Over the next few weeks parents of ballet students in Grades 1 and higher will begin to hear talk of Character Shoes and Skirts. We've compiled the three top questions we get asked about Character for you below:
What is Character Dancing?
Character dance is a specific subdivision of classical dance. It is the stylized representation of a traditional folk or national dance, mostly from European countries, and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theatre. Character dance is integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire. A good example of character dance within ballet is the series of national dances which take place at the beginning of Act III of Swan Lake.
Why are the shoes and skirt important?
Character shoes and skirts are required by the RAD for the Graded Ballet Syllabus. The shoes are very important as much for the Character work involves stamping or beating of heels and proper shoes are vital to preventing injuries. The skirt is used often in the character section in each grade. Students must learn the proper positioning of their fingers and arms while holding the skirt and will drop and pick up the hem as they dance.
Why are the skirts so expensive?
Character Skirts are not currently sold by any dance retailer in Canada. This means that they must be custom made by a seamstress. Because of the amount of fabric used and the time it takes to sew (especially all those ribbons) the cost is about $60+ depending on where you get them made. We are currently able to offer them at $53 +HST until October 30th.
Character Rental Program...
Character skirts are worn for practice in class as well as for examinations and class awards. These have been a big expense for parents and last year we added a rental program to help ease the cost.