Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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MAY 30 Day Challenge Recap

Well, as usual, life got in the way of my 30 day challenge. Sigh. I was able to work on a few things, but not on others. Here’s what my goals for May were:

Ballet:

1. Stretch daily.
2. Clean up double pirouette on right side.
3. Clean up my arms in my dances.

Running:

1. Get myself to a steady 10:00 pace.
2. Improve my 5k time.
3. Increase my distance to 8-9 miles.

Well, I can tell you now…I did not stretch daily. Heck, I barely stretched. Most of it was due to my nagging calf muscle. Stupid calf muscle. I have cleaned up my double pirouette on my right side….just slightly though. I still struggle with being consistent. I’ve also worked on my arms a lot. I’ve cleaned them up considerably in the pointe dance.

My running goals didn’t really get to happen. After I injured my calf, my teacher put the axe in me doing any more running until the recital was over. With the exception of my Cleveland 5k that was. But in running the Cleveland 5k, I improved my 5k time to 28:06…..took 4 minutes off my last PR. Also in that race, I ran a 9:02 pace. Most likely a fluke, but we shall see. I was not able to work on distance. That will try to happen in June.

All in all, my May challenges went pretty well. I was able to achieve some improvement in both ballet and running. I’m looking forward to new June challenges.

How did your 30 day challenge for May go??

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Status of 30 Day Challenge

So now that April is over, I guess it’s time to evaluate how my 30 day challenge went for April. Well, I can tell you now, it did not go as planned. Getting slightly injured towards the end of the month kept me from working on things. To refresh your memory here were my goals to improve upon:
1. Stretch more, or daily if possible.
2. Clean double pirouettes (at least on my right for now).
3. Improve my attitude turns.

I started off with frequent stretching on my awesome new super cushy mat. Then I started to not stretch so much. Sooooo it looks like this one will be on the schedule again for May. I know, I’m a slacker.

My double pirouettes are still not as clean as they need to be. I’m getting around, but I’m coming down off of relevé still. With only a few weeks left until the show, I need to get these.

My attitude turns have improved! I don’t know how or why, but they are looking better. They could still use work as everything always does, but I’m pleased with my improvement.

Now, injuring my left calf has definitely set me back. I have not been able to dance for 1.5 weeks now. But the good news is, my calf is feeling better and I just have some residual tightness behind my knee. Nothing a little warming up and slow stretching can’t fix! I was told dancing and stretching may still be a little uncomfortable, but as long as any discomfort isn’t peaking or becoming worse, I should be ok. Yay!! The other good news? I was able to run! Just a little, but I was still able to. I didn’t have any pain or discomfort running, so that is good! I’m hoping by this weekend to be able to resume my running schedule. I’m also planning on dancing this Thursday! I’m very excited.

Hope everyone had a fun Cinco de Mayo!! 🍹🍹🍹

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New 30 Day Challenge

Soooooo I guess it would benefit me to jump on board with a new 30 day challenge. My other fellow adult ballerinas have decided to do it, so I guess I should too. Now, my first 30 day challenge didn’t go so good. I wanted to work on my splits and begin stretching everyday, and well that never happened. I’m not surprised. Hah! I was trying to think of practical things I know I could do. With all of my ballet classes prepping for our recital, we have not been spending much time on technique or anything. So I think I’m going to try for a few things this month. First up….stretching. Yes, I know I said I tried this before and it didn’t work. This just means I have to try again. Second….my pirouettes. I want clean doubles. Third….my attitude turns. They need to look better. I will aim to improve on all three things this month. With all of them being in my recital dances, there is no option. My teacher says I look good in my dances, but she knows I can give her more. So more it will be. I want to look good on stage and make not only her proud, but myself. So I will be working on these three things as much as I can in class in-between rehearsing. And I will just have to start practicing at home. Time to roll out the good ol’ ballet floor! My studio is closed this week for spring break, so instead of ballet classes, I will just have to practice at home. I might attend some work out classes there this week instead too. Can’t hurt to be more in shape. I have to say since I’ve started running my stamina has greatly improved in class. I can now push through my dances and not feel as fatigued or out of breath every time. Yay! I’m doing really good with my running too. Ran 5.4 miles in our local park yesterday, whoop whoop! I signed up for a 5 mile run this upcoming Sunday….yikes! Super nervous. I’m sure everything will be ok. Hopefully!

In other news….I think I broke my shanks on my Gaynor Mindens?? I know, I know….before you all say its impossible to break their shanks, please look at the following picture….

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These are the Supple shanks, but I don’t think this is supposed to happen? I can completely bend them in half and they make a weird cracking/ plastic rubbing together sound. It’s really weird. And where its bending in half is weird? I’m still dancing in them, but I’m starting to get big toe pressure/pain now when I’m dancing. My hard shanks I had were comfy to me and I was always able to roll through demi-pointe in them from the beginning….so I don’t know what to do? Has anyone else who has danced in Gaynor’s had this happen to their shoes? I feel like I can dance in any shank type in these shoes, so how do I figure out which ones are the best for me? Any suggestions out there??


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My Master Class Experience

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As my last blog post mentioned, I was given the opportunity to attend a Master Class taught by Allison DeBona. She was brought here by the amazing Jessica Wallis, founder of Ballet In Cleveland. I was so excited to attend this class, even though I was super nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, how many girls would be there, what type of work we would be doing, etc. I was so nervous. Thankfully, my BFF, Legal Ballerina, was also able to attend. I remember walking into the studio and seeing a bunch of really pretty, young, ballerinas. They were all stretching on the floor and at the barre in their cute little warm up outfits. I was immediately intimidated. All I could think was, “I can’t stretch like that. Holy cow, I’m not that flexible. Wow her leg extensions are amazing.” LB and I put our belongings back in the locker room and headed out to find a place to stretch. We headed for the farthest corner of the barre. There ended up being so many girls in this class! It was amazing to see so many girls from all over Northeast Ohio. So we stretched for about 10-15 minutes when it happened. I saw THE ballerina walk into the room. The lovely Allison DeBona had entered the room and was ready to get started. We were fortunate enough to have somebody there playing the piano. I had never experienced this! Allison introduced herself and we quickly got started. She showed us the warm-ups she does at Ballet West on a typical day. It was kind of hard to see her demonstrating things from where she was standing, but I tried my best to follow her. She would quickly demonstrate the combinations and also verbally say them too. I recognized most of the words being used, but struggled with the quick pace each set of combinations went at. We did basic leg work. A lot of tendus, relevés, fondus, etc. All the younger girls flew through them with ease. I struggled a bit with combinations. It was hard not being able to see what she was doing. I tried my best though! Allison would even stop the pianist mid song to correct things the majority of the girls were doing incorrectly. I liked that she did that because the advice she gave was really helpful.

LB and I weren’t the only “older” people there though! There was actually a very nice gentlemen in his 40’s there who had only been dancing for a year. A guy! How awesome is that! I give him mad props for putting on those ballet shoes and learning ballet. There was also a younger boy in the class who danced pretty good for his age too. I was afraid Allison was going to call me out for the mistakes I was making or for not being up to speed with these younger girls. But she didn’t! In fact, she was very helpful in explaining things and giving everyone pointers on how to better effectively execute moves. She was very poised and knowledgable. You could tell this girl definitely knew what she was doing. And her body?! Holy cow. She is so muscular and petite. All strength. Pretty mind blowing.

Anyways, back to class. After working at the barre, we moved to center and did a few adagio combinations. Simple ones like tombé pas de bourrée, pirouette or tombé pas de bourrée, glissade, jeté, jeté, jeté, grande jeté. She even complimented me on my traveling across the whole floor! Score!! We worked on grande battements in center too. I was actually able to do them as good as most of the other girls. So that was good.

At the end of class we took a class picture with Allison. I don’t have it yet. They should be mailed out sometime this week! I was able to get a picture with Allison and LB though on my phone! Super cool. We also got a autographed headshot of her too. Ballet in Cleveland also gave us some swag bags with some cool items too. The owners, and also professional dancers, of Food Barre were there too. We ever got a free sample in our bag!

Even though I struggled quite a bit with the class, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of. It was such an amazing experience. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to go. If you ever have a chance to take a master class in your area, I highly recommend doing it. Don’t be afraid. Even if you are the oldest one there, you will still take things away from the experience. Not once did I ever feel like the younger girls were judging me. I even got to talk with Allison for a minute! I introduced myself and told her that I was the one who had been tweeting her lately! She was such a sweet woman. I hope she is able to come back again some day and do another class. There was also a Q&A session after class where the girls were able to ask Allison questions. Allison’s mom and sister were even there! So cool. I’m so glad I was able to do this. And I cannot wait for season 2 of Breaking Pointe to air on tv. I recommend everyone check it out! You won’t be disappointed.
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Dancing & Running

My cardio stinks. Like, I can’t even get through our one recital dance without feeling like death, stinks. So the answer to my problem?? Running. Now I know people have always had mixed reviews on running and dancing. In fact, I came across this article today on Dance Advantage concerning just this topic. I’ve always dabbled in the running world, but never really stuck with it. Well this time things are different. I’ve already signed up for my first 5k in May and I’m hoping to do at least one more before summer is over. I have even been doing my running outside in the cold. Like 25 degrees cold. I know now that if I can get my butt outside now when it’s this cold and crappy out, come spring I will be ready to go and loving it! I commented on the above mentioned article about my thoughts on running. This is how I look at at. I’m not a professional dancer nor will I ever be. I take 6 hours of ballet/pointe a week and it’s just not enough for my cardio. If I run in moderation, I won’t be contradicting my ballet training. Moderation to me is running a 5k. The farthest I would ever train to run while also doing ballet? Probably a half marathon. And that’s only because I’m not a professional dancer. I can take more of a risk because my career won’t take a hit if my hips gets a little tighter.

So far I am really enjoying running. I encourage you to start a little running too! If you’re looking for a cardio boost to help you with your stamina in ballet, then I highly recommend running. Even if you can only run for 5 minutes. It will help.

The husband even let me buy some cool running gear for the cold. I got new pants and a few shirts to help insulate me and keep me warm while I run outside. Fun stuff!!

Do any if you run? Do you run and do ballet? I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on this 🙂

Ballet Pictures in Disney

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This was my secret project!!! I didn’t say anything before doing this on here because I wanted it to be a surprise!! So here are some of the pictures I did while in Disney that are ballet related. Major thanks to my inlaws and husband for giving me the time to do these and for helping take the pictures. Thank you!!

I didn’t get to do as many with my pointe shoes as I would have liked, but I got some good pictures in the end. I ended up being too shy to take my pointe shoes into the parks with me! So that is why I am barefoot! Hah! I’m hoping to be able to do this again whenever we go back some day. It was fun! Hope you enjoy 🙂

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