The Capezio Pro Canvas split sole.
Pretty. Insole bunches up under toes though. Just have to remember to take them off and smooth the insole out before barre starts or else I’m all princess-and-the-pea, my-pirouettes-don’t-work-because-my-shoes time.
A while back, Mr. Adult Beginner and I were at one of those big prop warehouse sales, where tv studios sell off old props and set dec and furniture and whatever they don’t want to hang onto anymore,
And outside by the racks of clothes was a portable barre.
Mr. AB was like, “want that?”
I was like, “Yes! Where can we put it? How about right in the middle of the living room!”
he was like, “uh, there’s totally no room in the house. I was thinking outside.”
And I was like, “Outside?! Ew what?! No, ballet can’t be outside! Ballet is indoors!”
And he was like “why?”
And I was like, “There’s…uh….shoes and stuff! You don’t understand, man, it’s just wrong! That’s why!”
And he kind of grinned and filed that away and then, more recently, I got a text from Mr. Adult Beginner, with a question:
(ding!) Hey, what’s your high-hip to floor measurement anyway?
And then even more recently and conveniently a friend came to visit and Mr. Adult Beginner put him to work in the backyard, digging holes and laying rebar and mixing concrete,
Look at those heavenly rays from heaven! Beaming down on my own outdoor floating-concrete barre and yoga platform!
These flowers are in the way. I’mma cut them!
Also these flowers. Cut you!
Happily, I still have my oldest, dirtiest and most scruffy pair of ballet slippers, the first I ever bought as an adult beginner. They are not too proud to ballet outside.
Review By: Rhonda Jamb
Class Is Called: Ballet (Beg/Int)
Where: The Sweat Spot, Silver Lake
How It Is: Hi y’alls, Rhonda Jamb here again with more class reviews, this one not as glowing as my last. Key-wise, this class is straight up TI. Notice how there’s no B in TI? That’s what I’m saying, and to quote our favorite Adult Beginner, “RUN AWAY!” The Sweat Spot is owned by this guy Ryan Heffington who seems to have some sort of cult following in the jazz community, and I get the feeling that everyone looooves the Sweat Spot, however I think that feeling is mainly vibed off the instructors with trickle-down effects on some of the students. The instructors– who are actually just dancers– are fabulous dancers, albeit a fabulous dancer does not a fabulous instructor always make. I get the feeling that The Sweat Spot holds classes mainly to pay the rent so the dancers can have their huge, expensive studio. Good for them! Sucks for us. The barre combinations are fast and cockamamie, key word being cockamamie. The instructor kind of freestyles her arms, going from 1st to 2nd back to 1st, to 5th, occasionally landing back in 2nd. If I wanted to take a Modern dance class, I would (they do that in Modern, right?). Her barre makes me wonder if she’s bored and trying to entertain herself or simply just get the barre part over with. And she throws in random fouettes, which I long to master but can barely do, only because I have yet to learn how. If you want a challenging and semi-traditional class, go ahead and drink the Sweat Spot Kool-Aid. If you’re an AB, save your money. Which reminds me, bring cash! If you pay with a card you have to buy a minimum of two classes. I didn’t know this until I got there. Sad face.
Size: around 10-15 students
Age Range: 20-30something
What To Wear: This place is way too cool for your chiffon wrap around and pink tights. Most people had on leggings, tanks, an occasional leg warmer or two… less Fame, more American Apparel. More sad face.
Dudes: Yup. At least two.
Amenities: Parking lot is for employees only. Street parking is metered on Sunset, usually easy to find a spot. They also sell bottles of water or will fill your bottle up for a small fee.
In Conclusion: I don’t back it.
Review By: Adult Beginner
Class Is Called Beginner/Intermediate Ballet
Where Millennium Dance Complex, North Hollywood
How It Is looking at Rhonda Jamb’s key here, I’d say this class, if you do the entire class, is an AB or maybe even TI level. Which pretty much fits with my general experience that whenever the word “intermediate” is snuck into a class description, um, RUN. AWAY.
For example, one of the beg/int classes I took at Millennium, the center work started with brisés across the floor. Um, I think those are pretty advanced? Maybe it’s just me.
This is the only level of ballet offered at Millennium, but there are two different teachers, which creates basically two different classes. If you’re a little bit scurrrred, try Kana first, she demonstrates.
The totally awesome thing about ballet at Millennium is that you can just take the barre. It costs less, and is safer on the ego and possibly the whole rest of you too. It’s a good hard 45 minutes worth of barre with either teacher.
Size Around 30 students
Age Range mostly young. Twenties. Some even younger doing their summer intensives or whatever. Handful of people above 30.
What To Wear In a class of thirty, does it even matter?! Girl, yeah I know it does. Ok: not a whole lot of pink tights in this class. Pretty much just me and the summer camp kids were wearing them. This crowd leans more toward hip-hop than classical ballet, sartorially speaking.
Amenities There is a nice big free parking lot, but it fills up so don’t dawdle. Couple of changing rooms. I didn’t notice if there’s coffee or not but who drinks studio coffee anyway, just go around the corner to Republic of Pie after class.
Any Dudes? Yes. Enough to form their own group for across the floor.
In Conclusion I like Millenium. It’s not the place to go for tons of personal attention, but it’s great for feeling like part of a big dance community.
Smirnoff brought in a couple books for me to borrow, because he knows what a big book-nerd I am, and along with the books he also lent me this yellowed, folded newspaper article, which he handed to me saying,
“This, my dear, I keep for my students who are mothers, because you see it is written by a dancer, and it discusses the Kegel exercises. Do you know of these Kegel exercises? Very important, these Kegel exercises.”
(Oh my god noooooooo I’m dying let’s just not talk about kegels ok please way too immature to have this conversation dying of embarrassment lalalalalalalalalaalalaalaaaaaaaaaaa)
Saw this silly little dress the other day,
Sheer stretch lace, tank style bodice, handkerchief-hem skirt.
“ooh, fun for ballet class over a leotard and tights!”
Pulled it off the rack, held the hanger up to my shoulders, turned to the mirror and immediately saw that the front and back of the skirt were incredibly short, like really this thing was a top not a dress at all and if worn to ballet class it would create a totally inappropriate peek-a-boo effect framing the bottom of the leo.
I mean, defo not the look the Adult Beginner is going for but if that’s your jam…
Anyway, here’s this extremely simplified not-to-scale pattern-ish schematic thing that I made, because I’m a pattern dork, of how the dress was made:
And some options for how it Coulda Been Made Better:
So there, strange sheer lace dress/top thingie!
In your handkerchief hemmed face!
Furthermore, this would totes work as a skirt a lá SAB style as per this tutorial that I made for Ballet Scoop right here, if anybody was into that sort of thing, just saying.
Had this fabric forever and ever,
Pulled it off the shelf the other day to make a changing table pad cover for a friend and noticed what they call this silly pink fish-scale print:
I’m not getting much of a Happy Peasant or Everlasting Love Spirit vibe here. Must be named for some other Giselle.