Tag Archives: Dance Season

  • 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!
  • See the Sparkle for Yourself

    At Curtain Call, we understand how important it is for you to be able to see and touch our costumes in person. Even better, being able to experience the flow of a contemporary dress, the shimmer of sequins, and the movement of fringe by having models bring the costumes to life! This season, we strategically placed a number of Curtain Call hosted costume preview shows throughout the country for your convenience.

    Why should you attend a Curtain Call hosted event?CCWelcomesYou-2016
    • Get an exclusive, in-person look at our new 2018 Curtain Call®, Perform®, and NX3® Collections
    • Meet your regional Relationship Manager
    • Learn about our Curtain Call for Class® program and see the latest collection
    • Come alone or bring your whole team for a costume planning event
    • Mix and mingle with fellow dance enthusiasts and dance studio owners
    • Learn about our Curtain Call Rewards program

    NEW this season… if you attend a Curtain Call hosted* event you may be eligible for a 5% Show Bonus! This show bonus, Curtain Call Cash, can be earned on all orders over $1,000 placed by November 27, 2017 and is in addition to any eligible discount! Learn more about this exclusive offer!

    If you’re not able to visit us at one of our hosted shows, stop by and visit us at one of the four UDMA events!

    For details about our Curtain Call hosted shows and to RSVP, view our Upcoming Events!

    We look forward to seeing you soon!

  • Competition & Recital Makeup Tips & Tricks from the Beauties Behind the Curtain

    We know that a dancer's love and passion for dancing is what really makes them shine when they're on stage, but a great costume and a pop of makeup and really accent their look, too! We chatted with our very own photo shoot stylists to get their take on the best tips and tricks for perfecting your stage look!
    Holly&Kimberly

    Meet Our Stylists
    Holly Boyer, owner of Extreme Beauty Makeup, has had over 10 years of cosmetology. One of her many inspirations is Pat McGrath, who is a front-runner in her field and one of the most innovative artists in the industry. Holly’s favorite look for the stage is a good neutral smokey eye and a killer pair of false eyelashes!

    Kimberly Harvey has been turning her friends' hair and makeup into masterpieces for as long as she can remember. At the age of 19, she began working professionally in a salon, in the following years continued to work in the industry with different makeup companies. Recently, she has began to focus on the bridal industry, special events, and photo shoots (like Curtain Call)! One of her inspirations in the hair industry is Celebrity Hair Stylist Jen Atkin, and for makeup, Tom Pecheux! Kimberly's go-to look for the stage is a pretty neutral eye shadow, HUGE lashes, and bold lips!

    Tips & Tricks:

    • When applying false eyelashes, allow for the adhesive to dry for 30–45 seconds before adhering to the lash line. In doing this, the adhesive will become tacky and allow for easier application.
    • Use a damp beauty blender sponge to pack on a no-color powder under the eyes. After applying concealer, allow for the powder to “bake” for 5 minutes before dusting away the excess powder.
    • Use a sponge to press powder into the skin rather than dust, this will allow for a longer wear.
    • For those that may not have a steady hand, use an angled brush when applying liner. To even out any imperfections, use a similar color shadow to smudge out the liner.
    • For younger dancers, give them a more natural look with neutral eye makeup and a pop of lip gloss or a tinted lip balm.
    • When using a curler to style hair, start off with a setting spray before curling and top it off with a finishing spray for extra hold.
    • Primer, Primer, Primer! It’s a girl’s best friend! Use a primer before applying eye shadow or anything to the face to increase wear time.
    • For the stage, use a foundation one shade darker than natural skin tone to avoid appearing pale from the stage lights. Bronzer works well too!
    • Always set makeup with a setting spray after applying makeup, then apply a translucent powder to lock in your look and cut down on any dewiness.
    • Avoid setting powder flashback by blending it extremely well during application.
    • Avoid using cream under the eyes, it will make the under eye look dry and potentially cakey in photos.

    Top Ten Makeup Bag Essentials:
    1. Urban Decay – All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray1
    2. BECCA – Shimmering Skin Protector Pressed Highlighter2
    3. Laura Mercier – Translucent Loose Setting Powder3
    4. Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz Pencil4
    5. i.ENVY – Super Strong Hold Eyelash Adhesive

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    6. Ardell Professional – Demi Wispies Eyelashes

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    7. NARS – Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

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    8. Clinique – Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm 8
    9. Crest – 3D Whitestrips

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    10. Tweezerman – Tweezers

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  • Get a Fresh Start: Tips for Cleaning Your Routine

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    By: Jerica Robinson, Relationship Manager

    Cleaning a dance is one of the most vital steps in preparing a routine. Whether it's for competition season, community showcases, or dance recitals, this process can become extremely stressful. And at this point in the year, our students become complacent. I'm going to share a few techniques you can use to clean a routine, while incorporating some fun! In my experience, three of the most helpful ways to clean a dance are breaking them into sections, video-taping, and something I like to call, adding-on.

    Break It Up

    Breaking your dance into sections will help you understand when and where your students are struggling. I like to break my dance into three different sections, and then two eight-counts at a time. By doing so, they can easily learn each section FULL OUT!! After cleaning each eight-count, we gradually speed up the tempo, before adding the music. Once all three sections have been completed, we will then take our dance in halves, using the same process. Although the process is lengthy, it works wonders.

    Hit Record

    I like to videotape the class twice, once with counts and once with music. By watching each video, I can clearly recognize when a student is delayed or anticipating a movement. You can also view the video in “slow motion” which helps you to see simple mistakes. Using this technique, it also allows the class to see any errors for themselves, while also utilizing constructive peer-editing, rather than hearing critiques from their teacher.

    Add On

    The last technique is where the fun begins, add-ons! Breaking the class into two groups is the best way to approach this technique. Starting with two of your most precise students, instruct them through the routine, critiquing as needed. Slowly, add another group of two, and so on, and so forth. By seeing routine in groups and critiquing in real time, each routine will come out cleaner than the last.

    Each of these techniques has a unique benefit and I hope you find them helpful! I also suggest, if your dancers need a little bit of a break, it's always fun to let them do the routine in groups or with an assigned partner. Like I always say, “sometimes hearing a critique from a peer, is a lot easier than the teacher drilling every week”. Remember, you want to keep things exciting to ensure a positive attitude throughout the class.

  • A Dancer's Guide to New Year's Resolutions

    By: Jordann Smith-Kingston, Curtain Call® Intern and Model

    1M-T4060As a college student majoring in dance, I not only spend a lot of time dancing, but also writing, talking, and thinking about dance. My improvements in dance determine my grades, and with constant new ideas, it can be difficult to stay focused on improving. I often easily forget the reason I love to dance. To gain direction and reset focus, I have found goal setting to be an effective solution. The start of a new year is the perfect time to reset the stage and rework the choreography. Here are my 10 resolutions of 2017:

    1. Dance Anytime, Anywhere!
    I often find the urge to do a grand jete or pirouette unbearable. Though, I always refrain, knowing the strange looks that will follow from bystanders. This year I hope to say, “so what?” to the onlookers and move freely, as I wish. I hope my joy for dance will remind me, life is a performance and I don’t need a barre or a class to justify dancing.

    2. Clean Out That Dance Bag
    My dance bag has everything from old homework and orange peels, to athletic tape and bobby pins. It is easy to quickly cram everything in and decide to deal with it later. But, later, is now. A clean dance bag, is a clear mind… which will help me easily find the things I do need, (like the left shoe that always disappears just before class). Keeping the stinky dance shoe smell away is important, too. I recommend after-use spray for shoes, scent balls made for athletic gear, or small bags of lavender.

    3. Ice, Ice Baby
    Icing can help with treating an injury, coping with an ongoing pain, or even preventing a future injury. For many dancers, including myself, this is often ignored advice. The constant strain our bodies endure from dance and other activities increases our risk of overused joints and shin splints. Icing more frequently will help me approach every class and rehearsal more fully charged.

    4. Eat Healthy
    Our diets play a large role in our attitude, energy levels, skin, digestive patterns, and so much more. For dancers, it’s difficult to balance a healthy diet with rigorous rehearsal schedules. To focus on a well-balanced diet, I have decided to implement a few little tricks. Packing light, energy loaded snacks of almonds, berries, or rice cakes with peanut butter, for long days of rehearsal. Precooking my meals, rather than buying on-the-go, to control portions and regulate healthy ingredients. Controlling indulgences, rather than letting the indulgences control me. And lastly, listening to my body and not overeating.

    5. Cross Train for Cardio
    Stamina is my weakest point of dance. To improve this, work must be done outside of the studio to concentrate on strengthening the heart. For dancers, the most beneficial activities are low-impact: swimming, elliptical, hot-yoga, cycling, or Pilates are some excellent examples. These exercises will also build muscle in areas not always utilized through dance.

    6. Get Back to the Basics
    Continuing to take beginner level classes helps to concentrate on basic technique. It is the perfect opportunity to remove the complexity of phrases or movements, and focus on small details, like muscle initiation or positioning. After all, life is about enjoying the little things, like nailing a triple pirouette en pointe for the first time!

    7. Wear Supportive Gear
    Although it’s easy to throw on a pair of flip-flops in the summer, they provide minimal support. Make conscious decisions when choosing proper footwear. Choose something that protects your feet, while supporting your arch and helping you to maintain proper posture and weight-distribution.

    8. See More Professional Dance
    Living in D.C., there are always popular groups or individuals coming to perform. Immersing yourself in professional performances allows you to see things differently or learn something new. Supporting other artists helps to find fresh inspiration and is also a great way to network with other dancers!

    9. Rehearse Before Rehearsal
    Rehearsal is intended for learning new choreography and reworking to perfect technique. It is not, however, time for reviewing old material. By rehearsing before, more time can be spent cleaning and the choreographer will view you as a well-prepared, professional student.

    10. Dance for ME!
    Every dancer has reasons for staying up late and spending hours in rehearsals and class or enduring large amounts of pain. Whatever the reason is, it always boils down to a love of dance. This year, I plan to keep that focus in mind as a mantra. I refuse to dance in order to make someone else approve or to try to dance like someone else or to try to change myself. I will dance because it has been and always will be my first love. It is the one constant in my life and brings me an inexplicable resounding joy that I want to share. Dancing defines me!

  • Giving Thanks to Your Biggest Fans

    flowersEach year on the fourth Thursday of November, many Americans take time to reflect on what they are grateful for. As a studio owner, it’s easy to get caught up as you juggle running your business with the holiday season, but it’s important to thank those who continue to make your studio a success all year long. Doing so shows you care for and respect your customers, which can help strengthen your relationships. Here are eight ways to thank your studio parents and dancers:

    1. Make parents feel welcomed and comfortable. If your studio space allows for it, set up a coffee or magazine station for parents to enjoy while waiting for their dancers. By making your customers feel comfortable and offering small tokens of gratitude, you show you are thinking about the long hours a dance parent may have.
    2. When students or families volunteer in support of studio initiatives or events, take time to write hand-written notes to show your gratitude. A bouquet of flowers for dancers that meet a goal or for parents that go above-and-beyond volunteering to make the studio’s recital or community event a success can also be a nice gesture.
    3. Host a Parent Participation or Observation Day, in which parents of students can experience first-hand or observe a variety of dance styles and classes. Not only will parents have fun and learn more about dance, they will leave with a deeper understanding of your studio.
    4. Thank senior students by allowing them to lead a class. It’s a fun way for students to flex their skills and take initiative with something they love to do.
    5. Organize a student and parent group outing by obtaining group tickets to a local play, musical, ballet or symphony. This allows your studio community to spend time together and enjoy the arts at a discounted price.
    6. Give a discount on classes, costumes or classwear to dancers who register for a certain number of classes or to those who refer others to your studio. Additionally, consider setting up a milestone program to recognize students that have been with your studio for five or more years. Giving out certificates or small gifts (such as framed photos, dance gear, pins or jewelry), can be a sincere and personalized way to show students you appreciate their loyalty and want them to stay and grow with your studio family.
    7. When parents put in extra hours to support studio events, organize a raffle featuring local businesses including spa days, restaurant gift certificates, or parent studio gear for them to wear to competitions. These special gifts show you recognize the work and impact volunteers are making.
    8. For students, host cast parties to help them celebrate and show that you’re thankful for the hard work that they have put in. This gives students the fun time they deserve after all of their dedication and effort.

    Whether it’s a special event or gift, or simply kind words, it’s important to share thanks with your students and their families. Whichever way you choose to show your gratitude, make it personal to continue to deepen your student and parent relationships.

  • Top 10 Things All Choreographers Know to Be True

    08232016-ChoreographersChoreography is a form of creativity that has the power to connect dancers physically, intellectually and emotionally. With each piece you develop, you’re creating a story; weaving together not only movements, but ideas and feelings, that dancers and audience members alike can relate to. Even after a long day and aching blisters, there’s nothing else in the world choreographers would rather do.

    Here are ten things that only choreographers will understand:

    1. Creativity can spark at any moment. Whether you’re listening to music on your morning commute or shopping for a new outfit or costume -- you find inspiration everywhere. A new beat or design can get choreography started in your head.
    2. Every new song on the radio is judged on a scale from impossible to easily choreograph-able. You know all the top hits before they are hits.
    3. Your self-evaluation of the choreography makes a mirror your best friend and worst enemy.
    4. Your choreography outfit style changes based on your mood. Sometimes it’s hair down, shoes and harem pants, other times it is shorts and bare feet.
    5. No matter how many times you review your notes, when it comes time to teach a routine, you won’t be able to read your handwriting.
    6. By the end of you teaching this newly choreographed piece, number counts turn into noises. Cue the boom, chas, uh-ohs, etc.
    7. You live your emotions through dance and every choreographed piece represents a part of your life.
    8. YouTube is your favorite social channel. Hours of inspiration right at your fingertips.
    9. You find yourself judging choreography in every dance movie, show and concert, and how your spin could make it better.
    10. Seeing your choreography come to life is the one of the most gratifying feelings you can experience.
  • Curtain Call 2017 Collection: Inspiring Dreams

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    Dear Valued Customer,

    For 47 years, our customers have supported our efforts to grow and make a difference in the dance costume market. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to provide the leadership and serve you, our customers, since the very beginning. It has been, and continues to be, an exciting and rewarding ride to evolve and advance our business alongside yours.

    Last year, we worked hard to inspire your creativity as choreographers and studio owners. This year, we are attempting to help make your creative visions reality by offering even more magical styling. So, thanks to your input, we are proud to present to you our 2017 collection: “Inspiring Dreams.”

    As Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” We know both you and your dancers have big dreams, and with a variety of designs that can complement any choreography and all dancers, those dreams can come to fruition. Whether you’re aspiring to choreograph a great performance, nurture the next prima ballerina or discover a hip-hop superstar, we want you to focus on achieving those dreams. Meanwhile, we’ll we take care of the rest.

    To do this, we promise to continue the same best-in-market customer service that you’ve counted on in the past. We will ship on time, provide budget-friendly options while consistently delivering the highest quality products in the industry. We understand every season comes with new challenges and obstacles, but our goal is to ease your path to the finish line. We want to help fuel your imagination while adding no additional stress, so you can instead focus your energy on creating and enjoying magical moments on the way to achieving your dreams.

    In short, we believe in your aspirations, and we’re thankful, proud and honored to be your partner on this journey towards bringing your dreams to life.

    Our very best wishes for a fabulous year,

    Tighe King, CEO, Perform Group and the Curtain Call team

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

  • Dance Competitions 201: From the Mouths of Judges—Tips for a Winning Competition Routine

    Pink-Ribbon-GraphicBy: Terri Gustafson, Relationship Manager

    With competition season in full swing, talented dancers from across the country are coming together for the love of dance with the hope of walking away with a renewed sense of confidence and some hardware to show off back at the studio.

    Last week, I met with a few friends of mine who regularly serve as judges in regional and national dance competitions to get the inside scoop on how they judge competition routines. As you prep for and fine tune your dances, keep in mind the following elements that judges will surely prioritize when determining a score for your performances:

    For Choreographers

    Spacing is key. For group numbers, spacing must be top notch. Dancers should be evenly spaced and formation changes should happen seamlessly and neatly.

    During practice, keep in mind that it can be tricky for dancers to accurately assess the space between themselves and others. To help, consider giving them visual clues that reflect the spacing needs of individual pieces of choreography. For example, you might tell dancers for a specific sequence there should be a “full arm’s length” between themselves and the dancer next to them.

    Bottom line is that sloppy spacing is distracting to judges, making it more difficult to focus on dancers’ technique.

    Keep in mind your students’ capabilities and strengths. While routines that include advanced sequences may be more fun to choreograph, be sure you are thinking critically about what tricks and movements your dancers can realistically pull off during show time.

    For example, if your students are unable to regularly complete a fouette sequence without falling off center or maintaining proper technique, do not include it in your choreography. It is always better to have your dancers excel with simple choreography than struggle with advanced movements they have yet to master.

    Consider your dancers’ ages. Nothing is more off-putting to judges than young students performing very provocative choreography (or mature dancers performing a very juvenile routine). Consider your dancers’ ages and maturity levels when choreographing and selecting costumes. The judges and your dancers’ parents will thank you.

    Diversify choreography. Every choreographer has a unique style. George Balanchine, Martha Graham and Bob Fosse, for example, have particular styles that helped make them renowned choreographers.

    However, while you may have a certain style or set of go-to moves, be sure that there is diversity in choreography across routines, and especially, across genres. It shouldn’t be immediately obvious that two dances are from the same studio.

    For Dancers

    Technique. Technique. Technique! Platinum performances are won in the studio. No matter how animated you are on stage, or how in sync your team is, if the technique is not there, the dance will not stand out as one of the best. Listen to your instructors’ feedback and implement it. Stretch regularly to increase flexibility and turn out. The more you practice the right way to execute your choreography, the more naturally it will come to you on stage.

    Maintain your “performance face.” How frequently has your instructor yelled “smile!” to you during practice? I’m willing to bet more than once! Dance is a difficult art because it requires that you make some incredibly difficult and complex movements look effortless. Part of this is ensuring you don’t drop character on stage, even before a challenging move or after a mistake. Whatever emotion you are supposed to be displaying—happiness, sadness, fear—make sure you are in character from start to finish.

    Handle judges’ critique with poise. Competitions are opportunities to learn and grow as a performer and artist. As such, embrace the judges’ feedback and try not to take it personally. Their critique is meant to help you improve, not to hurt your feelings!

    Just keep dancing. Mistakes happen. Every dancer has fallen victim to blanking out on stage. When this happens, don’t panic! Remember that the judges do not know what choreography you have been practicing. In fact, I worked with a young dancer several years ago who, after completely blanking on stage, carried on with choreography that she made up on the spot. When it was time for the award ceremony, guess who was recognized for best choreography? She was! (And her choreographer let her keep the award, of course).

    As cheesy as it may sound, having fun is the most important part of the competition experience—and this goes for performers, choreographers, studio owners and parents. The opportunity to gather with hundreds of people who share a passion for dance is exciting and invigorating.

    From all of us at Curtain Call, enjoy competition season!

  • Dance Competitions 101: The First-Timer’s Guide to a Successful Competition Season

    CC Blog PostBy: Terri Gustafson, Relationship Manager

    Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to competition season. To those of you who are preparing for your first dance competition as a studio owner or teacher: congratulations and break a leg! While this time of year can be stressful and trying for first-timers, if you are prepared and organized, it can also be highly rewarding and fun.

    As someone who has been lucky enough to judge numerous competitions throughout my more than 30 years of teaching dance, I can attest to the fact that a studio owner’s competition responsibilities can be difficult to juggle. To help manage the chaos, here are a few tried and true practices that I’ve discovered over the years that will keep you, your dancers and their parents calm, cool and collected during competition season:

     

      1. Communicate with Parents: Open the lines of communication with parents several months prior to upcoming competitions. With busy schedules to manage, parents will very much appreciate being made aware of competitions with enough notice to make educated decisions on which ones their child can participate in. To make parents’ scheduling decisions easier, try to avoid conflicts with other studio events, charity efforts, holidays and community events. Additionally, be sure to emphasize and regularly reiterate deadlines for signing up and providing registration fees.Beyond scheduling, be sure to communicate about travel logistics, as well. Providing as many details as you can, including hotel options and travel costs, is courteous and helps streamline the decision-making and scheduling processes.I always encourage studio owners to speak with parents in-person about competitions so that you can provide an in-depth overview of logistics and be available to answer questions or address concerns. Detailed handouts can be very helpful, especially when coupled with an in-person Q&A session.
      2. Inspire Confidence in Your Students: Have conversations with your dancers before each competition about how to remain calm and mature during tricky situations, such as forgetting their routine, or responding to a music malfunction. Helping them feel prepared will translate to helping them feel more confident. Remind your students that you are there for them to review choreography, help them warm-up and to cheer them on. Overall, be a positive role model. Shared lessons you’ve learned from first hand experiences competing or performing. Also, set an example by keeping professional throughout the competition – when your team wins, be humble and gracious; when you don’t, be a good sportsman.
      3. Tackle Competition Logistics Early: Checking registration deadlines and costs, as well as participation requirements, such as age groups and featured dance genres, are the first items to consider when determining if an event is a good fit for your team. When possible, try to look into these details sooner than later to save yourself a headache down the road. You don’t want to commit to a competition to later realize key members of your team are not available!Once you are confirmed to attend a competition, arrive early on the first day and take a tour of the facility noting where bathrooms, locker rooms, stages and water fountains are located and determine a meeting place for your team. After you’ve taken care of these matters, you may find yourself with some down time, in which you can take a walk to check out participating vendors.
      4. Pack Your Survival Kit: Remember to take care of yourself during long competitions by staying hydrated, well-nourished and rested. Help take care of yourself and your team by packing a survival kit.Pack a large bag with water bottles, snacks, back up music, make-up, oil wipes, hairspray, safety pins for clothing malfunctions and bobby pins for hair malfunctions and ice packs. It’s also wise to keep administration materials close to your side, such as an organized grid outlining your personal schedule, registration confirmations, emergency contact lists, floor plans, and lists of students participating in each routine. Additionally, don’t plan to have access to an outlet all day, so be sure to pack a portable battery pack.

    Competition season is an exciting time to enjoy, and a great way for your team and their parents to bond, so prepare as best you can. Remember your smile and compassion and be encouraging to all those participating.

    What are you most looking forward to this competition season? Tell us in the comments section below.

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