Thursday, 1 October 2015

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW… ABOUT BALLET!

Dance crazy? Reader Georgia gives you the low-down on what you'll need to strut your stuff on the dance floor!

THE SHOES: Pointe shoes are every ballet dancer's dream, but you cannot go straight to pointe shoes - it takes training, and lots of it. First things first! I've been dancing since I was two years old, and I still remember trying on that first pair of ballet shoes. I didn't know how much a part of my life those shoes would be. These days they are my life. Hours of practice are spent in the, and they fill me with confidence. I've had various styles of ballet shoes over the years, but my favourites are Capezio split soles… they're the comfiest thing ever. I have quite wide feet and finding the perfect shoe was always difficult… then the shop suggested this new style. There's a toe-sole and a heel-sole, so they bend and wrinkle and adjust to your foot. As you get older, instead of elastic to keep your shoes on, ballet students learn to sew on satin ribbons and create that intricate criss-cross patterning up the leg - they can be hard to fasten neatly but it's worth the effort!

THE LEOTARD: You can wear anything comfortable to dance, but a leotard is ideal - it stretches with you, allows freedom of movement and once you put it on you're in a different world, in dance mode! Some ballet schools have a leotard 'uniform' - set colours for certain grades and classes. At my first dance school, we all wore a plan royal blue leotard; at my second, it was the same plain design, but this time in black. I didn't think about it really, but I guess we all looked neat and tidy! At my current dance school, all this changed. Up until Grade Three, everyone wears a raspberry pink leotard; after that, the colour changed to black, but any style at all is allowed! I have a Capezio crossback one, and I love it! Always check with your dance school before buying a leotard, as you will be spending a lot of time in it!

THE BALLET BAG: Possibly the most important item of all! Your dance supply shop will have lots to choose from, so making a decision can be tough… it all depends on your age and level. If you're starting out, a small bag is fine… here are lots of cute pink coloured ones with ballerina motifs for young dancers. My first bag was a little circular suitcase with a clip fastening, and a picture of a ballerina and a pair of ballet shoes on it! I was probably only three or four at the time, and it was big enough for what I needed. As you get older, you need a bigger bag as the kit you need to carry expands! At the moment, I have a black Pineapple bag with two side pockets, and a choice of shoulder strap or hand straps. So, what might go in your bag? Your ballet shoes (obviously!); a jacket; a warm-up top; ballet socks; ballet tights; hair grips (plenty of them!); a donut ring (for a hair bun!); a hairnet/ bun net; a notepad and pen; therabands/ deuserbands; deodorant/ body spray; a drink; some snacks!

These are just a few of the basics for anyone thinking of taking dance classes, but at the end of the day what matters is the lessons themselves… the kit and accessories can come later if you decide you are serious, and your local dance shop will offer good advice if you are unsure what to pick. What are you waiting for?

Cathy says:
My daughter did ballet and jazz dance for several years, so I remember those trips to the dance supply shop… they were cool! Do YOU take dance lessons? What are your favourite bits of kit?  COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

5 comments:

  1. My sister dances- religiously. She may only be nine, but getting your hands on the TV is difficult; YouTube is often blasting whatever song she's into at the moment. Let me tell you now it's very annoying! But cute... She does ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary. I feel like I've attended so many ballets or dance shows I know every dance off by heart! Xx

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  2. I have contemporary and ballet but mostly ballet like summer ! Xx

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  3. Replies
    1. dancing is my life :)
      singing's good 2

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  4. I love ballet, did its since I was 4 and am going to take my Grade 4 exams too!!!

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