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Hi guys,

Hope this is ok to start but I could do with a boys thread to refer to. 

DS is 11, and has been dancing for nearly two years, his fave is ballet but also does tap and jazz.

I’m getting a bit cheesed off at not being able to find anything for him. Bought new tap shoes today and ended up in ladies yet again!! (He’s a 4). I try to get things made when I can find and afford them. His ballet bag came from the USA and I’m so tired of googling “freed Aaron” like it’s the only leotard he’ll ever find.

Can anyone point us in a direction of nice boys stuff? Good workshops, associate schemes??

He is in a nice school but still the only boy in his class and wonder if he’s missing out. 

We live in the NW of the UK, but will travel for the right opportunities.

Thank youuuuuu! xx

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Hi MrsMoo2! My DS is also 11 and has been dancing for a couple of years. Good idea for a boys thread!

 

Planet Dance have the best selection of boys dance wear I’ve found, but I do get a bit frustrated with them when things are showing as ‘in stock’ when you order then sometimes take weeks to arrive because they weren’t really in stock at all!

 

Depends where you are in the NW, but Hammond Associates in Chester springs to mind. My DS will be starting Renaissance Scholars in Leeds (every other Sunday) and York Dance Scholars in York (every Saturday) next month. I will feedback on boy numbers! 

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Maybe Ring London Children’s Ballet in London and ask to go on their mailing list for boys only workshops. They run them every year and your DS will then make some friends for life. Plus Erico does occasionally visit schools. 

Theres a strength and conditioning coach based at KS Dance in Warrington he runs workshops and trains boys/ men and again it may give your son the opportunity to make friends with other male dancers. 

 

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I may have mis-remembered but have RAD run some boys only workshops?  I've got in the back of my mind that Iain Mackay, in his guise as Project B ambassador may have been involved.

 

As Anna says in her signature "google" has been my friend and I have remembered correctly!  Not sure if it will be suitable but worth looking at:

 

https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/learn-to-dance/project-b/about-project-b

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Clothing and dancewear-wise, Just Ballet has a boys dept:  https://www.justballet.co.uk/collections/boys as does the RAD shop: https://www.radenterprises.co.uk/clothing/project-b?zenid=9a8r2mrkmr3e96icis4nagsus7

 

Bloch has probably the biggest range of shoes I've seen and tap shoes are often unisex, so I wouldn't worry about them being ladies' ones.  

 

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There were 10 boys of mixed ages ( 7-20 ) on my recent summer school .

This is a great way to meet other boys and their Mums .

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Thanks ladies.

I will look into all those ideas. I just feel sorry for him sometimes.

We’re on the mailing list for the project B events, and I have briefly been in touch with KS dance last year, as it’s not a million miles away, (I trained there till 19!).

Like I say his current school is nice but I think he will outgrow it in a few years.

DS auditioned for Hammond FT last year but missed out as he was lacking in upper body strength and some technique. Sure he’ll have another bash next year tho and maybe try associates. (The solo was a nightmare, and he doesn’t do singing! 😂).

Does anyone do the CAT scheme? Just wondering if we can justify the drive! 😂😂 xx

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I do SO sympathise with you about the lack of variety of boys leotards especially when they’re small and  ...the only really nice one we found last year was the Ballet Rosa Endo leotard and I think it only comes in two colours -  Black and white !

This year we got a grey and black unitard version of it.

Sadly even the men’s extra small unitards by intermezzo are way too big  so I took my life in my hands and took them in at all the seams with a reasonable result!

 To make it even harder my DS hates sleeveless unitards and leotards !

the Planet Dance website seemed to have the best me s range and is our current favourite....

Of course if money were no object I believe you can get them made to order in any colour combination you like from wear moi overseas website!!

But I suspect like us that is a bit out of your price range  when there is so much else to spend our resources on !

I also 2nd Tutu girl’s summer school recommendation.

 But I can’t be of much help finding boys dance classes during term time is quite tough and I’m not in your area  x

Edited by Billyelliott
I hadn’t finished!
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My DS is just 14. He's on the Associate scheme at Northern Ballet in Leeds. There were 4 boys with him last year.  Lots more on their CAT scheme but too far for us to travel a few times a week. We've found Planet Dance good for boys clothes as long as you want blue/black/grey or white! 

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1 hour ago, MrsMoo2 said:

 

Does anyone do the CAT scheme? Just wondering if we can justify the drive! 😂😂 xx

 

1 hour ago, dancingboy65 said:

 Lots more on their CAT scheme but too far for us to travel a few times a week. 

 

Dd has just graduated the Northern Ballet CAT. Lots of boys there, but as dancingboy says it’s a big commitment. At age 11/12 it would probably be 2 nights plus all day Saturday. By age 14 it would probably be 3 nights plus Saturday. Plus compulsory intensives during most holidays, and extra Sunday rehearsals in the run up to the annual summer shows. Those who live further away often leave school early to arrive in time for weeknight training. The training is excellent though and there’s a great atmosphere about the place. Dd started on the Associates and moved to CAT when she was 14, which worked well for us because she was then old enough to get the bus!  

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I’m a bit confused at you saying he is wearing ladies tap shoes?  I know some brands differentiate in terms of width in the adult sizes (men’s size 6 upwards are wider) but other than that surely a tap shoe is a tap shoe?  

 

It remonds me though. Ds needs new tap shoes. He’s gone up 2 shoe sizes since last year but has very narrow feet so some brands are too wide. 

 

 

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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Having 50 years on your DS give me certain size advantages. Anyway I have two leotards from this page https://dancewear.co.uk/male-dancewear/male-leotards.html 

The Intermezzo Skinsupman 4641 in burgandy (two actually) and Poselli Tango in black. I don't like the Tango much - too low in the chest. I might have been better with the Patrick. Your best bet might be to contact http://www.esmedancewear.com/ Although the don't have any mens wear shown on their site, I've had stuff custom made by them. Perfect fit and in what every colour you want.

 

I have quite small feet, size 8. My tap shoes are Capezio size 6.5 (a bit snug really; 7 would have been better) and I go for Freed ballet shoes in a 6. For 20 years I went for a one piece sole, but over the last couple of years I've gone for a split sole. I'm still deciding what I prefer.

 

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I don't have a son who dances, but was also intrigued by the comment about ladies' tap shoes as I would have assumed they were unisex, particularly at that relatively small size. My son wears cycling shoes and other kit that are labelled as womens, and in fact his next bike will probably be badged as a woman's bike. But there's no difference really, it's just that men don't come that small and for some reason manufacturers don't seem to think that children need decent quality cycling equipment. Ditto his next hockey goalie kit will probably be in the woman's section as that's where the next size up from kids tends to be. He will wear whatever fits him, as long as its not pink and sparkly and neither he nor I have ever seen it as an issue. I think it's pretty much the norm in unisex activities that boys who have outgrown the kids section use kit that's sold as women's before they get big enough for the men's ranges.

I can understand your frustration regarding lack of boys specific classes etc as obviously there are different techniques to learn. Are there any schools in your area with a male teacher who might be willing to do private lessons maybe?

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Wear moi do some nice boys leotards and shorts. The zipped ones make a nice change and are comfortable as both I and my son can attest. 

 

Bloch do boys tap shoes in basically same sizes as the girls’ ones, so check the sizing and then order. (The girls shoes

are the strapped sandal type. What the Americans call “Mary Janes”)

 

RAD run boys associates classes one a month in some places - our 10 year old has done them in Elmhurst - that don’t require auditions and so on. 

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For boys with narrow feet especially, women's dance shoes/trainers etc tend to fit better once out of child's sizes...

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Oooh exciting thread! We are happy with DS school but always looking for opportunities for him to be taught by male teachers.

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I have a son who dances but he is only five still. He does like to have ‘nice’ dancewear though as he sees his older sister and friends in various leotards/combos. We’ve discovered that Squad Dancewear do quite a good selection of boys wear, some casual wear that can be used for non-dance activities and some leotards/shorts which would be more for class-wear. 

 

Sorry i cant help with associates etc in your area but I hope you find something to suit 🙂

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12 hours ago, Colman said:

Wear moi do some nice boys leotards and shorts. The zipped ones make a nice change and are comfortable as both I and my son can attest. 

 

Bloch do boys tap shoes in basically same sizes as the girls’ ones, so check the sizing and then order. (The girls shoes

are the strapped sandal type. What the Americans call “Mary Janes”)

 

RAD run boys associates classes one a month in some places - our 10 year old has done them in Elmhurst - that don’t require auditions and so on. 

 

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Oooh, tell me more! How do we find out about the boys RAD classes at Elmhurst?

could possibly stretch to driving there....mmmmmmm! 😂

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12 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

I don't have a son who dances, but was also intrigued by the comment about ladies' tap shoes as I would have assumed they were unisex, particularly at that relatively small size. My son wears cycling shoes and other kit that are labelled as womens, and in fact his next bike will probably be badged as a woman's bike. But there's no difference really, it's just that men don't come that small and for some reason manufacturers don't seem to think that children need decent quality cycling equipment. Ditto his next hockey goalie kit will probably be in the woman's section as that's where the next size up from kids tends to be. He will wear whatever fits him, as long as its not pink and sparkly and neither he nor I have ever seen it as an issue. I think it's pretty much the norm in unisex activities that boys who have outgrown the kids section use kit that's sold as women's before they get big enough for the men's ranges.

I can understand your frustration regarding lack of boys specific classes etc as obviously there are different techniques to learn. Are there any schools in your area with a male teacher who might be willing to do private lessons maybe?

 

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What I mean is they say on the box label “ladies tap shoes”.

He is an astute 11 year old and wants to know why he has to wear ladies! 😁

I have actually got some lovely ones from eBay second hand, so he’s in luck this year...👍👍👍

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They’re not on the schedule yet for this year. I assume they’re running them again. Once a month in Elmhurst. We combined them with adult classes and workshops for my wife or I and made a day of it, but we were flying from Dublin. 

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12 hours ago, MrsMoo2 said:

What I mean is they say on the box label “ladies tap shoes”.

He is an astute 11 year old and wants to know why he has to wear ladies! 😁

I have actually got some lovely ones from eBay second hand, so he’s in luck this year...👍👍👍

It had honestly never crossed my mind that such a think would be an issue. I'm feeling somewhat guilty that I have perhaps neglected my 12 Year olds feelings as it says "Shimano WMN" in fairly big letters on his actual shoes, never mind the box. So I just asked him if he minded. He rolled his eyes a bit and said "Boys' shoes, girls' shoes, as long as they're GOOD shoes I don't care." So i think he's escaped unscathed so far.😄

I do wonder why manufacturers can't just label things as "Size 4 tap shoes" "Size 3 cycling shoes" though. Why the need to assign gender? At the other end of the scale there must be tall women who object to buying things labelled as for men. (Sorry....going off the topic somewhat, but I think that the bottom line is that pretty much all the difficulties that boys who dance experience are as a result of wider gender discrimination so it's kind of relevant!)

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Try finding Size 6 super skinny jeans for boys !

I’ve only ever found them in the woman’s section- needed for contemporary work and he is still a size 6 at age 16!

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1 hour ago, Pups_mum said:

<snip>

I do wonder why manufacturers can't just label things as "Size 4 tap shoes" "Size 3 cycling shoes" though. Why the need to assign gender? At the other end of the scale there must be tall women who object to buying things labelled as for men. (Sorry....going off the topic somewhat, but I think that the bottom line is that pretty much all the difficulties that boys who dance experience are as a result of wider gender discrimination so it's kind of relevant!)

 

wheels out the  trolley with the deckchairs and popcorn machine ... 

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RAD Associates holds boys classes in Birmingham - keep an eye on the website for when the next set of dates go up - usually in groups of 4 Sundays.  Another one to watch out for, also in Birmingham , are the insight days run by Birmingham Royal Ballet, not entirely sure what age they run from. They are not boys only - but they do tend to separate for the repertoire sessions and a male dancer from BRB teaches the boys. They used to run the insight days on a regular basis but not sure how often they are these days

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The school I dance at in Kettering has weekly boys' only ballet classes with a male ballet teacher on Friday afternoons. They're currently advertising it as one of the only boys-only classes in the country so I don't know how rare they really are.

 

I know my teacher often gets frustrated when RAD course skip the boys dances for higher grades because none of the other teachers have any boys in their classes.

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My DS has been going to a boys ballet and contemporary class that has just started at a new dance school near us.  It's the only one in the area that I know of. And needless to say he loves it!

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The Wear Moi leotard built in ones are the only comfortable ones I’ve found. The 10 year old agrees.

 

Update: have just realised (by finding a photo on the Dr Dancebelt site since none of the shops like to show the back of dance belts for some reason) that their dance belt is the same as the built in ones in their leotards. I shall be ordering one as an experiment shortly.

Edited by Colman

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