Sunday, November 11, 2018

Make Up Close Up

Make Up for Little Ones


It's that time of year again when we dive into our treasure trove of make up and get our little darlings looking gorgeous for the stage! Why do we need to put make up on the kids? Well, though your little dancer may look like a mini drag queen off stage, I can assure you that on stage, they will just look like their sweet little self (with just a touch more pizzazz.) The lighting used can wipe them out and make it very hard for them to dazzle us with their brightest smiles so they need a little help to highlight their features PLUS IT'S FUN! Little girls love make up!

Mums, I feel your's hard to get animated, excited little faces still long enough to weave your magic wand. And then there is the liquid eye liner....oh and the tears, you forget how easily and often little faces can crumple into tears until you spy your pain stakingly applied handi work sliding down their faces. BUT know this, it does get easier and quicker. A little bit of practise before the big day and you are good to go. Remember, children, like animals smell fear! Go into the application with confidence and assertiveness. You are a make up magician.

Big Love & Sparkles,
Miss Rikki xxx

  1. Moisturise that morning – (Plus cleanse and exfoliate for teens.) Use anything except sunscreen, as this makes their face go white under flash/bright light.​ ​You want the face as smooth as a babies bottom! Dry skin will never give you a flawless finish as the makeup will stick to spots you don’t want it to, and won’t stick to the spots you want it to! Basically you need to prepare the “canvas.” You don’t just paint a wall without any prep work – the face is the same.

  2. Primer – This stops the skin absorbing the makeup, therefore making it last. It provides a really smooth surface for a flawless finish. Avoid primers that have shimmer as they can leave you looking like a mirror ball.

  3. Foundation – Good quality foundation has a high pigment (colour) – so more colour/bang for your buck – ie. you don’t need to use much of it, especially if the face has been prepared properly as in step 1 & 2, so it will last longer and won’t look thick. Apply with a foundation brush for a flawless finish, to get in every crevice, and to blend it into the hairline, ears, and down the neck.Do not use one with SPF (Those who bought foundation through me don’t panic! The spf in it won’t go white as it’s designed not to.)

  4. Setting Powder – Dust this over with the big brush for a long-lasting flawless finish. Use the lid to circle the brush in the powder and tap the excess off before you apply. Concentrate on the T-zone as this is where most oil and shine comes through. Take it all the way down to the chest.

  5. Eyebrows – SO IMPORTANT!!! They create the frame for your face and allow the audience to see emotion. If we can’t see them you look expressionless or permanently shocked or sick. Comb first with the end of the pencil, then shade the whole brow filling in any gaps and creating an arch and a nice length. Basically draw on a dream set of brows! Don’t just draw over what they’ve already got. Comb through after as well. The colour should be 1 or 2 shades darker than your hair. *See diagrams

  6. Eye base – a MUST! This not only acts as a concealer for the eyelid, but makes the eye shadows lastand deepens the colour!!!! I never, ever do a makeup without it. It provides thebest canvas to work on, holds everything in place so that it won’t sweat off with the dancing, or melt off (aseyelids are oily.)
    1. Eye shadow – At least 2 colours. I prefer to start with the darker colour, then use the lighter colour to blend and smooth. Use a small brush and work from the outside corner of the eyelid and follow the brow bone around. How far towards the nose you shade depends on how far apart your eyes are. Close set eyes benefit from keeping the shadows to the outsides, and the opposite for eyes set wide apart. Then use the light colour and start from the inside corner and sweep out, basically covering every other part of the lid up to the eyebrow. Make sure the very centre is this colour.

    2. Eyeliner – Black pencil or liquid - Make sure it isn’t too blunt. Liquid or gel with a brush is great if you’re confident enough. Start about 1/3 away from the inside corner of the eye, follow the line of the eye and out towards the tip of the eyebrow. Practise makes perfect! Then use a little eye liner on the bottom lash line, just on the outer corner, then smudge it towards the centre with a cotton bud.

    3. Mascara – Black. Always.

    4. Lashes – Keep it simple! No sparkles, not too thick or too long. Remember to enhance your features, not hide them. I use “Lash Grip” glue from Priceline, it’s cheap and way better than the glue in the lashes pack. Make sure you trim thefalse lashes from the outside end to fit the eye. I’ve never not cut some down. Apply with tweezers and cotton buds. Don’t use too much glue!

    5. Under eyes – Use a concealer that is lighter than their foundation, and either dab it with your fingertips, orsweep under the eyes withthe foundation brushand set it again with a little setting powder.

    6. Blush – UNDER the cheek bones to imitate a shadow,and therefore the cheek bone stands out, giving the face structure from the stage. Apply in stages as it’s too hard to remove if you put too much on the brush! Work it up into the hair, upwards along the hair line, anddab into the temple.If you have a highlighter (or just the white eye shadow) run this along the cheek bones to bring them out.

    7. Lip Liner – a MUST! Not only does it deepen the colour, prevent the lipstick feathering and bleeding, it makes the lipstick stay on so much longer! It also definesthe lips,creates shape, either enhancing or correcting the lip line....which otherwise we can’t see from the stage. See pic for working out best way to start.

    8. Lipstick – Using a brush helps to keep the lips a really nice shape because you can target exactly where you want the product to go. Then they can use it straight on their lips to layer it on carefully. Use a tissue to close the mouth on to get excess off and therefore less likely to end up on their costume, and they can use a clean finger to put in their mouth, close their mouth, then pull their finger out(wipe off what lipstick is left on the finger) ......graphic I know, but this stops it from getting on their teeth! 

Sunday, November 4, 2018


"Chase the light, 
whatever and wherever 
it may be 
for you.
Chase it." 
             - Tylor Knott Gregson 

We went into the nether woods of our family farm "Lucernevale" to capture some imagery to commemorate our twentieth year of Stepping Out Dance Factory.  We certainly chased the light that day in search for the perfect place for our dancers to frolic ( albeit in a paddock of burs. It's been a long, dry season.) Still, it was so incredibly nice for my two worlds to collide that day.  Today is my husband's birthday and it was at his urging that I started Stepping Out Dance Factory all those moons ago, pregnant with my first child.  Magic these images attest. Here is but a few of the beautiful images captured by Camille Nuttall, a Sydney based kid's fashion, advertising and portraiture photographer .  We will be using them and more for marketing moving forward into our third decade of making magic. 



The countdown continues.   Tickets go on sale from Monday, November 5th.  They are available in person from the Box Office at DRTCC.  Box Office opens at 9.30am. They can also be purchased online . We cannot stress enough the importance of getting in early to avoid disappointment.  In previous years shows have sold out very quickly.  We now offer a third show and also have alleviated the amount of children in each show by having our gorgeous little Angelina’s perform in only one show.  We know they will put their best foot forward. It is therefore imperative that Angelina parents purchase their tickets on the first day of ticket sales.

Performance Shows for Angelina’s are as follows;
Saturday, 8th December  2pm  - Wednesday & Friday 9.45am classes
Sunday, 9th Dec 11am- Tuesday & Thursday 9.45am classes
Sunday, 9th Dec 5pm – All Saturday Angelina classes
A reminder that tickets are charged at $35 for Adults and $30 for concession.  If your child would like to watch the show before or after their performance, they will need to have a ticket purchased for them. 

Costumes for Angelina students have been measured in class. An order form for costuming ( for Angelina, Classical Ballet, Performance & Senior Students) plus costume needs ( tights, underwear, etc) and SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE TSHIRT has been emailed to all families.  Please inbox Stepping Out Facebook page or email if you did not receive this important email.

It’s time to get really excited because after all of our hard work in class we are now about to step on to stage for our very first stage rehearsal.  Our stage rehearsals will be held on Sunday, 18th November at Dubbo Regional Theatre, Darling St.  The students are asked to please enter through the backstage entrance at Carrington Ave and mark your child’s name off the roll.  This is a closed rehearsal and only performers will be allowed entry beyond stage doors and area.
Stagecraft Rehearsals prepare the students for the correct manner to enter and exit the stage, the stage dimensions and other important features of Performance.  They are an important and exciting lead up to Dress Rehearsals and our Concert and are sure to combat all the nerves and ensure the performers are feeling prepared, confident and most importantly, very excited about their performance. Students should come dressed in dancewear and the entire faculty will be present on the day to keep a watchful eye over our stars.  Please collect your child from the backstage entrance at the close of their rehearsal. 

Times are as follows;

9.00- 10am Saturday 9.30am Angelina class, Tuesday 9.45am Angelina Class, Wednesday 9.45am Angelina Class
10- 11.00am- Thursday 9.45 am Angelina class, Friday 9.45am Angelina class, Saturday 10.15am Angelina Class, Grade 2 Ballet Monday 4pm
11am- 11.30am Grade 2 Ballet Monday 4pm Class ( continued)
11.30am- 12.30pm Primary Ballet ( both Monday & Thursday classes) , Grade 3,4 & 5 Ballet, Senior Pointe
12.30-1.30pm Intermediate Contemporary, Senior Contemporary, Senior Ballet Neoclassical
1.30- 2.30pm Junior Contemporary, Little Stars Jazz 4.30 Monday, Junior Tap
2.30- 3.30pm 8 years Jazz, Intermediate Tap, Junior Jazz Thursday
3.30-4.30pm 10 years Jazz, 12 years Jazz, 14 years Jazz,
4.30- 5.30pm Junior Hip Hop, Intermediate Hip Hop, Senior Hip Hop
5.30- 6.30pm Junior Musical Theatre, Senior Musical Theatre, Senior Tap

We will also be holding special rehearsals Saturday, 17th November for the following groups;
·      11am- 12 noon JET SET Junior Performance
·      12- 1.30pm JUNIOR MUSICAL THEATRE
·      1.30- 2.30pm 10 yrs/ 12 yrs PERFORMANCE- Hairspray

A copy of this note will be posted on our blog and a link will be on our Facebook page. A Hair & Make Up Note will be sent home shortly (all info will be available on the blog with a link from Facebook.)

In the coming weeks, we will also be sending home notes regarding our Dress Rehearsal on Thursday 6th Dec and Friday 7th Dec( we have decided to run our rehearsal over two days to ensure it runs more smoothly.  Angelina students will all be on Thursday 6th December, 3.30- 4.30pm. First half performers will then run from 5-8pm. Second half performers will rehearse on Friday 7th Dec.  As soon as order of appearance is finalized, students will be notified and we now invite expressions of interest from anyone who may be interested in volunteering assistance in the countdown and on the Concert and rehearsal days. Notes regarding Costume Balances and the organization of both Dress Rehearsal and Concert Day will be sent home closer to each event.

We are also asking if anyone would like to sponsor a page in our program or advertising space.  Please direct all enquiries to

Our 2018 Presentation will be at the close of our 5pm show for all students other than our Angelina’s .  Winkipop Media will be taking photos of all three shows.  Parents will receive a password to view and order photos online.

We understand it’s a lot of information and we thank all our studio families once again for the support and enthusiasm you are so kindly extending to us.
We hope you will enjoy the show as much as we have enjoyed producing it.  It truly is a magical and memorable time for our performers and we feel very blessed that you have chosen us to contribute to your children’s precious childhood memories.

Happy Dancing,

Rikki & the Team at Stepping Out Dance Factory

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Why is Dance such a powerful educator in the early years?

Why is Early Dance Education so important?
I started my dance school, Stepping Out Dance Factory when I was pregnant with my first child.  I had previous to opening the studio taught for other schools that all had their own values and philosophies.  My own teaching has also been greatly influenced and inspired by my own study in a Diploma of Education and my experiences as a secondary school teacher.  I wanted to create a studio that not only taught the fundamentals of dance technique but also more significantly aspired to educate the cognitive, creative and emotional development of children.  

Movement plays a significant role in the development of children and dance as a discipline has a profound ability to educate them and shape their world. I am fortunate to be in a firm position within my career trajectory having already taught for twenty five years as a dance educator, twenty years as co-director of my own dance studio and enjoyed a twenty two year career as a secondary school teacher.  Extensive experience in early childhood dance education and in the special education sector has also placed me in good stead to have a wide and varied expertise in educational fields.  Further to this, is the amazing team that exists at Stepping Out, all wonderful educators with extensive qualifications.  Miss Georgie possesses a natural and nurturing rapport with her students and along with her BA in Dance from the Victorian College of the Arts is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance.  Miss Emma is an energetic educator who along with her Bachelor of Primary Education also has a Certificate 4 in Dance Teaching and Management.  I have also completed additional study through the Royal Academy of Dance and along with my BA Dip Ed am also the proud recipient of a Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies. 

Our whole team are vibrant and enthusiastic educators who regard teaching as both a vocation and an honour.  As a mother of five, I am also highly aware of the need to address individual learning styles and to approach the education of children with kindness and consistency.  I am passionate about the impact dance can have on young lives and believe that we should be empowering individuals through safe and careful instruction of their hearts, minds and bodies.  Equality, diversity, openness, recognition, empowerment and inclusion are the cornerstones of my teaching philosophy.  We ensure that all children are valued, listened to and respected. 

My passion for teaching is probably best manifested through the teaching of young children.  The early years are a magical period of a child’s life and young children are in possession of an innate ability to move, express and create.  Dance offers the ideal conduit for supporting and igniting the development of their natural skills.  Children of this age are also highly unpredictable so teaching dance to them offers a reward yet challenging landscape to our own teaching and creative pursuits. 

In my nineteen years of parenting and my twenty plus years of teaching, I have noted that our children are growing up in an increasingly different world to the one we inhabited as children.  We need to preserve their innocence and unique way of viewing the world.  Preschoolers have the whole world within their grasp and my desire is to enrich and engage the magical and intoxicating years of childhood so we succeed in preserving every child’s innate sense to dance, create and express.

Starting Dance Classes

We are currently enjoying our first classes of the year and over the coming week will be welcoming many new faces to our studio.  This period is sure to prove to be a busy but extremely rewarding one.  Stepping Out is home to a huge amount of little people and we cherish the opportunity to introduce your little ones to the many joys and rewards of dance education.  We know that this is just as exciting and nerve wracking for parents as it is for our tiny dancers so I thought it was important that we all reflect on what this first big step might mean for our tiniest students.  At the core of teaching preschool children is our belief that at this magical period of time, children hold the whole world within their grasp.  It is our greatest desire to preserve the magic of childhood and ignite their learning potential through movement, music and imaginative play.

Our Angelina trial classes present a perfect example of the many little glorious temperaments that make up a typical early years dance class.  We have our shy ones, we enjoy the usually reserved ones who surprise their parents ( and themselves I am sure!), the super confident ones, the seasoned professionals ( third year of dance class anyone?!), the anxious ones, the overwhelmed ones and the ones who feel that their own choreography is probably the most fabulous, especially performed in front of that huge mirror and the silly teacher up front is just a distraction.  ALL of these unique little beings contribute something very special to our class dynamic.  I am in the very enviable position of having experienced many first dance classes and to this day, I remain in awe of what those first steps represent not only over the course of a year but in the bigger scheme of their life and how they will approach the myriad of learning opportunities presented to them over their lifetime.

We have been thrilled to hear news of mass excitement, sensations of butterflies and mad enthusiasm as we all await our first dance classes for the year.  For some of our students they will fling themselves through the door with confidence and ease but for some of our dancers, especially our beginners and our tiny ones.......they might feel more like clinging to their parents or nervous as to what their class will entail, who will be their friend and will they know what to do.  As a three year old, I was the very SHY one.  I clung to my Mum's leg.  I thank my parents every day that they persisted and realised I was just waiting for the opportunity to let myself open to the spell binding and magical world that is dance.

Your teachers are all excited and nervous too.  Stepping Out is also home to an energetic and dynamic bunch of committed teachers who know that along with the joys of being a dance teacher comes a lot of hard work.  Our biggest concern is YOU, our students.  We strive to create a beautiful and supportive environment where everyone feels welcome.  You are all very important to us and we have loved the opportunities to talk to your families, meet new little faces and hear about your goals for the year.  We want to dance alongside you.  We want you to have a haven for your creativity and self expression and most importantly of all, we want you to walk out our doors with confidence, self belief and a huge smile.  Energy is contagious.  We want to surround you with positivity and possibilities.

Parents, especially parents of little people, do know that for some children it will take a few weeks to feel completely at ease in a new learning environment.  It is overwhelming to suddenly leave the security of Mum or Dad, your normal routine and suddenly be in the spotlight in dance class with lots of new faces.  KNOW that it is very normal for your usually very gregarious child to suddenly turn very shy or the child who was up dressed in their tutu by 6am to suddenly be frozen and glued to your hand refusing to budge.  SO, if they just want to watch for a bit or there is tears, it's Ok, in fact it's more than OK, they are still learning and absorbing and bit by bit taking those first tentative steps out into the big world and next time it will be a little easier and a little less daunting.  As teachers, we have had the wealth of experience and the joy of many years helping our little dancers find their wings so we won't bat an eye.  We won't question whether your child is ready or label you a pushy parent.  WE trust and know that each child starts to engage at their own unique time.  It may be immediately or it may be the second or third week of class.  This is all very normal and encouraged.  I, for one am very glad that my parents persevered with my initial efforts as a fledging ballerina.


As mums ourselves, we understand and respect the enormous trust you place in us in the tuition of your children.  We are really proud of our dance curriculum and really want to show you that you have made the right decision in entrusting your child to us.  We do believe it is important that parents are able to witness the content of the class, our teaching philosophies and the knowledge of your teacher.  We know that the most enriching learning opportunities will arise when we have the full attention of your child and are allowed the opportunity to develop a rapport with them and within the dynamics of the class.  Children can be easily hampered by distractions and focus and discipline are important traits of any enthusiastic and engaged learners.  In 2014, we decided to place cameras in our teaching studios to ensure that we could enjoy the best of both worlds.  We have a monitor in our foyer that provides a window into your child's dance class without any of the distractions or differing temperaments that emerge when children have parents or siblings in the class observing them.

You are very welcome to wait in our foyer and be enthralled and entertained by your child's progress or theatrics but we are just as happy if you drop and go.  Trust that our goal is to have your child feel alive and energised within their own body and that we have the best interests of your child and the class at stake.  Even if a little one is teary, please allow us the opportunity to calm them.  Sometimes this special performance is just reserved for Mum or Dad.  If we can't settle a child after a short period, we will send for you.  OUR GOAL IS HAPPY CHILDREN.  Most times. it is less than five minutes and your child is skipping about and any anxiety is quickly forgotten.  If we believe that a child is not coping within the class, we will take your little one to you.  Please allow us the opportunity to get to know what works best for your child. We want your child to colour the world with their own unique colours and learning is all about discovery. We can't wait to see their unique world view and creativity flourish.

FOR OUR CONTINUING STUDENTS, it's ok to be a little nervous or hesitant too.  You've been out of routine and had a long break but your body will remember.  We look forward to getting sore with you and helping you to soar this year.
Together, with the support of parents, we will have happy classes of happy students progressing at their own unique rate in no time.  HAPPY DANCING EVERYONE.  We are looking forward to all the wonderful emotions the first few weeks will stir.
See you in class.