Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Let's talk about rolling dance bags

Rolling dance bags 
Rack Monsters
I call them rolling closets.  These bags are designed to hold and assist in transporting our precious costumes to and from a competition or recital.  Are they all that?  Yes they are.  Are they perfect? No they are not.  Does one stand out from the other?
Yes!  Quality, customer service, availability, usability. These are all factors that you should consider before shelling out approximately $200.00 plus shipping.

Tired of schlepping around all that gear, shoes, make-up, accessories, garment bags etc. etc. in multiple different bags?  If not, you will be. Once you get to the point where you can no longer tolerate not being able to find what you want at any given moment because you have so many back packs and bags that it's driving you to the point of, well you know, ugh! Once you see a dancer rolling in with "A" bag, one bag, which carries everything, yeah, you're finally going to jump onto the band wagon and get one of the bags that are currently available on the market.

Dance Tower
There are several new editions to the 2016 line of rolling dance bags available. Here are just a few Rac N RollDream Duffel, Dance Tower, Diva Dolly, Dance Star ,Rack Monsters and Glam'r Gear. The first two bags are almost identical. There's a reason for this.  For more information you can read my blog titled, Rac N Roll vs. Dream Dufflel.  The Dance TowerDance Star, Rack Monsters and Glam'r gear bags, are a completely different twist altogether. One of the newest competitors on the floor is the Diva Dolly, which is an all in one trunk style with drawers. There are a couple more bags out there, which I have yet to get my hands on before I comment on them.  These exciting new designs and bags that are going to be a big hit!

Dance Star
The first thing that you will notice that sets the Dance Star trunk apart from the rest is the way it stands.  This  magnificent "bag" has 5 drawers, a 360 degree rack and an interior rail hanger system which eliminates the fussy D-ring style holders. 13 color options, a Lifetime Warranty and so much more. More about the Dance Star to come. . .

All of the bags, of course, have some sort of internal telescoping rack system, hence my coined phrase "rolling closet."  Each bag has it's own unique rack system.

Diva Dolly
So what else separates one bag from another? Color options, reliability, quality, storage capability, capacity, ease of use, availability, and cost.  These are all things to consider when you are looking to purchase one of these types of bags.   The color and or pattern options are clearly personal choice. Reliability, well, I am bias, because as a distributor and a dance mom, I have all the above mentioned bags.  As such, I can tell you hands down, the Rac N Roll dance bag has a far better rack system then the Dream Duffel. The Dance Tower is one my favorite bags and is a top rated contender.  The Diva Dolly is a very cool product. Again, you can refer to the other blog Compare Dance bags . In regards to customer care, all of the above mentioned companies provide great customer service and warranties.
The Rack Monster.  This bag is designed for those who have 8 or fewer costumes.  An advanced system designed for the maximum capacity in a small space.  There are a total of 8 exterior and interior pockets and storage compartments.  An adjustable rack extends up to 34 inches.  Additional features are an expandable one inch of space, locking quad wheel system, solid steel frame and rack system, rear and side protective skid rails.  Handles on the side and top of the bag for easy handling.  Simple 3 piece steel rod system.  No mechanism's or buttons, making this rack super solid and fail safe.


Glam'r Gear.  I would describe this bag as a rolling dressing room. An optional curtain which attaches via velcro straps onto a pull out u-shaped rod system is what sets this bag apart from all of the other bags out there.  This bag also allows the lid cover to close completely while the side rods are exposed.  Similar style bags cannot be zippered shut when the rack is in place.  There is a side pouch with a strap locking system to hold a chair in place on the exterior.  The rack has 3 adjustable heights and an insert piece to stabilize and support the rack.  There are interior and exterior pockets and storage compartments to store all of your shoes and accessories.  This bag has a 4 wheel system allowing you to push or pull the bag.  Currently available in Black and Glitter Pink.

You will always find someone out there who prefers one bag over the other.  It's called brand loyalty. What I provide are personal and professional experiences and give you first hand knowledge of the distinct differences between all of the rolling dance bags that are on the market today so that you can choose the bag that is right for you..

Happy dancing!

                                                 
                                     Rack Monsters 
                          
                              Level UP Dance Supplies



Monday, July 4, 2016

Stretching and other Gadgets. . . Do they really work?

Flexistretcher 

Stretch, Flex and Turn-Gadgets: A quick guide in choosing the right gear for you.

Question of the day. . . Can you really improve your dance technique, flexibility and strength with a gadget?  Simply said, yes and here's why.

Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles which increases muscle flexibility and joint range of motion.  Using gadgets that are specifically designed to increase your flexibility and range of motion allows for the possibilities of greater range of motion, improved movements, the ability to work and use multiple muscles at one time and of course increase flexibility.  As with anything, use with caution and in addition to your normal stretching routines.  Natural stretching and exercises are the key to your success.

Flexistetcher vs. Stretch bands.  So, now you probably want to know what the difference is between the Flexistretcher and a stretch band. 

The Flexistretcher gives you the ability to adjust the tension as needed.  It has a super amazing padded area so when it sits on your shoulder it is extremely comfortable.  No more "looping," or tying to place your foot in the loop because there is a adjustable "loop" foot rest.  The Flexistretcher is stronger then any stretch band that is on the market.  No more snapping or having a band retract and snap on you, ouch!  Flexistretch comes with a 7 stretch pictorial and written guide in the package.  
A stretch band is a one size fits all elastic band. Not all bands are created equal! There are different resistant strengths. Therefore, you will have to purchase multiple bands as you grow stronger and more flexible. 
Both offer the same type and style of stretches to maximize your ability to be more flexible. Video tutorials are available on Youtube as well as on the website. Which one is best for you? it's all about personal preference and $$$.  The Flexistrecher is about $65.00.  A stretch band is about $20.00.

Foot Stretchers-

Ballet Foot Stretch
Arch  Genie
Okay, so there are several different brands of foot stretchers out there. They are all accomplishing the same thing which is to strengthen the foot and muscles and improve the arch.  The goal is to increase the height and shape of the arch allowing for consistent proper foot positioning and technique. Prices range from about $50-200. 
Is one better then the other?      Personal
Arch Flexor
preference is certainly a factor.  As with any product, there is not a one size fits all. 

Comfort, ability to provide quality of stretch, fabrics and foundation are important components in reaching your goal without injuring yourself during the process. Also time and proper foot placement are key factors to reaching the desired arch of the feet. 
  
The Arch Flexor design is completely unique and utilizes elements from the top name brand foot stretchers and combines them into one sleek design.  Using the finest wood base, that will not warp like some of the flat base foot stretchers, a carefully crafted arch which allows for a more natural stretch.  Using NuFoam, a fiber based foam product that will not break down, unlike a dense foam, gives superior support and comfort.  The adjustable LegLock system holds your leg in place providing a proper and true stretch. Using the highest quality, strongest and widest resistant bands available and two levels, intermediate and advanced, makes this a product to be reckoned with.  Custom color options are available.


Turnboards-Portable
Turnboard
Do they work?  Yes they do!
These tools are specifically designed to improve your spinning technique, balance and agility.  They help you build core strength, proper position and increase your ability to find your center and improve your spotting.
To turn on releve', simply turn the sideways.

Harlequin

    
Bella Virage
The newest craze is a portable, Marly covered Turning board. You should know that the term "Marly" is a brand name of flooring used for dance floors, it is not a type of flooring. There are other brands available which are similar in quality. These boards make it easy to practice your turns and or tap.  The board can be placed on any surface.  I have started to see many appearing at dance competitions.  These boards are portable in the sense that they can be moved around and easily stored. They are heavy and range in price.  My favorite, due the the quality, price and that it comes with a beautiful carrying case, is the Bella Virage.  

Overstretch bars- 
Overstretch bars
Designed  to assist one with stretching your legs properly, safely and securely to achieve over splits.  They are completely portable, lightweight and have adjustable heights. Made with furniture grade pvc for stability and durability and a high density industrial strength commercial
foam providing maximum comfort and longevity.














Check out some helpful videos of the Turnboard, Spinner and the Flexistretcher on Youtube and at Level UP Dance Supplies

World Class products and customer service!









Thursday, May 5, 2016

Pack2Rack Review vs. Rac n Roll, Dream Duffel, Rack Monsters, Glam'r Gear, Dance Tower, Diva Dolly and more!

Comparing All Rolling Dance bags 

So, here we are approaching the 2018 dance competition season. If you're still lugging around back packs and make shift suitcases to carry all of your costumes, accessories, make-up etc. let me make your life easier!
UPDATE November 2016.  It's a new year and there are new bags on the market!  


Sooner or later, sooner being the better option, you should consider investing in a rolling closet.  Yes, it's an investment, however, consider this. . . why would you fuss and muss and dig around the bottom of a bag when you can roll in with everything organized in one rolling dance bag?  For about $200 you can buy peace of mind and organization.  When you're done with the bag you can sell it. There's a big resale market for these bags.  The problem is that there aren't many out there for resale because they last for years and well, frankly, that's a good thing.  Hence the reason I say that taking the plunge and making a purchase is a good investment.

So then, which bag do you buy? Below will be an honest, in depth discussion about which bag, that is currently on the market is the best bag to own and why.  I have no bias towards one brand or another, as I am an authorized retailer of all but one of the brands.  Most importantly I have experience and expert knowledge. As a dance mom and the owner of All About Attitude Dancewear, an ecommerce business that specializes in competition and recital accessories, I am going to, as usual give you my honest opinion about all of the rolling dance bags that are currently available today. Before I delve deeply into the subject please note that I have all four of these bags and many years of experience, hands on and as a professional with all of the bags that I am comparing today.

You may or may not know that there is a new rolling dance bag, or as I have always referred to as "rolling closets," on the market.  It's called the Dance Tower.  My daughter and I had the pleasure to of using the Dance Tower all last season.  We had no issues whatsoever.

There are now several brands of rolling dance bags with more coming on the market for the Fall of 2016.  If you haven't purchased anything yet, I'd say wait, there are some very exciting things coming soon!

Dream Duffel
Alrighty, so let's get to it.  As you all know if you follow my blog, I am not a fan of the Dream Duffel. The rack is always unreliable and the customer service is next to nil.  Take notice; at every competition you will see all of the bags listed above.  At each and every competition you will notice that one brand in particular always has a slanted rack.  This is a sure sign that the bag in which I speak of is the Dream Duffel.

Rac n Roll
Moving on (pun intended)
to the Rac n Roll.
This was the first bag of it's kind to hit the pavement.  I have been a big fan of this bag for years. The customer service, most especially if you purchased from All About Attitude Dancewear, is great.  This is important.  When and if you have an issue with a product, any product, you want service.  Simple enough.  Anyway, back to the bag.  The rack is very sturdy, which is the most important feature of these types of bags.  You put the square peg into the square hole. The side poles are telescopic which are simple enough to use.  In 2015 there were a few issues with the t-bar piece on the top rack breaking as well as the poles being difficult to insert into the main support system.  That said, replacement parts were shipped out immediately, free of charge, if you are within the warranty period which is 1 year. Fair enough I would say.  There's an ample amount of storage pockets inside and out.  2 sizes, medium or large offering 7 color and pattern options.

One of my favorite bags is the Dance Tower.
This bag is made by Grit. World renowned maker of hockey and ice skating bags. It was a natural move for them to design a dance bag. We recently used
this bag at a competition and we loved it! The upright design took up a minimal amount of space.  The rack, a bungee cord type system, (brilliant)! was effortless to set up and yes, the rack and the bag are very sturdy.  This bag will hold 15 costumes.  It's a bit on the pricey side, but it's worth it. This bag is a collapsible design for easy storing when not in use. If you are looking to have more space in the dressing room and don't have a bazillion costumes, then I highly recommend the Dance Tower. Quality, multiple storage pockets and space saving make this the new it bag. Currently available in Black on black and Pink on black.

Dance Star.  Be a star and travel like one too! Loving this trunk!  The newest most innovative rolling closet built and made in the USA.  Using the highest quality components to insure durability and longevity.  A lifetime warranty with free non-cosmetic repairs for the life of the trunk, scratch resistant, water resistant, lock tight lid keeps out moisture out, rear skid rails. . . Simply put, this trunk is built to last!  The best feature is the 360 degree movable rack system.  5 drawers to store all of your gear and a drop in cooler pack to keep your food cold. 13 color options.  There's nothing not to love about this "bag."


Rack Monsters
Looking for something big yet small?  There's tons of storage space on this bag both inside and out.  2 years of designing and prototypes to get this bag just right! Specifically designed for those who have 8 or fewer costumes.  An advanced system designed for the maximum capacity in a small space.  There are a total of 8 exterior and interior pockets and storage compartments.  An adjustable rack extends up to 34 inches.  Additional features are an expandable one inch of space, locking quad wheel system, solid steel frame and rack system, rear and side protective skid rails.  Handles on the side and top of the bag for easy handling.  Simple 3 piece steel rod system.  No mechanism's or buttons, making this rack super solid and fail safe.

Glam'r Gear.
A new twist in design!  It's truly a rolling dressing room.  The optional curtain offers a sense of privacy. Simply attach via velcro straps onto a pull out u-shaped rod system. This bag also allows the lid cover to close completely while the side rods are

exposed.  Similar style bags cannot be zippered shut when the rack is in place.  There is a side pouch with a strap locking system to hold a chair in place on the exterior.  The rack system has 3 adjustable heights, not offered on any other bag on the market today. A unique stabilizer insert piece adds great support to the rack.  There are interior and exterior pockets and storage compartments to store all of your shoes and accessories.  This bag has a 4 wheel system allowing you to push or pull the bag.  Currently available in Black and Glitter Pink.

Diva Dolly.  This product is a trunk/trolley style.  It is definitely not a bag.  It is completely unique in its style and functionality.  The Dolly has three pull out drawers which are on gliders are fully lined and have dividers for maximum organization. The top tray area has pull out pieces unveiling additional compartments to store smaller items.  There are two side chambers which close and snap to keep items from falling out. The rack is a telescoping system that is easy to put together in seconds.  It has six wheels and can be pushed or leaned to pull for transporting. This bad boy is heavy! 34 lbs. without anything in it.  You can hang up to 6 costumes on the inside.  That said, the interior hanging area lacks in width and thus you have to hang the costumes without using a  protective garment bag, which can be an issue.  This product is best suited if your intent is to store your costumes in the drawers.  The mirror is small, so I would suggest purchasing a hanging mirror, other then that this product is very cool.
It is available in Pink, Black, Red, Silver Diamond, Zebra print and Gold.

Dance Angel
The Dance Angel dance bag has a very unique design.  This bag stands in an upright position and is on 4 spinners wheels. Two sizes, Carry-on and Large and has a patent for it's rack system. The rack is placed in it's own separate compartment behind the interior.  You unzip the compartment and pull on the metal loop to pull up the rack, you then pull out the sides to extend the hanging area. This configuration best suits those who are looking for a bag that is less bulky and easy to store.  The Carry-on size, if you are using a garment bag, will hold up to 3 costumes.  The Larger bag will hold up to 8 costumes.  Anything more then this I would recommend looking at a different brand. This bag also has the option of customizing with name and or image. The d-rings on this bag are not secured and thus pulls down when a hanger is placed on it.  It is recommended that you simply fold your costumes.  Lack of pockets and storage compartments make this bag unappealing.


The Pack2Rack.  There are several storage compartments that it's tough to decide what you want to put where.  On the outside there are 3 compartments.  On the front side there is a cooler style pocket, next to that is a zippered pocket and in between these is a mesh compartment to hold a water bottle.  On the back side there is a huge zippered pocket.  Here you can place an accessory stool or a change of clothes etc. The interior has an elongated mesh compartment and on the opposite side are two zippered storage compartments, 1 large and 1 small.
Collapsed folded position
The lid opens to the side which hangs on the top rack. The lid is loaded with clear zippered pockets.  My favorite pocket is the elongated vertical pocket.  Lastly, when the bag is not in use it completely collapses for convenient storage.
In regards to the rack. This is a 3 piece metal pole system. 2 round side poles quickly slip into the holding support system and click into place.  The 3rd top piece simply clicks onto the side pieces. The rack system is a bit clumsy to take apart not as sturdy as one would like to have.  It is difficult to place the rods into the bag when not in use.

Brought to you by Level UP Dance Supplies  Specializing in competition and recital accessories and core strength training tools.

All of these products can be purchased at the two below online stores. Additional information, such as size, features and FAQ's are available on the websites.  We are happy to take your calls and emails to further provide you with answers to your questions or to assist you with a purchase.



Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Perfect Garment bag for your dance competition & recitals



The Perfect Costume garment bag for all of your dance competitions & recitals exists!

Question;  How many times have you packed your dance or skating costume for a competition or recital into your garment and said to yourself, or aloud. . .
I wish this bag had. . . or why is this darn bag so long? or I need this thing to have pockets! I could go on and on.

Well, alas, after many years of being a dance mom and packing or tucking a costume into a garment bag and asking myself those very questions, I decided to design my own line of costume garment bags.  So, if you're looking for that perfect costume garment bag, then look no further because now that bag exists and can be purchased, at a very reasonable price, at
All About Attitude Dancewear

First I'll tell you what I've always wanted in a bag and then you can decide whether or not I've read your mind.
A bag with zippered pockets, clear as well as one that provides a bit of privacy.
A clear view of which costume is in the bag. Fabric, because an all plastic bag is too rigid and just too much to look at all at one time.  A bag that is not too short or too long.  So, in a nutshell, that's what I have designed.

My design is simplistic and functional.  The entire right 1/4 panel is a clear vinyl.  No more guess work of which costume is inside the bag. No more putting a piece of paper inserted into a tiny plastic holder or taping or pinning a hand written note to a bag.  Straightforward and practical.

2 side by side pockets to separate your shoes from your accessories.  1 Elongated privacy pocket to store personal items such as older girl things, hair brush, keys or whatever you desire.

Fabric.  I truly dislike an all clear garment bag. Really, I don't want to see everything.  What's the point of that
anyway (rhetorical question). You can't conceal anything, it's rigid, it clings to stuff and it's noisy. Have you ever tried folding one of those bags, ever?  Ugh!  That's all I have to say about that. Anyway, back to my garment bag, LOL.  The fabric is a professional commercial grade durable soft fabric.  It's easy to spot from afar, is flexible, and the breathable fabric reduces moisture retention among garments inside.

It is available in 6 colors, Red, Hot Pink, Purple, Teal, Royal Blue and drum roll. . . Black. Hooray! For the boys who are often overlooked and the older girls who are beyond the cutesy colors, we have basic black.  These colors will stand out making them a quick find in a crowded dressing room, yay! Option for a coordinating color or white zipper.  The logo is located on the back to allow for embroidery customization on the front.

Lastly, the back side.  It's all fabric.  You can personalize these garment bags with custom embroidery, vinyl heat press and or adding a rhinestone image or name. Studio logo, no problem. I've do this often with my bags and it truly makes the dancer, cheerleader, skater, etc. feel extra special.







For pricing and ordering information, visit
          LevelUPDance Supplies
        www.Rack Monsters.com