Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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Miko Fogarty

Miko Fogarty is a ballet student featured in the documentary “First Position” that came out a few years ago. She is an amazing dancer. Very, very talented and has her whole life ahead of her. I recently came across some newer videos of her performing at a competition in Moscow. This video in particular is my favorite. She performs “Esmeralda” and is simply flawless. If you like this video you should definitely check out her other ones from this competition. She is stunning in each one. I cannot wait to see where her career in dance will take her. Expect big things from this girl!!!!


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Beginner Ballet Tips: Improving Your Turnout

Thought this post was really neat and very informative!! Thanks Kristen!! I will try these over break too!!

Adult Ballerina Project

In my ballet class, we’ve recently been working on improving our turnout, and I’m always looking for new stretches and exercises to help improve my turnout (in addition to working on stretching out my splits). Turnout in ballet refers to the outward rotation of the feet and hips.  One of my favorites is the frog stretch. Even though it looks a bit ridiculous, it stretches really well. NextDance.com describes the frog stretch as

 This is the popular stretch where you lay on your stomach with your knees bent, legs turned out, and feet pressed together. This stretches your inner thighs, which will help enable better turnout, especially in pliè.

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Nutcracker Love

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So last night was the highly anticipated Nutcracker show!! I loved every minute of it!! Our seats were amazing. We were right in the center, back far enough to have a good view of the entire stage. LB and her husband were a few rows in front of us!! It was a fun night out with them!! I know she was as pumped as I was for this.

The stage and set decorations were so pretty and very well done. I liked Act 1. It was interesting to see all these ballerinas dancing around in ballroom shoes. They were exquisite. It really shows their level of professionalism and versatility as a dancer. Their dresses were pretty neat looking too. Clara, who was played by Katherine Minor. This was her first year with Joffrey Ballet Company, so I guess her having this role suited her. In their production, Clara really didn’t do much dancing. She was the main character in Act 1, and appeared in all the Acts, but she only really danced in Act 1. I think she did a good job. Her feet looked beautiful and she danced her role extremely well. Scene 3, The Land of the Snow, was very pretty!! The snow falling paired with the exquisite music and dancing was really magical. The Snow Queen was played by April Daly. She was absolutely stunning. Watching her hit her leg extensions with all the snow falling was just beautiful. She looked beautiful and danced effortlessly. And her costume was gorgeous.

Act 2 was by far my favorite. There was so much pointe work being done!! Between the Waltz of the Flowers and the Divertissements, the choreography was stunning. The Sugar Plum fairy was played by Christine Rocas. She was my favorite dancer. Watching her dance was simply amazing. She looked beautiful. The choreography for her was perfect. I loved her costume too. She was the only one to do fouettés, and boy did she do a great job!! The Divertissements were so cool too. I loved them all. My two favorites were the Chocolate from Spain and the Tea from China. I liked the Chocolate from Spain because of her footwork and choreography. She nailed her role. And I loved the Tea from China because I also thought their footwork was amazing and their costumes were adorable.

The Grand Pas De Deux was just breathtaking. The choreography was so awesome. Both dancers hit every step and looked beautiful while dancing. This was such an amazing end to this ballet.

I have to say I really,really enjoyed this ballet. The costumes were beautiful, the sets just right, and the dancing was exquisite. Being able to appreciate the hard work and years and years of dedication these dancers have given really is humbling. Watching professional ballerinas is just so amazing and inspiring. So after seeing this ballet, I still stick with my feeling….. I am a ballerina. I’m an adult novice ballerina. They are adult professional ballerinas. I know I’ll never dance like they will. I’m not supposed to. I didn’t dedicate my entire life to dance from a young age. And I’m ok with that. I love the ballet I do get the opportunity to do. And even though my arabesque looks nothing like any of the ones I saw last night, I’m still proud of myself. Who knows what I will accomplish in my dancing.

I encourage you to look up the Joffrey Ballet. They are considered one of the top companies here in the US. It definitely showed in their dancing last night. I really enjoyed clicking through the biographies of all the dancers. I’m very fortunate that I was able to go see this production. I hope to see more some day.

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Today’s THE Day!!!

Today is the day!!!! I’m seeing the Nutcracker tonight!!!! I’m beyond thrilled. The Cleveland Orchestra is playing too, which makes this an amazing show. I read an article online that said something about Joffrey Ballet Company wanting to maybe continue a partnership with the Cleveland Orchestra!! That would mean hopefully more ballet performances brought to Cleveland!! I cannot wait to see, and hear, this amazing production tonight. I’m pretty sure my mouth will be dropped open the entire show in awe. That, and I’ll be saying hey, that’s a passé!! Ohhhh that’s Ana amazing number of pirouettes and fouettés!! Her coupé is amazing!! That pas de deux was stunning. My husband will probably want to strangle me by the end of the show. Hah!! I encourage everyone out there to go and see a live ballet if you have the opportunity. The costumes will be stunning, the music beautiful, and the dancing exquisite. I really wish more ballets came to Cleveland.

On another happy note…..only 53 days until Disney!! I can’t believe how fast it is coming up. I’m ready for some Florida sun, hopefully it’s not freezing when we are there!! 🏰🎠🎢☀

Getting the Christmas tree tomorrow too. Yay!!!! 🎄🎅🎁

Happy Dancing!!
👯👯👯👯😃


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Ballet Goals (1st Update!!)

Thought I would do an update of my goals. Ones I have achieved are crossed out! Have you reached any particular goals you set for yourself?? I would love to hear about them!!

My Ballet Goals as an Adult Beginner Ballerina:
(In no particular order)

1. Do a single pirouette on my right side.
2. Do a single pirouette on my left side.
3. Do a double pirouette on my right side.
4. Do a double pirouette on my left side.
5. Do a fouetté at the barre on both sides.
6. Do a fouetté in center on my right side.
7. Do a fouetté in center on my left side.
8. Do chaînés across the floor on my right side.
9. Do chaînés across the floor on my left side.
10. Do soutenus across the floor on my right side.
11. Do soutenus across the floor on my left side.
12. Do piqué turns across the floor on my right side.
13. Do piqué turns across the floor on my left side.
14. Do passés on pointe in the center.
15. Do an arabesque.
16. Do an attitude.
17. Do balancés across the floor.
18. Do a split on my right side.
19. Do a split on my left side.
20. Do bourrée and make it actually look pretty.
21. Do petit battements correctly.
22. Do échappes en pointe.
23. Do a grande jeté and it actually look decent.
24. Be able to raise my legs higher in battement développé.
25. Do multiple fouettés.
26. Do pointe in a recital dance.
27. Perform ballet in a recital.

Added goals:

28. Do a triple pirouette on my right.

29. Do a triple pirouette on my left.

30. Do a pirouette on pointe.

This will be an ever-changing list. I will probably add things as I think of them! And please offer any suggestions (or challenges!!).

Happy Dancing!
👯


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Whew!!

So last night was my dreaded Monday night classes. I only kept my pointe shoes on for 30 minutes in the first class as to not tire myself out. We did a really neat adagio in center to one of my teacher’s favorite songs. I loved it. And I did pretty good at it. Then my second class came. And ya know what?! It was ok! In fact, it was more than ok, it was great!! I’m getting better and stronger every week working only from center. We didn’t really do any new combinations this week, so that was a relief. We did however work on pirouettes for about a half hour. This time though, they were to begin in 5th position and end in 5th position, and you were to just keep going. I thought I was really going to struggle with this since I can’t really do multiple pirouettes yet. Surprisingly though, I didn’t do so bad. I could get to around 4-5 on my right and maybe 3-4 on my left. I tried really hard!! I think my teacher was pleased with me. We also did a piqué set across the floor with some pirouettes also. I did pretty decent with those. Kept getting a little twisted up on my left side, but overall not too bad. My turns were good this week too. Nothing out of the ordinary struggle. We worked on our grande jètes from second too. I feel like I did a great job on my right side. The teacher had us do them in large circles. One of the younger girls even said, “you’re like really good at those.” That totally made everything I do there worth it. To think that a younger girl, maybe 12-13 years old, thinks I did something like really good. Thank you little girl. That means more to me than you know!! I think my teacher was happy with those from me too. I used the whole floor!

This Monday went so much better than last week’s. I’m actually kind of glad I had such a bad lesson because I learned so much from it. I found myself saying, “attack!!!!” to everything we did in class. And I feel like I performed much better.

So, adult beginners, do not fear. Some days will seem impossible and not worth trying. Other days will seem like your best. You will learn a lot from those bad days. More than you think you will. I’ll leave you with a cool tweet I saw on Twitter this evening….

“Hard days are the best….that’s where champions are made.”