Saturday, 27 August 2016

Mr Frog Dancewear

According to Professor Sir John Seeley the British empire was acquired in a fit of absence of mind.  I had a somewhat less devastating fit for humanity (but distressing enough for me) when I left my treasured ballet bag from the Bristol Russian Ballet School on a tram. I had bought it at the Playhouse Theatre, Weston Super Mare when I saw the School dance Cinderella with Elena Glurdjidze and Arionel Vargas on a tram (see An Even Better Show: the Bristol Russians by the Sea 5 May 2014 Terpsichore).

I was on my way to Karen Sant's class at KNT in Manchester. I was distracted only momentarily but that was long enough. By the time I noticed that i had gone the bag and its contents of two pairs of ballet shoes, two leotards (one purchased only the previous week and worn only once), a pair of ballet tights, a ballet dress, skirts and a towel were trundling on their way back to Rochdale. I reported the loss immediately to Metrolink but the bag was never handed in  I had to miss class with a favourite teacher, which was bad enough, but now I have to replace the missing items which is worse.

These are not easy to replace because I am not your typical dancer age, shape or size as you can see from my attemot to dance a shade in La Bayadere (see La Bayadere Intensive Day 3: No Snakes  17 Aug 2016) but I made a start in Huddersfield at Mr Frog's Dancewear shop in the Byram Arcade.  According to the shop's website it was founded in 1985 which was the year I moved to Upperthong (a village in the path of nature's wind tunnel on a lonely moor several hundred feet above sea level). A village, incidentally, that was mocked mercilessly by David Murley in his ballet Frisky Claptrap (see Ey Up from Uperthong 10 Oct 2014 Terpsichore). For all those years I had never noticed it but instead continued to purchase my shes and other kit from Freeds in St Martin's Lane and other Southerners.

I found this shop while researching for this blog which will eventually have the best directory of adult ballet classes, dance wear shops. studios, theatres, venues and other resources in Yorkshire on the planet. It is located in Unit 23 on the first floor of the Byram Arcade which is one of the architectural landmarks of Huddersfield. The best place to park is Sainsbury's multistorey where you can get up to 4 hours free parking on weekdays if you buy a few items from the store and up to 30 minutes even if you buy nowt.  If you rely on public transport the store is close to Huddersfield bus and railway stations.

The proprietor was able to sell me a pair of So Danca shoes that fit as well as my Freeds with the elastic sewn on. She also ordered me an extra-large Mary Rose leotard similar to one that I had bought last year for Jane Tucker's Swan Lake intensive.  She also allowed me a 10% discount on her "Back to School" promotion.

Judging by what I could see in her shop and on her website the proprietor carries a wide range of women's and girls' dance wear. Show cards for many of the big brands like Bloch, Capezio and So Danca were on display.  Her website lists several of the local ballet schools though not Team Hud surprisingly. The only serious drawback is that the store is open only from Wednesday to Saturday but no doubt goods can be bought online at other times.

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