Rehearsals are now underway for this year’s panto and I have a very excited, slightly tired, daughter. I’m excited and slightly tired myself! Although the panto is a professional production, in a professional theatre, it has to keep its costs down, so girls on the chorus are expected to provide their own basics – make-up, a leotard, black jazz shoes and natural-coloured dance tights.
My daughter doesn’t use any of these items in her dance classes, so we needed to buy them all new (needless to say she’d grown out of them all from last year, apart from the tights – which are laddered!). So we were very pleased when Dancewear Central offered us the opportunity to review all of the items she needed.
Dancewear Central has a huge selection of leotards for girls – in different styles, shapes and materials. They were kind enough to send us not one, but two, leotards: the Roch Valley Toni cotton camisole leotard and the So Danca sleeveless leotard.
The Roch Valley Toni is a slightly more grown up looking leotard and sizes only start at 9-10. It has a lovely velour trim round the front and back and a support panel for older girls who have started to develop! My daughter was pleased to have a cotton leotard as she finds them more comfortable and breathable than the stretchy and shiny leotards. In the panto, her leotard is a base under her costume and it’s not unusual to be wearing two costumes on top of it, under the sweltering stage lights.
She tried the leotard in size 11-13. It was very slightly large on her, but one of the disadvantages of cotton leotards versus artificial fabrics is they don’t tend to fit quite so tightly. But I think the 9-10 would have been too small.
The So Danca sleeveless leotard is shiny and made of 90% polyamide and 10% elastane. Although she said she wanted a cotton leotard, she absolutely loved this one! The back has a very pretty design and the size (2A), although it looked small, was actually a perfect fit. Having a perfect fit when you’re jumping round stage is very reassuring!
She has already used both leotards in the first week of rehearsals. I think she feels cool that she’s got black leotards to wear already, rather than turning up in her ballet and tap leotards, like she did at the start of rehearsals this year.
She is also trying out the Bloch essential rubber sole jazz shoes, in a size 4.5. Last time she had her feet measured for school shoes, she was a 3.5. She might be a 4 now. But I do know that jazz shoes tend to come up small, so these are the perfect size for her. And they’re very comfortable.
Finally, we were sent a pair of Papillon microfibre footed tights in size 0. These are going to take a serious hammering over the next few weeks, but I’m hopeful we can make it through to the end of the panto without any major ladders! To be on the safe side, I’m not letting her wear them for rehearsals. She can extend their life by only wearing them for dress rehearsals and performances. But she did try them on for the photos and found them very comfortable.
If you’re looking for dancewear of a child or an adult, I would definitely recommend Dancewear Central. They really have got everything you could ever need!
We were sent the items by Dancewear Central for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.