3 Classes Your Child Should Be Involved In

The end of the year invites New Year’s resolutions so why not add a new class to your child’s schedule. Performance classes have become increasingly popular over the past few years and it’s no surprise as they can help nurture your child. At Dancing Daisy we believe that performance classes are really rewarding for your child’s development.

 

Ballet

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(via Mulberry School of Dance)

 

As the most disciplined form of dance, your child can learn a lot from taking ballet classes. Ballet helps focus the body and mind so it is a good way of harnessing your child’s energy. If they are particularly lively and cannot remain still, ballet will teach them to be more attentive, with a keener attention span and patience. Ballet essentially develops poise and grace, improving overall posture and body language. It’s a great form of exercise too, toning the muscles and strengthening the body.

 

Ballet unlocks a world of culture which can be particularly rewarding for older children. Learning about classical ballets and choreographers can inspire your child and give them a wider understanding of various cultures and countries across the world. Although it is not like a team sport, there is a competitive element to ballet as children can work towards levels. Achieving these will boost pride and improve your child’s confidence.

 

Dance

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(via VB Dance)

 

There are such a variety of dance classes on offer and with dance schools popping up all over the country you are sure to find somewhere in your local area. Dancing is a great way to channel and release your child’s boundless amount of energy. Although team sports are good for your child to get involved in, often these are better for older children, whilst dance is for all ages, with classes involving children as young as two or three.

 

Keeping your child active is incredibly important so that they remain healthy. Dancing is aerobic meaning that it is not only a good form of exercise but also generates enthusiasm. A large part of dance, no matter what the type, is creativity. Learning new moves or dancing with a particular idea in mind helps your child to develop their imagination and turn it into a form of expression.

 

 

Acting

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(via Its Liverpool)

 

Theatre has become the latest trend for performance arts amongst children. Due to the exposure of TV and films, many children would love the chance to learn to act and become like their favourite film role models. Whether they go on to become an actor one day or not, acting develops many skills which are useful in aspects of everyday life.

 

Relying more on teamwork that other performance arts, acting encourages social skills amongst children and will often place a child within an environment with children of different ages. Acquiring good communication skills early on will teach children how to articulate themselves, helping in later life and allowing them to mature properly. Standing upon a stage and reciting words not only requires a strong understanding of speech and reading, but also memory and confidence.

 

Signing your child up to performance classes in the New Year really can reap a number of development and social benefits. At Dancing Daisy we can provide your child with all of their dance clothing, from tap and ballet leotards or shoes, to freestyle dancewear. Our range caters for girls and boys. Contact us if you have any questions about our products or sizes; we’ll be happy to help.

5 Back To School Winter Essentials

Christmas is nearly upon us which means that the children will soon be breaking up from school for the holidays. The holidays are the perfect chance to spend time together as a family and prepare for the New Year. At Dancing Daisy we understand how stressful the break can be which is why we recommend buying these back to school winter essentials early. They could even be presents from Santa!

 

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Coat

A warm coat is a winter essential and will keep your child wrapped up nicely for the walk to and from school. Raincoats and macs aren’t usually thick enough to withhold the winter chill so make sure you find a well-insulated coat that is just right for the colder season. Choose one with a hood to double up as protection from the wind and rain. Before your child wears their new coat to school, don’t forget to label it with their name in case it gets lost or someone else has the same coat.

 

Umbrella

With wet weather always just around the corner, making sure your child stays dry and out of the rain is important. There are many children’s umbrellas with cool designs to suit whatever your child is interested in. From TV cartoon characters and film stars, to novelty animal-shaped and rainbow umbrellas, your child can really stand out in the rain. After all, don’t all kids love running through the rain and splashing in the puddles!

 

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Stationery

Practical and creative, stationery is a must have for school. Your child may have been hinting about the latest fluffy pen craze or bendy rulers so get them stocked up in time for their return to school. There are so many stationery items on the market meaning you have a variety of options to choose from. If they show a keen interest in art, why not buy them a new colouring pencils, chalks or felt tip pen set. Inspire your child’s education and creativity by choosing some cool stationery that they’ll love to use.

 

Diary

It’s no lie that keeping a diary is a great thing to do no matter what your age. Children can learn a huge amount from having a diary, improving their writing and spelling skills, as well as awareness of the passing of time. Start them off for the New Year by adding a diary to your shopping list. Whether you opt for an inventive lockable or ‘secret’ diary, or a more conventional and simple design, you can inspire your child’s literary development.

 

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Book

Where would we be without books? Imagination is a crucial during childhood and books play a huge part in expanding upon a child’s imaginative and creative mind. Encouraging a keen interest in reading will really help your child to grow. Books hold a wealth of information, and a lot can be learnt even just from fiction books. Immersing themselves in a fantasy world will boost a child’s creativity as well as teaching essential skills such as reading, spelling, writing, and story telling.

 

If your child struggles with reading, start them off with a simpler book and find time to sit with them to help them read it. Why not sign your child up to your local library too so that there is always an endless supply of books at their fingertips…for free!

 

Don’t forget to check that your child’s school uniform still fits too. If they are enrolled in dance lessons, we can provide a range of ballet and dance clothing for all ages, from tutus and leotards, to shoes and accessories. Contact us today with any queries. We wish you all a happy new year from Dancing Daisy.

 

(All images via Scholastic)

Dancing Daisy Christmas

This time of year is very busy for us at Dancing Daisy, with ballet tutu’s and dancewear of all descriptions flying off the shelves quicker than we can re-stock them.

Lots of dance schools have exams coming up and that means new uniform and dance shoes for students to ensure they look smart and confident for their ballet or tap examinations.

Then there are all the Christmas shows to prepare for, these are not just dance school shows, but all the school plays, performances and shows that parents attend every year in the run up to Christmas. These are full of sparkle and glitter with many a small girl dressed as a snowflake or angel in a pretty white ballet dress.

And lastly, there’s Christmas itself. With so many ballet tutu’s to choose from, as well as dance bags, wands, pretty ballet shoes, leotards and dance gifts – Santa will find it easy to pick some for in the Christmas stockings this year.

On Christmas morning, all over the country and beyond, there will be little Ballerina’s all trying on their new ballet outfits. Twirling around the Christmas tree, full of wonder at the magic that is Christmas.

And all the staff at Dancing Daisy will be heaving a huge sigh of relief after the last parcel has been packed and sent on its merry way.

Tips For Preparing For Christmas Performances

Ballet is a challenging art which will push any child to achieve a high standard. Nervousness before a performance is not necessarily something you can avoid but there are ways to help manage it. With all the existing pressures of Christmas time, being thoroughly prepared is important for all people involved in the show, from children to parents and teachers. Our top tips here at Dancing Daisy should help make sure it is a successful performance. Good luck!

 

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(via Scholastic)

 

Children

So the limelight is finally on you and you are not sure what to do. The most important part of any ballet performance is enthusiasm. When ballerinas fully enjoy themselves, the dance itself is incredibly rewarding. Putting your nerves at ease is a must to help you have a relaxing and great show.

  • Don’t go through your routine too many times: once you have remembered the dance, work on your technique. Just before the show, worrying too many about the routine can make you forget parts or have doubts about yourself. Practice when you can but give yourself time out too.
  • Look after yourself: sticking to a normal, daily routine can help prevent too many worries. Change to a routine can be scary so try to behave and act in the same way as you would on any other day. Make sure you look after yourself and have time away from ballet…it’s nearly Christmas time afterall!
  • Think positively and be happy: a happy ballerina makes for a beautiful ballerina. Don’t let negative thoughts get in the way before a performance. Take to the stage…you can do it!

 

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(via Mummy Pages)

 

Parents

Although parents may not be directly involved in the performance themselves, learning how best to support your child is essential. Being there for them and looking after their needs is important.

  • Make sure your child has plenty of sleep: getting your child to bed on time is crucial. Lack of sleep and tiredness can have a big impact on a show, effecting mood and ability to perform. If you know your child is particularly worried take some time to talk to them about it, reassuring them of their own ability.
  • Give them a good breakfast: turning up to a performance on an empty stomach only increases stress levels and feelings of exhaustion.  Like with sleep, keep to a regular schedule. Protein rich foods as well as vegetables are great to stock up on before a big performance.
  • Have some fun together: make sure you arrange to spend some quality time with your child in the lead up. It can be easy to become involved in your own external schedule but make time for the both of you. The Christmas period will bring in numerous activities and festivities that you can be a part of. Don’t let worry for a ballet show ruin your child’s Christmas.

 

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(via Royal Academy of Dance)

 

Teachers

As the organiser of the whole show, a lot of pressure is on you to prepare everything and make it perfect. As a teacher you should have a strong relationship with all of your class and be both supportive and encouraging.

  • Make sure your ballerinas know everything about the performance: check that everyone knows the routine and the plan for the night. It might be a good idea to talk to each member of your class individually. Some children may not want to admit to worrying or forgetting things in front of their classmates.
  • Keep good time management and organisation: have a clear plan of how you want the show to run and stick to this as much as possible. Performances begin to crumble when time starts to become at issue or things begin to get out of hand. Ensuring that everyone has the right costume and is aware of when they should be on stage is necessary for a smooth-running show.
  • Give encouragement and a good pre-show speech: throughout the time you are training your students, you should be offering encouragement and advice. A friendly demeanour is essential when working with children. Before the show begins give your class one last piece of advice and let them know that you support them and believe in their abilities.

 

At Dancing Daisy our family-run business is dedicated to providing quality dancewear and dance shoes. We know how important it is to have a good performance and understand what it takes to be a good dancer. Have a look at our wide range of products all at affordable prices. For any more guidance on ballet performances don’t hesitate to email us.

Reasons Why a Tutu is the Perfect Christmas Gift

Here at Dancing Daisy we love when children get inspired to take part in ballet. Making sure your child’s love for dance continues to blossom is important. Cultivating their enjoyment of this graceful art can be hard though. With the Christmas period a few months away, thinking ahead about present ideas is always a good start. Why not buy your child one of our tutus this year; it is a present they will be sure to love for a whole number of reasons.

 

Improve their ballet skills

Tutu are pretty and practical, and an important part of any ballerina’s wardrobe. The skirt can help young ballet dancers perfect their footwork. The design of a tutu sticks out so that you child is unable to look down at their feet, concentrating instead on her dancing and poise. Our range of simple Ballet Tutu Skirts provides perfect comfort and colour for any age, size and preference. The elasticated waists ensure that your child is comfortable when they dance, giving them the confidence to train by watching themselves in the mirror.

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Dress up like a ballerina

When anyone is asked to think about a ballerina, the instant image that comes to mind is a leotard dressed girl with a tutu and her hair in a bun. Giving your child a tutu will motivate them to continue learning ballet and will reawaken that initial love for it again. Watch your child aspire to be a ballet dancer in their new tutu and see the results! We offer many traditional designs which are perfect for all ages. Choose between our more traditional Lily Cotton Leotard Ballet Tutu Dresses and Lucy Four Layered Tutu Dresses.

 

Feel like a magical princess

With the traditional fairytales such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake being major ballet performances all across the world, it is no wonder that tutus have become somewhat associated with princesses. Let your little one twirl around in their own magical kingdom when you give them one of our Daisy Ballet Tutu Dresses or the longer Romantic Ballet Tutu Dress. Your child’s imagination is an important part of their development so giving them the chance to create their own fairytale is a lovely idea.

 

Go to a fancy dress party

Fancy dress parties are never as good unless someone turns up in a tutu. We have loads of different dressing up ideas for your child, so why not make a double purchase and buy an outfit for Halloween and a Christmas gift today. From cats, to faeries, butterflies to ladybirds, cheerleaders to neon disco dancers, our selection is dedicated to any child’s wants. We offer matching accessories for our tutu fancy dress costumes so complete your child’s set today!

 

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Inspire you child and boost their self-confidence by making a tutu Christmas gift today. For something that will be cherished for a long time, tutus are the perfect choice for little ballet stars in the making everywhere. If you have any queries about any of our products or delivery options at Dancing Daisy, please get in touch today.

6 Magical and Fun Children’s Ballet Shows

Inspiring children to love ballet is much easier when you give them a chance to take part in a performance. At Dancing Daisy we understand the importance of harnessing your child’s creativity and confidence. With so many children’s productions to date, we choose our top pick of ideas for magical and fun ballet shows that can be performed by children.

 

Billy Elliot

Renowned worldwide for its major place in the ballet world, Billy Elliot is the chance for young male dancers to shine. Let the world of ballet open up for boys as Billy’s journey takes him from the boxing ring to the ballet hall. Against all odds, this performance will encourage children to follow their dreams, no matter what.

 

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(via Telegraph)

 

The Ugly Duckling

Perfect for younger dancers, the simple and easy to follow plot line of the Ugly Duckling makes it a good choice for performing. Children can bring to life the sad lonely duckling as she finds her ballet feet and blossoms into a beautiful swan. With opportunities for children to take on the role of different animals, it is always a fun for little dancers.

 

Frozen

This instant Disney hit can be adapted for children’s ballet very simply to create a magical performance. The backdrop of a winter wonderland makes it one of the top choices for a winter performance. With children (and adults!) everywhere knowing all of the words to the songs, and the plot from start to finish, recreate Anna’s journey to bring back her sister Elsa before snow is cast across the kingdom forever.

 

English National Ballet performing The Nutcracker in London.

(via The Guardian)

 

Cinderella

Perhaps one of the most loved fairytales of all time, Cinderella makes for a classical children’s ballet performance. With so many different opportunities for casting, children can take on the role of mice, princesses and princes, or the dreaded stepsisters.

 

Sleeping Beauty

Another favourite fairytale and ever popular Disney adaptation, Sleeping Beauty brings to life a magical kingdom of good faeries, princesses and the evil fairy herself. After the recent success of Disney’s latest film ‘Maleficent’, this is a great option for children everywhere.

 

The Snowman

A favourite book and film adaptation that still captures hearts across the country every Christmas, The Snowman can be moved to the ballet stage. Children can explore the grace and poise of this magical story of a child’s love for his snowman. Not only will it bring excitement in time for Christmas, it will give children the chance to be part of such a timeless story.

 

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(via Ballet)

 

Here at Dancing Daisy we offer a wide range of ballet clothing and accessories for all of your child’s needs. Whether you are a parent or teacher, we have just the right clothing for you. For costume inspiration, visit our gallery and costume products page. Contact us with any ballet or product queries; we’ll be happy to help.

6 Children’s Books About Ballet

Angelina Ballerina, by Katherine Holabird

The original story of Angelina Ballerina’s plan to dance and nothing more. Her parents don’t understand when she forgets to do her chores because she is too busy dancing. Then one day they come up with a way to make Angelina a very happy mouse indeed.

With so many books to choose from, a TV and film adaptation, and Angelina Ballerina gifts, it will be hard to keep your little dancer away from this cute mouse and all her friends.

 

Gwendolyn, The Graceful Pig, by David Ira Rottenberg

Gwendolyn and her best friend Omar both have big dreams but whilst he wants to be a football player, she wants to be a ballet dancer. The main problem is that they are both pigs and a bit clumsy to say the least! Will their teacher be able to help them fulfil their dreams?

For girls and boys, this is a book that will encourage children to pursue their dreams despite all of the struggles along the way.

 

Ballet Cat, Fiona Ross

The Crazy Cat Crew love dancing all night long. But when Arthur finds a pair of ballet shoes and goes to show his cat friends they laugh at him and think he is silly. They don’t like ballet so Arthur leaves town. In the end they realise that all dancing is fun and go to find their missing friend.

This book will particularly inspire children to continue ballet, even if they are faced with obstacles from friends.

 

The Twelve Dancing Princesses, by Rachel Isadora

A re-imagined tale based on the Brother Grimm fairytale, set in Africa. The twelve princesses mysteriously wear out their shoes night after night but no one knows how. When the King promises a great reward to anyone who can solve the mystery many try but does anyone succeed?

This introduces a vibrant new culture of Africa which will enchant any child with its vivid imagery and bright colours.

 

Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfield

A story about three sisters who each have different dreams. Pauline longs to be an actress, Petrova enjoys playing with cars and engines, and Posy loves to dance. After the disappearance of their Great-Uncle Matthew, the girls’ dreams of a dazzling life on the stage calls ever closer.

As part of the Shoes series, this is a particularly magical book which any adoring ballet dancing will love. There is a TV adaptation too with Emma Watson playing Pauline.

 

The Cinderella Ballet Mystery, by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew and her friends are going to be in a ballet show to perform Cinderella. Andrea, Nancy’s friend, will play Cinderella and they are all excited to get dressed up in special costumes. But when the glass slippers go missing, Nancy tries to find out where they went before the clock strikes and the show begins.

A must-read for any Nancy Drew fan. This mystery, as part of the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series, will have your child wanting to read straight to the end.

 

Let us know if you have any other favourite books about ballet.

Top 5 Famous Ballet & Opera Houses

Ballet is a wonderful art and the buildings that host it are just as impressive. Here are our top five historical and famous ballet and opera houses.

Bolshoi Theatre

Moscow’s historical theatre, originally designed by architect Joseph Bové, is Russia’s most famous theatre house for ballet and opera performances. Indeed the Bolshoi Ballet is amongst the oldest and most renowned ballet company in the world, having more than two-hundred dancers. The great stage is known for its ballet performances including Yuri Grigorovich’s choreography for Swan Lake.

The theatre is a very typical Russian landmark with its iconic neoclassical frontage. Having survived fire, war, and revolution, it still remains one of the most beautiful ballet and opera houses to date. Topped by a statue of Apollo in his chariot, it is a magnificent splendour to all visitors both inside and out, with beautiful interiors including Chippendale chairs upholstered in red damask.

Royal Opera House

London’s famous Opera House is also home to The Royal Ballet and Orchestra. The first ballet performance took place in 1743 and the building and subsequently seen many performances take to the stage. The Royal Opera House has been rebuilt three times in the same spot in Covent Garden.

During World War II it was used as a dance hall but later became established as a permanent base for opera and ballet companies. The interior is plush and British with red and gold decoration and ornamentation.

Sydney Opera House

Situated on an area of land which juts out onto Sydney harbour, the more contemporary Australian Opera House was designed by Jørn Utzon. The grand opening took place in 1973 with the first performance being Prokofiev’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

The interiors are panelled with different types of wood to enhance the acoustic qualities of the building, as well as giving a modern aesthetic. Surrounded by the sea and sailboats it is quite a spectacular sight and has been identified as one of the twentieth century’s most distinctive buildings, as well as one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world.

La Scala

This opera house in Milan is perhaps the most famous in the world and most associated with opera itself. Dating back to 1778, it is the home of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi. The opera house traditionally opens on 7th December which is Saint Ambrose’s Day, the feast day of Milan’s patron saint.

Within the opera house is the Museo Teatrale alla Scala which is a museum containing a collection of paintings, statues, costumes and other items which commemorative La Scala’s history and the evolution of opera in general.

Paris Opéra

Founded by King Louis XIV before being placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully, classical ballet as we now know it arose within this famous opera house. Some of the greatest ceremonial spaces have been held inside the building. Each year around three-hundred-and-eighty performances take place inside.

The exterior is an imposing sight even in French standards; it is a highly ornamental domed building with particularly rich interiors which capture the tastes and attitudes of France’s Second Empire.

Back to School: Tips for Parents

It’s September which means the summer holidays are over and schools have started back again. A new term can be particularly demanding for parents and children alike but there are a few things that can help ease your child’s transition into a new year or school.

 

Morning Routine

You may have already established a morning routine which works for you and your child but if not this is essential to the running of your day. Starting off smoothly will promote a more positive mentality and motivate both you and your child in your separate endeavours or activities throughout the day.

Schedules are great to work by and will prevent the chances of any last minute panic or stress. Have a specific time you always set your alarm, a breakfast time and a time to leave the house. If you have any plans or commitments which might get in the way of your daily routine, make sure you plan ahead and have an alternative.

 

Tired Eyes

Children tend to be more active throughout their day and so quickly burn a lot of energy. Bedtimes need to be established so that your child wakes up refreshed and ready to take on all the exciting things to come.

It is scientifically proven that your mind works best when it is rested. If your child is not getting enough sleep they will not be able to process all of the information and knowledge they will be taught during school hours. Tiredness can lead to a lack of concentration and even disruptive behaviour so make sure your child can get the most out of their lessons by always getting to bed at a sensible time.

 

Bedtime stories

The imaginative mind of children is really something special. Encourage your child’s creativity and learning through books. Depending on their age or ability reading bedtime stories is an incredibly beneficial part of your child’s development.

Reading before bed is known to help ease the mind and aid sleep. Also, encouraging reading will give your child a better understanding of the world and help them to develop a number of skills. Learning how to read is essential but books also unlock the skill of spelling, grammar and speech. With no shortage of books there will be thousands of magical worlds for you and your child to explore together.

 

Playtimes

School should be fun and stimulate your child’s mind in an educational environment, whilst home needs to be a relaxing place. Arranging play dates for your child’s classmates to come over from school will help re-establish existing bonds or form new relationships with other children.

Social relationships are a vital part of growing up and friendships will motivate your child’s achievements at school. Keeping in touch with other parents and scheduling regular activities or dates with their children will develop your child’s circle of friends as well as your own. Sign them up to clubs or musical lessons for example to help them develop new skills.

 

If your child is interested in starting ballet or dance classes, or has grown out of their ballet clothing, we can help. Have a look at our range of quality dance clothing, from ballet shoes to leotards, all at affordable prices.

A brief guide to different styles of dance

Dance has been used as a medium of creativity and expression for thousands of years. Different styles of dance have emerged in different countries and amongst different cultures, but many of them have their roots in ballet. Read on as we take a look at some of the key genres in dance…

  • Ballet: Ballerinas dance with beauty and grace, telling a story through the medium of dance, conveying a message without the need for words. Ballet dancing centres around five basic positions: first position, second position, and so on to fifth position. Each one refers to a different arrangement of the feet which form the basis of all ballet dance moves. Once you’ve mastered these five positions you’re ready to progress your ballet dancing skills as far as you like.
  • Tap: Dancers where special shoes which are equipped with metal taps on the ball and heel of the shoe. Tap dancers move their feet to create rhythmic patterns and beats on a hard surface in order to sound like a drum. As with most dances, there are basic steps which must be learnt initially, these can then be built on and combined together to make different dance routines.
  • Jazz: This is an energetic and exciting form of dance which perfectly showcases the individual style and personality of the dancer. It consists of fancy footwork, quick turns, and big leaps, so a strong background in ballet is a must as it encourages grace and balance in a jazz dancer.
  • Latin dance: This style of dance is typically characterised by its sexy flair and sensual movement of the hips. International Latin ballroom dancing consists of dances such as the cha-cha, rumba, and samba. They’re all fast-paced, rhythmic dances that allow the dancers to express themselves in a sensual way.
  • Modern dance: This style of dance is a sort of rebellion against the structured moves of ballet. Modern dancers favour movements which are derived from expressing their inner feelings and adopt a free, relaxed, and creative style of dance. It is not uncommon for dancers to invent new steps for their routines as the mood takes them, rather than relying on a structured code of technique.
  • Hip-hop: Derived from the popular genre of music, this style of dance features things such as breakdancing, and popping and locking. It takes a lot of practice to master, particularly when it comes to the moves that are performed lower down, closer to the ground.