HOW TO PREPARE FOR DANCE CLASSES
Before your child joins in, here are a few suggestions that will make the experience much better for you both.
- Before you rush out and buy anything, it’s a good idea to find out if your child needs specific dancewear. If yes, the dance school should give you a list, put it on their website, or even better, many will have given their list to Everything Dance, making it much easier for you to make a one-shop stop. Check with the dance school if your child is joining a dance level above beginners, in case they have different requirements.
- A bag large enough to hold dance shoes, a change of dance or street wear and other small items finishes off the basics. Try to keep the dance bag just for dancewear, so that you will always know where everything is and if possible, packing the bag the night before will help you make sure everything is prepared and present.
- You will find this especially helpful when you are in a rush. You will find it easier if you dress your child and get their hair ready before you leave home. In general, girls and boys should both wear their hair off of their face and secured, so that it doesn’t fly around during class or cover their face. Long hair should be either in a ponytail or a bun if required. Not sure how to make a bun? Our instructions on our website will help you make a secure bun. To save shoe wear and tear, wait until your child is inside the dance school before putting their dance shoes on.
- It’s a good idea to arrive in plenty of time on the first day, so that you can familiarise yourselves with the layout of the dance school, including locating the office, change rooms, bathrooms, etc.
- Attending an open day will help your child understand how a class is run and what will be expected of them. In general, most classes start with some warms ups, followed by dance exercises, and often a small dance putting it all together. While some children may be scared to go into a class, watch for the big smiles at the end.
- If your child has any behavioural or attention issues, injuries or physical impairments, it will be helpful to share this with the teachers when you enrol them.
HOW TO MAKE A PERFECT BUN
Not sure how to make a bun? Follow these step by step instructions to help you make a secure bun. Before you start, you will find it helpful to read all the instructions first, including the instructions on how to insert hairpins. A ballet bun generally sits in the centre of the back of the head and is not visible from the front.
You will need:
- Hair brush
- Long handled comb
- Hair elastic
- Hair gel
- Hair net
- Hair pins
- Bobby pins
Brush all the hair towards the centre back of the head. Gather the hair into a tight ponytail and secure with an elastic band, ensuring that there are no bumps. To stop frizzy and fly-away hairs, apply a small amount of gel evenly from the roots to the ends of the hair, with your fingers or with the comb. Children with very curly, thick or fine hair may need their hair gelled or sprayed before securing into a ponytail. Brush or gel fringes back off the face and secure with bobby pins if necessary.
To make the bun shape, hold the ponytail at the end and twist it firmly until it is all twisted into a rope. Then coil the ponytail into a flat circle around the hair elastic, continuing the coil in the same direction as the twist in the ponytail. This will stop the ponytail unravelling. Tuck the ends of the ponytail under the bun. Then place 3-4 hairpins around the bun to secure it, without taking your hands off the bun (see instructions for inserting hairpins). Next, place a hairnet over the bun. At this stage, you can make any adjustments to the shape of the bun. A finished bun should be round and even in shape, and sit smoothly against the head.
HOW TO SECURE A BUN USING HAIRPINS
Hold the pin at the closed end, with the prongs facing the centre of the coil. Insert the prongs a little way into the edge of the bun, catching a small amount of the bun edge. Then turn the prongs in and back outwards to catch some of the hair outside the bun. Lastly, turn the prongs inwards again and push into the centre of the coil. Insert as many pins as you need to all around the edges of the bun, until it feels secure. Loose hairs can be gelled or sprayed to help them stay put.
TUTU CARE GUIDE
Both washing and dry cleaning damage a tutu. Do so infrequently and with care.
Try to spot clean areas rather than cleaning the whole costume.
Use a steamer to remove wrinkles and freshen a tutu. Irons should be used with great caution as too high of heat can melt netting, sequins, and damage delicate fabrics and trim.
Spray Febreeze or vodka to remove odours and kill bacteria.
Always allow costume to air dry between performances and before storing.
Using a hair dryer can speed this up between performances.
Determine what is not washable and remove.
Remove bodice from skirt and wash or clean separately.
Hoops covered with buckram (rather than plastic) will need to be removed to wash. With time hoops will rust and the buckram will disintegrate.
When washing a tutu skirt (remove bodice, clean separately), wash in a bathtub with cool water and mild soap. Thoroughly rinse then air dry.
Try to maintain the shape of the skirt while laundering:
Classical tutus—dry flat
Romantics—hang to dry
Try to find a cleaner that is cleaning costumes and inform them of all know fibres, trims and glues used.
Dry cleaning solvents may damage some sequins and stones, ASK first!
HOW TO SEW RIBBON ON TO BALLET SHOES
Ribbon bundles are sold in one long 2.5 metre length so the ribbon needs to be cut in half and then in half again so there are four pieces, one for each side of the shoe.
Take one piece of ribbon and at one end fold one centimeter over once and then fold it over two centimeters again.
To attach the ribbons at the correct angle, fold the back of the shoe forward and down, then mark each side of the shoe on the cotton lining in the angle made.
Place the folded end of the ribbon at the marked position and sew as shown in the drawing onto the side of the shoe through the cotton lining but not through the Canvas, Leather or Satin. The ribbons may be angled forward if required to hold the shoe on more securely.