Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • 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.

  • Y.P.A.D.™ Certification: Thoughts from our Relationship Managers

    We reached out to a few of your favorite Curtain Call Relationship Managers to see what aspects of Curtain Call's Y.P.A.D.™ Certification stood out to them the most, here's what they had to say:

    What aspect of the Y.P.A.D. Certification stood out to you most?

    Some of the facts and statistics shared during the certification program are mind boggling. It’s easy to have a knowledge of what you think may be going on in our industry, but not an understanding. What stood out to me the most is probably the effects of social media. I don’t have children, so I don’t have to monitor the social media in my household. If I see something that is bothersome, I can simply scroll past it. Unfortunately, today’s youth are exposed to the world via social media, yet, they don’t have the life skills to know how to handle all of that information. The certification has definitely made me more aware of how dance and social media can occasionally intertwine negatively, and how to keep it positive and uplifting. – Ameila Fazio

    The dangers of oversexualizing children was a huge eye opener for me. Not only the dangers from sexual predators, but also for a child’s self-esteem and body awareness. I think I have been exposed to the dance world and what has become the “norm” in dance trends for so long, I have become partially numb to the reality that, children were no longer dancing or dressing like children. I would watch routines and think “they are talented enough to pull it off”. The actuality is talent should have nothing to do with how children are portrayed and viewed as a dancer. Growing up, children are exposed to the harsh realities of this world so quickly, we should absolutely not be rushing maturity upon them. – Christine Luca

    What stood out to me the most was the feelings the surfaced throughout the certification. Being involved in the dance industry my whole life, whether being a student, a performer, a teacher, and now a marketer of dance apparel, I have seen and witnessed many instances that Y.P.A.D. is addressing. There is a sense of relief that an organization is addressing these issues and making the dance industry aware. – Cori Callahan

    To be certified by an organization that provides standards and values that I am passionate about. To have knowledge, support and resources available and to be an advocate in the dance industry. – Debbie Carr

    What do you believe is the #1 benefit of the Y.P.A.D. Certification for our customers?

    Becoming YPAD certified is a whole new way of thinking and doing business. For me, it represents a complete change in mindset about things I previously knew, I would imagine it would be even more impactful for studio owners. The benefit of that shift in thinking is the effect on those people our studio owners serve, from the students, to their parents, siblings, and even friends. – Ameila Fazio

    Parents will feel assured that their children are in a safe and nurturing environment, which will help grow their business as a trusted establishment in the community! – Christine Luca

    TRUST. Our customers can trust us that we will deliver a product they can be proud of. – Cori Callahan

    For our customers the certification is beneficial to them in knowing that we have and will continue to provide costumes that meet the Y.P.A.D. standards. – Debbie Carr

    Why should anyone choose to gain their Y.P.A.D. Certification?

    Our world is changing every day, whether we like it or not. The certification will give you the tools and training to understand issues students and parents may be faced with, and how to help them through. Everyone from teachers and office staff, to studio owners and industry professionals, should take this certification seriously. – Ameila Fazio

    As dance professionals, I think it’s important to be educated on all of the potential risks involved with children in the dance industry. There are many things that most people would never think of that may be harming children under their watch. – Christine Luca

    It take a village to raise our children. As dance educators, they are a part of this village. Our dancers deserve to be guided by positive, healthy and happy ways. – Cori Callahan

    They should choose to gain certification to become educated and gain resources. To be an advocate that will positively impact their customers and improve their business model. – 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! 

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