7 First-Ballet-Class-of-the-Season Feelings

Pointe Shoes Image Purple Backdrop Clara's Coffee Break
Photo by Rachel Hellwig.

1. I’m back!!! Where have you been all my life?!

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2. New leotard=unstoppable

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3. How can I still do multiple turns, but can’t remember how to tendu?

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5. Happy, happy, happy…

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6. I believe I can fly again…

(Via Pinterest: The Ballet Blog)

7. Forgot how glorious that after-class feeling is…

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8. Really should organize my ballet bag someday…

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Secrets Revealed: 10 Things Bunheads Do When They’re Not Dancing…

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You’ve always wondered…Here’s the truth… 😉

1. Daydream About Dance

All the time. Everywhere we go. When you would never suspect it.

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2. Choreograph in Our Thoughts

If we’re listening to music, there’s a good chance we’re mentally creating, staging, or restaging ballets.

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3. Binge on YouTube Ballet Videos

Oops, 6 hours just passed? Oh well…

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4. Read About Ballet

As difficult as it is to remain still (if we’re not watching dance), we suffer through it for articles, books, and blogs about ballet…

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5. Sew Our Pointe Shoes

It must be done—like it or not. But listening to ballet music, a ballet podcast, or a ballet advice video helps pass the time…

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6. Cross Train!

This is why you watch/listen to TV, right?

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7. Look at Social Media Accounts of Our Favorite Dancers

They. Are. So. Amazing. #Goals

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8. Try Not to Obsess About How Much We Want to Be Dancing Right This Very Minute

Yes, we know we need to rest. And yet…

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9. Binge on YouTube Ballet Videos: Round 2 (or 3 or 4…)

Seriously, how did bunheads survive before YouTube?

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10. Do Things Totally Unrelated to Ballet

It’s a good change of pace. Then it starts to feel really weird and boring…

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Happy Monday!

Know that feeling? 😉 Hope your summer is filled with many ballet victories! 🙂

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Created with Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image.

7 Stages of a Bunhead Summer…

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Photo by Rachel Hellwig.

How is your summer going? What stage are you experiencing? 😉

1. Post-Recital Blues

How is ballet season over yet?!

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2. Summer Intensive Prep

Just focus on summer intensive, focus on summer intensive…

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3. Summer Intensive

Ahh, finally…

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4. Intensive Performance

THIS. IS. WHAT. SUMMER. IS. ABOUT.

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5. Post-Intensive Slump

Can this please be over yet?

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6. Beginning of Nutcracker Season

Time to start thinking about auditions! September is just around the corner!

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7. First-Day-of-Fall-Classes Countdown

And 5,6,7,8 – can’t wait!

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Fun Fact: Ballet Class Isn’t What it Used to Be…Thank Goodness!

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I need an ice pack just thinking about this…

A ballet barre from the 1820s:

“48 pliés followed by 128 grand battement, 96 petit battement glissé, 128 ronds de jambes sur terre and 128 en l’air, and ending finally with 128 petit battement sur le cou-de-pied. One inevitable consequence of this extreme training was a sharp rise in injuries.”

– Jennifer Homans, Apollo’s Angels, 2010, p. 129-130

Oh, and all of this was repeated in center. Yikes. Do not try at home.

Extreme Ballet Training Image Clara's Coffee Break
Created with Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image – Not a Painting of an 1820s Ballet Class, in Case You’re Wondering 😉

Ballerinas with Wings: Swan Roles

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Created with Wikimedia Commons Pubic Domain Image of Anna Pavlova in “The Dying Swan.”

From the irresistible pull of swan arms to the allure of feathered tutus, swan-inspired characters outrank other bird roles in the realm of ballet. Here’s a throwback to three of the most famous swan roles as interpreted by past generations…

White Swan

Distilled through black and white, foregoing scenery, and emphasizing movement as the medium of storytelling, this 1970s Kirov film brings the emotional core of Swan Lake‘s pas de deux into focus with sophisticated simplicity. Odette’s enigmatic, love-him-or-love-him-not relationship with Siegfried is told through the power of musical motion with little aid or accent of acting–flowing through reserve, release, tension, ease, energy projecting outward, and drawing inward…

Black Swan

Odile actually didn’t acquire her avian identity until the 1940s…Before then she was simply a femme fatale who could be costumed in a variety of colors including red and green. But, safe to say, the little black dress makeover certainly stuck. It’s hard not to imagine that this was her signature look all along. Here’s a clip, also from the 70s, of Kirov soloist Elena Yeteyeva performing the variation and coda fouettés.

Dying Swan

“Often imitated, never duplicated”… For something seemingly simple in design–mostly bourrées and upper body movements–Mikhail Fokine’s The Dying Swan, created for Anna Pavlova, has eluded so many of its subsequent performers. Pavlova’s watermark on the work, as seen in this 1925 film, is the translucent abandon and leaf-in-the-wind quality of her arms and upper body: ballerina grace, but with a sense of unsettled drifting.