Tag Archives: Dance Training

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.
  • Back to School: Last Minute Secrets for Attracting New Students

    backtoschoolBy: Julia Hilliard, Relationship Manager

    As a dance studio owner, it can feel like the summer months take center stage one day and chassé into the wings the next. This happens, in part, because summer is a very hectic time of year—between wrapping up recital season, coordinating summer classes and trying to rest and rejuvenate, time can slip away!

    But do not fear; there is still time to prepare your studio for a successful fall registration.  As parents start to select extracurricular activities for their children, use the last few weeks of summer to successfully market your studio’s unique brand to your community. Here are a few ways to do so:

    Nurture Existing Relationships

    Happy parents and dancers are your greatest advocates, so it’s important that they remain loyal and happy. To ensure their satisfaction, ask for their feedback. While you will likely receive some feedback throughout the course of the year, by distributing a formal survey, you can solicit specific feedback and show parents and students that you value their input. To maximize feedback, consider offering a participation incentive. For example, when a parent fills out a survey, enter their student into a drawing to win a back-to-school prize package.

    Additionally, make it as easy as possible for students to return to the studio for another exciting season. You could do this by offering early registration incentives or special class promotions.

    Boost Social Media Efforts

    If you’ve dabbled in marketing, you’re aware of the power of social media. Showcasing your studio’s personality and culture via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other channels is an effective way to reach both dancers and their parents.

    However, collecting enough content to maintain numerous social channels can be time consuming and impractical for your busy schedule. To help divvy up social media responsibilities, consider selecting a handful of your loyal, senior students to act as studio reps. You can organize your rep program in a number of ways. For example, you may ask that each rep be responsible for submitting five photos a month for your studio’s channels. You could also encourage your reps to positively promote the studio on their personal channels. Just be sure to have a conversation ahead of time about what kind of content may be deemed inappropriate.

    For additional content, don’t forget to share your studio’s news! Did you just make a big impact in your community through a volunteer effort? Did your students just win big at a local competition? Whatever the story may be, make sure you’re sharing it with your social media community.

    Emphasize Curriculum

    Help parents understand why they should choose your studio over others in the area by emphasizing your curriculum in marketing efforts. For example, if your studio really prides itself on classes for preschoolers, make sure parents know that. Alternatively, if your studio is a better fit for serious ballet students, make sure that is clear, as well. This will help ensure that you are the right fit for a particular student and vice versa.

    If you are finding that your curriculum is not attracting as many students as you had hoped, consider adding unique classes to your fall lineup like “acroyoga” or “rhythm tap.” Additionally, to help show parents and dancers that you’re tuned into the last dance trends, don’t be afraid to talk about conventions or trainings you attended over the summer to stay fresh and current.

    Any tips are tricks for recruiting new students at the end of the summer? We want to hear them! Comment below.

  • Curtain Call 2017 Collection: Inspiring Dreams

    FB-Timeline--CC-2017-Now-Available

    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.

  • Summer Blues? Put on Your Dancing Shoes!

    By: Stacey Raab, Relationship Manager

    Summer-SunFrom our team at Curtain Call to you: Congratulations on wrapping up what we hope was a successful and fulfilling recital season! You have certainly earned some time to relax, rejuvenate and reflect on your achievements—both big and small—from the past year.

    While the summer months provide an important opportunity to unwind and refocus, they also provide numerous excuses for your students to step away from dance for a few weeks. After competition and recital seasons, many dancers are in their best shape. Stopping cold turkey over the summer may cause them to lose the technique and physicality they worked so hard to achieve during the school year. Occasionally students will take the summer off from dancing then return in the fall to find that they’ve fallen behind compared to their peers who continued their practice year-round. This can lead to hurt feelings or unhappy dancers and parents.

    So while it’s easy to let the summer heat lure your students into a swimming pool or onto a couch in an air conditioned room, be sure to think about keeping them engaged over the summer to set them up for success come fall:

    Tips for Studio Owners

    Consider Adding New Classes. Summer is a great time to test drive classes and assess how popular they may be in the fall. Offering trendy classes like pop ballet, jazz-funk or improvisation may encourage existing students to consider classes outside of their comfort zones and even attract new students who are intrigued by your studio’s unique offerings. Also, organizing classes in disciplines like yoga, aerial yoga, gymnastics and Pilates give your more serious dancers an opportunity to cross-train and maintain the flexibility and strength that they built over the last season.

    Welcome Guest Teachers. To keep engagement and excitement levels high during the slower summer months, welcome guest teachers into your studio to teach a class or a series of classes. Guests can be anyone from studio alumni who are home for the summer to master dancers from out of town. You can even offer workshops to give some of your advanced dancers a chance to try their hand setting choreography on their peers.

    Offer Specialized Camps or Private Lessons. More often than not, parents—especially working parents—are looking for interesting ways to keep their children occupied during the week. To accommodate this desire, consider offering specialized camps that allow students to develop their technique across dance genres while spending time with their friends.

    Additionally, offering private lessons (or offering them at a discounted rate during the summer) is a great way to provide students with one-on-one instruction that they may not be getting during the school year. This personalized attention may help students feel more engaged with their practice and get them excited to excel in their regular classes come fall.

    Participate in Community Events. If your community celebrates summer with activities like festivals, parades and charity drives, get your students involved. Work with the event coordinators to secure a spot for your dancers to perform one of their recital pieces for attendees. Participation in these events gives your students an excuse to stay in shape and also doubles as a great marketing tactic to attract new dancers to your studio.

    Engage Students via Social Media. Consider incentivizing a social media contest that encourages your students to share dancing photos during their summer breaks. You may be surprised by the submissions you receive: arabesques on the beach during a family vacation or even lunch break pirouettes during a student’s first summer job!

    Summer days don’t have to be lazy! With the right combination of summer offerings, your students can stay engaged, flexible and active during their summer breaks, and you can ensure that your studio is set up for a successful season.

    What are your tricks for keeping students engaged during the summer? We want to know! Share in the comments below.

  • 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

  • Beyond the Dollar Sign: The Benefits of Classwear Partnerships

    By: Amelia Smith-Fazio, Relationship Manager

    Benefits of Classwear-CC4C--Dancers-in-BlackAs a studio owner, you have a decision to make: to offer classwear in-studio or not to offer classwear in-studio. Providing classwear is one way that you can ease parents’ entry into the dance world, giving them easy access to the trendiest apparel while also offering top-notch costumer service and robust class offerings. Some studio owners offer classwear to create an additional revenue stream, but there are other benefits that you may not have considered. Classwear programs provide convenience for parents, keep your studio organized and encourage studio pride.

    1. Provide Convenience for Your Customers: Parents see you as a trusted resource, so they can breathe easy knowing apparel you select will be the highest quality and will allow their dance student to practice at their very best. This means that parents won’t have to take the time out of their hectic schedules to visit several stores or peruse multiple websites looking for the correct, best or most durable outfits for their dancers. They can bring their money to a familiar place, instead of traveling to a store or navigating a website that does not offer the customer service and attention that you provide. In short, providing classwear puts a parent’s mind at ease. Additionally, for recital and competition seasons, partnering with a classwear vendor ensures that everyone has the appropriate tights, shoes and accessories to make the dancers look uniform on stage.
    1. Keep Your Studio Organized: Many studio owners coordinate their students in colored leotards by age or level to distinguish classes easily with one glance. For example, some have very young students in lighter colors and older students in flattering darker colors. Advancing through the colored leotard tiers help students build confidence as they progress to each new level and establishes a sense of pride that radiates through each class. Designated classwear can keep students more focused during their class, establish a sense of discipline and level the playing field amongst students.This color coordination can also be helpful to studio owner operations. During busy class schedules, coordinated classwear helps you identify levels or ages quickly so you can direct them to the right studio or warm up location.
    1. Encourage Student Pride: Customized gear helps students demonstrate studio pride. It also drives brand awareness while at events, unifying the whole studio across ages and technique levels. Customized studio gear is perfect for all--from excited little ones participating in their first classes to older dancers who have grown to love their studio to supportive parents. Consider stocking your studio store for a special milestone, such as a studio anniversary or a great competition season. With many apparel and accessory designs, you can choose items that reflect your studio’s unique personality.

    If you’re interested in learning more about Curtain Call for Class, check us out here or contact your Relationship Manager

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