For a ballerina, aspiring or prima, to maintain the theatrical illusion and aesthetic line of grace during performance requires a combination of skills and qualities. Many non-dance audience members, and dance fans alike, are caught in this dynamic illusion of the moving body. Within this is the creation of a specific aura of beauty as the dancer moves seamlessly from one movement to the next with engaging expression and undeniable talent.
The finishing touch on the end of the beautifully extended leg is usually a pink pointe shoe, especially when classical repertoire is being performed. Naturally, audiences are mainly receptive to the “finished” and aesthetic product of ballet rather than the process, be that a tutu or a costume of a leotard and dance skirt, performance tights or the tiara which is quite literally the cherry on top of the cake. Unless the audience is made up of experienced and professional dancers, they will not consider the uncomfortable feelings or even pain that are being brought on by wearing pointe shoes, often the epitome of perfection.
Many dancers engage the use of “toe protectors” in order to prevent blisters and sores emerging on their feet. Popular choices are Bunheads’ Ouch Pouches, and various other products such as toe tape, Happy Toes gel pads and lamb’s wool. Whatever your pointe shoe preference, Dance Direct is the dancewear specialist that offers a wide variety of products to suit the Principal Artists down to those anticipating their first lessons en pointe. Whilst Bunheads appear to be the most popular brand of pointe shoe accessories, there is much on offer to ensure the balletic beauty of performance is maintained.
With dance in the twenty-first century collaborating left,right and centre with artists, musicians and film-makers, the most recent partnering seen in the dance sector is that of The Royal Ballet and a new brand of cosmetics, developed with the Company and consequently used by them. Gone, it seems, are the days when blisters and sore toes were danced on repeatedly, as today the dance industry is developing increasingly unique ranges of care products for sore feet… from pointe shoes, to muscle balm for tap shoe enthusiasts.
The new Royal Ballet body care range, sold by Dance Direct, has been developed as a high performance collection in order to meet the needs of hard working bodies. Alongside leotards and microfiber dance tights, the new specifically designed body care range includes body conditioner moisturiser which works to improve the fitness, tone and elasticity of the skin, also helping to combat cellulite. Additional products in the range are a cooling muscle gel which is said to have excellent moisturising and anti-microbial properties, and an intensive hand and foot cream, which has a high concentration of moisturiser to help strengthen cuticles and nails,which can often take a bruising from excessive work in pointe shoes. With so much else to worry about as a dancer, this new body care range seems set to cover all your skin and ffoott concerns for the rest of your dancing career!
The latest advancement in “dancewear” has now hit the market, and looks set to take the dance world by storm, following in the footsteps of the leotard ranges and cover-ups verging on the fashion runways of mainstream retail, and vice versa.
Often male dancers feel hard done by, simply due to the fact there is considerably less choice of dancewear for men than there is for women. Whilst the general basics are covered by more or less each dancewear brand available to purchase from, females are met with huge varieties of leotards and cover-ups, for example, than men. Often, dance shoes are not gender specific, and male and female dancers wear the same brand and style of tap shoes, ballet shoes and jazz shoes. However, it seems there is an overriding imbalance of the ratio of female to men’s dancewear.
Despite this, at Dance Direct, a full range of boy’s and men’s dancewear items are very well stocked, offering designs from Plume, Sansha, Só Dança, Wear-Moi and Bloch, all at affordable prices. From dance trainers, unitards and men’s leotards, to men’s ballet tights, dance shorts and dance belts, there is a wealth of choice for male dancers to suit both professional and informal needs. This huge variety can conveniently be located online, providing even more access for dancers to a great selection of dancewear, suitable for many types of dance. Additionally, the emergence of “dance fashions” has also determined the styles of dancewear purchases, and the popularity of those deemed most versatile and useful at that time.
Dancewear for ballet has evolved considerably in recent years, for studio practice or on stage. For male dancers traditionally, their role on stage was to support the female dancer and help her heighten the illusion of performance quality. Whilst this remains, the spotlight for male dancers has extended, focusing more attention on them simultaneously. Dancewear such as unitards, or leotards and tights emphasise the body’s alignment, line and placement, defining the body for the audience and teacher alike. For males, dancewear can be adapted to suit either the studio or the stage, so despite the fact there may be less choice of dancewear for them than females, what males do wear is extremely versatile to suit a variety of needs.