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La Jolla Mom

Tiny Dancers: Hunting Down Gear (At A Reasonable Price)

BY La Jolla Mom

La Jolla Girl starts dance lessons today. It’s a class for 3-year-olds and is a combination of tap and ballet. I had a laughable time trying to round up the necessary dance shoes and apparel at the lowest price possible (while still looking like she lives in the 92037), just in case she hates it. So it’s probably not the best price out there, but I felt good about what I bought and I’m pretty sure I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the project.

Me: “So can she come in playwear or does she have to wear special clothing?” Please say playwear.
Dance Instructor: “Well, she can come in whatever she likes…(pause)….however, all of the other girls will be wearing dancewear.”

Ok, that means go buy some. I wasn’t about to have her stick out like a sore thumb. The school suggested that I head to Payless to pick up some tap and ballet shoes. There’s one next to Home Depot and Target on Sports Arena (as well as on Balboa) so we went in. They did not have ballet shoes in her size in any color but the tap shoes were an even $25 including tax. Fine. They are kind of stiff and uncomfortable looking though.

Shoes: I buy La Jolla Girl shoes at Endless.com all of the time but didn’t think to look at dance shoes. This is where I hit the jackpot and thought I’d share in case you don’t have time to go looking for this kind of thing or your child has a hard to find size. Maybe I have a little guilt because they lost the lottery on shipping in my case.

I first bought a pair of pink Capezio ballet slippers for $19.95. They were a little small so I sent them back. Free overnight or two day shipping, free returns. Then I ordered the right size in pink. They arrived and then I had an epiphany that her ballet shoes should probably be black like her tap shoes (also because Target didn’t have any pink skirtalls – see below).

So I sent these pink ones back too. At that time, I also decided to plug in tap shoes to see what they cost on the site. I found these flexible tap shoes by Dance Class that are miles better than the Payless ones and $5 less. They’re not as flexible as I thought they would be, but they seem way more comfortable. La Jolla Girl spent a long time last night jumping up and down in them on the driveway, no blisters or anything. So shoe dilemma solved.

They also have wide and narrow sizes which I hear can be hard to find.  The have awesome metallic silver ballet shoes on the site even.  I’ll see if La Jolla Girl likes dance school first before we go splurging on that kind of thing.

Apparel: There is a Capezio store in the UTC mall. I went in there with La Jolla Girl and saw that a plain leotard was about $30 (gulp) without the cute little skirt and tights. If it weren’t for the fact that she wanted to have lunch, I would have bought them. That’s at a level of pricing where I would have been bummed if she wound up not liking the dance school.  Nothing was on sale in her size.

Next stop was Target. The dance school suggested looking there for dancewear, but not to buy their ballet slippers because they don’t have the strap that goes over the foot. La Jolla Girl needs that. No frilly tutus either.

Target carries Danskin which is what I remember wearing as a kid. I bought two really cute leotards with skirts attached (called Skirtalls – I didn’t know that) for $16.99 each. And the tights were about $5. I’ve never bought apparel at Target before but also threw in a pair of cotton PJs for La Jolla Dad (I mean he’ll never know the difference).

My little tomboy refused to wear the leotards until La Jolla Dad told her she was going to look like a princess.  Because she’s obsessed with Disney princesses, and the blue one is the same color as Cinderella’s dress, it’s all good now.  So hopefully, she’ll like the class.

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6 thoughts on “Tiny Dancers: Hunting Down Gear (At A Reasonable Price)

  1. You have never bought apparrel at Target???? Gasp! I buy tons of cute things for my kids at Target. As a South OC gal I actually get tons of compliments on dresses I buy my daughter at Target and find people’s jaws drop when they discover where I got them. Anyhow- If you ever head up north there is a dance supply store with the cutest little ensembles and the prices aren’t too bad. Let me know if you’re interested and I will send you the address. My daughter LOVES dance and the recital costumes are so adorable! I hopeLa JollaGirl has tons of fun.
    PS- thanks for the shoe tip. The dance store has shoes as well.
    Oh- and tights- I love the Bloch brand. They are a bit more expensive but they hold up so much better.

    1. Thanks for the tip on the tights. The Danskin ones from Target lasted 2 wears, really one but we were in a pinch so she wore them again. Just with a small hole. 🙂

      Since then I bought PJs and a really cute bathing suit at Target!

  2. I’ve been reading your blog and am wondering if you have any suggestions for toddler classes in Bird Rock or nearby areas? My family comes to La Jolla every August for the month – my inlaws have a home between Windandsea and Birdrock – and we are looking for fun activities. I know of Nightingale Music, and I know Artsy Smartsy closed (I’m sad for that!). Are there other nearby places that have fabulous classes? Toddler gyms? Art classes? Would love your thoughts!

    1. It’s a little bit far (near Garnet and the 5 freeway) but we LOVE Kid Ventures. You could even bring your laptop and use the free wireless while the kids play, if they’re independent. My daughter also takes ballet/tap (she’s 3) at Tap Fever on LJ Blvd. We had a My Gym in PB but I think it closed. There are also activities at Geppettos toy store on Girard (go in store for the schedule) and readings on Thursdays (I think – we haven’t been in a while) at the public library on Draper. Have a great time!

  3. Pingback: Ballet Shoes
  4. I’m a bit late to the conversation but toddler dance classes have popped up all over, thanks in part to internet coupons. We recently took a wonderful series of classes at Socal Dance in Poway (they also have a location in Sorrento Valley) and we got our gear at Discount Dance in La Mesa. $30 for leotard, tights and Capezio ballet shoes. Both Socal Dance and Discount Dance have websites with more info.

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