You Night's Signature Runway Empowerment Experience
The impact from the fall-out from cancer is far-reaching, and typically, the only people who can truly understand the on-going struggles, aches, pains, fears, and body changes are other survivors. You will hear survivors say that they want to be around people who "get it". This is the essence of what our runway training program is all about. We offer empowering group experiences to help women embrace life beyond cancer. Women who are given the opportunity to find their purpose and passion after having cancer can pay it forward to others who are struggling.
We know that women who enter our program aren't actually training to go into professional modeling (although many of them certainly should after gaining the empowering skills that would certainly qualify them!). Rather, what we are accomplishing is bringing women together to create an incredible support network that lasts long after the runway training program. Instead of treating this like a traditional cancer support group - participants get the opportunity to learn and grow, while also having fun and learning new skills.
Presently, we are accepting applications for women who live in New Orleans or St Tammany Parish. Participants are gifted with the empowerment program, made possible by sponsors and donations to the We Lift You Up fund. If you would like your city to have the You Night Runway Program, please write us.
A comfort zone is a comfortable place, but nothing ever grows there.
The You Night Runway Training Program is a six month curriculum (12 mandatory meetings/training sessions), outlined below:
MONTH ONE of RUNWAY PROGRAM
Meet and Greet / Get Acquainted Meetings
New participants meet for the first time, where they are joined by You Night Alums who are in attendance to provide guidance and support. Participants will get complete information about their schedules, and have the opportunity to get to know their classmates. This is the first step of an amazing journey of self-rediscovery.
MONTH TWO of RUNWAY PROGRAM
You Night's Candle Pass
Just as each of the participants are unique, so are their stories. The candle pass is a time for the models to reflect and share, encouraged by the support and understanding of their cancer survivor classmates. This special time allow the participants to really get to know each other prior to starting the runway training.
MONTH THREE of RUNWAY PROGRAM
Professional Head Shots
Our caring, compassionate professional photographers work with the participants to help them feel comfortable in front of the lens. Our team's main goal is to help women embrace their true beauty which comes from within. Our team documents the journey in photos and videos to help share the participants' inspirational stories which become treasured keepsakes.
MONTH FOUR of RUNWAY PROGRAM
Music Video Shoot and Professional Theme Portraits
Each You Night event has a certain theme that is carried out throughout the training, culminating with the night of the Runway Show & Celebration. Past themes have included "Fight Club", "Rock the Runway", "British Invasion", "Fierce Beauty Revolution" and "Treasured". Our video, photography and styling coaches plan a group day that involves fun group video and photo shoots centered around the theme. This is a bucket list day and a day to have fun -- challenging participants to find alter egos. We always say, you can't grow unless you are stretched! Click here to see examples of past videos our participants have been featured in.
MONTH FIVE AND SIX of RUNWAY PROGRAM
Professional Runway Training with our Runway Coaching Team
A core element in the empowerment experience is the runway training program. Participants work with a team of runway training professionals who teach posture, choreography, runway techniques and stage presence, preparing the participants for our main event. This activity challenges participants to work as a group toward a collective goal, with life skills they will take with them long after the runway show is over. This group experience forges lifelong friendships and a support network that is the essence of why You Night was founded.
MONTH SIX of RUNWAY PROGRAM
Professional Wardrobe Styling by Boutiques
Surrounded by caring and loving members of the community whose primary desire is to help our role models feel and look their best, the You Night ladies get glammed up by our partnering boutiques who help style the models in fabulous outfits that will be showcased at the Runway Show & Celebration. Each model will come on the stage three times, wearing formal wear, contemporary wear and then an outfit in line with the night's theme. (Pictured here: You Night team leaders Cheryl Dendinger and Rhonda Ebel at Jeantherapy -- one of our partner supporters who is showcased in our Grand Finale.
DAY OF RUNWAY SHOW
Professional Hair and Make-Up Styling
You Night is a collaborative effort of dozens of volunteer stylists, make-up artists, salons and boutiques. You Night participants are gifted with products and services to help them learn to love their inner and outer beauty. Hours before the runway show, the ladies get professional hair and make-up styling by area salons. This is a day of all-out pampering, where the love shown to the ladies is incredible as the stylists go all out to make each lady feel incredible.
You Night Runway Show & Celebration
Enter a room and walk a runway filled with LOVE! Your friends, family members, health care providers and people you have never met before will be on their feet cheering for you as you take to the stage. As the night unfolds, your fear turns to jubilation. When the show is over, you have reached your goal and have inspired an entire community. You didn't start off the journey believing you should be on that stage, but by the end of the night, you will see yourself differently. And then, you will want pay it forward to help others do the same.
BEFORE, DURING & AFTER THE EVENT
Ambassadors of Empowerment
As ambassadors of empowerment, the You Night role models elevate the discussion of cancer prevention, care and recovery. You Night models are routinely interviewed by media outlets who love sharing their incredible and inspiring stories. You Night models are often invited to participate as runway models at other area fundraisers, as our role models love to pay it forward to help other women.
I was skeptical. I thought, "How is dressing up in fancy clothes, and practicing walking and making silly videos going to help ME?"
I was so miserable that I couldn't see a possible way to feel better. I hated myself and everyone around me. A member of You Night called me one day and asked me to just show up and trust her. The last thing I wanted to do was be around a bunch of people I didn't know. It took me several meetings and practices to start to trust. A few people attempted to break down my ice queen wall and for that I am thankful. Little by little I could feel myself forming bonds with the other ladies. These are friends I would have never met if I wouldn't have had cancer. These ladies helped me see the positive of our situations. I will forever more have a lasting bond with them. Lately, I have been told by several friends and co-workers that they can see a change in me. They can see a sparkle that hasn't been there in a while. I have to attribute that to my You Night sisters. I was wrong about not needing this organization. I needed to be around people that just "got it." Watching everyone be sassy and confident has done wonders for my aching soul. So thank you, You Night, for calling me just one more time. I needed this more than I knew.
You Night St Tammany Class of 2017
"As soon as I put myself out there and shared my cancer story, my life began to change. I began holding myself to a higher standard.
This experience changed the way I view myself as a woman by absolutely having to ignore that fearful voice and start speaking and living my truth. And as soon as I put myself (my cancer story) out there, my life started to change. I simply hold myself to a higher standard when it comes to the way I talk about my cancer survivorship to others. And that new way of talking about me as a cancer survivor leaked into the way I talked to myself. I actually start smiling when I see myself in the mirror. With You Night experience I have made shifts in how I handle things going forward. I speak up when a situation doesn’t feel right. I stand a little stronger every day. And now I can breathe a great big sigh of relief and say, “Finally” – I am a women who understands and Beat Cancer! Thanks to You Night for the Empowering Experience!
You Night New Orleans Class of 2016