The past month I was fortunate to be cast in the Sylvia Park Winter 2013 Fashion Show.
It was a great experience for me to learn about working the Catwalk and try to blend Modelling and Dancing together.
My previous experience with dancing on a Catwalk was when I was about 6 years old, and the unusual shape of the stage put me off and I ended up forgetting some of my dance “Tinkerbell” my Barefoot that was supposed to be a sweet entertainment while the models changed. Luckily I had the gumption to carry on and improvise, but I was shaken up about it because it had never happened to me before…and thankfully never did again. I’ve always been a very quick learner and retain choreography well.
Anyhow, this experience as a professional dancer was very different.
A few days before the show (after weeks of rehearsals) all the dancers went into the offices of the mall to be fitted into all the clothes. There were so many racks with so many clothes in this one room, I didn’t know where to look. Each rack had the dancer’s photo and resume taped at one end of it, and all the lovely clothes hung up in order of what outfit went with what routine.
The Stylists had the hard task of making sure each model was matched with every other model in the same routine, and that all of the stores in the huge shopping mall had pieces in the show. It must’ve been a massive undertaking for them, and they all treated us so well, and acted calm and collected even while we were diplomatically trying to tell them that some things didn’t fit, and others wouldn’t work with the amount of movement/dancing that we were doing.
It was a lot of fun trying on all the clothes, I am a real “girly-girl” so I was more than happy to spend my morning trying on various outfits and accessories. We made sure everything was also able to be danced in, it was funny trying to do the choreography in between the racks of clothes, and try and test out the shoes and put our arms up in the jackets without damaging anything….usually costumes are made to fit the dancer, and made to be moved in. High kicks, arms whipping around, etc. but these were lovely, and sometimes expensive, everyday clothes. It’s not often someone is going to tell the Country Road saleswoman that they need a pair of pants they can put their leg behind their head in!
These little black dresses (in the photo with the canes) were one of my favourite pieces to wear, as soon as I tried it on I was in love. Mine came from Witchery and had a lovely cut that flattered my shape, the skirt flared out, and it had lace down the sides and over the shoulders. Gorgeous!
Unfortunately there were a couple of outfits that I thought didn’t suit me, or didn’t show off my figure to its best advantage, but as a model and a dancer you have to just suck it up and go with it. You are there for the show, for the clients, your agent, and the designers.
I think there are so many advantages to having dancers model the clothes. First of all the show is supremely more entertaining than just watching people walk down the runway. We had Tap, Contemporary, Jazz, and Hip Hop, Acrobatics, and all sorts going on. People can see the clothes moving to the extreme and enjoy being thoroughly entertained.
The other advantage, is that unlike most models, dancers have a bit more muscle, and even though we can do some amazing and crazy things, I think we are a bit more relate-able to the men and women out there shopping for their winter gear, than the pin-thin models at New York Fashion Week.
Not that I have anything against the models, or the Victoria’s Secret Angels, I think they are all amazing and look fantastic! But I think our cast was great because we had a combination of tall, short, curvy, lean, male, female, kids, teens, blondes and brunettes! So people could get a real idea of what they would look like in the clothes.
With the great combination of the fun, up to date music, gorgeous fashion, great set and lighting, inspired choreography, and talented dancers, this show was a hit.
I was very fortunate to have some of my students, family and friends travel from out of town to come and see the show and support me, and it was so wonderful to see them there and have their support. People don’t realise how much it really means to have that support in the audience. To know that there is someone out there who has come to see you, and cheer you on, it makes you so happy and feel so special. So I want to thank you all so much for being there. I hope that we entertained and inspired you all.
As a regular “Winter Hater” this show was also great for me, because I now can really appreciate winter fashion, the colours, the layers, and it taught me how to look at my winter clothes in a new and fun way.