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?


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.

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.


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!