Sunday, June 27, 2010

Natalia Osipova

Natalia Osipova

Natalia Osipova

Natalia Osipova

Natalia Osipova

Natalia Osipova

These are a few of the many pictures of Natalia Osipova. Osipova was born in 1986; she is only 24 years old today. She studied at the Moscow Choreographic Academy under Marina Kotova and Marina Leonova for 8 years. In 2003, she won the "Grand Prix" in the International Ballet Competition, with dances from La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Esmeralda, Pas de Deux by Tchaikovsky, and Liturgy by Yegor Druzhinin.

When she graduated from the Academy, Osipova joined the Bolshoi Ballet. She was almost immediately given solo parts. During her first year, she performed she a peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle. Later in November, she was a leading dancer in Alexei Ratmanski's production of Bolero.

Solo roles such as the Spanish Bride from Swan Lake, The Spanish Dancer from the Nutcracker, and the Grand Pas from Don Quixote accent her gracefulness, she also performed smaller roles such as Mustard Seed from A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Cancan soloist from Gaite Parisienne.

Osipova has been touring with Bolshoi Ballet, and has performed in New York, Washington, London, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Brussels, Monte Carlo, Baden-Baden, Munich, Milan, Turin, and Paris, along with many others. Once, while performing in Russia, the audience was so thrilled with her performance, she was asked to repeat the fouettes.

In May 2010, she was promoted to Principal Dancer in the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre.

Beautiful Headpiece Giveaway

So, I was checking out one of my favorite blogs, snippet & ink, and I saw that they had posted a list of wedding discounts, giveaway, etc. NOT that I'm getting married anytime soon, but sometimes there's some pretty cool stuff there. One thing that caught my eye was a giveaway for a bridal headband. Well, I happen to LOVE anything that has to do with hair. So I checked it out, and I was so happy to find out that the headbands were almost exactly like the hair peices in Swan Lake. How awesome is that?

I love this one! So pretty!

Souris Marriage is giving away one of these headbands from Lil Lady Blue here. Hurry, the giveaway ends sometime this week!

Enter to Win!!!

HiHi! I was just check out The Winger, and I read that Candice has a survey that she want you to fill out! In return for your input, she will give you a $10 pair of legwarmers or a $15 gift certificate to her shop, Candice's Closet. You can find the survey here and the legwarmers and awesome leotards here. C ya lata!

Excellent Website

I have discovered an AWESOME website! Its soooooooooo cool. It's written by various dancers, and its an excellent source for interviews from dancers, performance pics, and more. Check out The Winger.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Anybody have a good recipe for chocolate chip cookies? I just can't seem to find one.

Bake it Pretty Giveaway

Inside My Own Private Idaho is giving away a Calphalon set of utensils and a 15$ gift certificate from Bake it Pretty, for those of you who like to bake for your class rehearsals.

Cupcake Wrappers

BakeItPretty1 by Michelle in Boise.

Edible Glitter
BakeItPretty2 by Michelle in Boise.

So Cute!!!!!!

Go enter quickly, because it ends June 23rd!

Cute Skirt

Here is an adorable skirt to wear over your practice clothes to ballet class! (of course it is too cute to get sweat all over, so don't wear it in class ;) )


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Have fun!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

It all starts with four lovers. Lysander lover Hermia, Hermia loves Lysander, Helena loves Demetrius, Demetrius loves Hermia. Hermia's father wants her to marry Demetrius, and she is given four days to choose between Demetrius, life in a nunnery, or a death sentence. Hermia chooses to run away with Lysander to the forest.

Meanwhile in the forest, Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies, are fighting over a boy that Titania has adopted. Oberon sends Puck, his servant, to receive magic love drops, to sprinkle on Titania's eyelids, so she will fall in love with the first thing she sees.

Meanwhile, Demetrius and Helena follow Lysander and Hermia into the forest. Oberon overheard Demetrius announcing his love for Hermia to Helena. He took pity on Helena, and asked Puck to put magic love drops on Demetrius. By accident, he put them on Lysander, and Helena ran into him, and he fell in love with her when she woke him up.

On his way back, Puck sees a group of craftsmen rehearsing a play for the Duke's wedding. Playfully, he gives one of them, Bottom, the head of a donkey. Oddly enough, he happens to be the first thing Titania sees when she wakes up, hence, she falls in love with him.

Oberon is having fun with the magic love drops, but he is unimpressed when Puck fails to get Demetrius and Helena together. Oberon puts the drops on Demetrius himself and insures that Helena is the first one he sees. But Helena is feeling she is being mocked by Lysander and Demetrius.

Finally, Oberon decides to put things back to normal. He puts the antidote for the love drops on Lysander's eyelids, so he will be in love with Hermia again. He puts the antidote on Titania's eyelids, so she will be in love with him again.

Someone discovers the couples in the forest and they all return to the town together, and have a feast and talk over their "strange dream".

Romeo and Juliet





Romeo and Juliet is a ballet about two lovers who's families hate each other. It all starts when the two families, the Montagues and the Capulets, begin to fight in the street. The town authority breaks up the fight, and threatens anyone who "disturbs the street".

The Capulets plan a great celebration, and everyone in the town is invited, except the Montagues. The main reason for the celebration is for their daughter, Juliet, to meet a man to marry. Although not invited, Romeo, his cousin Benvolio, and his friend Mercutio decide to attend in disguise. The moment Romeo laid eyes on Juliet, he fell in love with her. He dances with her, and Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, realizes that there is and enemy at the party. He warns the authorities, but there was no fight because Romeo sneaked out the back.

He sat and listened to Juliet talking about the danger of loving an enemy. They made secret vows to marry each other the next day. So Romeo went to Father Lawrence and begged him to marry them. They get married, and they are together only in the secret of night. Meanwhile, Tybalt tries to fight with Romeo. Romeo refuses to fight with him for sake of Juliet, but Mercutio draws his sword. They fight until Mercutio is laying dead on the ground. Romeo is so angry, he kills Tybalt, and is banished by the town authority.

Unaware of the secret marriage, the Capulets plan for Juliet to marry another man named Paris. Panicking, Juliet goes to Father Lawrence, and he gives her a potion that will make her seem dead for a few days. When she awakes, she will be reunited with Romeo.

Romeo returns, and he hears of his wife's death and is heartbroken. In despair, he goes to her tomb, drinks a deadly amount of poison, and joins her in death. Juliet awakes too late, and finds her lover dead beside her. She then takes Romeo's dagger, and kills herself with it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Alternating Shoes

Pointe shoes have no right or left, so many dancers alternate them on each foot. This nearly doubles the life of pointe shoes. But if your feet are not similar to each other, this will not be possible.

Altering Shanks

Some shoes are harder than others to break in the shanks. Some dancers cut the inside shank near the heel where the foot sole bends. This is done with and Exacto or utility knife. This is done carefully, cutting away at the shank, layer by layer, until it can be completely removed along with the nail that holds it to the shoe. The shank then has to be shaped with the knife to taper towards the heel for comfort. Remember, NEVER alter your shoes without the consulting of your teacher.

Research from The Pointe Book


No questions have been asked yet

Pointe Shoe Diagram


1) platform or tip
2) edge of pleats or feathers
3) outer sole
4) waist seam
5) quarter or heel section
6) vamp-the top of the box that covers the toes
7) pleats or feathers-area underneath the box
8) wings or supports
9) shank or narrow supporting spine, which is attached to the back of the insole
10) stiffened box or block made of layers of glue and fabric and surrounding the toes and ball of the foot
11) drawstring knot
12) drawstring casing-bias tape stitched around the edge of the shoe containing the drawstring
13) insole
14) back seam, which divides the quarters

Diagram and information from The Pointe Book

Breaking In Traditionally-Made Pointe Shoes

Here is a break-in technique for traditionally-made (paste and paper boxes) pointe shoes from
The Pointe Book.

Many dancers walk around their house in their pointe shoes the day before they work in them to soften them up. You can also break them in with your hands. Flex the insole back and forth. This shouldn't be very hard because these shoes are generally made from softer material than other pointe shoes. Massage the box with heel of the hand or place it on the ground and massage it with the heel of your foot gently to flatten the box.

Rubbing alcohol is also used to break in a shoe. Dab a little bit onto a cotton ball, and rub it on the demi-pointe area. Don't pour it strait on the shoe, because this will make it weak and unwearable. Shoes broken in by alcohol must be able to completely dry before next use.

Many dancers try to break shoes in by smashing them in doors, whacking them with hammers, or jumping on them. This is proven to reduce pointe shoe life by at least 50%.

Some shoes from Capezio, Repetto, Bloch, and others are made from different materials that are harder to break into, especially the wings. But just keep trying, by slowly massaging them with fingertips.

Research done from The Pointe Book

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breaking in Your Bloch Pointe Shoes


To get the best out of a Bloch Pointe shoe, please adhere to the below techniques for “breaking in” the shoe. Technique A and technique B are very similar; they differ due to two different paste types and two different construction techniques.

Technique A Shoes:








Technique B Shoes:

Alpha 3/4 Outsole


Signature Performance

Signature Rehearsal

Signature Rehearsal-Strong

Synergy 3/4 Shank

Synergy Full Shank

Break In Technique A

A little extra time needs to be taken to break in these shoe types. They are made with a harder paste than Technique B and are therefore susceptible to “snapping” if treated roughly at first. Once broken correctly they have a long life span.

Doing barre is the best way to break in a pointe shoe. We understand however that you can’t stand at the barre with a new pair of pointe shoes and expect to do a tendu, so the shoe needs to be prepared for barre by gently softening the shank and box by hand. Concentrate on the demi-pointe area of the shank being careful not to crush the box. Then work your way up to the heel gently massaging the shank until it is at a point where tendu and releve to demi-pointe is comfortable. Softening the box is not always necessary and is left up to the individual. If softening is necessary then concentrate on gently softening the sides of the box. Lots of dancers stand on the top of the box in order to soften and widen it. We advise that standing on the box or squashing the box can permanently damage the shoe, so please do so at your own risk. If you must stand on the box, you need to concentrate the pressure on either side of the box centre. This is important because the top centre of the box is the weakest point and prone to the most damage if stood on. Once the shoes are ready for barre, 1 to 2 hours barre will be a sufficient time to shape them to your foot. At this point the shoes will be evenly softened with no weak points resulted from incorrect breaking technique.

Break In Technique B

These shoes are made from a paste that is designed to soften when moisture is applied. The technique here is simple to understand. Follow break in technique A. After 1 to 2 hours barre the shoe will become moist and shape itself to the dancers foot. Once the shoe dries it will have set in the shape of the dancers foot. At this point it is possible to apply Shellac to the inside of the block and shank. This will not only harden the shoe in its current shape, but also stop any more moisture entering the shoe. So we are left with a strong shoe, molded in the shape of the individual dancers foot on the inside, whilst leaving a quiet exterior.

This is from the Bloch Website, and the list of pointe shoes is from The Ballet Site.

Recital Coming Up? No Problem!

I just got through my very first recital and I have a very good tips for you that helped me a lot.

Packing List:

Fine-tooth Comb
Hairnets (snoods)
Hair elastics
Any other hair supplies you need
Make-up remover
Performance Tights
Clear Nail Polish
Hairpiece (if you have one)
Nude camisole
Ballet/Pointe Shoes
3 water bottles. No Gatorade or juice. Water is the best for you.
A BIG bag. I used my suitcase to carry everything and I still had to hook my poofy costume onto it.


1. Do your performance bun and make-up at home. This will make your life a lot easier. You still need to take hair things and make-up because you might need to re-apply make-up or fix your bun.

2. Go to the high school/theatre/studio with your practice clothes on. This will keep your costume neat and clean.

3. DON'T LEAVE THE PLACE BEFORE TELLING YOUR TEACHER! I left to go get lunch and everyone was looking for me.

4. Own 2 pairs of tights. 1 pair for practice. This pair will be only for classes. 1 pair for performances. This pair will be kept clean and no holes will be in it. When you start your new year of classes, buy a new pair of performance tights and use the old performance ones for practice.

5. Take clear nail polish with you. if you have a rip in your tights, dab a little bit on it and it will fix it.

6. Buy a nude camisole, like this one. These are great for wearing underneath your costume for more coverage or warmth. Even if you do not need it with your costume, still bring it.

7. If you are bringing pointe shoes, take at least 2 pairs. You never know what might happen.

8. Bring a pair of clothes to put on afterward. I suggest a dress to air out your legs from the tights.

9. Bring healthy snacks to eat, I got very hungry. Bring things like carrots, grapes, celery, etc.

10. Do all of these things and pack all of the same things for the dress rehearsal. Pretend like it is the Recital. That's why they call it a dress rehearsal.

Swan Lake





Swan Lake begins in the forest. Prince Siegfried in hunting and he sees a beautiful swan. As he is aiming his bow, she turns into a woman named Odette. She explains to him that she is a princess turned to a swan by an evil sorcerer. During the day, she is a swan, and must swim in the lake of tears, and during the night, she may be a woman again.

The spell can only be broken if a prince promises to love her forever. She tell Siegfried that if he refuses her, she will be a swan forever. Luckily, he falls madly in love with Odette.

But at the ball, the evil sorcerer put a spell on a woman named Odile, to make her look exactly like Odette to Prince Siegfried. He proposes to her, and Odette is heartbroken. She tries to kill herself and throws herself in the lake. Siegfried realizes what he has done and throws himself in the lake with Odette.

In the finale, the two are transformed to lovers in the afterlife.

La Sylphide





La Sylphide is my favorite ballet. It is about a Scottish farmer named James who falls in love with a sylph on his wedding day. A witch appears and warns him that he will betray his fiancee, but he denies it, although still enchanted by the sylph. Even after this incident, the wedding continues. As James is putting the ring on his fiancee's finger, the sylph snatches it from him.

Abandoning his own wedding, James chases the sylph into the woods, where he finds the witch again who gives him a magical scarf that will bind the sylph's wings. James wanted to catch her and keep her forever.

James tracks down the sylph, and wraps the scarf around her shoulders. Her wings fall off and she dies. He is left heartbroken, and watches his fiancee marry his best friend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Nutcracker





This is a beautiful ballet about a girl named Clara. She receives a gift from her Godfather Drosselmeyer. A life-size nutcracker doll that dances. Her brother, Fritz, rudely grabs the doll and breaks its arm. But Drosselmeyer quickly fixes it with a handkerchief. Clara falls asleep by the Christmas tree with the Nutcracker in her arms.

When the clock strikes midnight, Clara shrinks and watches the tree tower above her. Lead by the Mouse King, and army of mice appear and begin battling the toys under the tree. The Nutcracker and his toy army fight hard, but they are no match for the Mouse King. When all hope seems lost, Clara throws her shoes at the Mouse King's head. The mice army carries his lifeless body away quickly.

The Nutcracker turns into a Prince and carries Clara to a magical winter forest, where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes. They then travel to the Land of Sweets, where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. She presents to them numerous dances.

The Spanish Dance
The Arabian Dance
The Russian Dance
The Chinese Dance
The Mirliton Dance
The Waltz of the Flowers

In the finale, The Sugar Plum Fairy Dances with the Cavalier in a beautiful Pas de Deux.

In the end, Clara wakes up, and finds herself next to the Nutcracker under the Christmas tree

Class Etiquette

1. NO TALKING!!!!! Talking is for before and after ballet classes, not during the combination. The only thing you should say, is "FIRE!" if you have to =)

2. Don't correct other people. Don't say "Psss. Lift your arm higher!". 2 things: 1) It's the teacher's job to correct, and 2) You might be lifting your own arm too high!

3. Hold your finishing position until the teacher says to relax. Even though the music has stopped, your teacher might want to walk around and inspect everyone's finishing position. This especially applies to barre work.

4. If you are in line waiting for your turn to do a combination, don't skip ahead and cut because you know and love the combination. It is respectful to stay in line where you were the entire class.

5. Don't ask questions in the middle of class. Come to the teacher after class and ask about the combination or step.

6. If you have to leave early in class, 1) inform your teacher at the beginning of class, and 2) don't ask him/her what time it is. It's impolite.

7. If you won't be there the next class or so, tell the teacher that you won't be there. Just this week, someone didn't tell my teach that they wouldn't be there, and we had to start class late.

8. Turn your cellphone off. Most of your friends know not to call you at a certain time, but I have gotten wrong numbers and service calls during class because I didn't turn my phone off.

9. Listen to the teacher. If you don't know if you heard 6 or 8 frappes, too bad. It's not polite to make the teacher repeat it.

10. Don't complain or groan. Believe me, he/she will pile more work on your plate.

It's only fair for me to say that I have learned all of this from my own previous experience ;)

DOs and DON'Ts

DON'T land from a jump on flatfoot! Go down through releve and then plie on flatfoot. If you land without a plie, you could seriously injure your hips or back.

DO Keep your feet pointed hard while in the air. This will help you not to land on flatfoot.

DON'T skip out on splits. You have to do them! Don't say, "Well, I'm close enough to a full split, so I don't have to do them."

DO spend time on it every day by doing wall splits. 15 minutes a day is good.

DON'T lift your shoulders. This will make your line look frumpy and unprofessional.

DO look in the mirror and lift your arms to fifth position. Is there a big space between your cheekbones and your shoulders? If not, try lowering your shoulders a bit.

DON'T do dangerous sports like, rock climbing, river rafting, hiking or any other sports that aren't really planned and organized by coaches. You could injure your ankles.

DO have a good attitude! Be grateful to be working hard and learning new things! If not, the bad attitude will spread throughout the class.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Student Shoes

Here is a very useful list of student pointe shoes from The Pointe Book by Janice Barringer and Sarah Schlesinger

Angelo Luzio NO5z
Bloch Aspiration
Bloch SO105 Aspiration
Bloch SO130 Sonata
Bloch SO131 Serenade (I have several friends who use this shoe)
Bloch SO132 Sylphide
Bloch SO141 Serenade V
Capezio Pavlowa
Capezio Plie I
Capezio Plie II
Chacott Coppelia II
Chacott Elvira
Diamond Pointe
Freed Studio I
Freed Studio II
Gaynor Minden
Grishko 2007
Leo's Pas de Deux Pointe 1
Mark Suffolk Solo
Prima Soft Gala
Principal D
Principal F
Russian Pointe Polette
Sansha Lyrica
Sansha Partenaire or Partner
Sansha Recital
Sansha Soprano
So' Danca Advance
So' Danca Performance
So' Danca Equilibre
So' Danca Special Line
So' Danca Danseuse
So' Danca Cinderella
So' Danca Marie

Remember, this does NOT replace trying on pointe shoes. This is a list of shoes that are better suited for beginners.

Let's Get to the Pointe

Here are some really good pointe strengthening exercises.

1. Push the Box. Sit on the floor with your legs strait in front of you. Place a box at your feet. Push the box away from you with your toes as far as you can. Then, reach over your legs and grab the box and bring it closer. This will help strengthen your ankles and has a bonus of a leg stretch.

2. Alphabet Toes. When sitting down at the table, or watching TV, write the alphabet with your toes. You can do Manuscript or Cursive, whichever is easier for you. This will strengthen your ankles.

3. Step, Plie, Step, Plie. This is a pre-pointe exercise straight from the studio. Stand in "6th" position on releve. Take a step forward. While still in releve, bend your knees in plie. Straighten. Take another step forward and plie. Do this down the hallway or even on your way to the refrigerator. You are on releve the entire time.

4. Releves are excellent for gaining strength in calves and ankles. Stand on a stair step with most of your foot hanging off of the edge. Stand up on releve and come down slowly. When you come down, you will go past flatfoot and will stretch out your calves. Releve 20 times or so, and work your way up to more as you feel comfortable.

Simple Tips to Simple Steps


1. When doing demi plies, imagine a smiley-face sticker on the arch of your foot. Put one on your shoes, if you like. To prevent rolling forward, try not to "squish" the smiley face.
(couldn't find a smiley face sticker ;) )

2. While going down into grand plies, imagine yourself going up in an airplane. This will make your way down smoother and your abs and chest pulled up.

3. PUCKER POWER! This applies to ALL ballet steps but mostly plies. You need to suck in your stomach, but please don't stop breathing. You'll turn blue in the face like I did if you stop breathing. As my teacher says, "Imagine eating a lemon, and sucking in your cheeks. That's what you need to do with your stomach."

4. When doing grand plies, don't go down so far that you are sitting on your heels. Watch in the mirror and line the bottom of your leotard up with your knees.



1. Imagine that you are wear a romantic-style tutu. Try to move the tutu as less as you can. the only part that is moving is your leg.

2. As my teacher says, "Keep your headlights facing straightforward!" This mean keeping your hips square and still is key to battements. Your hips are the "headlights", so keep the facing forwards.

3. Time to bring Mr. Smiley out again! When pointing your foot, keep your foot facing out, and Mr. Smiley facing front. This helps with turnout.



1. Keep your knees straight! It will be a lot harder on you if you don't.

2. Hold your leg as high as your can. Don't dangle it down low, this will make your leg feel a lot heavier and it will be harder to hold it there.

3. Try to feel the energy running through to your pointed foot. This will help you hold your leg higher and prouder, not droopy and sad.


*A Step Higher*

Tour Jetes: Imagine your self landing in arabesque, even is you don't. This will improve the leg movement and the height. Remember, tour jetes are not traveling steps, just jumps.

Daily Routine

Morning Routine:

It's important to do at least an hour of ballet everyday to stay strong and flexible.


Do ten releves on a stair step very slow - count of 8 going up and 8 going down. As you gain strength you can add more. Both feet together go as high as you can up on demi pointe and even push the arch over your toes and then release down as far as you can go past flat foot. Do this again with a 2 count up and 2 count down, do about 20 of these.


Write the alphabet with your big toes. Manuscript or cursive. This is done while sitting on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you together (like a pike position). Do it with each foot. Having your legs out in front of you helps you to use your calves muscles and strengthens your legs while working with your ankles. You can rest your body on your arms behind you if that is comfortable. I remember doing it everywhere. When I found myself sitting anywhere waiting for anything that is a great time to even do it in a chair with your leg extended! Make it fun but at least do it once on the floor for the extra leg workout.


Using a chair to support you, do releves on both feet pushing your arch as far as you can. Again you can start with 10 and work your way to more. Do this slow and deliberate! Not to a count of 8 but a count of 2 up and count of 2 down would work if you are being deliberate about pushing those arches to the limit, control is what builds the strength in your ankles.

*Note: I wrote "push your arch over your toes", I mean it as you are trying to do that - please do not get discouraged if you do not get them over your toes. Just make sure that you have your toes out, like in first position, and push your arches over as if you are trying to go over your toes:)


At a chair for support, sautes are wonderful for strengthening your legs along with your ankles. Do as many as you can! Start off with 10 until you feel like you are getting your feet/arches right. Try not to do too much of a demi plie so that you are using your ankles more than your legs for the height. But do not worry about height as much as watch to make sure that you are using a strong pointe during the saute, pointing your toes towards the ground and keep your feet turned out.

When I was young we would do about 50 variations of sautes a week! Wonderful exercise to help gain the strength to get height. I have to admit that my favorite is the echappe saute but usually men do those in a performance not us ladies as it is not lady like:)


At a chair for support, do a demi plie in first position (2 counts).

While in demi plie, do a strong releve (which is pushing your arches over your toes- 2 counts).

While still in a strong releve, straighten your knees to stand tall on the releve (2 counts). Again keep trying to push that arch over your toes. You should feel it in your calves pushing.

Relax in first position (2 counts).

Do this ten times and then do the reverse ten times:

Reverse is the straight knee releve, remember to try to push your arches over your toes (2 counts).

While on demi pointe, do a demi plie (2 counts),

put heels down to make a flat foot demi plie(2 counts),

then relax in first (2 counts).


As you get better at the fifth exercise you can change that to only one foot but doing a little coupe with the "non-working" foot. Remember to change feet:)


Battements are wonderful if you keep your foot pointed hard. Do this en croix or in a cross - front (devant), second (a la seconde), and behind (derriere). En croix seems to be pronounced like "on qua". Make sure that you are pushing the heel forward so that you do not sickle the foot and control the leg movement to make sure that you *do not* bend your knee. I was once told to use the thigh muscle more than the hip muscle as if you were pushing your inner thigh up to the sky. Control again, do them slow if you need to get that control.

This takes about 15 minutes.

Find an open wall space with no shelves or pictures (like a hallway) and sit up against it. Lift your legs up to the wall and scoot up until your bottom touches the wall. Gently let your legs down. Gravity will pull your legs down, so just let go of the muscles and read a book.

Spend 15 minutes on wall splits.

Afternoon Routine:

I suggest working out of 100 Lessons in Classical Ballet, or practicing your barre routine from your class.

Spend 30 minutes on this

We All Need a Little Inspiration, Don't We?










Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Positions

These are the five basic positions. Although some are used more than others, they are all very important. It's very important for a dancer to know these positions, because most main jumps, leaps, turns, and other steps begin with these. This is a very basic position, and is used frequently. Stand strait in "6th" position. This is when your feet are together and your toes are pointing to the front of you. Then, in one quick motion, take your toes to the side as far as you can. Don't scoot your toes back more afterwards, this will damage your knees. As you advance in ballet, you will become more and more turned out in the legs. Your arms are as simple as the feet, low and curved gently.

Second position is one of my favorite positions. This is the only position where heels do not come off of the ground in grand plie. Starting from first, point your foot to the side and lower your heel. Your heels should be about 12 inches apart from each other. Arms are held to the side in a light, slightly curved line, with palms facing inward.

Third position is one of my least favorite positions for the feet, but my favorite for the arms. Third position is similar to fifth position, with both feet together and toes out to the side. but intead of heel to toe, it is heel to arch. Your heel should fit righ inside the little "cave" your arch makes. Third position arms are one arm in first and one arm in second.

I hate fourth position, but luckily we mostly use it in pirouettes and such. Fourth position is excactly like fifth position, but the feet are 12 inches apart instead of together. Stand in fifth position, and point your foot to the front and lower your heel. For fourth position arms, hold one in first, and one in fifth.

Fifth position is the most commonly used position of them all. Stand in first position and slide your foot, heel first, across the other until you stand heel to toe, toe to heel. Fifth position arms are helds simply up in the air. In Fifth position arms, hold your arms so that they are in line with your cheeks, not your ears. When you line them with your ears, your shoulders go up.