Teaching model behaviour

Sylvia Martens (left) watches students of her top model boot camp walk down a makeshift catwalk.  - Wade Paterson/Capital News
Sylvia Martens (left) watches students of her top model boot camp walk down a makeshift catwalk.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

Sylvia Martens is trying to teach aspiring models that there is more to modeling than just strolling down the catwalk.

On Saturday, she held a top model boot camp at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. According to her, the session was all about "building confidence and character."

"We do posture, poise, presentation, all with personality," said Martens.

Martens has over 20 years of experience in the industry and was once a catalogue model herself.

She said her lack of height kept her off the runway; however, she didn’t mind because her passion lies within teaching others.

The owner of Shine Models—a Kelowna business that specializes in scouting, managing and training local talent—said she was extremely impressed with the group of girls taking part in the boot camp on Saturday.

"Nobody has had any modeling experience, but they're just getting it. They're confident young girls; they're carrying themselves well."

At the beginning of Saturday's session, Martens asked the girls—on a scale of one to 10—how confident they felt with modeling.

"Many came in saying five or six. Now most of them say they're at a nine."

The boot camps are just a snippet of what potential students would be doing if they opted to take part in regular classes with Shine Models, which run in 10 week phases from September to May.

From those classes, Martens can often identify students who have the talent to get work in the real world.

"From the classes I see who possesses that posture, poise and presentation, then I use them in fashion shows, print advertising and television advertising."

Martens said that the modeling industry is one that has its pros and cons.

"It is a field that has good and bad. I look at it as, if you want to be a model, that's a great goal. But don't let it be your only goal, let it be a platform for something else.

"There is a negative side to the business as well, with eating disorders, drugs and that sort of thing. That's horrible, but it happens. I'm real with the students about that.

"But if you can let it be a platform to bring out your best, then that's what I'm here for."

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