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Gifts for dancers - at home and away


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I am looking for gift ideas for my dancer! Any new ideas or products that you are getting your dancer this year? What gifts have been hits with your dancer in the past?


Also what dance video's would you recomend? Thanks! :)

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(My dd is 12 so the gifts I am suggesting are for that age group)


The usual leotards, tights, maybe a nice sweater and snoods. I started buying items from Ebay a while ago from this lady who sells new ballet/dance figurines. My daughter loved them and now collects them. She also loves fairies and music boxes. (of course they all have a ballet theme). Posters are always good, but have them framed first. I am a bit stuck myself this year. It seems we have maxed out the available space in her room for these dust collectors. :(

Since we are moving and she will be losing her "studio", I thought we might purchase a smaller portable ballet barre.


As far as movies go...Center Stage is always a hit. My daughter will watch any ballet video, but really loves Giselle, Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet. She doesn't care who dances it, she just loves watching the dancers. Again...you can get many of these at very reasonable prices on Ebay and they are usually brand new. (vhs)


Good luck! I will be watching this closely to see what great ideas are out there!! :)

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I'm a (young) girl at heart and will always love fun dance stuff as gifts. One thing I bought one of my ballet instructors at college, which she loved, is a music box that actually resembles a gift. It's a wrapped box with a bow. But on the side is the winder. You can order these to play virtually any music. I got hers to play Swan Lake. I think it was something like 16.95. If you're interested, you can pm me and I'll look for the order form. I bought mine at an art fair on the Gulf Coast, but I think the couple who sold them are in Florida.


You know those boards that are covered with pretty fabric and have ribbon pulled taut on diagnonals? Those are inexpensive and are a great way to display tickets and programs from recently attended or performed concerts. She can have fun altering the display from time to time. I've got one covered in pink gingham with pink satin ribbons.


Another thing is that dancers are always looking for ways to be organized. Anything pretty to hold makeup, bobby pins, pony tail elastics, cotton pads for astringent, Q-tips, etc.-- you get the picture, are welcome. Also, those pretty floral boxes that are sold everywhere, including discount stores, typically used for photos, etc., are the perfect size for shoe boxes. They have a tab in front where you can insert a card stating what's in the box. It doesn't matter if they match at all. The more patterns, the more fun. She'll be sure to keep her shoes put away, including all of her dance shoes, when not in use. These are also good for storing legwarmers, tights (group them by color), and hair scrunchies.


I also use them for storing videos and paperbacks.


You can also find these boxes in different, larger sizes. I even have a small round one that holds a tiara. They're so pretty, they don't necessarily have to be put out of sight. Stack ones of different size for a little end table.


Picture frames -- you can never go wrong, because she'll always be wanting to frame one more snapshot. Until she does, you can go online and look for dance related poems or aphorisms, copy it onto a document, and print it in a pretty font, and put it in the frame as inspiration for her. She may never replace it with a photograph.


If she doesn't have her own camera, it might be a good time to start her on that as well. Classical music tapes and CDs are good -- it's nice for dancers to be familiar with basic pieces at a young age.


Also, by the time dancers are old enough to start performing and wearing makeup, it's not too soon to start them on good skin care. A real treat would be a trip to a salon for a facial, where she could also get some good skin care advice. Make sure it's a real aesthetician, though.


I know if I were that age (or my own), I'd love one of those fun hair pieces that clip on and give you an enhanced top knot. You see them all the time now on the shopping channels, and they're 'all the rage.' Even if you've barely got enough hair to put into a pony tail, you can get a great effect with these.


They might not be old enough for diamonds, but some pretty fake studs in cubic zirconia would be nifty -- very Cynthia Gregory.


This is fun. I better start my own list now.

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Thanks! These are great ideas! Now I just have to find the time to go shopping!


Does anyone remember the name and where the shoes (to wear around the studio) that were so popular with the dancers last year can be found?

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Guest momto2.5dancers

LRS--The shoes are mukluks. I ordered a pair for both my daughters and they loved them. I got them from Empire Dance (someone please correct that if I have the name wrong.) IIRC, they were about $12 a pair.

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Regarding special quotes to put in frames that can later be replaced, if desired, by snapshots:


I have one on my desk at the office that reads: "Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike." Courtesy of Margot Fonteyn. (I was especially drawn to this quote during a choreography project last year).


Another one accompanied some roses I recently received:


"Life may not be the party we hoped for but as long as we are here, we may as well dance." Anonymous


And last year, someone even wrote a poem directly for me, entitled "Ballerina," that I have framed in my bedroom. The last part reads: "And even after the stage lights go out, she dances on. She dances in my heart." (Sigh). Any of you who have a creative writing bent might write something from your own heart about your dancing children, print it, and frame it, and watch their reactions. It will be the most precious gift you can give them.


Just a little addition: You can find all kinds of pretty stationery to print such things on -- experiment with a variety of fonts and sizes first on plain paper with your own printer, to make sure it will fit the frame you intend to use. Leave some room around the borders to put some tiny decorative stickers -- a ladybug or flower, etc. You can also get decorative border strips to put across the top and bottoms borders. Go to department stores when they have having frame sales. You'll be amazed at what you can find, and how creative you will enjoy being with this project.


We also have several artists who paint ballet portraits of young dancers. Or who do soft focus photography. This would be a great keepsake. Some do the portrait with the subject sitting; others can do from a photograph. You don't have to actually have the portrait done now -- you can arrange the appointment and your daughter can look forward to the sitting or photograph after the holidays. These are not always as expensive as one might think.


Have you also noticed that dancers often have a creative touch themselves? Sometimes it's nice to receive something in a related art as kind of a stress relief, another way of expressing themselves. A set of watercolors, perhaps.

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I was searching to see what books were being released this Christmas and found this one -- I haven't read it and I haven't heard anything about it But it looked interesting. You can check the link and read the reviews and readers comments and judge for yourself. It looks like a serious book about ballet (and families) for ages 8 to 12. It's about two sisters who have lost their mother, grieve in different ways, and both study ballet. (On Amazon, there's a special deal with "Diary of an Anorexic Girl" which at first gave me pause, but the latter seems to be a positive story of a girl who overcomes her eating disorder. Maybe not a bad twofer after all.)


Here's the link on Amazon:


A Dance of Sisters

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I recently bought a wonderful video CD. Coppelia peformed by L'ecole de danse de l'opera nationale de Paris. ( Paris Opera Ballet School). In addition to the delightful performance there is a 45 minute special segment on the school itself. Reallyl interesting and very well done videography. I think I bought it from Amazon. USE THE BALLET ALERT LINK!!!!

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My daughter collects the classical ballet series Barbies. I haven't seen a new one this season yet, probably because they're pushing the Swan Lake Barbie series, which is not the collectable kind. You can find the prior collectables on e-bay. Other collectable ideas: Nutcrackers, ballet figurines. Also, Hallmark makes some great ballet ornaments. They usually have a musical Nutcracker scene. I think this year's is Russian.


I bought a hair kit for my daughter from Scunci that's neat - it has different styling tools for unique hairstyles. Stage make-up, pedicure kits, nail polish, & hair accessories are always appreciated. :wink:

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This year :wink: I'm knitting legwarmers for dancing daughter. And, if I can find a pattern, I will attempt to knit mukluks.


Her big gift - with a dance theme - this Christmas season was bought through Ebay a couple months ago. I can't post it here though because she reads these boards once in awhile- she already knows about the knitting projects - just doesn't know color or style.


I strongly suggest Ebay for ballet-themed gifts.

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I stumbled across a cute gift last year that was a hit with my daughter's ballet friends: a sewing kit that looks like a small padded book. It was about 4 inches square, made out of a piece of cardboard covered with padded fabric to make the cover. The "pages" were pieces of felt. Each piece held a different sewing item needed for mending pointe shoes, repairing costumes and leos, etc. such as thread, needles, safety pins, and so on. The book tied closed with a ribbon and had a cute felt applique glued to the front. These are just the right size to stick in their ballet bags for emergency fixes. I purchased them at a gift market, but they would be very easy to make!


Another hot item around the studio this year is a mesh bag that goes over your shoulder and across your chest. The strap is like one for the ergonomic backpacks, but the bag itself is all mesh, with multiple zippers and compartments. They come in cute colors like hot pink and yellow. They are sold at Walmart for around $10. The teen girls are all carrying them, as they give breathability for their shoes and are handy to carry due to the comfortable strap!


Another fabulous gift for teen dancers is a magnet board. These are made out of a piece of sheet metal, with wire strung with beads bent into a loop to hang it. Ours has the word "DANCE" painted on the sheet metal in bright colors with squiggly lines around it. Magnets glued on the back of those glass pebbles used in silk floral arrangements make the magnets really hip looking. My daughter's is just large enough to hang inside her locker. Perfect for attaching pictures, notes, etc.

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Those mesh bags are a great idea. I've also seen a pink mesh backpack by Jansport recently in the sporting goods store and had the same idea.

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