Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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Maybe Dreams do Come True?!?!

Guys. Guys. Omg guys. Remember that dream I had the other night?! The one about doing 30 fouettés?! Well today, after I was done teaching, me and one of the other girls in my class decided to work on our piqué turns into fouettés. So I went piqué turn, piqué turn, fouetté, fouetté…until I couldn’t fouetté anymore. And guess what?? I did 10. And then did 10 again. And then did 11. Holy freakin cannoli. And the best thing about it??? I didn’t travel when doing them either. Maybe my dream was good luck?! Hah!! I was so happy today. And the girls were so excited for me. I was so excited for me too!! So maybe my dream was bringing me good karma or good luck or something. But whatever it was, it made me so happy! I felt so confident while doing them today. So yay!! Hope everyone has a good weekend!!!

Happy Dancing 🙂

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Ballet Shoe Review- Part 1

Well hello there!!! It’s been awhile since I reviewed any ballet products. A few months back I received an email from a gentleman named Tim Heathcote. If you’re wondering who he is, he’s the CEO of the company MDM. They are a ballet gear company based out of Australia. Last year, I bought a pair of their new ballet shoes to try out. You can read all about them here. I was not happy with them and did not give them a good review. Soooooo fast forward to a few months ago and this email. Mr. Heathcote had read my review and wanted to send me a new-not-yet-available ballet shoe. What?!? Me?!? I couldn’t believe he had found my blog and reached out to me. I was super excited to receive these shoes. I had really high hopes for them. After all, I really did like the concept of the arch support in the shoe. I just wasn’t really crazy about the canvas material. Unfortunately, he only had this sample shoe in canvas to send me, so I figured I would still give them a try. Here are the pretty shoes!! They even came in their own little fancy box and dust bag. Loved it!!

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When I first put them on, I was in love. I loved how they fit and how they felt. The color of these shoes was much better than their first version. The arch seemed to really contour against my foot. I did a couple tendus at home and put them in my dance bag. I was excited to try them out in class. When we started doing tendus at the barre, I kept feeling my foot dragging, more so than it normally does. I also noticed in the mirror that it didn’t look like I was pointing my feet as well as it should. I was so disappointed!! I looked closer at the shoes on my foot and realized what the problem was. The shoe fit perfect everywhere, except right at the tips of my toes. There was extra fabric beyond my toes that was responsible for making my foot feel like it was dragging. It’s not too much fabric that I would need to go up a size, but just enough that it gets in the way. I think it’s because my foot is more tapered than the shoe is made for. If I had a wider foot with even toes it might fit better. I was so sad!! I really, really, liked these shoes and wanted them to work!! I think I’m just more of a leather shoe kind of girl. The canvas shoes just always feel so baggy on my feet. I never like how my feet look in them. I’m guessing if I got this newer shoe in their leather version, it would be perfect! I don’t think they are even for sale yet.

Here’s a few pictures of them:

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See how when I point my foot the shoe gets all wrinkly??

Overall these are great shoes. I love the color, the fit around the arch and heel, the arch support, the elastics come pre-sewn, and I love the little bag they come in. I know if this shoe was made in the leather version, with drawstrings to tighten the shoe, they would be perfect for me. My tapered feet need those drawstrings!! Hah!! When this shoe becomes available for sale, I would recommend trying it out. I’ll have to update you if I see them online!

Stayed tuned for another ballet shoe review. I think I finally found a good pair for my feet!!
Until then, happy dancing everyone!!! 🙂


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Looking Back…. And Looking Forward

I cannot believe that December is over already. This year has completely flown by. I thought I would do a little end of the year recap on both my dancing and running. Ya know, take a look back and see what I’ve accomplished and what my goals for next year are. I’ll start off here with my dancing and save my running recap for another post. So here goes!! I apologize for the the long post!

This past year has been a lot of fun. My dancing has greatly improved and I’m becoming more confident in things I never thought I could do. I had my first real recital as an adult in June. I performed in 3 different numbers- 2 lyrical ballet ones and 1 pointe dance. I really liked all of the dances and felt pretty good about my performance. I got a copy of the DVD from our show and watched it several times. I was able to see where I did good and where I needed to improve on things. One thing that needed improvement was my turns. All of them. I needed to be cleaner and more solid. I also needed to work on my nerves and my confidence. I needed to become more secure with pointe and trust myself more. I’m stronger than I think.

Summer session came and went quickly. I remember the first or second week into it we were working on pirouettes. Without even thinking about it, I started doing doubles. On both sides. What?! I had just struggled a few weeks prior with landing a double pirouette in our one dance, and now I could just do them! My teacher told me it’s because the stress was gone, and she was right! Ever since then I’ve been easily doing doubles on both sides and even starting to land triples on my right. Holy crap! I was so happy. My teacher was proud of me too, along with some of the girls in class. I have come such a long way! I remember my first few lessons with my teacher where I was too afraid to even try a single pirouette at the barre. Now here I am working on triples. I also started improving on fouettes, at least on my right side. I went from not being able to do one on my right to doing 8 in a row in class this week! I even received compliments on them from my teacher. I was so proud of myself. Now, fouettes on my left are a different story. I struggle to even get one. Hopefully that will improve with time and practice. I still notice that turns to my left in general are still difficult for me. I can do a double pirouette but that’s about it. I haven’t tried for triples yet on that side because I can just feel my body is not ready. My chaîne turns to the right have really improved. I’m becoming faster and more solid, which is a great improvement. My turns across the floor on my left have improved some. My chaînés are the best out of the turns on my left. I really struggle with getting all the way across the floor with my piqué and soutenu turns on my left side. I try every week, but just feel like I’m not improving lately.

Pointe has been going great. I’ve finally got a good pair of shoes that I can really work and look good on my feet. I decided to stick with the Gaynor Mindens in the hard shank. I could use a little tapered of a box, but don’t feel like special ordering every pair of shoes. My shoes seem to last for about 1.5 – 2 months before the shanks are really broken in. That’s where I’m at right now, but I’m not having any pain yet. I’m starting to fall off of pointe on some things because of the lack of support, but I’m still able to dance in them. I will probably buy a new pair after the holidays. My feet are getting even stronger and I’m becoming more confident. I can even do pirouettes on pointe now and I’m even trying for doubles on my right. I couldn’t be happier! We started working on the choreography for a new pointe dance and I love it so far. It’s definitely more complicated than last years. So far we have two pirouettes in the dance, one of them being a double! Wowza!!

My flexibility is still meh. I haven’t really worked on it much though. I have found some stretches that I do routinely in class now. I can now do a few things I couldn’t do before, but my flexibility still has a long way to go. I’ve injured something in my inner thigh, right where it attaches to my pelvis. It’s really tight and really sore, but I’m trying to stretch it. I don’t know what I did to it. Boooo.

Teaching dance has been going great. The kids are starting to know me and I’m starting to know them. I think I finally might know all of their names now?! Hah! When my teacher unfortunately broke her wrist in October, I was asked to fill in and teach some other classes too. I had a good time with it and the girls in every class were very helpful. We started working on one of the recital dances in the younger class and I think we finally might have the songs picked out for the the 3-4 and 5-6 year old classes. I’m loving teaching and have become more confident in myself because of it.

I also got to partake in a few different Master Classes this past year. I got to take class with Allison DeBona of Ballet West, Daniel Ulbricht of NYC Ballet, and Ashley Bouder of NYC Ballet. I learned some things in each class, and got to see other little future ballerinas from schools all around the Cleveland area. It really was a good experience! I’m looking forward to taking class with Allison DeBona and the men of Ballet West again in the Spring! I’m so excited she is coming back- Allison was a great teacher. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to take these classes.

Sooooooo. All in all this past year has been great! I’ve learned a lot of new things, got to see an amazing ballet, and had some good experiences in master classes. I started teaching- which I love. Overall I’ve become more confident in my dancing. I’m not afraid to try new things anymore. And I’ve formed relationships with the girls in the studio through teaching and just being in class with them every week. I can’t believe 2013 is almost over, but I’m looking forward to 2014! Here are just a couple goals I have for the next year in dance:

~ Land triple pirouettes on my right
~ Land double pirouettes on my right in pointe
~ Increase my flexibility
~ Improve my turns across the floor on my left
~ Improve my fouettes
~ Become an even better teacher
~ Work on making my upper body softer while I’m working my lower body

Do you have any dance goals for 2014?
Did you achieve any dance goals in 2013?
What was your favorite thing about dance this year?
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY DANCING!!!


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Teaching Update!

Thought I would give a quick little update on my dance teaching! I’ve been learning how to teach for 3 weeks now and things are going great! The little girls are starting to get to know me, and they are just so cute! My teacher is still in there to help me and take over when necessary. I’ve always had at least 2 of the high school girls in there helping as well. So far, I absolutely love it! I’m picking up things quickly and I’m learning to manage the little girls better. It’s weird to hear myself yelling out the steps! Hah! I’m so glad my teacher gave me this opportunity. I’m really enjoying it.

I found the song I think we are going to use for our Combo class! They are our 5-6 year olds. They are so adorable. And they all love being there in class! I just have to work on the choreography now. I’m still looking for a song for our Creative class, which is the 3-4 year olds. I have a song in mind, but I’m just not sure if it will work yet. We shall see!

I love watching the little girls learn new things. And seeing their faces light up when we do their favorite dance. And I love the hugs they give before and after class. They are just too sweet 🙂


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Back in the Saddle Again!

I love me some Aerosmith….anyways…..

Well hello there! I feel like I haven’t written a post in a long time. Yikes! I have been crazy busy lately and I’m sorry for the silence over here! My husband and I were out of town the past 2 weekends and this upcoming weekend is filled to the brim as well!

The first session of the new dance year has begun. Last Thursday was our first class back since summer session. After having 3 weeks off I thought I would be super shaky and a little sluggish, but it was the opposite! I got right back into the groove of things. Most importantly? My pirouettes. I don’t know what happened since our recital in June, but ever since then my pirouettes are off the hook! Hah! I struggled landing my double pirouette in our recital dance for months leading up to it. And now? I’m easily landing my doubles (on my right) and am actually getting my triples. I’m not landing the triples as smooth as I should, but hey. I’m getting around. I am so proud of myself! And my dreaded pirouettes on my left side are actually becoming a little easier too. I used to have to struggle for a single, and now I’m almost consistently landing doubles. I can’t help but think what a long way I have come in the last year. One of the girls in my class said the same thing last week to me. She told me “remember how a year ago you were afraid to come off the barre? Now look at you!” And she is right. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily struggles, but don’t forget how much you have accomplished. Hearing her say that to me totally made my night. Even my chaîne turns on the right have significantly improved. I’m turning faster and I’m keeping better control over my feet and body. I love being able to actually feel how much I’ve improved. Makes me so happy.

As for my pointe shoe situation… I’ve gone back to wearing my Gaynors. The ones I bought before our recital. They are the hard shank. I emailed Gaynor Minden and asked about being able to special order shoes and she gave me the go ahead. But, I’ve decided to hold off. Being $130, I just have a hard time spending that money when I have shoes that I can use, just are a little annoying. So that’s what I’ve done. I’m just going to keep wearing these shoes and stuffing a bunch of lambs wool in them. It gets the job done! I do have to say that my left foot is already really breaking in the shoe. My teacher thought the shoe was broken already. Yikes. Silly left foot. I’m not having any pain though, so I’m going to keep wearing them. They actually feel very comfortable. I’m sorry Gaynor for every cheating on you with Grishko. It was a silly thing to do. Just a moment of weakness. I’m glad we’re back together 🙂

Tomorrow is my first day of teaching! My teacher will be there with me, so I’m nervous, but not super nervous. I’m so excited!! I also have a 5k race this Sunday. Even husband is doing it with me! Who wouldn’t want to run and then get a beer and cupcake at the finish line?! I also have to find time to get my long run in this weekend. The scary 8 miles. It will be my first time going this far. Eeeeeekkkk. I’ve also talked to my teacher about possible cutting back just a little with ballet. At least until my half marathon is over. My little calves just can’t take it! We’ll see though. I love ballet too much to miss it. But I’ve got to listen to my body. So we shall see!

I’ve loved keeping up with everyones blogs. So fun to see everyone getting back into the swing of ballet season! Keep up the good work everyone 🙂


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Broken….

Well. My love affair with my Grishkos is officially over. They are already broken. After my second class wearing them, I was massaging the box area of my one shoe in my hands after class. I put slight pressure on my box and I heard a craaaaaaaack. And then I felt a softened area all the way down the middle of my sole leading into the box. My shank had cracked vertically. Like, I can’t even make this up. How the heck does this happen?!? My teacher said the shoe was still usable, but to switch it to my weaker foot. And that went ok. Then I said that I wasn’t liking how stiff the demi pointe area was and even after 3 weeks of working them, they were just too stiff for my liking. It’s such a change going from Gaynor’s to traditional shoes again. I’m just not liking it. Maybe it’s the shoes. Maybe it’s my feet. But I just don’t know what to do. Anyways….my teacher said back when she danced they would wet their shoes to help mold them to their feet better and soften any tight areas around their feet. So I thought this is exactly what I need! So we wet them and I walked around in them, stood in demi pointe and did plié relevés. I took them home and let them dry out. Except, I hung them from the elastics and I guess some water pooled in the platform area on my already broken shoe. This caused the platform to have a bulge area that did not allow me to stand up on my platform. Sigh. Like, seriously?? I think the pointe shoe gods are against me. Last night in class we tried to fix them. The broken shoe felt comfortable at first, but I noticed after we wet it again that the entire bottom sole of my shoe was super sticky. Like the glue from the shank sticky. My teacher was blown away. In all her years of dancing she has never seen a shoe do this. She had me do my barre exercises on a rug, only to find that this shoe was basically completely disintegrating. I couldn’t stand up on pointe anymore it was hurting my toe so bad. So, feeling defeated,I just decided to take them off for the rest of class. I couldn’t do any of the turns or center work anyways because of the glue on my shoes, so it was ok. Maybe my shoes were older and dried out? And that’s why the one cracked so easily? Who knows. It’s no big deal though. I will just get a new pair. I think I’m going to try to call Gaynor Minden and see if they can do a custom order for what I need. I need my size in a Box 3. I’m not sure if it can be done, but I will try!

Other than my constant pointe shoe problems, things have been good. My husband and I just celebrated our 3 year anniversary! We went out for dinner after work to our favorite Thai place. It was so good. So good. I like getting presents, so of course we got gifts for each other. I got 2 Sparkly Soul headbands (they are awesome, you should check them out. No really, check them out!), a book I wanted, a Disney necklace, and some I love running bumper stickers. But I don’t put bumper stickers on my car, they will be used for my running scrapbook thing I have. I got him a Star Trek shirt, Star Trek cups for his man cave, a Breaking Bad mug, Breaking Bad tshirt, and his own iPod shuffle. Now he doesn’t have to steal my pink one 🙂

I can’t believe summer is almost over. I feel like it just started. We had our last summer session dance class last night and we don’t start back up until September 5. While I’m going to miss class, I plan on using my free time to run, run, run. I have this half marathon race I signed up for in October to run. I’ve also been doing pretty good with the stretching at home. It’s almost a necessity for me since I’m running now.

I also have some exciting dance news! I will be teaching this fall! My teacher needed some one to teach her little kids (3-6 year olds) on Saturdays. I love kids and dance so I was like why not?! I will be teaching two separate classes, a one hour class for the 3-4 year olds and another one hour class for the 5-6 years olds. I’m so excited. I also will have a helper each time too. One of the older girls I already dance with and am familiar with, so that makes me not as nervous. My teacher said she would also stay in there with me until I was comfortable and got the hang of things. I can’t wait to let you all know how it goes! And if anyone out there has experience doing this, please, I welcome advice, ideas, or suggestions!

Hope everyone has been well. Sorry I’ve been so quiet. I’ve had a lot going on the last few weeks. We are currently in the process of remodeling our bathroom and my hours at my job have been adjusting to the new schedule. We’ve also been watching our friends dogs. So we have four furry doggies in our house! Yikes!! But it’s fun. Talk to you guys later 🙂


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I Think I’m in Love…Again.

Well guys. It’s happened….again. I think I’m in love with my new Grishko’s. One hour and I’m sold. Lol. I think this relationship is destined to be a rocky one though. As much as I’m loving how the shoes fit my feet, how they feel, how they support me, and how nice my feet look in them…rolling through demi pointe is nearly impossible. I learned this the hard way when trying to execute pirouettes in center on Monday. Even my teacher realized how difficult of a time I was having. I just kept trying though. That’s all I really can do. We work our feet pretty hard at the barre, so I know I’m going to break these in soon. After some research though, I’m learning that having a strong, more stiff demi pointe area on this shoe is what makes it such a good, reliable shoe. What this means for me?? A lot of foot strengthening is going to be happening! It feels so good to be working the shoe again. I love how my Gaynor’s felt too, just couldn’t get the fit right. Even with a hard shank I was wearing through them too quickly. And specially ordering them every time I need them is just too much.

So, needless to say, my first class with my new Grishkos was mostly a success. I’ve ordered some new toe pads that will hopefully help. I got the Pillows for Pointe Extra Long gellows. They have a longer padding area that covers the bunion and pinky toe area better. Yay!! I also ordered a new shirt. I couldn’t help it. Anddddd I also ordered this little stretching system thing to maybe help me stretch more?! We shall see.

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The I-Flex Jr.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!! 🙂