Ballet Classes, Ballet Show, Ballet Tips, Dance, Dancers Life, Students, Uncategorized

Stage Basics

I had a show this past weekend. It was a school show, we had three sessions (Saturday at 16h and 21h; Sunday at 18h). As much as I have to say about what happened this weekend, I want to talk about a subject that is as important to a dancer as picking the right shoes or leotard: Stage Basics. 

When I talk about stage basics, I mean everything that makes you ready to go on stage flawless (like a ballerina should be 😉). Of course there’s your outfit, your tights and shoes and some warm up clothes (very important!!) but, how about the rest? What should you carry in your bag? 

Let’s start from the top:

Hairspray

– Hair gel

– Bobby pins 

– Rubber bands

Hairnet 

– Brush

– Comb

– Toothbrush

You must ensure that you have everything you need for your hair to be perfect, including head accessories if needed. Also, if you’re not having some expert doing your hair, you must know how to do it yourself. 

And, how about make-up? Every dancer or teacher has it’s tips and tricks but, here are the products that I find essential:

Primer

– Foundation

– Fixation Powder

– Bronzer

– Blush

Highlighter

– Eyelash curler

– Mascara

– Eyeliner

– (Other items maybe needed depending on various factors: lipstick, eyeshadow, glitter, etc…)

Here again, unless your makeup is too specific that needs to be done by an expert, you must do it yourself and make sure it’s stage ready. Don’t forget that, when you are on stage, your make up must be exaggerated. You will have many lights on you, and also you will sweat, a lot. So, enough is not enough. 

As a teacher, I expect my students to know this and to be always stage ready when I need them to be. I pass this on to them and it’s really nice to see that the older ones are now helping and teaching their tips and tricks to the younger ones. This is what makes a dancer. 

Last weekend, I couldn’t believe when the students approached me to help them with their ballet buns and their make up. And, most of them didn’t have their own make up! My fellow teacher never taught her students about this matters. 

This is my advice , teach your students everything that a dancer needs to know, not only technique, not only performance… Encourage them to have everything in their bags and encourage them to be responsible for themselves and their stuff. This way, a sense of maturity will grow within each one and they will feel even more fulfilled when it’s their turn to pass on some wisdom 😉

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Ballet Classes, Ballet Exams, Ballet Show, Ballet Tips, Dancers Life

Calm down… And enjoy the moment!

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Every once in a while, in a dancers life, comes a moment where the nerves “talk” out loud and, sometimes, don’t let us think, dance or perform properly.

When you make a life out of it or you’re used to moments like this, you may have a few tricks of your own to fight the nerves and the stress. But, sometimes, or if you’re not that used to moments of tension, you might need help and some tips.

Don’t let stage fright get the better of you. Here are some usefull tips (either you are a student, a professional dancer or just dance for hobby):

1. Don’t be afraid of the butterflies in your stomach: Nerves can give you an extra shot of adrenaline which will keep you focused on stage and will help your energy levels. Think about using that extra boost to your advantage.

2.  Give yourself plenty of time to properly warm up, fix your hair and makeup, rosin your shoes and dress—rushing will only increase your anxiety.

3. Look for ways to relax backstage: Listen to your favorite songs on your iPod, find a quiet space to meditate, read a book… Maybe sit on the sit on the audience while there’s nobody there or go to the empty stage and enjoy the silence.

4. Remember that your technique isn’t going to magically disappear while you’re onstage. Trust in the strength you’ve gained during the many hours (or classes) you’ve spent training in the studio.

5. Remind yourself that the choreography is something you’ve done millions of times. Let yourself go a bit so you can enjoy the moment up there.The best performers are the ones who can truly enjoy the moment and transmit something more than just technique to their audience.

6. Try to clear your mind by not thinking about the performance or examination. Instead, think about stuff you like to do, travelling, cute animals… Anything that keep your mind away from your fear.

Ballet Show

Tutus… Many ballet tutus!! :)

Last year, as usual, I finished the school year with a show where all my students take part. This time, I was working with a friend and fellow ballet teacher and we decided that we wood make the tutus for our ballerinas to wear! It was a an insane decision, but it was also very fun to do! I’m not saying I would do it again sometime soon (maybe using other material instead of sequins) because we spent MONTHS working on them. But it was really worth it, just to see the smile on our students faces! Here they are, the tutus:

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This was the tutu for the Evil Queen of the story…

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This was the tutu for the Good Queen in the story…

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And these were fot the tini tiny ballerinas of the show…

(tutus bought form IDS and Dance Direct, design and applications by Cristina Pimentel and Mariana Matias)