Friday, July 30, 2010
So You Think You Can Dance is an excellent show for dancers to watch, especially if you are a late-blooming ballerinas. Often they feature ballet dancers, and they have to perform contemporary and hip-hop dances. I highly recommend watching this show.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I am so excited!!!!! Go enter by August 2nd, and come back and tell me your favorite thing from Anthropologie.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The ballet opens in the deep forest, where Prince Ivan is lost. Little does he know that he is trapped in the evil sorcerer Kostchei's enchanted garden. Suddenly, through the bushes he sees a beautiful firebird, her feathers as bright as fire itself.
He sneaks up on the Firebird, and captures her. In a frantic to be set free, she offers him a feather, which he can call her through whenever he is in danger, in exchange for freedom. Prince Ivan agrees, and the Firebird flies away.
Prince Ivan continues to try to escape the forest, when he comes to a towering gate to an old castle. He then finds 12 maidens, led by the beautiful Tsarevna. Tsarevna tells Prince Ivan that the castle belongs to Kostchei, who casts a spell on every passerby. Dawn is coming, and Tsarevna and the maidens must return to the castle, but not before sharing a kiss with Prince Ivan.
Even though he was warned by Tsarevna and the maidens, he followed them to the castle. When he enters the castle, a bell goes off, and an army comes pouring out of the castle. Emerging from the crowd is Kostchei, and Prince Ivan is realizing what trouble he is in.
Kostchei is trying to turn Prince Ivan into stone, but he is waving the Firebird's feather in front of him. The Firebird soon appears with the following instructions: he must search through the castle to find a great egg containing Kostchei's soul and throw it to the ground to kill Kostchei.
He executes the plan, and the Firebird, Prince Ivan, Tsarevna and the maidens were saved. In the end, Prince Ivan and Tsarevna fall in love and have a joyous wedding in the middle of the forest.
I hope you liked Wednesday's ballet! Come back tomorrow for Thursday's Inspire!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Recently, BallerinaBlogger from A Dancer's Days wrote an article on "Timing" Your Pointe Shoes. It was something I had never thought about before. I had thought about keeping them from wearing out, but never preparing for when they wore out. Here is the article:
"Timing" Your Pointe Shoes
That title is probably boggling your mind right now. :-)
No really, it's important to "time" when you wear your shoes and how long you wear them. Especially during summer camp.
Your shoes typically last a few hours. Mine have been lasting longer and longer as my feet have been growing stronger. It's important to know how long it takes for your shoes to "die" so by the time your shoes are dead, you have another pair ready to go. Believe me, you don't want to end up with a pair of extremely dead shoes and brand new ones. Can you say "ow"?
Ridiculously enough, that is EXACTLY what happened to me this week. Save yourself the trouble of learning this the hard way and take my advice! :P
Keep a notebook that tracks how long your shoes are lasting. Record every time you wear a specific pair and how long you wore them. Also put in notes about how soft/flexible they are. I would do this for about four pairs of shoes to know for sure what the average time-line is.
By doing this, you'll know when it's time to start breaking in a new pair of shoes. When it comes to pointe shoes you ALWAYS want to be prepared! I'd keep at least three pairs with you at all times. That gives you plenty of options depending on what your feet need or what would work
best with the dance you're rehearsing.
BTW: BallerinaBlogger wrote this article HER blog for HER readers, not specially for this blog. I had nothing to do whatsoever with the article.
BallerinaBlogger has been very kind and has answered these questions that I put together. Thanks so much BallerinaBlogger!
I got my first pair of pointe shoes almost five years ago. I was ten years old and was super excited! I was aware of those dangers as the teacher putting me on pointe had taught us a lot about pointe shoes before taking us to buy our first pair. And plus my mom had spent some time doing research about pointe shoes in order to know how to properly take care of them. I'm so glad my mom had gotten so involved with my dancing and although she herself never did ballet, she knows practically just as much about it as I do.
When you started summer camp, did you realize a change in your pointe shoes, they were wearing out faster, hurting your feet and ankles? Is this what gave you the idea to write this article?
The first summer camp I had ever done en pointe, I immediately noticed them softening faster and the many changes in their shape as they softened. Now that I have been dancing/doing summer intensives for so many years, I know what to expect and how to deal with my many shoes. I actually made the mistake of not lining up very many shoes before beginning my summer intensive and ended up with a pair of extremely worn shoes and brand new ones. They KILLED my feet! I was so frustrated and wanted to precaution everyone to come prepared like I use to. Really dead shoes tend to be more dangerous because you have much more flexibility in your shoes and it makes "rolling" over your ankle much easier. That could lead to so many different injuries.
Define "Your shoes typically last a few hours". By "dying" do you mean becoming soft, and the box begins to wear down? If so, when shoes "die", are they "dead" or are the done for the day?
Haha! Your pointe shoes "dying" is a term that dancers use to say "my shoes are getting very soft and worn". When shoes are "dead" they are DONE. AKA: it's time to store them away or put them in the trash. I personally like to keep my old shoes in a giant chest; it doesn't feel right to throw away something so special... And expensive! When I say "your shoes typically last a few hours" I literally mean that. I once had a pair of shoes that only lasted me 4 1/2 hours. It depends on how long you're wearing your shoes, your brand of shoes and the moisture they're obtaining. I couldn't tell you how long a certain brand of shoes lasts because every situation is different and every foot is different. It's impossible to know until you've worn a single brand and size for a fair amount of time.
Can you suggest a way to organize your pointe shoes in you notebook? (i.e. filing under brand, type, or feel)
When I organize the information (Which I don't really need to do anymore because I am so use to my shoes) I would write it out kind of like this:
Brand: Russian Pointe (Example)
Original shank hardness: (Pointe shoes typically come in soft, medium or hard shanks)
Shoes have been worn for: (Record how many hours shoes have been worn. You can record your hours each day and then add them up when your shoes have fully died)
At what "point of pain" do you suggest to start breaking in a new pair of pointe shoes?
Firstly, if there's a lot of pain going on down in those feet, I would get them checked out! There's a clear line between the "ow" kind of hurt and the "oh-my-gosh-I-think-I-just-
Breaking in pointe shoes is all about their hardness or stiffness. It also depends on how many pairs you want at once. If you want two pairs to wear at once, then I would break in a pair until they got getting slightly soft. So they're flexible enough to dance with in the center but still on the newer side. That's when I would start to wear the brand new pair at the barre.
It's really a process that you have to figure out on your own. That's why it's good to know how long it takes for your shoes to break in/what their lifespan is. Then you'll know right when to start breaking in the next pair.
Thanks for answering all of these questions. I've found the information really useful. Do you have any final words for budding ballerinas?
My last piece of advice for the day is to experiment. There is no harm in trying something new to find exactly what works for you. I myself have tried countless different brands of shoes. (No joke) Ask your instructors for advice/tips but always remember that it's your dancing career, your life and your body.
And lastly, I have a surprise tutorial for you........
Pointe Shoe Notebooks!
Unused Composition Book
2 pieces scrapbook paper
Old Paint Brush
Find an old composition note book.
Measure it across the top, and down the side. Make sure that you measure from the edge of the black tape.
mine was 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 inch. your is probably about the same.
Cut 2 pieces of scrapbook paper the same measurements as the notebook. Set the scraps aside.
You can use pretty much any kind of Mod Podge........I used Outdoor because that was the only kind that I could find in our basement ;)
Paint your Mod Podge onto the cover with the old paintbrush. Use smooth strokes, and cover the entire thing. Right before you lay the paper on, smooth out all of the gluebumps with the paint brush. Lay to paper on. Rub the paper starting at the center and working outwards. Smooth all of the bumps out. Over-glazing is optional, I went without.
Rip up two pieces of the scrap paper. Note: If you want to write your name on the notebook, do the smaller piece in plain white, not pattern.
Put Mod Podge on the back of the larger piece, and stick it to the notebook, wherever you want, smoothing it out from the center, to the corners.
Put Mod Podge on the back of the smaller piece, and put it ontop of the bigger piece. Once again, over-glazing is optional.
Monday, July 26, 2010
10 Reasons to Drink Water
Highlights for New Products
Tips for Starting your Day Off Right
(hmmmm sound familiar?)
Check her blog out, and come back tomorrow for Tuesday's Tips and a little (BIG) surprise!
PS: When I say BIG, I mean HUGIGANTINORMOUS. fyi
Sunday, July 25, 2010
1. What inspired you to begin ballet in the first place? Did you have an older sibling in ballet, or did you join reluctantly (like I did) to find that you loved it, etc.
2. How many hours a week would you say that you dance (in and out of the studio)?
3. What ballet figure inspires you the most, the strength of the Firebird, the gracefulness of Odette, the wittiness of Polichinelles, etc.
4. How much time do you spend researching and teaching yourself ballet tricks and tips?
5. Finally, do you watch your peers and older dancers for inspiration in the studio? If not, it's an excellent idea to. I have learned a lot from watching older dancers in my studio. If so, great! Keep working diligently, and you can become a really good dancer!
1. I have very simple rules to follow, so PLEASE follow them.
2. Answers only, please do not post to try to get people at you blog. I am more than happy promote your blog if you email me.
3. Please include you name in you answer
4. Please, be appropriate, nobody likes a sour-sport.
5. Copy and Paste the questions into the answers box, and answer from there this makes it easier to answer.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Hi! :) I loved the bag post I am so going to use it! Speaking of pointe shoes... could you maybe do an article about pointe for Wednesday's Ballet? Like, on how to get onto pointe and how to strengthen your feet for it? Because my teacher said she wasn't sure whether or not I'd go on pointe in the near future, and I really want to go on! How can I strengthen myself so I can?
First of all, I myself am not on pointe yet. I don't think that I have told you that yet, but I am not. I am going into my second year of ballet. Please don't think that I was deceiving you with writing all of these articles with pointe in them, because I have a lot of friends who are on pointe, and I do A LOT of research. Second of all, I can't tell you how to get on pointe, and neither can any student who is on pointe. It is a matter of strength, and how ready your muscles are. I can tell you that I am very sure that I am going on pointe next year, so there's hope! And, I do have an article coming your way! I got someone who is on pointe to write one, just for you! And just because pointe isn't near, doesn't mean it's never gonna happen. If you went on pointe this coming up year, you would probably break your ankle and never be able to dance again. We don't want that to happen, do we? I felt the same exact way you felt, and still kind of feel that way. I really want to go on pointe. But I am also aware of the dangers of getting them too early. I spend my time in canvas shoes studying the care of pointe shoes, and pointe injuries, remedies, things like that. You can strengthen your ankles and calves by doing your daily routine, and Pointe Strengthening Exercises, the little things make HUGE changes. Keep up the good work!
If you have any questions, go ahead and ask, and I guarantee that they will be answered.
Ballet Shoe Bag
Fabric-backed business card
How cute? I bought this fabric a while ago, and than I put it next to the fabric for my ballet bag, and it went well together. Turns out, they are part of the same collection!
1 fat quarter
1 yard matching FOE or ribbon
Sewing Machine (of course)
Cut a 7 x 22 1/2 inch piece of fabric out of your fat quarter.
With right sides out, Sew down all sides on a 1/2 inch seam, except for the unfolded short side. This is your opening.
your bag should look like this:
See the seam?
Next, cut the sides right outside the seam with the pinking shears. make sure not to get to close to the seam, or it might rip.
somehow my sister's "mimi" made it into the shot. that thing is nasty.......
Lay the ribbon on the bag lengthwise, about an inch from the top. Center the bag in the middle.
note: I put my FOE too high, so put yours lower.
Sew a vertical line down the center of the backside of the bag. Be careful not to sew the other side.
sorry about the photos..........i'm not the best photographer on the block.
Trim the threads, and ta-da! A ballet shoe bag!
Just bring the ribbon around, and tie! Fold in half and set aside.
Now, for the Sachets
Leftover fabric from ballet shoe bag
Leftover FOE or ribbon from ballet shoe bag
2 cups uncooked rice
Any fragrance used for soaps and such (I used Lemon Natural Essential Oil)
Fold the leftover fabric over about 5 inches. cut all the way to the top. Turn, and cut so you have a piece that is 7 x 5 inches. Put the smaller piece aside.
note: this is a 7 x 7 piece..........I cut it to big and had to take a few inches off.
So you will have a 7 x 5 piece.......actually a 7 x 10 piece, but it's folded in half.
Go through the same steps for the ballet shoe bag......but stop at the ribbon. Fill the sachet up 1/2 with rice. The rice is 2 cups, in a big bowl, with a couple drops of fragrance in it. It should look like this:
Cut a small strip (about 7 inches) of ribbon. Tie around your sachet as tight as you can.
Tada! You have a big sachet to store in your bag!
And now, for the mini sachet to go inside your shoe bag.
Leftover fabric from larger sachet
Leftover FOE or ribbon
First, take that little scrap of fabric that you set aside, and fold it over about 3 1/2. The scrap of fabric should be about 4 inches tall. If not, you should have some more fabric from the bag, and cut a 4 x 7 piece from it.
Cut your fabric. Go through the same steps that you went through with the larger one; sew down sides, cut with pinking shears, etc. This time, stuff with baking soda, instead of rice. If ballet shoes are left with sweat in them, and they don't dry, they will get ruined. Baking soda absorbs humidity, so the sweat will "disappear".
There's your sachets!
And lastly, for your fabric-backed business cards.
Scrap of fabric of choice
Pre-printed business cards
Pinking shears (optional)
Make you business cards. I made mine of of freeprintablebusinesscards.net. I suggest saying "Made by ______", a slogan, your blog, and a special message. Here is mine. I attach my card to every handmade gift I give to friends
It's ok if your edges are raggedy, it enhances the cuteness ;)
Put the fabric and paper together, wrong sides together, and sew on the sewing machine Try to get the seam as close to the edge as possible.
Done! Your business card is bound to be the cutest one on the block!
And last but not least, the wrapping.
Take you ballet shoe bag, and lay it down first. Then, lay the big sachet on top of it. Last, put the baking soda sachet on top of the big sachet.
And there you have it! A beautiful sachet gift set! You could even make them in Christmas fabric and give them as Christmas Presents! Or just give them for Thanks for Being My Friend Presents.