

    and get ready for your dancing holiday!


    How do I find a suitable Summer Dance School?

    Many Summer Dance Schools advertise online, or your regular dance school maybe holding a summer programme or can recommend one. You may find also this link of use in locating a suitable dance school programme this summer;

  • RAD Uniform -Some Tips

    RAD - The Royal Academy of Dance

    RAD 1RAD - The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the world’s most influential dance education organisations. It is every dancer’s dream to attend such a prestigious institution to progress their dancing career. Their exams set standards in classical ballet, worldwide and they are a global leader in dance education and Continuing Professional Development for dance.

    RAD - The Royal Academy of Dance was founded in 1920 to set standards for dance teaching within the UK. Today they have a presence in 83 countries, more than 8,000 registered teachers and about 230,000 students are being examined on their syllabus every year!

    If you are lucky enough to be accepted into RAD there are strict criteria concerning what you should wear during ballet classes. . This article will help you understand what uniform you will need for ballet classes Grades 1 & 2 and 3-5.

    For more information on RAD visit
    Why do you need to wear a specific uniform for RAD?

    A uniform is considered very important by many dance teachers because it helps create unity amongst dancers. This is particularly important to all dancers as working as an ensemble is a crucial part of any ballet dancer’s career. Different uniforms for different grades allow teachers and dancers to quickly identify the ability of the dancer by their uniform, whilst also providing a reward by allowing more choice as the dancer’s ability improves.

    What should my child wear for Grades 1 & 2?

    RAD - The Royal Academy of Dance has very strict requirements when it comes to regulation uniform. With so many different requirements for so many different grades, it can be very difficult knowing what dancewear you need to buy for each grade.

    RAD2If your child has attended Primary or Pre-Primary ballet classes, they will then progress to Grades 1 & 2. RAD3Alternatively, if your child is starting ballet classes at a slightly older age, they will start to learn at Grade 1. For both Grades 1 and 2, there is a greater variety of colours and styles which teachers may choose to use for their uniform. Girls may be allowed to continue wearing their short sleeved leotard in the Pre-Primary and Primary colours, but if the teacher prefers, they’ll be allowed to wear a plain tank leotard in Pastel Blue, Lavender, Navy, Pink or White. Alternatively, they can choose to wear a short sleeved leotard in Navy, or a tank leotard with a ruche (gathered bust line) in Mulberry, Navy or Red. Check with your teacher whether you require a matching belt.

    Skirts in colours which match your leotard are also worn and are useful for children at this stage.Wearing a skirt means your arms are placed in different positions and this help with poise.

    On their feet, RAD4girls are required to wear pink ankle socks or pink ballet tights with pink ballet shoes. Alternatively, they may choose to wear black ballet shoes depending on what is preferred by the teacher.


    RAD5In addition to ballet shoes, the student will also be required to purchase a pair of low heel canvas syllabus character RAD6shoes and a character skirt that matches the colour of their leotard. This is because Grade 1 requires the student to learn the basics of character work. The length of the character skirt should be mid-calf but if you have any questions your dance teacher should be able to help you out.



    What should my child wear for Grades 3 - 5?

    Once the student has passed their Grade 2 exams, they will progress to Grade 3. Girls may be allowed to continue to wear the same short sleeved leotards that they wore for Grades 1 and 2. However, as this piece of dancewear is also a requirement of the Pre-Primary and Primary uniform, the vast majority of dance teachers prefer to implement a different uniform at this stage.


    RAD7The footwear required for Grades 3 - 5 is very similar to the footwear requirements of Grades 1 and 2. It's unlikely that you will be asked to wear ballet socks at this stage because students of Grades 3 - 5 are usually slightly older and socks are considered inappropriate. Instead, you are likely to be asked to wear pink ballet tights with pink ballet shoes unless your teacher prefers black ballet shoes which they may ask you to wear instead.



    RAD8The most marked difference in footwear is found with the Character Shoes as you may now be allowed to wear aRAD6 pair of Cuban Heel Syllabus Character Shoes rather than the low heel ones you will have worn for Grades 1 - 2. These will be accompanied with a character skirt though you should check with your dance teacher which colour ribbons you are required to wear with this as different dance schools have different requirements.

    Where can I purchase a RAD regulation uniform?

    It's always best to purchase your RAD regulation uniform from a specialist dancewear retailer. If you're not sure where to find one, it's worth looking in your local phone book as it's quite likely that there's one in your local area. Or you can shop for your regulation uniform on-line as there are a wide range of specialist dancewear retailers offering uniform at very competitive prices. If you decide to shop with an online retailer, just make sure that they have a simple returns policy in case you want to try a different size. It's also worth checking out their their terms and conditions, and of course their prices and delivery too, to ensure you get the best possible service.


    Visit for a selection of branded RAD -The Royal Academy of Dance approved uniform.

  • En Pointe -How to Choose Pointe Shoes.

    EN POINTE - How to Choose Pointe Shoes FROM DREAM TO REALITY


     Pointe Shoes -Almost every child who dances dreams of the day they will be put ‘en pointe’

    But for many it can be a big disappointment. Without correct preparation and expert shoe fitting, dancing "en pointe" can hurt!!


    It’s very important to first check with your dance teacher whether or not you are ready to be put ‘en pointe’ and to wear Pointe Shoes.16 It is not easy learning to support all of your body weight upon your toes and it takes strength of so many parts of your body.

    You’ll probably need to have been dancing for a number of years and of course young bones are still forming and need care and support to develop properly.

    But even if you are ready, poorly fitting pointe shoes are likely to make pointe work painful and more difficult. They will never feel as comfortable as a pair of everyday ballet shoes, but if they fit properly, they will feel like they are part of your feet.

    So first let’s look at some of the different parts of pointe shoes, which need to be considered to get a correctly fitting pair.

    The Box:

    A hollow box within the front end of the shoe often made out of cardboard and hardened glue. This helps to supports the dancer’s toes whilst en pointe. Boxes vary in:

    Width, (e.g. Bloch B, C, D, & E fittings

    Depth (this is the vamp) – see below

    and shape (square to tapered).

    width & size copybox inside copy



    The shank is the stiff insole that supports the arch of the foot. It has varying degrees of flexibility and is typically made of redboard or leatherboard. This gives the dancer support on the arch of the foot when en pointe.

    Shank in pointe shoe copy










    The vamp is the front part of the shoe measuring from the bottom of the toe box to the drawstring. The vamp comes in varied shapes and lengths to suit different shaped feet.

    Two typical vamp styles are V-vamp and U-vamp

    V vamp copy

    U vamp copy


    Wings :

    The stiff sides of the toe box that provide lateral support while en pointe.

    wings copy





    Ribbons and Elastic:

    The primary purpose of the ribbons and elastics is to keep the heel of the shoe on when doing demi-pointe.

    They also pull the shoe tighter to the foot so that the shoe closely follows arch of the foot.

    pull strings copy

    ribbons & elastic copy



    So if you think you are ready to go ‘en pointe’, first talk to your dance teacher and then get fitted by an expert.

    Preparation For Pointe Shoe Fitting

    Wear something comfortable that you are able to move freely in. Tights are ideal or socks are fine. Make sure your toenails are neatly clipped and your feet are clean. If you have had a pair of pointe shoes before, please bring your most recent pair as this will help in finding a new pair and also so that the fitter can look at your habits en pointe. Please also bring any padding and spacers that you would normally wear as this obviously affects the fit of the shoe.

    The Fitting:

    Check the fit of the box:

    First pick your toe protection so that your toes feel more comfortable within the pointe shoe. Your toes should stay long and flat within the shoe so that your big toe just touches the end of the box. The box should catch the widest part of your foot at either side and snugly support your bones without squeezing.

    Animal Wool or Ouch Pouches will be given to you by your experienced pointe shoe fitter so that your toes will be given that extra bit of protection. There should be no bulging of the skin over the vamp of the shoe when standing. The top of the box should sit against the skin of the top of your foot.

    animal wool copyouch pouches copy


    Take a look at the length of the wings, they should guide your foot into the shoe to fit snugly. If they are too long, it may be hard to work properly through the demi-pointe of the foot, because the stiff sides of the wings will not allow the shoe to follow the bend of your arch.

    The vamp is located near the front of the shoe above the box. If the vamp is too long, you will not be able to rise through the demi-pointe effectively. If it is too short, it won’t sit correctly and support the top of your foot in the shoe, so you will end up over pointing.

    overpointing copy


    Heel: The satin of the heel should come 7/8 of the way up your heel bone. Too high, and you may get problems with the attachment of your Achilles tendon. Too low, and you will get frustrated with the heel of the shoe popping off when you rise. It is important to make sure the heel of the shoe hugs your heel, as it helps keep the foot supported, especially when doing exercises and dances in different ballet positions.

    Check the position of the shank– Look to see that the shank sits in line with the sole of the foot when the foot is en pointe. If the shank of the shoe is twisting, check the alignment of the foot first. As long as the box is sitting square and the foot is in good alignment, it will be safe for you to go en pointe. Often twisting of the shoe is due to the shank not conforming to the shape of the arch. It may be remedied by repeated bending of the shoe to ‘break it in’ before wearing. However, the shank may also twist on the foot if the box is too narrow, so recheck this area again.

    Check the width by looking at the alignment en pointe– With both shoes on, stand with your weight on both feet and knees bent (2nd position). In this position, your feet will be at their widest. In addition, you should feel the little and big toe joints and the centre of the heel on the floor. Your shoes should feel snug but not pinch. You should also feel the box ‘cupping’ your toes. Next, place one foot en Pointe without transferring body weight on to your toes. If the outer sole of the shoe remains flat against the pad of your heel, your shoe is the right width for you. If your sole twists away from your foot, the shoe is too narrow. At this time, you should also check that the box completely covers the toe joints.

    alignment copy

    Check the length of the shoe– Check the length of the shoe by peeling the satin of the shoe off the heel and folding it back under the shoe (see below). Place the foot back en pointe, and check where the sole finishes. The end of the sole/shank should be just short of the end of the heel. If the shoe is too long there may be bagging of the satin at the back of the shoe because it’s cut to fit the heel. If the shank is too short however, the foot will tend to wobble more, and the satin will pull too low. This results in the back of the shoe often popping off when rising from demi to full pointe and can be very annoying and dangerous.


    pointe shoe fit


    pointe shoe too long




    Once you have a good fit, recheck it stepping up onto pointe. Hold onto the back of a stable chair or bench, and place one foot en pointe. Put some weight through that shoe and then bring the otherfoot up onto pointe. Make sure your toes are pointed long in the shoe and that there are no areas of severe pressure on any toe. Isolated areas of pressure may be solved by use of specific padding in the shoe, but should be avoided with a good fit if at all possible.

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