Category Archives: kit

Review Update: WearMoi Dance Belt

You can find my initial review here.

I purchased my WearMoi belt on 5 August, 2016, and it quickly became one of my two favorites.

In terms of keeping everything contained, thus far it has been surpassed only by the BodyWrappers’ M007 in my experience (though I haven’t tried every single dance belt in the history of ever: I have a Dance Jox one on order, and I’ve never tried M. Stevens, for example).

In terms of comfort over the course of a ridiculously long day, it outclasses everything else, though this is definitely an area in which your mileage will vary.

In terms of durability, it’s been pretty freaking good, though I think it’s starting to feel the effects of being worn almost every single day (and washed just as frequently) since I lost my BW M007(1).

  1. Yes, I’m also wondering how exactly one loses a dance belt. Did I leave it in Florida last October? Who knows?

It’s still perfectly sound for dance purposes, including grand allegro, but I don’t think it’s optimal for use on the lyra at this point. Definitely better than nothing, but not perfect.

I think that’s a function of the trade-off between the power of the elastic in the waistband and the gentleness of the waistband in question: BodyWrappers’ waistbands, for example, are stronger, and as such will probably retain maximum grip longer. WM’s is softer, which makes it hella comfy right out of the box, but potentially not as durable(2).

  1. I say “potentially” because I lost my M007 too soon after purchasing it really know, but BodyWrappers’ dance belts have a reputation for durability, and goodness knows my M006 is still strong enough to double as a slingshot suitable for fighting off a rampaging triceratops. If, you know, you have problems with rampaging triceratops…es in your neck of the woods.

The thing that really sets this particular dance belt apart during a long day of dancing, sitting on your butt while not dancing, and then dancing again is that the thong never starts to feel invasive. It somehow manages to be flat, soft, and strong in exactly the right proportions.

BodyWrappers’ M007 is comparable, but doesn’t quite equal it. On the other hand, BodyWrappers’ M007 is essentially maximum-security lockdown for your naughty bits and also slightly more reliably guards one’s tender modesty, if you feel what I’m saying, both of which are advantages.

The rundown:

WearMoi’s dance belts are really very nice for dance and trapeze work and good on the lyra when new, but less so over the course of a several months of constant wear. Interestingly, I would count acro with lyra, in part because there’s a possibility of someone displacing the waistband of your dance belt while tumbling you around on their feet. Just saying. M007 for acro, y’allz.

In terms of comfort, WM’s belt is absolutely perfect, and I intend to keep at least one of them around for the foreseeable future.

Seriously, if I think I’m going to be nervous because ZOMG Auditions or OMG Hard Class With A New Teacher! or ZOMG The AD is Coming to Look At Us!! or ZOMGWTFBBQ I Have A Crush On My Teacher!!!(3) I generally opt to wear the WM belt because at least that’s, like, one part of me that won’t be uncomfortable.

  1. WHICH NEVER HAPPENS TO ME OKAY I CAN HANDLE IT LEAVE ME ALONE YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE!!! *door slam*

That said, I’m rather hard on my dance belts, and I have yet to discover an option that works better on the lyra than BodyWrappers’ M007.

Update: I forgot to cover sizing.

I’m hard-ish to fit because I have a small waist and stupidly huge glutei medii. On size charts(4) that include both waist and hip measurements, my waist is usually small or medium, and my hip is medium or large. Couple that with the irreducibly complex dark magic by which dancewear manufacturers generate their size charts, and you have a recipe for WTF.

  1. …By which I mean dancewear size charts. In normal street clothes, I’m always a small, unless we’re talking about Asian sizes, in which case I’m usually a medium.

Anyway, here’s what I mean:

01-Size-Comparison

Top: Capezio, L. Centre: WearMoi, L. Bottom: BW M006, L.

The waistband of my M007, by the way, was actually closer to the size of the WM dance belt than it was to that of my M006.

According to Capezio’s size chart, I should be a small; per BodyWrappers’ I’m a large. WearMoi splits the difference.

When I’m really on form, the WearMoi dance belt fits with a wee gap at the top and a perfect fit through the bottom half of the waistband. I could probably rectify that by ordering one with a narrower waistband, but it hasn’t caused any problems.

In short:

  • Overall Scores:
    • Comfort: 10/10
    • Security: 8/10 when new
    • Modesty: 7/10
    • Durability: 5/10
  • For Ballet: Highly Recommended
  • For Modern: Highly Recommended
  • For Acro-Balancing: Recommended
  • For Trapeze: Recommended
  • For Lyra: Recommended, with Caveat: may not be suitable after several months
  • For Averting Triceratops Attacks: Not Recommended; try BW M007 and call your local Humane Society or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Including Those Presumed Extinct to ask about implementing a Trap-Neuter-Return program to reduce the local population of feral triceratops…i?

I don’t do tap, so I can’t really speak to that. I’m guessing the percussive nature of tap might be an important consideration, so I don’t want to make any guesses, here.

I don’t do hip-hop, either, but I think the demands it places on the body (explosive movement, rapid tempo changes, possibly floorwork?) are close enough to those placed by Modern that this dance belt should be fine.

Just A Quickie Before Rep

Two things: first, I’ve had plentiful occasion this week to reflect upon how radically dancing has altered my life.

Three years ago, I had a tiny handful of local friends and didn’t really really feel connected to anything or have any overarching vision guiding me. 

Now I’m increasingly knitted into this strange, tiny, amazing world of dance and aerials people as my life furiously churns (ohai, unintentional modern dance pun) towards some kind of future in which dance and aerials are central.

I am stunned and awed and grateful every time I think it. 

Second … Well, crap, I’ve forgotten what the second thing was. Honestly, it was probably about class this morning and still feeling like a space cadet whilst struggling against allergies. 

So that’s me: an allergic spaceman. 

If I was Matthew Bourne, I’d almost certainly write a ballet about it. 

Still Playing With Blochs*

*Yeah, sorry. I’ll try harder next time. So tiiiired.  

I’m grooving on my Blochs. I like how they just kinda get out of the way so you can do your thang. I think I’mma buy a second pair in black. 

I have discovered that they fit really well with the new tights I ordered from Sansha (edit: I’ll drop the model number here later; these aren’t the only men’s tights Sansha makes).  The tights in question are cotton-and-lycra, and thus a bit thicker than my others, both of which are synthetic.

My inner jury is still out about the tights themselves—though not because of any shortcoming of the tights themselves. Rather, I’m a sweaty little bastard, and cotton absorbs sweat instead of wicking it. My knees and shins were surprisingly damp after class this morning. Weird. 

On the other hand, they dry more quickly than I expected, and they’re comfortable. The fit is really nice (I ordered a size 5 in Sansha’s unique Dark Magic sizing system), and I like the fact that the straps are sewn in (I lost one of the straps that go with my other black tights :/).  I do, however, wish they were sewn in crosswise in back, as they can slip off. In practice, though, that only seems to happen when I’m loafing around between classes. 

Oh, they also look nice. Classic matte finish, nice lines, etc. I was all Serious Ballet Boy Is Serious this morning (or, well, my clothes were).

 The tights in question are not, by the way, convertible (unless you get jiggy with some scissors, presumably). 

Even with the combination of secure shoes and comfy tights, however, I was not a great turner today. This was likely a function of mild sleep deprivation. 

We had a new teacher, who I’ll call J2 for now, since I’m too lazy to look up his full name. It was a great class; really nice combinations, and we got to do grand allegro, which doesn’t always happen. I couldn’t keep my head on straight during the petit allegro, though I did the steps well enough. I just kept forgetting that there were two changements at the end of the first phase. I did however, manage to do royales when they were called for instead of automatically doing entrechats.

Still, not my best day. 

I made up for it by practicing one-foot relevé balances on the flat side of a Bosu ball. It was kind of a pain, as that really isn’t the intended purpose of the flat side in question, but nonetheless remarkably successful. I think I’m going to purchase a proper wobble board for that.

So that was Sunday. Tomorrow is mostly a rest day, except for rehearsal. 

Finally!

In the kitchen, where we practice turns and occasionally make food.

These arrived today after wandering terra incognito for a full week.

 Just tried them out in the kitchen and got a triple from fifth of of them, easy as 1,2,3.  o.O

I have never actually done a triple in my kitchen before because there are too many things to crack your skull on if you really fall out of a turn.  These shoes, though—they sport giant front half-sole pads that feel incredibly secure.  

The fit is pretty good—a tad looser than my Sanshas in the toe box, which is nice, but still narrow enough in the arch, instep, and heel (my feet are just a bit duckish).

Size 8.5B. The pattern on which they’re cut accommodates very flexible arches. 

I might try size 8 as well, but 8.5 leaves room for my extra-long (and rather prehensile) second toe. 

Wednesday Class: How I Make Decisions 

We have a new lyra teacher on Tuesday evenings, and she’s lovely and gives a great class — but I’ve decided that I’m going to bow out of that class, because Ballet.

Basically, there’s too much in that class that trains the muscles I’m  trying to de-train a bit (hello, quads; greetings, hip abductors), and the result is that Wednesday morning is a struggle to counteract those effects, which means it’s a less-effective class than it should be (qv: today my left split was laaaaame and my turnout was, by my standard, only meh). 

Wednesday is legitimately the hardest class in my week, much of the time, and I want to be fully able to take advantage of it.

Once upon a time, I used to ride my bike a lot more. I cut back on that for similar reasons — I am constitutionally unable to refrain from stomping up hills, destroying my turnout all the way, so I simply ride less.

Dancing has made it easier to decide what to do and what not to do. It feels akin to religious conviction: when conviction is very strong, the decision to live by the tenets of one’s faith is not as difficult as it might otherwise be. 

So this is weird, in that now and then I realize I’m sacrificing things on the altar of ballet — but also not weird, in that deciding what to do and what not to do has never been simpler.

A flowchart representing my decision making process superimposed on a photo of Anne and myself demonstrating a low supported Arabesque.

Basically, this flowchart governs my entire life (photo by Amy Merrick).


I kind of wish I’d figured this out as a kid. So much of my life has been needlessly complicated. 

On the other hand, I had some amazing experiences, and it’s really awesome to have all these other interests in my pocket in case I ever mysteriously tire of dancing.

Class this morning was also complicated by the fact that mold-and-ragweed season has descended upon us, bringing with it asthma and pleural pain. I had to take my inhaler before class this morning, so things were harder than they should have been. I’m still having issues, so I’m taking the night off.

Basically, taking the inhaler before class is rather like taking a nice hit of cocaïne before running wind sprints, only cocaïne is better at turning off the Governor in your brain that makes you slow down before your heart explodes. Basically, you tell your body, “Okay, fondu now, and DO IT RIGHT,”  and the governor sticks its fingers in your body’s ears and says, “Don’t listen to him; he’s a putz,” and your body is is like AAAAUGHHH DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO and half-arses its way  through everything.

I finally started to assemble my proverbial waterfowls in a linear array during the adage at centre (because by then the initial kick-in-pants offered by the inhaler was wearing off). 

Ironically, perhaps, I did better in petit allegro than in just about anything else, though I had to think entirely too hard about the entrechat trois for some reason at first (possibly because we generally do cinq?).  It was still rather an uphill struggle, though. 
Tomorrow night, I plan to do BW’s class, after which will be heading out for Marco Island early Friday morning. I’m ambivalent about the trip — I know I’ll  enjoy it, but I’m not in love with the idea of taking off again just as I’m getting back into the swing of things. 

On the other hand, this trip should be a lot more relaxing, and when I come back my life is is like SwanLakePilibolusShowPilobolusClassWendyWhelanTalkMovingCollectiveNutcrackerWinterShowcase, and that’s just the part that isn’t ballet and modern classes.

I’ve also involved myself in the parents’ and adult students’ group at the ballet school, which is pretty exciting. BB and I have sort of become the de facto adult program delegates, which is no big surprise, since we’re basically always at the school anyway.

Anyway, I think that when I come back from Florida, I’m going to switch to Flexibility & Mobility on Tuesday nights. 

In other news, I cheated on my favorite shoes by wearing my white stretch canvas ones, and I’m forced to admit that I quite like them. Too soon for a full review, though. 

One Weird Thing

I will traipse happily through a store openly carrying underwear I have not yet purchased.

It seems I will also happily traipse across the studio openly carrying my dance belt.

Once changed, however, I feel weird traipsing back to my cubby or my dance bag carrying my underwear.

So, um, seriously:

WTF, self?

Edit: I just thought, “Well, I wouldn’t have any compunctions about performing in Just A Dance Belt, since that happens all the time.”

And then I realized that, apparently, I have absolutely no compunctions about wandering around in my skivvies at Burning Man.

So, apparently, it’s just carrying my underpants around in my hands that’s a problem?

In Which Words Are Eaten, &c. 

First, I am very much on the mend, and forced to admit once again that taking a few days off from class is perhaps more expedient than wheezing half-heartedly on, then making one’s self terribly sick and having to take a few weeks off. 

Next, the Demiurges of Ballet saw fit to smile upon me in my convalescence and to make all of my new ballet junk arrive yesterday (excepting my grey tights, which arrived a couple of days ago).

Basically, after declaring my undying love for Sansha’s model 3/”Silhouette” shoes to BB (heretofore known as “B,” but there are too too many Bs in my life now!) and lamenting my suspicion that they’re discontinuing them, I figured that it would be well to order a backup pair or two.

My left foot, pointing like crazy, in a Sansha model 3L (

My precioussssssssss…

…So I hopped on Sansha’s NY store website and basically bought everything that was on sale and one thing that wasn’t. 

My beloved shoes are, indeed, in the last throes of clearance; I ordered one pair in black and one in white (because for like $3,why not?) but the white ones had already sold out, so they refunded me on those. I also bought a pair of stretch-canvas shoes in white (the thing that wasn’t on sale) to go with my very simple costume for my next Suspend performance; they seem like they’ll do nicely. Like the Silhouettes, they don’t bunch up under my arch when I point my foot.
I also bought a couple of shirts from the clearance page. Turns out I’m more like a size 5 in Sansha’s magical number system, but I’m okay with the fact that my shirts are nice and roomy.

Anyway, I also ordered a pair pair of black BalTogs suspender tights (which, it turns out, are convertible, foot-wise) and, finally, a BodyWrappers M007. 

This is where the words-eating comes in. 

I have have always maintained that I hate narrow elastics. It turns out that I apparently really don’t anymore.

The M007’s waistband, at 2″, isn’t terribly narrow, but it’s definitely narrower than anything else I’ve got. 

Four dance belts in different makes & models lined up to demonstrate differences in waistband widths.

Width Comparison, L-R: BW M006, Capezio, WM, BW M007

That said, it’s remarkably comfortable.
Rise-wise, it’s comparable to the WearMoi belt, which is interesting, since the M006 is so, well, tall.

Obviously, as I haven’t had a chance to wear it to class yet, I can’t really comment on its performance — but I imagine that it will do well.

In other news, I really quite like these suspendery tights, and I wouldn’t mind owning a pair of shorts of similar construction. They would be a good solution for trapeze class, in which it really helps to have garments that won’t roll up and expose your tender skin to the ropes (especially for for me; I’m allergic to the adhesive on the tape that we use to wrap them). 

That’s it for now. Back to quasi-normal life tomorrow. 

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