Students that are serious about their dancing future require an impressive list of garments and bags, explains Taylor Byrnes of Danceworks
Danceworks in Eccles, Manchester, is a dance school that offers classes to children aged two-years-old up to adults, explains its principal Taylor Byrnes. Twenty of the school’s 230 students have been selected to represent England at the Dance World Cup in June this year.
The students can buy a range of Danceworks-branded garments and bags, none of which are compulsory unless they are attending competitions, in which case they need to buy the tracksuit. The black tracksuit comprises a Just Hoods by AWDis Kids Zoodie (JH050B) and a Just Hoods by AWDis Kids Cuffed Jog Pants (JH072B), both in black. Howfen Graphics in Bolton decorates the garments using Dae Ha’s silver Glitter film (DG01) and its white and fuchsia Premium PU (DPU01 and DPU26).
Howfen Graphics also provides the school with its bags, which are from BagBase: the Classic Airporter (BG25) and the Athleisure Holdall (BG544). Like the tracksuits, each black bag is vinyl printed with the Danceworks logo and the individual student’s name so that there is no confusion over which student the different bags and clothes belong to. “Personally, I think embroidery is a little old school now,” says Taylor. “We have a glittery print that I think stands out better than embroidery does.”
Taylor advises that bags aimed at dance schools need to have lots of pockets, while the choice of a wheelie option for the younger children is ideal. “The smaller bag (BG25) from BagBase is not like a wheelie suitcase, it’s a wheelie bag. You can get a lot in it and the younger ones can wheel it themselves rather than worry about trying to carry a massive holdall.”
Beechfield Brands, the parent company of BagBase, is sponsoring the team kit for the Dance World Cup, says Taylor. “There’s a lot of things to buy – tracksuits, teamwear, leggings etc – so we needed sponsorship because for each parent to buy all the kit as well as everything else is a lot. We asked people for sponsorship and Beechfield has been kind enough to do that.”
Other garments worn by the students include leggings, crop tops, longer vest tops and body warmers. “We have Lycra leggings and crop tops that they can dance and move in without being restricted. We get them in our colours, black and fuchsia. All our kit is based around those colours.” These garments are made in the UK using the cut and sew method by Designs A Like in Portsmouth, a design and manufacturing company that also offers print and embroidery services. Known for its dancewear, it has been selected to make the outfits for everyone in the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland teams at the Dance World Cup.
The pricing is important. “Nothing we offer is too expensive. If you went to Pink at Victoria Secret in the shopping centre, which is what they’re all wearing at the moment, you’re looking at £40 for leggings. So I think ours are quite affordable in comparison to what they would be buying.”
For those looking to supply dance schools, Taylor recommends offering garments that can withstand frequent washing. “They’re at the dance school three or four times a week. They’re wearing them a lot and they’re washing them a lot, because they’re doing dance moves: they’re going to sweat, they’re going to smell.”