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Spotlight Dancer

Modeling for DanceWear Corner: Ballet In The City Ambassador Ciara Mikula

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A few weeks ago we were happy to collaborate with Ballet In The City and their resident photographer Alexis Ziemski for a special photoshoot!  Two lucky Ballet In The City Ambassadors were outfitted with some awesome DanceWear Corner merchandise and hit the city for a great modeling session.  We caught up with ambassador, Ciara Mikula, to hear a little about her experience shooting for DanceWear Corner.

“This was such a great experience because I was able to work with my favorite photographer, wear beautiful dance wear, and represent Ballet in the City and DanceWear Corner, both of which I LOVE!”

“I loved the dancewear! The DWC crop top was my favorite! It freed my movement while still looking stylish! I’ve already worn my new black leotard to my Performing Arts School and received many compliments on the unique back! The red leotard was so elegant with a functional yet classy feel.”

“I would absolutely love and wish for another opportunity to represent DanceWear Corner, Alexis, and Ballet in the City again! This was an AMAZING opportunity for me and I appreciate all of you so, so much, THANK YOU!!!”

 

Get Ciara’s look now:

Shop, DanceWearCorner.com

 

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Dancer Spotlight: Angelina Broad, Halfway Through A Summer Intensive

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Most dancers across the country are about halfway through their summer dance programs, and today we follow up with our summer intensive correspondent, Angelina Broad.  Angelina is a student at Orlando Ballet School and is currently at the Houston Ballet Academy Summer Intensive. We caught up with Angelina to hear all about how her summer at Houston Ballet Academy is going.

 


 

DanceWear Corner:  How are you enjoying your time at Houston Ballet Academy this summer?

Angelina Broad: I am loving it so much!!  At first it was hard to adjust because I felt very challenged and overwhelmed, but now every morning when I get up I can’t wait to head into those beautiful studios with such inspiring people and work hard all day!!

DWC: You mentioned when we last spoke that you were looking forward to focusing on the small details of your dancing while in Houston. Do you feel like you have been able to do that so far?

AB:  Yes I definitely feel I have been able to.  Sometimes the classes get difficult and hard to keep up with, but you just have to remember your foundation and build from there because we are all here to improve. While the teachers seem to really reinforce the technique aspect, there is also certainly a focus on the artistic side.  They explain how articulating and using the details of your body and movement, can say so much and tell a story.

DWC:  What has surprised you the most about what you are learning in Houston?

AB:  What has surprised me the most is all the opportunities they give us. There are 6 performances at the end of the summer and we are doing Stanton Welch’s “Waltz of the Flowers.” I am also choreographing a piece for AFA which is a collaborative program with Houston Ballet and student composers. I have had so much fun during the choreography process and have learned so much! I have learned how to choreograph on other people and how to play the role as the teacher because I have to run the rehearsals. We got to design our costumes and lighting.  It’s just so fun to be able to experience this and to feel the role of being a choreographer/teacher has made me grow so much in so many ways.

DWC:  Have you gone on any particularly fun excursions while visiting the city?

AB:  Yes, I have gone on plenty of fun excursions already. I went to The Galleria which is such an amazing mall here and I will be going again this weekend because there just wasn’t enough time the first time! I went to Splashtown for the 4th of July holiday, which was super fun because it was my first water park and I was finally able to get some time in the sun. We have also been on plenty little mini activities during the week such as the pool, chocolate bar, water wall, movies, and new grocery stores I have never heard of.

DWC:   What has been your favorite piece of DWC dance wear that you have been flaunting over the past few weeks?

AB:  Well, I have been wearing my leotards from DWC all the time since I am mostly in dance clothes all day. Other than that, I really like wearing my DWC t-shirt as well, because I can wear it with anything.  I just got a surprise package from DWC today with a new shirt they sent me and I absolutely love it!

 


Follow the rest of Angelina’s journey through as she is documenting her time for DWC fans through our Snap Chat and Instagram!

 

Share your summer intensive experience with us!!!  Post a photo of you at your summer dance program on Instagram or Facebook and tag #dancewearcorner for a chance to be featured on our social media!  We can’t wait to hear all about your summer!

Introducing Hannah Wiedle, creator of Bun Blossoms

Hannah Wiedle Bun Blossoms

DanceWear Corner is pleased to feature Hannah Wiedle, creator of Bun Blossoms. Bun Blossoms are sold in our Orlando Superstore, and make a beautiful addition to any dancer’s bun.

Training and technique

Hannah Wiedle is a 15-year-old pre-professional from Orlando, Florida. Her training is Vaganova-based, and she enjoys the energy of both turning and jumping, as well as building strength and beauty through Adagio. Attending the ABT intensive in 2016, she experienced different ballet styles. “It was a little bit challenging for me to switch modes, and it opened my eyes,” she says. She enjoyed seeing how elements of one style could affect performance in another.

Hannah also studies contemporary, lyrical and modern, and for two years she attended a performing arts magnet school (Howard Middle School) where classes included hip hop, tap, jazz, ballroom and African dance. “It’s interesting to see how other genres use the body, and you can apply pretty much anything,” she says. For example, “even if it’s not directly related to ballet, you can take a correction and apply it to your training.” Contemporary genres can help develop acting for ballet, she adds, because dancing without a defined story can deepen emotional range.

How long have you been dancing?

Getting Started:

Hannah began dancing at four, largely because of her bother’s medical needs. As a little girl, she had to tag along to her brother’s physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions seven times a week. Hannah’s mom wanted something for Hannah to do rather than sit and wait in a medical office and drive in the car all day. “There was a dance studio nearby, so my mom signed me up to dance while my brother did therapy. I fell in love with dance,” Hannah recalls. “She probably didn’t realize I’d take it so seriously!”

The turning point in dance:

Hannah can pinpoint when she became a serious pre-professional. Twenty-two months ago, she started private lessons while preparing a variation from Flames of Paris. After the performance, “I came offstage and thought, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,’” she recalls.

After finding her focus, Hannah felt that she had some catching up to do. “My mindset plays a big role in how far I’ve come,” she explains. “I’ve gone from ‘this is fun’ to ‘I want to pursue this as a career,’ and I had to learn to work hard and stay on track.” Hannah is aiming high without forgetting to celebrate her accomplishments so far. She also maintains a healthy attitude about perfectionism. “Even the best dancers fall or mess up,” she says.

What led you to create Bun Blossoms?

“I bought a bun wrap from a company for a summer intensive audition, because I wanted something in my hair to help me stand out. I was so excited to wear it to class that evening. Sadly, it fell apart in my hair while I was dancing.I was disappointed in its lack of durability.

People may describe me as someone who loves to create. I love the arts, whether it is dancing, visual arts or creating something practical I can use. When my new purchase crumbled in my bun, I decided I could do better. I could make something more beautiful that could withstand hours of wear.

The Bun Blossoms tagline is, “Be Strong, Be Beautiful, Be You”. Just like the dancers we serve, Bun Blossoms are durable, strong, beautiful and unique. Bun Blossoms will endure the pressures dancers place upon their dancewear. This frees each artist to be themselves and dance beautifully, worry free about what might happen to their hair accessory while dancing. We want our customers to feel beautiful and confident when wearing Bun Blossoms. Our bun wraps allow each dancer’s to uniquely express themselves while auditioning in a sea of black leotards and tight buns. When wearing Bun Blossoms, you can add a touch of your personality with all the different colors and styles we offer. We love providing custom wraps and pins upon request.”

What’s unique about Bun Blossoms?

“Along with providing something beautiful for dancers, Bun Blossoms loves to give back to the community. My brother has special needs and our family understands the need of encouragement. We want to help put a smile on child’s face, and their parent’s. Thirty percent of Dancing For You Bun Blossoms’ profits go directly towards care box distribution to children with special needs. We teamed with @theofficial_dancingforyou on Instagram to do this.

Also, being a part of a special needs family, funds are often routed to medical needs. This leaves very little for dance. When I went on pointe four years ago, my parents told me I had to pay for half of my dancing expenses.

Birthdays and Christmas helped for awhile. Bun Blossoms is helping fund my shoes, competition expenses, and costumes. 100% of your purchase (not including Dancers Around the World & Dancing For You) helps me reach my dream of dancing with a national ballet company. Thank you! You can follow me, Hannah, on Instagram @hannah_wiedle. Thank you for your support!”

Hannah Wiedle Bun Blossoms

Can you describe the process?

“It is always fun to create a new Bun Blossom. I continually have design ideas come to mind. I love seeing colors pop when placed in just the right combinations. My mom and I team together, creating and sewing. Because we want our Bun Blossoms to survive the pit of the dance bag and daily classes, not just a performance, we provide extra measures to reinforce our flowers. Each flower is hand sewn, and again hand sewn into place on a durable ribbon. We take extra precautions to make sure our satin won’t fray by using a special heating process. After each Bun Blossoms is sewn together, we again do one more procedure to ensure it will stand the test of time by securing the back side. This is something we haven’t seen in other bun wraps. It takes extra time, but we want our product to last and our customers to love their Bun Blossom today and next year.”

Hannah Wiedle Bun Blossoms

What’s next for you:

“I just finished my 9th season dancing. It couldn’t have been better, as I performed under the directorship of Vadim Fedotov and Irina Depler in Swan Lake and Giselle. I also performed in several Nutcrackers to over 4,500 people. One evening I took the role as Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy.That was so exciting!

I just returned home from training at the amazing Dallas Conservatory, on a full scholarship, with principal dancers from around the world. I can’t wait to finish part two of their summer intensive in August. In just a few days, I leave for The Harid Conservatory to receive a month of classical ballet training. I’m thankful for Harid’s scholarship as well. I have so much still to learn and develop. Next season, I’m looking forward to training with Katia Garza. The next couple years are critical for me to refine my dancing, as I aspire to perform with a leading national ballet company.”

Hannah Wiedle Bun Blossoms

Find Bun Blossoms next time you’re in DanceWear Corner’s Orlando Superstore.

 

Dancer Spotlight: Angelina Broad on Attending the Houston Summer Intensive

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After all of the anticipation, your summer intensive is finally here!  Make sure that you bring DanceWear Corner goodies in your dance bag, so you are ready for anything.

Meet DWC Model, Angelina Broad, who will be attending the Houston Ballet Academy summer intensive starting next week.  She will be documenting her journey for DWC fans through our Snap Chat and Instagram, so make sure you follow her adventures!  We caught up with Angelina to learn a little more about her and to hear what she is most looking forward to in the coming weeks.


DWC: How did you start dancing?

Angelina: I started when I was two because my whole family danced and I wanted to be like my siblings. I started to do more jazz and contemporary competition type of dancing.  And then my sister and my brother started doing ballet.   So I started to do it too because I wanted to be like them. Then I realized, once I was around maybe 11 or 12, that I really loved ballet and knew that that was what I wanted to do.

DWC: So ballet is your main focus right now?

Angelina: Yes.

DWC: And do you want to become a professional once all is said and done?

Angelina: Yes, definitely.

DWC: What company would you really like to dance for?

Angelina: Of course I love Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Ballet, and ABT.

DWC: We think that sounds great.  You are definitely on your way. So are you only doing ballet now or are you doing some of the jazz and competition? 

Angelina: I do contemporary stuff and we have jazz classes.  So I do other things, but my main focus is ballet. But usually every year I will compete in American Dance Competition, so I will practice a contemporary solo all year for that.

DWC: That’s really great because it is very important when you are trying to get into a ballet company to be well versed in other styles of dance, especially today when companies require so much for their dancers in terms of styles.  So that will serve you well.

Angelina:   Yes, you have to be able to do everything.

DWC: You are attending Houston Ballet School’s summer intensive and you are leaving on Saturday.  Congratulations!

Angelina: Thank you!

DWC: How did you choose Houston?

Angelina: I was just always interested in it because their company is really big and they tour a lot. So I have always been wanting to go to their summer course.  So this year when I competed in American Dance Competition, there is a form for you to list where you would want to go for the summer and to potentially get a scholarship to go there, and I listed Houston as my number one place that I would want to go.  So I got a full, dorm and tuition scholarship there.

DWC: Wow that is wonderful!  What other summer intensive programs have you attended in the past?

Angelina:  I attended Boston Ballet last year and Orlando Ballet the two years before that.

DWC: And how was Boston? What do you feel like you gained from your time there?

Angelina: I really learned how to actually dance.  Up to that point, my training was very straightforward and all about technique.  And then when I went to Boston, it was very Balanchine and I wasn’t used to that.  I didn’t like it at first, but it really helped me move and flow more in my dancing.  I really like the Balanchine technique now.  The first few weeks were really hard, because it kind of caught me by surprise.

DWC: So do you continue to use that training in your dancing when you are at home?

Angelina: Yea, I definitely still love doing the port de bras [or arm movements].  You feel like you can dance more and it’s not so rigid.  It’s not all about technique all the time, there is much more to it.

DWC: Well you will definitely be a step ahead for our DWC Master Class on August 13th with Miami City Ballet dancer Rebecca King Ferraro and former Miami City Ballet dancer Michael Breeden.  They place a huge emphasis on Balanchine training in their classes.  So it won’t be new for you!

Angelina: Yes, I am very excited.

DWC: DanceWear Corner decked you out with a ton of great new items to take with you to Houston.  As dancers, we spend all day looking at ourselves in the mirror, so we always like to look and feel our best.  Which new piece of merchandise are you most looking forward to flaunting in Houston?

Angelina: I really like this new leotard I got from DWC, it’s a Mariia, in burgundy.  We have a uniform in Houston, so we have to wear black leotards all week, but on Saturday’s we can wear any color we want.  So I am definitely going to wear that one of the first Saturday.

DWC: What is one must-have item in your dance bag?

Angelina: Probably my flex stretcher.  There are just so many different stretches that I can do with it.  I really like to have my back stretched out before class, so it helps me a lot.

DWC: What are you most looking forward to during your time in Houston?

Angelina: I really want to work on the small details of my dancing, and using everything to it’s full capacity.

DWC: You will be sharing your summer intensive journey with DanceWear Corner fans through social media.  Can you tell us how we can follow you?

Angelina:  I will be taking over DanceWear Corner’s snap chat as well as posting lots of photos and creating video blogs.  So you can follow me on their platforms, or on my personal Instagram, @AngelinaBallerina10.

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