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Thursday, October 21, 2010

One last post, just for the cute of it

I’m supposed to be packing right now, but had to sneak over to the computer and post these pics taken yesterday of our little ballerinas. They tested out a dance class and liked it, so now they’ll be taking beginning ballet once a week. I was looking for a Hip Hop class, but couldn’t find anything that worked with our schedule. So ballet it is, for now. (Actually maybe for a long time since they look so damn cute in those little outfits.)

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They were allowed to choose their colors for this beginning class, so we went shopping and Ro and Ree picked out their outfits and shoes. And it’s hilarious to see little blue Ree flitting around in a sea of tiny pink ballerinas. Seriously, every other girl in the class chose pink. She always marches to the beat of her own drummer, that one. She also has quite a flair for the dramatic. Ro is deadly serious and precise about doing each move correctly, and just beams when the teacher says she is very elegant. Little Ree is rocking out to the music, leaping and swirling and throwing her arms in the air with complete abandon. It’s like they’re taking two different classes. But they’re both happy, so that’s what matters.

Alrighty, enough procrastinating. My feet feel much better after sitting down for a minute, so it’s back to the packing. Keep those moving suggestions coming, we’re reading every one!

PS: We don’t have any experience with ballet over here, so I already have a whole bunch of questions. How the heck are you supposed to tie those ballet shoes so they don’t come untied??!! I swear they come undone after three steps -- what am I doing wrong? The girls’ tights are hopelessly snagged and mangy after one class. We got them in the ballet section at Payless Shoe Source. Is there some brand that lasts longer or some secret to getting more use out of these things? And are the kids supposed to wear undergarments under their tights and leotards? Ok, I guess that’ll hold me until the second class.


  1. In my 6 year old daughter's ballet class, the color signifies the level. White=beginner, pink=basic, powder blue=intermediate. and so on. Good thing she's in basic, she loves pink!

    Also, they discourage skirts, so they can see the hip movement.

    I get her tights at Target, or bloch brand at the dancer's store or online. Yes, she wears undies. And tights must always match the slippers, and it seems pink is de rigeuer for girls, no matter the leotard color.

  2. I am by no means an expert on all things ballet but I have sound some things that work for us.
    My 5 year old girly girl will ONLY wear tights without underwear! She also makes sure the back seam is not running up the middle. She says this helps to prevent wedgies!
    I tie the shoes in a couple tight knots and then tuck in the ends. We may cut them off one day. Bows are overrated.
    We get footless tights at Target and they seem a little more like leggings and are a bit more sturdy. I don't seem to have problems with snags. We love ballet except for pulling hair back and wrestling with tights.

  3. My daughters' ballet teacher always says "tuck the spiders in"!! So tie and tuck...works like a dang!

  4. TexasPQ10/21/2010

    Those girls are just precious! Your new yard is fantastic and the view is breathtaking!

    About ballet (I took it for 10 years a LOOONNGG time ago.) Our ballet shoes had elastic across the instep. I'm pretty sure they came that way or my dance teacher sewed it for us. We purchased our shoes through the dance studio. Danskin tights and leotards were the only kind we bought . . . maybe they were the only kind available. They lasted forever. I always wore panties with my tights and a bra under my leotard (once I needed one). Can't wait to see the recital pictures and videos!

  5. They really are unique in their personalities. (The pink and blue remind me of me and my sis. Those were our colors. I was pink.)

    Ballet? Good for them. It's so great on so many levels. Balance, grace, rhythm and excercise. I double knot the bows and no underwear. We don't wear tights, just the leotard and skirt.

    Good luck with this crazy time!!

  6. Anonymous10/21/2010

    There is a little tool you get at the fabric store that pulls the snags to the inside. If you cut them off you will end up with holes.

  7. Oh my such cuteness! As a longtime ballerina wannabe...I used to out clear nail polish on my bows so they wouldn't come untied...(I am thinking super glue would work)

  8. Hey, we started tap and ballet this year.

    I am soaking up the suggestions too.
    Tap class was tonight and she came home with a hole in her walmart tights :(

    Her panties always stick out - oh well!

  9. Hi There! :) I took ballet fo rabout 11 years when I was younger and always has pink Capezio tights. I don't think I ever had a snag. It's good to get starter stuff at Target/Payless because you never know if they are going to like it, but the quality is poor and won't last long.Your dance studio will be able to reccomend where to get the best tights. Just ask the teacher. She will know! Also a lot of studios get discounts at certain local dance supply stores.

    I am local to the bay area and I used to go to a place in Town&Country before it was Santana Row!

    Ballet shoes should have a piece of pink elastic sewn over the instep instead of a ribbon. Try that and it should solve your problem.

    Good Luck! Your girls are so sweet and lovely!!!

  10. My girlies started dancing at 2! It's in the blood, my grandma was a Rockette! We love dance! Anyway, no undies is the studio rule here. They are allowed for little ones, but mine always wanted to be like the big girls and not have panties showing. No skirts allowed either. Tie the laces and tuck them in. And it is worth investing in Bloch tights. I keep a few microfiber pink Target pairs on hand for the inevitable times I can't find the 'real' tights. They are the best 'cheap' tights I have found for dance. Oh so much fun!!

  11. My daughter did a year of ballet at a very serious studio. She was 4 at the time. Anyway, the rule was no panties and tuck in the ties. I remember when I was a child taking ballet that the shoes just stayed on. I don't remember the panty rule.....will have to ask my mom.

    Good luck.

    Oh, moving advice. We have moved twice with our kiddos. First time they were 4 and 2. We had them spend the day with my parents while the movers packed our house up and then the truck. We had them walk through the house one last time before the truck left the house.
    The second time (3 months ago) we moved from the US to Hong Kong. They are older now (9 & 10) and that was just a stressful mess all the way around. HOwever, I don't think we could have done it when they were little.

    Good luck. The new house looks great!

  12. Anonymous10/21/2010

    As a ballet, tap, and jazz dancer for over 25 years I have a few suggestions: first- best types of tights are bloch and danceskin. All others tend to sag and snag. Underwear under the tights as little kids. When you get older they sell special underwear (bloch sells great ones) that can be worn under the leotards and can't be seen! We were never allowed to wear skirts because they wanted to see the entire leg movement! If your ballet teacher allows sew a small piece of elastic across the top of the shoe. It works much better than trying to get a bow to last! My studio allowed the elastic, but asked that you color it to match the tights. Growing up my studio insisted on the leotard and tights being black (they felt they could see the body movements better that way) and all dance shoes were white! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  13. All I know os my boys took one look at these sweet girls and said .. "Wow, Pretty".

  14. You might need to splurge and get some tights at a dancewear store. Or website. We're pretty loyal to Bloch brand tights as is the entire studio. During recital time when costumes are ordered, Bloch tights are a requirement.


    Great discount website for dancewear.

  15. We're in year 4 of dance and taking acro, tap, jazz, and ballet (she's on the team this year, so lots of classes). No panties because they can show, but for now just go with what's most comfortable for them. Dance tights are more expensive, but they're much more durable. Double-knot the bows on the ballet shoes and tuck them in and under the front of the shoe. If Ro and Ree stick with it, things get more complicated, but for now just do what they want. I must say I love watching my little one enjoying all her classes and performing.

  16. My daughter is in her fifth year of ballet. She only can wear a black leotard - never any skirts or sweaters - black leotard, pink tights. We use only capezio tights - either I buy them off ebay or our dance studio sells them for a decent price. We do wear underwear unless it is recital, then we can't wear underwear as it shows under the costume. We also buy capezio leos, but Alex likes tank top leos.

  17. I danced for years (professionally and otherwise) - its best to skip the undies and find tights with a good cotton crotch. When the girls are older you can't wear undies anyway. Tie the shoes in a double knot and tuck the bows in the shoe - you shouldn't see the tie 0 they are functional not decorative. This may be the only thing I am qualified to give advice on - that and that your girlies are super cute!

  18. Anonymous10/21/2010

    Picture of Ree in the sea of pink, please!

    If you tuck the bow inside the shoe after tying the lace, the shoe will stay tied a little longer. It might only be six steps instead of three, though.

    No clue about undergarments, though Margaret keeps her diaper on under her tights and leotard. We just bought a bigger size leotard because of that.

  19. My daughter has been taking dance since she was 18 months (she's nearly the exact same age as your girls.) Her studio lets the younger girls wear any color leotard and they MUST tuck the ties into their slippers. I can usually manage (delicately) to tie a double knot and then tuck that into the slipper. My daughter has Sensory Processing problems so we put a little tape over the knot so that its smooth and she can't feel it (also keeps it there FOREVER! seriously NEVER comes untied!)
    As far as tights, due to the SP Disorder she won't wear tights. She is the lone barelegged dancer in her class. I do know that when she gets to the higher level class they must wear black leos and pink tights. I can say that the Bloch tights are amazing and WAY more durable than your typical tights.

    Also: We buy my daughter's tap and ballet shoes on Ebay. They grow out of them soooooo quickly it gets ridiculously expensive. I can usually find her shoes for 5 bucks! And they are always in great condition because kids grow out of them so fast!

  20. I agree with tie the bows and tuck them in. My daughter always wore undies to practice, but was required to go sans undies for recitals to prevent the saggy hanging out undies on stage! Ahahaha! It is really worth the money to buy Danskin or Capezio tights--the more expensive dance brands are really sturdy and resist the snags.

  21. Anonymous10/21/2010

    I was a ballerina all through school... the trick with the shoes is to double knot them and then cut the strings. Even in high school I never has a problem!

    technically you aren't suppose to wear undies with tights and you just wash the tights with each wear. You can wear them if you want though its more of a preference thing but when you get older you don't want them to show cause then you get embarrassed.

    Go to a dance store for tights. They can be pricey but those are made to last through wash after wash. Honestly I go to them to buy black tights for work and they last me, are you ready for this? YEARS!

  22. Hey M3-I'm a ballet teacher in Aus so I know exactly what youre talking about!

    With the shoes, the best way to tie them (because they drive US nuts too) is tie them in a very un-glamorous knot (ie one more knot than with shoelaces). THEN either tie in a bow or tuck into the shoe (at our school we tuck spiders in in so theyre less likely to untie, but so long as theres a knot underneath it should be secure either way)

    with tights, the more expensive the better unfortunatley. But I always had good tights and bad tights. The bad ones just had the holes stiched up for practice, and I saved the good ones for best. Also, clear or pale pink nailpolish on the snags will stop them from running any further

    our rule is no knickers for concerts, depends on the kids whether they like to wear them to class or not. If they do, choose tighter over baggy, otherwise they sort of bunch up and slide under the leotard and tights, and the kids spend the whole time trying to adjust them

    Best wishes to Ro and Ree- first ballet classes are so fun!


  23. Little Sophie just started ballet a few weeks ago too, but my 11 year old dances for 5 hours a week on a competitive team, so I agree with all the advice here.

    Tie the bows and double-knot, then tuck them inside. Sew elastic across the top of the foot. Undies with tights are allowed for the little ones, but not for the recital. My older daughter never wears undies with her tights. Skirts are optional at our studio - the teacher likes to see the leg movements, but at this age, the skirts are half the fun for the girls! Hair must always be pulled back. Get good tights at a dance supply store (or online at discountdance.com, for example). Body Wrappers is the brand preferred by our studio. Wash them in a little mesh bag and you shouldn't have a problem with runs. My older daughter has taken hip hop the last few years, and Sophie LOVES trying to keep up. Our school doesn't start hip hop until you're 7! When it's recital time, I can offer tips for hair (hairnet on the bun is the best way to keep the wispy strands under control). And LOTS of hair gel- plaster it down and then spray the heck out of it! Every studio does different things, but they'll give you a recital grooming lesson. Emma has a clip on pony tail for some of her numbers - very cute!

  24. I love the "it's like they are taking two different classes" - ha! yay for them.

    and I am so gonna read the answers to the other questions cause, though I was a gymnast I've wondered about the shoes too (about the underwear - the kids that wear them have the uptight moms, ya know the idea of no undies freaks them out. at least in gymnastics 'cause I'd rather wash the tights/leo every time anyway - who wants to see those bunched up underwear?)

  25. Anonymous10/21/2010

    Good thing you said Ree wore blue because she doesn't have her bracelet on her left hand and I could not tell the girls apart.

    Adorable pics!

  26. I'm in the UK, and every ballet school is different, but where I studied ballet, little kids often had ballet socks instead of tights. They don't snag or sag, and they allow the teacher to see what they're doing with their leg muscles. Tucking in the drawstring is the best way to go. Put the shoe on the foot and have the girl point her toe, then pull up the drawstring until it's neat, then tie it firmly and tuck it in. It shouldn't need redoing every time the girls put their shoes on.

    Underwear is a no, but nobody's going to get their knickers in a twist if the girls prefer wearing knickers under skirted leotards.

    In terms of their hair, the ballet school will have its own regulations on how high the bun should be.

  27. The pictures are beyond cute! I vote for the glue on the bows. I just LOVE these pics!

  28. My daughter's studio ties the shoes off in a knot, then cuts the excess string. Then string is then tucked into the shoe. She is still wearing the same shoes as last year, but when we started out, I was able to untie the knot and loosen the shoe so they fit her slightly growing feet. Then we tucked them back in again. Since the stings are cut shorter (maybe an inhc or so) then it doesn't come poking out.

    As for tights, the only kind that lasted for us was Body Wrappers. The store I bought them from went out of business so I'm having to look for more. They lasted ALL year last year with no snags or pulls. When spring recital time came, the only reason I had to buy more was that there were stains on the knees from a move them made where they went down on the floor. They wanted to new tights for the recital. The tights I bought from the dance studio already have pills on them and don't look as nice as her Body Wrapper one. Very disappointed that they look this way after less than 2 months of use (one hour a week). Will be looking online for new Body Wrappers!

  29. I've been a dance teacher for 19 years. Definitely tie the shoes in double knots and tuck the ends in the shoe. At their age I don't think it matters about the underwear but usually the practice is none, especially if wearing tights. A good resource for dance wear are the following websites.

    Discountdance.com or dancewearsolutions.com

    I have followed you for the last couple years while we were waiting for our daughter. Our daughter joined our family in July. I can't wait until my daughter starts dance. I am so happy to hear they like ballet, good for them!!!! It's the foundation for all dance!!!

    Good luck and have fun!!!! :)

  30. Anonymous10/22/2010

    tie the strings in a tight double knot and tuck them into the shoe. Its a little uncomfortable at first but then they'll get used to it. As for the tights, capezio is a good brand and if they snag or start to get a run, a dab of clear nailpolish will help stop it from getting any bigger!

  31. Dance Mom of 6 years10/22/2010

    Tie the shoes in a knot and then cut the extra strings off. Our dance studio won't allow strings on their shoes and they do help them to stay tied tight :) Get Bloch tights (usually sold at dance stores) as they are easier to get on and stay put and fit better. My daughter goes in phases where she wears undies and then does not. She's almost 11. They do discourage the skirts so they can see how their hips are placed and how they move with the rest of their body.

  32. Anonymous10/22/2010

    I agree with everyone who says tuck those strings inside the shoe...but before you do that, tie them so the bows are very little and snip off the long ends! Less of a string inside the shoe means less discomfort. It sounds gross, but the sweat of their feet will train the strings to stay inside after a couple classes. Bloch tights are my preference...they're more expensive, but they're far more sturdy than a casual tight. As an adult, I'm less inclined to snag my tights, but I've got an 11 year old pair of Bloch tights that are still holding up. Also, as someone else mentioned discountdance.com is great for inexpensive but good quality dancewear. On the underwear, do whatever the girls feel most comfortable with. While some studios will say no undies as they get older, that's really only if they decide to take dance seriously. As an older child I always wore dance underwear; it was cut not to show under my leotard and was more comfortable for me.

  33. Hi! I read often, but am failing in my comments, but as a ballet teacher for 3,4, and 5 I thought I ought to chime in. Double knot the laces and tuck them in! Our studio rule is no undies when you wear a leotard - we explain it's like wearing your bathing suit. But that's more for the older girls, at that age, I let it be more of a personal choice, as long as I don't see undies when they're performing on stage! Tights, Capezi*o or B*loch. www . discountdancesupply . com offers some great products.

    Good luck with your move!

  34. They look so darling! I love it.

    To me, that post was totally worth taking a break from packing. Definately.

  35. When I took ballet as a little kiddo, the bows had to be tucked in after they were tied, and we had to buy elastics to sew onto them (so that they looked like mary-janes and kept our feet in). When we got a little more advanced and could do up our own slippers, we got ribbons instead of elastics there. Definitely no undies underneath the leotard. And if hair touched the shoulder at all, it should be kept in a bun. Otherwise, a headband to keep it out of the face would suffice.

    Ree and Ro are absolutely adorable in their ballet outfits! I actually love the blue!

  36. Anonymous10/22/2010

    I was a dancer for a ton of years and my daughter took her first class this past year. My tips:

    Double knot the ties. If you can, and doesn't hurt their cute little footsies, tuck in the bow into the top of the shoes.

    Tights are tights. Sure you can get some really nice feeling ones but they'll still get dirty and snagged...we ARE talking about 5 year old twins here! Just buy 'em 2 pairs each and rotate, wash every week and hang to dry. They'll be fine for a while.

    Oh and panties under leo/tights...totally a personal preference. Some girls hate to because you can see the panties through the tights, others don't really care. So, just ask the girls and they'll figure out which they like better and feel more comfortable doing.

    BTW, they are TOTALLY adorable!

  37. I"m loving this advice! We're on our 3rd set of tights for both girls. Our shoes came without strings...yeah. And we do both undies and tights, but their skirts cover it up.

    It's the one time in the week they will allow me to pull their hair up and out of their faces. It's heaven.

    Best of luck!

  38. Did you get the slippers at Payless too? Maybe the fit isn't good. Capezio Daisy slippers work well and come in half sizes as well as N, M and W widths. Pull the strings firm and tie a double bow and tuck the ends back into the slipper. That should keep them out of the way. They come with elastic sewn in.

    Bloch Child Endura Footed tights are virtually indestructible. No snagging or bagging. Just throw them in the washer and drip dry. Our first pairs held up so well that we were able to hand them down when my girls outgrew them. They are only about $5 a pair at Discount Dance Supply.

    No underwear.

  39. I took dance classes including ballet for about 15 years.

    Shoes: Tighten the laces (while she is wearing the shoe) to the desired "tightness"- then tie a very tight knot. Cut the laces, leaving only about two inches of string, tuck them under inside the shoe and tape them underneath. Don't attempt to tie the laces in bows. They will never stay tied.

    Tights: Danskin is my favorite brand and they are more "heavy duty". Go to a dance store. Do not buy tights at Payless or Target as they are cheap and will not last especially when you have little girls rolling around on the floor and who knows what else hehe.

    Parents always seem to put underwear on their kids under their tights...I guess you should but it seems so bulky to me!! And it looks bad when their underwear is hanging below their leotard. So if your girls don't mind I would probably skip the underwear.

    Hope that helps!! If you have any other questions feel free to email me: chels.elwell@gmail.com

    By the way, I love that they are taking dance classes! I started when I was 6 and didn't stop until recently...(I'm 23 now) but I'm going back soon!

  40. My Trixie is in ballet too and she wears purple, so she really sticks out too. For the snags if you use a needle to poke them back into the other side it helps, and make sure they don't come into contact with velcro anywhere. (for us that means no velcro shoes on ballet day)
    (I love all of the answers everyone has given! Good to know for later!)

  41. Anonymous10/22/2010

    i have 3 daughters who do dance competitions. i shop at dancewearsolutions.com. most of their selection is modest enough for me! if the teacher allows, get the shoes with the elastic straps kind of like a mary jane.

  42. Only thing we use dancewear for is dress up, but here's something I learned about tights if you don't want to pay the big bucks just yet. Sears kids department has a guarantee on all their kids clothes - including tights. If they wear it out before they outgrow it, you get it replaced for FREE. I haven't bought tights from there in a while, but I assume they still have the guarantee.

    They're gorgeous.

  43. Anonymous10/22/2010

    Bloch tights last forever. I throw the ones my kids use in the washer. Some studios tie the strings and then cut them off, others have you tuck them in.
    You might ask the studio. The more formal ones have very definite ideas about the attire, even how they wear their hair. Other just go with the flow.

  44. Anonymous10/22/2010

    Our ballet school "discouraged" skirts too but my philosophy is no 5 year old needs to worry about proper hip movement so much that it outweighs the clear benefit of wearing a darling skirt. When they're on their way to prima ballarina okay....otherwise my thought was BE A REBEL WEAR A SKIRT!

  45. wow, seriously it gets no cuter than your girls. i love how differently they are each approaching the class. it's amazing embracing and being witness to their personalities. i assume we'll get some VIDEO eventually?? hint hint.

  46. For the ballet shoes, do you mean the little bows on the toes of the ballet slippers that keep coming untied? Martina's teacher made each girl cut the bows off her shoes. That solved that problem.

    Good luck with the move. I'll look back over your other comments for advice when our house finally sells...

  47. You seem like a great photographer but I think it's sort of cheating because your subjects are TOO CUTE!

  48. Anonymous11/04/2010

    Everything has prob been answered but ill answer anyway. Tie the elastics in a double knot in them and then tuck them in. I never cut them off as the elastic gets slack after a while and the knot may need to be re done.
    Def recommend a better brand of tights as they do last but just see how the girls go as there is no need to pay the big bucks for tights if the girls pull threads in them too.

    Take the heel of the ballet shoe and fold it flat onto the inner sole of the shoe. This makes a rough triangle.

    Where the two triangle edges come up to is where you sew each side of the thick elastic to so that is goes across each sides of the shoe - no idea what you do over there but all Ballet schools here have the elastics over the shoe even the seniors.

    No undies under the leotards as it is bulky and beleive me its uncomfortable, there isnt really a need as they are clean little girls and only have them on for a few hrs. It is only when you get older into the teenage yrs you tend to wear underwear underneath their tights.

    Hope it helps