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How to Make Low Rise Briefs

Hi, I am Cyndi from and in this lesson I am going to show you how to take a pair of briefs that is where the top is too high and lower the top to become more of a low rise brief. One reason why you might want to do this is if you have a very low back on your dress and your regular briefs stick out above the low back of the dress. It is really distracting to see the briefs sticking out like that.


  1. Lycra briefs
  2. Matching thread
  3. Elastic
  4. Tailor’s chalk or small bar of soap
  5. Pins
  6. Scissors


  1. Choosing Your Materials

There is not much to choose on this project – just the briefs, matching thread and elastic.

  1. Determining the height of the briefs

The way to determine the height of the briefs is to have the girl wear the briefs and the dress. You can then see where the briefs stick out above the back of the dress and mark the back of the briefs with Tailor’s chalk or a small bar of soap at that point. When you cut the top of the briefs, you need to remember to add a little extra material at the top (more…)

New Ballet Ensemble and School Interview with Katie Smythe

Founded by Katie Smythe in 2001, New Ballet Ensemble and School (NBE) in Memphis, Tennessee, is a Community School of the Arts that provides a professional standard of dance training to children regardless of their ability to pay.  Katie, who is also their Artistic Director and CEO, tells us their instruction is based in classical ballet, but includes exploration and training in other cultural forms of dance. At their studio and in thriving after-school programs, they work with community partners to create human environments where children can learn and grow their unique talents.

In Katie’s opinion, their dance studio stands out from other dance studios because they welcome both dancers and “could be” dancers from throughout their community and work to create a conversation across cultures through dance. This gives students the ability to marry the values of their communities and their street technique with the formal training in classical ballet and other styles. When they combine ballet with hip hop, Memphis Jookin’, jazz, flamenco and African styles, amazing new dances – and dancers – come to life!

One of Katie’s proudest moments was when they were commissioned by the Kennedy Center and National Symphony Orchestra in 2014 to create a new dance to (more…)

How To Create A Skirt From Fabric Strips

Hello, I am Cyndi from In this demonstration, I am going to show you how to create a skirt from strips of fabric. This is a really, really easy project that gives you a great look. Since the fabric strips do not have to be cut perfectly, this is definitely a beginner project. As a matter of fact, you do not want them to be perfect. You want each strip to be just a little bit off from the others, a little bit different. Otherwise, you start to see a very even pattern and it kind of defeats the purpose of this particular project, of this particular skirt. This skirt has a lot of motion, a lot of movement. You will see the nice lines of the dancer’s legs yet still have their legs slightly covered up. It is a great project to complete.


  1. Fabric of Your Choice for the Strips
  2. Lycra Fabric for Waistband that Matches, Corresponds or Contrasts Strips
  3. Matching Threads
  4. Elastic
  5. Pins
  6. Scissors
  7. Measuring Tape
  8. Sewing Machine


  1. Choosing Your Materials

The first step is to determine the fabric of your choice that you want to use for the strips. I prefer to use two or three different types (more…)

DIY a Skirt That is Draped in The Front and Flows in The Back

I was recently asked how to create a draped front while keeping the back long. This is a great look if you want to show the long length of your legs. It is still soft and pretty and yet really dramatic. This is really simple to do, really easy and really elegant out on the dance floor.


  1. Skirt – style of your choice
  2. Thread to match skirt
  3. Pins
  4. Sewing needle
  5. Scissors


  1. Choosing Your Materials

There are several skirt styles to choose from. If you use a High-Low Skirt, it is longer in the back than in the front. It will give you a nice drape in the front without a lot of excess material in the front and a beautiful long skirt in the back. It is a very pretty, elegant and dramatic look. If you want a shorter skirt that still has a drape in front,  you could choose a circle skirt. A circle skirt would make the back part shorter. However, if you do not want as much flow and as much drape, you could use an angle skirt.  Choosing the skirt you want to use will depend totally on the look you want to achieve.

  1. Pinning the pleats

I am (more…)

Dance Impressions Interview with Kandee Allen

Dance Impressions with studios in both Bountiful and Farmington, Utah, just celebrated their 25th year. Kandee Allen and her mom, Vivian Colobella, started the dance studio together in a small 900 square foot space and they have now grown to two locations with nine classrooms. It is now under the direction of Kandee and Mallorie Johns. They offer classes to dancers of all ages and abilities. They believe that anyone can dance and everyone should. They offer a wide variety of dance classes including jazz, contemporary, classical ballet, tap, acro, hip hop and more.  Their mission is “To teach dancers the values of dedication, discipline, and hard work while instilling a love for the art of dance.”

They have a large competitive program but also have a wonderful artistic performing company offering professional level training to all dancers.  They also have over 50 recreational classes each week.  They have experienced, professional instructors which include a large number of their alumni.

Dance Impressions’ alumni have gone on to perform on Broadway, The West End, College, NFL,  and NBA dance teams and cheerleaders, Television, Olympic opening ceremonies, Disney, Movies, Internationally, with music artists, and many who have opened studios of their own and more.

In Kandee’s opinion, their dance studio (more…)

How To Make Color Block Pants

Hi, I am Cyndi from and I am going to show you how to take a pair of pants and add a stripe to it. This also works with long sleeve shirts, shorts or anything else that you wish. The process works the same on all of them. So if you are looking to add a little flair to a pair of pants or make them a little funkier, this may be just the video for you.

I am going to use contrasting fabrics to show you how to do this. That will make it very easy to see. I am going to use a pair of navy pants and I am going to put an orange slice in it.


  1. Pants
  2. Fabric for stripe
  3. Matching thread
  4. Tailor’s chalk or small piece of soap
  5. Pins
  6. Scissors


  1. Choosing Your Materials

The first thing you are going to need to do is obtain a pair of pants that are the right size for the dancer. Next, you need to decide whether you want to use fabric of a different color but the same fabric as the pants or if you want the stripe to be a different texture or pattern.

I have decided to use navy (more…)

Elements Dance Factory Interview with Marla Kay

Marla Kay, Owner and Director of Elements Dance Factory in Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania, describes her dance studio as a creative haven where young artists can train and develop skills pertaining to the area of dance and the performing arts. They offer both recreational and professional classes in all genres beginning at the age of two.

Marla believes that Elements Dance Factory is set apart from other dance studios mainly because she bases many of her beliefs on the professional studios like Broadway Dance Center and Steps. In addition, not only does she bring in the top masters each month but her weekly classes are taught by professionals who are always studying and keeping up to date with their training and education as well.

According to Marla, her proudest moment coaching will always be having the overall winning high score number and being the recipient of a Best Choreography award since she always creates new and unique numbers.

In Marla’s opinion, the biggest mistake dancers make is thinking that one private lesson will solve everything. She believes that it is her job is to educate them in the fact that steady consistent training will ultimately be the only way to be able to reach and (more…)

Backstage Dance Center Interview with Anne Sakolsky-Basquil

Anne Sakolsky-Basquil, the Director and Owner of Backstage Dance Center in Meridien, Idaho, describes her dance studio as a family friendly studio that gives professional, high quality instruction at an affordable price for everyone because they offer financial aid based on need only.

She believes Backstage Dance is set apart from other studios because of their affordable financial arrangements and their concern for each family.

In addition to being the Director/Owner, she teaches at the studio. Her proudest moment as a teacher/director has been when a student has come to them with no obvious talent, and many physical limitations and turns out to be a beautiful dancer who received a dance scholarship to college based on a video. But this was not her moment. It was the moment of this hard working dancer and Backstage Dance’s entire staff.

The biggest mistakes she sees dancers make today is taking criticism personally, and not taking advantage of every minute they are in the studio.

Her goals for this year are the same as every year: To make each of their dancers the best that they can be, both as dancers and as people.

She didn’t start this studio. She bought it after the owner died. As a teacher at (more…)

Niantic Dance Center Interview with Jessica Megargle

Niantic Dance Center is the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Niantic, Connecticut. Arthur Murray Dance Centers are franchises and Jessica Megargle is the franchisee of this dance center.

Jessica describes their studio by the shore as a place to have fun, learn and socialize. They are like a big family there and all of their students, ranging in ages 5 to 75 years old, all support each other and share the same love and passion for dancing and the environment.

Jessica knows dancing has benefits in every school. But, she thinks what separates their dance studio from the rest are the teachers. They are unique because most of their staff started dancing in the school as students themselves. They all were inspired to teach because of how dancing improved their own lives personally and have chosen this as a career to pay it forward.

Her proudest moments coaching have been the less obvious ones involving staff. Often, staff tends to move on to open their own schools or manage schools in other states. Jessica loves that she is able to see them all still living out their passions and dancing and knowing she just touched them or helped to light the spark within them. (more…)

How To Make A Color Block Top

Hi, I am Cyndi from and today I am going to show you how take a regular shirt and turn it into a two-tone version. This is really important for boys. Sometimes they do not match what is going on with the girls and shirts are just so plain. Perhaps you do not want to buy a custom made shirt but you want to make them just a little bit different, you want to give them a little extra color, or maybe coordinate with some of the colors that are in the girl’s costumes.  In those cases, this is the perfect thing to do and so-o-o-o easy.


  1. Shirt
  2. Coordinating or Matching Material
  3. Matching Thread
  4. Pins
  5. Tailor’s Chalk, Marking Pen or bar of soap
  6. Scissors


  1. Choosing Your Materials

There are only two items you have to choose: 1) a regular shirt and 2) the material. The shirt and material can be your favorite colors or they can coordinate with costumes that the girls in a group are going to wear. In this example, I have chosen to use a silver shirt and gold material.

  1. Cutting the Shirt and Material

First, draw a diagonal line across the front of the shirt with Tailor’s Chalk (more…)