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Dancewear Corner Spotlight Dancer: Emelia Singleton

Say Hello to this months Spotlight Dancers Emelia Singleton. She is a nine-year-old dancer from Grafton, West Virginia. She began dancing at age 2 and a half with Ms. Stephanie Lopez ar Movements In Dance in Fairmont, West Virginia where she has been a member of the Movements In Dance Company Kids for five years. She was awarded the title of Miss Small Fry DEA Pittsburgh in 2016 and has competed both regionally and nationally. She travels in the summers to train with balletmaster Mr. Jerry Rose in Beckley, West Virginia. Emelia has also attended The Rock Summer Ballet Intensive in Philadelphia in 2017 and will be returning this summer.

She is also an active and proud ambassador for Ballet In The City and will attend events this summer in Saratoga Springs, New York which includes amazing photoshoot opportunities, pointe shoe fittings and anyone booking a shoot between July 15th -22nd will be entered to win a DancersHaul as well as being featured on the social media accounts of Dancewear Corner and Ballet In The City. She will also be attending events in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Emelia will start fourth grade in the fall and reside with her Father, Josh, Mother, April and Brother, Clark.

She is definitely a dancer to watch but we wanted to get to know her a little better. 

What is your favorite dance class to take?

Ballet, of course!  I love the flowing movement.

 If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?  

Watch more movies and stretch more.

What’s your favorite piece of dance clothing you own/ owned?  

My Paris AinslieWear leotard because it’s pretty and comfortable. It also reminds me of Paris and our company dance inspired by Paris.

What songs have you completely memorized?  

A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman, You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive, Someone in the Crowd from La La Land. 

Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?  

Fall Out Boy.  Their music has a good rhythm.

 If you could perform a duet with any dancer who would it be and why?

Maria Kochetkova because she’s an amazing ballerina.

Rapid fire This or that Questions

Dog or cat?  

Dog

Netflix or YouTube?  

YouTube

Phone Call or Text?  

Text

Ice Cream Cone or Snow Cone?  

Snow Cone

Cake or Pie?  

Cake

Watching a movie at home or in the theater?  

Theater

Sneakers or Sandals?  

Sandals

Tablet or Computer?  

Computer

While watching a movie: Candy or Popcorn?

Candy

 

 

When Am I Ready For Pointe? Insights From Capezio

Getting the first pair of pointe shoes for any dancer is a wonderful rite of passage. However, there are many factors that a student must consider when preparing for pointe work. Some of these factors are more technical such as strength, flexibility of feet and ankles, center of balance, posture, and alignment. Other factors include age, attitude, training, physique and proper pointe shoe fitting.

It is important to understand that pointe technique is the balance between the technical and artistic components of classical ballet. It involves body alignment, feet placement, weight distribution, and the transitions from demi-pointe to full pointe. Proper technique includes consistent application, mastery of leg rotation, alignment, aplomb (posture), placement, and épaulement (head and shoulders).

Strength

It is important for dancers to have the strength needed to be able to support themselves while en pointe. The muscles that need to be strong including the core muscle groups, back, rotators, quads, hamstrings, calves, ankles, feet, arches and insteps. All of these muscles need to work together when en pointe to ensure that the dancer does not injure themselves.

@jade_parker_ballet

Center of Balance

Centre of balance is extremely important for pointe preparation. A student must have the ability to find their center of balance while maintaining proper technique both by the barre and during center combinations. The student should also have an ability to balance on demi-pointe in various ballet positions such as relevé in first position, and passé in fifth position.

Posture and Alignment

Posture and alignment are when the body is held properly while maintaining correct placement both while standing as well as moving. What does this look like? Well, the student should be in a proper stance with core muscles held, shoulders down, chest lifted, rib cage closed, and a straight pelvis.

Flexibility

@jade_parker_ballet on Instagram

The flexibility of feet and ankles are an important factor when en pointe. Sickled or pronation and winged or supination feet are indications that a student requires more strengthening and/or flexibility of the muscles in the feet. A Theraband may be used to strengthen and stretch muscles and ligaments. Ankles should be flexible enough so that when the foot is pointed, the toe, instep, and knee are all in alignment.

A good exercise to stretch the ankles is to sit on the floor with feet and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Have a teacher or parent hold your ankles down in a parallel position while you attempt to gently straighten your legs while moving the buttocks and shifting the body back a little at a time. Overstretched ankles and high insteps require special attention to build foot strength. A Theraband will aid students to build this strength by flexing and pointing the foot with the elasticized band.

“There is no reason to get a young dancer up on full pointe, if she cannot do anything when she gets up there.”- George Balanchine

When to Start Pointe

@wilster_the_orange on Instagram

It is very important that a young dancer not begin pointe work too soon. Pointe work usually begins when the student is 10 to 12 years old. The only exception may be if a dance teacher or a physician has determined that the bones in the feet have sufficiently developed. The student should have an ability to receive and apply corrections and work diligently to master proper technique. Furthermore, two to three years of serious ballet training is essential. This is the minimum time and preparation needed to develop sufficient technique and strength to prepare for pointe work.

The student’s individual physique must be carefully evaluated. She should have strong abdominal, pelvic, buttock, and back muscles which hold the torso in proper alignment.

Proper Pointe Shoe Fitting

Pointe shoe fittings are an absolute necessity to ensure the dancer receives a proper fit. When considering a pointe shoe fitting, always remember shape, support, style, and shank. The shape of a shoe must match the shape of the foot being fit just like the style of the shoe should complement the aesthetics of the student’s line and the natural extension of her foot and leg. The shank should provide ample support to the instep and conform to the arch.

Demi-pointes are suggested for pointe work preparation. They help to strengthen feet, familiarize the student with proper shape and fit, and aid in the transition to traditional pointe shoes.

@lexibabadelis on Instagram

The team at DanceWear Corner are all trained and experienced Pointe Shoe Fitters. With the huge range of pointe shoe brands and styles available at the Orlando Superstore, you will surely find the perfect pointe shoe for you or your dancer. Our Pointe Shoe fitters are dedicated to taking the time to ensure that you get the right shoe for your foot, but be prepared as first-time fittings can take time so it is recommended that you call ahead and make an appointment.

Criteria for Pointe Work

Here are some criteria for knowing if you are ready. If you are ready for pointe you should:

  • Be able to correctly hold turnout while dancing.
  • Have a straight, pulled-up back while dancing, especially the lower back.
  • Maintain correct placement (alignment) and stability (aplomb) on flat and in demi-pointe.
  • Keep the heels forward toward big toe (no sickling) while on demi-pointe.
  • Keep the weight evenly distributed over the balls of the feet.
  • Be able to do continuous relevés in center-work without losing one’s balance.
  • Be able to hold a passé balance on demi- pointe.
  • Execute piqué passé with a straight leg.
  • Possess flexible ankles so that the knee, instep, and toe are aligned when the foot is pointed.
  • Relevé on one leg while maintaining balance and pulling up in the legs.
  • Maintain proper technique while performing center combinations.
  • A firm understanding of intermediate ballet.

Checklist

Now that was a lot of information to take in. So here is a little checklist to make it a little easier.

  1. The student should be at least age 10-12 to begin pointe work.
  2. It is recommended that the student have at least two years of classical ballet training.
  3. It is recommended that the student is taking a minimum of three classes a week consistently.

@jade_parker_ballet on Instagram

Moving to pointe is a huge step in any dancer’s career. The beauty and grace of a dancing en pointe is unsurpassed. You have to be ready though as it also places enormous strain on the feet and your body.

Because of this, we can’t stress enough how important it is for you to get the right shoe for you or your dancers’ feet.

Seek the expert help at DanceWear Corner and contact us today for assistance or to schedule your shoe fitting today.

 

*Information was provided by Capezio.

Beyond The Barre | Premier Dance Network

Premier Dance Network is the only podcast that is one hundred percent dedicated to the world of dance. This growing network of shows provides the listener with a “one-stop shop” of online resources for all topics related to dance. In this blog, we will be highlighting just one of the many podcasts available for aspiring dancers to listen to and learn from.

Beyond The Barre

Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Margaret Mullin is the host of Beyond The Barre podcast.  On this show, Margaret shares insights and stories of the real people behind this incredible art form. Margaret is now in her second season of Beyond The Barre so it’s not too late to jump in.

This podcast is primarily an interview based podcast where Margaret Mullin takes the time to talk with a variety of dance professionals about different challenges and experiences that these dancers have faced in the dance world. Such professionals include, The incredible Theresa Ruth Howard, founder of MoBBallet; Diane Jacobowitz, Executive  and Artistic Director of DanceWave; Josh Spell, a former professional dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Kansas City Ballet who is now a Primary Therapist at the Eating Recovery Center of Washington. Margaret Mullin also talks with former PNB Soloist Kiyon Gaines, who now runs the Next Step program and Jonathan Porretta, one of the most beloved dancers at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Margaret Mullin also talks with both professionals as well as students in the PNB Summer Intensive program about their intensive.

In the podcast, Margaret talks all about what it is really like behind the curtain and the topics discussed in the podcast include topics such as the challenge of diversity and inclusion in ballet.  

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A Little Bit About Margaret Mullin

Margaret Mullin is from Tucson, Arizona where she studied at Ballet Arts Tucson  on scholarship with Mary-Beth Cabana and at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She also attended summer courses at Ballet Tucson and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She also was the recipient of many awards and scholarships throughout her ballet experience. Such awards include the Thurber Scholarship Award, which she received in 2003 and  2004, the Founding Director Scholarship Award from Angela Whitehill of Burklyn Ballet in 2007, and in 2011 she was the Princess Grace Award recipient. Mullin then joined the Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2008. She was promoted to corps de ballet in 2009 and soloist in 2013.

Margaret Mullin has also choreographed works for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Choreographers’ Showcase and NEXT STEP. She choreographed her first ballet, Lost in Light in 2012 for the Company. She has also choreographed works, performed as a guest artist (including a leading role in Antony Tudor’s Continuo), and served as a guest teacher for Ballet Tucson and Ballet Arts School in Tucson.

With her colorful career, Margaret Mullin’s podcast will prove to be entertaining and informative for all dancers and for anyone with a love of dance.

 

Alex Wong At DanceWear Corner

Alex Wong

DanceWear Corner had the honor of having Alex Wong in the store on Friday, April 27, 2018, to meet with dancers and take selfies with him. Through all of this Alex took his time talking with every single dancer that came to see him. Here are some pictures of the day.

Alex Wong started his dance training at the age of seven in Canada. Since that time he has gone on to win many accolades. In 2004, he became the first Canadian to win the Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland, and later that year joined the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. The next year he danced briefly with American Ballet Theatre before he joined Miami City Ballet. In early 2007, he was promoted to the rank of soloist.

Alex auditioned for the FOX dance show, “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2009. Even though he made it through Vega week and was chosen for the final Top 20, he was forced to withdraw due to contractual issues with the Miami City Ballet. After his audition, Alex was promoted again to the rank of principal soloist at MCB.

In 2010, Alex was offered another promotion to principal dancer at Miami City Ballet, yet he declined in order to pursue a shot at being America’s favorite dancer on “So You Think You Can Dance”. He went through another grueling Vegas week and again made it to the Top 10, yet on the fifth week of season seven, Alex Injured himself, snapping his Achilles tendon. This injury took him out of the race as America’s favorite dancer, he received surgery in Los Angeles and was given a timeframe of a year to fully recover. Later that year, both of the pieces that Alex danced in on “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographed by Mia Michaels and Tabatha & Napolean both won Emmy Awards.

Following his surgery, Alex signed with Bloc Talent Agency and booked commercials and several print jobs as well as a television Job as part of the dance ensemble for NBC’s TV series “Smash” directed by Steven Spielberg. Alex went on to appear on “The Ellen Show”, “The Voice”, later he was asked to re-join “So You Think You Can Dance” as an All-Star, but days before starting he was sidelined with another Achilles injury to his other leg and was forced to withdraw. This time during recovery, Alex decided to focus on his singing and action and even auditioned for American Idol making it the semi-final “Hollywood” rounds. He also was invited to many universities as a guest speaker. Despite having two potentially career-ending injuries, Alex returned to dancing professionally through sheer determination, dedication, and optimism. He later had his Broadway debut, playing the role of “Sniper” in the Original Broadway Cast of Disney musical “Newsies” which won two Tony Awards and received six other Tony nominations.

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