Xmas Shopping for Dancers 2020
Rachel Levitt and Nicole Decsey on the best gifts this Christmas season.
Gift for someone or gift for you? This Christmas season, spoil all the dancers on your shopping list and don't leave yourself out!
Ballerina Couture Leotards
Possibly one of the best gifts to get a die-hard ballerina. Ballerina Couture leotards are all hand made by first soloist with the National Ballet of Canada, Tina Pereira, and the packaging for the leotards is 100% biodegradable. How amazing is that? Ballerina Couture attire is available online at ballerinacouture.com and in store at Malabar and Dancewear Centre.
Some of the most popular Ballerina Couture leotards include:
Left to Right
The Chelsy N°17 – Buy here
The Antonella N°18 – Buy here
The Jenna N°10 – Buy here
The Juri N°12 – Buy here
Adidas Sports Bras
You can get sports bras almost anywhere (and trust me I have), but I have never worn a sports bra that provides the same support and level of comfort as the one from Adidas I recently bought. Because this is the perfect time of year to buy gifts for yourself… right?
On the Adidas website, sports bras are categorized by support levels. There is high support for cross training, running and HIIT activities, medium support for cycling, boxing and gym training and finally light support for Pilates, Barre and Yoga.
The one I recently purchased is the Unleash Confidence Bra Top which has a high neckline for added support, is
moisture absorbing to reduce sweat build up and has breathable mesh and an open back to balance heat. I was shocked to find that this particular bra top is in the Light Support category and it’s still one of the best sports bras I have ever had.
Added bonus: these bra tops do not have those annoying removeable cups that fold and flip over in the wash and cause endless frustration as you try to fix them through the tiny slit in the side until you finally give up and take them out. No hassle necessary with these beauties!
Fitness Friendly Face Covers
The Adidas reusable and washable mask is made with soft breathable fabric that easily covers the mouth and nose. As an added bonus, it is made out of minimum 40% recycled materials.
These masks come in baby blue and black and are $28. That may be a little pricey for a mask, but when you are dancing in rehearsals and teaching dance classes for hours on end it will be nice to have a mask that is breathable and doesn’t make you feel like you’re suffocating.
What better gift for your avid ballet lover than a nutcracker? Just like Clara’s beloved toy that brings her on a magical adventure in the classic story, the National Ballet of Canada’s ballet boutique has three options to choose from.
Perfect desk size, this little golden nutcracker will brighten up any space all year long.
The most traditional of the bunch, this one is designed to look exactly like the Nutcracker in NBC’s stage version.
For the collectors out there, the Tsar of the Mice is a villain turned must-have. Displayed on a piece of cheese for extra charm.
Snow globes are great Christmas decorations and online at nutcrackerballetgifts.com there are tons of amazing Nutcracker themed snow globes, it will blow your mind. Each one presents a different scene or character from the ballet and they all play pieces from Tchaikovsky’s iconic musical score. How can you resist?
On top of the music and the beautiful scenes depicted within the snow globes there are paintings or carved figures along the base. The magic is not only stuck within but capable of being set free. They even have cute little ornament snow globes for your tree. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely enchanted!
Make a statement with a dance themed stocking this Christmas season! With plenty to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect one to suit your personality. You can hunt around to find a selection, but these are the ones that stuck out the most to me.
Top L – Dripping with elegance, this satin based and rhinestone embellished stocking is handmade from UnSempliceSi. Not only is it bound to be a showstopper, it is also locally made in Canada. Buy here!
Top Centre – For those who drool over luxurious finds, this handcrafted Nutcracker needlepoint stocking is made from 100% New Zealand wool and complete with a velvet cuff. Designed by Three Posts, available at Wayfair. Buy here!
Top R – Whimsical and classy, this Swan Lake themed stocking is embellished with sequins, feathers, and dangling rows of beads off the cuff. Designed by ChristmasintheAttic, available on Etsy. Buy here!
Bottom L – The traditional Christmas colours, snowflakes, and rhinestones make this ballerina stocking pop. Customize it with any name you like. Design by CustomDesignsbyCycam, available on Etsy. Buy here!
Bottom Centre – Ballerinas, swans and castles dance around this charming stocking that comes complete with a faux fur cuff. Designed by DaisysAwesomeShop, available on Etsy. Buy here!
Bottom Right – This adorable stocking reminds me of one of my favourite ballet movies, The Red Shoes, and also looks like something that could be found in Cindy Lou Who's room. You can also customize it with any name you like. Designed by Penguin Corner Store, available on Zazzle. Buy here!
If you have found yourself regularly making dance films these past few months, you will need to invest in a tripod. I never made dance films before the pandemic, but within the past few months I have made five and I am working on my sixth. Tripods are great because they stabilize the camera and allow you to easily adjust the height and angle of your shot. They also give continuity to the film and make it possible to create a film without needing a camera man.
It is now possible to get tripods that can fit both cameras and phones. That’s why I think the Tripod Peyou from Best Buy is the perfect option. It’s cheap, has adjustable legs and will easily hold your phone or camera. It may even be more advanced than you need.
GIVE BACK TO THE DANCE COMMUNITY
This has not been the best year for the dance world, so what better gift than giving a little back to the industry?
Martha Graham Dance Company on Patreon
Four levels of memberships are available ($3, $7, $20 and $100 per month), offering a range of these exciting perks:
Admission to Zoom Q&As
Full access to Martha Matinees
Monthly pop-up classes
Full access to the MGDC studio series
Live Zoom parties with the dancers
Not only do you get these bonuses, but you help keep the company afloat during these trying times. Buy a membership here!
National Ballet of Canada's Together for Ballet Campaign
After the disheartening cancellation of their 2020/2021 season, NBC is raising money to adapt to this new dance world we live in. Donations to the Together for Ballet campaign will go to:
Protecting the artists
Commissioning new works by Canadian choreographers
Connecting with students virtually
COVID measures to protect artists and audiences
With so little opportunities to get out nowadays, 'tis the season to curl up and get some reading done. There are millions of books on dance to choose from, so I've shortlisted some that make particularly good gifts.
The Story Orchestra by Jessica Courtney-tickle
One of the best gifts for aspiring ballerinas this year is any of these editions of The Story Orchestra, a series of picture books that combine charming illustrations, classic ballet tales and clips of the original orchestra music.
The Nutcracker by Karen Kain – SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR
An absolute treasure for any age, the iconic Karen Kain retells the classic tale of The Nutcracker. Following the version choreographed by James Kudelka that is performed by NBC every Christmas and illustrated by Rajka Kupesic, this is a tribute to a Canadian ballet tradition like no other.
NYC Dance Project by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory
The creme de la creme of dance photography books is by far The Art of Movement and The Style of Movement, from the NYC Dance Project.
These two exquisite dance photography books are divine for coffee table displays, adding to your collection, or simply for marvelling at how the dancers seem to move in the frozen pictures. Featuring dancers from the top dance companies in the world including Martha Graham Dance Company, ABT, NYC Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and Ballet Jazz de Montreal.
Jordan Matter Photography Books
The most charming part of Jordan Matter's photography, is that he captures what so many of us in the industry can relate to: dancing everywhere that isn't stage. Our art is such a big part of our lives, and I for one know that I am most comfortable in the "normal" world if I am living in it through dance.
Each book differs in theme, so be sure to pick the one that will speak most to the gift receiver.
Dancers Among Us is the most general, centring around dancers in various habitats from city to country.
Dancers After Dark captures dancers at night in public parts of various cities completely naked.
Born to Dance captures adorable and inspirational photographs of young dancers who live to dance.
Every dancer could use a little melt for their sore and stiff muscles.
This product is specifically formulated to decompress sore muscles while at the same time softening, hydrating and moisturizing your skin. It should be used within 6-8 months after its been opened and is especially effective when used after a shower.
I have tried muscle melt and I absolutely love it! This product is regularly priced at $26 from Saje.