Lady, do you know who we are?!?

My ballet teacher has this elaborate chair-and-table set-up for teaching class. There are several furniture items, they need to be the right ones, and they need to be in the right order.
He has never asked anyone to get his little chair parade ready for him, but someone always does, and I considered it a great moment in Adult Beginner History when I finally had the right chairs in the right order committed to memory and was able to set it up.
Got to class a little late the other day and was still arranging chairs when he and Le Assistant arrived, and suddenly we all realized that the one tall stool with the upholstered top was missing.
No biggie, probably in one of the other studios, I’ll go get it.
All windows covered though. Can’t see in. Loud music pressing it’s way out through closed doors.
I don’t want to barge in but no biggie, I’ll go to the office and alert the lady to our missing furniture, so she can be the one to barge in.
But apparently it is a biggie. She looks irritated and doesn’t get up and says, “The artists are using that stool.”
Wait, what?
Artists? You’re seriously going to deny an old man his comfy chair so some “artist” can rest her purse on it instead?
While my head exploded I thought, ‘Lady, any artist worth the self-imposed title would leap up in a heartbeat to help a beloved teacher. Even not their own teacher. Probably carry the damned stool right over to us.’
Which is exactly what happened.
Lé Assistant had been standing behind me, heard the thing about the artists, and while I was busy making a stupid face of disbelief she was turning on her heel and marching into the other studio.
She is old enough to not be intimidated by ideas like “Artists” or like “What Artists Need Is More Important Than The Needs Of Our Ballet Class Of Adults”.
And sure enough in about two seconds some good-looking, shirtless, possibly famous but who even cares dancer guy was carrying the stool into our studio, smiling, saying hi to Smirnoff who waved his cane to indicate the proper location of the stool and said thank you.

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A hard pointe

Gentle Reader, do you remember how I was saying that pointe is so much easier this time around?
Well never mind about that.
All that earlier pointe-y confidence is totally gone, and I feel sad and exhausted and the class is leaving me behind to eat their sparkly dust while I keep one or preferably both hands on the barre.
The other day in class I was even daydreaming about finding a pointe class for twelve-year-olds, and you know how I feel about taking class with kids, so you know that’s extreme.
Ok. I’m being a little dramatic.
I’m going to stick with it because I adore my teacher,
And it’s only half an hour,
And barre is great, anything in center on both feet like bourrés and pas couru is do-able, it’s just piques and anything else one-legged terrify the fuck out of me.
Part of the problem is that I’m exhausted by the time we take off our slippers and put on our pointes. I’m just starting now to add back in the running, yoga, Pilates, and spin that I’ve been skipping this past month of stupid wisdom teeth down time, so my stamina is just gone and when you’re tired on pointe it’s hard to pull up the things that are supposed to be up and pull in the things that are supposed to be in and relax down the things that are supposed to be down, and just arg.
I just wanna come home and take my pointes out of my bag and fling them.
One time while I was in school, I walked past one of the dance studios and peeked in and it was empty except for a super dejected-looking pair of pointe shoes flung against a wall, and I almost totally ran in and stole them to take home and admire, but then thought No, they belong to someone, she’ll be back and need them, they probably fell out of her stupid-giant Danskin tote while she was getting up from the splits to run off to her next class, right? But thinking about it now I wonder if she was feeling sad and exhausted and took them out and on purpose flung them and then ran away.

Posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

These things will totally bite you.

Seriously, why would the evil dude in Swan Lake change all the ladies into swans? Those things are strong! And ornery! And dangerous!
Wouldn’t it make more sense to magic the girls into something a little more manageable? Puffins or something? Come on!


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Gee, I have no idea why.

I’m facing the barre, up en pointe in fifth position, ready to follow the girl beside me in glissades down the barre, but I can’t go because Lé Assistant is reaching up-
-And she has to reach up because she is tiny anyway and I am over six feet tall on pointes-
-still need to tilt my head up to kiss my husband though, damn I love height-
She’s reaching up and slapping me all upside my shoulders and back, like whack! whack! whackwhackwhack! while saying, “Those shoulders! Drop them! Relax! Gosh why are you so tense tonight?!”

Posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff, Technique and Class | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Sock Tutorial—Extremely Difficult—Unless You Have A BFA In Costume Tech This Tutorial Might Explode Your Brain

1. Get that pair of tights with the run in them. You know the pair I’m talking about.
2. Cut them. Use scissors, not your teeth.
3. Put them in your pointe bag.
4. Wear when you are getting all rebellious, like “Screw tights. I’mma wear leggings to pointe class”, but when in reality your feet still want tights.
P.S. Even better if they’re not convertible. But it’s not like you can control which tights get laddered, so if they are convertible, fine.
P.P.S. They must be long enough to tuck under the hem of your leggings, otherwise they will roll down and you will look totes ridiculous.

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Little Wooden Mannequin Project #9

I love fishnets.

Little Wooden Mannequin Project is: my little boy plays with this mannequin and leaves it on the floor in some tortured pose, which I draw.

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Breaking the law, breaking the law

My teacher doesn’t believe in breaking in pointes.
He says it’ll happen naturally as you work in the shoe.
I have come to the conclusion that he is crazy.
So I got out the camera and the internet. To the bat cave, pointe shoes!
Here is the right, not broken in but worn in class at least seven times:

Observe, that sole is doing it’s own thing. It is not even paying attention to my foot.
Here is the left, also worn in class at least seven times, (I mean duh, it’s not like I wore one and not the other) Plus broken in below the heel following the instructions described by Lisa Howell here at The Ballet Blog.
(She has such a lovely voice, doesn’t she? I like pointe questions as an excuse to go hear her speak.)

Seems better visually, but not exactly forming a platform for my heel like she describes in the video. Will see if it feels any different in class. Guess it’s possible that this shoe is already too far gone at the mid-shank and it’s a little too late for breaking in at the heel.
That shank is so stiff though! Maybe I need to bend it more.
Don’t really want to buy another pair yet, as I don’t quite trust this class to stay together long enough to justify my purchase. Although considering I bought this pair in 2011, they have amortized out pretty ok.
Also, look at those gross puffy heels! Never noticed that before! The stuff a foot close-up will show you. Those things are super tight on flat, hot dang.

Posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments