Whether you are learning to dance yourself or are visiting classes with a child, there is a lot to learn. Not only are there are all the steps and routines but there is the dance gear required – and there are so many to choose from! But it is worth remembering that if you need advice about what to buy or what you need, you have the perfect resource on hand – your dance teacher!
Let’s take one example, the ballet shoe. Your child is trying ballet and needs the right shoes for the job but there are so many available. For starters, there’s the colours. Traditionally, men and boys wear black ballet shoes while women and girls wear white or pink. Tan coloured shoes are popular because they become near invisible on the foot.
Getting the right size and fit is crucial with ballet shoes and this is where your dance teacher can help. Children grow quickly so if you are buying for a child, it is tempting to go a little bigger so they last longer. But this can be dangerous, leading kids to trip in oversized shoes and potentially pick up an injury. So, you should choose a shoe with a snug fit now and worry about the next size when they no longer fit right.
The material of the shoe is another big consideration. Leather or canvas are the typical ballet shoe materials with leather being more expensive but lasting longer. Canvas shoes can be ideal for kids due to their growing and therefore, they are less likely to have the chance to wear them out. Satin ballet shoes are used in performances and your teacher can advise you when you need to consider buying a pair of these.
The other important piece of ballet gear is the leotard and again, there are choices to be made. The size of the leotard is the most important thing and much like the ballet shoes, you want to ensure it is the perfect fit. Too small and it will be uncomfortable, possibly even cutting off circulation. But if it is too large, it won’t stay in place and could be embarrassing!
Many leotards are unisex but some are specific to men or women so always make sure you are getting the right one. If you are unsure if a leotard is gender specific, then speak to your dance teacher who will advise you. Women’s leotards sometimes feature padding or a bra-like support that means a bra isn’t required and may also feature different cuts around the waist and hips. Men’s, on the other hand, may be too loose or boxy for a woman to wear.
The style of the leotard can be a person preference but if there is a specific requirement, your dance teacher will let you know. Some people prefer sleeveless styles while others like a short sleeve. There are also turtleneck and halter styles to accommodate all tastes.
For advice on dance gear visit the Tokyo Monster Dancewear Store in North Shields, located within the Jade Harrison School of Dance. They stock or can order in anything dance related you need and as it is run by dancers, for dancers they give the best advice on requirements and fit.