As I mentioned last week, I was busy trying to create my So You Think You Can Dance costume. It's tradition to have "celebrity judges" and Tina Voltsinis, Jennifer Balido-Cadavez and I chose to be three of the characters from the movie "Inside Out". Finding the right clothes and accessories was challenging. I wanted to look as similar to the character as I could, and my thrift store dress purchase was the right shape but wrong colour. I decided, in a last-ditch effort, to go to the fabric store to search for some material that I could use to somehow place on top of the existing dress to make it more realistic.
Let me interrupt this narrative for a reality check. I don't always write about equity issues in my posts, but I should. For instance, as I describe this process, I need to recognize that I am coming from a huge place of economic privilege here. I am able to devote time and money to making something that isn't essential to daily living. Some educators do not have this luxury. Back to the story.
I got a great deal on the fabric - $3.00 a meter. The big question was, would I be able to actually sew a dress, from scratch, in an evening? Other impending deadlines got pushed aside (sorry, pile of Grade 5 science assessments!) and I worked quickly. Here's a photo essay of the steps.
1) I used the dress I bought as a pattern. I measured 1.5 " around and used fabric chalk to mark the distance. Then I cut it out.
|Photo by son|
|I always get nervous cutting cloth - no going back after a snip!|
2) I matched up the front and back and pinned the shoulders and sides together. The front and back didn't always match evenly, so I had to get it as close as possible.
|Overhead view of the pinned dress (uneven bottom)|
|Putting pieces together|
4) I borrowed fabric pens from last year's fashion show supplies and my daughter helped me find a close-up of Joy's dress, to examine the detailing. I used both fabric markers and Sharpie markers to create the blue starburst design.
|Visual references help!|
|The toonie acted as a "blank center" for the lines|
5) I hemmed the bottom, reinforced the arm holes, and left the neckline alone.
My colleagues were also frantically assembling their outfits. Facebook appeals were sent, party stores were searched and plans had to be modified.
Is it okay if I sneak in another equity observation? Are hair spray paints only made for Caucasian hair? My friend's hair really resisted the blue but my hair changed noticeably. Are others limited to only using wigs? Thankfully my creative colleague added blue glitter to her hair to make it more blue.
It worked! As we dressed in the nurse's office / OSR room, we moaned about how our outfits weren't quite right, until we added some element that changed things around completely. For Tina, it was the long green eyelashes that transformed her into Disgust. For Jen, it was the oversized round glasses that completed the metamorphosis. I was tickled pink with my dress, and knowing that I made it all myself made it that much sweeter.
|Disgust, Sadness and Joy!|
|Tina Voltsinis, aka Disgust|
|Jennifer Cadavez, aka Sadness|
|Diana Maliszewski, aka Joy|
The staff and students seemed to really enjoy the performances, both the dance ones by the students on stage as well as the drama improvisational ones by the staff.
|Thanks Stephanie Paterson for this image of us speaking|
What emotions can you conjure up for our 2018 SYTYCD performances? How about a little JOY.SADNESS.DISGUST? Our Ts are so enthusiastic, it makes for such an entertaining and fun afternoon of dance, music, and appreciation of the arts. @tdsb @LC3_TDSB @AgnesMacphailPS pic.twitter.com/pZ7YxlNkwy— Diana Hong😺 (@wonderoom) June 12, 2018
SO You think you can Dance 💃 was once again a success at @AgnesMacphailPS . I enjoyed all the performances! Thankyou to our judges from the 🎥 inside out joy sadness and disgust ! @tinavolt @MzMollyTL @jenabee_c @LC3_TDSB #danceparty #tdsb pic.twitter.com/WUR9ciI7wc— Ashley C. (@a3clarke7) June 12, 2018
What does it meant to be the physical embodiment of joy? At first I felt it's being positive, happy and delighted with almost everything you see and hear and experience. After studying the movie (by re-watching it), I realized that the character of Joy isn't always joyful. She's driven, bossy, and focused on her own goals (to keep Riley happy, even when Riley needs a wider emotional landscape and realistic reactions to her current situation). We can't always be joyful all the time. We can't always be happy. In fact, I was pretty worried at the end of the week when we learned about a local shooting near our school that sent two young girls to hospital. We used the TDSB guidelines for discussing traumatic events with students and had some sensitive and helpful conversations. It wasn't joyful but it was a way to restore joy and reduce fear - and sometimes that matters more than getting work done or meeting deadlines.