Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Let's talk about rolling dance bags

Rolling dance bags 
Level UP Dance Supplies
I call them rolling closets.  These bags are designed to hold and assist in transporting our precious costumes to and from a competition or recital.  Are they all that?  Yes they are.  Are they perfect? No they are not.  Does one stand out from the other?
Yes!  Quality, customer service, availability, usability. These are all factors that you should consider before shelling out approximately $200.00 plus shipping.

Tired of schlepping around all that gear, shoes, make-up, accessories, garment bags etc. etc. in multiple different bags?  If not, you will be. Once you get to the point where you can no longer tolerate not being able to find what you want at any given moment because you have so many back packs and bags that it's driving you to the point of, well you know, ugh! Once you see a dancer rolling in with "A" bag, one bag, which carries everything, yeah, you're finally going to jump onto the band wagon and get one of the bags that are currently available on the market.

Dance Tower
For the 2018 season there are, I believe 9 brands of rolling dance bags available. Fall 2019 will bring an exciting new array of choices, new brands, styles, upgrades, features and colors. If you don't see anything here they you like, then WAIT, it will be worth it!

Here are just a few Rac N RollDream Duffel, Dance Tower, Diva Dolly, Dance Star ,Rack Monsters, Glam'r Gear. The first two bags are almost identical. There's a reason for this. For more information you can read my blog titled, Rac N Roll vs. Dream Dufflel.  The Dance TowerDance Star, Rack Monsters and Glam'r gear bags, are a completely different twist altogether.  Diva Dolly and the Dance Star which are both an all in one trunk style with drawers. The Pliante' is a collapsible style bag. There are a couple more bags out there, which I have yet to get my hands on before I can comment on them. There are lots of styles and price points. Prices range from $135-400. Factory 2nds are a good option and always carry the same warranty as a new bag. Minor flaws on the exterior or interior is a typical reason for a 2nd being offered. Scratches, bumps and bruises will always occur with use, so a 2nd should be considered.

Dance Star
The first thing that you will notice that sets the Dance Star trunk apart from the rest is the way it stands.  This  magnificent "bag" has 5 drawers, a 360 degree rack and an interior rail hanger system which eliminates the fussy D-ring style holders. 13 color options, a Lifetime Warranty and so much more. More about the Dance Star to come. . .

All of the bags, of course, have some sort of internal telescoping rack system, hence my coined phrase "rolling closet."  Each bag has it's own unique rack system.

Diva Dolly
So what else separates one bag from another? Price,color options, reliability, quality, storage capability, capacity, ease of use,and availability. These are all things to consider when you are looking to purchase one of these types of bags.
Rac N Roll dance bag has a far better rack system then the Dream Duffel. The Dance Tower is one my favorite bags and is a top rated contender.  The Diva Dolly is a very cool product. Again, you can refer to the other blog Compare Dance bags .
In regards to customer care, all of the above mentioned companies provide great customer service and warranties.

Rack Monsters Quattro
Rack Monsters Grande
The Rack Monster.  There are two sizes of this bag. The Ocho is designed for those who have 8 or fewer costumes. The Quattro is a smaller version and will easily accommodate 4 costumes plus all of your additional gear. It's vertical design with multiple interior and exterior pockets allows this bag the maximum capacity in a small space.  There are a total of 8 exterior and interior pockets and storage compartments.  An adjustable rack extends up to 34 inches.  Additional features are an expandable one inch of space, locking dual wheel system, solid steel frame and rack system, rear protective skid rails.  Handles on the side and top of the bag for easy handling.  Simple 3 piece steel rod system.  No mechanism's or buttons, making this rack super solid and fail safe.

Glam'r Gear.  I would describe this bag as a rolling dressing room. An optional curtain which attaches via velcro straps onto a pull out u-shaped rod system is what sets this bag apart from all of the other bags out there.  This bag also allows the lid cover to close completely while the side rods are exposed.  Similar style bags cannot be zippered shut when the rack is in place.  There is a side pouch with a strap locking system to hold a chair in place on the exterior.  The rack has 3 adjustable heights and an insert piece to stabilize and support the rack.  There are interior and exterior pockets and storage compartments to store all of your shoes and accessories.  This bag has a 4 wheel system allowing you to push or pull the bag.  Currently available in Black and Glitter Pink.

The Pliante'. French for collapsible. The only bag available with USB port integration. Charge your phone, ipad, etc. on the go! This is a great option if you appreciate not having to store a large bag and or if you have a limited amount of space to house such big items. The versatility of offering maximum storage capacity along with the flexibility of being able to toss under the bed make this bag a definite contender. The rack is a simple 3 piece click in place bar system. There are 2 removable flexible rods which set into there own zippered compartment and support the front and back and allow for a sturdy box type configuration. Two, very solid and thick side boards complete the foundation providing the ultimate of an all in one type rolling dance bag. In an effort to eliminate a flimsy top and side rack, the Pliante' was specifically designed to have a slightly shorter rack thus providing for a more stable and less wobbly system. This also allows for more weight to be placed onto the top rack. Also, the Pliante' is a more voluminous bag then other brands which adds to the stability and space to hold all of your costumes and gear. Lots of interior and exterior pockets and storage compartments as well as an outside cooler pocket and a huge exterior back compartment complete this compact yet full size bag. 
Pliante' Carribean Blue
Rac n Roll 4x
Each bag has a matching interior color liner. Making is super easy to find small items and are a stunning pop of color too.
There are 2 sizes available. The standard, which easily holds up to 10 costumes and the large, up to 15 costumes. 
The Pliante' currently has 4 color options. 
All bases are black with a colored webbing, zippers and matching interior. 
Electric Purple, Barbie Pink, Caribbean Blue and Cadet Grey. 

Rac n Roll-Rac n Roll is the the King of all dance bags with rack. Created in 2006 by a dance mom. Rac n Roll has consistently provided quality craftsmanship and top notch
components. This year, 2019, they have come out with a new design. The 4x. This style combines the standard box configuration with 4 coaster wheels. Rarely are there any issues with this bag.

You will always find someone out there who prefers one bag over the other. What is  provided on this blog is my personal and professional experiences and give you first hand knowledge of the distinct differences between all of the rolling dance bags that are on the market today so that you can choose the bag that is right for you. With so many brands, styles and sizes, there's a bag out there for you!

Be sure to follow the facebook page for updates, sales, coupon codes and new products. Fall of 2019 will see at least 2 newcomers to the dance bag with rack world, some changes to existing brands to include new colors, styles, rack systems and more.

Have a great day Happy dancing!

                              Level UP Dance Supplies

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dance accessories- Hanging mirrors and other stuff

Competition accessories that make life easier-

There are certain things, stuff, items etc. that can make a big difference for the dancer and dance mom at every recital or competition.  This is also true for the competitive gymnast and ice skater.

Before you get to the point where you are shelling out approximately $200 plus for a rolling dance bag, preferably the Dance Tower or the Rac n Roll , before you take that financial plunge and finally buy a make-up box to hold the multitude of colors of eye shadows, brushes and so on, before you make that commitment, of okay we're doing this, there are a few accessory items that you can buy that are relatively cheap and still get through a competition feeling a little less overwhelmed.

When you are in the infancy stage of the competitive world of dance, gymnastics or ice skating, frankly, it is easy to get stressed and quickly become mentally exhausted.  One of the keys to surviving this is to be organized.  I'm not talking OCD kind of stuff.  I'm talking about simple items and accessories that offers multiple uses in a direct and clear manner that allows you to quickly see and access to your paraphernalia.

Costume garment bags with pockets. Designed by a dance mom,  Level UP Dance Supplies makes a costume garment bag that manages to hold everything you need for a particular routine in an organized fashion in one single simple bag that looks pretty too.  Available in 5 colors, black, red, hot pink, royal blue and purple.  Whatever brand you choose, you should strongly consider purchasing a garment bag.  It is the safest and most efficient way to transport your precious costume.

Make-up bags are essential.  Start off small.  Go to Walmart, Target etc. and get yourself something.  I would suggest anything with compartments so that you are not digging around for that one specific shade of lipstick.

Spray hair gel, non-slip bobby pins, extra bun covers, and a bun maker. There are two very good, highly reliable and simple to use bunmakers on the market. The Klicinz or the Hairagami. Both of these accomplish the same thing, making a bun that will last throughout the day without fussing or re-doing the bun.

Hanging mirror by All About Attitude Dancewear
Rac n Roll hanging mirror
Now available, hanging mirrors.  This is truly a must have accessory for any recital or competition dancer, gymnast or ice skater.  You won't find these in any local dance wear or dance supply store, nor on most websites.  You can waste your time and money buying one mirror after another in search of just the right size mirror that will hang from something, anything so that you can do make-up touch ups, check on your costume placement and accessories or just to simply wish yourself luck.  These mirrors were specifically designed for the competitive dancer.
The first mirror has an adjustable velcro loop which allows you to hang the mirror on virtually anything and is only $23.99 plus shipping. The second mirror has an affixed metal hoop that can attach to the corner of a Rac n Roll dance bag or something that will accommodate it's hoop size. This mirror is $44.95 plus shipping.

My suggestion is to start off small.  An inexpensive plastic box for make-up.
A couple of garment bags with pockets.  A hanging mirror.  Of course you will need all of the small incidental items too.  However, with these three minor yet major items, for less than $50.00 you can be well on your way to a successful competitive event .

Happy Dancing!          
                                              Products available for purchase at 
                                 Level UP Dance Supplies and Rack Monsters