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Spring is literally just around the corner!

Spring is literally just around the corner. Although for some of us, there is still snow on the ground. For others, flowers are just about blooming, but I’m sure you are all feeling that Spring in your dance step!

Of course, in the dance world we think of Igor Stravinsky’s astonishing ballet, The Rite of Spring, a ballet and orchestral work, written in 1913. The music and choreography were so avant-garde it caused a sensation and a near riot in the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées’ audience!

The Rite of Spring has been reimagined numerous times:

The Rite of Spring

The Mariinsky Ballet’s production of “Le Sacre du printemps.” (N. Razina)

Rite of Spring

Erik Cavallari and Sophie Martin (centre) with Scottish Ballet in Kenneth MacMillan’s ‘Elite Syncopations’.
Photo Andrew Ross, © Scottish Ballet

Looking for Spring-like color inspiration for your ballet costumes?

These dancers from the Shanghai Ballet, The Butterfly Lovers – Feast of Colors, were dressed to represent Spring’s lively birds and flowers. The crystals sparkled beautifully when the tutus and arm pieces quivered gently with the elegant movements of the dancers.

Shanghai Ballet, The Butterfly Lovers – Feast of Colors - Spring!

Shanghai Ballet, The Butterfly Lovers – Feast of Colors – Spring!

Speaking of Spring and Dance. If your classes are expanding and you need more barre space, remember that we have various sizes to choose from with our freestanding StudioBarres. We recommend, depending on the age of your dancers, about three feet per dancer. Our StudioBarres start at 4ft and go up to 20ft!

EnPointe’s StudioBarre in Gray Aluminum with swivel feet.

EnPointe’s StudioBarre in Gray Aluminum with swivel feet.

We can help with all your dance studio’s needs for wall mount, freestanding or portable barres with bags. We also carry glassless mirrors – wall mount or on rolling stands and have many types of flooring, including sprung sub-flooring, various vinyl dance flooring depending on your use and everything you need to maintain and clean your flooring. Let our experts guide you – we are happy to help!

Remember to follow us on all the usual social media platforms for everything Dance related- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest .

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Valentine’s Day – a time to celebrate love, friendship and romance!

February is a month for romance and particularly Valentine’s Day. Did you know there was a ‘romantic tutu’? It was white, multi-layered and very full, worn with a white bodice. This became the costume for the Romantic ballerina in the 1800s.

Ballerina Natalia Kolosova as Myrtha in Giselle - a romantic ballet.

Ballerina Natalia Kolosova as Myrtha in Giselle .

Romanticism in art and literature and those ideas defined and created this romantic era of ballet. It was primarily at the Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique of the Paris Opera Ballet and Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.

This era was also responsible for making the ballerina the forefront of ballets. Men were no longer the shining star!

Candles had previously been used – yes candles! Then gas lighting came along – changing everything,  so now theaters could use dimming effects for creating romantic moods.

Did you also know that pointework was still in its very early stages but greatly influenced how people saw ballerinas and ballet?

Marie Taglioni became the epitome of the romantic ballerina with her performance in the 1827 of La Sylphide when it debuted in Paris. She became the world’s most famous ballerina!

The four most famous Romantic ballerinas in 1845 were Marie Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito and Lucile Grahn. Together they appeared in the Pas de Quatre, on the London Stage, which was choreographed by Jules Perrot.

Here are just a few of our favorite romantic ballets – which are your favorites?

La Sylphide – the first major romantic ballet – and still performed regularly.

Sleeping Beauty – the kiss!

Swan Lake – so beautiful.

La fille mal gardée– and no-one dies.

Those are ours – what are your favorite romantic ballets and is your studio hosting a Valentine’s Day theme?

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It’s a New Year! Happy 2017 dance studios!

Last year when exhibiting at all of our many Dance Conferences across North America, we heard so many of you tell us about your exciting growth. It seems a common thread during 2016 was the growth of your dance studios.

Some of you were moving to a brand new and bigger dance studio location. Quite a few of you had grown so much that you were building extra studio space into your current dance studio locations. Class registrations were up, classes were expanding. We were excited by your excitement! We are so pleased to be part of that growth – thank you!

So, as a reminder, we wanted to showcase our products as we are a one-stop shop for your dance studio.

Barres
For new dance studios, or studio expansions we have Wall Mount Barres and brackets – either single or double. You have the option of aluminum barres and brackets in black, white or gray. Or if you prefer wood barres – we have those too. Browse our barre product page for full details.

wall mount barres for dance studios

Wood Wall Mount Barre with Grey Brackets

If you need more barre space – then what about using our Freestanding Barres? The choice of length varies as our StudioBarres start at 4’ and go to 20’ – again in black, white or gray. You even have the choice of wood for the barre centers. So easy to put together with our snaplocks, or to move and store with swivel legs. Our Portabarre comes with a carrying case in three lengths. Again, for more information visit our Barre page for full details.

StudioBarre for Dance Studios

StudioBarre for Dance Studios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glassless Mirrors
Yes – it’s true – absolutely no glass to worry about! Our highly reflective glassless mirrors are light and extremely safe, making them a perfect choice for your Dance Studios. Available as Wall Mount or on stands depending on your requirements. Visit our Glassless mirror page for all the information.

Portabarre ballet barre

And…. Flooring. As a Stagestep distributor we have the expertise to help with all your flooring needs too. We carry the full line of products from Stagestep! We also have our PortaFloor – a portable dance floor with carrying case.

PortaFloor for dance studios

PortaFloor with carrying case

Contact us with any questions – our experts are always pleased to help!

Here’s to a fantastic 2017.

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Happy New Year from all of us at EnPointe!

Happy New Year from EnPointe!

 

Happy New Year

It’s also time for us to say ‘THANK YOU’ to all of you who have been an integral part of EnPointe this year.

At every Trade Show we have attended we have been so happy to see all our current customers and new customers – you always stop by and say hi to us – and we love that!

The Dance trade shows are always such a pleasure for EnPointe as an exhibitor. Everyone is so upbeat and still dancing to our booths, even after attending all sorts of classes each and every day – your energy inspires us and it’s great to see happy, smiling faces!

On our EnPointe Facebook page, we see all of you who ‘like’, comment and enjoy our posts. We try to find photographs of beautiful dancers, interesting stories, funny articles and posts about our products to keep you entertained and informed. Thank you for following us and our numbers are continually growing. We love that too!

To our customers – we sincerely thank you for purchasing our products – and for your repeat business. We appreciate that you refer us to other Dance Studios who needs our barres, glassless mirrors and flooring. It is great for us hear from you that you’ve had our freestanding barres for many years and that you need more.

We heard the same story from many of you at the tradeshows that you are growing, expanding and moving – thank you for making EnPointe part of your exciting growth!

So as we approach 2017, we are already in the planning stages of which shows we will be attending and what new and exciting things we will be offering all of you – so stay tuned!

From all of us here at EnPointe, we wish you a Happy, Successful and amazing 2017!

 

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It’s nearly UDMA show time!!

Get ready – it’s nearly UDMA show time and we are busy bees getting ready to attend!! We are really excited to be exhibiting again this year – and at all four shows!!

First, let’s cover the necessary information in case you want to attend a UDMA show in your area so here are the Cities and dates:

  • DCU Center – Worcester, MA – Oct 1-2
  • Infinite Energy Center – Duluth, GA – Oct 8-9
  • NJ Convention and Exposition Center – Edison, NJ – Oct 22-23
  • Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center – Schaumburg, IL – Oct 29-30

Visit the UDMA website – https://www.udma.org/shows/attend/ for all the details you need to know about attending, classes, the fabulous contests and much more!

I'm going to UDMA

I’m going to UDMA

Attendees describe the UDMA Dance Resource and Costume Shows as seeing the catalogs ‘come to life’. Everything is under one roof at America’s biggest gathering of dance vendors and industry leaders.

Master Teachers will be sharing their wealth of dance knowledge at the UDMA workshops as well – this year’s class is titled ‘Teaching Dance for Students with Disabilities: Strategies for Success’.

We are so looking forward to seeing everyone! Be sure to come to EnPointe’s booth at each show. We will have our freestanding StudioBarre, PortaBarre and a glassless mirror to showcase to you. Also, we are a distributor for StageStep flooring and have samples at the booth. We can help if you are moving, needing to change to glassless mirrors, wanting more barres, or need flooring.

EnPointe is your one-stop shop for dance studios.

Come by the booth and say ‘Hi’ and we are happy to assist with any questions you have as well. We love to chat and meet our customers and always welcome new customers too.

See you soon!!!!

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EnPointe at Dance Teacher Web Live in Vegas!

It’s that time again! EnPointe is once again exhibiting at the Dance Teacher Web Live Conference, August 1st to 4th -packed with dance workshops, fun events, master classes and more – and it’s back in Vegas.

What an amazing conference and EnPointe loves being part of this event. It is at the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa a luxurious resort just twelve miles from the ‘Strip’ and the perfect venue for this conference.

EnPointe at DTW

There are various large rooms for all the dance workshops, master classes and seminars and the Trade Show of course! Once again there will be the fabulous fashion show too, poolside – a really popular event.

The conference directors, Angela and Steve are true professionals and are involved in every aspect. They carefully select the choreographers, faculty, organize all the dance workshops and events with their wonderful team and make sure everyone is taken care of – attendees and exhibitors alike.

An all-star Faculty will be presenting all-star material. Here’s what they say on their website, “Dance Teacher Web Live Conference and Expo faculty represent the best “teachers’ teachers.” They are eager to help you expand your teaching knowledge and ignite your creativity. Our 2016 business seminars provide unprecedented access to business specialists ready to help you take your studio to the next level!”

There will be more than 90 sessions on an extensive range of dance and business topics, perfect for new teachers, studio owners or school administrator – something for your whole team.

For full info all the fun details here is a link to their website – http://www.dtwconference.com/About-Us.html.

We would love to see you if you are attending, so come by our Booth #209 and say ‘Hi’! We will have a couple of our freestanding ballet barres, a glassless mirror plus samples and more at the booth.

See you soon!

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Tutus!

Where on earth did the word Tutu come from? Well it’s a bit of a mystery really as the word Tutu and Tutus did not show up anywhere until 1881 – who knew?

There are several types of professional ballet tutus.

The Romantic Tutu came into origin when Marie Taglioni first wore a gauzy white skirt cut to reveal her ankles – shock! This was in 1832 at the Paris Opera designed by Eugene Lami in La Sylphide. After that the tutu was steadily shortened to show off the dancer’s legs, so their footwork could be seen and also to easily move around.

Marie Taglioni wearing a Romantic Tutu

Marie Taglioni wearing a Romantic Tutu

The Bell Tutu is so named because of the way it falls into a ‘bell’ shape and does not have a hoop for support falling to the mid-thigh.

Degas and Bell Tutus

Classical bell tutus in The Dance Class by Degas, 1874

Then there’s the Russian ‘Pancake’ Tutu that is supported by a hoop, comes straight out from the hips, has many tulle layers and is short.

Alicia Alonso wearing a pancake tutu, 1955

Alicia Alonso wearing a pancake tutu, 1955

The Platter Tutu can have such unique designs and a contemporary look as in this photo courtesy of the Australian Ballet:
Platter tutu

Let’s not forget how influential fashion designers were in the creation of stunning tutus. although few designers have matched the reputation of Barbara Karinska (1886-1983). She was the New York Ballet’s costumer for many years. The tutus she designed and constructed were incredibly beautiful and durable. Did you know she won the Capezio Dance award – the first costumer designer ever to win this award? It was for costumes “of visual beauty for the spectator and complete delight for the dancer”.

Karinska by Costume Ballet Imperial – Designed by Karinska

Karinska by Costume Ballet Imperial – Designed by Karinska

Historia del tutú Balanchine & Karinska

 

We have a wonderful dance costume board on Pinterest – check it out – EnPointe on Pinterest

Which is your favorite style of Tutu? We’d love to hear from you!

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It’s all about the brackets, ‘bout the brackets…

Brackets are actually very important when thinking about what kind of barres you need for your studio. You may not realize all the brackets for barres options available to you from EnPointe! We offer many types of brackets for barres, so you have quite a few to choose from.

We manufacture our brackets from high strength aluminum and then they are powder-coated several times to give a great high-gloss finish that is extremely durable and long lasting. Our brackets are not only functional but look esthetically pleasing too!

The dimensions of the wall mounted brackets are 3/4″ wide, 8″ deep and extends 7.5″ from the wall. We recommend installing them every 4.5’ for our wall mount barres.

This photo shows our bracket for wall mount barres in black with samples of our wood and white aluminum.
White Bracket for barres

Bracket color is also important when you are trying to achieve a ‘designer’ look to your studio, whether at a commercial dance studio or at your home studio. So if you want to match to a particular color then choose from black, white or gray aluminum brackets for barres.

Bracket _barre sample above

If you need a wall mount barre we have either open brackets, for ballet, or closed brackets for fitness as well.

Have an odd shaped space to fill or you would like a custom barre in front of a mirror? Well we have floor-mounted brackets for either a double or single barre.

Here is an unfinished floor mount double bracket for barres so you can see it before being powder-coated.

Unfinished double floor mount barre

You can use our brackets to hang one of our StudioBarres out of the way for storage. Our freestanding barres have swivel feet to hang flat!

It is always an idea to give some thought to the use of the barre in your classes so you can choose the correct type of bracket.

We are here to help too! Call us, send us a message on our EnPointe Facebook Page page or email so we can share our expertise.

Already have our brackets? Send us photos – we love hearing from our customers.

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Need more Ballet Barre space in your Studio?

So. You’ve run out of ballet barre space in your Studio?

The wall mount barre has become too crowded perhaps?

Dancers are being squished?

No room for new students?

We’re talking today about our freestanding ballet barres and how they are a great solution – creating more space for students in dance classes.

A bit of info about our freestanding barres too – they come in various lengths from four feet all the way up to twenty feet! Color options to choose from are gray, black or white aluminum or aluminum and wood. The wood we use is Hemlock, beautifully made with a smooth finish.

From experience we have noticed that the gray is a very popular choice for our freestanding barres in all aluminum. Mainly, our customers say, to match their vinyl flooring. Keeping the look of your studio decor in mind is important too – we know you all like to design spaces with colors matching to create a wonderful studio for your classes.

So maybe you are wondering how many dancers you can place on each freestanding barre? Good question!

First consider how many students you have to accommodate. You need about three feet of space between each dancer. So our ten-foot StudioBarre™ easily fits three dancers on each side, providing lots of room!

PortaBarre2

Grey Aluminum Freestanding Barre

We can help you with these decisions too – that’s where our many years of experience in providing ballet barres to dance studios and ballet companies comes into play – and we are happy to share that expertise with you. That is what sets us apart and our customers really appreciate our attention to detail.

Our StudioBarres™ are very sturdy, quickly put together, will last you for years and are also easy to store out of the way or move around for placement changes during classes – making them very portable! We’ve designed them with swivel feel for ease of access through narrow hallways and doorways. With the feet able to swivel flat our freestanding barres can be stored against a wall or even hung on a bracket.

We’d love to hear from you about this topic – leave us a comment! What are your challenges when you have more students than you can accommodate on a wall mount barre?

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Interesting Facts about Ballet!

We’re going to offer a very brief history lesson today as we thought it would be interesting to share the origins and some facts about ballet.

Did you know that Ballet has its origins in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries? The word ballet comes from French and subsequently used in English around the 17th century. The French word in turn has its origins in Italian balletto, a diminutive of ballo (dance). Ballet actually traces all the way back to Italian word ballare, literally meaning “to dance”!

In France, Ballet was developed to be performance focused and it was during the reign of Louis XIV who was so passionate about dance. Louis XIV had his own ballet teacher, Pierre Beauchamp and it was Pierre who codified the five positions of the arms and feet for ballet.

An Italian violinist, dancer, choreographer, and composer, Jean-Baptiste Lully, joined the court of Louis XIV in 1652. He played a significant role in establishing the general direction ballet would follow for the next century! Louis XIV was fourteen years old when he danced five roles in a 12-hour ballet -Lully’s Ballet de la Nuit (1653) –  here he made his debut at court.

Ballet_de_la_nuit_1653

Louis XIV as Apollo the Sun King

Moving swiftly ahead in time to the 18th century. Technical ballet standards really advanced during this time. It was considered on par with opera and became a serious dramatic art form.

Then there is the female dancer’s tutu, as it is recognized today which began to appear at this time. The tutu was made up of a short, stiff skirt with layers of crinoline or tulle that revealed the dancer’s acrobatic legwork but was combined with a wide gusset to preserve modesty *blush*.

And now we are in the 19th century (my how time flies) and what had been a mainly male art form, now featured women. The ballerina became the most popular dance performer in Europe during the first half of this century, which was a period of great social change. Often the heroes were played by women!

Geneviève Gosselin, Marie Taglioni and Fanny Elssler were ballerinas who experimented with new techniques such as pointework that gave the ballerina prominence.

800px-Marie-taglioni-in-zephire

Marie Taglioni as Flore in Charles Didelot’s  Zephire et Flore. Hand colored lithograph, circa 1831. Alfred Edward Chalon (1780–1860) (artist).

France was instrumental in early ballet. However, other countries and cultures began to adopt ballet as an art form – especially Russia.

The era of Russian Ballet put a lot of emphasis on technique, virtuosity and strength. It demanded strength usually above the norm of contemporary Western dancers. Once World War II was over, Russian companies toured several times all over the world, revitalizing ballet in the West.

Michel Fokine was a groundbreaking Russian choreographer and dancer who began his career in St. Petersburg but moved to Paris and worked with Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. In addition to technical virtuosity he demanded drama, expression and historical authenticity! One of his most famous works was The Dying Swan, which was performed by Anna Pavlova.

Anna_Pavlova_in_costume_for_the_Dying_Swan

Here is Anna Pavlova in costume for The Dying Swan  Buenos Aires, c. 1928, by Frans van Riel. With an autograph.

Jumping ahead again and now to the US – George Balanchine and Frederick Ashton were both prominent choreographers associated with what is now known as neoclassical ballet, a style of dance between classical and today’s contemporary ballet. Many of their neoclassical ballets are still performed today!

Speaking of Contemporary – we all know who trained with George Balanchine – yes – Mikhail Baryshnikov! The most notable modern choreographer he worked with was Twyla Tharp.

Twyla Tharp choreographed many ‘contemporary ballet’ pieces, considered innovative for their use of distinctly modern movements melded with the use of pointe shoes and classically trained dancers.

Here our history lesson ends. We hope you enjoyed reading about some interesting facts. We thank Wikipedia for their information – please visit their page for a more detailed history of ballet – Wikipedia

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