Savion Glover – Sole Sanctuary at Sadlers Wells,

When we put on our hit West End Dance Show “Revolution”, which featured the best UK dancers in Tap, Hip-hop, and Contemporary dance, it was the first time I had seen tap dancing live on Stage (Watch the “Revolution” Trailer“) The Tap stars of “Revolution” were Adam Garcia and Douglas Mills, who had been the lead dancers in the International Phenomenon “Tap Dogs”.  Watching Adam and Douglas rehearse and perform “Revolution”, I completely fell in love with tap dancing.  And when you fall in love with tap dancing you keep hearing one name over and over again – Savion Glover.

Savion Glover is the genius of Tap.  A child prodigy from New Jersey who had trained and danced with many of the greats of American Tap – such as Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr, and Lon Chaney to name but a few.  I had spent hours watching amazing clips of Glover dancing on Youtube and this was the chance to see the legend perform live at Sadlers Wells.

The “set” was minimal, with just a large wooden platform a couple of inches high in the middle of the Stage and a few pictures of his illustrious mentors hanging in the background (the “Spirits Known”).  And there was Savion Glover, with his distinctive dreadlocked hair and baggy pale top and trousers (he is so thin that when he momentarily stood in front of the spotlight, I thought you could actually see through him!).

Glover began with a shuffle around the outer edges of his platform, almost seeming to warm up for what was to come.  Then he began!  It is impossible to accurately describe the moves that Glover performed, he can do things with his feet that I simply did not believe were possible – this man taps on tip-toe!  He uses every part of the shoe and literally creates music with his feet.  This is a crucial point, for most of the performance there is no musical accompaniment.  Glover is creating his own music to highlight his movement – the movement becomes the music.

After a time Glover was joined on Stage by Marshall Davis Jr.  From this point any musical accompaniment was no longer needed.  The two dancers took turns leading, then working together, to produce a masterpiece of movement and music.  This is where you benefit from actually being present to watch and listen.  Their feet make ever-changing sounds that perfectly complement one another – a symphony of sound.  Until then I had not understood Glover’s comment that “it really is all about the music”, but now I think I do.

I have two reflections on the performance from a commercial rather than a purist point of view (by “commercial” I mean putting on a Show that the general public, rather than the Savion Glover disciple, would want to come and watch/listen to).

First, what Glover is doing, the genius he is producing, could be described as “over-tap” – it is beyond normal tap dancing in a way that any genius in his field is so far ahead of everyone else that he risks being “inexplicable” to ordinary people thus gaining an almost mystical/religious dimension.  (And Glover certainly plays on this.  There is a person meditating on Stage throughout the performance and the title of the piece itself has mystical/religious implications).  I appreciate that what Glover and Marshall were doing was constantly changing, but these changes (to my ordinary eye and ear) were so minimal that it often seemed repetitive – doing the same thing over and over again.

My second observation also highlights one of the phenomenal aspects of the man.  Glover performs for 90 minutes with only two 5 minute “breaks” where he stands watching his partner continue the rhythm on his own.  This is an amazing achievement in itself.  But I wondered if it would have been better for him (and the audience) to have taken a few breaks.  I kept thinking:  “What would he be able to do if he wasn’t exhausted?!”  And his most jaw-dropping moves seemed to come after each break.  But perhaps Glover is looking to achieve for his followers that religious “high” which could be ruined by any interruption….

The aforementioned Douglas Mills, the Tap star of “Revolution” and “Tap Dogs” has created a more commercial Tap venture called Tap Corps (Have a look at “Tap Corps” in action)  In contrast to Glover, “Tap Corps” involves a number of dancers, male and female, performing to various popular tracks in a highly choreographed fashion.  The dancers are not as exceptional as Glover (that would be impossible) and there is no mystical/religious undertone.  But it is far more entertaining and indeed explicable to the average dance enthusiast such as myself.

Saturday 5th April 2014 The Dincwear Team.



The theme of “Hairspray” is quite simple:  Just because people are different (size or colour) doesn’t mean you have to treat them differently – you should treat everyone the same.  Set in 1962, Tracey, played by Rebecca Craven, first overcomes her size to become a dancer on a hit TV show, and then uses her new-found popularity to undermine the segregation of black and white dancers.  A simple tale – but it was performed brilliantly.

The dancers and singers (often both) were first-class.  With everyone playing their role so well, it is almost unfair to pick out individual contributions.  But I have to say that Rebecca Craven as Tracey was outstanding.  To my mind, from now on Rebecca will simply be “Tracey Turnblad”!  Her breathless depiction of Tracey meeting her first boyfriend was particularly acute.  Zizi Strallen actually had me in stitches laughing, and not just because she had many of the best lines.  What most of the audience may be unaware of is that Zizi is one of the top dancers in the Country (have a look at this video clip).  To watch her perform as Penny, complete with geeky dance moves (she reminded me of our boss dancing at the Christmas party!) and never coming out of character – even in the Finale – must have been nearly impossible.  Yet Zizi did it so well it took us a moment to actually recognise her.

In fact my only ‘criticism’ of the Show was that there was so much going on.  When Tracey first dances on television while Penny watches at home, both performances are hilarious – and I didn’t know which one to focus on.  Mind you, that is just an excellent reason for going to see the show again.  Oh, and one other criticism, I heard the lady on my left complain to her husband about the use of Hairspray aerosols – ‘what about the ozone layer?!’  Well of course the ozone layer was not a problem in 1962!  This is how much the Show brings you into it.

David Witts is impossibly good looking as Link Larkin, Tracey’s first love, and the singers (led by Cleopatra Joseph) would be worth the price of a ticket on their own.  You have a priceless comedy double-act in John Burr and Damian Williams as Tracey’s parents (you have to have seen it!).  A special mention to Tyrone Huntley as Seaweed.  I simply believed everything that he said.  And you could sense this guy could really dance, if just given the chance.  The orchestra were really on point, perhaps a little hidden away, and finally Callum Train perfectly embodied the progressive mindset of Corney Collins.

Quite rightly, there was a standing ovation from the audience – and this was a Wednesday matinee.  I enjoyed it more than the West End Production at the Shaftesbury Theatre a few years ago – and I really enjoyed that.

I would just like to mention that we were so impressed by the Curve Theatre.  I had never been there before and was aware of it only through its association with Drew McOnie, the future superstar of British Musical Theatre (watch his Show ‘Drunk’ – I did, twice!).  But the Curve has been so well designed, that with Productions such as ‘Drunk’ and ‘Hairspray’, Leicester now has its own West End Theatre.

28th March 2014 By The Dincwear Team.


“Move it” 2014

Dincwear Visits ”Move it” 2014

In the Dance World, March is all about “Move It”:  The annual Dance extravaganza at Olympia in London.  This is a celebration of dance where dancers, from youngsters to the very top professionals, take their turn to perform on the Main Stage.  There are classes, seminars, interviews, competitions and Colleges advertising their courses – and of course, dance wear shops!

Over the past couple of years Dincwear has been very active at “Move it.  We brought Adam Garcia to perform “Move Like Jagger with 20 of the top professional dancers, and Kimberley Wyatt performed “We Found Love with our team.  We have also brought many of the stars of “Revolution”, our hit West End Dance Show (dancers like Tobias Mead, Lizzie Gough and Charlie Bruce) to sign autographs and meet their fans.  We even had the wonderful Arlene Philips with us one year to sign her book.

However our “Move It” performances take a huge amount of time (and money!) to prepare and organise.  Due to an amazing development for Dincwear (which will be the subject of next month’s blog), we had to give “Move It” a rest this year.  But happily our team were invited by “Consider This”, the Show’s sponsor, to enjoy the three day festival with them (and we very much appreciated it – thank you!).  So what did we think of “Move It” 2014?

In short, it was fantastic!  Between us we watched every performance on the Main Stage from the youngsters, setting out on their dance journey, to the very top professionals like Lukas McFarlane and Danielle Peazer – and every single one was a joy to watch!

It was particularly inspiring to see how many of the top choreographers (Paul Roberts, David Wood, Dax O’Callaghan etc) had created works for the College students.  We also have to mention the sheer passion shown by Jonny Wilkes for his students at the new Wilkes Academy.  Jonny is a world-class performer (often with Robbie Williams) and his protégés will benefit massively from his industry experience and contacts.

I particularly enjoyed watching Christabelle Field, and her ‘Poison Girls’ dancing with the ‘Mini-Poisons’.  Our friends at the LCPA gave a couple of incredibly raunchy routines, fully justifying the label ‘soft porn on tip toe’.  Luckily we are told that Miss Gemma had approved the routines!  And ticket sales for the LCPA Production of ‘Grease’ in April have rocketed!

Jak and Tobias Mead were sensational as “Duplicate” – do people realise that Jak is only 12?  He is doing everything that Tobias can do plus a signature “arm-break” move that even Tobias cannot do!  Every time we have seen these guys at “Move It”, or “Revolution”, they have brought the House down!  In the “Gospel According To Dincwear”, these guys would be major superstars!!

The BOP, under the guidance of Dollie Henry, gave a mesmerising performance to the Jazz Music of Paul Jenkins.  There were several very professional numbers by the Urdang Academy, who definitely caught our eye and the Cambridge Performing Arts, fronted by Chloe Polson-Davies, put on a superb performance.  Finally we really noticed all the interest in the various tap performances – even the presenter Matt Flint, who did a first class job throughout the 3 days, was a ‘top tapper’.  It was all completed with a visit from the gorgeous Darcey Bussell.

‘Move It’ 2014 demonstrated beautifully our major predictions in these blogs:  That the popularity of Dance is growing enormously, the standard of the top pros is getting forever higher, and soon top dancers will be treated like top footballers or rock stars.  You could see this beginning when “Diversity” had to be ushered into the Olympia Building surrounded by bodyguards and screaming fans…

For some time now Dincwear has operated a “covert” policy of trying to kit out the top professional dancers in our clothing.  We have recently extended this policy to include “up and coming stars”, and a couple of these were spotted at “Move It” and offered free Dincwear (such recommendations are made by the top pro dancers we have worked with).  We believe that once the very best dancers know how good Dincwear is they will actively recommend it to their colleagues and students, etc.  As our regular reader (!) will know, this “trickle down effect” is our only form of advertising – we know that our Dincwear clothes are their own best advert.


Why not try some…..

Dincwear News Post February 2014

Dincwear Dancewear News February 2014

In our last “post” we wrote about how “Dincwear” had put all the profit from its clothing sales back into the dance world through dance shows (like ‘Revolution’ and ‘MMXI’) and sponsorships etc.  This month I would like to answer the question:  What is it about Dincwear that makes it so different?  Or, why buy Dincwear rather than all the other dance brands?!

First, our styling is quite simply unique.  Once you know about Dincwear you can spot a Dincwear item a mile off due to its “look”.  This is just as well as we keep the logos on Dincwear to a minimum.  (It was made quite clear to us by dancers that they didn’t want to be “walking billboards”). However, it can be a little frustrating when a star like Perrie from “Little Mix” wears Dincwear and people don’t realize it!

 Perri From Little Mix

The second point is also one of our biggest problems.  One of the reasons that we worked with the designer, Mrs Jones, is that she has a fascinating ability to make dance clothes look good while you are moving.  This is very difficult to describe – but Dincwear actually “moves with” the person wearing it.  You will only appreciate this fully by trying our clothing on.  One of our biggest problems is that photos of our clothing do not do it justice.  Our challenge is to get people to actually try it.  The girls in the shop have told us many times that once people try on an item of Dincwear they love it.  We have also seen this at “The Clothes Show” and “Move It”.

The third factor is the excellent quality of the clothing.  We have chosen the best materials and the finest factory to produce our clothing.  And this has been proven by the extremely low level of “returns” that we receive.  Our “returns” are virtually zero (occasionally someone wants to change the size) whereas many of our competitors returns are running at 30-40%.  The problem for us is that we have to pay a lot more for this quality than other companies.  Our competitors will be buying, for example, a hoodie at £5.00 and selling it at £20 or even £25.  But with Dincwear so much more of your money actually goes on the item of clothing itself, rather than excess profits for advertising/brand building etc.  This is why we do not advertise but rely on “word of mouth” for our sales growth.

It is again for this reason that Dincwear does not do Children’s Wear.  There is no point in making a top-quality item for a child as they will outgrow it so quickly.  We are hoping that people will come to realize that spending £39.00 on a Dincwear ‘hoodie’ is much better value than spending £25 on a competitor’s ‘hoodie’, because it will last 5 times longer (and looks a lot better!).  Price is what you pay but value is what you actually get.

Our boss man has worn his hoodie every day for the last 4 years – or so it seems!  And it still looks good, even after his latest tumble on the forklift truck!

Dincwear Dancewear November/December 2013 Newsletter.

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that we are combining November and December into a single blog.  This was mainly because we have been so busy in the run up to Christmas and a little because ‘yours truly’ has been lazy!   As the popularity of ‘Dincwear Dancewear’ grows, the number of enquiries and social media requests has just exploded.  For example, we have been delighted to supply “Rough Copy” with harem pants and harem shorts during their performances on “X-Factor”. We predict that these guys – and their fashion – will soon be enormous.

In the first two blogs we explained a little about our business and how we are expanding.  This is continuing apace, for example, with Move Dancewear offering Dincwear on its highly regarded website.  (We have also had to take on more warehouse space which means that the boss man can now drive his forklift truck from one building to another!).  Move Dancewear are very strong in the UK, Germany and France and this perfectly complements our relationship with Papillon – who are dominant in Holland and Belgium.  The final part of our distribution plan is to begin opening our own shops in the biggest Cities and concessions in selected quality retailers.  With the success of our ‘pop-up’ shop in Covent Garden, we shall shortly be announcing exciting news on both these fronts.

From the very beginning our fundamental belief has been that the interest in ‘dance’ world-wide is about to take off, with top dancers gaining the sort of recognition that we currently associate with pop stars and footballers etc.  Dincwear has actively encouraged this trend with all the money made from the clothing sales being put into dance shows.

We began in 2011 by sponsoring the MMXI Show at Sadlers Wells, the home of contemporary dance in London.  This was continued at “The Clothes Show”,  where we took a troupe of the best 16 professional dancers to perform several times a day for a week.  We added dance ‘stars’ Adam Garcia and Kimberley Wyatt to perform with our troupe at ‘Move It’ in 2012.  Many still consider the Adam Garcia ‘Move Like Jagger routine to be one of the best dance routines performed.  (It has gone from one view to 164,000 views on You Tube)  

Finally, we put on the “sold out” West End Show, “Revolution”, starring Adam and Kimberley and 20 of the best dancers in the Country, at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in Covent Garden.

We are currently looking at several very exciting projects for this year and we continue to support exceptional dance talent such as the amazing “Tap Corps”.

Obviously as the dance industry grows, we think that Dincwear, by offering the most stylish and best quality dancewear, will continue to grow with it.  Let’s hope so!

Happy New Year!


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Dincwear’s October 2013 Newsletter

October was an incredibly busy month for us, with so much going on. It was a joy to see our new “state of the art” warehouse running so smoothly. (Have to mention that to make the manager happy!). The clothes come in, are sorted, and go out – perfect. The only problem was the mystery of the damaged forklift truck? Apparently the boss had been coming in after hours and had a small accident with the gate!

Some of us were lucky enough to go over to Holland to see the new look Papillon shops. They looked fantastic, and of course because Papillon sell all the major dance brands, it was interesting to see what everyone else is doing. We did smile, however, at the number of Papillon girls who were wearing the Dincwear Brand. After all, they can choose from all the brands available.

Papillon sponsor many dance shows and exhibitions and they kindly took us to see “Flashdance” in Amsterdam. The highlight of the show was seeing the gorgeous star, Anouk Maas, dancing to the signature tune “What a Feeling” wearing the Dincwear body suit with mesh. We felt we had really arrived in Holland!

Papillon also took us to see one of its photoshoots in which our clothes were to be featured. As Papillon sponsor the Dutch Royal Ballet they had managed to borrow Pascalle Paerel, one of its dancers, to model for the day. Let us just say that this Prima Ballerina was a real Trooper! Pascalle even sat on the top of a parked car in the middle of a busy road in November wearing very little.

Dincwear, Dancewear

We couldn’t picture Darcey Bussell doing this

The menswear was modelled by an amazing looking guy called Jason Rome and, yes, we had to censor some of your comments on Facebook!  But with respect to Pascalle and Jason, the star of the show was 10 year old Terra.  She modelled the clothes on cars, on high ledges, on the top of Jason (I think she enjoyed that bit) and was just stunning throughout.  We cannot wait to see the results of the ‘shoot’.  Our relationship with Papillon, the biggest distributor of dancewear clothing in Europe, continues to go from strength to strength, and we will shortly be announcing some very exciting news.

Back home our girls in the Dincwear Covent Garden Shop, Agnes and Fran, have enjoyed meeting all of you who came to visit us.  They have dressed up one of our mannequins in the body suit, with arm warmers, leg warmers and the snood

Dincwear, mannequin, bodysuit, snood

Have you have never seen such a sexy mannequin!It certainly gets a lot of attention and the rumour is that a security guard from the Centre has actually fallen in love with it?!  If you are in Covent Garden, go have a look and tell us what you think?  We are right next to the big Superdry Shop.

Our designers have been working on some very interesting ideas which will be arriving in the store and on the website soon.  In addition, we are busy planning dance shows, exhibitions and various photo shoots which, we hope, you will really enjoy.  For although we are, of course, a business, our aim is  to put as much back into the dance world as we can.  See you next month.

DINCWEAR September 2013

Well September was certainly an interesting month! We managed to move into our new Warehouse without any major problems. However, minor problems included serious backache for all of us who helped shift the boxes, and the Warehouse manager wittering on about his new, state of the art, racking system! But it is all finished now and we even have a new forklift truck to play with.

After an extensive trial, we made our first delivery of Dincwear to the Papillon Dancewear Shops in Holland. It was very exciting to go over and meet the Papillon Team in Amsterdam and listen to all their ideas about promoting Dincwear – all in perfect English! And the icing on the cake happened when we heard that the new Theatre Production of “Flashdance” in Amsterdam had chosen Dincwear for its lead actress, Anouk Maas, to wear. You can see Anouk wearing our Split-Sleeve Hooded Body in the signature number “What a Feeling” on Youtube. Thank God it doesn’t shrink! We even got invited to the big Premiere in Amsterdam which was very glamourous. So Dincwear is now available in eight Papillon Dancewear Shops throughout Holland and will be available at other European Dancewear stores soon.

Our DINCWEAR Shop in Covent Garden continues to go from strength to strength and we often get superb dancers coming in to buy our clothing. From the world of Ballet we had the amazing Isabella Ciaravola of the French Opera House, and it seemed like the entire cast of the Boston Ballet visited us while they were performing at the Coliseum (we went to see them and they were fantastic). A special thanks to Adiarys Almeida, who was just so enthusiastic, and to Joseph Gatti. Next time you are in London, Joseph, we promise to take you to the Michael Jackson Show “Thriller”…

When you go into the shop in Covent Garden (we are right next to Superdry) don’t forget to say “hello” to Agnes and Francesca. If you are really nice to them, they may give you a free copy of “Revolution” – the DVD of our hit West End Dance Show last year with Adam Garcia. No promises though, we only have a few copies left.

During the month we were joined by the lovely Emma to look after our social media. It was unanimously decided that we would be taken more seriously if we could spell properly and put up photos and videos, etc. The boss is a bit miffed that his “Thoughts Of The Day” did not have the worldwide impact he had anticipated, but he is hiding his disappointment in a very professional manner. (and after ten such “Thoughts”, we think he has probably run out anyway!)

So what are we looking forward to in October? Well there will be a couple of new items of Dincwear being introduced, plus a few new colours of some old favourites – such as the Kangaroo Top in purple. Personally, I am looking forward to our group visit to the “Rock of Ages” show before it closes in early November. This has to be one of the funniest shows in the West End at the moment, and it actually has some of the finest dancers, such as Zizi Strallen and Scarlette Douglas, that you’ll see anywhere – and you certainly see a lot of them! Just don’t sit on the front row near the left, unless you want to be part of the show!

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The Dincwear Team.