Shoe Review | New Suffolk Ballet Slipper | Adult Ballerina Blog

I’m always looking for the perfect ballet slipper that not only flatters the foot, but is a joy to dance in. We only want to worry about our dancing and shouldn’t have to worry about the gear we need making dancing harder. I’ve had so many issues with technique shoes, most having a lump or seams right under the ball of my foot, causing pain and throws off balance. The So Danca shoes I’ve been wearing for the past year so or have been the best I’ve found so far, but when I saw Sudfolk came out with a technique shoe (I wear and love their pointe shoes) I had to get them. They came in quickly and right before I had a morning class, so perfect to try! The first thing I noticed was there is a lovely scrunch under the arch that hugs and accentuates it, and feels pretty nice!

Granted I don’t have the best feet or highest arches, but these definitely look nice on me! The elastics are pre-sewn so it’s just slip them on and go which is great because sewing pointe shoes is enough for me. The material feels a little thinner than what I’m used to, but I liked it because I hardly felt the shoe being there.

Nothing was bunching or weird under the ball of my foot! Everything was nice and flat, perfect for balancing. And they stayed put in center, even during turns. I have nothing bad to say about these shoes and will definitely buy them again, and they will probably be my go-to technique shoes!

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Audition Thoughts | Adult Ballerina Blog

We are one week out from casting going out and it’s one week after my very first audition for anything in my life ever (and at 32 nevertheless). If you read my last post you’re probably asking “how did it go!?” And the answer is that overall I think it went well, and regardless, I’m glad I did it. Barre went pretty good, I messed up and en dedans turn but I’ve never been good at turns at the barre. I made sure to really get my legs up, balance well, and smile! Center, which was on pointe and I haven’t taken a pointe class since May, went as good as I could have probably expected. I had no idea what to expect, and definitely was underprepared. The good thing is I have plenty to work on now, and have been doing so all week! I’m not good at picking up choreography, especially if an unfamiliar move is in there, and I knew this going in was one of the things they look for. Certain things like arabesques, exhappés, developpes and a fun glissadé jeté combo went well, turns, pas de coru (I think I did more of a bourré…oops) and speed in general not so much.

No matter what the outcome, I’m glad I did it, and will definitely try again next year when I’m stronger and better. These past 2 years have been my most consistent being back dancing and I have definitely come a LONG way! Even today in class, I remembered combos, my balance was great and my legs floated up easier. Even petite allegro was not a total disaster! It’s days like this that make you see you have improved! I look back at pictures from 2 years ago, and not only have I lost about 20 lbs but the quality of the movement and inline has definitely improved as well as confidence!

Today:

2 years ago:

They say the best part of things like this is the journey, and I have felt like I haven’t been improving and still have weight to lose. However, I’m doing better than I was and am excited to see where the next year will take me and what else I can find to audition for!

Around and Around We Go! | Adult Ballet Blog

Pirouettes on point….

Something that has terrified me for most of my ballet life! Well, it’s time to get over the fear and get to work on them! I have been ok with echappé and passé for quite some time, but the prospect of turning up there just makes me panic and think I’m going to break my ankle. I’m also okay with stepping into turns like piqué. Then I get in my head too much…do I turn as I go up? Do I turn after I go up? Am I going to face plant or fall into the person next to me?

A few months ago I was practicing my pointework, and after doing a bunch of echappés, I for some reason became courageous and went for a pirouette! While it wasn’t perfect or even close, I didn’t die and I didn’t break anything so I figured it’s time to start working on them after class. With some encouragement from teachers and my ballet buddy, Katy, I started working on them once or twice a week. Some days they are ok, some days I can’t do them to save my life. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the thing that holds me back is fear. The more I sit and think about the turn, the more I panic and the less chance I have of getting up there or completing the turn!

Getting out of my head is hard in real life and ballet life. Sometimes it helps to not be worried about people laughing in class, and to work in flats in class then put on my pointe shoes after for practicing combos and turns.

So after a few weeks off of class, I was back in the boots practicing those pirouettes. Nervous, but I think sometimes ballet just doesn’t leave us. Even if we take some time off, the memory of he movement is still there, and sometimes better than before. This is my first time sharing my pirouettes en pointe and yes it’s scary because I know they’re not perfect. But I’m starting here, this is day 1!

Anything is Possible

It’s taken me a really long time and many ups and downs to figure out what I want in life and make a game plan to achieve. I have suffered from a negative mindset, felt with naysayers and unsupportive people, and been surrounded with both people who have no ambition and people who thrive on ambition. The latter is the best kind of friends to have! Over the past year I’ve had som pretty low lows. With lacking self esteem and motivation toward both my dancing, my career, and my business. Through yoga, meditation and reading, I’ve uncovered a lot of ugly truth about myself and people around me. The difference now as I write this? I understand.

I’ve always been the girl with too many hobbies and interests, and I’ve had several people tell me I’m too busy and have too much going on. Like being multitalented is bad? Over the years I’ve developed more of these hobbies so I guess I am not going to get any better at limiting myself! The biggest thing, is something my Mom told me from the time of childhood: you are who you associate with. If you hang out with people who aren’t going anywhere, you won’t go anywhere. If you hang out with people with ambition and the nerds, you will be much better off. How does this relate to dance? For a while I didn’t have many people who understood why I dance. Since making friends in the ballet community, so much of this, including my crappy attitude toward myself, has changed. Losing weight and taking better care of myself has also helped. Being motivated to dream has been the pinnacle of it! If I go into ballet class with a bad attitude (pun intended) I have a bad class. If I go in telling myself I’m a great dancer and I belong here, even if I’m not perfect, I have a good class. It’s all in the mindset and I’ve seen it play out MANY times. Ballet, especially pointe, is very mental. I know I am strong enough, but fear holds me back. I started seeing this in my non-ballet life as well, that fear and anxiety is what always holds me back from so many things. Right now I’m learning pirouettes on pointe. If I don’t think about it, I can get up. If I sit there in my demi plié panicky about falling….well we know how that ends. In my life I’ve done this as well, but all of that is changing. The more I stick my mindset to “I’m going to try”, because it’s better to dream big and want everything and take huge risks that may involve failure, than to sit by and watch it pass by and do nothing. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Trying and failing is better than wasting the prime of your life on what if. In January I was unhappy with my body. I had hit my highest weight, 185, to date, and I’m not afraid to tell you all because I know I’ll never hit is again. I’m 5’7″ and muscular, with some booty and a D cup, and always have been even when I was at my ideal weight. However, my ideal weight hovers more around 150-155, where I can see my muscle tone that I work hard for. So I did something that I convinced myself for a long time I couldn’t do, I took control. I lost 18 lbs and counting since then, and am almost ready for bikini season! I did the Blogilates 28 day reset, cutting alcohol, sweets, gluten and dairy, and drank tons of water. Sure I craved, but I didn’t give in. Add in ballet and running and the weight came off! I still have about 12 lbs to go before I’m happy, and have no doubt I can do it. It’s all in the mindset.

A quote that’s been going through my mind lately: “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not why ships were built.” Cheers to that!

Chasing Speed | Adult Ballerina Blog

Anything quick in ballet is a nemesis for me, which is unfortunate because adagio can only last for so long! When talking to my teacher after class Sunday, she said that I know the steps and can do them, but when it comes my turn to go across the floor I panic and hold back. I though it was a mix of lack of remembering steps/ choreography, but she said that’s definitely not the case and I know the steps but hold myself back. When marking through a combo slower (with time to think!) I am fine, and the actual steps work. But when it’s time to go, something inside me forgets everything and goes blank! Granted the combo was a little tricky with some mind game direction changes, but the funny thing is that 2 days later now I remember the whole thing! Like why couldn’t I in class?!

In Monday’s class we broke down the faster combos I usually struggle with, and besides my pathetic assembles (they aren’t assembled in any way shape or form!) I actually got through it and remembered the combo IN class. I guess practice makes better, so those two combos will be going across my living room all week!

I also worked in my new Bloch pointe shoes after class with another student that is also a teacher and was a professional dancer. Since our pointe class from last year is no more, I love getting corrections and tips on how to better utilize my shoes and muscles. We broke them in some more because the shank is hard, and I mean HARD! The paper that comes with the shoes says do not bend it and to just take class and it will mold, but I was struggling with balance getting over the box and had to move them along!

I do really like the shoes! They are Bloch Synthesis, a brand new model in the stretch line that aren’t even available online or at most retailers yet. I got them on my NYC trip and am always excited to try new models! They are comfortable and I love the way they look, and are a little more streamlined than my Eurostretch shoes.

I want to do a side by side of my feet in all the shoes I like as a comparison on what looks better. Since there are several shoes I have liked the feeling of, next would be to see what actually looks the best! But that’s a post for another day!

Happy Dancing!

Alicia

World Tutu Day 2018 | Adult Ballerina Blog

Who doesn’t love a good Tutu!? Well February 2 (2/2) is World Tutu Day so here are some of my favorite tutu pictures!

Happy Dancing!

Alicia

NYC Trip | Lincoln Center | Bloch Store and Downton Abbey Exhibition!

Monday I went to New York City (a nice few hour train ride for us) mainly to see the Downton Abbey Exhibit, but since we were in the neighborhood I decided to make some ballet stops too!

We left from Rhode Island pretty early in the morning, taking a 7:45 train and getting to Penn Station around 10:30. Our Downton Abbey tickets weren’t until 2 so we took the subway to Lincoln Center and I finally got to take some picture in front of the famous fountain!

And of course in front of the theater sign where there was conveniently a “barre”

Next up was the Bloch store right across the street! Let me tell you how I have dreamed of coming to this store and standing in that beautiful window to be fit for shoes! I’ve been wanting to try several of the new stretch shoes, having had pretty good success with the Eurostretch, and they even had some models that aren’t on their website.

After some trial and error, and a very patient and awesome fitter, I decided (it was a tough one between 2) on the Synthesis in a 7XX. I have to get used to the smaller platform of the tapered shoe, but they look sleek and lovely and I can’t wait to finish sewing them and to break them in!

The shoes that came in close second (which I still may order and try!) were the Superelative, which I’m wearing 2 photos up.

My Aunt gifted my my shoes for my upcoming birthday, and bought herself a new sweater for class, so we both got pretty blush bags! She’s taking her first class tonight as we speak, and I can’t wait to hear about it!

Next we were off to a quick lunch before the show, and went to a healthy place next to the exhibition called Fresh&Co, which was delicious! I had a turkey sandwich with cranberries, since I was starting my 28 day cleanse the next day and will be omitting gluten and bread (that’s another blog)!

Now off to Downton! I fangirled almost as much as when I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I just love the clothing of this era! I even wore my hat from the time!

I have to say, since going I’ve been shopping on ModCloth and Unique Vintage all day for some modern flapper looks, and have looked at going to a roaring 20s lawn party!

I think I could pull off the look of both Edwardian fashion and 20s!

We started in the “downstairs” area, because the exhibit was set up like the house. This was the kitchen, servants area, and where the staff would dine and do much of their work. My moms favorite was all of the cooking appliances and ways of preparing food, since she’s basically a modern Mrs. Pattmore!

Seriously, that table is like something out of a wedding! A Downton wedding sounds good to me!

Since I already love dressing vintage (more of a 50s look) I think some Deco/ 20’s inspires clothes might be making an appearance in my wardrobe! I mean, those dresses! Plus who doesn’t like a good hat! Time to find a 20’s party to go to!

I think it made me want to re-watch the series again, and hope for a Downton movie!

(Harry Potter fans like myself will get it!)

The day was fun and exhausting. I need to make it a point to get to NYC more often, to shop and take classes. Until next time!