Dance photos can be one of the most fun and exciting experiences. You’re prepping for your recital, and putting on costumes and makeup just make it all the more real — until you get the proofs of your pictures back and realize you HATE them. Has this happened to you? Yeah, it’s happened to me too. So let’s chat about how models get a picture-perfect pose (before airbrushing) each and every time.
Certain poses can make your body look the way you want it to.
Determine the angle of your face and body that make you most satisfied. Finding the right angle can be challenging, but with today’s digital technology, you can take photos of yourself using your phone, camera, or computer and decide which way to tilt your face and body that is most flattering. Also, don’t take pictures facing squarely to the camera. The classic model pose is to turn your body three quarters towards the camera and place one foot in front of the other. Then place one shoulder closer to the camera than the other. If you turn your head slightly to one side and look at the camera, you will also appear to have a slimmer jawline.
Know how many poses you get to take and decide what they will be ahead of time.
The worst thing is getting a pose you hate from the photographer or your dance teacher and feeling trapped because you don’t have any other ideas. Make sure you know if the photographer can take action shots (such as a kick or jump) and prepare extra poses in the event that your teacher doesn’t approve something you want to do.
Focus on your posture.
This matters for daily life as well as in photos. It helps you to appear more confident and can dramatically improve your appearance by making you look healthier, alert, and attractive. If you have bad posture, practice sitting up straight in the mirror to avoid looking stiff for your photographs.
Pay attention to personal grooming.
If your face is the picture, then your eyebrows are the frame. Unruly eyebrows can make your eyes appear tired, whereas groomed eyebrows make your eyes appear more open and awake. If you have rosy cheeks or redness on your face, use a thicker base makeup to reduce your redness as much as possible. You may not feel like you look like yourself but when the lights are hitting your face, reducing this redness makes a great deal of difference in your photos. Your makeup should be heavier than you would normally wear but also highlight your best features. If you have blue eyes for example, your eye makeup should be done in a way that makes your eyes stand out. The use of heavy lotions or body glitter can add a sheen to your body that can make you look sweaty, so try to avoid these as much as possible.
Get rid of a double chin.
Tilt your head up slightly and try to position yourself where the camera is a little above your eye level. Pictures taken from a higher angle will slim your entire body while effectively reducing a double chin. You can put one hand under your chin in some poses; however, don’t put any weight on your hand because this will shift your skin into a odd position.
If you are in a bad mood, nervous, or feeling “off” that day, the photos will definitely show it. Don’t hold your breath because it will appear as though you’re tense. Relax your lips and the area around your mouth, avoiding the big “cheesy” grin. This is the most natural way to appear fresh and appealing in photographs. Finally, don’t be so relaxed that you look distracted or annoyed. This can all be practiced by taking a few quick shots of yourself prior to your picture date.
As a dance teacher, I always have students complaining of their shoes being too tight. Some of the words they use are “squeezing,” “pinching,” or just plain “hurts.” But, the story usually ends the same. Their parents purchased the shoes only a few months (sometimes even weeks) ago, and they just don’t believe the shoes are too small.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen ill-fitting shoes be the demise of a promising young dancer. We can usually tell who will be a good dancer from the time they start at a young age — trust me, we’re not just blowing smoke! If a student at age 3 or 4 can feel and hear the beats in the music, smiles during class, does their movements really big, and generally knows their routine or the flow of the class, chances are the little dancer will grow to love dance and stick with it for a very long time. So, it just plain stinks to see one of those little ballerinas quit class because they “lost interest.” We know the real reason relates to the shoes, but the parents just wouldn’t believe it. So, how can you tell if your dance shoes are actually too small?
What is your child’s foot type?
The first thing to realize is that there are different types of feet but rarely different widths of dance shoe, particularly in children’s styles. Some dancers have a wide foot all the way down, while others are particularly narrow. Some have a narrow heel and an average width across the bridge of the foot (where the toes are), while some others have a narrow heel and a wide bridge. All of these lead to different fits; however, the dance teacher usually requires one brand and style of shoe for uniformity. Therefore, knowing the width of your child’s foot will help you in determining how big or small to go when initially purchasing the shoe.
Floppy Shoe Syndrome
This is a sincerely professional term for when a parent buys shoes two sizes two big (or uses big sister’s hand-me-downs) to avoid having to purchase multiple pairs of shoes in the same dance year. Ok, just kidding…it’s not a professional term. But it’s definitely annoying to the dance teacher and to the student. They can’t work properly in a shoe that doesn’t fit — whether it’s too small or, in this case, way too big. Learning how to stretch their feet and understanding the connection between the ground and their foot is learned at an early age. Floppy shoes will stunt their growth in this area and lead to frustrations from your dancer down the line.
If your dancer’s foot is growing, you will need to purchase shoes throughout the year. It’s just the way it is, folks. When I fit shoes on my students, I usually tell the parents that they will need one pair at the beginning of the season and one pair mid-year. Plan on purchasing shoes twice in the same dance season in order to avoid the inevitable — your dancer tells you a week before the recital that their shoes are too small. Now you’re stuck buying a pair that they may grow out of before next season starts. Also, checking the shoes about every month to two months will help you determine if your dancer needs to order new shoes and when that order should take place.
The “Rule of Thumb”
The “rule of thumb” is just that — your thumb is the ruler. Take the front of your dancer’s shoes and see if you have room for your thumb to fit horizontally without touching their toes. If you have a lot more than a thumb’s space, the shoes are too big. If you don’t have room for your thumb, the shoes are more than likely a perfect fit and you won’t get much wear out of them. The shoes are too small if their toes are crunched in the front of the shoe, but since all dance shoes should fit snugly around the foot, dancers often crunch their toes because they aren’t used to shoes being so form-fitting. Use your best judgement to determine why they are crunching their toes, and when in doubt, ask your dance teacher.
Ballet and jazz shoes should fit like a sock would — hugging the foot completely around with no gaping at the heel or around the ankle. Ballet shoes are tightened using the laces at the front of the shoe and can be loosened as the dancer’s foot grows. Jazz shoes will stretch after repeated wear and almost mold to the dancer’s foot. Tap shoes should fit more like a street shoe, but make sure when the dancer walks around that the heel of the shoe isn’t slipping off. This could lead to blistering and complaining! If the tap shoe fits perfectly in the front but is slipping off the heel, go to your local drugstore and buy heel grips. They are sold near pantyhose and shoe inserts; you put them inside of the heel of the shoe and it helps to the heel to stop slipping off.
Hope this helps you in determining how to fit your dancer’s shoes and avoid future complaints! Comment below with questions regarding shoes or how they should fit! I’d be happy to help!
Dancers are difficult to purchase gifts for, especially since they spend so much time in dance clothes practicing in the studio. They can’t wear jewelry or a lot of makeup, and they generally prefer to pick out their own dance wear (if there isn’t a dress code for their classes, which in most cases, there is). So, what are some of the top gifts to give your favorite dancer this season? We compiled a pretty great list.
We hope you find everything you’re looking for this holiday season for that dancer in your life. Can’t find something online? Post a comment here and we will help you find what you’re looking for. Alyce Dancewear is always ready to help! Happy (holiday) dancing!
When it’s time to go to dance class, one thing every dancer needs is a dance bag. There are many different styles to choose from. First, a drawstring dance bag style can hold a couple of pairs of dance shoes and a few odds and ends; however, it doesn’t have extra pockets for any small items that you need to keep in your bag. It is carried on your back and offers a great hands-free capability. Another style is the dance duffel bag. For younger dancers, a small duffel can hold all the necessary dance shoes as well as offer the option to carry the bag over your shoulder. For older dancers, dance duffels begin to have pockets to separate shoes and accessories from one another. Lastly, the messenger bag is another great option for dancers. It has a large section for different shoes and usually sports an area for pens, business cards, iPods, or CDs.
Selecting the right one for you is important because these bags hold a lot of different must-have dance items. Here is our list of what you may have (or want to have) in your dance bag:
Some other items may include: water, snacks, first aid kit, or accessories. What items do you feel we left out? Please post them below!
Sophia Lucia has been posting pirouette videos for a few weeks now, gradually adding more and more turns in the hopes of beating the record held by Alicia Clifton for the most pirouettes in passe. Just a few days ago, Lucia recorded an amazing 39 turns at her studio in California. She is only 9 years old but will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the world of dance! Click on the link below to see her most recent YouTube post:
All types of dancers—be it ballet, modern jazz, lyrical or hip-hop—strive to improve on technique and achieve what, in their respective disciplines, can be described as technical perfection. Hours upon hours of practice are needed to attain some level of competence in dance. We can call technique as the way dancers execute effectively and adroitly the required components of a dance. Before expressiveness, interpretation and artistry, technique, along with physical dexterity, is one of the first hurdles of a novice dancer. No matter what type of dance shoes you fill, we’ve gathered a few tips on how you can improve technique in dancing.
1. Prioritize technique
Learn the basic steps and work towards executing them as well as you possibly can. Don’t be satisfied with adequate. Be fastidious with your posture, extension, standing position and other dance components. Simple steps when done very well can make such a huge difference in your performance.
2. Watch and learn
Educate yourself by watching dance videos, performances and your fellow dancers who are more experienced as they practice. Even if you were a break-dancer, you’d absorb so much from a Martha Graham footage. Ballet dancers in turn have a lot to learn from contrasting styles, such as indigenous dance or street dances. Enrich your skill set by watching others doing their best.
3. Wear proper dance attire
Wear proper dance clothes even when just rehearsing so you’ll be encouraged to perform at your best at all times. If you’re into tap dancing, don’t settle for substitutes, unless you’re trying to learn combinations deliberately without your tap shoes on. Each dance shoe is built according to the demands of a certain dance. Wearing the right clothes increases your chance at improving your technique.
4. Enroll in dance lessons
If you haven’t done this yet, you better get to it—dance lessons are for all aspiring dancers. You interact with other dancers, learn from a skilled pro, and acquire new knowledge on your chosen dance style.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Even when you’re not in the dance studio, it will serve you well if you put on your leotards and tights when you’re at home on Sunday. Practicing can be your regular cardio/aerobic workout, as well as your path to becoming a great dancer.
6. Don’t overwork, learn to loosen up
Like in all art forms, even the moments we do nothing is important to making art. Our minds need to breathe, as well as our bodies. Dance being such a physical art form, requires you to take proper care of your body. Relax, take breaks, and let your body recover from rehearsing.
7. Hire a dance instructor
Get someone who not only has attained some achievement in the field but also someone who has experience in dance instruction. The process of choosing the best dance instructor can be a challenge in itself, but be patient. After all, you are a dancer, and patience is everything. You need an instructor who can guide you as you go through new moves, steps and pieces. Get an instructor who can point out weaknesses and constructively critique your performance.
To get you started with dance, you’ll need the right equipment. For affordable and quality accessories, shoes and dance apparel, visit: www.alycedancewear.com
Whenever you buy dance clothing, you will be presented with plain leotards, dance shorts and so on as your choices. The quality of dancewear that you choose will determine how good your base will be for alterations depending on your recital needs. But you don’t need to pay for professional costume makers to design and create the costumes that you need. By simply incorporating ingenuity with quality materials, you can creatively create your own hip hop dance costumes.
Hip hop dancing has been around since the 1970s. Evolution over time has led to changing trends and styles with regard to the music and the hip hop dance costumes used. It is very important that you get the right gears in order to dance this art form comfortably. Yes, you can buy some basic tops, bottoms and shoes from stores but you may need some alterations to fit your recital’s theme.
Here are some tips on how to make your own dance costumes.
For quality and affordable dance costumes, check out www.alycedancewear.com.