Education

Education

Step 1: 

Tie your hair up in a neat and secure ponytail.



Step 2: 

Take the end of the ponytail and twist it.



Step 3: 

Wrap the twisted ponytail tightly around the origin.



Step 4: 

To finish, wrap your bun with a hairnet, secure it with bobby pins or clips. Use hair grips and clips to secure loose strands of hair.



Illustration by Valerie Yeo, Dancer at Singapore Dance Theatre

Step 1: 

At the arch of your foot, make a pencil mark on your shoe.



Step 2: 

Sew one ribbon on each side of your shoe.



Step 3: 

When you tie your pointe shoes, the ribbons should pull up your arch.



Step 4A: 

Single Elastic — One elastic across the heel for each shoe.



Step 4B: 

Double Elastic — Two elastics across the arch of the heel.



Illustration by Valerie Yeo, Dancer at Singapore Dance Theatre

When am I ready for pointe?


The general recommendation for girls who want to start pointe is to be at least 12 years old, so the bones in the toes are “hard enough” to withstand the girl’s entire weight. This is because the process of ossification (bone formation) is not complete before an average age of 14, when the epiphyses (growth plates) close in the feet. That being said, there is no perfect age to begin pointe, as every girl is unique due to a combination of factors, including physical growth and technical capability


Having sufficient flexibility in the feet and ankles is another important aspect of physical development. Girls with inadequate plantar flexion do not have the range of motion required to ensure proper alignment on pointe, leading to excessive stresses on the body. On the other hand, girls who have hypermobile feet and ankles without the required strength and control will also be prone to injury.


Risk of going on pointe too early


There are several risks involved in dancers starting pointe too early, whether it is because they are too young or they lack the technical ability to start pointe work. If girls start going on pointe before the bones in the foot ossify sufficiently, improper placement or lack of control while on pointe may lead to the epiphyses (growth plates) shifting, causing deformation and long-term damage to the feet. Accelerated bunion development is a possible consequence of starting too early, particularly if it runs in the family.


Poor technique will be amplified on pointe, leading to instability and increased risk of injury. The safety, comfort, and individual progress of the girl should always be a priority rather than the need to keep up with her peers.

Article by Vivien Koh, Physiotherapist and Pointe Shoe Fitter

Importance of Wearing a Fitted Leotard

Leotards are supposed to be fitting, much like a second skin. There should not be extra fabric, or any straps loose and dropping, making it look wrinkled and saggy.

The main reason is because it allows the teacher to see the position and movement of the student much more easily. It allows for better correction of posture, arms, hip and leg positions etc.

That being said, if it is too tight, it will ride up the hip bones, or cause excessive pressure at the arm or leg holes, and that restricts movement of the body and limbs.


Importance of Wearing a Fitted Dance Shoes

Dance shoes should fit like a glove. As a general guide, it should fit as snugly to the feet as possible, without causing pain or discomfort.

When standing with the feet flat on the ground, the foot and toes should be able to spread out and lay flat, with the longest toe just touching the end of the shoe. If the toes are scrunched up, the shoe is definitely too small. It will be difficult to balance in them, and will also cause bad habits with gripping the floor and pointing with scrunched toes, which can lead to injuries.

However, do not buy shoes that are too big. That is potentially dangerous as one may trip over the shoe when dancing. Additionally, a shoe that is too big will have too much fabric moving around, which does not allow for the dancer to feel the floor properly. Shoes that are too big also prevents the teacher from seeing what one is doing, and thus will not be able to give good corrections or spot bad habits and correct them before it is too late.

Article by Vivien Koh, Physiotherapist and Pointe Shoe Fitter
Illustration by Valerie Yeo, Dancer at Singapore Dance Theatre

How to Care for your Dancewear

Our dancewear is designed to endure high performance work. With the right care, you can maximise the life of your Sonata garment, while maintaining its high performance properties. Here are some guidelines and tips on caring for your Sonata garment.


Leotard and Skirt

COLD WASH/HANG DRY:

  • Always turn solid colour leotards inside out before you wash your garment.
  • Wash by hand, or on a gentle cycle using a mild detergent.
  • Use warm or cold water.
  • Hang to drip dry, do not use a dryer.
  • Certain fabrics will crease more easily than others. To prevent creases and wrinkles, hang them up right after practicing in them.
  • Some colours may run, so we suggest that you wash your dancewear separately, or with similar colours.

Tutu and Costume

DRY CLEAN:

  • Dry-cleaning is recommended. Make sure to specify washing instructions at the dry cleaner’s.

HAND WASH/AIR DRY:

  • Clean a tutu by washing it in lukewarm water with a small amount of mild detergent and soft scrub brush to preserve the condition of the tutu’s net or tulle. Hand wash in bath tub or a larger area to retain the form of your tutu.
  • If your tutu comes with embellishments, take extra care in washing to keep them in place.
  • Wash coloured bodice and white tutus separately to avoid any colour bleeding.
  • Do not machine wash or use fabric softeners.
  • Dry in shade, as direct sunlight may cause colour fading. Shape your tutu before it dries to prevent wrinkles and loss of form.

TIPS

  • Reduce the need for washing it by wearing a nude camisole leotard underneath.
  • Some dancers simply don’t wash their tutus. Instead, they spot-clean the areas most affected by sweat and keep the rest fresh with odour-removing sprays.
  • Always air your costume after use, try spray costume inner with antibacterial & odour-removing sprays, and air dry to make them fresher.

STORING YOUR TUTU

  • The best way to carry a tutu is in a proper tutu bag.
  • Store classical tutus flat or hung by the side. Free-flowing tutus can be stored normally. Keep your tutu clean and prevent embellishments from falling out by storing it in a breathable storage bag.

Dance Shoes

  • Store dance shoes in a cool and dry location.
  • Don’t keep dance shoes in a plastic bag, as your shoes won’t be able to breathe.
  • Keep them in a breathable bag to prevent them from turning mouldy and smelly.