Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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And the nerves set in!!

Sooooooo my recital is this Sunday. And I’m so nervous. Like waaaaay more nervous than last year. Our dances are so much more difficult this year. I just want to look good and land all my turns. Is that too much to ask?!? Hah! I know in the end, I’ll end up being ok, but I’m still nervous. I’ll try to take some pictures from rehearsal and performance day! I love our costumes, so I’ll try to get pictures of them for sure. We only have one more night of classes on Thursday, then it’s the rehearsal on Saturday. A group of us is also performing at a local arts event after our rehearsal, so I look at it as another opportunity to practice!

On a side note- my pointe shoes are finally working for me. I’ve stuck with my Grishko 2007’s. I have ended up wearing a 7.5 on my left foot and a 7.0 on my right. Both still the soft shanks. It seems to be working! I had to cut the satin off my platforms and replaced it with some moleskin due to the crazy slippery satin on them. Works like a charm!

Well, here’s to another recital!! Send me all of your good-dancer-good-luck vibes, because I most definitely need them!!!! I’m so excited for our show. I know it’s going to be awesome. Everyone has worked so hard on their dances. So yay!

Happy Dancing!! 🙂


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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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Dreaming of Fouettés

I had a ballet dream last night. I dreamt that I was at some studio, (maybe at a hotel?! Weird, I know!) but was with the girls I normally dance with. We were instructed to work on our fouettés. Our teacher wanted us to be able to do 8 of them. That part is true, for our one dance, but I’m not in the group doing 8. So in my dream, we all start working on them. I was working hard, trying to get 8, when all of a sudden I just kept on going. And going, and going. I heard one of the girls counting out loud when she realized how many I was doing. The final count? 30. HAH!! And the weirdest part, I did them while keeping my eyes closed. No spotting. Nothing. That’s not even possible to do, so I have no idea why I dreamt like that. It was the weirdest dream ever. 30 fouettés?! I mean come on. I’d be happy if I could just do the 8 lol. I woke up from that dream basically laughing. I’m guessing I was dreaming of fouettés because we’ve been doing them a lot since they are in both of my ballet dances for our show. But closing my eyes?! I need my eyes! Hah!!

So I guess you could say I have a dance brain right now. We’ve been plugging away at our recital dances and I usually go to bed thinking of them. Both dances are coming along nicely and I’m so happy with them. We’re also still working on both of our pointe dances too. I ordered our first fan that we are going to use, and brought it to class last night. Practicing with it felt amazing. I thought I was going to struggle more with it, but it turned out to be easier than I expected. We had been using paper fans, just to get used to having a prop in our hand. Using the real fan was very different as well. Our teacher told us that our prop, in this dance- a feather fan, should give us strength in our movements. That we should be able to use our arms in a strong way now. Once we figured out what we were doing with our arms and the fan, it definitely changed the way the dance felt, at least to me! Holding that fan made me feel stronger in my movements and really made the music and our choreography stand out that much more. It’s just so awesome. I’m glad I embraced using the fan instead of being scared of it, which I initially was. We decided to go with black tutus for the dance, and most likely will be using red feather fans. I love the red. This dance is turning out to be one of my favorites.

Anywho! Hope everyone else is doing well out there!! I *think* I see an end in sight to this crappy winter we’ve had?!? It was literally 60 degrees here on Tuesday and then we had a snow storm and it was like 10 degrees out on Wednesday. Crazy weather.

Happy Dancing 🙂


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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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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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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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