Just the musings of a small-town professional ballerina, business owner, wife, and beagle mama as she attempts to make it through this thing called life.

May 29, 2010

Summer Camp!

By now you have all sent in your applications for summer intensives, auditioned for them and most of you have probably received your answer as to whether or not you were accepted. To those of you who are going to be spending their summer in a hot classroom, sweating, sore and tired, congratulations! Here are some tips to help you on your journey whether you're in the classroom or in the dorm.

  • Rotate your pointe shoes.
Pointe shoes are eaten up during the summer. Not only are you dancing on them more than you typically would, the extra heat disintegrates them twice as fast! Keep several pairs at once. I typically have three or four with me at all times.
  • Stick your pointe shoes in the dryer.
Yup, it's true! By putting your pointe shoes in the dryer for a short amount of time on a medium heat, it sucks the moisture out of the shoes, making them last even longer. Make sure you have a rack for your dryer, tumbling your pointe shoes in a dryer is a recipe for some short-life shoes.
You can never over hydrate. Always keep a water bottle with you.
  • Keep a light dance bag.
You'll be carrying your bag around a lot, keep it clean and light. A heavy bag could put strain on your shoulders and back and you want your body to be in optimum condition.
  • Have a balanced diet.
Over the summer you'll be working really hard and your body will need all the nutrients it can get. Eat a lot of salad, pasta, fruits and veggies.
  • Rest!
Your body is really going to need it! Get into a schedule of falling asleep at a reasonable hour so you can wake up ready and refreshed. Of course, it's summer so one night of partying couldn't hurt! ;)

I hope everyone is enjoying the end of the school year!


May 19, 2010

Audition Tips

(Re-posted from this past winter by request)

Nutcracker season is just around the corner! And that also means auditions are too! Dancers all across the globe are preparing themselves to audition for a spot in that classic holiday fairytale. Whether you’re hoping to be a “Party Child” in the “Party Scene”, or shooting for the “Sugar Plum Fairy”, every single one of us feels the pressure when we pin that number to our leotard and stand in first position at the barre.

Calming yourself before an audition or performance can be a difficult job. Your nerves are flying off the walls and it seems as though nothing can harness them in. Here are a few tips for some quick ways to ease those butterflies in your stomach.

1: You need to visualize yourself doing well. Picturing yourself falling or slipping during a pique turn is not going to help you. Instead think of yourself doing that triple or quadruple pirouette, imagine yourself making that grand jete as high and wide as it can be. This will give you a confidence boost to reassure yourself that you know you can do this.

2: For eight counts, breathe in, and then for eight counts breathe out. Repeat this three times. I’m not sure why but I have found that it always manages to calm me down and relax my body.

3: For many people, it helps to have a good luck charm with you. Although most of us have learned the lesson that the charm is not really what is helping us and it is simply giving us psychological confidence, it is still a nice way of reassuring yourself that you can do well. Some good charms may be: A favorite stuffed animal, a necklace, bracelet, ring, elastic or even a person. Maybe your mom or best friend is your good luck charm. It could be anything!

4: If you enjoy yoga or meditation that can also help a great deal. Calming your mind and slowing your heart rate is the secret behind any calming technique.

5: Sometimes, listening to music can calm your nerves and take you away for a moment. (Just make sure you come back in time!)

6: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you don’t get the part you desperately wanted, it’s not the end of the world. In the past I have put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve a certain part and in the end I realized I had just aimed too high.

Coming Prepared!
Coming prepared to an audition is always the best way to go. And I find myself usually over prepared! (But that could also be due to obsessive compulsiveness!) J First, you need to remember the basic essentials:


1: Leotard and pink tights. At some auditions you may be asked to wear a black leotard, but some may allow a variety of colors.

2: Ballet flats AND pointe shoes/pointe shoe accessories. (Pads and such) Some auditions only require flat shoes, but many directors would like to see your pointe work before casting.

3: Hair accessories: bobby pins, hair pins, elastics, hairspray, possibly a ribbon or scrunchy.
Now after you have your basic essentials, you may want to have a few other things on hand:

4: A towel/water bottle (Typically you do not need to bring the water bottle or towel into the audition room with you.)

5: Possibly an extra pair of tights and a leotard. (I like to have them on hand for big events such as auditions and shows just in case.)

6: Legwarmers and a sweater to keep your muscles warm BEFORE the audition. And be sure to take them off when the people running the audition call you in.

7: An iPod or Zune to listen to music and calm yourself before the audition.

8: EXTRA HAIRSPRAY/ GEL! Two things you will always need!


1: White T-shirt and black tights and white socks.

2: Black or white ballet shoes.

3: Water bottle/towel (Typically you do not need to bring the water bottle or towel into the audition room with you.)

4: If you have long hair you will want to tie it back with an elastic.

5: Possibly an extra pair of tights and an extra T-shirt.

6: Legwarmers and a sweater to keep your muscles warm BEFORE the audition. And be sure to take them off when the people running the audition call you in.

7: An iPod or Zune to listen to music and calm yourself before the audition.

Now you are all ready for that big audition! It could take several weeks until you get a response regarding your casting.

Thanks so much to all of the people who have been following my blog and writing in with their questions and comments! Break a leg everyone!


May 10, 2010

Children's Benefit

Here are some pictures from the children's benefit I performed in last weekend!

          Cast of Dancin' Man

May 9, 2010

La Bayadere - Royal Ballet

I absolutely love this ballet. I would highly suggest buying the DVD!

Amazon link to DVD:

Stepping Outside of the Comfort Zone

Ballerinas are a very unique brand of dancer. Our bodies have been trained to move differently than that of a modern dancer or a jazz dancer. So, is it a good thing to experience other styles?


Allowing your body a break from the usual and letting it move in alternate ways can broaden your understanding of dance and inspire you to think more abstractly about your movements. Letting loose and mixing it up is good for both the body and soul.

May 3, 2010

Vacation Pics

View from third floor

Our pool! :D

Wild horses

Fooling around on the beach