If you missed the boat on the 2000 dance drama Center Stage, let us give you a brief rundown. This piece of cinematic gold follows a crew of freshman dancers at the fictional American Ballet Academy, focusing on one Jody Sawyer (Amanda Schull): a small-town girl in the big city, fighting for her chance to become the greatest prima ballerina since Margot Fonteyn. You have your token anorexic and “fat” girls, a bad-boy ballerino (that really should be a term), a not-too-shabby-looking best friend vying for our heroine’s affection, a fiery Boston-bred badass (a.k.a. the big-screen debut of Zoe Saldana), and the actor best known as Sandy Cohen (The O.C., we miss you!). The school year culminates in a career-making (or -breaking) performance in front of a sold-out Lincoln Center audience. This, of course, is part of the third act (spoiler alert): a dance choreographed to "Canned Heat" by Jody’s sometimes-lover, the often confusing and always-brooding Cooper Nielson, in which Jody stuns the crowd, literally changing outfits with the pan of a camera and pirouetting until the curtain drops! Dance Moms, we get it. Jody's transformation from a quiet ballerina with bad feet to hot shit left us Googling “ballet class, nyc” so we too could become a prima ballerina.
Now, we may not have Jody's moves—taking Broadway Dance Center’s Beginners Ballet class solidified that fact—but we can cop her nearly flawless, now-that’s-an-ending beauty look.
Let's take it from the top (by which we mean her hair). The classic ballet bun is shellacked to unfathomable tightness, but Center Stage did not miss the opportunity to cash in on the twisted-coif trend of the early aughts (anyone else remember being painfully jealous of Missy’s ‘do at the Toro’s cheerleading tryouts in Bring It On?). Jody’s chignon features star-quality cornrows and a cascade of scarlet ribbons. To get the twist, we suggest using three to four pumps of Bumble and bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil while your hair is still wet, followed by a combination toweling and air drying. (If you have curly hair, a quick blow-dry with a round brush could be of service, but straight perfection is not priority here.) Jody sports a left part, but the depth and side of your part will work any way you want to rock it. Pull out an inch-wide section of hair with a fine-toothed comb and, starting at the hairline, twist in toward your part. Holding the twist tightly against your scalp, bobby pin each one at the crown, then twist the ends into a traditional bun. Once secured, remove any unsightly bobby pins and give a spritz of Oribe’s Shine Light Reflecting Spray. Optional: a combination of sheer and solid satin shoulder-length ribbon. At the very least, they’ll add a bit of bounce to your stride.
Jody’s face is all about an even, powdered finish. Start with a simple moisturizer, followed by your usual primer, concealer, and (light) foundation of choice. Top it all off with Make Up For Ever’s Super Matte Loose Powder in your natural hue (or even one shade lighter). Avoid any highlighter, contouring, or heavy blush.
For the eyes, keep in mind that Jody is dressed for the stage. Everything is exaggerated so that even the bleacher creatures can admire her style. We recommend subduing her not-quite-black smoky eye and, like Jody, keeping the shadow on the top lid, venturing a bit above the eye crease and into the lower waterline. Both Lancôme’s Midnight Rush Color Design Palette or Tom Ford’s Eye Color Quad in Titanium Smoke are great shadow combos that will allow a spectrum of intensities in black or blue. Top off with a coat of Yves Saint Laurent’s Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils.
A defined brow is necessary to balance Jody’s bold eye and lip, but don’t go overboard here. A few strokes of MAC’s Veluxe Brow Liner should do the trick.
Center Stage's final dance is about being an independent woman, taunting and teasing the numerous men vying for your attention, so pucker up! Borrow Jody’s nothing-says-sex-appeal-like-ruby-red lip by drawing a clean line around your mouth with a Jungle Red Lip Liner Pencil from Nars and filling it in with Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 400 The Red.
To complete the homage, a red dress and red (dancing) shoes will be required.