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Opinions wanted!


Sheila Beelam
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Hi everybody

I'm interested to hear what people's thoughts are on dance shops on-line, specifically ballet related.

 

I wouldn't want names to be mentioned and Bruce, please step in if I'm wrong to ask on this forum :)

 

Companies I've used are either:

1) too slow to deliver

2) Not focused enough on ballet, but cover all dance

3) limited selection, probably due to 2) above.

4) out of stock of items I need

 

It means I need to order from Uk sites, US sites and sometimes Europe to get exactly what I need....if we all had a fully stocked dance shop in our local area it would be fine, but it seems we are increasingly having to rely on day trips to London or Internet shopping!

 

What do you think?

 

:)

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I can't imagine buying shoes - any shoes - street as well as dance - online. In a shop I rejected so many pairs before I would find a good pair, I don't see how that could possibly have worked buying them online. I know that many people don't live near a shop - but that still doesn't solve the "buying without trying" problem of online shopping.

 

I guess I feel the same way about leotards, too. But, especially about shoes.

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Well, if it's ok to mention names, I've used Porselli - great prices, good range of stock, mostly ballet. Only had two problems - one was when the wrong colour bag was delivered and they couldn't get hold of the correct colour so I had to get it elsewhere ( they refunded my postage to send the wrong one back), and the other was when a certain colour leotard was out of stock but they didn't tell me until I phoned wondering where it was! The pros outweigh the cons though; I've used them loads of times without a problem.

 

Planet Dance - a good range, but I've found that you do have to phone as their live stock system is rubbish. If they do have it in stock and you need something urgently they are good at express delivery.

 

Only used Move Dancewear once as they have a smaller range, but they were fine and exchanged a leotard for a smaller size really quickly.

 

Dance Direct - used once, good prices, speedy delivery.

 

Everything else I get from the RAD shop online, or after Associate classes in London! :-)

 

Like Anjuli, I never buy DD's shoes online. Leotards I do, but usually only if I know her size in a certain make or style as they vary so much.

Edited by spannerandpony
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A friend uses Dance Direct all the time with very few problems, for us having a DS there is no choice of dancewear so don't tend to use online shops. Can't afford the made to measure stuff in forgottten name of company. If anyone knows of a good online shop for male stuff please let us know?

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I use Dance Direct all the time - great prices for decent tights, will buy flat ballet shoes online but only because we haven't got a local dance shop that stocks narrow fit shoes. They are really helpful on the phone too, if you need to query different sizes due to brand.

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There are some items for my DD's which we have to get from their vocational school's supplier, and their service is excellent.

 

I prefer to get pointe shoes from a nearby ( not local) dance school where their very experienced teacher/ex ballerina fits their pointe shoes and girls school are very happy with what she recommends, as their feet have grown and matured they have moved into different brands.

 

I do shop around for tights to get the best fit and most durable, and cost effective for my girls and tend to buy on line from dance direct who I find cost effective and efficient.

 

For flat ballet shoes I use the Bloch shop in London, they do a different range than available from on line shops, and have found a specific shoe available in a variety of width fitting which suit my girls feet and the school are very happy.

 

In the past I have bought items from Planet Dance, they do offer a wider range of sizes of shoe than dance direct (1/2 sizes) but sometimes you do have to wait for them to order in, so if ordering from Planet Dance always phone the order through AND ask if they are in stock, if they aren't I ask for a follow up phone call or email, and they have always obliged.

 

Hope this helps!

 

NL

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I buy alot of my 2 DD's dance clothes and shoes on line and have been lucky, I have used the above suppliers and also traders from ebay. I always measure my DD's feet and always ask suppliers to do the same before I buy. I have bought numerous types of shoes, ballroom, jazz, character, ballet even dance sneakers. The only time there was a blip was when we received a pair of ballroom shoes one was a 12 and the other a 1, the supplier changed asap. I find the dance shops we have locally are never well stocked and there is a lack of choice so on line for us is great as there is always a wide selection and I am aware I have saved alot of money in the long run. My DD's are not at the age of using point shoes yet so I will be aiming to venture into such shops when the time does come as my knowledge of such shoes is completely zero!!

Ax

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Thanks for a great response!!

 

I have the same experience of planet dance - frustrating...

dance direct - good but not exciting..

Porselli - good but never have size or colour we need...

 

Shoes, I do somewhat agree with anjuli and others, but must say I found my capulet shoes by accident and my teachers agree they are perfect for my feet - but this is probably more fluke than anything else!

Im agraid i buy them on line and do find each pair is the same. As an adult my feet have stopped growing, but my needs do change - gaynors were perfect a few months ago, so I guess what I'm trying to say is that pointe shoes are constantly under scrutiny!

Others sites I'll try ASAP!

Sx

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I tend to use Porselli, Movedancewear and Dancedirect, depending on what I am after as the same item can vary in price considerably between the sites, The tights my DD likes for example range from £8.50 online to £12.50 at our local ballet store and Porselli have even had them in their 'sale' a couple of times at £5. Never had a problem with any of these stockists but dancedirect are somtimes a little slower.

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If you are not fazed by using an international site then the Sansha Eurostore site is a good one. I usually order a couple of times a year and and therefore exceed their minimum order threshold - there is an english language option but everything priced in euros (it's a french site) . They do have some great sales usually twice yearly (convertible ballet tights for 1 euro springs to mind). I have clubbed together with other dancing mums to purchase stuff too - again to address the minimum order issue. They have a Sansha London site too now but haven't tried that yet as DD is in London for associates and nips to Drury Lane after class if she needs anything urgently.

 

J x

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I used to order from Dance Direct but DD pefers Papillion tights. I get these from local ballet shop and if I order enough pairs at a time I get a small discount. As she will be moving on in September does anyone know if you can order Papillion tights online anywhere?

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Porthesia, hi yes you can order Papillon tights online from thedancelocker. I've not used their online service before but have visited the store in person. Our ballet school now reccommends this store for pointe shoe fitting, even though it is not the closest, because of the service and level of expertise they provide.

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I have used the sansha London site everything I ordered from the sale section turned out to be out of stock. Delivery was slow and no explanation about missing items but when I phoned I was told that as the website was new they were learning and trying to improve the service.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone, thanks for your interesting replies!

 

Based on my experiences as a mother of dancer and also an amateur adult dancer, we have decided to embark on a new venture and are launching an online ballet shop at the beginning of July 12.

 

www.justballet.co.uk

 

We hope to follow with a retail premises by the end of the year, but are having problems finding suitable accommodation.

 

Just Ballet will do what it says, sell only ballet related items, that way I hope to give the depth of stock ballet dancers need, rather than the breadth of all dance related items. We will sell everything from bun pins to ballet shoes, along with things like ballet art, music, books and gifts.

 

We are going to try to give detailed descriptions of the items - explaining who they may be suitable for eg don't buy this leotard if you have a large chest - try this one instead. Sometimes due to location we are forced to buy online and we want to avoid the disappointment of having to send ill-fitting items back.

 

We also want to have "how to" pages to help people master buns, pointe shoe darning etc Then there's going to be a ballet dictionary to help de-mistify things for young dancers and bemused parents!

 

If any of you have items that you use and love and would recommend, please inbox me via this site or at justballet@beelams.co.uk. Similarly if there are items you can't get hold of let me know. I'm currently working on the men's collection and it's tough to find a decent selection!

 

Many thanks for your time reading this!

Sheila x

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It'll be in Essex I'm afraid - but Southend Airport now flies to Belfast!

My step brother flew over last week and the plane was 5 minutes early and 15 minutes later we were sitting on our sofa with a glass of wine! Beats Heathrow/Gatwick!

....Maybe I can convince him to open a N Ireland branch ;)

Edited by Sheilabee
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What a fantastic business venture. The thing that frustrates me the most about any dance websites is the fact that even though you have paid £3.95 or so for P+P, you still have to pay to send anything back that doesn't fit or requires a replacement. This does not encourage me to choose different items and I tend to stick to the makes I know and not order anything that I haven't had somewhere else before. I would be happy to pay a little more p+p if I also received a large postage paid return address sticker and could just take it to the post office without paying more - the same way that other catalogue and web-based mail-order companies do such as Next. I realise this may work out expensive for you but it also might encourage more people to order.

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Hi interested parent, as a consumer, I agree completely and as a retailer I now see both sides - it's a shame the postal rates have just risen so steeply, but I think there is merit in what you say so I shall definitley research the costs.

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