Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Ballet Week - Wednesday Memory

(First of all I want to tell you: I managed to participate in class today!!!!!! Ha! In your face, stupid flu...)

Time for some more ballet memories, yes? Indeed, sire! 
Today there are color codes plus some pointe points!
Ballet Week is an idea I got from Hannah's Blog. 

Colors, colors, colors... If you think about leotards, those swimsuit-like tight-fitting costumes ballerinas have, there sure are colors to pick from. If you're an adult. Same thing with the design/shape of the leo. As a child (until teenage years and sometimes after that, too) there are strict rules of what to have and wear. So did we, but there was no complaining - because everyone had the same stuff. 

In my last post (Tuesday memory) I explained our first leotard. Very simple it was: white tank-model with pinch front. The second color we had was light lilac, which we had for shorter time than the whites. But couple years anyway. It was actually quite the same design, tank with pinch front, but different manufacturer. 

Almost like this, but different color :) (Photo from Piruetti webstore, our leo was by someone else)

Our next leo - also my last one during the First Season of my big dance career - was blak. Same design as above (the picture), probably exactly the same. But black. And I liked it, maybe the most. I still have it - also the last white one and the light lilac. Should take a photo of them together, for the old times' sake, haha!

I remember one girl (in teen years) had this kind of model in burgundy, it was So Pretty! Nowadays I've got one, but the camisole straps aren't nice with my sports bra. (Photo from Piruetti webstore)

Getting the first pointe shoes. I'm disappointead that I can't remember the year it happened. Bummer... But I remember buying them with mom! There was a tiny ballet & other dance store by the church in the center called Jumppari. I even might still have a plastic bag somewhere from this store, might be the one I carried My Shoes home in. I tried some shoes, the store lady checked that the size was okay. I think we got the ribbon from her, too, but here I'm not sure. I had asked for advice on how to sew the ribbons and the platform from our teacher, there's still a notebook with a picture I drew (don't know where in my flat, but I Know it exists). 

Freed's pretty ballerina :)

5½, star, X

Oh the nostalgia...

Hello :)

We were told to put bandades to our toes to keep them from bleeding (sometimes they still did) and lamb wool around them. I still have a small pile of it. The year we got our pointes, our dance school had changed it's location. Now we were in an old potato flour factory! But it was huge, lot's of people had their own work spaces/studios in it. Some classes were also held in the local swimming hall, we had one studio in both. That's actually how it Still is, except that the swimming hall studio has no longer barres in it. Which in my opinion is really dumb... There aren't many ballet classes, probably just the one I sometimes go to (when I have time & some extra money), But it's for adult beginners. And it's quite crucial in the beginning to Have that Barre... Well, the folks (all very nice, by the way) are adjusted to the situation and they don't complain. (I do, but not aloud in classes.) The teacher's great and it would be very interesting to have her classes with... yes, the barre!

Okay okay, back to the point(e). The first exercises were tough. We were facing the barre, allowed to have Only the index fingers on it. The idea was that we wouldn't be hoisting ourselves up with our hands & the barre, but with our center body & legs. Relevés in basic position, sloooooowly up, sloooowly down. Later on much more, but this was The Exercise I shall remember probably always. And how it felt ;)

In my previous post I made a list of the first coreographies we had. I try to remember some more. 

  • The Jewels - a dance made by Irmeli Toiviainen (from Kerava, our teachers colleague), music was nice (orchestral), but I don't know what it was... This is the one and only, where I've been wearing a tutu!!! We borrowed green leotards from another ballet group (different teachers pupils), white tights, POINTEs, white tutu, green "tiara" we had to make ourselves (it had green "pipe cleaner" and sequins). Oh and we put those green sequins also in the tutus. I was Really Jealous, when one of my class mates got to wear a tutu previously owned by Natalia Makarova. And if I remember correctly, another one got our teachers old tutu... They didn't fit me, bohoo... :D
  • The Moonbeams - same year as Jewels, also made by Irmeli Toiviainen. This had 3 parts, tutti - solo - tutti. We used to have 2 shows in one evening, first one with the smallest children also in it, the second with a bit different coreos (but quite much the same). Moonbeams was in both, we had 2 soloists. The music was by Jukka Linkola, from a Finnish movie "The Snow Queen". I'll put the videos here later. I still like them. Our hair was in ballerina buns, we had the lilac leo under, the chiffon tunic from Morning Mood on top, white tights, pointes... It was quite nice :)
  • Tarantella - we had this I think 2 years in a row (first year was the same as Jewels and Moonbeams), some people changed in between. Also we had different clothes. Music was a traditional Italian tarantella song (well, instrumental). First year I think our hair was in buns, but the second it was this French/fishbone braid. First year clothes: the green leo, a Lovely Giselle-type (act I) knee-lenght skirt (veeeery wide hem/like a "clock" when it twirled) in light green, brown wide belt, white tights and white soft shoes. Second year: black leo, burgundy color Giselle-type skirt, white shoes? Oh dear, my memory seems to end here :D The coreography Might have been the same both years.
  • A Hungarian dance - we had shoes like Mary Poppins' (got to borrow them from City Teather, even though they normally don't rent their shoes), black leather up and over our ankles (halfway to the knee) with some heels, black leo under, white shirt with short puffy sleeves, red knee-lenght Giselle-type skirt with white puffy petticoat (it was fun!), white small apron over the skirt. The others had their hair in a bun, but mine was already Short - others (3 of them) had a green ribbon around their bun and in a bow, I had the ribbon in a bow and attached to my other shoulder :) This coreo was taught to us by a substitute teacher, our "own" had broken her leg. 

I Know there have been other performances as well, but can't remember any more. It's a shame. At some point I had part of the Spring Show brochures, but now they've gone missing. But I Might get some old videos to borrow from a former dance class mate's mom, she told me they've got all of them! Have to remind her sometime :)

Photo from

My next post will be about why I quit. How did it feel. What else was going on at that time of my life. Not so happy stuff maybe (as this), but still important to think about. As many adults say that they wish they'd never stopped playing that instrument (piano, guitar, violin etc.), I'm saying now the same. But LUCKILY made the decision to Start Again. I couldn't be happier about it. I think my body says the same ;)

So, yet more to come... This thing is good for my mind :) 
I hope You enjoy it too!

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