Tag Archives: fun fitness

  • 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!

  • Let's Celebrate: National Dance Week 2017

    NDWF logo transparent w name

    As a leader in the dance community, Curtain Call® is passionate about spreading positivity throughout the dance world! Every year, we celebrate National Dance Week by raising awareness about the benefits of dance and supporting our dance community. This year we spoke with Cathy Graziano, the Executive Director at National Dance Week Foundation, to learn more about their mission and how Curtain Call can help support it. We are excited to share this information with you and celebrate this year’s National Dance Week, February 24 – March 5, 2017. Mark your calendars!

    Can you tell us about the mission of the National Dance Week Foundation (NDWF)?
    The overall mission of NDWF is to expose and introduce as many people as possible to the enjoyment and benefits of dance through promoting dance in schools, expanding community awareness, and increasing professional development. To ensure this happens, we have created year-round dance activities and initiatives. NDWF encourages dancers and dance organizations to take the lead and use their power of dance to work together towards the greater good.

    A call to action has been sounded to first, take the lead in creating more dance opportunities for those with special needs- A Chance to Dance and to second, stand up against bullying – Kick for Kindness initiative. I am very passionate about both of these issues. All NDWF activities, like the Dance Mob, help create awareness about dance, while supporting and raising awareness for these important initiatives. Each year, the last Friday of February we begin our National Dance Week (NDW) celebration for ten days. Each day we promote a different scholarship winner, contest winner, or those who took part in dance activities and performances. It’s like the NDWF Academy Awards!

    What about your work inspires you to continue spreading this mission?
    What inspires me is the interchange of encouragement that comes from within the dance community. My efforts are continuously inspired by those whose lives are positively influenced by dance. I love hearing their stories!

    What can we, as members of the dance industry, do to help spread this message?
    The best way to spread this mission, is getting together today, and getting involved. The more we work together, the more effective we can be – I am a big believer in positive synergy. The easiest way to get involved is through our NDWF Ambassador volunteer program. These Ambassadors work throughout the United States to lead their communities toward our goals. Since NDWF is a non-profit, we rely on support and donations from other organizations, like United Dance Merchants of America (UDMA). A large portion of our support and donations come from t-shirt sales. Studios that purchase our t-shirts, directly fund our scholarship and educational programs.

    Can you explain the mission of A Chance to Dance?dance-week-shirt crop
    Realizing that so many children with special needs and learning differences are being excluded from dance class and knowing that most people understand the physical and emotional benefits of dance, really made me question why there aren’t more of these classes readily available.
    Since this realization, I have met many wonderful teachers who have been able to create a dance space specifically for this purpose, and many that weren’t exactly sure how to get the ball rolling. As a result, A Chance to Dance was born. Our missions is to first, create awareness and second, provide education through scholarships.

    So far, we have gained great awareness with our Mannequin Challenge and Photo Contests. In order to provide education, support, and the tools needed, we have teamed-up with Tricia Gomez's Rhythm Works Integrative Dance and Wingman for Dance. To fund the scholarship, we sell A Chance to Dance t-shirts and NDWF dancewear – the more we sell, the more scholarships we are able to give. In 2016, we were thrilled to award four scholarships.

    What do you wish other people knew about those with special needs or learning differences?
    I feel the fear of not knowing, or initial discomfort is probably why many have shied away from helping. What many don’t realize, EVERYONE benefits from this mission, not just those with special needs or learning differences. Learning to dance together will benefit all dancers and give everyone memories to cherish for the rest of their lives. Dance is meant for everyone!

    Why do you think this mission is so important to share?
    It is necessary! Right now, we have only been able to whisper, our goal is to be able roar! That roar can only happen if the A Chance to Dance initiative grows every year – and with your help, NDWF is going to work hard to make that happen!

  • 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.
  • Celebrate Dance!

    National Dance Week April 24-May 3, 2015 National Dance Week April 24-May 3, 2015 Photo Credit: www.nationaldanceweek.org

     

    National Dance Week kicks off today, April 24, 2015 through May 3, 2015! We can’t help but get excited when we hear about foundations whose sole purpose is to bring awareness and inspire others.

    According to a report conducted by the President’s council on fitness, sports and nutrition, More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.

     

    For over 34 years, the National Dance Week Foundation (NDWF) has been committed to bringing awareness to the growing problem of inactivity. The week-long event features activities to inspire others to get moving to help celebrate dance and promote fun fitness.

    Events take place across the country both big and small that anyone can participate in. Here are some activity ideas:

    • Start a kickline of your own! Grab your friends and capture your personal kickline with your favorite song. Post the video on Instagram or Facebook to build awareness while having fun!
    • Wear your favorite dance gear! Whether it be yoga pants, t-shirts or even a tutu, don’t be afraid to let others know that you’re proud to be a dancer!
    • Share your story with friends or on social media! We all know being more active is a good thing, but how has dancing benefitted you?

    These are just some of the many ways to celebrate a great cause. To show our appreciation for this celebration, we’re offering FREE Shipping* on In Stock Curtain Call and Curtain Call for Class performance shoes and tights. Follow us on Facebook for daily dance related posts during the week!

     

    *Curtain Call: Free Shipping
    Free Ground Shipping & handling offer valid on U.S. in stock and clearance orders of $75 and over April 22, 2015 - May 3, 2015. Items must be in the In Stock and Clearance categories on the web site in order to qualify for the promotion. Must use promo code FSIS75. Valid for dance studios only. Does not apply to previous purchases.

    Curtain Call for Class: Free Shipping
    Free Ground Shipping & handling offer valid on U.S. orders $35 and over April 22, 2015 - May 3, 2015. Must use code FSNDW. Does not apply to previous purchases.

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