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CAPA Interview with Joan Borchers

California Academy of Performing Arts, (CAPA) is located in Moraga, California, in San Francisco’s East Bay. Joan Borchers founded CAPA in 1981. Joan is the co-owner with her husband Doyle. She is also the Artistic Director and still teaches and choreographs at the age of 70!image1.JPG

According to Joan, they are not a competition school but produce a huge number of dancers who go on to ABT, Broadway, Julliard, Tisch, etc. They teach art rather than focusing on tricks. CAPA’a motto has always been to teach life skills through dance. They have nearly 450 students taking a total of nearly 1,700 dance hours per week, with a team of 14 professional teachers. They focus on classical ballet, contemporary, musical theater, jazz, tap, pre-school classes and even some hip hop. Their dancers make CAPA their second home and remain lifelong friends.

Joan believes that CAPA stands out from other studios because they made the choice not to participate in competitions. They have two tracks their students can take: They have regular dance technique classes, but also 9 Ensembles and 9 Ballet Companies that sign annual contracts regarding behavior, attendance, wholesome appearance, no bullying, no tattoos, bunable hair, etc. these groups have very specific requirements (more…)

How to Add Straps to a Bandeau Bra

This demo will show you how to take a simple bandeau bra and add horizontal straps to create a cute little back. The reason you might want to do this is because a plain bandeau can sometimes be boring. It is perfect if it is a little snug on your back or you just want to change the look. You want to think about the fact that when you turn around you can give the judges something interesting to look at. This is a great and easy technique to employ. It looks more complicated than it is. I am going to show you just how easy it will be for you to accomplish.


  1. Bandeau Bra
  2. Elastic to match or dye it to match
  3. Thread to Match
  4. Tailor’s chalk or bar of soap
  5. Pins
  6. Scissors
  7. Sewing Machine
  8. Rhinestones optional


  1. Choosing Your Materials

I am going to use black elastic that is satiny and shiny. It is really good elastic. If you cannot find this type of elastic, you can just use regular elastic if you are going to cover it with rhinestones. If you are not going to cover the elastic strips with rhinestones, you may want to cover the elastic strips with (more…)

Aspire Dance Studio Interview with Alexia Liavas

Aspire Dance Studio in Thousand Oaks, California, is owned by Alexia Liavas who is also the Company Director, a Choreographer and one of the teachers at the studio. Aspire’s mission statement is “We nurture and feed the soul, body and mind through dance.”  It is a place of nurturing through dance.  They teach their dancers to be the best they can be—not only in dance, but also in life.

In Alexia’s opinion what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that Aspire truly has amazing teachers who care about each and every student.  Each student dancing at Aspire is not just a number in a class, but an individual.  According to Alexia, they are there to help each student reach their highest potential and to be their best!  They also honor the artistry and history of dance, and go beyond just teaching “steps.”

Aspire offers beginning through advanced dance classes for students from 2 years old through adult. The classes they provide include Toddler Classes, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Stretch & Strength, Tumbling, Jazz Technique, Musical Theater, Boy’s Classes and classes specifically for teens and adults.

In addition to offering dance classes, Aspire is the (more…)

How To Cover Your Love Handles for Dance

In this section, we want to show you different ways to cover belly buttons and/or love handles. We will give you ideas on how to use various shapes and how to drape them to look best for your body type.

First, you have to have a bra top and the bottom. If you are using a skirt, then you should sew the piece to the brief or shorts under the skirt. Otherwise, it will pull the skirt up.


  1. Top
  2. Bottom
  3. Fabric of your choice – Often works better with a fabric other than the fabric that is the same as the top and bottom
  4. Scissors
  5. Pins
  6. Tailor’s chalk or a small piece of soap
  7. Broach, feathers (optional)


  1. Choosing Supplies and Materials

First, you have to have a bra top and a bottom that you want to use where you want to cover these trouble spots. If you are using a skirt, then you should sew the piece to the brief or shorts under the skirt. Otherwise, it will pull the skirt up.

You could use material that matches the bra and/or top or that complements the bra or top. You could also use lace, a textured material or a printed material. Choose whatever appeals (more…)

Ad Deum Dance Company Interview with Shannon Benton

Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, Texas, is a modern/contemporary dance company whose mission is to create and perform with excellence vital works of dance that serve to wash over the heart and soul of humanity with relevant meaning and redemptive hope. Randall Flinn is their Founder and Director, Shizu Yasuda is their Artistic Director; Shannon Benton is a Company Dancer and their Social Media Associate.

According to Shannon, many characteristics set Ad Deum apart from other professional dance companies. One of the biggest things that makes their organization different is its sense of community. All members of both the Main company and Ad Deum 2 meet together each morning as a family for technique class and what they fondly refer to as “circle time.” They are not only a company for the sake of performing professionally, but they are also a community that supports, encourages, challenges, and loves one another. It truly is more of a family atmosphere, rather than the competitive environment often associated with the professional dance world. They all understand that their family has been held together by the grace of God and not by any one person in the community.

Another characteristic is the company’s heart for outreach (more…)

How to Create a Mesh “V” Center to a Leotard

Hi, I am Cyndi from In this video, I am going to show you how to take a halter leotard and add a sheer mesh “V” strip in the center. I have seen a lot of leotards where it has a deep sheer “V” in the center and sometimes they are not so deep. We will cut away the fabric behind this sheer “V.” Before you do this, you might want to think about whether there is going to be any boobs showing or anything like that. Think about that before you do create this “V.” A lot of the time, you will see the cutout with a sheer piece just sewn down and then rhinestone all the way down both sides of the “V”. It is a gorgeous, gorgeous look. So, if you want to find out how to create something like this, this might be the perfect video for you.


  1. Halter Leotard
  2. 4 Way Stretch Sheer Mesh
  3. Matching Threads
  4. Pins, Safety Pins Optional
  5. Scissors
  6. Sewing Machine
  7. Rhinestones or lace, optional


  1. Choosing Your Materials

The first choice, of course, is the halter leotard. As far as the sheer mesh, you can choose from a mesh that matches the leotard, contrasts (more…)

How To Cover Your Bra In Lace

Hi, my name is Cyndi and I am the owner of In this lesson, I am going to show you how to cover a bra in lace. There are a number of reasons why you might want to cover a bra with lace rather than buying a bra that already has the lace on it. One of the reasons you might want to cover a bra with lace yourself is that you have control of how it looks and how much coverage you have. For instance, if the bra is a little on the skimpy side, you can get more coverage by extending the lace over the top if you so desire. Also, if you have a team of girls and one of them is bigger or much smaller busted than the others, you may not be able to find a bra already covered with lace that will match the other girl’s bras. Covering the bra yourself allows you the option of making sure they all match.


  1. Bra
  2. Lace material
  3. Thread to match
  4. Pins
  5. Scissors


  1. Choosing Your Materials

Obviously, the first choice you would be making is the bra you want to us. Is it a full bra, a demi bra, (more…)

Academy for the Performing Arts

Hillary Parnell, Owner of the Academy for the Performing Arts, Inc., (APA) in Apex, North Carolina, describes their dance studio as a home away from home, a place to grow as a dancer and a young person, and a it also happens to be THE dance studio for exceptional dance training in the area. They want their dancers to feel so comfortable here that they come early for class, stay late after class, and never want to leave. APA is a safe place when school or home is stressful and draining. The Academy puts a lot of effort into creating a community feeling that is loving, nurturing, and inspiring.

APA is big enough to offer the amenities of a large business, but small enough to be community-centered and still know most of their students and their parents by name. They offer so many ways to get involved that both their competitive families and their recreational families feel equally involved and important. They have a large class schedule with tons of different options for every age group and a large office staff that is available almost every weekday from 9 AM to 9 PM so that they are always able to take care (more…)

Dance It Up!, Inc. Interview with Stephanie Mack

Dance It Up!, Inc. (DIU) of North Grafton, Massachusetts, is a non-competitive dance school, whose mission is to instill in their students a love of music and dance; encourage imagination and creativity through class room technique, performance opportunities and exposure to different genres of dance art. They offer a broad range of movement programs for ages 22 months to adult.

For ages 22 months through 3.5 their Dance ‘N Play program is a stepping stone to preschool, designed to ensure young children are not beginning formal training too early. Team Dance It Up!, for ages 6 and up, is a non-competitive group that exposes the dancers to different choreographers, dance genres, and a multitude of performance opportunities. For dedicated ballet students ages 11 and up, they offer a company class and a ballet repertory ensemble that focus on ballet technique and performance opportunities. In addition to ballet, DIU offers tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, pointe, pre-pointe, Irish step, acrobatics. Their Adult Fit It In program offers a barre workout and an Adult ballet class. At Dance It Up! you will expect a warm, caring, nurturing, and harmonies atmosphere, where corporation, open communication, courtesy and respect are their trademarks.

It is DIU’s mission to (more…)

How To Change The Look of A Halter Bra

This tutorial is to demonstrate how you can change the look of a halter bra. Usually, the straps on a halter bra are tied behind the wearer’s neck or the wearer could just put a pin or clip at the back of the neck. But, there are so many other things you can do with a little sewing skills. In this lesson, we are going to show you a number of ways to change that look.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I am going to put the halter bra on a mannequin. However, in reality you will want to try it on the girl that is going to wear it.

Before you do anything, you need to make sure that the front fits the girl properly and does not hang loose in the front. Then, you can play with the straps in the back. Also, when you come up with a look you like, you must sew the straps in place or they will slip.

With any of these looks, you need to make sure the front is fitting properly.


  1. Halter Bra
  2. Thread to match bra
  3. Needle
  4. Pins
  5. Scissors


  1. Choosing Your Materials

Find a halter top in the color you want, that fits you (more…)