Feb 26, 2017

7 tips on becoming your character

Becoming your role is a difficult task to accomplish. Everyone interprets a character differently and no two dancers will perform a role the exact same way. You want to be believable and genuine to everyone in the audience whether they’re in the first row or fiftieth and in order to be genuine, you have to transform into your own version of the character. Naturally, this is much easier said than done.

Here are seven tips on how to understand the character you’re playing...

1: Notice all of the character’s physical attributes. 

Are they beautiful and long or awkward and crippled? Would their mannerisms be soft and gentle or rough and strong? Would their eyes flirt playfully or be shyly downcast? Ask yourself how that character would move.

2: Know the story of your ballet. 

It helps tremendously to read the tale of the ballet you are performing or research it. Understand who your character is and where they come from.

3: Analyze the situation your character is in.

For example, Odette. One of the most complex characters in any ballet. She is sad, depressed and distraught as she believes she is forever cursed to be a swan. When she meets Prince Siegfried, she has a sudden spark of hope within her. Go down into the deepest parts of your character and connect puzzle pieces that may not even exist yet.

4: It helps to also thoroughly understand the characters around you.

By understanding them you can see deeper into relationships and how your characters would truly behave around others.

5: See what goes on around you and be aware of how you are using your space.

Have a friend videotape a scene or performance so you can make self-corrections. Personally, I think this is the best way to improve your performance.

6: I know it sounds silly, but perform in your head and act out emotions in front of a mirror at home.

I’ve done it and will continue to do it as it is the simplest way to experiment with your facial expressions without feeling embarrassed. Try to be conscious of all your facial expressions during any time of the performance.

7: Think the thoughts of the character. 

For example, in La Bayadere when Nikiya sees Solor, her love, with Gamzatti at the betrothal celebration, she is heartbroken. You could be thinking: “How could this happen?” “How could he do this to me?” She just lost the love of her life, she is devastated. Use your imagination to envision what you would be thinking if you were actually in that situation. That is truly one of the best ways to make your acting come across as genuine.

Knowing your character's personality and mannerisms can make performing that much easier. It helps you mix up the performance from night to night because you have a better sense of how that character would behave. Many professional dancers use these techniques to feel as though when they are on stage, they truly are their character. It is our job to transform and become someone we are not in order to tell the audience a believable story.

Feb 24, 2017

photo friday

just a moment caught in time. no caption. no explanation. a snapshot of what's happening on this day, at this moment. share your moments with me, too 💓

Feb 23, 2017

and the winner is...

What fun! I would like to firstly thank Lost Spirit Lounge for providing the grand prize of this giveaway, and secondly thank all of you for your participation. We made some wonderful new friends in the process and I hope all of you will stick around to see what else I have in store (coming very soon)! Without further ado, let us see who won a new dance outfit!...

*drum roll please*

the winner is...

Alexia Krijnsen-McLeod!

Let's all give a big congratulations to Alexia! You have 48 hours to get in touch via email and redeem your prize! 😄 And if you didn't win, don't worry!

I've got some consolation prizes coming your way. Subscribe to find out what!

Feb 22, 2017

8 Tips to Ace a Dance Audition

A dance call is very unique compared to other types of talent auditions. While they all share one common element, your talent and skills, a dance call follows certain guidelines.

Whether you are new to the industry, or have been auditioning for years, it's always great to keep some of the following tips in mind.

1) Eat healthy and early

Even if you are tired and worked up with nerves, make sure to eat a good breakfast or lunch early on in the day. Don't eat too close to the audition. 

2) Look clean

This is extremely important! In dance it's necessary to look both polished and ready. Wear tight fitting attire that accentuates your physique. Try to find colors that flatter your skin tone and attract attention to your pluses. During an audition it's normal for them to see your physique, technique, and the way you tackle the choreography. Ladies need to wear make up that's not too heavy, but definitely shows up enough to enhance facial features. Longer hair needs to be tied back and away from the face, so your face is open.

3) Keep up with the combination

Your ability to follow and learn the combination for the audition is important. Make sure to pay attention, look, listen, learn, and copy the style that's being shown. A choreographer will want to see if you can pick up this style quickly and fit in with the show.

4) Don't be afraid to ask 

If you don't understand something or need to get closer to the choreographer, don't be afraid to ask if you can rotate to the front line. Don't just rely on copying your neighbor who may have it wrong. Questions are always welcome and others may be wondering the same thing.

5) Rock the elimination round

After the choreography has been taught, auditions usually move to the elimination rounds. Most likely they will put you in smaller groups of 3-6 people. You will most likely get to dance the routine twice through, but not always (make the first one count!). If there is a second dance, the back line and front line will likely exchange positions. You will have this time to shine, so pay attention to your style, technique, and be yourself. If you happen to make a mistake, just pick it up and go on. Walking away is the worst thing you can do and shows that you tend to crack when under pressure. After you dance, remain in your place until a team member dismisses you.

7) Be professional when waiting

A good rule of thumb is to respect others' dancing time, and stand on the sides while you wait for your turn. Keep yourself warm and focused on the choreography. Another big no-no, is to talk during the audition. It can really be disruptive to the rest of the team.

8) Finals

Okay, the first part is over and everyone has danced. Now it's time to wait and see if your name is called. Keep focused and keep your dance clothes on just in case you are asked to dance again. They might need to be refreshed on your particular skills, etc. Don't get down on yourself if your name wasn't called. It doesn’t mean that your audition went badly, it just means that you were not the right the fit for this particular show. Let it go and keep trucking. The key to being a professional is the ability to deal with rejection and carry on, knowing that there is always another audition ahead.

Author Bio:

Jane Grates

Jane is an entrepreneur from Copenhagen, Denmark. She loves to travel the world visiting popular destinations together with her husband. When not travelling, she stays busy managing her websites, Nicershoes, Runnerclick, GearWeAre and Jane’s Kitchen.

Feb 20, 2017

dance outfit giveaway *extended!*

I have another surprise for you guys... The A Dancer's Days and Lost Spirit Lounge giveaway of a full dance outfit was set to close today,

but we're extending it to this Wednesday! 

You could be the lucky winner of a pair of "Get Lost in Dancelife" leggings (color of your choice!), a "Tilt Tuesday" croptop, and a ballerina's "Creative Rebel" t-shirt.

If you've already entered, don't miss this opportunity to tag a few more friends on Facebook, and qualify for extra entries! Tuesday will be the final day to enter and the contest will close on Wednesday, so don't wait! Just as a refresher, the rules to enter are below.

1. Subscribe to A Dancer's Days 
(you can check out the right-hand sidebar)

2. Hop over to Facebook and 
"like" Lost Spirit Lounge

3. Tag 2 friends in a comment
under the giveaway's Facebook post!

There is no limit to entries, so the more friends you tag on Facebook, the better your chances! In order to qualify, you will need to have completed all 3 steps. Good luck! 💗