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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Dance Recital = Success!!

Well it’s all over!! Our dance recital was yesterday, and man was it a good time!!! I only have a few pictures from the day, which is kind of a bummer. I have all the memories though!

Pointe was the opening number. Talk about big expectations!!! I was so nervous. My legs were really shaky, but I tried my best to calm my nerves. Luckily, the girls I dance with are so encouraging. Well, the curtain went up and off we went! Once we got past the slower beginning, my nerves settled a little. It was a serious dance, so we didn’t smile. The task of not keeping my mouth hanging open to breath was the difficult part. My mom afterwards said I looked down a lot during it. I guess that’s ok….I was really nervous!

I then had the rest of the First Act to watch the other girls perform. The company girls are so amazing! They had a bunch of dances and each one was done beautifully. They truly are amazing to watch.

Then, came Act Two. My other two ballet dances were towards the beginning. They were only separated by 2 other dances, giving us just enough time to change. My Ballet 1/2 dance went great! I think I did a good job. I know I slightly flubbed up my one set of chaine turns, but it was because we had a small area to turn. I didn’t want to hit into the one girl near me, or push her into the curtain, so I had to adjust my turns as best I could. I felt the most confident in this dance, mainly because it was just below my skill level. Only a single pirouette, chaine turns, piqué turns, and a soutenu turns.

My last dance was my Level 2 dance. This was the dance I have been stressing over. I struggled with consistently landing all the turns. Other than that, I felt confident with everything else in the number. Well the time came….and I hit my double pirouette!! Even my husband said, “You hit your double turn and landed it so nicely!” Yay!! The other turns were just so-so. I know I came around out of each, but I think they were a little sloppy. The first set was a tour jete into an outside attitude turn into an inside pirouette. The second set was a tour jete into a double inside pirouette. That’s the one I think I flubbed a little. I also slightly flubbed my one attitude turn, boooo.

All in all, it was a great experience. I enjoyed every minute of it. I will eventually have a video from it, but until then I am lost to wonder what I really looked like!! Eeeekkk!

Thank you everyone for all your kind words and support!! It’s so awesome to have the support of other fellow adult beginners 🙂

Here are a few pics. The one is of Legal Ballerina and myself in our pointe costumes. Then the other pic is from us performing our pointe dance in stage. If you are looking at the stage, I’m the farthest on the left and LB is the next one in slightly in front of me. The last pic is of LB, me, and her little sis- who also danced with us!!

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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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I ❤ November!!

November is off to a great start!! Last night my level 2 ballet class went great!! I wasn’t feeling great, but I was able to land my single and double pirouettes on my right, my singles on my left, and landing in fifth position too!! I did great with triples on my right on Monday, but last night it just made me nauseous lol. Our recital dance for this class is really shaping up too!! It’s going to look just amazing!! Legal Ballerina and I did great last night!! We worked really hard and had a lot of fun while doing it!! Pointe class went pretty good. We did a bazillion passés in center and they were exhausting. Like I couldn’t breath exhausting. I did pretty good though. I’m really trying to work on stretching and strengthening my right foot. But because of the problems I have with it, it may not ever be completely stretched or strong. I can’t remember exactly what I have, but I know I have an extra bone in that foot and another two bones that should have a nice space in-between them are so close they become real inflamed and painful. I’ve had to have cortisone shots in this foot in the past, and that totally sucked. So I may be visiting the good ol’ podiatrist at some point.

I also got to talk to my teacher yesterday before classes. I told her I was interested in helping her teach her beginning ballet 1-2 class on Mondays before my classes. She was so excited I offered to help!! So starting next week, I will be helping her teach!! She also told me she wants me to stay in the ballet 1-2 class since I’m the oldest person in there (they are all 9-13 year olds plus one other adult beginner) and I’m the most skilled and strongest. She said she wants me in their recital number. Yay!! LB and I are really really hoping we get to be in the level 2-3 class recital. We are trying so hard to keep up with the girls, and I think we are doing good!!

So other than my crappy bum ankle, classes are going great and I couldn’t be happier (or more proud of myself)!!

Why I ❤ November:

~ my birthday is on the 4th (this weekend, yay!!)
~ second session of ballet classes begin
~ LB and I are getting fitted for Gaynors
~ I get to help teach for the first time
~ The Nutcracker
~ Thanksgiving Dinner
~ Only 2.5 months until my Disney trip!!

Hope everyone else has survived Hurricane Sandy with minimal damage or losses. It just rained here A LOT and it was really windy. Hope you all are having a great start to your November too!!

🍁🍂🍁🍃🍂