What Makes Dance Daze Dance Boards Different

As a small business, there are many things that differentiate us from bigger companies out there that are producing dance boards.

As a company that was co-founded during one of the craziest years ever–2020 if it needs to be named–our business is extra special.

Our business was born out of a genuine desire to positively impact the world during a time of duress, uncertainty, and the onset of a pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, our co-founder Saumirah McWoodson immediately began creating free educational content for kids, adults, and anyone who had an internet connection. Saumirah knows that when it feels like the world is spinning out of control, she has the ability to create her own sense of stability and structure. So, in addition to supporting children in continuing to study dance and spreading positivity, she wanted to help to create a regular structure and give both her (then, newly virtual) students and herself a stable foundation on which to stand in unprecedented times.

Seeing Saumirah’s hard work and also the joy which dancing around the house or outside, reading educational books to children, and renting studio space to record full-length dance classes for kids inspired her partner Jeff to want to get involved and to support Saumirah’s efforts. He offered to make a quality dance board that she could use inside or outside and wherever she was creating content and dance videos to share with others.

Today, we still handpick each piece of wood ourselves. We either rent a truck or drive the wood home in Jeff’s Jeep. Each board is then cut with our own tools, painted and glossed by hand, then driven to our favorite mail delivery store so that it can be packed and shipped to your door.

We are familiar with the pattern of each piece of wood. We know the places where the wood is darker is lighter. We look at each letter of paint and decide if it needs an extra coat or if it’s ready to be left to dry.

Maybe it won’t always be this way. One day, we hope to have a team of people who create each Dance Daze Dance Board and who examine each board with as much care and thoughtfulness as we do, admiring each individual board as its own work of art.

But for now, it’s still just Saumirah and Jeff.

And that, friends, is what makes Dance Daze Dance Boards different from the rest.

What makes YOU different? Drop a comment and let us know!

Be sure to check out DanceDazeDanceBoards.com to see what we are up to!

Using Your Dance Daze Dance Board for Photo Shoots

Have you ever had your own photo shoot, where you were the model, photographer, lighting director, and stylist? 

Dance Daze Dance Boards Co-founder Saumirah McWoodson does this all the time.

Keep reading for some tips about how to use your Dance Daze Dance Board in your own photo shoot, with just you, your board, and your phone!

#1: Prepare all your materials in advance. When planning a solo photo shoot, Saumirah likes to get out everything she needs so that she can be efficient with her time (and also so that she can simply get the shoot done quickly, because people may be watching!). Saumirah typically gets out the following items for a solo photo shoot:

  1. iPhone
  2. Tripod (Did you know they have tripods made exclusively to hold cell phones? They are only about $20 for a really basic one on Amazon.com.)
  3. Small, folding tables (Saumirah uses 1 or 2 dinner trays because she always has these at home, they’re lightweight, and can be easily taken outside or placed in the backseat of a car.)
  4. Outfits (An easy way to “change” outfits is to wear all black or all white, styled with bold, colorful jewelry and a bright sweater, statement jacket, or hat that can easily make it seem like you’ve changed your entire ensemble, when you’ve only changed a single clothing item.)

#2: Find the best lighting. Saumirah’s favorite place to take photos is outside on her front lawn! She likes to do this anytime between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm. Yes, this happens to be the hottest time of the day, which isn’t pleasant. Some people prefer to NOT take photos directly in the sun and to sometimes use a simple reflector device to create the best lighting. But since Saumirah likes to keep things simple, she typically likes to face the sun so that in captures her natural glow. When facing directly into the sun; however, take note of how it may be reflecting on your face or clothing! (If you are wearing makeup for your solo photo shoot, you may want to keep face powder on hand to aid in blocking out some of the sunlight that may show directly on your face.)

#3: Play with your angles. Since you’ll likely be doing a dance-related photo shoot if you’re on your Dance Daze Dance Board, Saumirah recommends playing with different arm positions, showcasing different positions of the legs (even when that means showing off your foot that isn’t the most arched or your leg that doesn’t have the highest extension!), and even showing off different shoes in close up photos. If you’re doing your solo photo shoot outside, be aware of where your body may be casting shadows on your legs or other body parts. (Saumirah has ended up deleting many photos because she was casting a shadow on her face with the position of her arms.)

#4: Take your time. And user your phone’s timer. It is common for Saumirah to take anywhere from 10 to 20 shots in the same pose to try to get 3 to 5 that she LOVES! Even though it can be time-consuming, after each photo, she typically looks at the picture to analyze what she likes or doesn’t like about it. For example, she will pay attention to whether or not her legs or dance shoes are covered by a shadow; she will take note of whether or not the merchandise (i.e., a DDDB shirt or hoodie) is bunched up in a way that doesn’t showcase it in the best way, etc. Typically, taking about 20 photos, using the 10-second timer on her iPhone, will only take a few minutes.

#5: Have fun! What’s better than being completely in your own world, twirling around on your Dance Daze Dance Board, and taking photos?! Sometimes, absolutely nothing is more fun. So enjoy it, friend!

Where to Use Dance Daze Dance Boards

Do you want to be able to practice your dancing absolutely anywhere? With Dance Daze Dance Boards, you absolutely can!

If you follow Dance Daze Dance Boards Co-founder Saumirah McWoodson on Instagram, you probably already know that she loves using her dance boards outside.

She loves taking photos in the natural light and not having to worry about clearing a space inside to practice non-traveling turns or jumps.

But one of the best things about Dance Daze Dance Boards is that they can be used anywhere you might want to get moving and grooving.

Dance Daze Dance Boards can be comfortably used on a variety of surfaces (even on surfaces that are not entirely level!), including:

  • Carpet
  • Grass
  • Hard wood
  • Tile
  • Linoleum
  • Sidewalk
  • Asphalt
  • Cement
  • And more!

Since we create our boards in sunny California, we haven’t yet tried using them in snow. Maybe you’ll be the first to test this out for us?! If you do, be sure to tag us on Instagram: @DanceDazeDanceBoards and to use the following tags on social media: #DanceDazeDanceBoards + #DancingColorfully.

We love creating, exploring, spreading joy, and dancing anywhere and everywhere along this journey of life with you!

Chat soon, friends!

Why We Created the Dance Daze Dance Board

There are so many terrible things in the world, but we wanted to focus on the good.

We created the Dance Daze Dance Board because we want to celebrate life and do all the things that bring us joy. We want to create memories of dancing outdoors, laughing and twirling in the sun, using all the colors to create something good and wholesome, and we want to share all of that goodness with you.

Our product is good, yes. It’s made by hand with quality materials, including FSC Certified wood that comes only from sustainable forests. We take our time and examine each product individually before we mail it out.

We work to have quality customer service, as well. We try to respond to emails and social media messages in a timely manner. We update our product descriptions as needed and make sure that different areas of our website are up and running as expected.

But we didn’t want to just create a quality product or start a business that has great customer service. If that was the goal, we could be selling essential oils or jewelry or candles or anything else that there is to slap a label on and sell in this world.

We wanted to create a company that captures the essence of Dance Daze, Inc., which Dance Daze Dance Boards Co-founder Saumirah McWoodson began in 2010. We wanted to inspire hope, challenge you to dream bigger, and support the idea that the world can be a safe space for wishing and dancing.

We wanted to create a product that screamed with color and spoke to celebrating differences of thought and diverse people and experience.

We wanted to impact the world with positive change.

We wanted to be a spark of bright color in a sometimes dreary world.

So that’s a little bit about why we created this product. Maybe it’s not the story you expected, but it’s the one that’s true!

More to come!

Straddle Stretch Forever

In an effort to keep my digital content focused on what my audience wants to see and to encourage myself to keep to routines that make me feel great physically, I’ll be focusing on stretching for a while!

When it comes to stretching, you should know that I like to keep it simple. There are a few stretches that I’ve been doing since childhood that still serve me well. One of these is the straddle stretch. This is my go-to stretch when I’m at home and feeling a bit antsy in the evening or after I’ve just entered a dance class and want to stake my claim to some space in the studio (typically a place at the barre where I can see myself dancing from more than 1 angle, or where I’m at the end so I can follow someone if needed, then challenge myself and use my good ol’ memory skills the rest of the time.)

To perform a straddle stretch, sit down on the floor in an open space, with your legs spread apart so that you can feel a stretch in your inner thigh. Be sure that your knees are facing up toward the ceiling and not rolling inward.

While sitting in the straddle stretch position, I like to point and flex my feet, focusing especially on holding the flexed position so that I get a good stretch behind my knees.

I also like to reach my arms forward, to deepen the stretch of my inner thighs. I then relax my head and neck and hold that position for several seconds.

To focus on one leg at a time, I like to tilt my torso all the way to one side, either touching the side of my torso to my leg or by lifting my arms (into a ballet high fifth position) and twisting my torso so that my chest goes toward my knee.

Should we do a straddle stretch every day for the next week?

Let’s do it.

Saumirah