The Story Behind Motionwear and Boston Ballet

“For more than a decade, Motionwear has been a generous and strategic partner to Boston Ballet. Their company is not only keenly aware of our student’s needs, but also hugely supportive of Boston Ballet’s position as a national institution. Motionwear’s contributions toward high-level professional training objectives and widespread community engagement indicate just how fully they have embraced the mission of this organization.”

-Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director, Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet School in Motionwear

Over 10 years ago the Boston Ballet School was struggling with their dress code. They were having issues getting the color selection they wanted, the fit they wanted, and most importantly they were struggling to get anything on time. It was at that point that they discovered Motionwear. The Boston Ballet School realized that Motionwear’s broad selection of colors would enable them to have each level distinguished from the next, as well as bringing an added level of professionalism to the school through their uniforms. Boston Ballet School selected Motionwear as the uniform at that point, and through the years the relationship between Motionwear and the Boston Ballet has only grown. A couple years after their selection to switch over to Motionwear for their uniform, Motionwear made the step to become the official leotard of the Boston Ballet School. Recently Motionwear has began to have even more of a presence with the Boston Ballet. At the conclusion of their 2014-2015 season, Motionwear hosted a night at the ballet event for the retailers who have helped build the partnership over the years. The event included a wine and appetizer mixer with the staff of the Boston Ballet Schools and the Boston Ballet followed by their Thrill of Contact performance. During intermission we were invited down to the Benefactors Lounge to meet with Mikko Nissinen, the Artistic Director of Boston Ballet. It was an incredible experience to bring everyone in one room and celebrate the successes that we have had, and the future of success that lies ahead of us.

We look forward to seeing what other opportunities this partnership brings, as well as building this wonderful relationship with other schools across the United States.

Taking the Fear out of Cheer

A few weeks ago the Motionwear Cheer Division crew traveled to San Antonio, Texas to attend the Sports Inc buying show.  Athletic apparel buyers traveled from all over the United States to attend the show to learn about manufacturer’s new products and programs.

The Motionwear Cheer Division held a 30 minute seminar, prior to the show opening, for dealers to learn more about the industry.  Our seminar covered topics such as the state of the cheerleading industry, who is the competition, who is Motionwear, and Motionwear product information.  Most dealers realize that Cheer is a huge opportunity in their business, and that it can bring in big money. The fear of the unknown, though, keeps them from expanding in to the Cheer industry. We wanted to take this opportunity to educate them, and help to take the fear out of Cheer.

The most important thing we covered is the question being raised over the last year or so: What if cheerleading becomes a sport?  It has already been petitioned to the Olympic committee as well as the NCAA.  With this being said the relationships between the Dealers and the Athletic Director’s in the schools need to be leveraged and the conversation of cheer with those school officials needs to be opened. At the conclusion of the seminar we received positive feedback, and look forward to holding more seminars to help alleviate the fears of dealers looking to expand into Cheer.

Several of our sales representatives were in attendance to help answer specific questions after the seminar as well as myself, Hannah Wilbur (our In-house Cheer Specialist), and Ann Walsh (our National Sales Manager).

-Lydia Hicks (Cheer Sales Manager)

Motionwear Cheer at Sports Inc Summer Show
Pictured L-R
Ann Walsh (National Sales Manager), Jerry Coff (Cheer Sales Representative), Lydia Hicks (Cheer Sales Manager), Hannah Wilbur (In House Cheer Specialist)

The Motionwear Apparel Advantage

With so many apparel brands to choose from we want to take a moment today and talk about why so many studios, gyms, and students choose Motionwear.

Motionwear is a brand that has been chosen by organizations such as the Boston Ballet School as their official leotard for many years. Why have so many organizations chosen Motionwear? Because of the outstanding quality, fit, and comfort of our apparel. All of our products are also proudly designed and sewn in the United States at our headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. This helps ensure the quality of our products maintains the excellence it has had from day one.

Motionwear began over 25 years ago when Emily Wilson was tired of watching her aughter and her daughter’s class mates tug, pull, and adjust their leotards throughout ballet class. She realized that instead of focusing on their teacher they were focused on trying to adjust the fit of their leotard. It was in that moment that Emily decided to try to create better fitting leotards, starting with her daughter. Since then the company has grown to equip not only dancers, but also gymnasts and cheerleaders with all of their apparel needs. With each division we grow into we ensure that we assess the athletes and their needs and ensure our products will keep them moving towards their dreams.

As our brand has expanded throughout the years, Motionwear has continued to perfect the fit and quality of our apparel. With the growing “athleisure” trend in activewear, Motionwear will be launching their Motion 4 Life activewear line on the web on July 1st. Expanding our quality and fit to reach a new audience of consumers. Make sure to check back next week to see the products and hear about our perspective on the “athleisure” trend.

 

2015 Cheer Photo Shoot Live Blog

Check back here all day today for live updates and exclusive behind the scenes photos from our Motionwear cheer photo shoot! We will give you all the exciting details that we normally keep top secret…

2:10pm | We are busy finalizing all the last minute details to ensure the cheer photo shoot goes as smoothly as possible. Our models are set to begin arriving in 45 minutes and we can’t wait to get the fun started!

makeup for motionwear photo shoot

3:45pm | Lighting is being tested and we are getting ready to start the photo shoot! The models are in hair and make up getting camera ready, and we can’t wait to see our new line of products under the lights.

Models in hair and makeup for photo shoot

4:15pm | And we’re off! First shots of photo shoot day are looking amazing! We love all of the sparkle and bling, and we know you will too.

First shot of the day for the Motionwear photo shoot

 

4:40pm | You know we mean business when the industrial fan comes out during a photo shoot! The fun is just getting started, and the hair is definitely blowing.

Adjust our models at the photo shoot

 

5:15pm | These new styles are fabulous. All the hard work that our design department has put in over the last few months has definitely paid off!

New products for the photo shoot

 

6:25pm | Break time for some snacks before we get back to it!

6:45pm | We are back at it! But not before we have a little fun. If you’ve ever wondered where our models learned to pose so well at our photo shoots, check out the brains behind our cheer division.

Photo shoot fun

 

7:52pm | Getting ready to shoot the last shot of the day! It’s been a blast… Hang in there for one final behind the scenes photo after we’ve called it a day!

Photo shoot fun

 

7:55pm | THAT’S A WRAP!!! Another fabulous photo shoot in the books!

Another photo shoot completed

Meet our Experts: The Cheerleading Edition

Today we introduce you to Lydia Hicks, our resident Cheer expert:

Lydia the Cheerleading Expert

As Cheer Division Manager, Lydia Hicks, brings experience and knowledge from all aspects of the Cheerleading Industry. Being a former cheerleader, youth organizer, choreographer, and coach she brings the consumer vision to her role with Motionwear Cheer. Lydia has a design degree from the University of Memphis and has applied her education and cheer experience towards her career in the cheerleading apparel industry. In her past work experiences, she was an accomplished sales representative responsible for calling on schools, youth leagues, and allstar gyms in the West Tennessee territory. She managed high profile accounts successfully within her territory and received numerous goal achieving awards. During the advancement of her career she moved towards the manufacturing and product management side of the industry gaining valuable knowledge in designing, pattern making, manufacturing, and marketing cheerleading apparel and accessories. Currently with Motionwear, she is the line category manager for the division as well as participates in sales support and business development for overall growth in the market place.

Motionwear Recognizes Stores for 2013 Platinum Award

Motionwear would like to recognize the stores that have received the Motionwear 2013 Platinum Award.

These retailers have shown sales growth, breadth of assortment, and contribution to the arts.

As a token of our appreciation, Motionwear rewarded these retailers with a custom banner announcing their Platinum Award status with Motionwear.

Congratulations to all of the 2013 Motionwear Platinum Award Winning Retailers!

Motionwear “Why My Studio Rocks” Program

Indianapolis, Indiana – Motionwear, the Indianapolis-based dance apparel manufacturer, announces the winner for their “Why My Studio Rocks” program in effort to shine a spotlight on the winning studio. Motionwear acknowledged Turning Pointe Dance Academy in Corinth, Mississippi by awarding them a $500 cash prize.

Turning Pointe Dance Academy opened one year ago. In that time, studio owner Crystal Scarborough had turned girls who had never danced before into regional Showstopper winners. “I believe this happened because we are encouraged in a positive light,” said the student who nominated her studio. Students say the studio has become their home. Every team member is always welcome to “claim a spot at the bar and work”, even when its not his or her class time. Scarborough offers her time and money to teach, and buy shoes, and costumes for those who cannot.

TPDA now has two competition teams and fifty recreational students in just the first year alone. “Our studio is small, but it belongs to the dancers. Many of us consider this our safe place. There are no harsh words. I have seen little girls come into the recreational classes so timid and shy that they would cry the first day. One little girl did just that three months ago, but by the time the performance came around, she beamed on stage. After the performance we were having pictures taken and her mother and grandmother came over to Mrs. Crystal and said “We have you one child, and you have given us back another. God bless you! We never thought it was possible for her to look so happy or confident!” says student Maurryn Bingham. Studio Owner, Scarborough replied “That was always there! She just needed to believe it!”

Bingham, who nominated her studio, said” “Not only has our studio brought ballet back to the life in our area, but it has helped the confidence in every girl inside as well. That’s why my studio rocks!”

Bingham states “She finds what each of us excel at and builds out of that. Our studio is small, but it belongs to the dancers.” Turning Pointe Dance Academy helps bring confidence to young dancers and teachers them the art of dance.

The “Why My Studio Rocks” program is a campaign to highlight one studio per year for their work and impact in the dance community. Studios and students submitted written essays detailing why their studio should win. Studios play an integral role in the life of a dancer. Motionwear realizes that the studio is the foundation of where the dancer’s dreams come to life.

“As a father whose daughter danced her entire young adult life, there is no question that her experiences in the studio were the main reasons she loved the art and danced so long. We wanted to bring fun exposure to the winning studio and give back as well,” says the VP Sales and Marketing at Motionwear.

 

“How lucky I am…” School of American Ballet

Well, I have been home for about three weeks now, and I have had plenty of time to reflect on the five weeks I spent at The School of American Ballet Summer Course 2013 in New York City. I have thought about what I learned while I was at SAB, what I took away from my experience, and how my time there will help me as an aspiring ballerina. I am grateful for the time I spent at SAB and everything I learned, and even though is was only five weeks, it had a huge impact on me.

The School of American Ballet Summer Course 2013 was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I spent five weeks immersed in the Balanchine style (which was new to me), taking classes from incredible teachers who were both former (Peter Martins, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susan Pilarre, Darci Kistler, Jock Soto, Katrina Killian, Yvonne Borree) and current (Megan Fairchild, Ashley Bouder, Abi Stafford, and Jonathan Stafford) New York City Ballet principal dancers. I was thrilled to be placed in the highest level and was honored to be selected by Troy Schumacher to dance in the Summer Choreographic Workshop. I learned several variations from the vast Balanchine repertoire. I made lots of great, new friends from all over the country, many of whom I keep in contact with on almost a daily basis. I developed a special connection and friendship with Ashley Laracey, current NYCB soloist, and we have had many conversations since I have been home. Ashley has become an amazing friend who gives me support, encouragement, advice, and insight. I had the chance to see professional ballets (including New York City Ballet in Saratoga) and Broadway musicals, go on tours and visit museums, and explore parts of New York City I hadn’t seen before. I also enjoyed a sense of freedom (as well as maturity and responsibility) that goes along with living away from home.

I realize how lucky I am to have been able to attend The School of American Ballet Summer Course 2013 since over 2000 dancers audition for the summer course each year and only 200 are selected to attend. Spending five weeks at SAB confirmed that a career in ballet is definitely what I want to pursue and New York City is where I want to be. During my time there, I learned a lot about the Balanchine style and a lot about myself as a dancer. I learned how important a deep plié, musicality, and a connection to the music are. I learned that I can move faster than I thought I could to perform the sharp, quick movements that are trademarks of the Balanchine style. I learned that I need to be confident in myself and my abilities when I am in a class full of dancers who are older and more experienced than I am. I know my time at the School of American Ballet and everything I experienced there will help me continue to grow as a dancer.

Olivia at the School of American Ballet

I brought a lot home with me from New York City, both literally and figuratively. Along with the souvenirs of my summer and many pairs of dead pointe shoes, I also brought home with me invaluable knowledge and experience, amazing memories, and incredible friendships I hope will last forever. Five weeks was not long enough, and I was definitely not ready for it to end, but I am grateful for the time I had at the School of American Ballet. I think about my experience and miss it everyday, but I know, in the words of Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“Smile…” School of American Ballet

We had a different schedule on Thursday because of the workshop performance that evening. In the morning I had ballet with New York City Ballet principal Abi Stafford. After class we had to grab a quick lunch because we had rehearsal from 2:00-3:00pm. After rehearsal I went down to the lobby to see my mom who had flown in that afternoon. I got to spend a few minutes with her before I had to head back to the studio to warm up.

The first workshop performance started at 5:00pm and was mostly for the parents of the students who were in the two pieces. Silas Farley’s piece went first. It was a very pretty, very serious piece, and the dancers were dressed in black and white. Troy Schumacher’s piece (the one I was in) was second, and it was completely different. It was called “Cut Capers,” and it was upbeat, fun, and playful. We were all dressed in brightly colored leotards, etc. It went really well, and it was so much fun to dance! Our second performance was for donors to the School of American Ballet, as well as some of the faculty. I felt like the second performance was as good as the first, and I was really hoping Troy and Ashley (Troy’s fiancé NYCB soloist, Ashley Laracey, who had helped us during all the rehearsals) were happy with it.

After the performance, we talked and took pictures. Troy and Ashley gave each of us chocolate and a personal note to thank us for our participation in the workshop. Everyone was laughing and hugging and saying goodbye. The end of the workshop was bittersweet. I was so happy to have been a part of the workshop and Troy’s awesome piece, but I was so sad to tell Troy and Ashley goodbye. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I hugged Ashley.

After it was all over, my mom and I walked around Lincoln Center and grabbed a quick dinner. I was feeling very emotional and not very hungry. I knew that in less than 48 hours the SAB Summer Course 2013 would be over, and that made me very sad. After dinner my mom walked me back to my dorm, and we said goodbye. I headed up to my room to start packing. Friday my mom came back to SAB to observe my classes. I had ballet with Katrina Killian, and then we ate lunch in the cafeteria. My last class of the summer was variations (also with Katrina Killian), and we worked on a variation from Sleeping Beauty.

Friday evening the School of American Ballet hosted an end of the summer course party for all the students in one of the studios. We laughed and danced and took lots of pictures and started saying our goodbyes. It was fun but sad at the same time.

Saturday morning was checkout. My mom came to get me and helped me finish packing up my bedding. It was crowded with all the people and their luggage, but it actually went pretty smoothly. I was still saying some goodbyes as we left the building for the last time. My mom and I took a cab to the apartment where she had been staying to drop my luggage off, then we headed out to shop and eat lunch on our last day in NYC. Then we went back to our apartment and spent the evening getting ready for our 6:00am flight back to Indianapolis the next morning.

I can’t believe my 5 weeks at the School of American Ballet Summer Course 2013 is already over. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and it went by way too fast. I worked hard, learned a lot, and made so many great friends (including my new best friend). As I look back on my experience, I have to remind myself, in the words of an anonymous proverb, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”Olivia at the School of American Ballet

 

The dance is almost over!

I just need to enjoy every minute of it and try not to think about the end of SAB Summer Dance Course 2013!

Doing a dance in Central ParkFriday I had ballet with Suki Schorer, and I felt like I had one of my best classes since being at SAB. I really like Ms. Schorer’s teaching style! Ashley Laracey, an NYCB soloist took our class. Ashley is engaged to our workshop choreographer, Troy Schumacher, and she helps us during the evening rehearsals. She has pulled me aside a couple of times and said really nice, encouraging things to me. I respect and like her a lot, and I love when she takes our classes. After ballet, everyone performing in the choreographic workshop got to go to the toe shoe room to pick out a pair of pointe shoes for free. Now I have another pair to sew!

Friday afternoon I had variations with Yvonne Borree, and we worked on the Raymonda variation from last week. Friday evening  we had rehearsal. After rehearsal, Troy had pizzas brought in for us, and we all sat around, ate pizza, and talked to Ashley and Troy about what it is like to dance with NYCB. It was really interesting to hear about it from their perspective!Post-dance class treats

Saturday I had my last pas class with Peter Martins. I really love that class, and I am going to miss it! After class and lunch, some friends and I went to a few stores in the neighborhood and beyond. We also walked to a place called Sugar and Plumm for ice cream. It was a lot of fun!

Post-dance class treatsSunday was a quiet day because a lot of people went to Six Flags for the day. I opted not to do that activity because I am not much of an amusement park person! Instead I did laundry in the morning and sewed my pointe shoes, then went with some friends to take dance pictures of each other in Central Park. It was a really pretty day, and we had a lot of fun. On Sunday evening  after dinner, one of my suite mates and I walked to Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. I think I have had more than enough desserts for the weekend!

Monday morning  I went down to the fifth floor early to watch some other classes before my class started. I like to sit in the hallway and stretch and watch at the same time. I had ballet with NYCB principal Megan Fairchild. I really like her classes a lot. After ballet I had variations with Susan Pilarre. She is really funny, and I love her classes too! We worked on the variation from George Balanchine’s Mozartiana that we started last week. After a quick dinner, it was off to rehearsal again!

Doing a dance in Central ParkTuesday I had my last ballet class with Kay Mazzo. I am really going to miss her classes. She makes us work really hard, and she challenges me to push my limits as a dancer. I also had variations with Darci Kistler. We did a barre, then continued working on the female variation from the Tchaikovsky pas de deux and the Raymonda variation from last week. I always love Darci’s classes! Tuesday evening we had a long rehearsal. We finished the piece, and made sure we all know what we are wearing for the performance. I can’t wait to perform it on Thursday!

Doing a dance in Central ParkWednesday I had my last class with Jock Soto. His classes are mentally challenging, and I like the way he makes me think. It is also fun because we always do fouettés at the end of his class! After class the SAB School Store was open for the last time. I stopped by to see what they had left, and I picked up another SAB t-shirt. You can never have too many t-shirts, right?! In the afternoon I had my last pointe class with Darci. We ended up having a really short class because we had to grab a quick dinner and start rehearsal early. Troy made some changes to the piece, so we had a lot to do to make sure it was performance ready. Wednesday was a long day, so as soon as rehearsal ended, I headed upstairs to soak my feet and go to bed!

I can’t believe I only have a couple more days left. I am going to enjoy every minute and try not to think about the end of SAB Summer Course 2013!