February Favorite #12: Dancewear

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As I have said before, my daughter dances. That means I buy a lot of dance clothes. So I thought I would share my favorite websites for buying dance-related clothing. Note: Not all of the clothes are leotards. Some are just cute shirts.

Dancewear Solutions has a big variety of pieces that are appropriate for both classes and the stage. I tend to buy the pieces for my recital costumes from the clearance section.

Discount Dance Supply also has a large variety of dance clothes but the pieces they offer tend to be on the funkier side of things. I’ve bought a few leotards and tutus here.

Sugar and Bruno. A lot of the tank tops my daughter wears in dance class are Sugar and Bruno shirts. They are super comfy and have a lot of cute sayings on the front.

This one is a little bit of a cheat since it isn’t exactly a store. Every quarter, my daughter gets the Kathryn Morgan subscription box from DancersHaul. Every box comes with tights and a piece of clothing. Sometimes it’s a leotard, sometimes it’s shorts and a top.

Finally, here are the dance shoes my daughter wears. Her pointe shoes are Gaynor Minden, her tap shoes are Bloch, and her lyrical and soft ballet shoes are Capezio. (For hip hop, she wears a couple of different pairs of shoes. Leave me a comment if you want me to go into those.)

I think that sums up most of the items my daughter wears to dance class. Do you have any favorite brands? Give them a shout out in the comments!

How to Build a Tap/Dance Floor

As I am sure I have said before, my daughter is a dancer. She takes tap, ballet, and lyrical classes. Since her classes have gotten a little more difficult this year, I decided to make a floor so she has a practice space. But I don't have a lot of experience building floors. It turns out that this was a lot easier than I expected.

Things you will need:

  1. Foam flooring
  2. Gorilla Glue 
  3. OSB plywood
  4. Laminate flooring (optional)

First, decide how big you want your floor. A 4'x4' piece may be sufficient. Since we have an entire spare room to use, our floor is 8'x4'. It is easier to keep your floor in 2' increments. Otherwise, you will need to trim the pieces to fit properly.

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The foam flooring I used is the Best Step colored square interlocking foam mats. These can be found at Home Depot or Lowe's. They are 2'x2' and come in packs of 4. That means you will be able to get a 4'x4' floor with just one pack. This will be the very bottom of your floor. It will allow the floor to give a little, which is very important for tappers. Since this is the bottom, it doesn't matter if you pick the grey or the colored mats. My daughter wanted the colored ones.

Glue the mats together as you interlock them. It will be easier to keep everything from falling apart.

Next, you will glue the mats to the bottom (the rough side) of your plywood. Plywood comes in a variety sizes. Choose the size that works best for you. I used two 4'x4' pieces. 

Important: Make sure you press the mats fully onto the wood. You want a good strong seal. (My daughter and I walked back and forth on the wood until we were satisfied there weren't any loose pieces.) Let the glue dry overnight. 

At this point, you can be finished. The plywood will be sufficient for a dance floor. However, I wanted to make sure my daughter got a really good tap sound so we covered the plywood with laminate. 

I took my daughter to Home Depot with me so she could choose the shade of the laminate. She chose the TrafficMASTER floor in Glenwood Oak. (See the picture above.) This particular type of floor is  tongue and groove. You can just slip them together and you are done. I elected to glue the laminate to the top of the plywood in order to make sure nothing would slide around. It would suck to have the floor slide out from under you in the middle of a heavy tapping session. 

Again, let the glue dry overnight. 

And that is it! See, I told you it was easy! I recorded a quick video of my daughter tapping on the floor so you could hear how it sounds. 

Since the laminate flooring fits together perfectly, this is also a good floor for other types of dance. There aren't any splinters or grooves in the floor that will cause injury. 

I spent a little under $100 for an 8'x4' floor. The actual assembly only took a few hours. Most of the time was spent waiting for the glue to dry. If you have a dancer and need a practice space, this was cheap and easy. I couldn't ask for anything better! Now get dancing! 

Riverdance

riverdance Last night, we all went to see Riverdance at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia. My daughter takes tap and ballet lessons. She's also really into dance overall. So we thought it would be a good idea for her to see something a little different than what she is used to.

Overall, the show was amazing. It's unbelievable how fast the dancers can move their feet. In addition, all of the musicians were awesome. I enjoyed the fiddler and the percussionist the most. Hopefully we get the chance to take my daughter to see some other forms of dance as well.