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it's all about choreography

Since before I can remember, I loved to choreograph. I would go over to my aunt’s house and spend hours making up dances in the basement with my cousin Haley. Our brothers always found other things to do until recital time, when they would beg to be included. Of course my mom made me work them in somehow and I got to practice not only my dance moves but my ability to get creative if things didn’t go my way. Dance has always been about more then movement in this way. I owe a lot to my dance teachers but I also owe a lot to being able to explore dance on my own, on my own terms, and I always encourage my students to go home and do the same. How do you get your child to be passionate about choreographing dances at home? Well, we all know we can’t make them do anything, but you can certainly use these tips below to encourage them.

It’s hard to make up a dance when you have no space to move how you want. This is where my aunt’s house came in handy; she had a huge basement. Move some chairs in the living room or some furniture in the basement to create a small “stage.” Make sure you have some sort of music player in the room so the dancing can commence! Bonus points for creating a “back drop” with a large roll of white paper and some crayons.

I really enjoyed choreographing the most when I had a goal in mind (halftime performance, talent show, etc.) or someone to push me to finish. Having my cousin around encouraged me to come up with a full dance, plus it was fun to create with her and see what kinds of movement we could come up with together. Invite some friends or family over that enjoy dancing too (perhaps a fellow Tiny Dancer alum?) and ask them to show you a dance they made up so they can practice for the upcoming recital!

Lets face it, the best part of a dance recital is getting to wear a sparkly costume. I always had a chest full of old dance recital costumes, thrift store finds and things my mom collected here and there. When I was a little older I would come up with full concepts and create costumes to go with the theme (who knew I was practicing for my job at Tiny Dancers?). If you don’t already have a dress up bin they are very easy to create. Old dresses and jewelry that you don’t wear, a stop to a local consignment shop or Goodwill, or simply picking up some scraps of fabric to tie around the body from a fabric store will work.


Miss Karly


Welcome to the inaugural blog post written for Tiny Dancers by our very own Miss Karly! Please check back monthly for new posts.


I am extremely excited to be given this forum to share my knowledge of all things dance, craft and fashion. Today I would like to share with you some tips on keeping your little dancer’s special dance class outfit looking like new. It’s not an impossible task, I promise!


Leotards are notorious for being food, ink and dirt magnets. We understand that younger dancers love wearing their leotard outside of class and that means there are plenty of opportunities for stains. If you catch a stain early, say during snack time, try to dab with cool water so the stain does not set before you get a chance to launder it. If it is an ink stain, hairspray works best. Then turn inside out and wash as usual. You want to prevent shrinking of cotton leotards by putting them on the delicate setting when drying, or better yet air dry.


I hear this one every week, “Miss Karly there’s a hole in my tights.” Which makes sense because tights are made with a knit method, creating thousands of tiny loops just looking to snag on those evil bush branches or rough cement sidewalk. While it’s next to impossible to totally repair a hole in your child’s tights, you can prevent the hole from getting larger by brushing on clear nail polish around the edges of the rip.

BONUS: This is also a great way to keep your child’s ballet slippers knotted permanently! Just tie a knot, dab with clear nail polish and cut the extra string away.


Tutu’s are made of a delicate fabric called tulle. Tulle is very temperamental and loves to wrinkle easily or even melt when it is introduced to heat. The first rule when washing a tutu is SKIP THE DRYER. Even a washing machine on the gentle cycle can do some damage. It’s best to hand wash in cool water and then hang overnight to dry. This prevents the tulle from getting thin, droopy or warped and your tutu will stay like new!


You can turn last year’s recital costume into this year’s favorite dress up costume by simply cutting off the lower part of the leotard that falls underneath the tutu. This will allow your child to slip the costume on over their head and wear it like a dress. You do not need to worry about the fabric fraying but if you would like some extra reinforcement, dab the cut end in clear nail polish or finish the edge with a zig zag stitch (if you have a handy dandy sewing machine that is).

Favorite Coffee Shops This Month
Fairfax- Dunkin’ Donuts
Mosaic- Mom & Pop
Alexandria- Firehook Bakery