You’ve seen it before – a soloist enters the stage in a beautiful, rhinestone-filled dance costume and, as you look down at your own catalog-purchased ensemble, you wonder how much it cost them to have the costume made. What doesn’t help is TV shows like Toddlers in Tiaras talking about how their pageant costumes cost thousands of dollars. With entry fees and dance lessons, how could you possibly afford to buy one of those costumes?
The good news is that a lot of these dance teachers and parents are able to assemble these costumes for relatively less than you might think. The trick is to find the appropriate “base” for the costume that will save you on having a seamstress assemble it. Here are some tips for finding and creating great competition costumes, even if you can’t really sew:
1. Discounted formal gowns: When department stores put gowns on clearance after prom season, snatch up the ones that don’t feature billowing skirts or designs that would be difficult to cut. Also, some fabrics will fray, so stick to the silky, heavier fabric. Cut the dress to the desired length and either hem the bottom or use a bonding agent such as Fabri-Tac or Stitch Witch to ensure the edge is finished. Add some bloomers or booty shorts underneath and you’ve got a solo costume that no one else will have.
2. Booty shorts and tops: When you want a costume with a little less coverage, the best thing to do is to buy booty shorts and top set in a color or pattern that you love. For a jazz routine, zebra print booty shorts with a colorful top may also be a great option. You can add rhinestones to the entire ensemble, add a tutu or ruffles to the back of the shorts, or add a cute cropped jacket. These are some simple add-ons that goes a long way. Just make sure when you’re stitching it to the back of the shorts, you leave room for the material to stretch over the dancer’s bottom when putting the costume on. A good rule of thumb for this is to either tack it on when they have it on their body or pin the tutu and sew it while it’s off.
3. Lingerie: Yes, you may hesitate at putting your child in lingerie, but there are actually some really great options that don’t appear racy once they are rhinestoned and accessorized. A good option for this is to find a baby doll lingerie dress that does not feature sheer fabric. Bigger department stores such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart will have inexpensive options to start with. Add some rhinestones to the dress, and experiment with beaded trims to accent an empire waist.
Another week of Dance Moms and the drama is of course very thick. We learn that Maddie is back on the top of the pyramid, Paige and Chloe are next, and of course MacKensie, Brooke, and Nia are on the bottom. Nia is there because, though she wanted desperately to perform a solo, she forgot the choreography during her performance. (Need we say that we hate the pyramid?) But, we do learn that Nia is going to perform a trio with Maddie and Chloe this week, and she is very excited. But then the plot unfolds rather strangely after the pyramid is revealed…
Shall we talk about Melissa and her crazy engaged/not engaged situation? First of all, an engagement should be a happy thing, and while the other mothers do seem to be a little prying in the last episode, they seemed genuine this week in asking Melissa what her plans are and why she isn’t wearing her ring. She gets up and storms out of the studio, causing a scene and making her children cry in her wake. Of course, Abby sides with Melissa and doesn’t ask the moms what happened. Is it possible that Melissa overreacted? Not in Abby’s world. Later, the moms ask Melissa why they received letters to cease and desist talking about Melissa’s personal life, to which Melissa denies any involvement — We hate to tell you Melissa, but if your boyfriend (fiance?) sent these letters, you are guilty by association. And, you’ve agreed to have your life aired on a reality show. The whole country is talking about your personal life. Geez, that’s a lot of letters to send.
Though we don’t get to see the full routines, it appears that Maddie’s solo is beautiful yet again. She scores very well and outshines Justice, one of Cathy’s “apples.” He was very talented, though, and we’re certain that he will do big things in the future. Then comes the trio…Abby hated it and was glad it was over, but it seemed to be pretty good. Nia is a little bit behind the others, but she needs her confidence built up and not shut down. She’s improved over the course of two seasons with added solos and now the chance for a duet. We’re certain in coming seasons, we will see her shine.
Overall, Abby seems to be getting less daring with what she says to the moms but the moms are learning when they can push the envelope. We are excited to see what happens in coming weeks. And, on April 3rd be sure to tune in to Dance Moms: Miami! We can’t wait to review those episodes, too!
When it’s time to go to dance class, one thing every dancer needs is a dance bag. There are many different styles to choose from. First, a drawstring dance bag style can hold a couple of pairs of dance shoes and a few odds and ends; however, it doesn’t have extra pockets for any small items that you need to keep in your bag. It is carried on your back and offers a great hands-free capability. Another style is the dance duffel bag. For younger dancers, a small duffel can hold all the necessary dance shoes as well as offer the option to carry the bag over your shoulder. For older dancers, dance duffels begin to have pockets to separate shoes and accessories from one another. Lastly, the messenger bag is another great option for dancers. It has a large section for different shoes and usually sports an area for pens, business cards, iPods, or CDs.
Selecting the right one for you is important because these bags hold a lot of different must-have dance items. Here is our list of what you may have (or want to have) in your dance bag:
Some other items may include: water, snacks, first aid kit, or accessories. What items do you feel we left out? Please post them below!
Dance teachers across the United States held their breath last night as Abby Lee Miller paraded her young dancers across the stage in a dance that was entitled “FANtastic.” The girls used giant feather fans to portray the role of Vegas Showgirls and their iconic fan routines. Their costume left very little to the imagination, however, as they wore metallic booty shorts and a rhinestoned, nude bra top. Abby Lee Miller justified this costume in stating it was a learning experience; one of the girls would surely be a showgirl one day! But, when the 7-9 year olds graced the stage, the judges could be heard saying that the costume was little too naked for their taste and the dance did not place in the overall awards. Abby was shocked, but I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t.
There are many things dancers and dance teachers do for the sake of the art. We wear very little clothing and push ourselves to the limit time and time again. We dance through injuries that could leave us with permanent damage, all because we love to dance and can’t see ourselves taking even one day off. Junior dancers are at their most influential time — it is now that they learn what type of dancer they want to be, what genres they prefer, and build idols in the dance world to model themselves after. Do parents want their little girls saying that they want to be a topless showgirl one day? Is there another dance dream at the age of 8 that would be safer for them to aspire to while they’re young and…undeveloped?
Abby Lee Miller is a superb dance teacher, and her dancers are amazing little balls of dance energy and technique. But, when the dancers are uncomfortable with a costume or routine, they will not perform that routine with the same enthusiasm as when they routine makes them feel something appropriate for their age. Dancers under age 10 should be exploring themes such as making friends, dealing with bullies, or playing recognizable characters. Portraying a nude dancer is just a bit too much for this age group, and it certainly should not be brought to a dance competition.
So what can we learn from this situation? If the dancers are uncomfortable with the costume or theme of the dance, then it should be rethought. Dancers of all ages are willing to do many things for the sake of our art, especially these petite professionals. Every once in awhile, dance teachers should listen to their concerns.
Sophia Lucia has been posting pirouette videos for a few weeks now, gradually adding more and more turns in the hopes of beating the record held by Alicia Clifton for the most pirouettes in passe. Just a few days ago, Lucia recorded an amazing 39 turns at her studio in California. She is only 9 years old but will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the world of dance! Click on the link below to see her most recent YouTube post:
As you age, your muscle mass and bone density decrease, causing you to lose strength and experience more body pain. It is only natural that you may feel the need to limit your activity. Although you can no longer engage in most of the recreational activities that young people enjoy, you can still take part in dancing. If you are hesitant about taking dance lessons because you do not know what to wear, don’t worry, there is always a type of dancewear that will not only fit your chosen dance genre but will also provide you with comfort and convenience.
Dancing is definitely beneficial for older people. In fact, the benefits of dancing on seniors are plentiful and they range from improved cardiovascular fitness to enhanced flexibility.
Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
As the body ages, it may deteriorate because of aging body responses. This means that seniors will not be able to keep pace with the young when it comes to the more rigorous forms of dancing like aerobics. Dancing, on the other hand, is low-impact so it won’t strain your aging muscles much. With that, seniors can dance on a regular basis thereby substituting any other forms of exercise. Over time, this would result in stronger heart muscles. The most popular form of dancing for the purposes of improving your cardiovascular muscles is ballroom.
Increased Balance, Control and Flexibility
It is normal for older people to easily lose their balance, control and flexibility as a result of aging. But what is not normal is not trying to do anything to try and control your body’s deterioration. You need to be more careful because losing your balance could cause serious injuries. Loosening up those stiff muscles can be done through dancing. Other than that, you need to choose the right dancing clothes for you to support your body as you move.
Increased Bone Mass
Dancing has been shown to increase the bone mass as effectively as milk does. So instead of spending a sedentary lifestyle, go and grab a pair of dance shoes and try dancing. Ask an instructor on what genre suits you best so as not to jeopardize your health.
The body’s metabolic rate slows down with old age. That is why you will notice that fat seems to build up faster even if you eat less. The most efficient way to tone and strengthen your muscles is to engage in physical exercises. However, considering your body’s lower physical capabilities and perhaps your lack of enthusiasm for the more rigorous exercises that the youth seem to prefer, take out those dancing shoes and dance.
Improved Social Outlook
Dancing is a form of non-verbal communication but it is a highly effective method of expressing emotions. Studies show that dancers are more expressive than their non-dancer peers. Especially for senior citizens who may feel isolated and alone because of children growing up and having their own family, you need a positive outlet for your emotions. So go ahead and try expressing yourself through dance. By joining a dance class, you get to feel the company of other dancers and won’t feel so alone anymore.
For a great selection of dance clothing and dance costume accessories that fit your dance needs, check out www.alycedancewear.com.
Studies have shown that there are numerous health benefits associated with dancing including increased serotonin level, reduced stress and better cardiovascular health. More recently, it has been found that dancing can make one smarter. This is because dancing helps stimulate the mind and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For seniors, dancing even helps increase cognitive perception. With these new findings, dance wear stores are expected to experience a huge increase in the sales of adult dancing clothes.
The study on the relationship between smartness and dancing was conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. However, it was suggested that only frequent dancing appears to protect you from dementia. Here are the statistics to show as proof:
Notice that two of the three mentioned above have something to do with much brain activity brought about by concentrating on a given task. But they are no match to frequent dancing that uses physical and mental capabilities; thus, resulting in the brain rewiring itself more effectively.
What is the relationship between dancing and old age?
As you grow older, your brain cells weaken and that’s manifested by seniors’ ability to remember names and dates. Hence, seniors resort to parallel thinking, or more creative ways to remember what they need to remember. The key, according to the study, is to remain immersed in activities that require split-second decisions. Think about it, when you’re doing sports, you’re doing it based on your experience and what your coach told you during training. But when you’re dancing, especially modern dancing, when you are left free to move according to your emotions, you are making split-second decisions almost all the time.
However, you will not obtain the mental benefits unless you dance regularly. Hence, despite the fact that dancing is a tedious activity that requires a strong physical foundation, many older people were motivated to take up dancing.
Ballet is a specific form of dance that is designed for all ages. Since it involves a wide range of movements, wearing appropriate dance apparel and comfortable ballet dancing shoes is crucial to preventing injury.
Social dance is another dance form that stimulates intelligence. When social dancing, the females get the most benefits because they interpret their partner’s movements and that requires a lot of thinking and split decision-making. And if you want to optimize every dance class and wear your dance attire longer, try dancing with different dance partners. But for men who oftentimes lead in these freestyle social dancing, you can also get the same cognitive benefits by occasionally adjusting your dancing to fit your partner’s mood.
The entire study is telling you to dance frequently and that means dancing as often as three to four times a week. If you are not doing anything, you could spend some of your pension for dance classes and in investing in durable dance costume accessories that you can use in your every dance class.
If you are planning to enroll in dance lessons and are looking for a great selection of dancewear and accessories, check out www.alycedancewear.com.