2 3 Ballet Webb: 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Master Key


Sunday Master Key

A master key, according to Merriam-Webster is: “a key that can be used to open many locks”. Therefore, we each need our own personal master key that can unlock frozen or halting motivation. A single key that can work in all circumstances. But how?

This master key can take many forms: a song, an affirmation, a photograph, a mental image, a memory, a goal,etc. Each individual needs to find what works for them as a key that unlocks any situation.

This week look for your master key, if you don’t already have one. And, once you find it, keep it close.


From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Motivational Secret #187:
“Find your master key.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The real you suffocates under the layers of your learned identity. Uncover the layers so you can truly breathe again from the true center. Being aware of your infinite potential and access awakens the Master with the Master Key within.” - -Franklin Gillette

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday Shrugging Statute


Saturday Shrugging Statute

There is no shrugging in ballet. By this I mean the type of shrugging that indicates “attitude” or a lack of concern. Shrugging also causes the shoulders to warm the ears, creating the dreaded turtleneck look.

Shrugging can telegraph many things, and usually they aren’t good or necessary. If a shrug means simply “I don’t know”, then it is usually better to say it - or at least have the facial expression accompanying it that makes clear that the communication is that simple, without any rolling of the eyes or other body language that adds a negative component.

And always avoid the dreaded “tongue click and sigh”, especially if it is added to a shrug.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Ballet Statute #96:
There is no shrugging in ballet.

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren't already complicated enough.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Friday, October 20, 2017

Fun Friday Vanishing Neck


Fun Friday Vanishing Neck

This blog is pretty self-explanatory. Beware of the vanishing neck. When this happens it gives the appearance of wearing football pads and this is very scary.

A disappearing neck is to be avoided at all costs, and this problem often occurs when the upper back rounds forward and the neck slides downward. Scary again. A dancer’s neck must be fully evident at all times!

To prevent the Vanishing Neck Syndrome, elongate the spine (see precious blogs), and keep the eye focus up, and certainly not on the floor (see previous blogs).

A dancer should never look like he/she is wearing a set of football pads. Ever.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #21oo:
“Beware of the vanishing neck.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
-         Vince Lobardi, Jr.
                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Thursday, October 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday and Bunny Briggs


Throwback Thursday and Bunny Briggs

Beginning on the streets of Harlem as a young boy, Bunny Briggs showed his dance talent early. He was known for the speed of his footwork as well as being skilled as a musician. He died in 1914 at the age of 92. This early prodigy went on to be a great performer and a mentor to others.

He appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, on and off Broadway and at the Newport Jazz Festival. He was also an accomplished musician who appeared in the 1989 Broadway musical “Black and Blue” (for which he was nominated for a Tony Award). He performed with Count Basie, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington. Duke Ellington once described Mr. Briggs as “the most superleviathonic, rhythmaturgically syncopated tapsthamaticianisamist”.

Constance Valis Hill, a tap historian, wrote in her book “Tap Dancing America: A Cultural History,” “Bunny Briggs broke new ground for modern tap dancing on the concert stage.”

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #186:
“Bunny Briggs was a tap dancer and musician”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Douglas Adams

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wild Wednesday Multiple Assemblés


Wild Wednesday Multiple Assemblés

A step that many students dislike is brisé. I’m not sure why this is, unless their initial exposure to the step was problematic, since the beating of the feet usually takes some time to master.

It helps to prepare students by having them do a step they are already familiar with: assemblé. Have them go across the floor in a series of traveling assemblés, (glissade assemblé, glissade assemblé, etc.) Have the assemblés close in back each time and emphasize the “assembling” of the feet.

Then have the students go across the floor again, but this time doing brisés with the appropriate upper body posture. Most often the brisés are now less daunting and the beats happen more readily.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #15bbb:
“A series of traveling assemblés is a good preparation for brisés.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Technical Tuesday Feet


Technical Tuesday Feet

The next time you put on your ballet or pointe shoes consider this: Human feet have 52 bones, which amounts to one quarter of the bones in the body. Think about all those essential bones during tendues, etc!

Here’s another fact: Your feet have 500,000 sweat glands and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day. Now you know why you should allow your pointe shoes to dry out after use!

There are many other facts, savory and unsavory, but that’s enough for today.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #26ee:
“Human feet have 52 bones, accounting for one quarter of all the human body’s bones.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
Mahatma Gandhi

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Monday, October 16, 2017

Mad Monday Jigsaw Puzzle


Mad Monday Jigsaw Puzzle

You’ve probably seen those finished jigsaw puzzles that have been mounted on a board and displayed as art. The individual pieces are always apparent, and perhaps that is what makes it interesting.

It doesn’t work that way in dance. When a series of steps, or piece of choreography is first learned, the lines between the jigsaw of steps is evident. It is only through rehearsal and repetition that these lines are erased, and one step melds seamlessly with its neighbor. That’s the goal, anyway.

So think of merging each step into the next – no hesitation, no change in dynamics, etc. It is challenging but worth it!

No jigsaw lines!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #21nn:
“Imagine eliminating jigsaw puzzle segments.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:


                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Gentle


Sunday Gentle

Today’s theme is a quote from Han Suyin, whose real name is Elizabeth Comber. She was born in China as Rosalie Matilda Kuanghu Chou. She was a physician and author of both fiction and non-fiction books. She died in 2012 at age 95.

Gentleness is an interesting thing to contemplate, especially today. How often do people react to things with gentleness? How many people go through their life practicing gentleness? Gentleness is a close cousin of kindness, which has often been a subject of this Sunday blog. 

When things aren’t going the way you’d hoped, practice making gentleness your first reaction. Whether directed at someone else, or at yourself, even a single dose of gentleness is a powerful thing.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Motivational Secret #186:
“There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.”
Leo Rosten, Captain Newman, M. D

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday Someone Else Statute


Saturday Someone Else Statute

Yesterday’s video touched on today’s topic. Never let anyone else tell you that you can’t do or be something because ______fill in the blank. 

Yes, ballet has a definite aesthetic, and those that are too tall, too short, too anything are often told they can’t be a ballet dancer. But dancers today are breaking though these barriers. Today’s Link features one of them. Look up Misty Copeland for more information on someone else who changed perceptions.

So never let anyone tell you that you can’t. If you want it badly enough, if you are willing to work hard and deal with other’s negativity, you’ll be surprised at what you can do.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Ballet Statute #95:
Never let someone else say you can’t.

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That's the only way to keep the roads clear.”
Greg Kincaid

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Friday, October 13, 2017

Fun Friday Two Battements


Fun Friday Two Battements

Today’s video has a great message along with showing the slow motion moment of a grand jeté (at 1:35).

Any grand jeté must have two grand battements. The first one, (which can be a développé grand battement), is done with the first, or leading leg. The second grand battement is the one most often lacking: it is done with the back leg and helps thrust the dancer off the floor as well as completing the lovely line of a split in the air.

The first grand battement is directed outward, parallel to the floor – not down toward the floor – another common error.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #15aaaa:
“A grand jeté has two grand battements.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
Barack Obama

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Thursday, October 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday Mystery Dancers



Throwback Thursday Mystery Dancers

In researching topics for today’s dance history blog, I ran across an interesting mystery: who are the dancers photographed for the 1949 movie Destination Moon?  

This movie is said to be the first major U.S. science fiction film to deal with the dangers inherent in human space travel. It won the Academy Award for Visual Effects.

There are several photographs of these dancers that appeared in Life Magazine (see the Link of the Day below), and it seems like it would be a relatively easy question to answer. Could the dancer seen in the jeté  be Jadin Wong?

If anyone knows who these dancers are, please leave a comment.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Secret #185:
“Who are the dancers in the 1949 movie Destination Moon?”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”
Oscar Wilde

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page:




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wild Wednesday Three Walls


Wild Wednesday Three Walls

The problem with développés, especially in the center, is maintaining balance. It seems so simple, but there are lots of ways to waver or (gasp!) fall.

To help create gorgeous développés, it helps to imagine supporting walls. If, for instance, the développé is extending to the front, imagine a wall on the supporting side, and one behind. There is also a wall on the working side, to prevent dropping the torso on that side. It’s like doing développés in a lovely, supportive box.

Three walls! You can adapt this idea for a développé in any direction.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #11m:
During a developpé, imagine three walls.

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The greatest joys in life are found not only in what we do and feel, but also in our quiet hopes and labors for others.”
Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

My latest books are coloring books! They are available on Amazon.

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

Or visit my Pinterest page: