Archive | March 2012

under the lights, baby

Today is performance day. Two performances, in fact. Last night we had dress rehearsal on the stage. I have never ever done this before.

Bright lights. Oh my.  I didn’t know what to expect, and I had been afraid of being blinded and getting a headache like I do if I’m out in the sun without sunglasses but fortunately, that didn’t happen.  We’re supposed to have blackout after one of our dances but it wasn’t very dark, so the effect wasn’t very dramatic and we can just forget about sneaking off stage unseen. haha.

Help! I was so wobbly. I was shaking at one point too while we were holding a position (this has never happened.)  Miss Experience said it was because we didn’t warm-up.  I’m hoping that’s all it was, but I did do a little bit on my own, plus I was warming up and stretching throughout the day.  I thought my shakiness was nerves for being on the stage. Turned my ankle a teeny bit once. Started to go the wrong way on one of the choruses but quickly corrected.

Don’t want to be full of negatives. As a whole, we all did ok!  And today is going to be even better.  Can’t wait!

The little dancers were so cute. One of my best friends has a daughter in ballet and play and when they were dancing to their second song, I ran over to her and said,

“Is this a free dance (as in no choreography?)”

That’s so awesome!  What a wonderful idea. And they were so lovely in their thin, flowing below-the-knee skirts. A free dance wouldn’t work for any age group, any song, or any costume, but this all came together perfectly. And of course even though it was a free dance, they are showing what they’ve been learning in class.

Being in the performance is a little bit different for me than just being a ballet mom who takes pictures at the rehearsals. I hardly got any photos at all. boo! My dad was there with his camera, so hopefully, he’ll share his  photos. (hint hint)

I’m off to conditioning this morning. It will be a good start (well 4 hours into my day) to my day. See some of you in the audience at 3:00 or 7:00.

dancing through a season of grief, part 2

In February, I first wrote about how I am dancing through a season of grief. Last week, the seventh anniversary of my daughter’s death rolled in quickly like a thunderstorm and faded away just as fast.

When I showed up for rehearsal on Friday night, another mom, who has also lost a child, asked me how I was doing, knowing that the previous day had been my daughter’s heaven day.  I had been with my two oldest children for an event at our state capitol since early that morning so I hadn’t had any time to myself until the ride to the studio just then. I had started to cry on the way over so I didn’t really know how rehearsal would go. My friend said that she didn’t know how I could work with this song so much. I said I had always been ok at class and rehearsal, but I really had no idea what would happen that night since I was definitely fragile.

I had a hard time getting through I Can Only Imagine. My body just felt so heavy. The same for How Great Thou Art. I was thankful to sit down while they ran through a song that I wasn’t in. I got out some tissues and just took some deep breaths trying to make sure my silent tears stayed quiet.

When it was time to rehearse I Can Only Imagine again, I just couldn’t get up off the floor. It was actually nice to watch the dance since I had never done that before.  Sooooooooo lovely! But I felt so alone. I resisted the urge to gather my things and leave. It took effort on my part to just stay. I got up for the next song, but I couldn’t lift my eyes. I was still trying to hold back tears. Miss Ballet Teacher kept telling me to lift my eyes, but I couldn’t. She was probably thinking, what is going on with this girl?

Finally, rehearsal was over. This was the first time that I didn’t enjoy myself. Even though it is challenging and hard, I always find the dance enjoyable. When I pulled out of my parking spot, I only got a few feet before the sobs came, so I parked again. I found the song You Raise Me Up on my iPod and put it on continuous play, listening to it until I felt it was safe for me to drive home.

joy really does come in the morning

I lay in bed the next morning, thinking about how much better I felt than the evening before. I was thankful and prayed that the lightness in my spirit would remain. And it did. Conditioning class and then rehearsal went great–or at least in my heart, they went great. I’m just a beginner, you know.

no diamonds allowed; think I can wear this instead?


Just 3 more days til our dress rehearsal and tonight Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher told us what we should wear and what we may NOT wear.

False eyelashes
Coordinating lipstick: not too pink or too red (now what exactly does that mean??)
diamond/rhinestone stud earrings

nail polish
body glitter (oh darn, I just bought some for the occasion. I’ll have to wear it to church instead.)
diamond rings…so you think I can wear this garnet ring? It was my grandmother’s and matches my costume.


me and my unitard

I was telling my sister-in-law about my costume and she had to interrupt me and say,

“Wait can you repeat that?  You lost me at the word, “unitard.”

Yes, even though this costume I’m wearing is loose and flowing, it is called a unitard (but so are the skin tight ones which I am not, in fact,  wearing.)  She told me that she’ll be looking for a post called “me and my unitard.”So this post is dedicated to Miss Sister-in-Law who always wanted to take ballet as a child but who harbors no such desire as an adult.

My costume is white. The color of snow. I decided to order myself a white leotard to wear under this thing. Apparantly, one is supposed to wear a skin colored body liner, not a white one. I actually had been looking at those too, but for whatever reason, I decided to go with the white. Other ladies told me you can really see white under white but the skin colored one, you can’t see–just offers coverage. So I got online and found myself a nude colored body liner. Finding one in my size: now that was an accomplishment!

The body liners are also called second skins. You’re not kidding me. I ordered my little miss a new leotard at the same time, so they shipped together.  Her leotard (she wears girls size 8-10) was in a small enough little package, but my new liner was not just half the size of her leotard all folded up, I’d say it was 1/4 of the size or even smaller, about the size of handkerchief. Phew.  It seemed small, but boy did that sucker stretch over my torso.  Just add a couple of pads out of a sports bra, and I am ready for my white unitard.

A couple weeks ago, I had on my costume to be fitted for the burgandy overlay. As I was looking in the mirror, I started to panic. That was the first time since I made the decision to go ahead and do the performance that I was having doubts. I thought to myself, who am I to be on stage, especially wearing THIS?? Seriously, why am I doing this?  But then I told myself everyone was wearing this costume that adds 20 pounds to the hips and another 20 just in general and that the costume would look lovely with nine of us wearing them for a liturgical dance. And besides it’s just a costume, right?

Seriously, though. Nothing about this thing is slenderizing. yup. Me and my unitard and an overlay.

snap snap…

So the burgandy colored overlay for my costume is done. Miss Experienced is sewing  the overlays with a little help from others. After checking the fit, she gave it to me, saying all I needed to do was sew on a couple snaps at the waistband (which is a high waistband.)

NO NO NO. I thought. I hate sewing. I could sew on a couple snaps, but it truly would take me an hour or two (I’m not kidding folks.) and then they’d probably end up crooked or something. Plus, one of my fingers would start bleeding  because I ‘d keep poking it with the needle. I’m speaking from experience here.  Did I mention I hate sewing?

I decided to farm this mini project out.  My mind bounced around for a little while, trying to think of which handy-with-needles-friend I could ask for this small, yet huge favor.  Ah yes,my good friend and neighbor. Before I could facebook or call her, I saw her out my kitchen window,  so I ran out to my deck and called to her. She agreed to sew on the snaps, and finished it that very night. WOW. Fast. And she got it right the first time. Cool and thank you, thank you,thank you.

Snap. Snap. Done. And I didn’t even have to thread a needle.

frizzy bun

20120317-211120.jpgI just took this photo with my ipod then uploaded it to my blog: how cool is that? I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to wear a bun for the performance.  um. ugh. I have fairly curly hair and I’m just not sure how it’s all going to turn out.  I just took a bunch of clips out of my hair that I’ve been wearing for a day and a half, so I thought I’d smooth it out and try a bun.

This is the 30 second version with no pins or clips, no comb or brush–just my fingers, a ponytail holder, and hair net. I guess if I can do this in half a minute, then if I spend 3-5 minutes on it with some water, gel, hairspray, and pins, it might turn out ok. My main concern is my little curly wings at the nape of my neck.  Superglue?

I’m used to doing my little miss’s bun whose hair is straight, fine and thin. Anyone with curly hair care to share how their ballet bun gets all slick and ballet-ey?

you don’t want to dance with the fan

The staff of Ballet Magnificat taught masters’ classes this week at my dance studio. My little miss went to a beginner class (but in ballet world, beginner actually means that you’ve been taking ballet for at least 3 years. go figure.)

The instructor told everyone to find a place by the barre so my little miss promptly positioned herself at the end of the barre a couple inches from the fan, edging out an adult dancer.

“No, no, no sweetie” I thought. “Don’t stand there! Someone else–an adult no less- is already standing there.  Look at all the empty spaces between little people your own size! Oh well..what’s a mom to do?”

The adult, who was presumably coming to this beginner class to warm up for the advanced class, gave her a sideways glance and went to the free-standing barre at the center of the room, leaving my little miss to dance with the fan.

And dance with the fan, she did. I don’t think she ever actually knocked into it, but I was just about to get off the bench and move it when the instructor went to pick up the fan and laughingly said,

“You don’t want to dance with the fan.”

My little miss loved the class, got some nice corrections. She would dance everyday if she could.

coming soon: my masters’ class.

ballet magnificat’s filming of the arrival: worship dance wednesday

Ballet Magnificat performed in my town last night, and of course, I was there! I was hoping to find a video to post of one of their dances, but I only see promo videos. However, I did find this taping of “The Arrival” in which they are doing bits and pieces of the song, “The Time is Now.” This happens to be my favorite piece from the ballet, “The Arrival,” so I was thrilled to find it.

down, skirt, down!

 I decided to wear my skirt tonight to rehearsal. I’ve never worn it to ballet class before. I did happen to wear it all summer long to the pool over one of my bathing suits. Did you know that a dance skirt can double as a swim skirt? Or at least this one can. This is the skirt I ordered nearly a year ago when I thought I needed to wear leo and tights to conditioning class.

You know how you want to do something,  but you don’t do it JUST BECAUSE. And the longer that you don’t do it, then you keep on not doing it because you’ve been not doing it for so long that you’re afraid to START doing it. I realize I’m just talking about wearing a skirt to class or rehearsal instead of my usual pants, but I do this in other areas of my life as well.  So I decided to just wear the skirt already. Rehearsal was on a different night than normal;  we were in a different studio space, so I figured I could dress differently too. Plus it passed inspection by my 7 year old ballerina fashionista which was definitely the most important deciding factor.

So now that I have broken the ice with this skirt, I feel like I can wear it anytime I want. I have some everyday footless black tights so I just slipped those over my leotard (just have to say here that you’ll never see me wearing pink tights over my leotard, only under. This is my rule…however if my black tights had a visible gusset well, then I wouldn’t wear them over or under.  Wouldn’t wear them over because I think gussets are the ultimate in tackiness because no one wants to see that!!!!  Seriously, no one wants to see your gusset.) Also please note that I didn’t wear my footed black tights because I couldn’t bear the thought of black tights in pink ballet shoes. I’m shuddering at the thought.

I digress. So I’m wearing my skirt and dancing, and it twirls. I knew it would twirl a little, but this skirt happens to twirl A LOT. We have several turns in our choreography and I saw my skirt in the mirror and I thought,

“Woaaaaah Nellie, down skirt down!”

I found myself hesitant in my turns because my skirt was flaring out so much and I also found myself putting my hands down to keep it down like Marilyn did when she stood over the vent. NOT GOOD. Not good refers to me being distracted by my skirt, not the fact that is was all twirly whirly. So after a couple times of messing with it after a turn, I just decided to ignore  it, move like I normally do and go with it. Just don’t dance too close to me or you might get whipped by my skirt.