How to Wing It





Eyeliner wings are a performance staple. They make eyes look bigger, wide-set and gorgeous! But actually drawing those little dashes can be frustrating (and messy!). Follow these steps for flawless wings every time.




Suzanne Farrell: Classic Wings

Perfect for: A ballet recital or any audition.


Step 1: Give your eyelid a neutral base, like a skin-colored eye-shadow with a bit of shimmer. Tip: Avoid smoky eye makeup—it’ll overpower the clean look.


Step 2: Before you draw the line, use a stick, like an eye-shadow brush, to gauge where you’ll create it. Line it up so that the wing goes up and out (at about a 45-degree angle), instead of being an extension of your lash line.


Step 3: To draw a perfectly straight line, put a piece of scotch tape right next to where you want the wing. Make the dash using an eyeliner pencil, and then go over it with liquid liner. Remove the piece of tape carefully, and use it on the other eye to ensure that both wings are the same length.



Adita Gillette (and Larry Kert) in Cabaret: Double Wings


Perfect for: A musical theater performance—especially Fosse or Halloween night!




Step 1: To make the bottom wing, line a stick, like an eyeliner pencil, up with the lowest part of your lashes. That is your guide for straightness. Make sure the lower lash line is parallel to the pencil.


Step 2: For the top wing, follow the lash line out slightly and sweep the line up, making a checkmark.

Tip: Use pencil on both wing checks, but go over only the checkmark with liquid liner to make it stand out.


Step 3: Measure the space between the two wings—it shouldn’t be wider than the head of a Q-tip.


Step 4: Add fake lashes to create more drama.


Melissa Sandvig on “So You Think You Can Dance”: Bottom Wings


Perfect for: An edgy contemporary solo.


Step 1: Sweep a gray eye-shadow over your eyelid, staying below the crease.


To create a bottom wing, use gray eye-shadow applied with a very thin brush or an eyeliner pencil. Draw it by following your lash line straight out about half an inch. Top lid eyeliner is optional.






Photos of Suzanne Farrell and Adita Gillette from the Dance Magazine archives.


Photo of Melissa Sandvig by Mathieu Young/FOX.


Modeled by Amy Gilson. Hair and Makeup by Tonya Noland for Mark Edwards, Inc.

Dance News
Photo by Jayme Thornton

Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.

Keep reading... Show less

Leap! National Dance Competition offers dancers of all skill levels an opportunity to showcase their talents in an event where the focus is on fun and competing is just a bonus!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer

Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
The School at Jacob's Pillow's contemporary program auditions (photo by Karli Cadel, courtesy Jacob's Pillow)

Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.

Keep reading... Show less

When we think of a dancer who's broken barriers, American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland tends to be the name that comes to mind. And though Copeland has been a crucial advocate for equality in the world of ballet, Raven Wilkinson—a mentor of Copeland's—is considered one of the original pioneers of the movement.

In 1955, Wilkinson became the first African American to dance with the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Her fortitude in the face of bigotry and hate cemented her legacy. Now, with the release of the new children's book Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson, a new generation of dancers will be inspired by her tale of overcoming obstacles to achieve a dream.

The book details Wilkinson's life, from her experience as a young dancer training in Harlem, to her run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan while on tour with Ballet Russe, to her later ballet career in Europe. "There were times where my heart really hurt because of the situations I had to deal with," she says. "But I always had faith that I was made to be a dancer and that I was gonna dance."

Dance Spirit spoke with Wilkinson to discuss the new book and get her take on racial equality within the ballet world.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Leah Morrison in Trisha Brown's If You Couldn't See Me, in which the soloist never faces the audience (photo by Julia Cervantes, courtesy Trisha Brown Dance Company)

Postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown redefined how dance is seen and felt. A founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Brown frequently collaborated with other experimental artists like Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Steve Paxton.

She embraced pedestrian movement, pairing everyday gesture with rhythm and fluidity. "It's liquid," says Wendy Perron, who danced with Brown in the '60s and '70s. "Like a river with many tributaries, water coming out of a faucet, or being on a raft and seeing the water move away in different directions." Brown also pushed beyond stages with choreography in fields, museums—even on the sides of buildings.

Keep reading... Show less
Blankenbuehler (far left) with the rest of the "Hamilton" creative team

So book your tickets to Tulsa already, people!

Keep reading... Show less
Your Body
Amanda LaCount showing off her skills (screenshot via YouTube)

There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.

Keep reading... Show less
Watch This
Angela Sterling, courtesy PNB

Mark your calendars, bunheads! On Monday, January 29th, at 2:45 PM (EST)/11:45 AM (PST), Pacific Northwest Ballet will be streaming a live rehearsal of Act II of Kent Stowell's Swan Lake.

Keep reading... Show less
Watch This
Tavaris Jones dancing with the Cleveland Cavaliers' Scream Team hip-hop crew

We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)

So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.

Keep reading... Show less


Want to Be on Our Cover?





Get Dance Spirit in your inbox