Makeup for your team

Our models: Rebecca Kurnellas, Nataly Santiago and Ayonna Sullivan are students in the Children & Teen Program at Broadway Dance Center

You’ve been doing your own stage makeup for years, and you know what colors work. But when designing a uniform look for students with a range of skin tones, it can get tricky. You don’t want your kids to appear too painted onstage, so creating a natural look with neutral colors is key. As New York City–based makeup artist Alex Michaels advises, less is more. “Remember that at competitions, judges sit at tables close to the stage,” he says.

Even on Broadway, the kids playing Jane and Michael in Mary Poppins wear very little makeup. “I use concealer, blush and mascara,” says makeup supervisor Amy Porter. “You don’t want kids to look made-up, you want them to look youthful. From the back of the house, an 8-year-old with too much makeup will blend in with the 25-year-old ensemble member next to her.”

Here, Michaels creates an all-purpose performance look for three Broadway Dance Center students and tells us how to keep it polished, professional and age-appropriate.

Stage 1: The Base

On most young girls, the skin is so perfect that a full face of foundation isn’t necessary. Unless a youngster has uneven skin or breakouts, Michaels says stick with only a concealer and powder.

Step 1: Choose a color that’s close to the dancer’s skin tone, and apply a light coating of concealer under the eye and to any problem spots with a concealer brush or by dabbing it with your fourth finger.

Step 2: Set it with a dusting of powder—either from a pressed powder in a compact or loose powder—with a large brush.

Step 3: To mask and soften, sweep a very pale blush under the eye area.

Tip: If you do choose to use foundation, take note if the solution is cream-based or water-based.

“We go water-based. If dancers have allergies to makeup, it’s more likely that  cream-based foundations cause reactions, not water-based,”says Karen Armand, specialty makeup supervisor and designer for Pacific Northwest Ballet. “Also, we’re around expensive costumes, and the water-based foundation comes out, but the cream doesn’t.”

Stage 2: The Eyes

Step 1: Select a neutral, warm tone with a little shimmer. Cover the eyelid and under the brow with a light, even application.

Note: Stay away from silver or white. Those colors appear gray on dark complexions. Gold, champagne or pink tones will flatter everyone.

Step 2: If needed, fill in a dancer’s brows with brown eye shadow. Use shadow so you can control the concentration. You want to be able to see the individual hairs.

Step 3: Keep long eyebrows in place using a clear mascara or brow gel, then sweep through the brows with a stiff bristle to keep them looking soft and natural.

Step 4: Next, blend a medium brown or plum shadow into the crease of the lid as well as across the lash line. Create an almond shape that meets on the outside of the eye. Blend well with the base shadow so the colors don’t look too divided.

Note: You can use the same color on all complexions, but vary the amount. On deeper skin tones, you may need to build color more, but when applying it to light complexions, be delicate. The less makeup on the brush and the more you blend, the softer it will appear.

Step 5: If your dancer has long, full lashes, a few coats of mascara will be enough onstage. But for a more dramatic look, choose false eyelashes that are feathered, so you can see the eyelids. 

Lashes: Start with one thin coat of mascara on the dancer’s natural lashes. Next, squeeze a little adhesive from the tube and drag it across the top of the false lash. Don’t use too much—it gets too wet and sloppy. Line up the outer edge of the lash with the dancer’s, and gently ease it on. After 15–30 seconds, push up the lashes slightly; you want them to flare up when the eye is open. (If they shoot straight out, the eye will appear closed.)

Step 6: Finish the eyes with one more coat of mascara. This makes the lash line pop, and it joins the natural lashes with the false.

tip: If you need to cut the lash to fit small eyes, cut from the center, not the outer corner.

Stage 3: Blush

Step 1: Using a blush brush, start with a little blush under the apple of the cheek, and pull it outward onto the cheekbone. Like the eye shadow, less makeup on the brush is better, and blend well.

Note: For dancers with fair to medium complexions, use light, rosey pinks for the blush. They enhance the cheek but aren’t too much. Save the plums or warmer reds for dancers with dark complexions.

Step 2: Sweep over the blush with the same loose or pressed powder from stage 1. This will set, soften and blend the blush.

Stage 4: The Lips

Step 1: Apply a layer of clear lip balm.

Step 2: Then, line the lips with a medium- to dark-pink lip liner. Using a lip brush, blend the liner and the balm, starting from the outside in.

Step 3: And finally, apply a bright-pink gloss over the balm and liner. Stay away from reds. They look too grown-up on young faces; pink is more appropriate. DT

Watch a demonstration here!

 

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Dance Teachers Trending
Photo by Kyle Froman

Darla Hoover was at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet's studios running a rehearsal in 2014 with director Marcia Dale Weary. Hoover had just returned the day before from staging a ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. Jet-lagged, she mixed up her words when giving a correction.

Weary took Hoover's hand and gently said, "Honey, you work too hard."

Hoover, and the students, had a good laugh.

"Are you kidding me?" Hoover replied. "You're the one who made this monster. There is no off switch!"

Weary founded CPYB in 1955, and it quickly became an internationally known school that has produced countless principal dancers. Famous for her high standards and tough work ethic, Weary instilled those qualities in Hoover, who served as associate artistic director at CPYB under Weary, as artistic director at Ballet Academy East's pre-professional division in New York City and as a répétiteur for the Balanchine Trust.

Hoover took over as artistic director at CPYB in the spring this year after Weary died suddenly, and while she's committed to continuing Weary's legacy, students have begun to see some of Hoover's vision as well.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Success with Just for Kix
Bill Johnson, Courtesy Just for Kix

Cindy Clough, executive director of Just For Kix, has been called the Queen of Fundraising by colleagues. A studio owner and high school dance coach with over four decades of experience, Clough is known for her smart and successful fundraising ideas.

Now, Just For Kix has created a new online tool to help everyone tackle their fundraising goals, whether you're raising money for uniforms, extra classes, or to cover the cost of travel for your dance team's next convention.

Clough shared a few of her best fundraising tips, including everything you need to know about the new tool:

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teachers Trending
From left: Daniel Novikov, Alla Novikova and Mishella Vishnevskiy at Blackpool 2018. Photo by NYC Digital Media, courtesy of Alla Novikova

Alla Novikova began her dance training at a ballroom studio called Edelweiss in Saratov, Russia, when she was 9 years old. She was immediately recognized for her natural talent and work ethic, placing third at the Russian Open just three months after beginning ballroom lessons. The lessons she learned at Edelweiss shaped her career and provided the foundation she needed to open her own ballroom studio: Work hard to prove that you're good enough to be here, and give honor to the experiences that brought you to where you are today.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by NYCDA
Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell teaching an Ailey Workshop at NYCDA. Courtesy NYCDA

Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.

"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."

Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.

Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Getty Images

Professions across the globe hold yearly conferences, and the dance industry is certainly no exception. Annual conferences exist for dance teachers, dance medicine professionals, dance educators and more. Taking the time out to attend them can be well worth your while for a number of different reasons. Let's take a closer look at four of them.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Father-daughter dance. Photo by Lisa Lee, courtesy of Dance Academy USA

Your year-end recital is your studio's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not only is it the time for your dancers to celebrate what they've accomplished during the year, it's your opportunity to demonstrate to parents firsthand the value of a dance education. A successful recital can also grant your school an influential role in the local community. Whether a prominent conservatory or a small-town studio, and whether your dancers win competitions or take classes once a week, your year-end recital is the chance for your dancers—and your program—to shine.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Getty Images

Q: How do you approach gender when teaching in 2019? When I was training, male dancers were encouraged to make their movement masculine, while female dancers were encouraged to keep their movement feminine. Today, gender has become much more fluid, and the line between masculine and feminine performance has blurred. How does that impact the way we should be teaching?

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Photo courtesy of Z Artists Group

New York City–based pre-professional training troupe Z Artists Group, along with dancers from eight professional companies in the city, are joining together to combat gun violence with, "DANCERS DEMAND ACTION," a performance aligning art with activism at The Joyce Theater, this Monday, November 11, at 7:30 pm.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teachers Trending
Photo courtesy of Infinite Flow

Last week, 2019 DT Awardee Marisa Hamamoto and her partner Piotr Iwanicki brought their boundary-breaking work to the "Good Morning America" stage in a segment highlighting her inclusive dance company Infinite Flow.

Infinite Flow is a Los Angeles–based wheelchair ballroom dance company (the first of its kind in the U.S.) that incorporates an equal number of disabled and nondisabled dancers, as well as a range of styles like hip hop, contemporary and other partner dances.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teachers Trending

Since she was hired in 2006 to create a dance program at Washington & Lee University in Virginia, Jenefer Davies has operated as, essentially, a one-woman show. She's the only full-time faculty member (with regular adjunct support). Over the last 13 years, she has created a thriving program along with a performance company—at a school with fewer than 2,500 students—by drawing on her admittedly rare strength: aerial dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network

Savion Glover is one of the biggest names in the dance world, and perhaps the biggest in the tap world. The trailblazing hoofer's hard-hitting, rhythmically intricate style has fundamentally altered the tap landscape.

Glover is also a master teacher. But during his many years on the scene, he's never appeared regularly at a major dance convention. That is, until this season: Glover is now teaching at JUMP Dance Convention, scheduled to appear at approximately 15 more cities on its 2019–2020 tour.

We talked with JUMP director Mike Minery, himself a gifted hoofer, about working with a living legend—and how Glover is already changing the convention class game.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Getty Images

Though she loved choreographing, the high school student showcase wasn't quite enough for Julie Deleger, a recent graduate of The College Preparatory School in Oakland, California. The answer for her was an independent-study project during her last semester there. "Choreography is so personal that sometimes you need to take more or less time with it," she says. "Doing it on my own was really helpful. I let the project guide me rather than having to adhere to a specific set of rules."

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox