Arabesque

dance academy

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Uniform & Grooming

Note on Uniform

All Children from Primary Ballet upwards are expected to have their hair in a bun. See pictures

Note:

  • Children in Baby Class, Pre Primary and Primary should wear a pink short sleeved leotard, pink cross over chiffon ballet skirt, pink ballet sock or tights and pink leather ballet shoes. Hair should be tied neatly in a ponytail for Babies and Pre Primary but should be a bun for Primary. No outer garments maybe worn for class with the exception of a tight fitting crossover top which needs to be removed once the dancer is warm.
  • Grade 1 should wear a pale blue short sleeved leotard, pink ballet sock or tights and pink leather ballet shoes. In addition they will need black canvas character shoes and a black character skirt which is made to measure at the school. No outer garments maybe worn for class with the exception of a tight fitting crossover top which needs to be removed once the dancer is warm.
  • Grade 2, 3, 4, and 5 should wear wear Turquoise(GR2), Lilac(GR3), Royal Blue(GR 4), Purple(GR5) strapped leotard, pink ballet tights and leather pink ballet shoes. In addition they will need black canvas character shoes and a black character skirt which is made to measure at the school. No outer garments maybe worn for class with the exception of a tight fitting crossover top which needs to be removed once the dancer is warm.
  • Grade 6, 7, 8 and SENIOR can wear any coloured leotard for class as well as pink ballet tights and pink ballet shoes. No outer garments maybe worn for class with the exception of a tight fitting crossover top which needs to be removed once the dancer is warm. For Grades 6, 7 and 8 examinations they will need a matching or toning chiffon calf length skirt as well as black canvas character shoes and a black character skirt. Vocational exam candidates have an option to wear navy, black or slate grey but the leotard can have only one strap and may not be a crossed back.
  • Anyone who consistently comes to class without the appropriate attire or hair, can be asked to sit out for that session, or in some cases sent home.

THE BALLET BUN

Girls in all ballet classes must wear their hair in a neat and tidy classical bun or pinned up so hair does not obscure the neckline or get in the students’ eyes. The ballet bun keeps hair from flying in a dancer’s face; it also creates a clean, elegant line for the dancer.

Follow these steps to make the perfect bun.

Materials List:

  • Hairspray or hair gel
  • Hair pins (Thicker type with plastic tips.)
  • Bobby pins
  • Elastic band
  • Comb & brush (Fine tooth comb preferable)
  • Hair net (Fine net with elastic edges. Should be same color as hair)

How to make a ballet bun

1. To start the process, wet your hands and the hair with water. This will give you better control over the hair. Gather the hair and pull it back. Apply hair gel if you need more control over the hair.

2. Use a hair brush to smooth out rough or uneven areas. Form a pony tail by brushing the hair up from the jaw line to the top part of the back of the head. This will form a high bun. The placement of the pony tail determines the placement of the bun. Mid and low buns are sometimes used with short hair. Very short hair can be done in two low side buns, or use hair clips to fasten the hair down without a bun.

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3. Use an elastic hair band to secure the pony tail. A tidy pony tail with hair drawn snugly back is the key to making a good ballet bun.

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4.  Apply more water or gel to keep the hair neat, and twist the pony tail.

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5. Coil the pony tail into a tight circle.

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6. Use hair pins all around the coil to secure it to the rest of the hair. Slide each pin through the outer part of the coil, then into the base of the bun.

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7. Wrap a fine hair net around the bun. Keep twisting and wrapping so that the hair net tightly secures the bun. Add a few more pins.

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8.  With long thick hair, you may end up with a bun that will protrude too much. A flatter bun is preferable. To flatten, remove all pins; the hair net will hold the bun. Then flatten the bun and re-pin all around the bun.

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9. For extra hold, when the bun and hair are all secure, use hairspray.

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Pointe Shoes

Three tips for trying on new pointe shoes:
  1. Buy new pointe shoes late in the day when the feet are larger.
  2. A dancer should always try on new shoes in the tights and with the padding she will be wearing in the shoe.
  3. Pointe shoes should be resized at least every three years throughout a dancers career, even after growth is over. Even in adulthood the feet continue to spread. Resizing should be done even more frequently during adolescent growth spurts.
New shoes should be purchased when:
  • the dancer’s old pair no longer fits properly.
  • the shoes have softened so much that they no longer provide proper support to the foot on pointe. Usually the tip of the pointe shoe or the shank of the shoe weakens, or “dies”, first.
Important parts of pointe shoes

The 3 most important parts to be familiar with are:

box_platform
Box Platform
The platform is the flat part at the tip of the shoe (the part you stand on). The box includes the stiff area around your toes. It is the hard part around your toes that provides support to your foot.
There are different widths of boxes for different widths of feet.
vamp
Vamp

The vamp is the front part of the box, or the part that covers from the tips of your toes to your knuckles. The vamp is mostly referred to, to say how deep it is. This is important and should be relative to the length of your toes.

shank
Shank

The shank is the stiff piece that supports your arch. It lies under the insole. Different shoe makers have different stiffness for their shanks.

How to tie pointe shoes

Tying pointe shoes incorrectly can be dangerous and can cause serious injury to the dancer.

  1. Put the shoe on your foot.
  2. Tie a double knot on the inside ribbon first and cross it over the arch of your foot and wrap around your ankle completely finishing at the inside of the ankle just before the ankle bone.
  3. Hold this ribbon firmly and take the outside ribbon and wrap across the arch of your foot and all around your ankle crossing over the other ribbon and finishing at the same point. Both ribbons should be lying smooth over your foot.
  4. Tie a double knot on the inside of your ankle and tuck the spare ribbon away. Cut this to about 2-3 inches length if the ribbon is quite long. Never tie too tight so your ankle is restricted. When tying your pointe shoe it is more comfortable and secure if you tie while your foot is in the en-pointe position.