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!

Top 2 Dance Daze Dance Boards

Want to guess what our 2 most popular dance boards are at DanceDazeDanceBoards.com?

If you said The District and The Cosmopolitan, you’d be exactly correct! The District is our board that is most frequently purchased and both The District and The Cosmopolitan are the products that people compare most frequently when they visit our website.

Now that you know what our top 2 products are, do you want to know why?

Well, the jury is still out on the exact reasons why (and we aren’t yet running any tests to study the psychology behind people’s purchasing decisions for our dance boards); however, we have a few ideas!

First, The District and The Cosmopolitan are some of our our largest boards that are easy to ship and don’t have extremely crazy shipping fees! (Now, don’t get me wrong–shipping is super high for our products because they’re big and awkwardly shaped! If you’re interested in getting a huge discount for our dance boards, email info at dancedaze.org ASAP!) The District is about 6 inches larger in diameter than The Cosmopolitan, however.

Second, these boards are easy to transport but, again, since they’re larger than our other boards and larger than other circular wooden dance boards in the marketplace at this time (namely, The District!), they give a decent amount of space for dancing, whether you’re practicing tap, ballet, pointe, or Irish step dancing.

Third, there are TONS of benefits in using our sprung dance boards, like reduced fatigue, reduced chance of injury, and a very slight bouncy feeling when practicing jumps. (Read more about our sprung boards here.) However, both The District and The Cosmopolitan give off great sound, and if you want to save a few bucks, The Cosmopolitan might be your best bet!

Why do you think these two boards are our most popular? Leave a comment or email us at info at dancedaze.org to let us know!

The Importance of Flexibility

I recently posted a few polls on the Dance Daze Dance Boards™ Instagram account asking which kind of dance education content my audience there would be most interested in seeing. One of the top-voted content choices, receiving 88% of votes, was information about improving flexibility.

As a dance educator and as a former pre-professional dancer, I know that many benefits come with improving flexibility. I’ve listed some below!

  1. Makes Dancing Easier

When our flexibility improves, so does our range of motion. Simply put, having a greater range of motion allows dancers to do more movements with greater ease (as long as our strength and muscular development progresses along with our flexibility). For dance and other forms of movement (such as gymnastics) that require a variety of movements with different body parts, having more flexibility and the ability to move more easily in a variety of ways makes it simpler for us to perform different movements.

2. Reduces Risk of Injury

If we are working on improving our flexibility, it is likely that we will begin stretching more regularly, thus keeping our joints fluid. When our joints are fluid, not only does this slow joint degeneration and improve our posture, it also makes it less likely that we will be injured when we are dancing. Flexible joints and muscles are looser and require less energy to perform moves. This means, we are less likely to strain when performing movements repeatedly or when attempting a new movement for the first time. We do not have to fight our body in order to achieve the desired look of a certain movement, and our bodies are able to withstand greater physical stress when our flexibility improves.

3. Improves Overall Health

One reason that yoga is so popular is that stretching gives us a more positive and relaxed state of mind. We tend to feel really good after stretching. Also, even when we are not dancing, greater flexibility in general allows us to better perform all physical movements.

In addition to all of the aforementioned benefits of increasing flexibility, I personally know that I tend to feel 100% better in my body every single time I stretch.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be aiming to focus my video content on simple stretching exercises that I personally believe help to increase flexibility and also help keep me going throughout the day!

You can catch my video content on the following channels:

Talk soon!

Saumirah