Hello Everyone! I am hoping to add more tips and tricks posts to my blog as we go along as I think that these will/would be valuable resources to dancers and what better way to get the information out there than putting it online. I feel that the more information that is available the better and I would like to share some of the things that I have learned over the years that has really helped me when dancing with a veil. So let’s begin turning that fabric into your best friend instead of your worst enemy! Here are my tips and tricks for dancing with a veil.
– Static guard. This is your bestest friend. You may think that there is no static in the air but I can guarantee you if that it exists, your veil will find it. Then it will stick to your costume, your hair, your arms and lastly, your lipstick. If you’re afraid of using static guard spray you can also store your veil in a ziplock bag with a dryer sheet. Not only will it help with static but it’ll also keep it smelling fresh when dealing with hookah bar gigs.
– Weight matters. This matters only when it comes to silk. The weight of your veil whether it is silk or another fabric will change how you dance with it and how it moves. There is no “bad” weight, it is all a matter of preference. Try out a few and see what works best for you.
– 3 yards at least. 3 yards may seem like a lot of fabric but when you are trying to wrap yourself in your veil or create shapes, you need those yards. I have some 4 yard veils and I have even been known to use about 9, like in the performance below.
– Speaking of weight. When you are first training your arms to handle and work with a veil, it can help to practice with a heavier veil than you intend to use for your show. Take a piece of satin and use that to make your shapes. It will be an arm workout for sure and maybe it doesn’t look as pretty as your silk but you will find your movements will work a lot better with your silk veil once you get back to it.
– No Wrinkles. Just no. Don’t do it. Don’t make it weird. If it’s in between gigs, I get it, it happens but not on a stage. Use the shower steam if you have to, borrow an iron. Just please smooth out your veil!
– Hems are a thing. Until I started ordering silk online I’d never paid attention to the hems of my veils and the differences. There is a fold over hem that is laid flat and there is also a rolled hem that has an edge. One is not better than the other. Rolled hem is sometimes easier to work with than a flat hem. If you see a description that says a rolled hem, don’t worry, it’s OK.
– Experiment. There is no one way to hold a veil or work with a veil. Try creating your own shapes and patterns. Figure out how to allow the fabric to speak for you and add to your music and performance.
Always remember that a prop should be additive, not subtractive. If you feel stressed using something in a performance, put it to the side, continue to work on it and come back to it later. There’s no harm in taking your time. I hope that some of these tips and tricks for dancing with a veil have helped your journey. If you have a few to add of your own, feel free to do so in the comments below!