Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mine mine all mine!

I feel childish happiness because of these pointe shoes. They fit better than any of the previous models I've had so far. It does take a while to get used to them, but already I am very good friends with the sole. Love it. Sincerely.

The only thing I don't like about them is the toughness of the fabric - when I have to sew the ribbons... Mission is now accomplished but my fingertips are still a bit tender! :D

Some photos now of the shoes as a brand new pair, not yet attacked by me and the needle.

Here's also my cool doormat. And a map of Moomin Valley. And Viuhti.


Until next time... post! Tuned some soft slippers, too, over the weekend. So some glue-ribbon-needle-photos coming up :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

One Pink Bag

They're brand new and MINE. 

They came in a hot pink pouch, with a same color small tote bag. 

The code is 10M/4-221-22.

With suede tips. 


I got very lucky yesterday as I went to Footlight dance store to ask for a fitting appointment later this/next month. Just guess what the salesperson said! "We can do it right away, if you want. I'm the other fitter in our store and there are no reservations for today." And then I was like, OKAY! :D

The process itself was interesting and gave me new thoughts on pointe shoes in general. Also before we started, I got to check out some shoes that were cut in half, so you could see the inside materials (the profile). There was also a traditional shoe to compare with.


I'm of course talking about gaynors. My camera's battery just died, so it takes a while to load before I'll get the photos on the computer. But later there will be many to see! :)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Only 2 classes left!

This was kind of an extra week, as we weren't suppose to have classes - but eventually we did! :) Next week there's still one on Monday, one on Wednesday. After that? It's just waiting for the end of August. Fall semester begins on 20th.

Today's class was as intense as Monday, with a horrible-ish weather outside (warm, raining, oppressive...). Barre-combinations were the same, except streching (Monday: talon a la main / today: whole body in use).  I was a bit on the slobby side, but didn't give up.

In the center we had a new tendu-routine, with a pirouette en dedans starting from 4th but efface! Those we have really seldom. Other stuff was familiar / same as before. But fun :)

The thought that really hit me as I came home was this:

I've taken classes from 9 (NINE) different ballet teachers this year!

During Autumn I had 4 of them regularly, during Spring only 2. But 3 more every now and then (in Helsinki). Plus one who was a substitute couple of times (in my hometown). Aaaaand one whose class I tried (for "fun") in October in our town. It's all quite funny and also very interesting, as I had only one teacher as a kid/teen. All these teachers have been different, more Russian styles but also one French school. Some others somewhere in between. I really have to empty my brain in the class and focus on who's teaching and what are her priorities. (And yes, they've all been women. Would be interesting though to have a male teacher sometimes.)

I'm a bit nervous about the up-coming year. There's going to be only a few chances for adults and ballet in our town, Friday evening and Saturday morning. The only other possibility is to take the "advanced teenagers/youth" classes, but the Monday class is 8-9.30 pm (ends quite late.......) and on Friday it's the same time as the one I took this year. Probably will try to take some tourist classes in Helsinki again, but can't decide them now. 

About equipment -> As I wrote earlier, my favorite pair of soft slippers are right on the edge of death :D Well, one could still use them after next week, but I think there's a limit of how much one wants to put tape in them. And I've got some pairs waiting, so it's like starting school as a kid - every Autumn you get new pens and stuff, now it's new slippers! :)

...and tomorrow we're going to Helsinki with 2 of my brothers. Shall pay a visit to 2 dance stores, maybe the 3rd one also. But just maybe. New pointes are on my list, but have to figure out some little details first. Anyway, hoping that it's not raining all day. 

A detail of a statue in Esplanadi Park, Helsinki :)

Versatile Blogger challenge!

Maria was kind enough to give this to me :) Thank you so much, it's my first one ever!

So, it's actually an award - but a challenge at the same time, as there are some tasks to go with it. And here they are:

  1. Name 15 fellow bloggers.
  2. Tell those bloggers (in their blogs) about it.
  3. Write 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Thank the blogger/s who named you.
  5. Remember to add the Versatile Blogger -photo in your post :)
 Sooooo, here we go, some facts about me and my life!

I - I'll be 32 this December. Old.
II - I'm 177,5 cm tall. More than enough!
III - My hair has been brown, red, more red, very dark brown, almost black, black and red, very blonde, brownish, red and black again... (Now it's all bright red!)
IV - I hated pink as a kid (not anymore).
V - I've got 3 brothers (2 of them younger, 1 older than me).
VI - One of my favorite summer activities is playing croquet! (Although I'm usually the loser... :D)
VII -  I lost a dear friend to breast cancer in April. It changed me a lot, even more than I've yet understood. 
(Bonus - Favorite movies -> Amélie and Memoirs of a Geisha.)

 I think 15 is a bit much (and less is always more, right?), so I'll name... 5! And please remember that you can do this in any language you want ;) Maria had it in Finnish. I'm hoping JohannaNinaViljaLaura and Riina have fun with it :)


p.s. For some stupid reason Blogger is highlighting some completely random parts of my posts. Would be nice if it stopped...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Little tiny wish came true

Saw these bottles in Spring while flipping through the pages of this mighty internet. Immediately wanted them. Even asked the local (and closest) make-up department if they'll get them later on. Maybe, probably, they said. But there hasn't been even the smallest sight yet! So I figured they'll never arrive... *sigh*

Couple of days ago searched all things related to ballet in the Finnish version of ebay (huuto.net) and found them! Yay! :) Paid maybe a bit more than via some web store, but who cares. The package arrived this morning and already tried the glittery stuff. Looooovely! Of course there are 2 bottles yet to maybe purchase, but even if I never get my hands on them, I'm happy :)

Picture via beautybay.com

The names are just so fun and enchanting - My Pointe Exactly / Don't Touch My Tutu! / Care To Danse? / Pirouette My Whistle. The ones I'm still "missing" are as fascinating as these: Barre My Soul / You Callin' Me A Lyre?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today in studio

Spent half the day doing nothing. After that - some nailpolish fumes. After which it was time to pack some slippers and a bottle of water, then take a quick ride (with bike) to the old potato flour factory. When walking up the stairs I felt like a big bag of that dusty product. I'd been waiting eagerly to get back to barré, but my legs and body didn't want to do it. Luckily my persuasion skills were quite good today! :) Had plenty of time to change clothes, put 3 bobbypins to my hair, walk to the studio.

I've taken photos of my summer outfits, mostly with the phone but also some with a real camera. Decided to use lots of colors this season! :) Have to put them on this laptop and make an exhibition, haha... Today was black with purple -day. Purple leggings and top, some purple flowers on the black shirt, blackish (well, dark-gray) shorts. Last week it was mostly Brrrrright red. (Saw a lovely shirt at H&M, had to buy it...)

So, as I got my place and started warming up, The Feeling kind of got over me. And I knew it was going to be a good one, this class.

via weheartit.com
We've had a guest "star" this summer, a 7th grader boy whose mom is a regular at the class. He goes to the Opera Ballet School (in Helsinki) and is quite good for his age, I think. It's nice to look at his pirouettes and jumps (he sure has that ballon). Today he had a school friend over, who participated also. Another nice thing about this 7th grader is that he's very polite. I really appreciate kids who know how to behave these days. I've seen enough of those who can't do that. 

Ooooookay, about the class. Barré routines were new, all of them. The musics were new, haven't heard them during these 2 years. It's always fun! :) Felt a bit lazy in grand pliés, but tried to fight against it. There was literally no feedback (to me) during the whole 90 minutes, but tried to give some myself, inside my head.

In the centre... Well, mostly it was the same stuff as last week, but they are interesting routines, so I'm not complaining. What I _am_ complaining about are my pirouettes. They were somewhat les miserables this evening... Felt ashamed. Managed to get a small grip at some point, maybe next week will be better again. Hope so! Other moves were much much better.

Here's some dust from that tricky little friend, the Pirouette Fairy... ;)
In the end, for about 10 minutes, we had a chance to practice en pointe. I felt tired and worn out, but still wanted to wear those shoes, so that's what I did. But what I didn't do was centre work, kept myself by the barré during all routines. Concentrated on knees (straight), releves (do not jump), my core (keep it tight but active), shoulders (down) and chin (up). Except that for reverance we all were in the centre.

So it happened once again. A sweaty 90 minute dance class made me feel lighter, happier and... well, Able. I could do things I didn't know 2 years ago I'd be doing again. And they were almost easy again :) I think I've stayed in love, all these years.

Now it's time to strech a little bit more and then sleep. About 3 weeks left of my summer holiday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The dress, Aztec and ugly toes

The wedding on Saturday (continued till Sunday afternoon) was just Lovely. Good music, wonderful people, loads of Love. My legs/feet were so tired on Monday that after thinking loooooong about it, I didn't go to class in the evening. (Also had some other health issues, but everything's okay now.) Do regret it now, but not So much. And tomorrow I'll definitely go!

(Got to love picmonkey... ;)) These 2 were So Cute :)

Me and the dress before leaving home :)

Yesterday evening I decided to put on some nailpolish on my toes, as I didn't have time to do it on Saturday morning. Picked up a bottle that I fell in love with already in Spring, but bought just a week ago. It's from this funny little (chain) shop called Accessorize, they have an online store also. The color isn't just one, it's many! Blue, green, gold and bronze, purple, pink... Everything in between. The photos from my toes don't look so amazing (awful to be exact), but the bottle gives a little bit better idea.

Not ideal toes for pointe shoes...

Love the diversity!
So, my toes are READY to dance!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Recently in the studio

I haven't been writing too much about my classes lately, but I sure have taken them. To put it short: we haven't practiced fouettés after the couple times nor the variation I mentioned, but there has been a lot of other useful stuff.

For example...

I've noticed a definite improvement in my flexibility, compared to last summer. The splits aren't a random success anymore, more like a yes-I-am-able-kind of a thing. They don't go all the way down so that I could just sit there comfortably, but quite close :) Have to specify that I'm talking about splits with one leg in front of me, the other behind. Sideways they are still far from the floor - but closer than last year!

Keeping the previous observation in mind, the grand battements are higher than Ever. Seriously. They didn't fly this high even as a teen. Definitely yay! Not close to my face/ear/back of the head, but I'm very happy about them.

After one class with Signora G. (teacher @ Footlight in Helsinki) I've started to get a new kind of grip on my developpes. I still do _not_ like them (nor fondues), but there's a thought of finding new muscles for the lifting part and keeping it turned out. This is something I have to constantly think and remind myself about. (Not that I would be all excited about it all the time, nope. But it makes the movement more interesting.)

I'm better at pirouettes. Biggest points (insights) have been the amount of speed, straight knee on the supporting leg and good & better & more better turnout on the working leg. Had to mention speed first, as it was the most important (or that's how I feel). As I wanted to figure out the clean single turns. I had always been taking waaayyyyy too much speed, then got troubles of all sort. But now it's quite good - if I remember the leg observations... And still last week I (we all at Señora S's class @ Footlight again) got a simple, yet so amazingly good, advice ->
When you're going to make a single turn, you must think about only 1/2 or 3/4 turn, then already about finishing the turn. When you're making doubles, it's 1,5 (or 1,75) turns and then finishing it. If you think of one full turn and after that finishing, you'll go over it and it won't be clean. Same thing with doubles.

So, in pirouettes - keep calm and (still) be quick. That's what S. said and she knows the stuff.


Have to continue later, there are more things I want to make notes about. Now it's time I pack some things for the weekend, a friend is getting married tomorrow and the wedding goes on for 2 days! :) 

via weheartit.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ballet slippers and Tiara!

Slippers I've been wearing regularly also this summer, every Monday and Wednesday, but tiara? Not once. Except this week 24/7! :D

The feathers are part of a cat toy :)
Essie: Ballet slippers / Orly: Tiara / Mavala: top coat fixator / Viuhti: the cat.

Lazy summer days on the balcony table... :)

I've been adding (again) some color to my dance classes also. I've had a pink day, bright red one, purple (with some black), orange... :) Green one is about to emerge, have to do some laundry first. 

And Finally a pair of soft slippers is about to meet it's end! And of course it's the one that's been my absolute favorite by far (Sansha Pro1). I've decided not to buy new ones, as there are some waiting already (not exactly the same, though). But new pointe shoes I have to, since none of the current ones work for my feet anymore. I'm dreaming (of a white Christmas but also) of Gaynors. They might be the answer to my very different feet (left one bigger). Or not. The first thing is to book an appointment with the fitter. Don't know when I'm able to do that. And when they are available at Footlight's. Make a call, one must.

p.s. For today's class I'm gonna wear the red stuff again, it was fun! :) And today it's been raining at last, so it might be possible to breath in our studio (Monday it was extreme, I tell you). 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

French & Saunders - Dancing Academy

Monday - a Goooood class for me. Today - hoping to have another one just like it! But first, here's a hilarious clip from some of my favorite comediennes, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Guest stars none other than Darcey Bussell and Anthony Dowell! :)