• Movement: A Language Beyond Words

    Y.P.A.D. Advisory Panel Member, Jen Ray, shares Y.P.A.D.’s standards; choreography is about more than movement, and that there is more to these choices than meets the eye.

    When infants are learning to speak, they make all sounds possible before learning how to combine the correct ones to communicate an intentional message. Through interaction, guidance, and by example, eventually they become fluent children and freely expressive adults.

    It’s no news that dance is a language, but it may be news that it has evolved so rapidly that we have lost track of what it means, or even the will to question. Ever spent time with a curious toddler? They are always asking “but why?!” It could feel pesky or unnatural at first but, if you’re not already doing so, it’s about time to take this approach to dance: to pause and consider the meaning beyond the movement, and the values being portrayed.

    Y.P.A.D. believes, and has proven with research, that music and movement teach children expectations and boundaries for their own bodies, as well as others’ bodies. The internet and social media have made available more information than we even have time to process. Being extreme is a requirement to stand out from the crowd, as is seen with the rise in hyper-mobility, unsafe stretching, the rise of sexualization, etc. Y.P.A.D. has been following these trends in dance culture and it appears as if we are all lobsters in the pot, in a situation that’s boiling hot! We must learn to separate pop-culture examples “out there” in the world from those that we choose to bring into family-friendly and child-oriented environments, such as dance studios and events. Humans are wired for affirmation and, once dancers are on stage, it is even more so their goal to be celebrated by those watching. It matters what standards we set for success, who they are being, how they are costumed, and what is being celebrated about their time on stage and in the studio.

    Y.P.A.D. does NOT want limit artistic freedom. Rather, we encourage a cultural shift towards a dance experience that puts our children's physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual safety first! The pedagogy of teaching the art of dance is agility, flexibility, strength, technique, advanced skills within various disciplines, as well as performance, musicality and texture. Costuming is a major conceptual and visual element of every performance. The choices we make when costuming children and teens teach them lessons about their bodies, personal expression, the purposes and possibilities of how we present ourselves to others.

    jen ray post

    Dance educators play a strong role in allowing children to look like children, while exploring these formal elements of the art dance. We have partnered with Curtain Call® to ensure children can look like children, explore storytelling and character without being exploited or misguided. Dancers can have the transformative learning experience that comes with thoughtful, artistic expression and exploration, rather than being objectified. Education leads to self-regulation, and real empowerment is giving youth the tools to advocate for themselves, so they can mature into self-sufficient and autonomously expressive adults.

    Y.P.A.D. has made this easier with our Tools Not Rules: Standards, Recommendations & Suggestions handbook (available in digital and print format for $24.99 ) Inside you’ll find detailed listings of commonly choreographed but inappropriate movements, helpful solutions, including how to navigate situations, such as freestyle and contact improvisation.

    Some key points include:

    • Consider the “cumulative effect,” how all elements of production (including, but not limited to, costume, facial expression, movement, music, props, lyrics, etc.) convey a cohesive tone and message.
    • Maturity in life does not automatically equal sexual maturity. There are many themes than can be mature and relevant to kids and young adults (self-acceptance, bullying, boundaries, conflict, etc.) that are not sexual in nature. Bonus: when your dancers can relate to experiences, they can convey them more authentically!
    • Obscene gestures or references to drug or alcohol use, gang activity, violence, adult sexuality, are all inappropriate for children and teens.
    • Props can be suggestive and illustrative. Some depict violence (whips, chains, guns or knives) and may only be appropriate in a certain context (Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.). Rest assured all Curtain Call® costume props, characters, and concepts are appropriate for children and teens to wear in family friendly settings.
    • Age-appropriate also means physically safe. We don’t put dancers in pointe shoes unless they are adequately developed, and this should apply when we introduce any potentially risky tricks or techniques.Curtain Call®’s Sensory Icons, featuring: fidget friendly, glitter free, sensory friendly, adjustable straps and compression, fulfill Y.P.A.D.’s ambition for a happy, healthy and safe experience for young dancers. Every design is appropriate by Y.P.A.D. standards, meaning any cutouts, nude fabrics, every detail of every design is thoughtfully crafted to be classy, functional, and fabulous. Not only are dancers more physically comfortable, audiences are more mentally and emotionally comfortable.
      It is a privilege to be entrusted with the education of another, especially when their body and personal expression are involved. We are not just teaching dance, we are teaching values and reinforcing them every time we make a choice about music, movement, costuming, and more. It matters what we expose young people to, and what we cultivate in them. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” and their expression can be limited to trickle-down effect of pin-ups and pop culture if we don’t offer and encourage healthy, creative alternatives. Dance is a language – let’s give the next generation the vocabulary, tools for artistic exploration and creative expression that they deserve.

    Jen ray 3Jen Ray  is a Y.P.A.D. Certified Educator, Adjudicator, and Advisory Panel Member that believes the holistic and mindful approach Y.P.A.D. takes is an antidote to many difficulties dancers face in today's culture. Through her Discover Dancinema workshops, as co- director of The JaM Youth Project, and Y.P.A.D., Jen Ray's influence is one that inspires a culture of well-rounded, critical-minded, and multitalented individuals. Her company Dancinema, started while completing her B.A. Film Studies at UBC Vancouver, has quickly evolved into a respected international brand producing dancefilms, workshops, and events including Cascadia Dance & Cinema Festival (Vancouver, BC) and Capitol Dance & Cinema Festival (Washington, DC). She has enjoyed and appreciated opportunities such as Cucalorus Festival's Residency, screening at many festivals including Los Angeles Dance Film Festival, being selected for twice Dance Teacher Magazine, and collaborating with The JaM Project on their productions at Dancerpalooza's 25Live! and The Kennedy Centre, to highlight a few. The most rewarding and close to her heart are projects and partnerships such as Curtain Call®, where innovation and the healthy development of young people is the central focus.

  • Six Reasons To Love Curtain Call

    QUALITY

    Our innovative styles have brought your creative vision to life for decades. The Curtain Call® team stitches pride into each and every costume and a great portion of our costumes are produced in the USA. Curtain Call® continues to lead the industry with exceptional quality.

    SHOP COSTUMES >

    RMS

    Our Relationship Managers work closely with you to support your vision and needs. They have the skills and experience to help you through your busy season. Be it selecting costumes to song ideas or designing custom warm-ups, they are with you every step of the way.

    FIND YOUR RELATIONSHIP MANAGER >

    ypad

    Curtain Call® is united with Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (Y.P.A.D.) to keep youth happy, healthy and safe in dance. Curtain Call® is the only Y.P.A.D. certified costume company. In accordance with Y.P.A.D. guidelines, we consider everything from design to photography and more.

    FIND OUT MORE >

    garmet-bag

    A stunning costume deserves care and protection, which is why every Curtain Call costume arrives in a garment bag, complete with accessories. Even more, each bag includes a customization label so dancers can feel like a star before they ever hit the stage.

    SHOP COSTUMES >

    icons

    Dancers should feel comfortable so they can focus on the joy of dance. Our helpful icons will assist you in selecting the perfect costume for every dancer. From adjustable straps to glitter free, fidget friendly and more, you’ll be able to find the perfect match every time.

    FIND OUT MORE >

    cc4c

    Our classwear program benefits both studios and parents! Grow your business and earn extra cash by allowing parents to purchase directly from your online store or stock your studio shop. Parents love the convenience and quality of the products, especially the Ovation® line of leotards, tights and shoes.

    SHOP CLASSWEAR >

  • Curtain Call® 2019 Favorites

    It has been my privilege to work as a Relationship Manager for Curtain Call for several years. Truthfully, I consider my job as a Relationship Manager to be pretty great. Not only do I have the opportunity to continue working in an industry I love long after I hung up my pointe shoes, but I have the chance to work with studio owners and teachers on a daily basis. I joke with many of my customers that I live vicariously through them and I have lots of fun helping them select recital themes, costumes, and more. I love seeing our customers’ visions come to life on stage. I work very closely with many studio owners throughout Georgia and Florida and every year when our new line is released, our customers ask me about my favorite styles. I always have my own personal favorites whether it be a very on trend Jazz look, or a really gorgeous and flowy Contemporary style.

    2019 favorites

    However, not every one of my personal favorite costumes is good for every customer. Sometimes, the style doesn’t work within their overall theme. Occasionally, the style isn’t the right choice for the age group of the dancers who would be wearing the costume. Whatever the reason, as a Relationship Manager, it is my job to think beyond my own personal style choices and think about what is best for the dancer, the dancer’s parents, the teacher, and the studio owner.

    As a manufacturer and supplier of costumes, it falls on us to think beyond the style itself and to think about the needs of our customers. Perhaps what makes a style a “winner” isn’t just that it is a pretty costume, but that it is in stock when the customer needs it. Maybe the costume is selected because the style would look good on a class of dancers where there is a big age range and the costume needs to look great on everyone. Or, maybe the costume works well for the customer because it isn’t a specific look, meaning it would work just as well for a jazz class featuring 5 and 6 year old dancers as it would for a fun hip hop routine featuring 12 year old dancers.
    To that end, we have curated a list of our “Favorites” – an initial collection of styles that we love, not only because we love the look and feel of the costume, but because of their versatility. Consider our Curtain Call 2019 Favorites not just our recommendations, but also styles that will meet your needs.

     

    It is also our personal commitment to you to ensure the following:

    • Every Curtain Call 2019 Favorite style is guaranteed to be in stock and ready for your orders by the end of October.
    • Every Curtain Call 2019 Favorite style is a Y.P.A.D. approved costume, age appropriate, and fashion forward.
    • Every Curtain Call 2019 Favorite style will be available to be viewed at costume shows, whether it is our new full line show in Baltimore, our regional shows hosted by your Relationship Manager, or UDMA.

    You may also reach out to your Relationship Manager to ask more about the selection of styles, or ask to view samples of the costumes. Does this mean these are the only costumes we recommend to you? Absolutely not! We have three catalogs full of beautiful and on trend costumes: Curtain Call, Perform, and NX3. Our goal with our Curtain Call 2019 Favorites is to reinforce our commitment to you to be a company with fashion forward, in stock styles, which meet you and your dancer’s needs.

    Shop our Favorite styles now

    We hope you love our new line and we can’t wait to see you at shows this fall. For those of you in Georgia and Florida, I just may have a few themes and ideas ready to share with you. I’ll keep planning imaginary recitals in my head just in case you could use a few new ideas.

    Happy dancing,
    Amelia

  • Recital Ready Dance Bag

    There are always a million things to accomplish the weeks leading up to recital. Our goal is to help you make your big event as stress-free as possible! We have collected a list of the top essentials for your dancers to have a Recital Ready Dance Bag! This way you can focus on the things that really matter, and not a hair emergency! Print out this handy packing checklist to give to your teachers and dancers. PS, don’t forget to customize the spaces we left blank, just for you!RecitalBag

    • Costumes – double check that you have all your costumes, accessories, props, hair pieces, etc.!

    PRO-HACK: pin each individual piece to the costume so they don’t get mixed up or lost. Don’t forget to label each style with first and last name!

    • Dance shoes – make sure shoes are clean and ready for the stage! Place first and last name inside all shoes.

    • Tights – be sure to have the right color and size. It’s a good idea to pack extras, just in case.

    PRO-HACK: use clear nail polish to mend a last minute run in your tights.

    • Beauty – pack your essential hair and makeup needed for the show. Things that might be helpful: small self-standing mirror, deodorant, nail file, baby wipes, tissues, and cotton swabs. Pack extra bobby pins, hair ties, hair nets, and hairspray – in the dance world, you can never have enough hairspray!

    • Miscellaneous – warm-ups, healthy snacks, reusable water bottle, first aid kit, safety pins, extra undergarments, feminine products, mini sewing kit, superglue, static guard, scissors and a lighter (for mending pointe shoe ribbons).

    Print your own check list for a complete Recital Ready Dance Bag – Packing List

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  • Get the Most Out of Your Customer Service Experience

    From costume ordering to costume sizing, and first-time customers to life-long customers. No matter the topic of discussion, you have their full and undivided attention. You may know them as the Customer Service Team, but we prefer to them as the heroes behind the phone!

    Our Customer Service Representatives take the time to help each and every caller. They are happy to chat, well-educated on dance industry trends, and continuously thinking of creative ways to help each customer reach a solution. Even if reaching that resolution takes five minutes or five hours, you will never be rushed!

    We spoke to Vicky, Customer Service Manager, along with Brittni and Angela, Customer Service Representatives, to collect their best kept secrets. Now, we would like to share with you, tips and tricks to getting the most out of your conversation with customer service.CS-telephone

    What is the most efficient way to reach Customer Service?

    Give us a call (1-888-808-0801) or send us an email [email protected]. These options allow the ability to directly reach a customer service representative. Whereas, all other forms of communication, may hold up communication process. For instance, attempts to reach customer service via social media channels, may delay our response time.

    When is the best time of day to chat with Customer Service?

    Morning 9:00 am EST – 11:00 am EST, we seem to get very busy during lunch hours.

    What should customers know when reaching out to Customer Service?

    Introduce yourself! We love talking to our customers!
    Before we can help any customer we must be speaking directly with the studio contact assigned to your account. If your studio contact needs to be updated, no problem, we will help.
    To verify we are speaking to the correct person, we need to know one of the following: customer number, studio name, billing zip code, or studio phone number.
    Knowing the purpose of your call and details of what you need assistance with, is always helpful. For instance, if you have a question regarding a costume, it helps to know the style number, color, and name prior to calling. We will handle the rest!

    What is new for Curtain Call Customer Service?

    Call Back Feature

    No more music! We understand everyone is busy and may not have the time to be waiting on hold listening to our catchy tunes. So to help, we created our Call Back Feature. When we receive your call, you have the option to receive a call back when the line becomes available. We add your call to our queue and alleviate your time spent waiting. More than 50% of our customers are currently utilizing our Call Back Feature and 100% of those customers are able to use their time waiting wisely.

    Extended Hours

    It’s busy season! During the months of January and February 2018, our Customer Service Representatives will be available Monday – Friday from 9:00 am EST – 7:00 pm EST. Come March, we will be available during our regular hours Monday – Friday from 9:00 am EST – 5:30 pm EST.

    There is no right question or right way to ask. Our Customer Service Team is always ready to help in any way, no matter the size or uniqueness of your issue. They are continuously working to do our very best to satisfy our customers. Feel free to call about your little questions. Even if they may seem silly, that’s what we are here for!

  • Beauty is Not a Measurement: Your Guide to Costume Measuring

    YPAD Advisory Panel Member, Tiffany Prout-Leitao, has had many years of experiencing costume measuring, as both a dancer and studio owner. Tiffany shares with us her experience and guidelines for efficient, confidence boosting costume measuring.
    For most dancers getting costumes is the most exciting day of the year. Some students ask the first day of class, “Do you know what our costume is? What song are we doing?”, as they anticipate this from the beginning. But, for some students this is a very stressful time, as many stand in front of the mirror in judgment of themselves. I was one of those kids. In high school, I developed body dysmorphic tendencies, so being measured was a very stressful time for me. I stood, waiting to see the numbers. Even though by society standards I was a thin girl, I didn't see that in the mirror. Most kids who have issues with their size, weight, and certain parts of their body suffer silently. As a result of social media and the internet, our kids are becoming more body conscious at a younger age. Proving why it is so important to make conscientious decisions when selecting and measuring for costumes.Tiffany Headshot

    As recital season is approaching, the time has come to measure dancers for their costumes. As this time of year can be stressful for dancers and teachers alike, we have compiled a few helpful tips we use at our studio to help make costume measuring simple:

    • Post the costume measuring dates on your Studio Calendar to let dancers anticipate measuring!
    • For younger dancers, explain why and how you are measuring them. Try to use an assistant or older dancer to demonstrate the process.
    • Always ask children, “Can I measure you?” or “Are you ready?” allowing them to be in control of their own body and lower nerves. You can offer to have the parent measure the child, while guiding proper measuring.
    • Wording can make a difference. Don’t use “too big” or “too small”, as those words can trigger. Instead, you could say, “This costume needs to be a little longer on you, let’s get something that is more comfortable.”
    • Do not make comments about their bodies. For example, if a child asks, “Am I bigger than last year?” your response could be, “Oh my goodness, you’re growing so much! You’re getting taller, that’s fantastic!”
    • Do not let the kids see their recorded numbers. Remember: Beauty is not a measurement!
    • For group measuring, face the dancer away from other people. For pre-teens and teens, it may be better to measure them individually away from their peers, so they don’t feel self-conscious.
    • A size can make or break a dancer’s psyche. Costumes are not made to fit every body type perfectly. Handing a dancer a costume that is a larger size than what they normally wear in street clothes, takes them to a negative emotional space. To help with this, place stickers over the size on the bag and use it to write the dancer’s name on them. The size remains inside the costume, but it is not the first thing staring them in the face. See below for our fun and inspiring label templates!
    • Once the costumes come in and the dancer’s try them on, ask each one how it feels. You can ask them to dance in it to be sure the costume fits properly (not riding up or falling down). Make it a point to notice… do they wrap their hands around their waist because they are self-conscious? Do you see their shoulders roll forward instead of standing up with pride? Are they not dancing to their fullest ability in the costume? These are the small nuances that kids are going to do instead of saying that they are uncomfortable. If you notice this, ask them if the costume is comfortable and how it makes them feel. This will prompt the child to tell you what they are really feeling. It might mean exchanging a size, adding better straps or adding a piece of fabric, but it is our job as educators to make these kids feel happy, confident, healthy and safe.
    • When selecting your costumes, choose styles that will flatter every body type in your group. When a dancer feels confident, they will dance with confidence. When the costume, choreography, music and concept comes together, that’s when the magic happens.

    Today’s children are inundated with images on the internet and social media. They are constantly comparing themselves to other people, trying to fit the typical mold. It's important for them to see other dancers that look like them and they can relate to. Dancers come in all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all abilities. They have braces, glasses, unclear skin. It's a part of growing up. I'm really proud of Curtain Call for going forward with a costume line and book that has appropriate costumes for all of our kids; not just the stereotypical idea of what a dancer looks like. I can show a costume from Curtain Call and my dancers see someone like them.

    Being a Y.P.A.D. (Youth Protection Advocates In Dance) Certified educator and having a certified staff has helped with our whole costume process, as my team has the proper training and tools to make the best decisions for our dancers.

    - Tiffany Prout-Leitao - Owner & Director of Center Stage

    Download our fun and inspiring garment bag label templates! Print these labels using Avery® Template 8163.

    garment-labels2

    About Tiffany

    Tiffany is the Owner and Artistic Director of Center Stage Dance and founder of the non-profit Center Stage Outreach Team.  She has performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe and China.  Tiffany is an award-winning jazz choreographer who has done numerous industrials, commercials, television shows and has worked with several national recording artists. She is on the Advisory Panel and a certified Y.P.A.D. (Youth Protection Advocates in Dance) educator and adjudicator, an organization dedicated to stop the exploitation of our youth in the performing arts. Tiffany is a Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Certified instructor whose goal is to ensure that dance is accessible to everyone. As a dance educator for over 25 years, Her mission is to create a safe, healthy and happy dance environment and pass on her passion for dance and life to the students of Center Stage.

  • Designing a Future with Y.P.A.D. in Mind

    Every year when our Design team begins their creative process, they must evaluate the current fashion trends, new stylish colors, pop culture phenomena’s, and collaborate their ideas, images, and perspectives to curate costumes for the upcoming seasons. This year, even more than years past, our Design team began their design process with every dancer in mind.
    2
    During the development of the 2018 Curtain Call collection, our team collaborated with Y.P.A.D.’s Advisory Panel to develop, organize and implement market analysis to help studios choose costumes that specifically support children with sensory sensitivities. This research helped to determine which types of costumes, fabrics, and design elements accommodate specific needs.

    This summer our Curtain Call team, including the designers, also had the privilege of becoming Y.P.A.D.™ Certified. Curtain Call is currently the first and only certified dance costume company in the industry! The certification covers topics such as; Body Image, Costuming, Sexualization, Objectification in Dance, and more. This knowledge and education is extremely important to our design team. “I feel honored to be part of a much broader community of individuals devoted to eliminating exploitation in the dance industry. Y.P.A.D. has helped me realize the potential I have as a designer to influence appropriate costume choices and feel proud that through my designs, I can make a difference in the lives of young dancers,” Curtain Call Designer Jessica Saunders said after becoming certified.

    With the insight gained from the market research, as well as the certification, we are able to effectively design sensory-friendly costumes, flattering designs for every body, and appropriate looks for all ages. Curtain Call Designer Candice Specht mentioned, “We do not necessarily need to change our designs, we can still be cool and trendy! It is all about being age appropriate.” Senior Designer, Amy Hess, added, “We live in a hypersexualized culture, and it is important as we move forward with our 2019 Collections, that our costumes lift a dancer’s self-esteem by helping them embrace the beauty they have within.”

    Curtain Call has always believed in creating one-of-a-kind costumes that would allow every dancer to rock their routine on stage. With the insight and knowledge our team has gained through our Y.P.A.D.™ Certification, we will continue to enforce these values in a positive and healthy way in every aspect of what we do!
    So what is to come for 2019 Curtain Call Costumes? Our Designer Candice reassured us, “Expect comfort! It is very important to give children something they feel wonderful and confident in.”

    Keep an eye out for our helpful icons throughout the price list and online to help studios choose costumes that specifically support children with sensory sensitivities. These icons indicate: Sensory Friendly, Compression, Fidget Friendly, Glitter Free, and Adjustable Straps. These icons were created with everybody in mind, allowing you to select the right garments for all your dancers!

  • Y.P.A.D.™ Certification: The Impact

    wordcloudWe asked a few of your favorite Curtain Call Relationship Managers what their thoughts were on the impact of Curtain Call's Y.P.A.D.™ Certification, here's what they had to say:

    How do you believe the YPAD Certification/relationship will impact Curtain Call’s position in the industry?

    I truly believe that the relationship between YPAD and Curtain Call Costumes positions our company to be the standard in the industry. I have already heard from excited customers who now feel empowered to make different, sometimes difficult, choices that will benefit the students and families they serve. Curtain Call was already a leader in our industry, but now, we are the first to step forward and say “we stand behind these values”. It’s a big deal and I know studio owners across the country and beyond will respect our choice. – Ameila Fazio

    Only time will tell, but I truly think this will be a game changer in the costume industry. The safety of children has been and will continue be a top priority in the eyes of a dance teachers and I think they will come to expect this to be a top priority for costume companies as well. – Christine Luca

    It already has! I am proud to announce our partnership with YPAD and my customers are proud to purchase from a company that has a partnership with them. It is giving the voice back to the children in an industry that is run by adults and their bottom line. This partnership is going to have a HUGE impact with Curtain Call’s position! – Cori Callahan

    The YPAD certification positions Curtain Call as a leader in the industry who truly cares about their customer. The certification will give studios peace of mind and assurance that they can trust the products they are purchasing will meet the YPAD standards and values. Curtain Call’s commitment to excellence is reflected in this commitment to certify their employees. – Debbie Carr

    Stay tuned for more insight from your Relationship Managers on Curtain Call's Y.P.A.D.™ Certification in the next segment of our Y.P.A.D.™ Certification series!
  • Putting the Style in the 2018 NX3® Freestyle Collection

    By: Danielle Sten-Guillermo, On the DL

    Introducing the fashion minds behind the collaboration of Curtain Call’s NX3 2018 Freestyle Collection – Danielle Sten-Guillermo and Lance Guillermo! Danielle has shared her insight on the process, purpose and vision behind the collection!dan'lance

    When Lance and I first met in the hallway parallel to a stage door, we never realized what was to come…a forever vow in love, marriage, dance, and fashion. A companionship that took two people from two opposing worlds in dance and united them, from once a confusing manner, to the very vessel of what makes us – On the DL. The short synopsis is this: I am a stage dancer and Lance is a street dancer; I am classically trained in ballet, jazz, and contemporary techniques; Lance is street trained in the original styles of hip hop. I started dancing at the age of 3; Lance started dancing at the age of 19. Our journeys with dance did not start the same way, but it brought us together, and now, we are creatively sharing our voice in dance and in fashion.

    After establishing On the DL in 2008, Lance and I focused on fusing our techniques of movement and style into our compositions and dress. Since then we have worked in TV, Music, and Film; choreographed for companies across the country; directed/choreographed original stage performances; and instructed dancers young and old from all over the world. We both remember the first time we stepped on a movie set, the commotion, the excitement - the sheer number of people it takes to put together such a huge production - no other career can offer such a thrilling environment; and then allow you to come home to your home-base studio to create with your dancers that you help raise, mentor and inspire. We get the best of both worlds; we create for those you already know of, and then motivate the ones that you will soon get to know.

    All of that is what you get to see on the surface; the product of what we do from day to day. When Lance and I create moves or design articles of clothing, there are people that influence us in our most conscious mind. For dance, Ken Swift, Donald O’Connor, and Pina Bausch are three artists who provoke us with rational and irrational feelings. They challenge our bodies, initiate us to examine our process, and make us question our vision, leaving us every morning to hope that we have a new set of eyes to explore the world around us. In fashion, we look to icons like Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, and Mos Def. The three of them are uninhibited in the way they present themselves; they can be vibrant without color and chic without simplicity. Gwen, Pharrell, and Mos Def we thank you for seeing a trend, but instead creating a movement.

    From this you have gathered that we are emotional, with a desire to be challenged, all while seeing the world with a new set of eyes. I know, I know, we are artists - so cliché! But dance and fashion should make you FEEL something, and that feeling is the very thing that keeps us ALIVE. That emotional charge is the budding factor of my chic, clean, and statement-making style; and Lance’s classic, fun, and fresh-to-death fashion flair. So when we were asked to collaborate on the NX3 Fashion Line, without hesitation we said “YES!”, and immediately got to work on putting together pieces that could be worn on stage, or on the streets; that would represent the hip hop fashion culture; and most importantly, provoke a feeling inside of all of you.

    So in the end, Lance and I leave you with this – no matter your dance journey, no matter your style preference, BE ORIGINAL…TAKE CHANCES…and MAKE A STATEMENT. Those are the reasons why we created these pieces for NX3.

    Stay Fresh,
    Danielle + Lance
    On the DL

  • Y.P.A.D.™ Certification: Special Guest - Katie Gatlin

    We are excited to share insight from YPAD Advisory Panel Member, Katie Gatlin, B.S., M.S.

    katie-galtinOver the summer months, Curtain Call and Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD), joined forces to collaborate on a Body Image and Special Needs Initiative. The Body Image Initiative focused on a dancer’s experience while trying on costumes, while the Special Needs Initiative promoted inclusiveness in dance by providing a photo shoot with a variety of dancers and providing icons (for sensory integration needs) in the costume catalog. Both initiatives were pioneering!

    I have been a dance instructor for 19 years and owned a dance studio for five years. I have my M.S. in Mental Health Counseling/Psychology and work with adolescents with a myriad of special needs and/or mental health disorders. Being a lead on the initiative committees was an inspiring and humbling experience. It is my opinion, that not only are these initiatives important but that Curtain Call has raised the standard for costume companies. Creating icons for costumes that cited a source for compression needs, fidget needs, and which fabrics are not as itchy; (to name a few) not only assists instructors in choosing a costume for individuals who have special needs but also dancers who have sensitivities. It would have been invaluable to have notation regarding a variety of sensory needs when I ordered countless costumes while I owned a studio. The process of developing icons and categorizing the costumes allowed me to truly conceptualize and appreciate the various nuances of costuming that may affect dancers differently.

    The Body Image Initiative was particularly intriguing but also a bit triggering. When in college I was hospitalized for anorexia nervosa and costuming typically triggered me and my disordered eating and body image. A dancer has a multitude of opportunities to scrutinize their bodies. Dancing in front of mirrors, seeing videos and pictures of themselves, and trying on countless costumes. Although many dancers are excited to receive their costumes, some may experience anxiety and/or deflated body image and self esteem. Through a variety of medias, females learn to view their bodies as objects rather than the intricate machines that they are. Media portrays a narrow and strict definition/idea of what a body should look like or what is socially acceptable. Those that do not fit that definition/idea may feel shamed. That is then compounded by adolescence and their perception. It is a slippery slope and one that needs to be acknowledged and discussed. The Body Image Initiative provides a qualitative glimpse of this process and also provides insight and talking points for studio owners and instructors.

    For many, dance is cathartic and a form of release and expression; however, during a variety of experiences (costuming, competition, recital, etc.) dancers’ insecurities can be magnified. Both of these initiatives revealed a plethora of talking points in regards to the costuming aspect of the dance world. Dance is more than just movement and counts, it is a total body experience that requires the mind, body and spirit of the being. Understanding all that encompasses a dancer’s experience will allow us to better serve our dancers and their needs. The popular YPAD hashtag, put the dancer before the dance, is given clarity through these initiatives. Curtain Call leads the industry in this standard and has proven time and again to put the dancer before the dance.

    For more information regarding YPAD, please visit ypad4change.org.

    Read the full Body Image and Costumes Exclusive YPAD Research article.

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