Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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It’s That Time of the Year!!!!

Wow. I can’t believe January is almost over. Time flies. It snowed a lot here where I live this weekend, and it’s been pretty cold. And to think at this time last year we were in sunny, warm, Disney. Oh how I miss that place!!! But anyways. With January comes “that time” of the year. The time of the year where we start working on our recital dances in ballet. We’ve been working on our pointe dance a few months now, and it’s really looking great. We’ll also be doing our pointe dance from last year too, but changing up some parts since we are more skilled now. TWO pointe dances! I’m so excited. I think we even get to wear tutus in our new one. How cool is that?!? We’ve also started on our Ballet 1/2 and Ballet 2/3 dances as well. Both dances have awesome music….I can’t remember their names though. The Ballet 1/2 dance is off to a good start. I feel really confident and comfortable with what we are doing. That class is definitely my more basic class. Last year, we had a separate Ballet 2 class, which was my most challenging dance (With that dreaded double pirouette!!!) This year the classes have been combined to have just two different classes/levels. The Ballet 2/3 dance is definitely more difficult. It’s chock full of turns right from the get go. Double pirouette, fouetté, fouetté, attitude. And then soon after that two pique turns, fouetté, fouetté, attitude. These turns are definitely kicking my butt!! But I love the dance and music. I am pushing hard every week to work on my turns. It’s funny… I can do several fouettés after just a single pirouette, but I’m struggling with pulling them off after a double. I think it’s just a matter of getting used to it (I’ve never tried them this way before) and being more confident with them. The girls in class are very supportive and are always pushing me to do better and not give up.

I help teach a Beginning Ballet 1/2 class, which is mostly 6-8 year olds. We’ve picked an awesome Irish sounding song that’s played mostly with a violin. So cool! The little girls love it and it’s so cute watching them dance. We’ve been searching for the “perfect costume” for this song, and I think we may have narrowed it down to a few options. So exciting!!

We haven’t started much with the teeny tiny kids in the Saturday classes yet. We’ve narrowed down their songs and have started working on some choreography. These girls are just so stinking adorable. We’ve had a big increase in attendance too which is just amazing. I think we had 20 girls in the 3-4 year old class and about 16 in the 5-6 year old class!! I’m doing really well with teaching them, and I’m becoming more and more confident. My teacher is still always there, just in case I need her. It’s nice because some days the kids just need some more assistance in class. Things have been going good! I am loving teaching the little ones. With my teacher being out due to her injury from time to time, I also get to fill in and teach the Beginning Ballet levels too. Which I am absolutely loving, when I get to do it. I remember being so scared and nervous the first time I had to teach way back in October. Now it’s just fun! The girls have gotten to know me and I’m (slowly) learning and trying to remember all their names. I think I was meant to be a teacher sometimes! Hah!!

The show will be here in 5 months. I just know that time is going to fly by. Pretty soon we will be ordering costumes, which is also exciting. This means I also have to finish my prototype tutu! I started making a tutu for us to possibly use in our pointe dance, but I’m struggling on figuring out how to finish it. I have the stiff tulle to put under the softer tulle, I just need to figure out how to sew the stiff tulle in the correct circles and then attach it to a brief. Should be easy right?! Hah!! Luckily my mom is an excellent sewer/ quilter/ crocheter/ any-type-of-crafter-extraordinaire, so I’m hoping she can help me. There’s always my mother in law and grandmother in law (lol!!) to help too. If this doesn’t work, we might just stick with using the classic black tutus my teacher already owns.

I also just got a new pair of pointe shoes in the mail! Just ordered another pair of my trusty Gaynors! So I have to remember to sew my elastics on before class this Tuesday because my old pair are dead. Like beyond dead. These ones will most likely not last until the recital. The dances we are doing are just killing my shank. But the timing should work out well to order another pair before the show and get them broken in just right.

Hope everyone in the ballet (and running!!) world are doing good! Happy dancing people!! 🙂

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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!! 🙂


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Cat got new shoes!!

Well I’m happy to say that curiosity didn’t kill the cat!! This cat ended up buying a new pair of pointe shoes!!! So maybe that does mean the curiosity killed me?!? Hah!! The awesome owner of the store was my fitter, and man does she do a great job!! We tried on several pairs of Blochs, none of which I was completely happy with. We then tried on Grishko 2007’s. I was a little uneasy at first, but I ended up liking them. She agreed with me that my Gaynors just weren’t cutting it. I needed more of a tapered box and because my feet are so big Gaynor doesn’t make a box 3 in my size. So I was very sad to hear this. She also cringed at the fact that I was wearing a supple shank. She said those did not offer me any where near the correct support that my feet require. She told me I have very strong feet and need something that is going to support my arch. I completely agreed and gave the Grishko shoes a chance. The Grishko ProFlex was not even an option for me because of how the shank is already broken in. It’s not strong enough for me. The 2007 was a good fit. The shank is a Medium. I’m a little concerned at how stiff the shoe feels, but was assured I will easily be able to break it in. It was so weird having a traditional pointe shoe back on. My feet were definitely sore from not having a “normal” shoe. While I will sadly miss how comfortable the Gaynors are, I’m excited to really work my feet again. I hope I don’t tear them up too much. I actually like my feet lol! I thought about trying to special order a pair of Gaynors, but the lady who fitted me said they typically cannot accommodate my type of order. They just don’t have the molds for it. So who knows. All I know is I’m excited, yet nervous to try my new shoes. I have class tomorrow, so I’m very anxious!! My teacher really liked the way they looked on my feet, and so did the girls from my studio who were with me. I’m also going to try using a toe spacer, as recommended by my fitter and another fellow ballet blogger. It’s so nice to have this community of support when you have questions and problems like this! It’s nice knowing you’re not alone in this battle! So thank you!!

In other quick news….

I’m back and running!! Yay!! I successfully ran 7.3 miles this week with no calf pain or problems! I had just a little residual tightness that my neighbor massaged out for me. I’m so excited. It feels so good to be running again. I’m loving my Brooks running shoes. They are a perfect fit for me. I’ve started my training for my first half marathon too. Taking it slow and easy!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did 🙂
Here’s a picture of my new pointe shoes!

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Grishko 2007
Size 7 XXXXX
Medium Shank


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Curiosity Killed the Cat

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You know the saying….curiosity killed the cat. Well, tomorrow I will be said cat. Even though my Gaynor’s have been treating me pretty darn well, I can’t help but be curious. I have the desire to try on pointe shoes again. I know I’m probably crazy for doing this, but I just have to. Since I was fitted for my first pointe shoes, I’ve learned a lot about my feet. Who would have known there were so many details in your feet?!? My current pointe shoes, my Gaynor Mindens, aren’t really giving me too many issues. The only problem I’ve been having is pain on both my big toes again. This has caused me to start stuffing lambs wool in both shoes. It wasn’t bad at first, but now it’s driving me crazy. I’m having a harder time feeling the floor now. And it just starts to bunch up once my feet start sweating. Sigh. I don’t get blisters or any bruised toe nails, so I know I shouldn’t be complaining. But since getting to know how my little (or quite large) feet respond to being on pointe in different shoes, shanks, widths, etc. I’m curious to try on some traditional shoes. Luckily my teacher and a few girls from class are going tomorrow, so I will go with them! This will be the second time I’ve tried on pointe shoes with my teacher there with me. I’m excited! I’m excited to see the other girls try on shoes too. It will be fun. Who knows if I will find anything I like. Probably not, but who knows! 🙂


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Bruises from Running??

Ugh. This is how I feel right now. Just ugh. I’ve been having problems with my left calf now for a couple of weeks. Last Sunday, not in yesterday, but as over a week ago, I attempted to go running. I was scheduled to run 5 miles. I ran them, but was in pain the entire time and had to keep stopping. It felt like I strained it maybe? Or it’s just being overused? Then I woke up the next day with this:

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Yes that’s a huge bruise. Except I didn’t hit it off anything. I simply ran. I’ve had this happen before on my thighs/hips from just stretching for dance, too. It appears more like broken blood vessels. Not good. I’ve had this bruise on my calf now for over a week. I tried to run again on Saturday, another 5 miles, and had the same pain/problems. After attempting to run, I’ve been having strange sensations in my left leg. Almost like a cold sensation starting from around the bruised area going down into my foot. Weird. My leg isn’t a different color either. I’ve been wearing a compression sock on it today, and when I take it off that cold feeling comes back. As long as it’s in the sock, it feels better. Who knows. I’ve decided to go see a doctor tonight though. I’m hoping nothing serious is wrong. I think I’m mildly anemic, so maybe it has something to do with this? I’m also resting this week from everything…running and dancing. It sucks, but I have to give my calf a chance to heal. I’m just hoping that this bruising problem isn’t what’s causing the discomfort I’ve been having when trying to run. I’ll keep you posted!

On a positive note….my new pointe shoes are working out perfectly! I’ve actually decided to only wear my hard shank on my left foot and keep the broken in supple shank on my right foot. It’s working…but my right foot needs a little more support still. So after I figure out my calf problem, I’m going to try the hard shank shoe on my right foot. Our recital dance is coming along beautifully. We even get the opportunity to add some of our own choreography with a partner for a couple of counts in the dance! So exciting and fun! I have some good ideas for my partner and I’s part, I’m hoping we can use them!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I think the weather has finally broken here in Cleveland. No more crappy cold weather! Bring on Spring!! 💐🌸🌷☀☔⛅