How To Make a T-Shirt Scarf!

We all have those old T-shirts we love and can’t bear to part with but they don’t fit anymore or maybe they have holes in the armpits but we love the color and they are just oh-so- soft! We’ll show you how to give those oldies a new life as a scarf that is cute AND useful….all in 4 easy steps.

It’s no secret: dancers sweat. A lot. That means they’re working hard sharpening their skills and honing their craft. This DIY scarf is light enough to wear year round and the cotton that T-shirts are made out of is great for wiping the sweat out of your eyes at rehearsal.

What you’ll need:

  • A soft T-shirt
  • Sharp scissors
  • Flat surface

Step 1:

Rummage through your closet for an old T-shirt. OR invest in a new T-shirt made of a super soft blend like this one available here.


Step 2:

Fold the shirt across right below the armpits and lay the shirt flat.


Step 3:

With a sharp pair of scissors, cut straight across the fold making sure you hold the shirt in place as you go.



Step 4:

Scrunch the scarf down around your neck and voilá!

ScarfBlog_StepFour_1ScarfBlog_StepFour_2ScarfBlog_StepFour_3Congratulations! You’re ready to go!

Posted in Articles

Kimberly Braylock, San Francisco Ballet

Our Holiday Cover Girl reflects on the season, finding strength in family and the life of a traveling ballet professional.

Just returning from touring London with the San Francisco Ballet, corps de ballet member Kimberly Braylock took time from her busy schedule to allow us to get to know her a little better. Prompt, polite and sweet- traits she credits to her “mother raising her right”- Miss Braylock won us over with her down to earth positive attitude, signing all her correspondence with a friendly, “Kim.”

DDS: What is it like touring in London so soon after all the commotion of the Olympics?

Kim: Touring to London was a bit of a scare due to the Olympics. One of our ballet masters even made a reference to the Olympics before our travels in order to raise the bar. However during our stay there the Olympics weren’t mentioned besides the printed advertisements.

DDS: Did you like traveling?

Kim: Yes!!!! I love traveling. 10 hour flight? Bring it on; it is so worth it.

DDS: What is the one thing in your dance bag you can’t live without?

Kim: Besides the obvious, my Pointe shoes 🙂 I would say… Water bottle.

DDS: What is the most interesting place you have visited with the company?

Kim: China is the most interesting place because I would have never thought to travel there on my own personal interest. Shanghai is the best for shopping and Beijing had amazing authentic Chinese food restaurants.

DDS: If you could choose anywhere in the world, where would you like to go on tour?

Kim: Besides New York City because my family is from there, I would say Greece.

DDS: New York City boasts an abundance of ballet schools and two prominent professional companies. Why the move west?

Kim: My move to the west was due to my acceptance into the San Francisco Ballet School on scholarship. I was previously informed by one of my former ballet school directors and friend that it was a difficult to be accepted by the SFB school ballet. Secondly, I had seen the company perform the summer before during their tour to New York City in 2006. Prior to accepting SFB’s summer intensive I was sadly declined by the two prominent professional ballet schools: SAB [The School of American Ballet] and JKO [The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre].

DDS: What advice would you have for young dancers aspiring to have a professional ballet career?

Kim: I would say, never give up! Remember why and who you are dancing for, and the only person stopping you is you.

DDS:  We admire that you follow your own advice; clearly it has paid off in your career. What is the best advice you have ever received?

Kim: The best advice I have ever received was from my dad who told me, “remember the glory is not for yourself but for God.”

DDS:  You seem very close to your family; how do you balance friend and family obligations with the holiday performance schedule?

Kim: With my family on the East Coast, I just make phone calls easily. However my family in the Bay Area is really supportive and will come hang out with me even during my one hour lunch break or after a matinee show. They become my reminder of life outside the ballet. It’s difficult to have these obligations, yet without my friends and family I would not have any relief from my constant ballet obligations so making time for coffee or dinner with a friend is key.

DDS: During this season one thing is on every ballet dancer’s mind: The Nutcracker. How many times have you performed in the Nutcracker? How do you keep it fresh?

Kim: I cannot count how many performances but I have done five seasons of it with SFB. I keep it fresh when I remember the little girls who are watching or if I know certain friends of mine are watching.

DDS: How do you handle the grueling rehearsal and performance schedule?

Kim: I try to be very responsible in getting my sleep, right nutrition, and adhering to my body’s needs.

DDS: Any tips for young ballet dancers out there on how to stay stress free during the holiday season?

Kim: Be optimistic! Focus on all the wonderful blessings and what you are grateful for. You would rather be in the position you are now than…? Use your imagination, after all we are artists.

For more interview questions with Kimberly Braylock, check out our Facebook page at!

Posted in Articles, DDS Dancer Profiles

Ballet’s Brightest Stars Shine in Orange County

Festival Ballet Theatre presents its annual “Gala of the Stars” Friday, August 17th at the Barclay Theatre in Irvine, California.

Barclay TheaterIn just three weeks fourteen internationally acclaimed guest artists from prestigious dance companies around the world, including DDS model Rebecca King of Czech National Theatre, will join FBT’s resident company dancers and up-and-coming talent for an evening of exhilarating dance in Irvine’s Barclay Theatre. With our headquarters located in Southern California, here at DDS we’re always on the lookout for amazing dance performances to share with all of you in our neighborhood and “Gala of the Stars” promises to be a great one!

The program will also include the following guest artists: American Ballet Theatre’s Jamie Kopit, Veronika Part and Cory Stearns; the Joffrey Ballet’s Fabrice Calmels, Dylan Gutierrez and Jeraldine Mendoza; Les Ballets de Monte Carlo’s April Ball and Stephen Bourgond; New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht; Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Carla Korbes; Staats Ballet Berlin’s Alexander Shpak and Mari Kawanishi; and Stuttgart Ballet’s Daniel Camargo.

Celebrating its 20th year, the Barclay is a beautiful 50,000 square foot “Bay Area modernist” venue with 756 seats and a record for excellence in promoting dance, theatre, music and the spoken word in Orange County. Festival Ballet Theatre’s annual gala certainly is part of this prestigious heritage! Founded by Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla, for the past 24 years FBT has been dedicated to furnishing Orange County with cultural awareness of dance. FBT hosting performances by world-renowned guest artists; fostering local talent by resident artists who have received international critical acclaim for original ballets; and in conjunction with Southland Ballet Academy, also founded Salwa Rizkalla, providing nurturing and training to the next generation of professional ballet dancers and choreographers.

Of course, DDS is taking advantage of all the gorgeous dancers being on hand and we are pleased to announce that Carla Korbes of Pacfic Northwest Ballet will soon be joining Rebecca King as a DDS model! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as Instagram and Google+, for updates and sneak peeks of Carla’s upcoming photo shoot! You can also follow the link below for more information and to purchase your tickets!

Posted in community participation | Tagged , , ,

Discount Dance at the Showstoppers West Coast Finals!

ShowStoppersShowstopper’s 2012 West Coast Finals were in our neck of the woods this past week so the DDS crew loaded up some great prizes and freebies, put on our favorite show-stopping hot pink nail polish and got ready to kick off our annual Showstopper model search contest. Once again we had a great turn out for the model search!

The competition was filled to the brim with gorgeous, talented dancers of all ages, shapes and sizes…we were wowed by so many of you that we broke our own rules and had to choose twelve finalists instead of ten!

The most fun was at the prize booth were we handed out free dance bags for participating dancers and operated a good old-fashioned rotary ball machine for prizes! Anyone entering our email raffle had the opportunity to draw balls for a range of prizes including DDS gift cards, Free Shipping coupons, promotional items and even two iPod Nanos!

It was so fun to see kids and parents alike excited to play. Congratulations to Courtney Lowery, a dance parent from Yoko’s Dance & Performing Arts, for winning our raffle grand prize which was an awesome tandem beach cruiser bicycle!

We also had lots of fun snapping pictures of all the beautiful dancers strutting their stuff in DDS dance gear and posing with our catalog. You can check out the awesome pics on our Facebook page and submit your own!

Thank you to all the dancers and parents that stopped by to say hello; we had a blast and we can’t wait for Showstopper 2013!

Posted in community participation

New Kid on the Block: Ian Eastwood Joins The Pulse

New Kid on the Block: Ian Eastwood Joins The Pulse

New Kid on the Block: Ian Eastwood Joins The PulseBy Tara Sheena.

Teaching class this summer for the Pulse On Tour dance convention may seem like an unlikely gig for 19-year-old Chicago hip-hopper Ian Eastwood, but dancers can get excited as Ian has recently joined the Pulse faculty!

As a kid, he remembers steering clear of “all-style” dance conventions in lieu of only hip-hop specific workshops, although he now sees the benefit of learning and trying other styles. Remembering life in his hometown studio, Eastwood recalls himself hiding in the corner of his jazz and ballet classes. “I love to watch amazing ballet or jazz dancers [but I] wouldn’t let my eye leave the clock until it was time to go because it just wasn’t what I had a passion for.”

Eastwood knew from a young age that he wanted to be a hip-hop dancer. After a stint on America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) with the Mos Wanted Crew and traveling the world as a master teacher, he will officially join the well-known Pulse On Tour dance convention this summer and in most of their 13-city U.S. tour starting in fall.

Ian Eastwood. Photos by Lee Cherry. Courtesy of The Pulse On Tour

He is not shy about looking up to many of the faculty of the Pulse, positing many of them as his role models, but getting the gig was all a joke to him at first. “I was in such shock,” he says of getting the call. “I thought someone was pulling a prank on me and my crew.” After he figured out he wasn’t getting Punk’d, the excitement sank in.

“The most interesting and exciting thing about convention classes is the energy in the room when you have a passionate group of students. Every move feels more exciting than the last,” Ian explains.

This excitement feeds into Eastwood’s teaching as well. He makes a point to value intention and the thought process behind choreography, rather than the steps themselves. Eastwood understands that dance conventions can be fast-paced events where students don’t always get a chance to learn the details of what they are being taught. In his class, Eastwood likes to think the pressure is off.

“Class is class and you are meant to be there to learn. You are supposed to mess up and no one is expected to have the combo perfect,” he states.

Be on the lookout for his lyrical and energetic brand of hip-hop as he takes center stage with the Pulse On Tour. For more information, visit

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , ,

Top 5 Must-Sees Of The 11-12 NYC Dance Season

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Summer is officially winding down and the fall season will emerge from the depths of yesteryear faster than Ashley Bouder’s petit allegro. The days of seeing your favorite dance companies light up the innumerable free outdoor venues NYC has to … Continue reading

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How To Take Care Of Dance Costumes

At this time of year, most dance students are preparing for May and June recitals, and will begin to get their costumes in class.  It is important to take good care of costumes, since they will be used several times … Continue reading

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Meet DDS Cover Model Chelsie Hightower!

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Chelsie Hightower -So You Think You Can Dance & Dancing With The Stars Born in Las Vegas and raised in Orem, Utah, Chelsie Hightower started dancing when she was nine years old in an after school program. She won her … Continue reading

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Born To Perform-Meet DDS Call Center Rep Marisa Johnson!

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Marisa Johnson knew at a very young age that she was born to perform!  She started taking jazz and baton twirling at the age of four and performed in several parades and fairs across the Phoenix metropolitan area. At age … Continue reading

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Top 10 Items to Bring to a Dance Competition

Top 10 Items to Bring to a Dance Competition Written by Terry Finch Dance competitions can be stressful, so put together a list of the items you will need to bring with you.  Keep the items on this list organized … Continue reading

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