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It’s getting chilly….

30 Nov

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! The weather is getting quite cold – I find myself wearing at least three layers to rehearsals and classes these days – so I decided to share some of my favorite cold weather dancewear items from – enjoy!

Bloch Lightweight Shrug - I have had one of these for a few years and love that I can still see the lines of my arms and shoulders and keep warm at the same time! Only $16.20

Bloch Tights with Rollover Waist - A good pair of knit tights is essential to staying warm and work great on their own or over other tights - $25.50

Mirella Rollover Warm Up Shorts - Never underestimate a good pair of knit shorts! Great for warm or cold weather - $18.75

Mirella Warm Up Jumpsuit - Although it's pricier, I wouldn't trade my own long sleeve jumpsuit for anything! It's the best thing over or under other layers when you can't seem to get those muscles warmed up - $54.40


Body Wrappers Stirrup Legwarmer - for only $7.95, these thigh-high legwarmers are a MUST HAVE! I wear mine almost daily

Sansha Bright Stirrup Legwarmers - for those who like bright colors, these are an even better bargain for $6.20


Sparkle for the holidays

22 Nov

I cannot believe the holidays are here already! I have finally finished up my choreography for our studio’s holiday show and wanted to share the costumes I found for my advanced pointe class on because they are adorable! As I mentioned before, I decided to mix up my choreography a little bit this year and create a pointe/jazz hybrid dance, so this draped sequin tunic in bright red was the absolutely perfect thing – and at a great price!

Tired of your boring black leotard? Me too…

6 Nov

So I have a definite propensity towards fun leos (probably because I was forced to wear plain black ONLY for so many years), and felt the need to share this one I found on I already ordered both colors and I can’t wait for them to come in! The stylish back cutout and twist front are a great way to stand out in any class or competition.

Bloch Adult Halter Leotard - $27.50

After the curtain falls

27 Oct

So all of us in the dance industry are all too well aware of how short lived a professional career on stage can be. As I mentioned in my first post, I was forced to retire after only five years of professional performing due to two major knee injuries and early onset hip arthritis. I don’t take any of the time I was given for granted, and I feel lucky that I am able to continue working with the art form in any capacity. However, many of us probably don’t stop to think what other professional dancers go on to do when they take off their costumes for the last time and their names get removed from the programs. I stumbled upon a supplement pamphlet online for Dance Magazine titled “Beyond Performance: Dancers talk about career choices before and after taking their final bow.” The full PDF file can be found at at the bottom of the homepage, but I have included the article written about former NYC Ballet dancer Marisa Cerveris, who went on to be a dancewear fashion designer.

Cerveris, at a fitting

Marisa Cerveris’s idea for a dancewear line began as a young dancer studying at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. “The leotards did not adhere to the small of my back and the fabric would billow out,” she says about the dancewear available at the time. “As dancers we work so hard to sculpt and shape our bodies. I thought it was crazy that the leotards didn’t accentuate that.”

During her performance career

Cerveris, who has no formal training in clothing design, acquired a basic knowledge of sewing and fabrics from her mother, who would make clothing and Halloween costumes for Cerveris and her siblings growing up in Huntington, West Virginia. It wasn’t however, until the dancer joined New York City Ballet that she began seriously experimenting with designing. Cerveris says she took apart her garments and those of fellow company members, tweaking their fit and getting feedback from the other dancers who served as her fit models.

She also gleaned a lot of information from watching and listening to the various costume designers while dancing with NYCB in Europe, and on Broadway (in The Phantom of The Opera). “We would always go for costume fittings at Barbara Matera’s shop in Manhattan. I would listen to Barbara speaking with Peter Martins and talking about costume design and showing fabrics as they were fit- ting us,” says Cerveris. “I got to see firsthand the creative and collaborative process, and all that seeped in.”

When she retired from the stage in 2000, Cerveris received a grant from Career Transition For Dancers. She purchased her first industrial sewing machine and set to work in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to develop her line of ByMarisa designs which have no elastic or center seams.

“My approach to designing dancewear is the same as my approach to being a dancer: line is most important to me,” says Cerveris. “I am basically trying to paint the body with fabric.”

At first, she used to worry she didn’t have enough to say that was different in dancewear design. But the lyrics from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sunday in the Park with George—“Anything you do, let it come from you, and it will be new”—inspired her to get out of her own way. “This is what I have to offer. It is pure and it is sincere and it comes from me,” she says. The uniqueness of ByMarisa dancewear led the costume designers of Robert Altman’s 2003 film The Company to her to give the film’s dancers a signature look. More recently representatives of TV’s Dancing with the Stars did the same. She has now expanded the line to include workout wear for yoga and Pilates. “Everything I have become is because of my former career.” —Steve Sucato