Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Calling All Nerds

Who here is a nerd? Anyone? Anyone? Just me? No. I know you are. Admit it. Relish in it. Look at Uhura rockin' out with her Spock(in'?) out in these lovely behind-the-scenes photos (clicky clicky!):

Has Uhura got a better penchée than you? Yes. Yes she does.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

cabriole is the new assemblé

If orange (or gray, or puce, or what-the-hell-ever) is the new black, then cabrioles are the new assemblé. If you obsessively memorize every thing I post here (and let's face it, even I don't do that. Well. Not always.) then you know that assemblé has traditionally been my least favorite ballet step. Because when you are first learning them they not only look stupid (like a cartoon frog, and I won't change my mind about that) but feel like the end times. I have very little bounce in my proverbial bungee, and petite allegro is basically my Achilles heel. Achilles ballet step? Something like that. As time has gone on I have thankfully progressed to a level where I am not asked to perform solid assemblés for ten minutes at a time, and a crappy assemblé is pretty easy to hide when it is only one of a string of disastrously crappy steps all crammed together in a petite allegro combination.
My new least favorite step to hate (my frenemy, you might say) is cabriole. Cabrioles, contrary to what their name seems to imply, are not small boxy sports cars, but a big and impressive grand allegro step wherein you throw yourself up in to a graceful leap and smack your feet together in the air before coming back down again. Cabrioles sure look exciting when they are well executed. But when I attempt them? Ridiculous. Aside from feeling like you are going to plunge to your death at any moment they also look like hell. I am sure I would improve at them if I spent some time practicing... which is really too bad, since I have mostly given up practicing every single thing. Ah, yes... that dedication business is all well and good, but apparently I can only keep it up for a year or two before burnout sets in. Hmm. Well, I am sure I will improve dramatically at SOMEthing. Drinking an entire bottle of water at one go, perhaps. Or walking past my neighbors in my ballet togs without feeling self-conscious.

I'm finally back to a full ballet schedule after the disaster that was my past month or so. Pointe class was sort of a wreck, but I will survive. No one says I have to be good at what I'm doing, after all!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

... and 5, 6, 7, 8

You know you're a dancer when... you are trying to time something entirely unrelated to dance and find yourself counting in sets of 8.
I've actually missed a lot of class, lately. I had oral surgery again last week, and I have discovered that stitches don't go well with raising my heart rate (THROB THROB THROB). Before that, though, I simply flaked out on pointe class for a few weeks because I was feeling leftover hormonal stuff (mainly fist-shaking rage). I think I am going to try technique class tonight (probably not pointe, simply because I can't eat well enough to get my energy levels up that high right now) if for no other reason than to unload the car load full of tutus that are clogging up every square inch of floor space in my sewing room. This latest batch was gone through while I was feeling particularly nasty, so I'm afraid I was pretty ruthless about throwing things away.
Honestly? I'd kind of like to blow off class, tonight. On the other hand... yesterday was stressful and upsetting so maybe the ballet "therapy" is exactly what I need. Besides, the inactivity of the past week has made my knees seize up something terrible.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

You've Never Worn Pointe Shoes, Have You?

Saw this posted by a "friend"* on facebook today:

Which was obviously created by someone who had never worn ballet "slippers" in their life. These particular ballet shoes basically ARE steel toed boots, but with the added bonus of requiring serious effort, skill, and training to function in. Pointe shoes are NOT for sissies.

*"friend" here meaning person I went to high school with who maybe had a brother I dated and so I like to keep up with her dreadfulness online, yes I am terrible.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Teeny Trina

I recently received a message from Oshini, the owner of a small ballet-inspired greeting card company, asking me to plug her site on the RPrin blog. While I don't usually do this sort of thing, I am a small business owner myself. I know how hard it is to get the word out, especially to a receptive audience. My own fabulous contributions to the world of art are not exactly soaring out of my sewing studio, you know? Anyway, I took a look at her work, and it's pretty cool. Super cute illustrations, like This Valentine's Day card. It's all of us, am I right?

I am also particularly fond of her ballet alphabet, which would make an adorable poster or t-shirt design, right guys? I would wear this on a tank top in the summertime, for sure. You know, just an idea for the future (hint hint):

And this is her:

I mean, damn. Anyway, give her site a look, in support of dancers and artists and small business owners and all that jazz.

Friday, January 30, 2015

"A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever" - John Keats

People give you stuff when you sew. Like... "Hey. My granny just died and I was cleaning out her closet and I found this garbage bag full of polyester double knit and plastic beaded fringe from 1974 and I thought of you immediately!" And of course you accept it, because that's really nice (and besides their granny just died so you feel bad for them). And... well... because you can't pass up a sack of fabric! It might come in handy some day. You never know what treasures could be in that sack! I've got lovely silk brocade hanging in my closet that was buried at the bottom of a garbage bag full of broken trim and powder blue metallic netting.
Apparently, if you run a ballet studio people do something similar. But with costumes. "You teach ballet! Wow! You won't believe it but my second cousin's great aunt's neighbor's niece used to do jazz and tap and somehow I ended up with an entire storage unit full of AMAZING costumes!" Your gratitude is assumed.

In preparation for the studio's big Summer recital I am going through tupperware bin upon tupperware bin full of random tutus, leotards, and other costume bits and bobs that somehow ended up in the studio's possession, weeding out the ones that are beyond hope and fixing the most egregious flaws in the remainder. I have spent a couple of weeks, now, going through these, and it's totally awesome, to be quite honest. Especially because I get to remove/trash the ones I would rather burn than work on (a rare and empowering experience in the world of costuming!). Below I present some of the most heinous incredible creations that ever graced the form of a 7 year old in tap shoes and pigtails...

Now. Some of them aren't so bad. This one, for instance, could use to be soaked in Oxiclean for a month and gone over with a steamer to remove wrinkles, but you can see what they were getting at, anyway:
I'm thinking Tinkerbell.

And there are things that... well. They aren't really SO bad. Not when you consider that they must have come from 1987:

I mean, yes, it's ugly. But check out that sky-high French-cut leg opening we've got going on, here. You
just can't be mad at a leotard inspired by Jane Fonda AND Gunne Sax, can you?
No. You can't.

Of course, then there are things for which words seem inadequate:
It inspires one to poetry, does it not?
The neon pink fringe
it lay-th below
acid green sequins,
all aglow...

And then this happened:
I want to point out that this neon yellow and pink
leopard print unitard, here, is an ADULT size small.
Adult. I am just going to leave you with that.