As we approach the end of the year, many dance studios and groups will have an end of year recital or concert planned. This is a one-off performance in which you and your fellow dancers showcase the skills and routines you have been working on all year in your dance classes. Usually family and friends will be invited or buy tickets to come and see you perform, there will be exciting dance routines and amazing costumes. Often the venue will be different from your usual dance studio as well. It's an exciting and memorable event, and preparation is key to ensuring it goes smoothly and is enjoyable for both performers and the audience. Here's what you can expect at your dance recital and how to prepare for it. You will be performing the dance routines you have learned in your dance classes. These routines may vary in style, such as ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, or any other genre you have been training in. You will have been learning these routines for most of the year and practicing at home too, so you should know these off by heart. You will likely wear costumes that are individual and appropriate for each of your dance routines. Costumes can be exciting, adding a bit of glitz and glamour to the event and they often add to the overall visual appeal of the performance. You will be issued your costume prior to the concert, so make sure you keep it somewhere safe, usually on a hanger to avoid creases. Makeup and hair! Depending on the style of dance and the requirements of the recital, you may need to wear stage makeup and have your hair styled in a specific way to ensure you look your best under the stage lights. Your dance studio will normally give you a list detailing what your costume is and also what hair style and makeup you are required to have. Remember that stage makeup is darker and more pronounced than street makeup. Leading up to the recital, you will have several rehearsals to practice your routines. These rehearsals help ensure that all dancers are in sync with each other and with the music, that you get used to the new stage which can be quite different from just dancing in the studio, and that the performance runs smoothly. Bring your “Stage Presence!” You'll be performing on a stage in front of an audience, so you should be prepared to project confidence and perform with energy and enthusiasm. The dancers that really look like they are enjoying themselves on stage are the ones that will attract the eye of the audience, so make sure you have heaps of fun. It’s important to follow stage directions. Pay attention to your dance teacher or choreographer's instructions regarding where to stand, where to enter and exit the stage, and any specific movements or formations you need to follow. Expect an audience made up of family, friends, and potentially other members of the community. The atmosphere is usually supportive and encouraging, as the audience is there to celebrate your hard work and talent. It’s a truly great feeling to dance well and to hear the applause and cat whistles from family and friends at the end. It gives you a great feeling of satisfaction and achievement. We all get them. Yes, that thing called Nerves! It's normal to feel nervous before a performance, but remember that nerves can actually enhance your performance by increasing your focus and energy. Practice deep breathing or visualization techniques to help calm your nerves. Backstage organisation. There will be a backstage area where you and your fellow dancers will prepare before going on stage. Make sure you have all your costume pieces, accessories, and props organized and ready. Take some snacks and bring a bottle of water. You may even want to bring a book or something to occupy you. Often you will be required to stay backstage for the entire performance, or at least for the half you are in, so it can be a long wait. Most importantly of all, remember to have fun and enjoy the experience. A dance recital is an opportunity to showcase your love for dance and the skills you've developed and for your family and friends to recognise the hard work and dedication you have put in. Here’s some additional advice to help you to prepare in the weeks leading up to your dance recital. **Practice regularly:** Ensure you are consistently attending dance classes and practicing your routines at home. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel on stage. **Listen to your instructor:** Pay close attention to your dance teacher's feedback and follow their guidance during rehearsals. **Costume and makeup:** Make sure you have all the necessary costumes, accessories, and makeup required for each routine well in advance. Check you have the right tights and that your dance shoes look nice and fit well. **Stay healthy:** Get enough rest, eat well, and stay hydrated in the days leading up to the recital to ensure you have the energy to perform your best. **Warm-up and stretch:** Prior to your performance, warm up and stretch to prevent injuries and ensure your muscles are ready for the demands of dancing. **Mental preparation:** Visualize yourself performing confidently and successfully. Positive visualization can help boost your confidence. **Arrive early:** On the day of the recital, arrive at the venue early to allow time for any last-minute preparations and to get into your costume and makeup. **Supportive mindset:** Remember that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. If you make a small error during your performance, keep going and don't let it distract you. **Enjoy the moment:** This is your opportunity to shine and share your passion for dance with others. Savor the experience and be proud of your hard work. By preparing thoroughly and staying focused, you can have a successful and enjoyable dance recital experience. Good luck!
Shopping online can be hard, especially when it comes to getting the correct fit for your ballet or jazz shoes. We've been selling shoes online since 2008, and have operated a dancewear shop, so we've had loads of practice in helping families pick the right size of shoe. We can't stress enough, that sizes vary a lot between different brands and one size in X brand, will not always match the same size in another brand. Don't base your sizing off a brand you've tried before and don't assume your ballet or jazz shoe will be the same size as your street or school shoes. Usually (but not always) your ballet and jazz shoe will be one size down from your street shoe size. Note also that our sizes are based on AU sizes. Ballet and jazz shoes are sometimes called slippers and this is because they are a soft shoe and should ideally be worn as a snug fit. We strongly recommend that you always CHECK YOUR CHILD’S FOOT SIZE prior to selecting the shoe size. Please check our size charts below and also remember to measure your child’s feet from back of heel to end of the longest toe then add 1cm for wriggle room. This is best done by taking an A4 sheet of paper and standing on it on a flat hard floor surface, then tracing around both feet. Take the length in centremetres then add 1cm for wriggle room. The shoes are a medium width, so if your child has a wider than average foot then choose a larger size. Always choose a larger rather than smaller shoe. For example, if the foot measurement is 19.4cm + 1cm = 20.4cm = C13. You will choose C13. As a crosscheck, your child is most likely wearing an Australian Adult Size 1 school shoe/sneaker/street shoe. When trying your ballet shoes for the first time we would appreciate it if you could refrain from pulling or tightening the front elastics, or dirtying the soles of the shoes, as we are unable to refund or exchange the shoes once you have done this. Size Shoe Length (cm) C4 12.9 C5 13.7 C6 14.5 C7 15.3 C8 16.1 C9 16.9 C10 17.7 C11 18.5 C12 19.3 C13 20.5 A1 21.3 A2 22.1 A3 22.9 A4 23.7 A5 24.5 A6 25.3 A7 26.1 A8 27.0 We hope you found our instructions to be clear and easy to follow.
Quick outfit changes are essential for dancers, especially during performances and shows with multiple costume changes. To ensure smooth and efficient outfit changes, dancers often rely on a "quick change kit" or "dance bag" containing various items to help them transition between costumes quickly. Here's a list of items you might need for a dancer quick outfit change: 1. **Garment bag or costume organizer:** A garment bag or organizer with compartments can help you keep your costumes separate and organized, making it easier to find the right outfit quickly. 2. **Safety pins and/or sewing kit:** These are handy for emergency repairs and adjustments if something comes loose or needs fixing during the change. 3. **Costume change checklist:** A written or visual checklist can help you remember the specific order of costume changes and ensure you don't miss anything. 4. **Clear plastic bags:** Use these to store undergarments, accessories, and any small costume pieces. Transparent bags make it easier to see what's inside. 5. **Velcro or snap fasteners:** These can be used to secure parts of costumes that need to be quickly attached and detached. 6. **Dance shoes:** Have all the necessary pairs of dance shoes ready to go, organized by costume. 7. **Hair and makeup supplies:** Keep hairbrushes, hair ties, hairpins, hairspray, makeup, and any other necessary beauty items in your quick change kit. 8. **Wig or hairpieces (if applicable):** If your performance requires a wig or hairpiece, have it prepared in advance with the necessary pins or clips. 9. **Baby wipes or wet wipes:** These are useful for freshening up quickly between costume changes. 10. **Water bottle and snacks:** Staying hydrated and having some energy-boosting snacks can help you maintain your energy during a long performance day. 11. **Labeling materials:** Use labels or colored ribbons to mark costume pieces and accessories for specific changes, making them easy to identify quickly. 12. **Adhesive bra or dance belt:** These undergarments can be helpful for quick changes, especially if your costumes require specific undergarments for modesty or support. 13. **Mini flashlight or headlamp:** A small light source can be handy for navigating backstage areas with dim lighting. 14. **Cue sheet:** If your performance involves specific cues or timing for costume changes, have a cue sheet with reminders. 15. **Quiet shoes or socks:** If you need to change footwear quickly without making noise backstage, bring quiet shoes or socks. We highly recommend every dancer has a bodystocking in their wardrobe, this is a one piece nude leotard which gives a nice coverage and support and usually come with both nude and clear straps to work with a multitude of costumes. This makes life easier when changing in public as well. Pictured is the Studio Range bodystocking, perfect for children and adults. Remember to plan and practice your quick outfit changes ahead of time to ensure everything goes smoothly during the actual performance. Having an organized and well-prepared quick change kit will help you stay focused and confident on stage.
Sewing ribbons onto ballet shoes is a common practice to help keep the shoes secure on a dancer's feet during performances and practice. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to sew ribbons onto ballet shoes: **Materials you'll need:** 1. Ballet shoes (pointe shoes or soft ballet shoes) 2. Ribbons (usually satin ribbons are used) 3. Sewing needle 4. Matching thread (usually the color of the shoes) 5. Scissors 6. Measuring tape or ruler 7. Pins (optional) **Step-by-step process:** 1. **Measure the ribbons:** Begin by measuring the ribbons against your ankle and lower leg to determine the appropriate length. Cut two equal lengths of ribbon for each shoe. Or you can purchase these pre-cut to the correct length. (We stock these). A typical length is around 45-54 inches (114-137 cm) for each ribbon, but this can vary based on personal preference and shoe size. 2. **Prepare the ribbons:** To prevent fraying, you can either use a lighter to carefully singe the cut ends of the ribbons or apply a small amount of clear nail polish. 3. **Locate the proper placement:** Wear your ballet shoes and position them on your feet. Locate the areas on the inside and outside of each shoe where you'll attach the ribbons. For pointe shoes, the ribbons are usually attached to the sides near the arch, and for soft ballet shoes, they are typically attached on either side of the ankle opening. 4. **Pin the ribbons (optional):** If you find it helpful, you can use pins to temporarily secure the ribbons in place on the shoes. This can make the sewing process a bit easier. 5. **Thread the needle:** Thread your needle with a double strand of thread (to make it stronger) and tie a knot at the end. 6. **Start sewing:** Begin sewing the ribbons onto the first shoe. Insert the needle from the inside of the shoe out, making sure the knot is secure inside the shoe. If using pins, you can remove them as you go along. 7. **Stitching technique:** Use a strong, even stitching technique, such as a whip stitch or a blanket stitch, to attach the ribbons securely. Take small, regular stitches along the edge of the ribbon, going through both the ribbon and the fabric of the shoe. Avoid stitching through the drawstring or any other parts inside the shoe. 8. **Even tension:** Keep the tension even as you sew to ensure the ribbons are firmly attached but not too tight. 9. **Reinforce the ends:** When you reach the end of the ribbon, sew several extra stitches to reinforce the attachment point. You can even go back along the ribbon's edge to strengthen the whole attachment line. 10. **Repeat for the other shoe:** Once you finish sewing the ribbons on one shoe, repeat the process for the other shoe, making sure the placement matches. 11. **Check for symmetry:** Once both ribbons are sewn on, double-check that they are symmetrical and at the same height on each shoe. 12. **Trim the thread:** Cut the thread, leaving a small tail, and secure it with a knot or two. You can push the ends of the thread inside the shoe to hide them. And that's it! Now you have successfully sewn ribbons onto your ballet shoes, and they are ready for you to tie securely around your ankles. Remember to adjust the tightness of the ribbons according to your comfort and dance needs. Happy dancing!
The question I just asked Chatgpt to answer for me. Tell me about tap dancing? Tap dancing is a lively and rhythmic form of dance that involves using the feet as percussive instruments to create sounds and beats. It originated in the United States during the mid-1800s and has evolved into various styles over the years. Tap dancing has been influenced by a blend of African, Irish, and English clog dancing, and it became especially popular in the vaudeville and jazz eras. Here are some key aspects of tap dancing: Tap Shoes: Tap shoes have metal plates attached to the toe and heel, which create the distinctive tapping sounds. The metal plates strike the floor as the dancer's feet move, producing various tones and rhythms. Rhythm and Beats: Tap dancers use their feet to create intricate rhythms, beats, and sounds. Different steps and combinations result in varying sounds, and the dancer's ability to control the speed and clarity of the taps is essential for mastering the art of tap. Techniques: There are numerous tap dance techniques and steps, including shuffles, flaps, cramp rolls, time steps, wings, and more. These steps can be combined in endless variations to create unique routines. Improvisation: Tap dance has a long tradition of improvisation, where dancers create rhythms and beats spontaneously. Improvisation showcases a dancer's creativity, musicality, and skill in responding to the music. Broadway Tap vs. Rhythm Tap: There are two primary styles of tap dancing – Broadway tap and rhythm tap. Broadway tap focuses more on the dance elements and often incorporates elements of other dance styles, while rhythm tap is more about creating complex rhythms and sounds. Famous Tap Dancers: Tap dance has been popularized by many talented performers throughout history. Some of the legendary tap dancers include Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., and Savion Glover, among others. Tap Dance in Modern Times: Tap dance continues to thrive and evolve in modern times. Contemporary tap artists blend traditional techniques with innovative styles, and tap is often seen in stage performances, musicals, TV shows, and movies. Tap Dance Education: Many dancers learn tap through classes offered by dance studios, performing arts schools, and community centers. Professional tap dancers often start training at a young age to develop their skills and musicality. Tap Competitions: Tap dancers may participate in competitions, showcasing their abilities and creativity. These events provide opportunities for recognition and advancement in the tap dance community. Tap dancing is a unique and captivating art form that celebrates rhythm, musicality, and the joy of movement. Its fusion of dance and percussion makes it a dynamic and exciting experience for both performers and audiences alike.
Are you stumped on how to do the best ballet bun? Does your ballerina look like she's been pulled through a hedge backwards after her performance? If you said yes, then this guide is for you! Creating the perfect ballet bun requires some practice and the right technique. Follow these steps to achieve a neat and secure ballet bun: Gather your supplies: You'll need a hairbrush, fine-tooth comb, hair tie or elastic, bobby pins that match your hair color, hairnet (optional), hairspray (optional), and a mirror. Prepare your hair: Start with clean, dry hair. Comb through any tangles to ensure a smooth result. Brush and slick back your hair: Using a hairbrush, gather all your hair into a high ponytail at the crown of your head. Ensure there are no bumps or stray hairs on the sides or back of your head. Secure the ponytail: Use a hair tie or elastic to secure the ponytail. It's essential to choose a hair tie that can hold your hair tightly. Create the bun: Take the ponytail and twist it until it starts to coil around itself. As you twist, wrap the hair around the base of the ponytail. Keep the hair taut and make sure the bun is smooth and even. Secure the bun with bobby pins: As you wrap the hair around the base, insert bobby pins into the bun to secure it. Start by placing bobby pins around the outer edge of the bun to hold it in place. Then, add more bobby pins as needed to keep the bun secure. Use a hairnet (optional): To ensure a sleek and polished look, you can use a hairnet. Stretch the hairnet over the bun and secure it with additional bobby pins. This step is optional but can help keep the bun in place during intense movements. Tidy up loose hairs: Use a fine-tooth comb or your fingers to gently smooth any loose hairs or flyaways around the bun. Set with hairspray (optional): If you have a lot of flyaways or want extra hold, you can lightly mist the bun with hairspray. Check in the mirror: Make sure the bun is centered, smooth, and secure from all angles. With practice, you'll become more proficient in creating a perfect ballet bun. It may take a few attempts to get it just right, so be patient and don't hesitate to ask for help from fellow dancers or instructors if needed. Photo shows Ballet bun at the crown of the head. Photo by Colin Hutton from danceadvantage.net
According to an online Harvard Medical School article, by dancing you are doing something positive not only for your body, but also for your brain. “There’s no question, anecdotally at least, that music has a very stimulating effect on physical activity,” says Daniel Tarsy, MD, an HMS professor of neurology and director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). “And I think that applies to dance, as well.” The article goes on to note that “while some imaging studies have shown which regions of the brain are activated by dance, others have explored how the physical and expressive elements of dance alter brain function. For example, much of the research on the benefits of the physical activity associated with dance links with those gained from physical exercise, benefits that range from memory improvement to strengthened neuronal connections.” Dance has numerous benefits for the brain and cognitive function. Engaging in dance activities involves a combination of physical movement, coordination, rhythm, and creativity, which can positively impact brain health in the following ways: Enhanced memory: Learning and remembering dance routines or choreography stimulates the brain's memory centres, improving both short-term and long-term memory. Increased neuroplasticity: Dancing challenges the brain to create and strengthen neural connections, promoting neuroplasticity. This ability of the brain to reorganize and adapt is essential for learning and cognitive flexibility. Improved balance and coordination: Dance requires precise movements and coordination, which can improve proprioception (awareness of body position) and balance, benefiting brain regions responsible for motor control. Stress reduction: Engaging in dance can trigger the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote feelings of pleasure and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Lower stress levels are associated with improved cognitive function. Enhanced attention and focus: Dance demands concentration and focus on movements, music, and coordination, which can strengthen attention skills and the brain's ability to sustain focus. Social interaction: Dance often involves group settings, encouraging social interactions and communication. Social engagement has been linked to improved cognitive health and reduced risk of cognitive decline. Boosted mood and emotional well-being: Dancing can elevate mood and increase emotional well-being, positively affecting brain areas related to emotions and emotional processing. Cognitive reserve: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities like dance contributes to cognitive reserve, which is the brain's ability to adapt and function effectively even in the face of age-related changes or neurological conditions. Increased dopamine production: Dancing can lead to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, reward, and pleasure. This can enhance motivation to learn and participate in other activities beneficial for the brain. Creative expression: Dance allows individuals to express themselves creatively, promoting brain activity associated with imagination and artistic expression. Overall, dance offers a multifaceted approach to brain health by combining physical activity, cognitive engagement, emotional expression, and social interaction. Whether it's formal dance classes or simply dancing around the living room, incorporating dance into your life can be an enjoyable way to support your brain's health and cognitive function.
Convertible tights (or transition tights) can be worn as footed or footless. They have a small hole woven into the sole of the tights (under the foot) so they can be worn footed or converted to a footless tight by pulling the hole over the toes and heel. Why? This can be used to quickly adjust to pointe shoe pads or to quickly change into another pair of shoes, or to wear lyrical shoes where tights are not needed.
Our family has always loved a good dance movie and with school holidays it's a perfect time to settle in for some binge watching. There’s nothing like a good dance flick to get your toes tapping. From ballet to tap to hip-hop, with some gym thrown in, these favourites will have you breaking out your best moves. This is our opinion, please check ratings and reviews online before you grab your popcorn! **While all care has been taken in researching and compiling this list and sourcing the rating and where to view, we cannot be held accountable for any mistakes. Please do your own checking before watching with your children.
Jazz pants are an integral part of any dancer's wardrobe and choosing the right pair of jazz pants for your practice or performance is very important. After dedicating so much time and effort to practising and perfecting your routine, you shouldn't settle for less than the perfect pair for when you come up on stage. What makes jazz pants different from any other is their cut, they are snug in the waist and thighs, and flair out from the knee down and often have a v-waist to accentuate the waistline. The jazz pant cut balances the body and gives a look of symmetry. This allows your teacher and the audience to see what both your hips and legs are doing during your performance so that they can fully appreciate your talent. Usually made of a cotton lycra combination, the fabric is lightweight and breathable and is extremely stretchy and comfortable to move in. Jazz pants are supposed to be tight and snug to reflect your shape and movements. Jazz pants are usually black and will often be paired with a brighter or more ornate top. This is particularly so in flash dance and jazz routines where the dancer and his/her routine are intended to be flashy. Black dance pants often are a staple in a jazz dancer’s wardrobe. The costume is to complement and put emphasis on the dancer and her moves and not detract from them and a pair of tight, comfortable black flared leg jazz pants should be in every dancer’s kit. To be honest, some people (me) wear jazz pants for everyday wear, because they really are THAT comfortable! So, what do you think, have we convinced you that you need a pair?
You may have noticed that here at Balletstuff we LOVE sparkly, shiny things, particularly for our younger dancers. We searched high and low to find our sparkle ballet shoe range and these have been even more popular than we imagined. We’ve noticed over the many years in business that a lot of our youngest dancers are drawn to things that sparkle, shimmer, and shine and will almost always choose something that has glitter, sequins or glimmers in some way. In fact, it’s not only the youngsters who love shiny things, but plenty of our older dancers do also. Which brings us to the question; Why are children attracted to shiny things? There is little doubt, anyone with young children will know that they really love anything shiny and sparkly. Early educators have noted that children get so immersed with glitter and shiny things. Their eyes twinkle as they are mesmerised by the shining glitter, and they are amused and excited to see how their play turns into creativity. Glitter not only gives pleasure to children but can also help to calm down an over-stimulated or upset child when nothing else seems to help. Interestingly, a range of studies show that our preference for shiny things, as children and as adults, is linked to our need for water and that our preference for shininess has deep evolutionary roots. This is supported, in part, by a study that monitored babies’ enthusiasm for licking plates with glossy finishes and they theory has gained prominence among Psychologists who believe our attraction to sparkle is derived from an innate need to seek out fresh water. The dance world is not immune to a bit of glitter, glitz and sparkle that’s for sure. Any dancer knows, come show time there will be plenty in evidence. So go ahead and give your children any chance you can to put some sparkly things in their life, it has evolutionary roots and even better, it’s fun!
LEG WARMERS Heading into the cooler months in Australia, here's a question we get asked by parents - Should I buy my child leg warmers? For most of us over 40's, thinking of leg warmers we have vivid memories of the 80s, the movie Fame, or dance classes we may have attended personally. Or if you're a bit younger, maybe you never experienced the 80s or have no idea what leg warmers are. Leg warmers are shaped like a long sock, but with a hole cut out for the toes and heel so dancers can wear them over their shoes to keep their legs and feet warm. Leg warmers help dancers to keep their feet and ankles and lower legs warm and can be worn before, during and after dance class to prevent cramping and injury. Leg warmers come in many various fabrics, shapes and most amazingly an array of awesome colours. Some leg warmers cover only the ankle and lower leg, while others go as high as the mid-thigh. Dancers wear leg warmers to keep their legs and ankles warm, which assists in preventing injury. Without optimal levels of heat, muscles can be prone to injury, while warm muscles allow for increased blood flow and oxygen, which help them keep them strong and protect somewhat from lactic acid buildup. Legwarmers are therefore particularly helpful in the colder months for helping muscles to warm up faster and be less likely to experience cramping. Leg warmers are more practical than other options such as wearing track pants, for the main reason that they are easier to slip on and off. Full leg coverings such as track pants can make it difficult for dancers and teachers to see body lines in the mirror, leg warmers are more practical because they don’t affect vision of these critical leg and foot areas. Many leg warmers will have a stirrup option to fit under the arch, so that ballet or jazz shoes or pointe shoes are still in contact with the floor in the same way they would be without the leg warmers. So, should you wear leg warmers for dance class in winter, from us it's a resounding YES! click here for our legwarmers