Tag Archives: Confidence

  • 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.

  • The Psychology of Fashion in Dance

    By: Leslie Scott, Founder of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance

    Christine Luca - Curtain Call Relationship Manager, Jerica Robinson - Curtain Call Relationship Manager, Leslie Scott - Founder of YPAD, and Katie Gatlin - YPAD Advisory Panel Member teaming up at Dance Teacher Web Live in Las Vegas!

    As the founder of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD) and on behalf of our community and Advisory Panel, I am thrilled that Curtain Call has answered the call of youth advocacy by becoming the World’s FIRST YPAD Certified Costume Manufacturer! By becoming Certified, Curtain Call leads the dance costume industry by incorporating diversity, inclusiveness and safety in how costumes are designed, photographed and promoted. This is a historical and pioneering moment that raises the integrity for dance apparel around the globe!

    The Psychology of Fashion has been a field of study to assist YPAD in understanding the impact of fashion trends on young dancer's emotional health, self-esteem, body image and social media choices. Costume manufacturers influence dance industry trends and the self-esteem and body image of youth. They also influence the costume choices made by the adults in charge of youth dancers. Whether witnessing a stage performance, flipping through a catalog or consuming images of children and teens modeling costumes through social media platforms, costume companies, whether consciously or not, are educating the public on what is appropriate regarding fashion for youth in dance. In that is a call for accountability that we are so encouraged Curtain Call answered with an all-in attitude of excitement and unity!

    Over the last decade, some costume designs have started to resemble the mature clothing of adult celebrities and pop stars, but scaled down in size and marketed to children and teens. YPAD has also seen an increase in photographing children and teens in sexually mature positions and equally mature facial expressions. The verbiage used by costume companies during photo or video shoots regarding the aesthetics and abilities of the dancers showcasing their designs are important moments for youth in dance. Certain comments may have a harmful impact on self-esteem and self-compassion. Positive reinforcement based on a dancer's character and work ethic can uplift a dancer's confidence and feelings about their body, self and even each other. The choices of photos, designs and even names of costumes in catalogs send powerful messages regarding gender stereotypes, body image, diversity and more. When YPAD launched the world's first certification training for costume manufacturers that addressed these topics, we were excited to find the right fit for who would be the first to unite with YPAD! Together, we will actively counteract harmful trends and promote diversity, inclusion and holistic wellness, using costumes as the vehicle for change.

    Curtain Call not only went through YPAD Certification, but they otook it a step further in their genuine care for youth in dance. They partnered with YPAD to conduct market research on how costumes impact body image and what costume designs may be a better choice for children with sensory sensitivities. The result of this endeavor is an icon legend in Curtain Call’s catalog that share with consumers which costumes are sensory friendly, fidget friendly, offer compression, are glitter free and have adjustable straps.

    Our belief is dance is for everyBODY, regardless of size, height, shape, ethnicity or ability. As leaders, we can take thoughtful steps to give children a higher chance of success on the dance floor. When they feel confident and secure in their costume they can absorb themselves in self-expression and the joy dance has to offer. I was honored to organize and work with industry experts from YPAD’s Advisory Panel on these important endeavors. I would like to first acknowledge and thank our Advisory Panel Member Lisa Phelps the creator of SB Dance Sugar, a dance advocacy site in Santa Barbara. Lisa is the lead developer of the YPAD Certification and an amazing human and champion of youth in the arts! I would also like to thank Tiffany Prout-Leitao, Tricia Gomez, Katie Gatlin, Misty Lown, Dr. Christina Donaldson, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Ph.D., and Vanessa Terrell along with the Curtain Call team for making this campaign come to life. Tricia Gomez of Rhythm Works Integrative Dance and Katie Gatlin led our committee on costumes for children with sensory sensitivities and the development of the icons I mentioned above. Misty Lown owner of Misty’s Dance Unlimited/More Than Just Great Dancing and (YPAD’s First Visionary Sponsor!), Tiffany Prout-Leitao owner of Center Stage Dance Academy and Vanessa Terrell owner of The Pointe School of Dance spent hours conducting market research on their amazing students. Dr. Christina Donaldson and Katie Gatlin served on our Body Image committee and Tomi-Ann Roberts, Ph.D. served on our committee for Healthy Presentations of Youth in Dance for Print and Media. YPAD Director, Joseph Zanovitch, and myself managed these projects. None of this could be possible without the selfless investment of time and energy on behalf of the YPAD Advisory Panel. For more details on the exact hours and research participants read this awesome blog from Tighe King, Curtain Call’s CEO!

    Thank you Curtain Call for being more than costumes, letting kids be kids and always putting the Holistic Wellness of the dancer before potentially harmful trends and profits. Parents, dance teachers and studio owners who want to support dance organizations who represent YPAD Values can trust Curtain Call’s integrity and leadership!

  • 2018 Collection: Share the Joy of Dance With Everyone

    We are always excited to launch our new costume line, and this 2018 collection is our most amazing yet! But Curtain Call is more than costumes. It’s about sharing the joy of dance with everyone. Your performance, both on and off the stage, continues to be our passion. Our ongoing mission is to support you, the artist, the visionary, the teacher, and the business owner- so you can perform at your best, and inspire the next generation of dancers. Supporting you means we strive to lead the costume industry by offering quality, value priced styles, exceptional service, and reliable peace of mind, so you, and your dancers, can perform at their best. This season, it also means we strive to recognize and support the mission to celebrate and protect all dancers.

    Curtain Call is proud to be recognized as the first Y.P.A.D™ Certified costume company! Y.P.A.D. stands for Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, and is a nonprofit dedicated to building empowered dance communities to keep youth happy, healthy and safe in dance. By becoming certified, Curtain Call leads the dance costume industry by incorporating diversity, inclusiveness and safety in how costumes are designed, photographed and promoted.

    With the help of Y.P.A.D.’s Advisory Panel members of industry experts, we have dedicated over 100 hours to developing, organizing, and implementing market research and analysis to help studios choose costumes that specifically support children with special needs. The market research was led by Advisory Panel Member Tricia Gomez, the creator of Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, a rhythm and dance program designed for those with individual learning differences and other special needs. In this ground breaking project, 23 amazing children ages 3-14 were involved to help determine which costumes accommodated diverse needs. Using this research, we developed and assigned helpful icons to specific garments in the 2018 collection to help assist you in selecting the right garment for your dancers.YPAD-icons

    “Curtain Call’s willingness to go through Certification training and coming alongside us in this partnership is absolutely monumental for the dance industry. They continue to set a standard for the dance apparel industry which is to always put the emotional and physical wellness of children before profits and potentially harmful trends.” – Leslie Scott, Founder of Y.P.A.D.

    We hope this new 2018 costume line will inspire you with ideas for choreography and performances, as well as inspire you to learn more about how we can all support our youth and #LetKidsBeKids. We are proud to share this new collection with you, honored to support the Y.P.A.D mission, and grateful that you will consider Curtain Call for your costume needs this season.

    On behalf of our entire team, we hope you have an amazing year!

    Tighe King, CEO and the Curtain Call Team

     

    Special thanks to:
    Curtain Call would like to express a Special Thanks to members of Y.P.A.D.’s Advisory Panel of Industry Experts!
    Without their efforts, this project would not have been possible.

    Tricia Gomez, Rhythm Works Integrative Dance

    Katie Gatlin, M.S. Mental Health Counseling/Dance Educator (Committee Leaders)

    Misty Lown, More Than Just Great Dancing™ and Misty’s Dance Unlimited™

    Vanessa Terrell, The Pointe School of Dance

    Tiffany Prout-Leitao, Center Stage Dance Academy

    Dr. Christina Donaldson, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

    Tomi-Ann Roberts, PhD, Department of Psychology, Colorado College

    Leslie Scott, Founder of  Y.P.A.D.™

    Joseph Zanovitch, Director of Y.P.A.D.™

  • Inspiring Confidence Through Costumes Part Three: 2016 Trends & 2017 Predictions

    CandicePicQ&A with Candice Specht, Curtain Call Designer

    How long have you worked in costume design? How did you get into this field?

    I have worked in the dance costume design industry for about seven years and three and a half years at Perform Group. I began college as a fashion design major, but I quickly learned that I wasn’t interested in doing mass-marketed fashion lines. Instead, I decided to fuse my two passions together. I began dancing when I was two or three years old and while in high school, I began teaching like my mom. I loved dancewear because it was a niche area.

    What inspires you?

    Lots of shopping! I look at today’s fashion trends and play with how I can incorporate those into dancewear specifically. I look at Vogue and Seventeen magazines to see what’s inspiring the fashion of today’s younger women. Celebrity styles in tabloids, big fashion runway shows and retail websites like Rent the Runway are other ways that allow me to visualize what people would look like in dance costumes that are trendy.

    Movies are pop culture inspirations. I anticipate that The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast will be the most recreated styles in 2017. Marvel and heroine movies and music will continue to gain popularity and momentum through next year.

    Music is another impactful inspiration because I imagine the movements to that song and what style would complement that music. What musicians like Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Beyoncé are wearing in music videos and the red carpet set the tone for dance costume fashion.

    What does your day look like as a dance costume designer?

    My first task when I get in the office is answering emails. Then I explore costs and materials for our garments. Next on my to-do list is seeking inspiration. That ranges from magazines and tabloids, to Google and Pinterest searches, to online shopping.

    When I’m developing an outfit, I will draw a very rough sketch on paper with a list of items I want to incorporate within the margins. After this initial sketch, I continue more detailed work on Adobe Illustrator.

    I work on a team with three in-house designers and one freelance designer. Though we each have our own offices, we have a large open space where we collaborate.

    What is your favorite genre of dance to design for?

    My favorite genre of dance to design for has to be contemporary because it’s fun to incorporate current fashion trends and dress details like the latest wedding dress styles. My favorite age group to design for is the tween and teen dancers.

    What are the most popular colors and fabrics to incorporate into your designs?

    Green is my favorite color so I was happy to hear “greenery” was Pantone’s color of the year, especially since it’s not normally that popular of a color to incorporate into dance costumes. Black, blush and beige tones are staple colors that have been popular for years.

    The 1990s style is back in fashion and we see that carrying into dance. We’ve also seen a ton of demand for off the shoulder and slit sleeves over the past year.

    Sparkles and sequins are always popular. Velvet comes in and out of style. Pleated fabrics are really in right now. My favorite item to design is intricate backs.

    What was your favorite design this year?

    The ballet costume Blushing Bouquet (C354) was my favorite Curtain Call design of the year. It’s all about the fabric in that style.

    Candice_Style

  • How Ballet Got Me to The Olympics

    BalletPic Shannon Miller is a 7 time Olympic Medalist and remains The Most Decorated Gymnast in the United States.

    Like many other children, I began gymnastics at the age of five after my parents became terrified that I’d injure myself flipping off the couch or attempting somersaults on the backyard trampoline (there were no nets and pads back then). I fell in love with the sport from the beginning. I was able to flip and turn to my heart’s content. I was learning new skills and eventually stringing them together to create full routines.

    Those that have watched me grow up in the sport know that ballet was a huge part of my career as a gymnast. Even before I started gymnastics, I was taking ballet. In fact, I wanted so badly to go with my older sister to ballet that I called my grandmother and begged her to talk my mother into allowing me to go. She did just that and even paid for my first lessons!

    As a shy child, ballet class was my first opportunity to begin to understand how I could tell a story through movement. Even at a young age, I loved the practice and precision of each move. Those basic classes helped me with body awareness, flexibility, and timing. Of course, I loved the slippers and tights and really loved recitals. For a shy child, I had no problem showing off to a room full of people….as long as I didn’t have to speak to anyone.

    Making the transition to gymnastics did not mean leaving ballet behind. In fact, it was my dance background that helped me understand who I was as a gymnast. During that time, the primary gymnast body type was more of a powerhouse like Mary Lou Retton and then Kim Zmeskal, and the floor routine was energetic, even cutesy.

    I can recall one choreographer trying to get me to shake my hips and my shoulders and “be cute.” Instead I just broke down in tears. I knew it wasn’t me. I knew that if I didn’t love it and didn’t feel comfortable, then the routine would fall flat with both the audience and judges. Ballet was my comfort zone. I wanted violins and dramatic movements.

    I wasn’t particularly powerful. I had these skinny legs and knobby knees. I wasn’t the most flexible or the most naturally talented. However, I loved gymnastics and soon found that I could combine those skills learned through ballet with my gym training to create something incredible.

    Ballet had given me a basic understanding of posture and how important it is to have a solid foundation for larger skills. Ballet helped me understand “grace” in a way that I may not have understood through gymnastics alone. As I grew in the sport, I continued with ballet at least once a week. I found that incorporating what I learned through ballet allowed me to excel on balance beam and floor exercise. I was able to differentiate myself through my dance and attention to detail.

    When someone asks me about my favorite moments, it’s difficult not to think of my floor exercise routines. One of my favorite quotes from a commentator was, “Shannon just pulls in every note”. My goal with the choreography was to stay true to myself. I may not have had the most or even best training, but that foundation through ballet allowed me to connect my movements to the audience, to truly tell a story.

    While I became known for the artistic portion of my gymnastics as much as for my difficulty in skills, I don’t consider myself a great dancer, but rather, a lover of dance. I will always be grateful for my grandmother who gave me my start, for my parents who helped me follow my dreams, and for my coaches who understood the importance of ballet to my overall training and success.

    SM-blog

  • Inspiring Confidence Through Costumes Part Two: 2016 Trends

     

    Jessica Saunders, Curtain Call Costume Designer Jessica Saunders, Curtain Call Costume Designer

    Q&A with Jessica Saunders, Curtain Call Costume Designer

    Entering the world of performing arts opens the door to a number of professions that inspire creativity, talent and passion. Dancers and other performers, of course, make the list, but so do producers, set designers, choreographers, musicians and…….you guessed it! Costume designers.

    It’s impossible to ignore the talent of costume designers this time of year as we enter the height of awards season. With popular movies like Mad Max and Cinderella nominated for Academy Awards for best costume design, and television series like Downton Abby captivating audiences across the country, the critical contribution of costume designers in making stories come to life is undeniable.

    Here at Curtain Call our designers are dedicated to making your performances come to life by designing costumes that make every dancer feel confident. Not only should dancers look and feel good, they should also know that their costumes are reflecting the latest trends and most in-demand styles.

    Read on for a Q&A with Curtain Call designer Jessica Saunders about how and where she gathers inspiration and insights into the latest costume trends.

    How long have you worked in costume design? How did you get into this field?
    JS: I have been a costume designer at Curtain Call for the past 14 years. Prior to my time with Curtain Call, I actually designed sleepwear upon receiving my undergraduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco.

    What inspires you?
    JS: This is a question that we, as designers, get asked a lot. When you’re doing something you love, from the heart, it never gets old, so honestly, I get inspiration everywhere and from everything. I definitely follow red carpet trends, high fashion runways and movie fashion. But I also rely on some trend forecasting sites (Trendstop, Fashion Vignette, PopSugar, Vogue), Pinterest, music videos, and I even gather inspiration from things like home décor. Our team of four designers will also shop the market in major fashion capitals like NYC and LA and drop into professional performances, like Broadway shows.

    How many designers are on your team? Are you each responsible for a certain line?
    JS: There are four designers on the Curtain Call team. For the most part, we all have an equal share of every line. We have changed it up over the years, but it’s best to have everyone’s input in making a particular line the very best it can be.

    What dance genre is your favorite to design costumes for?
    JS: This definitely changes from year to year. I really enjoy the process of researching and gathering inspiration for a line. The types of inspiration I come across really determine my excitement when beginning to design for a particular genre. This year, I am really eager to design for the Pop Hop line. I have quite a few fun prints I am excited to use and some trendy silhouettes gathered from street fashion.

    Were you ever a dancer?
    JS: Yes! Throughout middle school and high school I studied basically every style of dance, but tap was always my favorite.

    What are your thoughts on street style influencing style in the studio or on stage and vice versa?
    JS: Street style absolutely inspires stage style—especially when you consider a style like hip hop, which is heavily inspired by street dancers. You definitely see street trends, like athleisure, for example, making its way into popular dance styles.

    What costume styles are going to be trendy in 2016 (colors, fabrics, silhouettes, etc.)? How do these trends differ from last year? Years past?
    JS: This year we will definitely see cold-shoulder treatment, embroidered cut outs and panels, bold graphic patterns and patterns with shine. Cold-shoulder treatments are coming back in style, while bold graphic patterns and patterns with shine have been trendy for several years now. Sequins are a forever staple in dance. They look fantastic on stage, and that will never change.

    Additionally, a few more styles that are going to be big this year are:

    • Geometric panel designs, giving a modern or athleisure feel for jazz and contemporary
    • X style necklines, incorporating a version of shoulderless sleeves for contemporary
    • Feminine ornamental laces on nude mesh for ballet and contemporary

    How often do trends in different dance genres affect each other or cross over?
    JS: So many of our styles can be used in multiple dance genres. This is particularly the case in the Jazz and Contemporary sections. Fabric and music cross dance genres so it makes sense that our designs do too. Curtain Call customers are full of creativity. They are always coming up with great ways to use our styles in ways we haven’t considered. Their originality is an inspiration to us.

    The 2016 Pantone colors of the year are Rose Quartz and Serenity. Will these influence costume designs this year?
    JS: Absolutely. You can expect to see Rose Quartz and Serenity appear more frequently in street and stage style, especially since fabric vendors rely heavily on Pantone predictions.

    Are there are other colors that you think will take center stage / or that you’d like to see become a top color in 2016?
    JS: Red, pink and other bright colors look great on stage. Gem tones, which have been on the Pantone list in recent years, will be popular, as will gold.

    What advice do you have for aspiring costume designers?
    JS: Stay humble and open to new experiences! Being a designer is so much more than making pretty sketches. Staying creative year after year, following a timeline with stressful expectations and plenty of noncreative assignments is what the job really entails. Dedication and hard work will make you an asset to your team and a success no matter what path you take.

    What do you hope will be the biggest 2016 costume trend? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • New Year, New Blog

    Curtain-Call-2016-BlogFriends of Curtain Call,

    Happy New Year! 2016 is already off to an exciting start: our model casting calls are in full force (and the talent is incredible!). It was recently announced that Dirty Dancing will be revived for the small screen this year, Flesh & Bone was nominated for several Golden Globes and So You Think You Can Dance is celebrating its tenth birthday. Yes, I think this will be an exciting year for dance, indeed.

    We at Curtain Call don’t like to sit in the wings as exciting things happen—we like to stand with you at center stage. That’s why our New Year’s resolution is to not only provide you with the best dance costumes and service, but to also provide business and dance tips that all studio owners, dance teachers and dancers can use.

    It is with great pleasure that I officially mark the relaunch of the Curtain Call blog. Here you will find insights into topics like: costume design trends, how to prepare for each dance season, best business practices for studios, dance culture and exciting developments in the dance world. We would love to serve as a trusted resource to you on these topics.

    We hope you’ll follow along with our blog and be an active member of our community as we discuss various topics that are important to all dancers and dance lovers. I encourage you to comment on these blogs and share your insights and questions.

    Keep dancing,
    Tighe

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