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A very good place to begin..

Why wear a uniform in class?

I often get asked what should my child wear to dance class?

This is a good question.

When a child first joins a class for a trial I ask that they wear leggings and a tee with bare feet or fitted ballet shoes, or if they are little

a ‘ballet outfit’, you know what I mean, those frozen dresses

that crackle as they move and make them feel worth a million pounds! Once they’ve picked their genre I like for them to wear the Uniform, and I’ll explain why.

1 - A sense of being in the team - once they are in their uniform they are all in it together, they recognise the kids who have moved up a grade by their uniform, they get excited about getting the next colour as they progress up the grades. I always longed for the day I could pick my own leotard colour when I became a student teacher. Totally rocked my bottle green dansez camisole cotton lycra leotard! They start to work as a team, helping each other with tricky steps and looking out for their pals.

2 - An idea of being ready to work, having their leo and ballet shoes on means they are in the zone and ready to dance. Preparing them for the job in hand. Compare it to being a grown up, If you worked in a fancy restaurant you wouldn’t turn up in short shorts and a crop top, for ballet class it’s just the same.

3 - To show clear body lines, this is hugely important. Baggy clothes can hide a multitude of sins! Legs that aren’t correctly turned out from the hip, putting tension through the knee and ankle joints, spines that aren’t in alignment, rib cages that are protruding, shoulders that are sneaking towards the ears holding all the tension that ought to be taken care of by the abs! It also means that poor technique can’t hide, no bent legs in arabesques, no droppy arms hidden by baggy sleeves.

4 - Presentation is important - many children aspire to being a dancer or a performer of some type. They will soon discover that appearance is important - regardless of what that image is its vital to nail it each time. Being in your correct uniform is the start point of this. 5 - It’s the safest thing to dance in! Its important to be cool enough to dance but also warm enough not to injure themselves. It’s also not ideal to have baggy clothes that drag, other dancers could catch them, or you could trip over the ends or snag yourself on the barre. This also goes for jewellery - necklaces and earrings are pretty but not ideal for ballet class!

6 - Shoes - All students should have their ballet shoes professionally fitted,

I personally would not recommend buying ballet shoes online unless you

absolutely can not make it to a shop or you are buying like for like - size and

brand. Ballet shoe sizing is not typical and your child needs the perfect fit,

too big and they bag, they will not be able to get a well pointed foot

to look nice in them. Too small and they will crunch up their toes when standing,

which is equally as bad. Pointe shoes must be professionally fitted for every

single pair and never bought until your teacher approves it.

Hope this gives an insight to why we believe uniform is important in ballet class :)

Our uniform is available from our online store, or in store at Stars Dancewear in Totton or Roynon Dancewear in Woolston.

All photos are of CM Dance students and published with permission of parents.

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