Tag Archives: ballet shoes

Halloween Colouring Competition

The season of orange pumpkins, frosty windows, smokey bonfires and cinder toffee is upon us, which means Halloween is hiding just around the corner – wa ha haaaa! We throught it would be fun to run a colouring in competition in the run up to Halloween to give your children the chance to win a pair of our beautiful light-up ballet shoes to dance the wintery evenings away in. Here they are with a quote from one happy wearer:

Light up ballet shoes with quote

And here’s Twinklesteps with her light up shoes:

Twinklesteps wearing sparkly ballet shoes

To enter the competition, all you have to do is print out our Halloween colouring in picture from our website (http://games.twinklesteps.com/Haloween.pdf), ask your child (aged 3-8 years) to colour it in by Halloween (31st October) and email a photo or scan of the finished picture to info@twinklesteps.com. You can also enter via our Facebook page. Here’s Halloween colouring in image, which you can download here: http://games.twinklesteps.com/Haloween.pdf.

Halloween ballerina Twinklesteps

We hope your child has lots of fun colouring, sticking, collaging or whatever they feel inspired to do. The winner will be announced on Monday 2nd November (UK entrants only please aged 3-8 years).

We can’t wait to see your entries so start emailing them into us at info@twinklesteps.com or upload to our Facebook competition page here. We’ll put the entries together in a new Facebook photo album ‘Twinklesteps Halloween Colouring in Competition 2015’.

Happy colouring from The Twinklesteps Team.

How was Twinklesteps Created?

This week we thought you might like to know a little bit more about Twinklesteps: who she is, where she came from and how she was brought to life. Twinklesteps started out as a bright idea dancing in the imagination of Twinklesteps creator and dance school owner Yvonne MacGregor. However, it wasn’t until Yvonne met writer Andrea Wilder and illustrator Lisa Williams that Twinklesteps leaped into the world and developed into an inspiring role model, encouraging young children to dance through imagination and play. Read on as the Twinklesteps team share all of their secrets about Twinklesteps, the fairy ballerina…

Twinklesteps jumping in light up ballet shoes

How did the Story of Twinklesteps begin?

Yvonne: It all started from a wish to inspire young children to enjoy dance through the magical world of ballet. Most little girls who start ballet want to feel like a fairy or Princess and I wanted to encourage and explore this imagination. I was keen to make the early stages of leaning ballet into something magical, and at the same time provide a visual aid to help them to understand how to stretch right to the ends of their toes. I wanted to create a shoe that would sparkle when they had reached a full stretch through the foot to the ends of the toes – very important in ballet. This developed into the idea of creating a little girl /fairy character who loved to dance and had shoes that sparkled when she pointed her toes. Because the ‘Twinklesteps Full Stretch’ ballet shoes are taking time to perfect, and inspired by children in my own ballet classes who loved the idea of sparkly ballet shoes, I created a different set of ballet shoes that would light up and sparkle when the wearer dances and are not reliant on pointing their toes. The ‘Twinklesteps Light Up‘ ballet shoes have little lights under a pink butterfly that sparkle when the children dance – so adding to the magical world of fairies and ballerinas. The shoes are great fun and intended for imagination and play – the children can now have sparkly shoes just like Twinklesteps. Read more about our light-up ballet shoes here and buy your pair here.

What’s the meaning behind the name?

Yvonne: I thought of the name after developing the idea of the shoes but before I thought of the character. I searched for Twinkle related names but didn’t want the obvious Twinkle Toes. I decided on Twinklesteps, as the shoes twinkle on each step. Twinklesteps then seemed like the perfect name for our new little character. Twinklesteps has taken on a life of her own and the shoes are now just a product that add to the fun of dressing up like Twinklesteps. The boys have not been left out – Twinklesteps has a good friend called Jett who also enjoys dancing and going on adventures with her.

Twinklesteps and Jett ballet

Is Twinklesteps a fairy or a little girl?

Yvonne: I knew that I wanted her to be a little girl who all young girls could identify with and not just be a mystical fairy. I had some ideas of how I wanted her to look but needed help to take my ideas forward. I was fortunate to meet Lisa and Andrea who shared my vision and excitement. We had numerous meetings and discussions of how she would look and had great fun exploring ideas for her character. Twinklesteps was brought to life by Lisa’s wonderful illustrations and by Andrea’s exciting adventure stories.

Andrea: One of the biggest discussions we had early on, was about the magical content of the stories and in particular of Twinklesteps herself. Twinklesteps is a fairy but she’s also a little girl and I was keen to keep the part that children could relate to very strong. She can do extraordinary and impossible things, like fly, but I wanted her qualities to inspire children. I wanted young readers to feel that if they could be brave, courageous, determined, kind and funny like Twinklesteps, they could achieve their dreams or at least give them wings!

Anything is possible - Twinklesteps ballet inspiration

How did the character of Twinklesteps come to life?

Andrea: For me, as the writer, creating Twinklesteps was more a case of allowing her to step through the team’s collective imagination to reveal herself rather than consciously trying to construct a new character from scratch. From Yvonne’s first discussion about her, she very quickly appeared in my mind’s eye and so really my job was to allow that picture to become clearer and sharper in detail and then listen to her voice. That wasn’t very difficult as Twinklesteps has plenty to say!

We bounced ideas around as a team, which is always fun and inspiring. Encouraging children to dance by using dance terminology was always going to be a major feature of the stories. This gave me a very clear framework to work within. Once Lisa presented some rough draft sketches, the stories and characters of the Twinklesteps world took off very quickly.

Lisa: Twinklesteps came to life in the Step One studio – We decided that she was a little mischievous red head with freckles – We also decided that she loved dancing and dressing up in different fairy outfits. Twinklesteps is extra special because not only does she fly, she has special shoes that light up when she dances.

As Andrea, Yvonne and I chatted through our thoughts about the character she became more and more real to us – each of us added to the discussion and Twinklesteps evolved in to the character we all know and love today. When she flies in the rain she has waterproof wings – she even has glow in the dark wings for night time adventures too. I thought her skirt would flow through the air if it were in petal shaped pieces rather than a conventional pancake style tutu then she could return to her ordinary clothes when she is home being an ordinary little girl.

Twinklesteps is a kind friend …not everyone knows that she is a fairy, they think she is just a 'normal' little girl, but we know  otherwise don't we!

Which came first, the story or the illustrations?

Andrea: Lisa and I work symbiotically. I can suggest the way I imagine a character and their personality, Lisa will present some visuals, which in turn spark off stories and further ideas in my head. Before long the characters are chattering away and the stories practically write themselves. It’s wonderful seeing the characters come to life. The stories are queuing up to leap on to the page or, should I say grand jeté.

Practising ballet in the garden

We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out all about Twinklesteps. You can view and read her introductory story for free on our website and you can buy our first book ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong here.

Happy dancing from the Twinklesteps Team 🙂

 

Win a pair of Light-up Ballet Shoes

News, special offers, competitions and more…We’re very excited to announce a fabulous competition to celebrate the launch of our e-newsletter. Here at Twinklesteps we’re dedicated to bringing you products, ideas and inspiration which inspire young children to enjoy the world of ballet and dance through imagination and play. We have now set up an exciting new e-newsletter to keep you up to date with our news, special offers, competitions and ballet and dance inspired ideas and crafts to try with your children. If you have children who love ballet or dance or you’re a ballet or dance teacher, you’ll love our e-newsletter.

COMPETITION TIME

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a pair of our unique light-up ballet shoes (pictured below), is sign up to our e-newsletter before May Day (1st May) and in a whirlwind of May Day Madness we’ll randomly pick one of our new sign-ups to win a pair of light-up ballet shoes.

Light-up Ballet Shoes

So, the most important thing you need to know now is where do I sign up? Head over to our home page, scroll down and you’ll see our sign up area. Pop in your email address and you’re done! We hope you enjoy our action packed newsletters as they come dancing into your inbox over the coming months, and who knows, you may be the lucky winner of a pair of light-up ballet shoes 🙂

Happy Dancing, with love from the Twinklesteps team.

 

NEW Light-up Ballet Shoes!!

Yeeeeey!!! We’re bursting with excitement here at Twinklesteps because our long awaited sparkly dressing up ballet shoes are now available in our shop.

Light up ballet shoes for children

Our NEW Dressing Up ballet shoe has little lights under a pink butterfly that sparkle when your child dances. These gorgeous shoes are perfect for imagination and play purposes and the fact they are ballet shoes means they’re ideally suited to dancing, twirling, leaping and pirouetting. The shoes are based on the magical character of Twinklesteps, a little girl who is also a fairy, who LOVES to dance and has shoes that sparkle when she points her toes. The children can have lots of fun creating their own stories or enacting some of Twinklesteps’ adventures (buy the Twinklesteps book here).

Our new shoes are a play version of Twinklesteps’ ballet shoes so will light up simply by moving about – there’s no better way to get your child inspired to dance! They’re great for giving little shows at home to friends and family and to add to the excitement…..dim the lights! Twinklesteps creator and dance teacher Yvonne MacGregor explains why she was inspired to develop these unique dance shoes:

“When teaching little children to point their toes I tell them to imagine they have diamonds in their shoes, but they will only sparkle when they point their toes. With this in mind I started to create a shoe that would be magical and at the same time would motivate them to stretch right to the end of their toes. My little ballet girls inspired me to create the Dressing Up shoe. They kept asking. “When are we getting the sparkly ballet shoes?” I realised that they just wanted shoes that sparkled when they danced. I put the first shoe on hold and started working on a shoe that would light up and sparkle when they danced and that was not just reliant on them pointing their toes.”

How do these amazing ballet shoes work?

The idea to create a magical ballet shoe that would flash led light has certainly been a challenge. The difficulty being that a ballet shoe has virtually no sole and is of very thin fabric/ leather. The trainers and outdoor shoes with the flashing lights, have thick soles in which to house large battery units and sensors.

The sensors and components for the ballet shoes had to be small enough to fit on a circuit board that was not going to take up too much room on the shoe. The biggest challenge with both the shoe projects was finding a way to attach the unit safely to the shoe without causing any discomfort to the children given the thin fabric and make- up of the shoe.

The software programme has been developed to detect the movement and to activate the led lights to flash. The unit has been programmed to turn off automatically, if there is no movement after 30 seconds . The shoes can then be carried in a dance or school bag and so saving the life of the battery – it is possible to change the battery if need be. The ballet shoes have been inspected and evaluated in respect of the EN62115:2005.

Help your child love to dance by buying your pair here.

Enjoy, from all the team at Twinklesteps 🙂

Twinklesteps wearing sparkly ballet shoes

Pre Launch pair of Twinklesteps’ light-up ballet shoes to win!!

We have an explosion of exciting news to share with you today! My beautiful new dressing up ballet shoes are almost ready to launch and to celebrate we have a pair your child can WIN over on our Facebook page. Here’s a photo for you fresh from our first photo shoot. What do you think?

Dressing up sparkly light up ballet shoes for kids that love to dance.

The shoes light up when your child dances and they come with a little bag of jewels so they can decorate the shoes themselves. They’re not ready to buy in our shop just yet so the only way to get hold of a pair right now is to enter our Twinklesteps colouring competition!

To win a Pre Launch pair of Twinklesteps’ NEW sparkly light-up ballet shoes download and print out one of our Twinklesteps colouring in sheets from our website at: http://twinklesteps.com/colouring/ then send in a photo of your child’s Twinklesteps colouring in picture by entering here:
https://secure.pagemodo.com/m/CV8LAP

We can’t wait to see your drawings! Contest ends on October 14th 2014.

Good luck from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

Dance the Summer Away!

Hellooo everybody, we hope you’re well. As we rattle on towards the summer holidays we thought it was time to share with you some of our fab products to keep your children enjoying masses of dancing and imaginative play all summer long, whether or not they’re too little to have mastered any ballet steps. Our shop is bursting with lovely products so today we want to share with you just a few of our favourites.

First off is our fab sparkly ballet tutu skirt. It has a deliciously gorgeous layer of pale pink tutu net and two overlapping top layers of hot pink tulle. With lots of little holograms that sparkle when they catch the light for that added WOW factor it’s irresistible and will keep your child twirling ballerina turns all summer! We added a soft stretch waist band to make it super comfy and couldn’t resist adding the Twinklesteps logo in hot pink glitter text 🙂 These beautiful skirts are made in the UK so support local when you buy one from our shop here. See how sparkly they are in our video:

We are now selling our very own fantastic range of pink canvas split sole ballet shoes too, with sizes starting from as small as child size 6. The shoes come with attached elastics, so no worrying about having time to sew! We love these shoes, just pull the draw strings for a more snug fit. Even if your child is too young for ballet or has never tried a ballet class, you’ll be amazed how quickly they take to ballerina play once they try on a pair of our ballet slippers. They’ll soon be trying ballerina turns around the house and showing off their ‘ballet moves’. Our ballet shoes are available in our shop here. Make sure you find out just why we love ballet shoes in our blog post here and get some inspiration on ballet steps for young children here.

Pink Canvas Split Sole Ballet Shoes

Finally, every ballerina could do with a bit of magic so don’t forget to pick up one of our little bottles of fairy dust to make the magic complete when you browse in our shop. Twinklesteps loves to take a little bag of fairy dust with her when she goes on one of her adventures too 🙂

Fairy Dust

We have masses more goodies available in our shop so take a look and we’ll catch up with you again very soon. Happy dancing from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

 

Shiny New Website now LIVE!

We’re SOOOOO excited here at Twinklesteps because we now have our fantastically super-duper shiny new website to share with you! We wanted to make it lots easier for you to find out all about us and browse in our shop for gorgeous dance wear, ballet shoes and gifts. You can also play games on Flash enabled devices: dress up Twinklesteps in her ballet outfits and choose her magical location – kids love it. We hope you like the new site as much as we do – let us know in the comments section below!

We’ve put some special offers up which will hopefully bring a smile to any young ballerina’s face. You can now buy Twinklesteps’ first ballet adventure book: ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong‘ with a ballerina goodie bag….a perfect present for a special someone.

Special ballerina gift offer

Special ballerina gift offer

How much do you actually know about Twinklesteps? You probably know she loves dancing and that she has magical ballet shoes. Did you know she also loves adventures, solving problems and making new friends? And that she’s is naturally curious, bold and sometimes a bit cheeky?! You can find out all about her in Twinklesteps World and you can read a beautifully illustrated online introduction by clicking the image below or right here:

Twinklesteps the fairy ballerina, an online introduction

Twinklesteps the fairy ballerina, an online introduction

You can now buy your child’s ballet shoes direct from our shop – yey! Our sparkly ballet play shoes are coming soon, with gorgeous lights that sparkle when your child dances – sign up to our enewsletter from the new website homepage to be get an alert when they’re launched.

We hope you find a little something to buy as a surprise for a special young dancer you know. Here’s that shop link again.

Happy browsing and dancing from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

10 Fun Ways to Enjoy World Dance Day with Kids

With World Dance Day ready to leap into action on April 29th we thought we’d give you a few fun suggestions of ways you could celebrate it with your children. 1) Dance somewhere different. How about dancing in the park, in the supermarket, in the sandpit, on your garden wall, in the swimming pool or in the bathroom!

Ballet in the Bathroom

Ballet in the Bathroom

2) Make some World Dance Day celebratory footwear and add some bling to your ballet shoes! Read our post on decorating your ballet shoes here for inspiration.

Ballet Shoe Rosebuds

Ballet Shoe Rosebuds

3) Put on music which never fails to get your feet tapping  – you know what tracks get you twirling, swirling, stomping, sliding and spinning.

Music tracks to get your feet tapping

Music tracks to get your feet tapping

4) Find a friend to join in the fun. Can you dance with your whole body from your head to your toes – even your tongue can dance!

Dancing with your dog!

Dancing with your dog!

5) It’s time to treat yourself and the kids to some live ballet. Check out our ballet events page to see what’s on in the world of ballet – let us know if you hear of any must see ballet shows suitable for kids 🙂 6) What’s your child’s favourite book? Could they act it out in dance and do a little performance for you and the family? These excerts from Northern Ballet’s ‘The Three Little Pigs’ might kickstart ideas: 7) Sign up for a dance class and try something new. We’re obviously big ballet fans here and would humongously recommend trying ballet whether you’re a child or a parent, but if you’re already doing ballet well hey, why not try something else too? See what’s on near you and give it a whirl, a wiggle or a wobble. 8) Get inspired with some new dance moves by checking out this World Dance Day Celebration video from Slovakia! It’s a lot of fun 🙂 9) Check out ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong‘ and enjoy World Dance Day by snuggling up together at the end of the day with this action packed ballet themed adventure book.

Twinklesteps Ballet Adventure Book

Twinklesteps Ballet Adventure Book

10) And if you didn’t get chance to dance ALL DAY on World Dance Day, make sure you dance in the dark!

Ballet by moonlight

Ballet by moonlight

Happy World Dance Day from all the team at Twinklesteps. Let us know what you get up to in the comments section below. Watch out for our World Dance Day drawing competition winners being announced next week – exciting!

Don’t forget to sign up to our blog for ballet and dance inspiration, crafts, competitions and fun! Look over to your right and hit the ‘ooo yes please’ button 😉

Ballet themed Easter egg hunt

It’s almost Easter and we’re soooo excited. If your kids love ballet we thought it would be really fun to have a ballet theme to the Easter egg hunt. Let the egg hunt begin!

1) The Easter bunny was feeling in a lively mood today

so this egg hunt is ballet themed, are you ready to play?

Your first clue is hidden beneath the kitchen table

show us first position before you find this new clue label.

2) The Easter bunny said he’d like to see an arabesque

then off to find the next clue beneath the computer desk.

3) A princess walk is needed with lovely pointed toes

straight to the princess’ bedroom where the sleepy princess goes.

4) The final clue is resting upon the bathroom rug,

can you show us fourth position before you run to look?

5) Hurrah, you’ve found me! Now I guess you’d like your prize…

you’ll find it in the garden, in a special shoe it lies.

Easter egg ballet shoe pic.jpg

Hopefully you’ll hear squeals of delight as your children find that the Easter bunny has left them some chocolate eggs tucked into one of their ballet slippers. Whoever knew the Easter bunny loved ballet!

Add more clues, make up your own or print out ours. Most importantly, have fun!

Happy egg hunting, from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

We love ballet shoes

We love ballet shoes here at Twinklesteps. The possibilities feel endless and creativity flows freely once a child puts on a pair of ballet slippers. Even before children are old enough to learn ballet steps, just putting on ballet slippers can make them feel like a dancer and inspire them to do some creative movement. Ballet slippers are close fitting and comfortable and make the wearer feel elegant and light footed – they aren’t like other shoes in that they give the illusion and feel of being barefoot. They also enable the wearer to move from a flat footed position to an elevated position on the balls of their feet. Both ballet slippers and pointe shoes (see below) mean that when the dancer’s toes are pointed the ballet shoes extend the line of the leg to it’s longest possible appearance.

Twinklesteps dancing in her ballet shoes

Twinklesteps dancing in her ballet shoes

Most ballet slippers are made of a thin leather sole stitched to soft leather uppers and held onto the dancer’s foot with a single piece of elastic over the instep. Although leather is the most common material, ballet slippers can be made of satin or canvas as well. The colour of ballet slippers varies and although you’ll generally see them in pink or white (or black, white or skin tone for men), slippers can be made in any number of colours.

As well as ballet slippers, female ballet dancers also wear pointe shoes once their feet are strong enough and their teacher feels they’re ready. They have a solid toe box, called the block, that enables the dancer to lift up on to the points of their toes. Intrigued about pointe shoes? Find out more in this video:

Pointe shoes are almost always made from satin stitched to a stiff leather sole. The sole is designed to support the dancer’s arch when she lifts herself up onto the point of the shoe. The point itself, also known as the box or the block, is usually made of layers of material and glue that have dried into a hard platform for the dancer’s toes to stand on. See how pointe shoes are made in this video:

We’ve had a lot of fun on Pinterest putting together various ballet shoe boards. Check out our ‘Ballet Shoes for Dance and Play’ board here.

Happy dancing from the Twinklesteps Team. Watch out for our magical play shoes coming soon in our shop.