Make Over Your Audition Chances
When 20-year-old NY–based dance teaching assistant Erika Einhorn explained to us that her sweet, innocent look was keeping her from booking her dream job—making an NBA dance team—we knew we had to help her! So we contacted Danielle Mimnaugh, coach of the New York Knicks City Dancers, for expert tips and passed them along to hairstylist Tressa Degiorgi and makeup artist Angela Huff. The team worked their magic on Erika, and we watched this pretty duckling transform into a sophisticated swan. Here’s how!
Danielle: Get a trendy, feminine haircut. Side bangs add dimension and layers give hair movement.
Tressa: I textured her hair by cutting short and long pieces. These seamless layers blend well with the rest of her mane.
Danielle: Use a gloss, not dye, to make hair look healthy and shiny.
Tressa: This clear gloss reflects light and seals the cuticles, like a conditioner.
Danielle: Wear fake eyelashes to make eyes look bigger—the judges could be up to 50 feet away.
Angela: Curl real lashes. Draw a thin line of eyeliner. Trim fake lash line if needed. Apply fake lashes and coat them with mascara to connect everything.
Danielle: Create a smoky eye while keeping the inner corner bright. This will make eyes appear bigger.
Angela: Try colors like deep purple (used on Erika to complement her hazel/brown eyes), forest green or navy.
Danielle: Use a neutral lipstick with luster for pop.
Angela: Go one shade stronger than natural lip color. Worried about hair getting caught in lipstick? Blot it off and add balm to create a lip stain.
Danielle: Avoid face lotion because it makes everything slippery and could smudge makeup when sweating.
Angela: Go light on the blush—it will intensify when your face gets flushed.
Danielle: Apply self-tanner or get a spray tan a few days before tryouts to give skin a nice glow.
Angela: Since Erika uses an SPF moisturizer (good job!), her face is a bit lighter than her body. To fix this, apply a water-resistant or long-wearing liquid foundation.
Editor's Note: The day after the shoot, Erika put her new look to use. She auditioned for the New York Titans dance team and got a call back!
What's more daunting than getting into your dream college dance program? Figuring out how you'll cover the costs of tuition, room and board, incidental expenses and more. Here's the good news: The right scholarship(s) can bring your dream school well within reach.
Look Around, Look Around
Scholarship applications are due between the fall of senior year and graduation time, so familiarize yourself with funding opportunities during the spring of junior year. And there are a lot of opportunities out there, says Kate Walker, chair of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX. "A lot of school guidance counselors now have software that automatically matches you with scholarships," she says.
Seek out scholarships on your own, too. According to Walker, "a lot of corporations are required to have some community engagement, including offering scholarships, so research corporations in your community." Your parents' employers might offer assistance too, says Doug Long, an academic and college counselor at Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI. "They might have scholarships you can apply for just because your parent works there."
Other sources of grant money you won't have to pay back (as you would a loan)? The YoungArts Foundation; competitions/conventions, like New York City Dance Alliance; and the university or dance department you're applying to. Even some scholarships aimed at athletes are open to dancers!
A winning scholarship application involves a fair amount of paperwork, especially if the organization requires you to show financial need. In addition, certain scholarships ask for the College Board's CSS/Financial Aid Profile, which gives the awarding organization a more complete picture of your family finances.
Other ingredients of a successful scholarship application include recommendation letters, a dance and/or academic resumé and an essay or statement of purpose. Treat these components just like college applications: Have multiple trusted adults proofread your materials, and ask for recommendation letters or transcripts long before deadlines.
A note for non-dance scholarships: Including objective measures of achievement can only help you. "List national recognitions, like YoungArts or other competitions," says Long. "That shows the scholarship committees that people at high levels have acknowledged you as an artist of quality." And don't forget who your audience is. "Especially in writing samples, make sure you paint a vivid picture for your reader," Walker says. "Don't assume they know about all the things—like barre every day—that we as dancers take for granted."
No award amount is too small to be worth your time and effort. As Walker says, "Don't pooh-pooh a couple hundred dollars in award money, because any scholarship is funding that you didn't have yesterday."
A version of this story appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "All Aboard the Scholar-ship."
Every ballet dancer knows the time, sweat, and occasional tears the art form demands. But many non-dancers are clueless about just how much work a ballet dancer puts into perfecting his or her dancing. So when the mainstream crowd recognizes our crazy work ethic, we'll accept the round of applause any way it comes—even if it comes via four men in tutus. Yep, we're talking about "The Try Guys Try Ballet" video.
Remember that fabulous old-school clip of dancers tapping in pointe shoes that Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo brought to our attention back in March? As we mentioned then, toe-tap dancing was actually super popular back in the 1920s and 30s—which means there are more videos where that one came from. And because #ToeTapTuesday has a nice ring to it, we thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce you to Dick and Edith Barstow, a toe-tapping brother and sister duo from that era who are nothing short of incredible:
Guess who's back? Back again? The Academy's back! Tell a friend.
After one day at The Academy, the All Stars have successfully taken the Top 100 down to 62. But their work is just getting started: Now they need to keep narrowing the field to a Top 10, ultimately deciding who each will partner with during the live shows.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns is some SERIOUS #goals. Her strength and power onstage borders on superhuman. But what's extra magical about Mearns is that she really puts in the fitness and cross-training work outside of the rehearsal studio. And she's overcome her fair share of injuries. Which is why she was the perfect source for Vogue's latest ballet fitness story.