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Dancer Tips & Advice

Getting Back To Pointe After The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker,  a show that has become a staple in many a Christmas tradition, has come to an end this holiday season. So now what? You have a short break and then you go back to the classes, right? But what do you need to prepare yourself for pointe after The Nutcracker ends?

 

The Shoes

At this point your pointe shoes are completely shot.  After the practices, rehearsals, and performances your going to need another pair before class starts up again. So heading to your favorite dance store for a new pointe shoe fitting is the perfect way to start preparing for class again. Feet also do change over time and as you get stronger you may find that you need a pointe shoe with a different shank strength or box shape in order for you to get the best out of your classes. So regardless getting a new pointe shoe fitting before class starts up again is a good idea.   

 

Stretching tools

Now that you have your new pointe shoes. It is important to keep up your flexibility during your break. Therabands, flexibility bands and I-flexs are all tools that can help you in your flexibility training. These tools are all good for different reasons though. The therabands can be used for both strengthening and stretching the body and it all depends on how you use them. A quick search on YouTube will show you dozens of excise videos that show you how to use them for different purposes. Unlike the theraband, which is an unconnected latex band, the flexibility bands are circular and can loop around your body to help you achieve your perfect split. The I-flex, depending on the model, can attach to the wall or the door and creates a pulley system to stretch out the legs.  

Tension Relieving Tools

Getting back to pointe after The Nutcracker or any break can bring with it some tension and pain. So getting tension relieving tools like muscle rollers, massage balls for your feet and epsom salt for soaking sore muscles can all help relieve the tension and pain that comes with starting up class again.

 

It is important to take care of your body and these are just a few of the things that you will need for starting pointe back up again. You can click here to shop online for these items.

What To Wear To An Audition

Much like when we talked about what to wear for a convention. It is important to feel confident in whatever you choose to wear.  However, that being said it is also important to adhere to the auditions dress code. If it is clearly stated that dancers must wear black leotards and pink tights that means that you should show up wearing a black leotard and pink tights, not a purple leotard and black tights or a bra top and legging.

Wear Something You Love

Even if the audition calls for a plain black leotard, wear the one that makes you the happiest in. This will shine through in your performance and help you exude confidence even if you are nerves. If the casting call does not give a specific dress code still opt for something that you love and have worn before. You may have loved the cut out on that leotard in the store, but before you head to an audition make sure they look and feel good while you dance.

 

 

Color Is Great But Keep It Consistent

Some colors just look better on some people. If you look best in teal, or burgundy, or sky blue, wear that color. What you don’t want to do is show up in all three. You want to be known as the dancer in the burgundy leotard not the dancer in the burgundy leotard and odd teal and sky blue skirt. Pick one color that you love on yourself and stick with that color.

 

Become The Character

Keep in mind what role you are auditioning for and stay in that character throughout the audition. If you want to be Clara for the Nutcracker get into character with a white leotard and flowy skirt. If you are auditioning to be Anita in West Side Story get sassy with some heels a red leotard and full skirt. You will have no chance of landing these roles if you dress to blend in.

 

Finish The Look

Whether you are at a Ballet audition or one for theater it is important to look polished and be prepared. In Ballet auditions it is especially important to have your hair neatly pulled back and hairspray into a bun. There should be no wild wisps of hair sticking out. Even in other auditions make sure your appearance is tidy. You don’t want to hit anyone with a runaway bracelet.

 

Don’t Forget The Shoes… Unless You’re Auditioning For Cinderella

But not even then. Bring every pair of shoes you can think of. You never know what a casting agent will ask you to do and you need to be prepared for everything. This means that you should pack ballet shoes, tap shoes, jazz shoe, heels, character shoes, bring it all. Then double check to make sure that you have everything.

 

The most important thing to wear for an audition is a good attitude. For more advice check out Kathryn Morgan’s video Audition Advice for Dancers.

 

What To Bring To A Competition

So you have your first dance competition to get ready for and you know you’re bound to forget something, right? Well here are the most important things that you should make sure to pack.

The Costume

The most important thing to remember is the costumes. Make sure that you have all of your customs and the accessories that go with them together in the same place. This means that any earrings, tights, shoes, and underthings that you might need are all in the same bag as the costume. The costume should be covered with something like a dry cleaners bag to help protect it from any damage. It would also be a good idea to invest in a Glam’r Gear or a Rac N Roll because they can turn into a rack that you can hang your costumes on during the competition.

 

The Makeup

You are pretty much going to need every last piece of makeup that you can find, but make sure that you have a foundation, loose powder, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, fake lashes, eyelash glue, mascara, and last but not least lipstick. Make sure that you get with your dance teacher about the colors and overall look that your part calls for, but it is better to have too many options than too little. Put everything in a makeup bag and you are good to go!

Just make sure you put the makeup bag in your competition bag.

 

 

The Hair

Like with makeup you will need more hair products then you think. Make sure you have a brush, hair elastics, a bun maker, hair nets, hairspray, hair gel, a curling rod, and bobby pins… so many bobby pins. It helps if you have a place in your bag dedicated to hair products just so you know where everything is.

 

 

The Shoes

Yes, shoes were already mentioned, but it bears repeating. Go through all of your numbers and check off what shoes you will need as you pack them. Then check again that they are in your bag. Then check a third time before you leave the house. Also, think about what you will want to wear on your feet when you are not dancing and make sure you bring that as well. You will want something comfy to travel in.

 

 

 

 

 

Rapid Fire Miscellaneous

A sewing kit

Scissors

A mirror

Extra tights (in every color that you need)

Nail clippers

Nail file

Food

Water/ Gatorade

A cell phone or just something to pass the time with that will entertain you

Money for souvenirs

A warm-up outfit/ something comfortable to wait in

A Camera

A pen or pencil for keeping track of the dance number in the program

A first aid kit

 

Now that you have a better idea of what you should take to your competition it’s now time to rock the competition.

If you’re still unsure of what to bring check out DancersHaul’s new competition Haul. The haul includes a competition dance bag, one pair of pink tights and a pair of caramel tight, a cosmetic bag, a cute water bottle, and the Dancer Problems kit. 

What Should I Wear To A Dance Convention

Dance conventions can be exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. They’re a great place to meet and connect with choreographers and other inspiring dancers. These connections are extremely important because one day you could find yourself working with a choreographer that you met at a convention. So you will want to make a good first impression to everyone in attendance as well as stand out from the crowd. That’s where your outfit choice comes in.

Bra Tops

It can get pretty hot in a room full of dancers all vying for there own space to dance. That’s why a fun and comfortable bra top is a good starting place for your outfit-of-the-day. Something brightly colored can catch the choreographer’s eye, then all you have to do is let your personality shine. But no matter the color you pick, the most important thing is that you feel great in your clothes. So whether that is a black bra top or a yellow one, you can feel free to dance your heart out. If you need any inspiration for what bra tops to wear you can click here.  

 

 

Boy Shorts

Boy shorts can also be a great way to combat the heat of the room as well as show off your personality. A plain top and brightly colored shorts can just as easily bring attention your way as a matching top and bottom can. It’s all about showing off your lines and showing off your confidence.  For some boy shorts click here

Leggings

Let’s say that you don’t want to show that much skin. That’s okay too! A great pair of legging can go a long way in terms of comfort. Let your personality shine through everything you wear and you’re sure to make a great impression to everyone you meet. You can find leggings and dance pants here

 

Shoes  

Let’s not forget your feet here. What you put on your feet is very important in a convention. Usually, the classes are on a carpet so please whatever you do don’t dance barefoot. Some people will just wear socks, but jazz shoes are a good alternative. The footwear will depend on the class you are taking, so plan ahead and make sure you have all the shoes you need for all the classes. That means pack your tap shoes, jazz shoes, hip-hop shoe… you know what just to be on the safe side, pack all the shoes.

Bags

Now, this isn’t part of your outfit but it is important. You need something to keep your shoes, hairpins, coverups, water bottle, and other accessories that you brought all together. Too many times things are lost or left behind because they fell out of a bag. So make sure that whatever bag you bring is big enough for all your things. If you don’t have a bag click here to find some. 

 

More important than what you choose to wear is continuing to wear it throughout the day. If you choose to wear a blue tank top keep the tank top on, even if it gets hot. Choreographers end up associating the dancer with what they are wearing so if you take away the tank top, the Choreographers will likely forget what they thought of your dancing because they didn’t see Blue Tank Top after the water break. Overall no matter what you wear, wear it with confidence, a smile, and let your dancing do the rest.   

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