2 3 Ballet Webb: November 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sensational Sunday Thanks


Sensational Sunday Thanks

This post-Thanksgiving Sunday seems like a good time to think about making Thanksgiving a regular habit.  I don’t mean the big feast, with the dressing and the turkey, but the “thanks” part.  Dancers know all about establishing habits, good and bad, and creating a Thanksgiving habit falls into the good category.

It is a simple matter of remembering to appreciate what you have, which prevents focusing on what you don’t have (bad habit category), and being thankful.  Gratitude.  Dancers know all about focusing, too.  And focusing on the positive is always better than the alternative.

Studies have shown that gratitude has beneficial effects on health, mood, sleep, and motivation, as well as many other areas (see today’s Link of the Day).

So make Thanksgiving (gratitude) a habit – every day of the year.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #15p:  
“Make Thanksgiving happen more than once a year – make it a daily habit.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
 "Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude."
- A.A. Milne

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Super Saturday Statute Floppy


Super Saturday Statute Floppy

Back in the early days of computers, there were floppy disks.   So called because they were large enough to “flop”, or move around a bit if moved a certain way.  You'll find few of these today - now everything is smaller and much less floppy.

Ballet is an area where nothing is floppy.  Everything is held in a lovely sculptural position, or moves though these beautiful positions – especially the feet.  There are no floppy feet in ballet.  Not ever.  Even in Cecchetti style frappés, the foot still moves through a prescribed position and no flopping is allowed.  And, as I have discussed before, the energy always goes outward – beyond the toenails – when the foot is fully stretched (pointed).

So, just as there are no floppy disks today in computers, there are no floppy feet in ballet!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Ballet Statute #26:  
“There are no floppy feet in ballet.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
What's the point of doing anything if it's easy? It's so much more valuable when a challenge has to be overcome”
- Scott Hamilton, gold medalist figure skating, cancer survivor


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Friday, November 28, 2014

Fun Friday Fifth En Bas


Fun Friday Fifth En Bas

On this Fun Friday after Thanksgiving I’m hoping you have the day off and can fully devote your thinking to today’s ballet secret:  fifth en bas. This arm position, sometimes called low fifth, maintains the same curve in the arms as all the other arm positions.  But for some reason, this low one seems to have infinite variations.  Everything from holding the hands together, to resting them at the side of the hips.

The generally accepted standard is simple:  the hands are in front of the thighs.  Not resting on the thighs, but just out from them.  Not at the side of the thighs, but centered on them.

All the other ballet rules apply:  the hands are shaped as though cradling a baby bird, the fingers are extended slightly (not tense and not curled), and the thumbs are in (no hamburger hands).  Also, the correct curve of the arms is maintained so there is space between the waist and the elbows.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #6x:  
The hands in fifth en bas are in front of the thighs.”

                Fun Friday Link of the Day:


Quote of the Day:
“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.”
-Earl Wilson

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday and Turkey Trot


Throwback Thursday and Turkey Trot

The Turkey Trot was a dance popularized during the early 1900s, but historians believe it originated long before.  Some think it came from Central America in the 1860s.  The name “Turkey Trot” is said to come from the song “Pas Ma La” that in 1895 urged dancers to go to the World’s Fair and do the “Turkey Trot”.  This may indicate that the dance began as a folk dance.

Dancers John Jarrott and Louise Gruenning are credited with introducing this dance in 1909 in Chicago, at Ray Jones Café.  The Turkey Trot is a face to face dance in which the dancers hold tightly to each other and move around the floor while occasionally flapping their arms – hence the name.

At the time, many communities  viewed the Turkey Trot as risqué and immoral, and bans on the dance were attempted.  One New Jersey court imposed a fifty day prison sentence on any young women caught doing the Turkey Trot. But these laws and bans simply made the dance more popular.

The Turkey Trot was replaced in popularity by the Fox Trot in 1914.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #56:  
The Turkey Trot was a popular dance during the era of ragtime music.

                Links of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”
-          Oprah Winfrey


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wild Wednesday Times Two


Wild Wednesday Times Two

Last week a beginning student asked me “which leg should turn-out”?  It had never occurred to me that this was something I should be addressing in this manner.  Lesson learned.

In classical ballet, turn-out almost always involves both legs.  The only exceptions are: during a piece of choreography, during a pas de couru, or during a bourrée in sixth position.  Also, turn-out is only as good as the ability to rotate the leg on the side with less rotation, since the turned-out position must be equal and opposite.  For example, in first position, one leg (foot) should not turn-out more than the other.  It must be equal.  For dancers whose turn-out is significantly different on one side, extra mental attention should be given to improving the rotation on the weaker side during class, along with adding extra exercises outside of class.

I blogged before about how turn-out should be like a book that falls open in the exact center, and this is the sensation dancers should have in all turned-out positions.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #15p:  
“Turn-out always involves both legs.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
““The road to success is always under construction”
Lily Tomlin

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Technical Tuesday Pointers


Technical Tuesday Pointers

Today’s title may make it sound like I am going to give you lots of hints.  No.  Just one.   I’m talking about those uncontrolled arms in arabesque that point to the ceiling instead of maintaining a good, straight forward (and only slightly up) position .

You know the problem:  The front arm during a piqué arabesque, or especially in a sauté arabesque that suddenly points directly overhead as if the dancer is raising her hand to ask permission to leave the room.

This happens because the momentum of the piqué or the sauté, if not controlled, will cause the arm to lift.  It’s a natural reaction, but the wrong one for beautiful line in ballet.  If a dancer is photographed at the moment when the arm points overhead, it can appear as though the arm is growing out of the dancer’s head.  Overall, this “pointer” reflex is one that must be controlled.

To prevent this inappropriate pointing, remember to send energy forward and out through the fingertips, and direct the step itself out and up – not just up.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #7gg:  
“Energy in the arabesque arm extends out and up, otherwise momentum will cause the arm to point to the ceiling.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”
-          Ralph Marston


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Marvelous Monday Elastic


Marvelous Monday Elastic

The dress codes of some ballet academies require students to wear a narrow elastic band around their waists.  This is to provide a visual reference that shows when the hips are aligned and level and when they are out of place.

Whether it is allowed in the dress code or not, using a line of reference like an elastic can be a good idea, even if only for short periods.  With the waistline emphasized it is immediately obvious when one hip is lifted above the other (in retiré, for example), or when the pelvis is tipped backward allowing the seat to stick out.

So try it when you can.  It is an easy way to spot alignment problems and correct them.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #1hh:  
“Wear an elastic around the waist as a reminder to keep the hips level and square.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
- Stephen King


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Steps


Sunday Steps

Today’s motivational secret is an important one, not just for dancers but for anyone who has ever doubted themselves.  Which is all of us.

Doubt makes it difficult to step forward, take a risk, or do something scary.  For dancers it means putting themselves on display in class, in an audition, or in a performance.  Non-dancers face similar situations from job interviews, to challenging assignments, to changing careers.  And each of these opportunities comes packaged with a host of doubts.

But take heart!  Know that doubt is a common experience and step forward in spite of it - maybe even because of it.  Don’t stand still because of doubt.   Otherwise, you’ll be standing in the same place today as you were yesterday.  And even a baby step forward is progress.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Motivational Secret #48:  
“If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.  And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
-Helen Keller

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Super Saturday Statute


Super Saturday Statute

It is time, once again, for another Super Saturday Statute.  This one involves barre work. 

The barre serves as a partner, one that assists the dancer – gently – into greater and better technique.  Therefore the barre should be treated as a partner, with kindness and respect.  There should never be a tight grip on the barre, or a tense, raised elbow and shoulder.  Think about what it would feel like if the barre were an actual human.

Ballet Statute #25 states that the arm on the barre must be relaxed.  Any time the elbow begins to levitate and/or the shoulders tense, something is wrong!  Often it is a big indicator that the dancer’s placement is off.  Also, the hand on the barre should be placed slightly in front of the torso.  When problems occur with the barre arm, it often because the hand on the barre is placed too far back.

So don’t squeeze the poor barre and relax the arm!

From the Itty Bitty Beige Book of Ballet Statutes:

Statute #25:  
“When working at the barre, the arm on the barre must be relaxed.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
““Relaxing the shoulders is vital for relaxation in general. However, owing to the effects of gravity, relaxation is problematic unless we let the shoulders remain in their natural place. Let the shoulders drop, or settle in harmony with gravity, into their most comfortable position. It isn’t too difficult to do this for a moment, but to sustain this condition unconsciously in our lives is another matter.”


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun Friday Second Position


Fun Friday Second Position

Second position is a great tool for dancers.  It provides a wide, stable base and allows the legs and hips to stretch and relax at the beginning of class.  Second position is also a different animal.  It is a position seldom seen on stage (except briefly as a preparation for a turn or jump), and almost never seen on stage during grand plié (for obvious reasons).

One rule that must be followed is this:  In second position grand plié, the hips (pelvis) should never be allowed to lower (descend) past the knees.  This can put undue stress on the knees, as well as distorting the correct alignment of the body.  It serves no useful purpose.  Plus, it is unattractive.

Always descend in a second position grand plié with the thought of going down to the level of the knees, and no lower.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #2o:  
“In a second position grand plié, the hips should not go lower than the knees.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective - people who know to see a problem as an opportunity.”
-          Deepak Chopra


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday and Alexandra Danilova


Throwback Thursday and Alexandra Danilova

Known to her friends as Choura, Alexandra Danilova’s career included performing with The Imperial Russian Ballet, and the history-changing Ballet Russe.  Many dancers today remember her as a teacher at the School of American Ballet.

She was known for a stage presence so brilliant that she commanded the audience’s attention even when she wasn't actually dancing. An extremely versatile artist, she danced everything from Swan Lake to contemporary roles, and even performed in some experimental works.

She was born near St. Petersburg, in Russia on November 20, 1903, and raised by relatives and foster parents.  She was accepted as a student by the Imperial Ballet School when she was eight years old.  In 1920, she entered the company, The Maryinsky Ballet.  Later, she danced with Diaghilev and his Ballet Russe, followed by various other Ballet Russe companies.   With the coming of World War II, Ballet Russe became an American company and Danilova toured the U.S. with them until the early 1950s.

In 1946, she became an American citizen.  For many years she taught at The School of American Ballet and was in demand as a guest teacher across the country.  Although she was married and divorced twice, she never had children.  She said:  “I sacrificed marriage, children and country to be a ballerina, and there was never any misunderstanding on my part:   I knew the price.”

Alexandra Danilova died in 1997 at her home in Manhattan.  She was 93.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #56:  
Alexandra Danilova was a famous ballerina with The Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballet Russe.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
““Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else.”
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wacky Wednesday and a Sticky Pinky


Wacky Wednesday and a Sticky Pinky

There are times when the pinky toe makes contact with the floor, and times when it doesn't.  When a dancer stands on a full relevé, the little toe may or may not make contact.  This is determined by the individual’s foot and how the toes are structured.  If the little toe is significantly shorter than the big toe (this is normal), then it will not actually touch the floor in relevé.  The first three toes are usually the contact ones.

When the whole foot is on the floor, however, the little toe must make contact.  If it doesn't the foot rolls forward from the ankle and a weakened position is created.

To keep the little toes firmly on the floor, imagine that there is glue on the bottom of the toe.  Or Velcro.  Whatever image works to keep the pinky securely adhered to the floor.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Secret #7gg:  
“ Imagine glue under the pinky toe.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.
-          Walter Elliot 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Terrific Tuesday Skips


Terrific Tuesday Skips

When teaching beginners, the difference between specific jumping steps can be confusing.  When the student advances from jumping on two feet to alternating feet, remembering the difference between jumping from one foot to the other (as in jeté), or jumping and landing on the same foot (temps levé), can be daunting.

I like to tell beginners that steps that do not move from one foot to the other (like sautés and temps levés) are something they already know how to do.  Skip!  These steps are simple step-hops, exactly like a skip.

I sometimes have the dancers move across the floor doing nothing but skipping.  Then ask them to do a sauté-sauté combination (in arabesque and/or retiré) across the floor using the same feeling.  Voila!  They get it!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #15t:  
“A sauté, or a temps levé is simply a step hop – a basic skip.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things.... I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. I never water my garden without soaking myself.”
 ~Leo F. Buscaglia, Bus 9 to Paradise

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Mad Monday Kisses


Mad Monday Kisses

There are lots of places in ballet where it is useful to think about kissing.  We dancers are affectionate beings, and these kisses help insure good technique.  I’ve blogged about Aunt Matilda kissing your cheek, and how you should kiss your knees in port de bras forward.

Here’s another one:  when completing a plié, the backs of the knees should make contact, or kiss. This prevents slightly bent knees, and thus a weakened position.  The only time the knees are allowed to be relaxed (slightly bent) is during a bourrée.  Otherwise, the patella (knee cap) is fully pulled up.

Imagining the backs of the knees kissing is one way to keep the legs fully “pulled up”, elongated, and strong.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #2n:  
“When completing a plié, remember that the back of the knees should kiss.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
-Newt Gingrich


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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Contagion


Sunday Contagion

The news headlines today seem to be filled with scary stories about contagious illnesses like Ebola, enterovirus or the flu.  It got me thinking that there are contagious things that aren’t scary.  For instance, if you smile at someone, they will most often smile back, as if they “caught” the smile from you.  But there are lots of other good things that are contagious.

A happy mood is a big one.  Especially for dancers who sometimes seem to spend their time making martyrs of themselves, just a few dancers with an optimistic outlook might change the course of this epidemic. 

So mood is a big contagion.  An attitude of happiness, gratitude, kindness, or any other positive traits can start a pandemic of good things.  Try it.  Spread these things to as many people as you can. 

Be contagious.


From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Motivational Secret #46:  
“Be mood contagious.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“I have often noticed how primate groups in their entirety enter a similar mood. All of a sudden, all of them are playful, hopping around. Or all of them are grumpy. Or all of them are sleepy and settle down. In such cases, the mood contagion serves the function of synchronizing activities.”
-          Frans de Waal

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sensational Saturday Statute


Sensational Saturday Statute

Ahhh those random thumbs.  You know what I mean – thumbs that stick out when they should be aligned close to the palm of the hand.  This is the same place thumbs go everyday – unless one is hitchhiking, which is not a good idea.

Notice the way the thumbs fall when the arms are at the side of the body and the hands are relaxed.  The walking-down-the-street position if you will.  The thumbs fall neatly in line with the other fingers.  This is the way they should be in any balletic port de bras.  The thumbs are in line with the slightly extended fingers.  No hitchhiking!

This is especially problematic when the arms are overhead in fifth en haut.  If the thumbs are allowed to poke out, or extend away from the fingers, the result is the dreaded “hamburger hands”, see http://balletwebb.blogspot.com/2014/05/saturday-sandwiches.html

So remember today’s statute:  There is no hitchhiking in ballet.

From the Itty Bitty Beige Book of Ballet Statutes:

Statute #24:  
“There is no hitchhiking in ballet.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Life is too sweet and too short to express our affection with just our thumbs. Touch is meant for more than a keyboard.”
-          Kristin Armstrong

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Fun Friday Shake Up


Fun Friday Shake Up

Today I am going to suggest something radical.  Stand in a different place at the barre at least one day every week.  Now, I know this is revolutionary.  Dancers have their personal “spots” at the barre, and if one attends class at an unfamiliar studio, it is customary to ask if one is standing in someone else’s spot.  I get it.  I had my spot, too.

However, research has shown (seriously) that changing things in one’s routine actually boosts brain power.  So for dancers, standing in a different place will stimulate the brain.  So will taking a different route to work, or even rearranging furniture.   Anything that alters the usual routine.

So try it.  Stand in a new place at barre, or in the center, or both.  Shake up the routine. The results might be surprising.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #7ff:  
“Stand in a different place at the barre.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:

“It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday and Pierre Beauchamp




Throwback Thursday and Pierre Beauchamp

Pierre Beauchamp was a dancer who danced many times with King Louis XIV and with Jean-Baptiste Lully, another rising star in the 1600s dance world.   Beauchamp began as young Louis XIV’s dancing master, and King Louis took lessons with him for more than twenty years.

 Later, Lully made Beauchamp the director of the Academie Royale de Danse, and Beauchamp is credited with inventing the well-known five positions of the feet.  Whether he actually created the five positions is unknown.  A man named Thornot Arbeau published a book in 1588 that described turn-out, and his principles may have been adapted  and codified by Beauchamp.  Whatever the truth is, Beauchamp is usually given the credit.

Beauchamp was born into a family of violinists in 1636, and became both a musician and a dancer.  He choreographed many operas for Lully, and also devised a system of dance notation that was used and published by his student Raoul Feuillet.  Beauchamp helped increase the professionalization of ballet and his teaching methods raised the standards of the art form.

If all these accomplishments weren’t enough, some sources say Beauchamp was the first to perform the tour en l’air.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #55:  
Pierre Beauchamp is credited with creating the five positions of the feet.

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Creating is the essence of life.”
-          Julius Caesar

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wild Wednesday Number 4


Wild Wednesday Number 4

A common problem with retirés is the position of the working foot.  It needs to be placed high enough to avoid a droopy look – and we all know there is no drooping in ballet (Ballet Statute #18). 

In retiré there are three basic positions for the foot:  1. The little toe is placed in the under curve of the knee at the front of the leg; 2. The big toe is placed at the side of the leg, centered at knee height (or sometimes even higher); and 3.  The heel of the working foot is hidden behind the knee (as in piqué turns).

The foot should never hang (droop) below the knee, otherwise it looks like the number 4.  The only permissible time for the retiré foot to overcross is when the female dancer is working with a much shorter partner.  And even then, the foot is still placed and supported at the proper height – at the knee, not below the knee.

So today’s Ballet Secret is:  there are no number 4s in retiré.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #14o:  
Avoid retirés that look like the number 4.

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.
-          Yogi Berra


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran’s Day


Happy Veteran’s Day

As you enjoy this day, remember to say thank you and honor any veterans you know.  And it wouldn’t hurt to do this on other days of the year as well.

To all our wonderful veterans:  a heartfelt  thank you.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

“Honor a veteran today.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Thank you for the sacrifices you and your families are making. Our Vietnam Veterans have taught us that no matter what our positions may be on policy, as Americans and patriots, we must support all of our soldiers with our thoughts and our prayers.”
-          Zack Wamp


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Monday, November 10, 2014

Miraculous Monday Tutu Tail Feathers


Miraculous Monday Tutu Tail Feathers

Tutus are very useful as images for better technique.  Remember Ballet Secret #1r:  Imagine a tutu set with lots of fine china and silver on top.  This helps keep the hips level.  But there are other ways to use a tutu image.

One of the best is an image that prevents the dreaded derrière tilt-back (sticking the seat out).  This is a classic problem, especially in à terre or low derrière positions (the pelvis does tilt in high derrière positions). 

Think about it for a minute.  What happens to the line of the tutu if the dancer’s seat sticks out, or the pelvis tilts backwards?  That’s right, the tutu sticks almost straight up in the back – like tail feathers.  Think of those turkey cut-outs created for Thanks giving by elementary school students.  Tail feathers in tendues (and other steps) need to be avoided at all costs!

No tail feathers in tendu.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #7ee:  
“Imagine wearing a classical tutu to prevent tendu tail feathers.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.”
-          Emily Dickinson

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Cache


Sunday Cache

Recently, I was reading about methods people use to stay motivated.  Perhaps surprisingly, one of the top things mentioned was keeping a collection of favorite quotes.  I put a Quote of the Day on each blog, and I enjoy using quotes in my classroom.  But I never thought about actually keeping a collection of them.  It sounds like a good idea.

This cache of quotes can be kept in an online file, a small notebook, a diary, or even in an audio file.  Whatever works for you.  Start a collection today.  Get a notebook and start saving favorite sayings.  Then, when you feel unmotivated or uninspired, open it up and savor some uplifting thoughts.

I think I’ll add some short poetry to my collection as well.  Here is one of my favorites:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.  
-Emily Dickinson

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Motivational Secret #46:  
“Consider creating a quote cache.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:

Risk

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.“

- Anais Nin

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Super Saturday Statute


Super Saturday Statute

It is time once again for another Ballet Statute.  Those items in ballet technique that are absolute and unquestioned. 

To celebrate the cool fall season, think of those warm, fuzzy turtleneck sweaters.  They keep your torso and neck warm and are a wonderful thing to have in anyone’s fall and winter wardrobe.  But they do not belong in ballet technique.

Turtlenecks happen in ballet when the shoulders go up and the head sinks down – like a turtle retreating into its shell.  This is never allowed.  There are no turtlenecks in ballet!

Turtlenecks often appear in grand battement derrière – as the arm moves to an arabesque position, and the leg battements, the shoulders go up, warming the ears and causing the neck to disappear. This is not a position any dancer wants to achieve, so stamp out turtlenecks by concentrating on lengthening the neck.

Keep turtlenecks confined to a closet or drawer.

From the Itty Bitty Beige Book of  Ballet Statutes:

Secret #32:  
“There are no turtlenecks in ballet.”

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