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By Vivien Victory
“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.” – Agnes de Mille
You don’t have to be en pointe to be an on-point pinup. However, the art of dance can help pinup performers to shake up their poses and bring something new to the stage. Here’s 3 simple aspects of dance you can incorporate into your next shoot or stage time!
Levels refer to high, medium and low points on a stage. When we walk across a stage, it is usually using high space of the stage: using your arms to frame your face, to hold a prop high, to fluff your cute hair. Using medium and low spaces of the stage in poses and transitions creates engaging, unique routines when walking across the stage during a pinup pageant. Ideas to show this range include: lounging on the ground with your knees popped (see below) or sitting on a prop chair, suitcase or box.
(Photographer: Say Cheesecake Photography)
There’s more to pinup lines than cupping your face and pointing a toe. Drawing lines with your hands accentuates and draws attention to areas – for example, running a hand down your side, peeling off gloves or tracing stocking seams. Changing these up can be exciting and work to show off a great outfit you have put together, or indeed a prop you are displaying. Lines do not only accentuate, but they also work in posing in regards to the frames or lines we create with our bodies. Take a look at the great Gil Elvgren illustrations, for instance. A long outstretched leg, crossing ankles, or a hand behind the head with your arm in a upside V shape (see below) creates a picture that paints a thousand words.
(Photographer: King Maker Photography)
You could have the most beautiful walk in the world, the most beautiful clothes…but if you don’t give ‘face’, it’s not much of a show. Giving face doesn’t mean being naturally beautiful – it means showing personality, light behind the eyes. Don’t be afraid to have fun, to open the opportunity for a not so flattering image to be taken. Don’t just stare into space. Make a real connection: pick one or two faces in a crowd to smile at, wink or raise an eyebrow. It can take a few photoshoots or shows to feel more comfortable, and less frozen – but don’t worry, soon you’ll be mugging like Lucille Ball!
The old adage is to dance like no one is watching – and with pinup, usually many people are really watching! Instead, move in pinup like you would a dance, and soon you’ll be as lively as a lindy hop.