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.
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.
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!
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.