Motionwear Model attends Boston Ballet Summer Intensive


My name is Allison Shi; I am a sixteen-year-old ballet student at the Indianapolis School of Ballet and a Motionwear model. This past summer I had the amazing experience of attending Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program. Going into the intensive I knew very little about the school, the company, or the program itself. I knew that the school was world class (only a world class school could produce the likes of Sarah Lamb), I knew of ballet royals such as Misa Kuranaga, Jeffrey Cirio, and Dusty Button, and I knew that the program was a popular one in the ballet student community. That’s as far as my knowledge extended, but by the end of the summer, I was infatuated with both the company and the city.

In the Studio

[We took our first glance at the red brick building, which was dotted with windows and breathtaking in every way. My friends and I have to look almost straight up due to its height, but the sign that proudly reads “Boston Ballet” is just above our heads. The windows closest to the ground display pictures of a few of the ballets the company has done, and we point out the dancers we have admired for years. The only thought that enters my mind is I could get used to this.]

The training I received at Boston Ballet was distinctly Balanchine based. Margaret Tracy, the Artistic Director of Boston Ballet School, is a former NYCB principle, and both of my main teachers were professional dancers who graduated from the School of American Ballet. However, the style varied from level to level and from teacher to teacher. All of the teachers were professionals or former professional dancers.

I believe I improved at this intensive because of a few factors:

1) The teachers were helpful, experienced, and talented, and each one made an effort to correct everyone. Also, just watching the teachers demonstrate was as educational as it was inspirational. We grew to love our teachers over the course of the five weeks, and often attempted to show our appreciation.

[“Okay, here’s the plan,” I begin to explain to a new wave of level 3B girls. “We walk into class pretending that we don’t know it’s her birthday, but after PSevHan(one of our main teachers) gives the plié combination, the pianist plays ‘Happy Birthday’ instead of the plié music. We sing as we pull out our party hats and rush forward with cookies, cupcakes, and the cards. Sound good?”]

2) I learned a lot from my classmates. They each had some sort of nuance or quality that I liked and tried to incorporate into my own dancing. Also the atmosphere created was one of hard work; I somehow felt motivated to wear pointe shoes for classes in which I didn’t have to wear pointe shoes, and I actually enjoyed it. This was out of character for me.

[“Is anyone wearing their pointe shoes for barre?” I hear someone say.
“I am!” I reply.
A collective groan ripples throughout the hall outside of studio three.
“You guys don’t have to if you don’t want to,” another classmate responds.
But as we find our spots at the barre before class, I notice that everyone is wearing their pointe shoes.]

3) The schedule didn’t have too many classes or too few. The curriculum was enjoyable and beneficial, although I wish we had partnering more than once a week. Having around four classes per day allowed us to continue pushing our stamina and technique without exhausting us completely.

There are seven studios; studios one and two were located in the basement and were the smallest in size. I only had lecture, pilates, and character in these studios. Studios three through six were the same in size and shape; they are spacious, but they have very patchy floors (mostly sticky floors with random slick spots). Most of my technique, pointe/variations classes were in one of these studios. Studio seven is the biggest studio; it is the famous one with the beautiful semi-circle windows and a meeting room on the upper level with a large glass window so that people who are in meetings get to watch the dancers, I guess. I would like to note that the floors seemed fairly hard and some dancers felt that their shin splints worsened because of this. Many people slipped on the slip spots in class or were annoyed by the sticky parts. You get used to it, but it never stops being annoying.

[We walk into studio seven and immediately recognize where we were. The signature Boston view and the signature Boston Ballet windows and the signature Boston Ballet School artistic director Margaret Tracy and panel of teachers greet us as we walk in for our placement class.

“I heard that these floors are really slippery,” I hear pretty much everyone murmur.

We all race to the rosin box and crunch our pointe shoes into the substance liberally. Surprise! It didn’t help]

Lunch was held in the basement. The food was only okay, so sometimes a group of us would buy a Clif Bar from the vending machine and a large smoothie from 575 Market (I highly recommend 575 Market. They have amazing smoothies, juices, and cookies bigger than your face.). Many dancers would stop by The South End Buttery for salads, coffee, or yogurt (I heard that one of the SDP students found a snail in a salad they bought from The Buttery. There are a couple of ways you could interpret this; 1) they don’t wash their salads well enough or 2) their salads are pesticide free. It’s really up to you.)

I had two muscle spasms on my back/neck during the program, so I spent some time in physical therapy. Some said that PT didn’t help them with their injuries, but I truly believed it helped me. The process included e-stim, heating, massaging, and icing. Also, sometimes Boston Ballet dancers work out up there and the physical therapists are super nice and will talk to you about college and cookie recipes. The treatment is free, so if something is bothering you I would suggest that you book an appointment right away as it usually takes about a week to actually get an appointment.

Dorm Life

Most of the Summer Dance Program students stayed at Boston University’s dorm on Commonwealth Avenue. The girls were put three to a room and the boys were put two to a room. Boys were put on a separate floor and were not allowed to use the elevator while girls were not allowed to use the stairs. Each room had three loft beds, each with one desk and one bureau. A microwave-refrigerator was included, and every room had a bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower/bathtub.  Each floor had a handful of RAs who were helpful, kind, and overall people that I could both talk to as a friend and respect as a person that could get me in trouble. I believe that that balance is very necessary.

[“CAN I LAY BY YOUR SIIIIDDE,” my roommates belt as I make a weak attempt at completing some of my summer homework. I quickly realize that my efforts are useless as I pull out a banana and a jar of peanut butter. After all, this was our nightly routine.]

A few programs were held by the RAs in the dorms at night or on the weekends. I would suggest that, if you have the chance and if you have the ability to tolerate large, loud groups of teenagers, you should attend at least a few of them. They are casual in nature and usually fun in an unintentional way. For example, I would consider the talent show to be a standout memory in my mind, but not because of the amount of talent that was revealed in the show.

The building itself is located very close to a Barnes and Noble Boston University bookstore, a T station (subway station), a Dunkin Donuts, a City Convenience (corner convenience store), and the dining hall. A little farther away (but still within walking distance if you’re ambitious enough) are a Target, Panera Bread, and Chipotle.

The dining hall was overall a pleasant experience. BBSDP shared Boston University’s dining hall with a few other conferences that would typically take all of the fruit and pumpkin bread, but other than that they weren’t a problem. The dining hall had vegan and gluten-free options as well as definitely not vegan or gluten free options.  Along with the vegan section and the gluten-free section, there was a deli, an omelet station, a dessert bar, a waffle maker, a salad bar, a pizza area, a coffee/drink dispenser, a table overflowing with bananas and apples, a cereal bar, and a couple ice-cream machines. The dining hall was decently clean and an enjoyable place to eat, but the napkin machines were always empty.

[It’s the last day of the intensive.
“Are you ready?” I ask my friend as we enter the dining hall for the last time.
“I’m ready for my waffle.” she replies.
Once our cards are swiped, we power walk to the waffle station with comical but deadly serious determination. After the waffles are cooked, we eagerly yet delicately construct a mountain of toppings to crown our beloved pastry. Whipped cream, chocolate chips, blueberries, and syrup engulf the waffle, but we don’t care. We had waited five weeks for this moment.]

The dorms were comfortable, practical, and overall an excellent home. I looked forward to entering the dorm every day (mostly because of the air conditioning).


Boston Exploration

A few Boston favorites among the SDP students included the Charles River Esplanade, Newbury Street, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Boston Harbor (North End).  The Esplanade is a dock and sidewalk next the Charles River. The dock was an incredible place to relax, watch sailboats, and view sunsets. Newbury Street was arguably the most visited attraction at BBSDP2015. It is an array of stores including Brandy Melville, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Georgetown Cupcakes (which has amazing vegan cupcakes as well as amazing normal cupcakes), and local restaurants and boutiques. My personal favorite was the Museum of Fine Arts. It has an incredible collection of classical and contemporary art, and at the time of the intensive they were displaying an extensive Hokusai collection, including the very famous “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” The Harbor and the entire North End is definitely a must visit; it has a historical significance and it is surrounded by a beautiful park. Plus Little Italy is near by, and there you can find an almost annoying amount of Italian restaurants, bakeries, and gelato stands.

[I smile down at the water, wondering if it was going to feel as good as I thought it would. I unzip my backpack, pull out a single teabag—chai rooibos—and chuck it into the Boston Harbor. Definitely, I conclude.]

The best part about Boston is the T system. It’s similar to a subway system, and it can take you anywhere in Boston. Boston Ballet SDP gives you an unlimited T card, which means that you can ride the T as many times as you want. All of the SDP students used the T to get to the studios, Trader Joe’s, a restaurant, or anywhere outside of walking distance. There are no city boundaries, so essentially if you are back by your check-in time, you could visit New York City if you wanted.


I highly recommend this program and would consider going back again. Incredible memories were created at this program, and it gave me many important yet rare experiences. I made some great friends, I absolutely fell in love with the city, and most importantly my dancing improved. When I returned to my home ballet school, even my teachers noticed and approved of my progress. Again, if you get the chance, I would definitely recommend attending Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program.

Motionwear Fashion Feature of the Week

Every week we will be featuring an exclusive Motionwear style that we know you will love in our Fashion Feature of the Week. Our expert designers and division managers will weigh in as to what makes these garments so special, and how you can get your hands on them!

This week we are featuring one of our All Star Cheer Performance tops!

All Star Cheer Performance Fashion Top

This All Star Cheer Performance top is the epitome of fashion. Showing versatility and comfort, your team will have the confidence to excel in this All Star Cheer top.

Our Cheer Division Manager, Lydia Hicks, loves this style for it’s versatility- “Being able to pair this top with your favorite strappy-back Motionwear bra top, creates endless opportunities.” Featured above you’ll see two separate back shots showing off the looks of two different bra tops paired with this top.

The nude mesh shoulders create an illusion of bare shoulders, or choose black mesh for a more edgy look. The nude mesh look is featured in the photos above. The versatility doesn’t stop with the top, though. Motionwear offers a broad selection of performance shorts and skirts that would be a perfect pair to this sassy fashion top.

Whatever look you’re going for, let Motionwear help you get there!

Contact us at to find out how to outfit your team in Motionwear!

Motionwear and Dance Revolution announce partnership

Dance Revolution

Motionwear announces today it’s partnership with Dance Revolution for their 2015-2016 tour. This is the first partnership for Dance Revolution since it began in 2001. Motionwear marketing and customer service representatives, along with the staff at Dance Revolution, have worked diligently to solidify a partnership that will allow both companies to expand their reach with dancers across the United States.

Dance Revolution was very specific in their goals of finding a company to partner with that had similar values and a focus on quality. With Motionwear’s focus on providing quality dancewear, designed and sewn in the United States, Dance Revolution saw a perfect fit. Motionwear will be present at all four of Dance Revolution’s tour locations: Dallas, Orlando, Winston-Salem, and Chicago. With a presence on site, Motionwear will be offering dancewear to the attendees at a discounted price along with hosting a seminar for all studio owners and teachers in attendance to promote the advantages and support that Motionwear offers to dance studios. The two companies have also worked together on custom branded apparel for the tour. Some apparel that will be available to purchase will be jerseys and joggers, branded with the Dance Revolution logo.

When asked about the partnership Michelle Brogan, director of Dance Revolution said “We at Dance Revolution are so excited for our new venture with Motionwear. From day one their customer service, friendly staff and awesome products have made us confident we have chosen a great partnership. We look forward to the growth for both companies and we look ahead to an exciting journey!”

Motionwear Releases First Edition All Star Cheer Catalog

Motionwear is excited to announce the first edition All Star Cheer catalog. In anticipation of this brand new catalog we spoke with our Cheer Division Manager, Lydia Hicks, about what inspired this new catalog.

Motionwear All Star Cheer Catalog
Cover of the Motionwear All Star Cheer Catalog 2015


Lydia Hicks explains that the inspiration for this catalog came after attending Jam Fest Super Nationals, the Majors performances, and also from attending the USASF All Star Worlds this spring. “We made note of trends in not only fashion, but fabrics as well. Textiles include mesh and printed fabrics with a lot of embellishments.” The way fabrics and embellishments catch the stage lights can truly take an All Star cheer team to the next level. When looking at the actual styles to include nothing could be left out. “Uniform pieces include shorts to skorts, unitards to leggings, camisole tops with gauntlets, and of course the cool fashion inspiration of layered tops and bra tops” says Lydia.

Upon first glance at the catalog, you will notice the design sketches that stand out on the front cover. Those sketches inspired the entire catalog. Lydia explains “after working with our designer, and seeing her sketches, we decided to incorporate that theme throughout the catalog. We want the customer to feel like they can start from a sketch and bring their ideas to life.”

Motionwear has offered All Star cheer uniforms for several years, but the decision to release an annual catalog dedicated exclusively to all things All Star was prompted by demand. Lydia says “we are super excited about this first edition stand alone catalog of our 2015-2016 All Star collection and are looking forward to making an impact within the All Star marketplace.

Cincinnati Ballet Selects Motionwear as Dress Code

Students at Cincinnati Ballet School
Students in class at the Otto M. Budig Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet

Press Release: Motionwear and Cincinnati Ballet announce Motionwear as the official dress code leotard of the Otto M. Budig Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet

By Hannah Hendricks
August 18, 2015

Indianapolis, INMotionwear, an Indianapolis based active apparel brand, announces today that it will be the official dress code leotard of the Otto M. Budig Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet effective immediately. Company sales and marketing representatives have been working with staff at the academy, along with Cincinnati-area dancewear retailers, to solidify a streamlined dress code utilizing Motionwear’s exceptional quality leotards and vast color selection.

The Otto M. Budig Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet desired a dress code that established different color options for every level, giving students the desire to advance in their technique and abilities in order to reach a new leotard color, and allowing teachers to easily distinguish different levels with a simple glance down the hallway. With Motionwear’s vast color offerings, over 22 color options in their Silkskyn fabric alone, the Otto M. Budig Academy and Motionwear were able to achieve this structure with ease. This structured color-coded uniform has been used by the Boston Ballet School, in partnership with Motionwear, for over 10 years with proven success.

About Motionwear, LLC

Motionwear began over 25 years ago when Motionwear founder Emily Wilson saw fit, comfort, fashion and value lacking in dancewear available for her daughter. She took matters into her own hands; designing and sewing her own superior-fitting leotards.

Over the past 25 years Motionwear has grown to become a leading supplier of dance, gymnastics, team, and cheer apparel world-wide. Today, those same qualities remain the core foundation upon which Motionwear products are crafted.

Motionwear’s apparel is proudly designed and sewn in the USA.

About the Otto M. Budig Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Academy is the area’s preeminent classical ballet training program. With a mission to inspire hope and joy in our community and beyond through the power and passion of dance, we serve students and families throughout the greater Cincinnati area through pre-professional dance training, unparalleled performance opportunities and a strong connection to Cincinnati Ballet.

Indy Dancer attends Boston Ballet Summer Intensive

Indy Dancer attends Boston Ballet Summer Intensive
Indy Dancer attends Boston Ballet Summer Intensive


One of Motionwear’s dance models, Abigail, attended the Boston Ballet Summer Intensive this summer. In this blog she recaps her incredible experience in Boston, and gives us all a glimpse into the life of an aspiring ballerina.

“I can’t believe what an amazing time I had this summer. I absolutely loved the Boston Ballet Summer Intensive! The first Sunday placement classes were held, and then regular classes began that Monday. A normal day consisted of a morning technique class. Then I usually had pointe/variation class. This was followed by either a lecture, partnering class, character, modern, or Pilates, depending on the day.

Over the summer in variations, I learned the Summer Fairy variation from Frederick Ashton’s “Cinderella,” the Kitri Variation from Act III of “Don Quixote,” Waltz of the Hours from Balanchine’s “Coppélia,” and Aurora’s variation in Act III of “The Sleeping Beauty.” Throughout the summer I was able to train with great new teachers every week and learn so much from them. Some of my main teachers included Christopher Hird, Sarah Wroth, Corina Gill, and Leigh Lucey. It was really cool to learn from Ms. Gill and Ms. Wroth since they are corps members with Boston Ballet and they were able to give some insight on what it’s like to dance with Boston Ballet. Mr. Hird’s classes were really focused on technique and he always gave me new ways to think about things. Ms. Lucey’s classes were always challenging, because we did almost every combination on flat and then repeated it on relevé. It was a great experience to learn from so many new teachers and have the opportunity to dance in the beautiful studios of Boston Ballet. One of my favorite things was being able to watch the older students as well as the occasional company member take classes. It was so inspiring to be able to watch them apply their artistry and grace into simple movements.

During the weekends I hung out with my new friends and explored the city. The first weekend we saw the Fourth of July fireworks on the Charles River. The second weekend a lot of us went up to Saratoga on Saturday to watch New York City Ballet. It was one of the most beautiful and inspirational performances I have ever seen! They performed “Interplay” by Jerome Robbins. The other three ballets were choreographed by Balanchine: “Tarantella,” Symphony in Three Movements,” and “Western Symphony.” It was so cool to see some of my biggest role models like Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder, Sterling Hyltin, and Sara Mearns in person!  The next day we went up to Hampton Beach, my first time ever at a beach! The water was freezing, but I ended up having a great time! The fourth weekend was the Dinner Dance Cruise on Saturday, where dinner was served to us on a cruise as we sailed around the harbor. As we headed back we stopped for a couple minutes and watched airplanes fly right over us as they landed. On that Sunday, some of us went to a Red Sox game against the Detroit Tigers where we won 11-1!

The last week I was finally reunited with my mom on Thursday!!!! She was able to watch me in my final technique class and watch me dance the Summer Fairy Variation. We flew home on Saturday and it was the first time I had flown since I was three. It was so cool! Overall I had an amazing time in Boston. I absolutely loved the dance program, made some very close friends, and fell in love with the city. I  had the best summer ever and I can’t wait for what adventures there will be in the future.”

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