Friday, October 1, 2010

QUICK TIP - Improve your Arches!

High arches are important in ballet because they allow the dancer to rise high up in releve and get over their boxes in pointe shoes. The banana-footed aesthetic is also very "in" at the moment.

A friend from ballet class gave me this quick tip on how to improve your arches: Wear your pointe shoes until you absolutely can't! Don't rely on the support of brand new shoes to help you rise en pointe, by wearing your pointe shoes down more than you usually would, you build up your arch and the strength in your feet, as well as your skill en pointe. Soft shoes mean you have to work harder, which is good in this case!

Remember: arches are mainly a result of genetics, and the older you get, the harder it is to improve them. But hey, you're a ballerina, you know the meaning of hard work! :D

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Anaheim Ballet Dancer Started in College!

This video is extremely encouraging to anyone who didn't get to dance as a child. Vanessa Sah, who dances with the Anaheim Ballet, started taking ballet classes in college! It is possible to start late and find your place in this tough industry.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Get to the Pointe!

From the moment a girl starts ballet, whether at two or seventy-two, she dreams of the day when she can go en pointe. I've gotten many questions from fellow Beginner Ballerinas asking when they will be ready to fulfill this dream, so girls, this post is for you!

WARNING: Before I begin, I have to warn you that only your teacher will be able to tell you that you are 100% ready to go en pointe. Honestly, some teachers can be super strict about this, and some can be very relaxed about it. But here are five basic factors that your teacher will consider when deciding whether you are ready to go en pointe:

#1 - Age

This one isn't so much of an issue for us late starters (yay! finally an advantage to starting late!). Typically, a dancer cannot go en pointe younger than the age of nine because the bones in their feet haven't hardened yet.

The most common age to go en pointe is between 11-14 years old, but younger students may be allowed to go en pointe if their feet are more mature.

#2 - Technique

You need solid ballet technique before you can transition to pointe shoes. Different studios have different policies, but I've known people to go en pointe with as little as six months of ballet training! But I'd say the most common amount of training required for late starters is between 2-3 years.

#3 - Strength

You should be able to balance for a good amount of time on releve, because you need to be able to balance en pointe. Try doing releves to gain strength (worry more about doing them properly than about how many you can do).

#4 - Foot Structure

The ideal foot type for pointe has strong and flexible ankles, a substantial arch and instep, and even toes. However, there are dancers (like me!) who do not have all these characteristics and still do fine en pointe.

Don't worry, your feet don't need to be as amazing as Svetlana's!

#5 - Commitment/Hard Work

If you work hard and are dedicated and passionate about ballet, your teacher will be more confident about allowing you to do pointe work. So work hard, have fun, and good luck!!!

p.s. - I'm sorry I don't make posts often, but just so you know this blog is definitely still active and I will continue to make posts when I have time! Thanks a ton for reading, all you Beginner Ballerinas out there!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kriti Boone Talks About Starting Ballet at 13

I found this interview/commercial on Youtube, and thought it would be perfect for this blog. In it Kristi Boone (soloist for ABT) talks about starting her ballet education at age 13. Well, watch for yourselves!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Funny Videos! This One's For The Boys!

What happens when ballet boys turn into cheerleaders...

What happens when ballet boys turn into Beyonce...

What happens when ballet boys (and girls) turn into Soulja Boy...

If anyone is reading this blog: Sorry I havn't posted in a LONG time! School and dance take up so much time! But even if I don't post often, I will keep up this blog as best I can throughout the year (and maybe longer!).

Creating & Stretching your Dance Schedule

So getting back to school has reminded me of something...homework really sucks. The hours in the day get really busy really quickly with dance, school, and the dreaded homework (not to mention sleeping, eating, and other life functions). So with so few hours in a day, how do you decide how many to devote to ballet?

Answer the following questions to choose your dance schedule!

How much money are you willing to spend on dance?
-Take into consideration the cost per class, the cost of costumes, supplies, etc.
Want to dance more then you can afford?
-Choose a studio with the lowest cost per class.
-Get a job as a teacher helper at the studio, or just a regular job somewhere else.

How much time do you need for school work?
-Take into consideration amount of homwork, tests, hours of school, etc. Dance is important, but unless you're becoming a professional, school comes first.
Want to take more dance than school work allows?
-Bring your homework to the studio and do it between classes.
-Use free periods at school to study & do work.
-If you can schedule frees at the end of the day so you have time after school to do work before dance.
-Skip a class every once in a while if you have a test/project coming up the next day.

How many classes does the studio offer?
-If you want to take just ballet and they only offer it once a week, that's all you can take.
Still want to take more classes?
-Try going to multiple studios. Just make sure recitals don't overlap.
-Try taking supplement classes. Technique, stretching, core conditioning, yoga, etc. will all help ballet preformance.
-Try taking related classes. Lyrical, Modern, and Jazz especially use ballet elements.

How much relaxation/break time do you need?
-Is dance all you want to do all the time? Or do you have many other interests? Prioritize.
Want to dance 24/7 but don't want to crash?
-Take at least one day per week as a break day. You need to rejuvinate.
-Take free periods at school to just chill with your friends.
-Don't schedule dance around your favourite TV show.

What are your goals?
-To just have fun? To become advanced? To be a professional? Schedule for your needs.
-If your just having fun, schedule as many classes as you want.
-If you want to become advanced, schedule multiple times per week.
-If you want to become professional, dance as much as possible (and still healthy).

So hopefully now you have a better idea on what you want from your dance schedule. Also, for you die-hard dancers, hopefully some of these tips helped you to expand a big dance schedule.

Bye for now, Ballerinas!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Leotard Woes: Feeling Lumpy, Bumpy and Grumpy?

A lot of teens feel uncomfortable in the classic leotard and tights. The purpose of this unform is to hug your body so it can be seen while you dance. However, for this same reason, some girls are bound to feel a little self-conscious.

Well, worry no more! Here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable and look great! If you see a *** then that means this tip works even for girls who have a super strict dress code (black cami leo, pink tights, no exceptions).

(1) Tips for Arms

Not a fan of your arms? O maybe you just want a little more coverage in that area? Try a leotard with a sleeve instead of a camisole leotard. Sleves come short, 3/4 length, and in full. A few examples are shown below.

(2) Tips for your Butt & Thighs

Too bootyliscous for your leotard? Or just a little self-conscious? Try dance shorts or ballet skirt over your leo. In ballet these items should generally be kept short, but still do the trick. See some example below.

***(3) Tips for your Tummy

This one is simple. For a more defined waist and tighter tummy simply pull your tights up over your belly button. They suck in your tummy and the elastic creates a more noticible waist.

(4) Tips for your Torso and Neck

This one makes your whole torso appear more slender. Buy a leotar with princess seams, in a dark color or black, and with a V-neck to elongate the neck (long necks are prefered on professional ballerinas). See the examples below, all come in other colors.

***(5) Overall Tip

Carry yourself like a ballerina. Strong core, shoulders down, straight back, chin up. Be graceful and confident. You look 1000x better and will get props from your teacher for your improved performance :).