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.

Jun 25, 2015

summer excursions

Hello, all!
I'm off to the beautiful town of Bar Harbor for the weekend on a camping excursion with my other half, Travis, and a few of our close friends. Should be a blast!
Pictures to come, posts to come. Internet access and cell signal will be scarce but if anyone has any questions, comments, or requests, email me at rhiannon@maine.rr.com.
Happy summer!

Jun 23, 2015

why do we dance?

A simple question. That's all I want to know. Today I'd like to hear from you, dear readers. I'd love nothing more than for you to indulge me in this conversation...
Why do we dance?

Whether it's you, your child, your cousin, you best friend... why do they, we, you, I, or anybody dance? What sparks the passion to move and express? I'd love to know. It doesn't have to be much. A few words or lines are perfect.
To get us started:
I dance because there are emotions that words cannot touch. Sometimes a feeling can't be described in a sentence, so I explain it in my adagio or allegro. I dance because I'll never get tired of discovering where exactly "the breaking point" is. I dance because something in my blood insists upon it.
~ * ~

Why do you dance?

Leave a comment below.

Jun 21, 2015

and the winner is...

Today is the day and the name has been drawn.


Drum roll please! Congratulations to...


Shea Smith!



You have twenty-four hours to get in touch and redeem your gorgeous ballet outfit. Can't wait to hear from you! Congratulations!

Jun 20, 2015

last day

Just a reminder that today is the final day to enter the giveaway for a $92.00 outfit from Rotation Dancewear! The contests closes tomorrow morning and the winner will be announced Monday at 6:00AM. Be sure to check back in and see if you're the lucky dancer!

Here's what you need to do for your chance to win:


1. 'like' a dancer's days and Rotation Dancewear on facebook 

2. follow @rhiannonkpelletier and @rotationdancewear on instagram

3. share this post on facebook 


in this moment

A moment caught in time from this past week. One worth savoring, remembering, and sharing.

in the midst of grueling coppelia rehearsals, it's nice to have a partner that is capable of laughing when the going gets particularly tough, both on stage and off


Jun 14, 2015

guess what...

Finally, today is the day! Let the giveaway begin!

Rotation Dancewear and a dancer's days have partnered up and are giving you the chance to win a beautiful outfit to sport all summer.



We have for you the ever-elegant Ro&Line Suzanne Leotard,the Chamberlain Goods Backwarmer, and to complete this ultimate summer outfit, the MStevens Mesh Skirt. The leotard design is unique with a new spin on a retro style.  It has a mesh back with a low ballet legline and a tie wrap detail for a more custom fit. The backwarmer is an intelligent design that keeps the core warm while allowing the upper body and hips to be free from bulky warmups, perfect to keep your core warm during mild partnering. Finally, the skirt is made of quality nylon/spandex Milskin.  The Milskin waist band gives a slim and secure fit across any size hip.  This delicate design is great for rehearsal, class, audtions or the stage.

The winner can pick the color they prefer for each of these items.
As you may know, I'm a big supporter of dance items that flatter curves and can support a variety of shapes. The Ro&Line Suzanne Leotard will absolutely give you that, an item that April McLeod (owner of Rotation Dancewear) designed herself. The leo paired with the MStevens Mesh Skirt gives an elegant and feminine line.

It is a $92.00 value that could be yours free! 


Here's what you need to do for your chance to win:


1. 'like' a dancer's days and Rotation Dancewear on facebook 

2. follow @rhiannonkpelletier and @rotationdancewear on instagram

3. share this post on facebook 




A little introduction to get us acquainted...
Rotation Dancewear is an online dance-clothing boutique focused on providing professional dancers and students with high-quality and unique pieces to enhance their dance wardrobe.  Their inventory is a curated selection from boutique wholesalers and dancewear artisans.
I first discovered Rotation Dancewear when April McLeod (owner of Rotation Dancewear) emailed me to spread the word about her new line, Recycle by Rotation, a marketplace of sorts that allows dancers to buy and sell pre-owned items from one another. The company aims to "connect the closets of professional dancers," how cool is that? The products are all truly high quality and gorgeous and I'm so thrilled to be in partnership with such a unique company.
~ * ~


 Meet April McLeod

April is married with two children and currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her family. She has been a professional ballet dancer since the mere age of fourteen and has spent most of her professional career as a freelance dancer doing commercial work in Los Angeles, but also had the opportunity to dance with the Sacremento Ballet. April was even a student at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. After returning to California from The Rock as a young adult, April took some time off from ballet to work in the fashion industry. She explains,  "To be honest I was a bit burnt out and my mother had just passed from cancer so my drive to dance was a bit diminished."
Upon finding a mentor, Mario Nugara, a former student of School of American Ballet and pupil of Maggie Black and Chirstina Bernal (see bio here), she returned to dance in her mid-twenties. April has spent her more recent years dancing for him and doing volunteer work for the City of Angels Ballet, Nugara's non-profit organization which provides professional ballet training at no cost to the underprivileged children of the Los Angeles area.
By age twenty-four, April realized the opportunity for a traditional career in classical ballet had passed. "Twenty-four, as we know, is mostly too late to receive a contract in many companies and so I found my path in my training with Mario as well as my other mentor and friend Stephanie Saland (former principal with New York City Ballet under George Balanchine)," April says. "My training with them has taken me further as an artist than I thought possible and while I am not showing off my work on any big stages, I am happy with how far I have been able to go." A reality I can relate to as a dancer, sharing my work on the Maine State Ballet stage. April started Rotation Dancewear after having a miscarriage when trying for her second child. It was then she decided that it was time to try something new in life:

"Having such a deep love of ballet and a passion for fashion, Rotation Dancewear seemed like a fun new venture."

April sought out dancewear designers to create the cultivated collection you see on Rotation Dancewear. This company goes beyond the lengths of a mere store and falls delicately into the category of a gallery. It is art made for other artists to don and aid their creation.
April has also been working on her own designs including the leotard provided today. She explains that she is "Inspired by the dancewear style of the 50's 60's and 70's as well as pieces I have collected over the years and items from my mothers time as an ice dancer.  I love the feminine simplicity of those eras and want to emulate that in my designs for Rotation Dancewear."

~ * ~
This contest will close exactly one week from today.

Good luck, lovelies!


A big thank you to April McLeod at Rotation Dancewear for donating her beautiful items and Jeff Baker for the incredible photographs.

Jun 12, 2015

the coundown continues... two days

As I announced before, a dancer's days is doing its first ever giveaway!

We have yet to learn what boutique this soon- to-be-revealed ultimate summer outfit will be coming from... but to keep the excitement running, here's another peek at some of their beautiful products.


The contest will begin in...

2 days


Check back in for more information!
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Jun 11, 2015

gearing up

At Maine State Ballet, although it's June, we are already gearing up for our summer performance. For two weekends in August we will embark on an eight-show run of the ballet classic, Coppelia, a comedic German tale of Swanilda and Franz and the tangled string of events that occur throughout their courtship. It's truly charming and one of the most convivial of the story ballet repertoire.

The last time the Maine State Ballet Company performed Coppelia was a whirling seven years ago. I was twelve and cast as the titular character of Coppelia. It's an incredible feeling to have come full circle.
A photo posted by Rhiannon Pelletier (@rhiannonkpelletier) on

This will be my first time performing a lead role that carries the ballet (I've performed the Sugar Plum Fairy in Maine State Ballet's The Nutcracker for two years now, who appears only in the second act). This will be a full three-act ballet, which will mean over two hours of dancing for me and my Franz, Maiki Saito. As you may recall, Maiki and I worked together in Le Corsaire this past spring as Gulnare and Lankendem. The dynamic of our working relationship is light enough to make things fun especially in the thick of grueling daily rehearsals, but serious enough to know we both care about the performance and want to make it the best we can. I'm happy for the partnership to continue.

I've been waiting to perform a role of this magnitude for my whole career.

Upon being cast, I spoke with the director and she cautioned that over the next few months, I was really going to have to learn to pace myself in order to make it through the whole ballet. By the time you get to the third act, you're already exhausted enough and still have a full pas de deux looming over you. Many of the roles I have performed in the past, although difficult, involved spurt energy. Like Gulnare in Le Corsaire, the ballet we performed this past spring, for example. She enters in the first act, performs her grueling pas de deux, and does not return until the end of the third act (in our version at least. There are many different renditions of the ballet and we chose to shorten the second act and remove the section with Gulnare). I was required to push myself for about ten minutes, and then had most of the remaining time in the ballet off. This is a new ball game and I can't wait to start playing.


Rehearsals begin today at 3:00! Pictures and posts to come about the journey that will be Coppelia.
Thanks for reading, lovelies.
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Jun 9, 2015

the 'in between' workout

Every year there are several lovely little gaps of complete and utter down-time. One is after summer programs have ended and before the fall season begins, and one is after the fall season has ended and before summer programs begin, the time we're about to wade into. Classes stop, rehearsals are over, and it seems like an eternity before summer programs begin. And the best part? Often placement classes at these summer programs are the very first thing to occur after move-in day, so one class determines the level you'll fall in for the entire summer. I think I'm not alone in saying everyone wants to be on top of their game.

Many studios offer interim classes which is a fantastic resource. But not all dancers have access to such classes or even a studio. But, perhaps you have access to a gym or just some basic equipment. Oftentimes I'll walk into the gym and have no idea what I want to do. I do a lot of online searching for workouts when I can't badger Travis (my personal-trainer-boyfriend and other half) to construct one for me. However, he has done so for us today. Here is a workout by Trainer Travis to keep your stamina and strength up during the dreaded "in between" time.
For this workout, you'll need some weights, a kettle bell (or you can substitute it for a regular weight), a box or chair of about knee-height, and a jump rope.

~ * ~
Start with a warm-up of spinning on a bike for five miles (alternate: jog or perform a warm-up of your choice)

Round One

Walking lunges x 40 (20 on each leg)
Goblet squat x 20
Jog one mile
Box step-ups x40 (20 on each leg)
Kettle bell swings x20 (10 each arm)
Box jumps x20
Jump rope x150

Round Two

Walking lunges x 30 (15 on each leg)
Goblet squat x15
Jog 3/4 mile
Box step-ups x30 (15 on each leg)
Kettle bell swings x15 (alternating arms)
Box jumps x15
Jump rope x125

Round Three

Walking lunges x20 (10 on each leg)
Goblet squat x10
Jog 1/2 mile
Box step-ups x20 (10 on each leg)
Kettle bell swings x10 (alternating arms)
Box jumps x15
Jump rope x125
If you're feeling up to it after that (let me be frank and say that workout kicked my a**), here is round four. It looks easy but mind you, this round is not for the faint of heart!

Round Four

Walking lunges x10 (5 on each leg)
Goblet squat x5
Jog 1/4 mile
Box step-ups x10 (5 on each leg)
Kettle bell swings x5 (on each arm)
Box jumps x10
Jump rope x100


Sit ups x30
Reverse sit ups x20
Dead bugs x10
Side plank 30sec (on each side)
Repeat 3 times
This workout is completely killer. I barely made it through but it will definitely keep your stamina up. For questions about exercises or anything else, please email me or leave a comment below (I love questions and comments!).
Don't forget to like, pin with us, and follow. <3

Jun 7, 2015

let the countdown begin

My dear readers, I am extremely excited to announce a dancer's days' first ever giveaway!
The carrier of some of these gorgeous items has teamed up with me to create the ultimate outfit for the summer season. Can you guess who this beautiful dancewear boutique is?

The contest will begin in...

7 days


Stay tuned for more information!
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Jun 6, 2015

in this moment

A moment caught in time from this past week. One worth savoring, remembering, and sharing.

a rainy sunday's breakfast and afternoon naps on a hot day in may

pancakes recipe here, they were big hit with trav's family!

Jun 2, 2015

back at it

So glad to be back dancing, however, my body will not be so thankful tomorrow morning... After two weeks off between recital and interim classes, today was killer! The picture unfortunately doesn't do my sweat stains justice.

A photo posted by Rhiannon Pelletier (@rhiannonkpelletier) on

recital 2015: part two

It's time for round two and this time working not with the Maine State Ballet, but Center Stage Performing Arts. I have four recital classes with Center Stage, all ballet with the exception of a ballet/tap combo class for little ones. I love working here. The dynamic is different than that of Maine State Ballet, it's less ballet oriented, more recreational in terms of the kids' commitment level, but so much life breathes in the studios. Everyone wants to have fun which, although sometimes a challenge when trying to run a structured ballet classroom, is a great thing.



 With two shows, and a full weekend of recital hoopla, I'd say with complete certainty that it was a success. For the most part, my routines went off without a hitch. It's interesting to watch another teacher's recital piece and listen to them tear it apart and express disappointment with timing or formations although you see nothing wrong, and then when your piece goes on you find yourself doing the exact same thing. Once a dancer, always a dancer, and dancers are perfectionists. Although full of pride for our students, there's always room for improvement.

For the first time, I got to hop on the headset and speak to the crew regarding lighting and starting and stopping the music for each number. Kept the show running smoothly and nothing burned down so I'd say I did a fair job!

Lessons learned this year:



Have an extra pair of comfy shoes on hand, change in and out of the heels. You'll be grateful for it.


When you have a little one crying, you have to use very keen judgment about whether or not to talk to them. With some students it will help immensely, with others the attention will make them cry harder... I had an instance of both. There's a definitely a learning curve to this aspect!


Plan ahead. When you have three of your numbers back to back, especially when the students are young, you're going to be doing some running! I made sure the little ones were arranged in order and waiting in the hallway outside of the wings before I went in to watch/be there for my older class. So glad I did!

~ * ~

It's an experience being part of a recital. Each year is unique and consistently rewarding. Working with kids is never an easy job but shaping young minds is one of the most important things a person can do.

How did your recital go? What did you learn this year? Leave a comment, it makes my day.