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Dec 29, 2011

American Ballet Theatre: David Hallberg Interview





David Hallberg - American Ballet Theater Soloist Featured at the Bolshoi



Here is a re-posted article from  http://www.cbsnews.com about American ballerina, David Hallberg's historic trip to dance with the Bolshoi in Russia.

An American dancer's leap of faith


Ballet dancer Daniel Hallberg is the first American to be the premier dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet. (CBS)


(CBS News)  
For an American ballet dancer to be applauded and honored in Russia requires an enormous LEAP OF FAITH by a performer - not to mention phenomenal talent. As Martha Teichner reports, David Hallberg also had some explaining to do for Steven Colbert:

He's been called by faux-conservative talk show host Stephen Colbert "Benedict Arnold with slightly tighter pants."
Ballet dancer David Hallberg returned home from Moscow earlier this month just in time to appear on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."
"You're with the Russian Bolshoi and the American Ballet Theatre at the same time," Colbert said. "What are you, a double agent?"
It's been a wild three months for Hallberg . . . after the startling news that he had been asked to become a premier dancer with Russia's famous Bolshoi Ballet, the first American ever.
"It was such a bold offer because all of the premier dancers with the Bolshoi are Russian," Hallberg told Teichner. "So it was unbelievably historical, which I realized right away."
Until now, the traffic has mostly been the other way. There was Rudolph Nureyev, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1961, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, who followed in 1974.
In the middle of the Cold War, their defections were a huge propaganda victory for the West.
The Cold War is over, but David Hallberg took on the Bolshoi position, only too aware of what was at stake ... still.
"I see myself as an ambassador," he said.
"Did you feel you had to hold up your end as 'The American'?" Teichner asked.
"Always. I always felt a responsibility."
We met Hallberg in October in his New York apartment, as he was packing for Russia..
On the day he left, his parents, Bruce and Colleen Hallberg, were there from Phoenix, where he grew up, to send him on his way - with a little moral support.
"We never imagined it," Colleen said. "He had two goldfish he named Fred and Ginger. I mean, we just thought it was cute, and it was. Then he asked for tap shoes for a birthday, and we said 'Sure, why not?'"
That's how it began for Hallberg at the age of eight.
"No one around me was obsessed with Fred Astaire, except for me," Hallberg said. "It just snowballed, really. I started with tap lessons. When I didn't have tap shoes, I taped nickels on the bottom of my penny loafers."
A local production of "The Nutcracker" led him to ballet. And then the bullying started . . .
"It was really hard," he said. "It was really kind of scarring couple of years."
"But it didn't stop you from dancing," said Teichner.
"Never."
He joined New York's American Ballet Theater at age 19. Five years later he was a principal dancer, one of his generation's best dancers in one of the world's best companies.
"Do you ever get out there onstage and think, 'If only I could see those kids who were mean to me now?'" asked Teichner.
"Yes, I do actually. If I can relay anything, it's that, if someone has a dream and it isn't the norm of what others are doing around you, it doesn't matter. Reach for it, go for it, because I'm a shining example of that."
Which answers the question: Why risk joining the Bolshoi?
The historic old Bolshoi Theater had just held its grand re-opening after a 6-year, approximately $700 million renovation, when David Hallberg arrived in Moscow.
Bolshoi means big, and everything about the reaction to his presence was outsized.
"I have never experienced expectation and pressure like that in my life," he said. "And I felt like I could handle it and really focus on the task at hand."
He would need focus. President Dmitry Medvedev took a special interest. The gala opening on November 18 of the first new production in the newly-refurbished theater - "Sleeping Beauty," with its American prince - was a very big deal in Russia.
And for David Hallberg, a triumph. The reviews were adoring. His parents were there to share the moment.
Then, two days later came the second performance, broadcast live around the world.
"I could still hear the trail of the entrance applause," recalled Hallberg, "and I twisted my ankle going into a jump and sprained it. It hurt so bad, but tens of thousands of people are watching. You go into this tunnel vision, you don't see anything else but to finish the performance and to finish it well."
No one knew, not until after the last curtain call.
"The pressure was over, and so I could be a human being again."
But the show must go on!
Two weeks later, he was fit enough to dance - with Stephen Colbert.
Ever the ambassador for American ballet, he put on his "Nutcracker" prince outfit and danced to the music: "It was a lot of fun!"
© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

Dec 26, 2011

"I Hate My Job"



Dancers with the Boston Ballet perform in this ridiculously awesome video. Can we take a moment to acknowledge their legs?!


M by Misty



Misty Copeland, a curvacious, beautiful young dancer with the American Ballet Theatre is releasing a line of dance clothing specifically for dancers that have been graced with a curvy body. Upon hearing this I let out a huge sigh of relief, I, like many other dancers I'm sure, have waited for this for a looooong time. Thank you, Misty!




To read more about it, click HERE.

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas to my dear followers X)
I hope you all have a wonderful day!
Ballerinabloggeer ~

Question of the Week (December 25 - January 1)



First off, Merry Christmas! So last week you were asked what dancer you'd like to be for a day. Over the past week I've been completely obsessed with Romeo and Juliet's balcony scene pas de deux and I came to the realization that I'd like to perform that more than any other dance in any ballet.




So here's my question: If YOU could perform any role, any scene in any ballet, what would you choose and why? 


Let us know in a comment below or e-mail me HERE.

Thanks guys!

Ballerinablogger ~

Dec 24, 2011

Question of the Week RESPONSE (December 18-25)



This week's question: If you could be one famous dancer for a day, who would you be?

You guys commented and e-mailed and the dancer that took the cake was by far, Natalia Osipova. For those of you that don't know Natalia, watch this video and that will say enough. She is a firecracker of a dancer who is best known for practically flying across the stage with her impressive jumps. Her extensive repertoire has earned her critical acclaim and... Let's be honest.... Who wouldn't love to be her for a day?










Natalia Osipova - Bolshoi Ballet
Natalia Osipova was born in Moscow on May 18, 1986. Decided to pursue a career as a gymnast when she was a child, Osipova only turned to ballet because of a back problem. From 1996 until 2004 she studied at the Moscow Choreographic Academy with Marina Kotova and Marina Leonova. While still a pupil at the Academy, in April 2003, she won the "Grand Prix" at the International Ballet Competition in Luxemburg, dancing variations from "La Bayadère", "Don Quixote", "Esmeralda" and "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux", as well as the especially created contemporary piece "Liturgy" by Yegor Druzhinin. 

Upon graduation in 2004 Natalia joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. Alongside corps de ballet work she was immediately given solo parts. Already in September 2004 she performed the Peasant pas de deux in "Giselle" with Vyacheslav Lopatin. In November 2004, Natalia was cast as leading dancer in "Bolero", a creation by artistic director Alexei Ratmansky, set during the first Bolshoi Theatre's workshop. Initially Natalia was coached by Ludmilla Semenyaka but subsequently started working with Marina Kondratieva. 

Further solo roles, notably the Spanish doll in "The Nutcracker", the Spanish Bride in Yuri Grigorovich's "Swan Lake" and the 1st variation in the Grand Pas of "Don Quixote", readily emphasized her magnificent high jump and ballon. At the same time she also created smaller roles in Ratmansky's version of Dmitry Shostakovich's "Bolt", as well as in the Bolshoi Theatre premieres of John Neumeier's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Mustardseed) and Leonide Massine's "Gaité parisienne" (as Cancan soloist). In the latter Massine-programme Natalia was also cast as Frivolity in "Les Présages", which highlighted her technical ease and quality of movement. 

In June 2005, at the end of her first Bolshoi season, Natalia took part in the Xth Moscow International Ballet Competition, an engagement she had to alternate with continuing performances at the Bolshoi Theatre (among others, she debuted in the leading role of the 3rd movement of George Balanchine's "Symphony in C" during the Competition). Competing with pas de deux from "Flames of Paris", "Diane and Actaeon", "Don Quixote" and contemporary work, Natalia eventually won a bronze medal in the category of duets. 

Natalia's debut as Kitri in "Don Quixote" on 7 November 2005 (with Andrei Bolotin) ignited her career considerably. She imbued the old classic with a rarely seen electrifying energy. Her technical flamboyance and carefree daredevilry earned her accolades from the critics and secured great acclaim with the audience. When Natalia danced the role during the Bolshoi's tour to London in August 2006, very few realized she was still a member of the corps de ballet. Financial Times critic Clement Crisp compared Natalia's performance to Maya Plisetskaya's for its "electric vitality" and "airy bravura". In further performances of "Don Quixote" she was cast opposite Ivan Vasiliev, the young graduate from Minsk who had recently joined the Bolshoi and matches her in bravura. Before she was even promoted to soloist, Natalia's Kitri had already gained classic status. 

In her second Bolshoi season Natalia created roles in Alexei Ratmansky's version of Igor Stravinsky's "Card Game" as well as Fairy Autumn in Yuri Posokhov's new production of Sergei Prokofiev's "Cinderella", and made her debut as Ramze in Pierre Lacotte's "The Pharaoh's Daughter." 

In August 2006, during the Bolshoi tour in London, Natalia also debuted as Aspiccia in "The Pharaoh's Daughter." In her third Bolshoi season she was cast as Gamzatti in "La Bayadère", as The Classical Ballerina in Ratmansky's "Bright Stream" and in "Middle Duet", and featured prominently in the new American choreographers program at the Bolshoi in February 2007, dancing soloist roles in Balanchine's "Serenade" and Twyla Tharp's "In The Upper Room." 

Natalia has been touring extensively with the Bolshoi Ballet, notably to New York, Washington, London, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Brussels, Monte Carlo, Baden-Baden, Munich, Milan, Turin and Paris. In April 2007 she appeared in the Mariinsky Festival, dancing "Don Quixote" (with the Mariinsky's Leonid Sarafanov), a performance in which she had to repeat the fouettés in the final pas de deux at the request of an enraptured audience, and the pas de deux from "Le Corsaire". 

On 22 November 2007 Natalia made her debut as Giselle in Yuri Grigorovich's staging of the ballet. Her partner was Andrei Merkuriev. On 20 February 2008 she was chosen by Johan Kobborg to dance the title role at the premiere in his staging of "La Sylphide" at the Bolshoi Theatre. Further leading roles at the Bolshoi that year included Medora in "Le Corsaire" in April (in the new production by Alexei Ratmansky and Yuri Burlaka), and Jeanne in "The Flames of Paris" in July, a rework staged by Ratmansky of the famous dram-ballet from Vassili Vainonen. 

In 2007 Natalia received the prize "Rising Star" from the Ballet magazine (Moscow) and was selected "Female Dancer of the Year" by the German magazine "Ballet-Tanz" (Berlin). On 22 January 2008, at the 2007 UK National Dance Awards, she received the Richard Sherrington Award for Best Female Dancer. On 15 April 2008 Natalia was awarded the Golden Mask as Best Female Dancer for her performance of Twyla Tharp's "In The Upper Room" and on 6 September of that year she received the Positano Dance Award Leonide Massine (Italy). 

The following year she was awarded the Special Prize of the Golden Mask jury (for best duet in "La Sylphide" in the 2007/8 season, with Vyacheslav Lopatin) as well as the Benois de la danse International Dance Association prize for her interpretation of the roles of Sylphide, Giselle, Medora ("Le Corsaire"), Jeanne ("The Flames of Paris"). 

At the end of the 2008/2009 season Natalia danced her debut with American Ballet Theatre, appearing at the Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in "Giselle" (13 June 2009) and "La Sylphide" (15 June 2009). 

In the 2009/2010 season Natalia further expanded her repertory at the Bolshoi Theatre with leading roles in "Coppélia", "La Bayadère" and "La Esmeralda". 

On December 16, 2009 she performed in the Paris-Moscow gala, joining artists from the Paris Opera Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet, at the Palais Garnier in Paris, debuting as the Ballerina in "Petrushka". The following January 8 Natalia appeared again with the Paris Opera, this time as Clara in Rudolf Nureyev's version of "The Nutcracker" at the Opéra Bastille. On February 13 she debuted with La Scala in Milan in Nureyev's "Don Quixote". 

On 18 October 2008 Natalia was promoted to Leading Soloist, on 1 May 2010 to Principal Dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre. 

Official website Natalia Osipova: www.natalia-osipova.com 
Copyright © 2010
Text of  Natalia Osipova Copyright © 2010 Marc Haegeman. All rights reserved.




Dec 21, 2011

Photos From Arabian



Here are some shots of me and my partner performing/rehearsing Arabian in The Nutcracker.





Dec 19, 2011

Dec 18, 2011

Question of the Week (December 18-25)




So, here's my plan: every week I'll come up with one question regarding dance to ask you guys. It could be about  favorite dance steps, healthy diets for dancers, partnering, your favorite performances over the ages... Anything! You can answer these questions by posting a comment below, by e-mailing me HERE or by commenting on A Dancer's Days Facebook page. (If you have any questions or comments then you can contact me in the same places.) At the end of each week I will pick one person's answer and do a post in response/more in depth on that answer so go ahead and comment, comment, comment! Let's do this...

You ready?... Ok,

Question: If you could be one famous dancer for a day, who would it be?


Go ahead and start answering and thanks for reading!

Ballerinablogger ~

5 Tips to Make Pointe Shoes Last



  1. Jet Glue. When you can feel your box getting soft put a few drips of "Jet Glue" inside your shoe, it works wonders.
  2. Put them in the dryer. Make sure they're on a drying rack, you don't want your shoes to tumble inside the dryer. This sucks the moisture out of your shoes, making them not as squishy and prolonging their lifespan.
  3. Keep them outside of your dance bag. When you're done with your pointe shoes for the day do NOT put them in your dance bag. Being in a confined, non-breathable space can squish them and doesn't allow the moisture from the shoes to escape.
  4. Put nails (also known as tacks) in the shank. If you don't know how to do this then most pointe shoe/dance stores will have the equipment to do so and can show you how. Take a short, small nail and pound it into the shank with a hammer. This makes the shank much stronger.
  5. Rotate your shoes. Rather than wearing the same pair every day, alternate. This gives your shoes a chance to rest and dry out.

Thanks for reading! If you have any comments, requests or suggestions then please leave a comment below or e-mail me HERE.

Best wishes, my dear followers,

Ballerinablogger ~

    Dec 14, 2011

    Nutcracker Update



    The Nutcracker, for me at least, has come to an abrupt close. I had the absolute time of my life and being with my best friends made it all the more special. Here are just a few pictures from the performance run.


    People frequently ask me why the end of the Nutcracker is so sad. Many of my friend are graduating and going out of state/country for college. We're a tight-knit little gang and I'm going to miss them so much.
    (I'll post some pictures from the actual performance as soon as the photographer uploads them to the internet as well as more backstage photos)

    Dec 11, 2011

    Answers for Jane



    Hi there! I just found you blog online and I was really excited to see that people could contact you for questions and stuff...
    So... I decided to ask some questions about going en pointe, first of all I am 13 years old I have 3 years of ballet experience take 2 classes a week, one advanced teen class (hour long) and a technique class (1 and a half hours). I can't wait to get en pointe but it seems like no one in the studio is on pointe except a few high-schoolers, but i know they have pointe classes, anyway I am very nervous about asking my teacher about going en pointe because I just don't want to hear I am not good enough (which i have heard a lot for example: softball, karate, swim team, jazz dance, band...) So I looked to ballet as my way to be really good at something, I stopped all other activities so I could focus on getting en pointe. Anyway... my questions are...
    Am I taking enough classes?
    Do I have enough experience?
    What are some tips on asking a teacher?
    What are some things you NEED to know when getting en pointe?
    Moves to practice?
    Things you need to be able to do before getting en pointe?
    -Sorry about all the questions I'm just really anxious to get en pointe.
    Thanks!
    -Jane
    Oh P.S loved the photo gallery, really cool pictures!

    ------

    Hi Jane!
    Alright, I definitely understand/empathize with your situation so I'm going to give you completely honest advice. Please know that this is based off of personal experience and I'm really just trying to help X)
    I would definitely suggest taking more classes. Two classes a week will make going en pointe much harder. I'd suggest 4-5 classes a week and if that isn't doable then at least three.
    Pointe isn't necessarily about experience, as long as your technique is where it should be to make going en pointe safe then it's perfectly okay.
    When asking your teacher about going en pointe just know that they're going to try to do what's best for you. If they don't feel that you're ready yet then (however hard it may be) it's best to trust their judgment.
    Well, you need to know the basics of the ballet technique. With three years of experience you know ballet steps, positions and basic corrections. All of this applies when en pointe times ten. Your knees must be even tighter and your toes pointed even harder.
    Relevee's. Do lots and lots of relevees but make sure you're doing them correctly. Your legs are turned out and your knees are straight and you're getting all the way up to pointe.
    There aren't any specific steps you need to be able to do in order to go on pointe but you need to be able to cleanly execute basic dance steps. The five positions, plies, relevees, tendus... Essentially a full barre.
    Haha no worries! I love answering questions like these. Going en pointe is extremely exciting, it's a big step in your ballet career and I wish you the best of luck! Break a leg!
    Ballerinablogger ~
    Hehe and thank you :)


    If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below or e-mail me here! Thanks, followers and keep on dancing!

    Nov 24, 2011

    Turkey Day



    Happy Thanksgiving, my dear followers! Please do continue reading and commenting!

    If you have any requests/suggestions for a post then let me know in a comment below.

    Keep dancing!

    Ballerinablogger ~

    Nov 13, 2011

    Preperations for Class



    Although some people believe that barre is "warm up" for the rest of the class, this isn't exactly true. I've found that in order to get the most you can out of a class it's best to go in already warm. So how do you get yourself to that just right warm-but-not-worn-down state? Well, everyone has their own routine and these usually involve going into a classroom or warming up in the hall for a good 15-20 minutes. Here are some basic things that you can do to get ready for class.
    Splits.
    For me, class is a lot easer after I've laid in a few splits. When I stretch my hips I don't feel like turning out is so unnatural. I'll usually lay in a center and side splits for several minutes until I'm comfortably flat on the floor.
    Plie.
    Getting your leg muscles moving will prevent you from feeling tight during plies and adagio.
    Jump.
    If you jump around a little bit this will get you blood flowing and your muscles warm.
    Relevee.
    One thing that I dislike more than anything, is putting my feet into cold pointe shoes and beginning class with cold feet. It hurts and you're much more likely to get injured. Before putting your pointe shoes on keep your feet warm. Do some relevees and keep a pair of socks or slippers nearby.
    Port de bras.
    By stretching into the barre, away, forward and back this gets the uper body warm and loosens up the spine. It makes stretching at the barre much easier.

    Any comments or questions then leave a comment below!
    Thanks guys!

    Ballerinablogger ~

    Nov 6, 2011

    Boston Ballet - Romeo and Juliet



    Boston Ballet is gearing up for their performance of Romeo and Juliet. What I wouldn't give to see the performance!

    Nov 5, 2011

    Night of Stars with the Boston Ballet



    I recently went to see Boson Ballet's season-opening performance of "The Night of Stars". The show was nothing short of breathtaking. The first number, "Double Evil", had me tearing up. I was thrilled to see one of my favorite ballerinas, Adiarys Almeida, performing in "Carnival in Venice" alongside her boyfriend, Joseph Gatti. They dance together effortlessly. Adiarys was perfect for the role with her flirtatious eyes and sky-high jumps, watching her was a dream.The Tchaikovsky pas de deux, performed by Misa Kuranga and James Whiteside, brought down the house. With James' strength and Misa's limber body every lift, turn and jump looked as though they were floating. I myself have attempted the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux variation, I had a profound respect for Misa as she executed the petite allegro steps with precision and vigor. James with his swooping menage practically flew across the stage. My jaw was open practically the entire time.

    Along with those excerpts there was also "The Golden Idol" from "La Bayadere" performed by Jeffrey Cirio, the "Les Sylphides Pas de Deux" performed by Lorna Feijoo and Nelson Madrigal, "The Second Detail" choreographed by William Forsythe, the heartbreakingly beautiful "Antique Epigraphs" choreographed by Jerome Robbins, three pieces all choreographed by Martha Graham and performed by Jennifer DePalo named "Serenata Morisca", "Lamentation" and "Satyric Festival Song." At the end of the performance was "Defile" in which the students of the Boston Ballet School, Boston Ballet II and the entire company come out for a final bow. 
    The entire show was inspirational. I was pleasantly surprised by the homey feel when artistic director, Mikko Nissinen, came before the curtain to speak to the audience and briefly introduce the pieces. The Boston Opera House is absolutely majestic with its meticulously decorated walls and paintings on the ceiling. The grandeur took my breath away.
    After the performance we stepped outside to find a heavy snow blanketing Boston... It's October...!  Going forty on the highway and hardly being able to see out the window was a clear indicator that we weren't going to be driving home that night. So, we stayed with some family friends for the night. Power outages struck the entire area, making the best out of a bad situation we lit candles throughout the house and talked for hours.
    All in all, it was a magical night and I'm hoping to go see Boston Ballet's Romeo and Juliet soon!
    Thanks for reading!


    (Adiarys Almeida, Carnival in Venice)

    Ballerinablogger ~

    Nov 3, 2011

    Halloween + Ballet Class



     Who says you can't dress up for ballet class on Halloween? (As if we don't already wear enough costumes from all the performances!) ;)
    It was all great fun and it was pretty funny looking in the mirror during center and seeing everyone going about class regularly while we all looked ridiculously silly!
    The Aristocats <3
    Hippieeee

    Thing 1 + Thing 2 +Thing 3 from Dr. Seuss



    
    Our teacher giving us her "serious face". X)

    Nov 2, 2011

    E.L.F.



    Performances are just around the corner! It's time to start stocking up supplies for your performance run! All of the supplies needed for dancers/performers can really add up and so I'd like to share with all of you a secret weapon. E.l.f. cosmetics is my favorite makeup shopping site and is outrageously cheap. Where else can you get fair-quality mascara for one dollar?
    EYESLIPSFACE.COM
    This is also a really great place to get Christmas gifts. Every year our company does a Secret Santa and e.l.f. is the perfect place to go.

    Oct 31, 2011

    Happy Halloween!



    Happy Halloween, everybody! For dance class today I and some of my girl friends are dressing up as cats! (I'll be wearing a black leotard, black stirrup tights, cat ears and some fun makeup)Do you guys do anything fun for Halloween?
    I'll be sure to post pictures of the class at the end of the day X)

    Oct 27, 2011

    Stepping In



    Hey followers! So as you know, Nutcracker season is up and running. In the middle of all our regular Nutcracker rehearsals we were also in the process of performing the ballet, Hansel and Gretel. It was ridiculously hectic. In H&G I was performing the Shooting Star variation. It's very fast with lots of big jumps and dashing from one side of the stage to the other. The performance lasted for two weekends, in the first weekend I performed my variation along with the role of an Angel in the Angel scene and in the second I was originally only going to perform as an angel. However, one of the soloists' grandmother passed and the funeral was the week of the show. I had four days to learn her solo, The Dew Fairy, and perform it in the second weekend. To be frank... I was a nervous wreck. However, I had learned the variation in summer camp years before so I knew most of the steps. This, I was grateful for because it definitely made learning the variation easier.
    Within hours the costume department fit me to a tutu and before I knew it I was performing a whole new variation on that same stage. This just goes to show that, in the world of theater, you have to be ready for anything.
    The hardest moment of the whole ordeal was waiting in the wings just before my stepping on stage. My mouth was dry and my stomach was churning. The interesting thing about performers is they're more at home on a stage than almost anywhere else. Many people would never dare to step in front of a crowd, but we crave it and relish in every moment we have up there. As soon as I emerged from the wings and made my grand entrance I could feel myself relax as I settled into the role.
    There's an old Russian saying that goes something like this: (I'm paraphrasing) "If you're calm in the wings and nervous on stage, your performance will crumble. If you're nervous in the wings and calm on stage, you will perform beautifully."
    I've found this to be true in almost every performance opportunity.

    Do you guys have any interesting performance experiences? Perhaps you were an understudy thrust into a role or had to learn someone else's role and perform it? Let us know in a comment below!




    (Pictures from the actual show and backstage)

    Oct 14, 2011

    Maria Kochetkova



    Some of the most fantastic advice and motivational words I've heard in a while.

    Oct 12, 2011

    Motivation



    Hello, lovelies! Just got back from an autumn jog.
    I went through a patch of bushes and got these prickly things stuck to my pants... -_-

    Anyway, I'm trying to keep up the stamina to get in tip-top Nutcracker shape! I've been doing daily ab workouts and I run on Wednesdays and Sundays, it's working pretty well so far. :)

    The difficult part of toning my body for the shows, for me, is definitely cutting back on my calorie/general food intake. I do love food and when the whole family is having one meal it's difficult to ration and modify the meal to fit your needs.
    Whether it's exercising or calorie-cut-back, you just need a little motivation. It can be a picture of what you'd like your body to look like or a song that makes you want to move and exercise. Here's my motivational photo:
    I'm not there yet but by November I will be! X)
    I also have a specific play list that keeps me going while I jog. Here are some of the songs on it:
    Call It What You Want by Foster the People
    Animal by the Neon Trees
    Oh Darling by Plug In Stereo
    Easy by Faith No More
    The Way I Loved You by Taylor Swift
    The Start of Something by Voxtrot
    Don't Your Remember by Adele
    (For the full play list then request it in a comment)

    Do you guys have any special techniques or tips for staying motivated? Maybe a song, video or picture? Let us know in a comment below!

    Sep 30, 2011

    Toning for the Show



    First off, thank you all so much for your congratulatory comments/e-mails, you're all so sweet. X)

    As some of you may know, I got cast as the Lead Arabian for three performances. I'm so thrilled as this has been one of my favorite dances for a long time. However, the Arabian costume is pretty teeny tiny! Here's a picture of the general design of the Arabian costume:
    Pretty skimpy right?

    I want to look the best that I can for the show, but I want to do it in a way that doesn't involve crash dieting or eating disorders. I'll be eating healthy and doing two ab workout DVD's.



    When you plan to lose weight or tone your body then it's important to do it in a safe and healthy manner. If you guys have your own get-in-shape routines for performances or camps then tell us in a comment!

    Thanks guys!

    Ballerinablogger ~

    Sep 27, 2011

    Casting for Nutcracker 2011!



    The cast list finally came out and I know what I'll be rehearsing for the next 2(+) months! Are you ready? Here we go...





    *Drum roll please*




    I'll be performing the Lead Spanish dancer, the Lead Arabian dancer, Demi Flowers in Waltz of the Flowers, the corps de ballet in Waltz of the Flowers and the Dance of the Snowflakes! (I'm splitting all of these roles except for snow so I don't do all of them in one show) ;)
    I'm very, very excited and I can't wait to start rehearsing!
    If you've seen the Nutcracker before then you know that the Arabian costume is definitely the most exposing in the entire show. I'll be going on a bit of a diet and working on some ab definition before I even try that thing on.

    But still, I could not be more thrilled! Thanks for reading guys! Leave a comment and let us know what your casting is!

    Ballerinablogger ~

    Sep 22, 2011

    One More Day...! (ish)



    Hey all! The cast list for my company's annual performance of The Nutcracker will be up either today or tomorrow. I'm anxiously waiting and I hope I'll have some good news to bring back for you guys! I'll be in touch as soon as I know anything. X)

    Ballerinablogger ~

    Sep 18, 2011

    Mystery In The Wind



    Sixteen-year-old Joy Womack with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Absolutely beautiful.

    Sep 15, 2011

    The Cast List...




    It's September and for anyone who's involved with the seasonal favorite, The Nutcracker, you're probably anxiously waiting for a cast list to be posted on the wall right about now. Well... I am too. Auditions for my school's annual production of The Nutcracker were on the 9th and now I'm just going to have to wait out the next two weeks or so. These are probably the most agonizingly long weeks of the year. You just can't wait to scan your finger down the typed words and find out what you'll be rehearsing for the next few months. Waiting is hard... Trust me, I know. And what's even harder is the possibility of being disappointed with your casting.

    It happens more often than not. You find your name on the cast list somewhere you weren't hoping it would be and a wave of sadness rushes through you. We've all been there and unfortunately it's never any easier to cope with the disappointment. But in some cases, maybe expectations were set just a bit too high. So how do you balance yourself between being hopeful and being reasonable?
    The trick is to first be realistic about your casting. Yes I've heard all the time "just don't think about it, it's not your decision, la dee da", but let's be honest. As soon as those auditions are over, that production is on your mind almost 24/7. It is a big deal and you can't help but be excited to finally start rehearsing. You try to guess what role you'll be cast as and silently wish for that one special part. It's just what we dancers do.

    In the event that you look at the cast list and find yourself disappointed, remember this quote: "There are no small parts, only small actors." (Or in this case, dancers) Make the most out of whatever role you get. That's what this is all about right? We're there to put on a good show whether you're in the back line or front and center. It's our job to entertain.
    Although it's good to be somewhat prepared for disappointment, you should also be hopeful and positive. It's okay to be gunning for a particular role, but don't completely convince yourself that you'll be cast as it. You never know what will happen.

    Be positive, think positive. There is the occasional moment when you read the cast list and find you were cast as exactly what you wanted (which, no lie, is a pretty amazing feeling). Set yourself a realistic goal and work towards it.

    It's very hard to balance out your expectations. Even now I sound like a very anxious and very bipolar ballerina. I wish all of you the best of luck. When the cast list finally comes out leave a comment and let us know what you got!

    Break a leg, guys!

    Ballerinablogger ~