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Get up and dance! It’s fun and it’s good for you

October, 2010

Such shows as So You Think You Can Dance make us want to get up and just do it. It’s an excellent way to exercise and have fun at the same time.

Besides ballroom dancing, you would be surprised to find out how many kinds of dances there are to learn: flamenco, swing, salsa, tango, tap, jazz, hip hop, square dancing, Irish, Scottish dancing and more.

You can find lessons in schools, community centres, churches, or senior groups, and the one basic necessity for dancers is at least one pair of proper dancing shoes.

What does the word gypsy have to do with dancing? It is the nickname for chorus dancers in Broadway shows. The nickname started because they, like gypsies, move from place to place, or from show to show.

My dad was a Broadway stagehand. Whenever I visited him at work, the dancers were always practicing routines, hanging out in the theatre seats or roaming backstage, stretching.

Dance-store clerks usually have a background in dance and know how to fit you.

Danz Etc., which opened 43 years ago, is one of the oldest and biggest dance-supply houses in town.

There are shoes, bodywear, tights and leotards from familiar brands: Montionwear, Mirilla, Capezio, Mondar, Bloch, Sancha, Angelo Luzio, Bunheads, Harmony, etc. The staff has background in dance. You might bump into a dancer from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Jazz or École National de Ballet. 920 Jean Talon E., 514-271-6512; Movimento, 4307 St. Jean, 514-696-1212.

Rossetti, which has had the same owner since 1951, caters to all ballet needs. There are Capezio, Bloch, Mondor, Mirella and Body Wrapper tutus, leotards and unitards.

For other dancing feet – flamenco, salsa, tango and tap – glide over for a personalized fitting. They offer made-to-measure theatrical and period shoes. 3923 St. Denis, 514-842-7337.

Boutique de Danse Wendy is the location for West Islanders to find dance shoes for ballroom, jazz, ballet, tap, gymnastics, Irish and Scottish dancing. You can find figure skating, ballet and aerobic clothing by So Danca, Capezio, Mondor and Leo’s. 295A St. Jean, 514-695-0285.

Boutique Bodywares began by specializing in dance and gymnastic clothing, including ballet, jazz and tap shoes and dance sneakers. It has expanded to include affordable and comfortable clothing (and such sports bras as Oprah’s Enell and Champion) with familiar brand names.

There are original pieces of streetwear constructed from recycled saris from India, purses, wallets, Kopa fashions in raincoats, dresses, tunics and those yummy wrap sweaters in all colours. 4920 Sherbrooke St. W., 514-482-4702.



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