Wednesday, September 29, 2010

finding my place in the puzzle

so i've been in san francisco for a little less than a month and i think i'm finally discovering who i am as a dancer and how i fit into this crazy little world up here, which is very exciting.  i think its so interesting how every city has a different type of dance culture and i'm having so much fun learning about them.  its also interesting to note how every teacher sees dance in a different way and sees the way you personally dance in a different way.  no two teachers i've ever had focus on the same things, i love it!

in other news...i discovered a really cute blog called Little Ballerina which introduced me to this amazing video about New York City Ballet Principal Megan Fairchild and her much loved Freed Pointe shoes.  I can't stop watching it, check it out!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Black Swan

to say that i'm excited for this movie would be a HUGE understatement.  i had the honor of meeting people involved with the choreography and i can assure you its going to be amazing!

ballet étiquette (beware: i'm about to vent)

so i recently had the wonderful opportunity to begin dancing with a new company in a completely new dance environment.  even though its only been a few weeks, i already feel that the experience itself has been amazing in terms of growth and learning about who i am as a dancer and what i want out of my career.

while i love the program and the opportunities it has already exposed me to, there is one glaring thing i cannot stand.

as a classically trained ballet dancer, i grew up with strict rules in terms of how to behave in class.  no excess talking (especially when the teacher is giving corrections or advice), always turn towards the barre, no sitting between barre and center, some silly yet some very necessary.  the most necessary of all however was to always respect your fellow dancers.

i think the dance environment is one that can so quickly become hostile and competitive.  that being said it's important that we respect each other as artists and give each other the proper space to dance and move and explore.  at my new company, there are a few dancers who have obviously been there for quite some time and choose to completely disregard this notion.
when we split into groups for combinations, they are constantly joining in with the second group.  this isn't necessarily awful,  however they insist on dancing full out, taking up space out of that group and prohibiting other dancers from getting to dance the movements in their full extent.  to me it's just plain selfish.
and when we do combinations in groups, with four counts to change groups in between, instead of running forward and out the way we are instructed, they insist on slowly walking directly to the sides, often times running into dancers of the next group and making them start two counts off beat.

when you dance in large groups, its important to always remember to respect those around you and to remember that everyone is entitled to their time to dance.  to me it's so incredibly rude to completely disregard others.  i understand the necessity of dancing for yourself and having those selfish moments where you turn the focus inward, but its important to remember to respect those around you.  if i'm trying to do the combination and you're marking it in the back but moving into my space, its going to throw me off and keep me from getting the most out of the combination.

so i guess the point of this post is just to remind everyone out there to pay a little extra attention to what is going on around you.  because no matter how amazing of a dancer you are, respect should always be given to everyone.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

the great gaynor debate

i am the first to admit that i used to look down on girls who wore gaynor mindens.  i thought of them as the "easy" pointe shoe that only the less dedicated would wear (harsh, i know!).  i was also one of those silly girls who believed you weren't a real ballerina unless you went bare in your pointe shoes; no pads, no lambs wool, no nothing.

after years of going through a pair of freeds in two weeks tops, one of my friends suggested that i invest in a pair of gaynors because they are more durable and last quite a long time.  at first, i completely disregarded them, but after a while i thought i might as well try them out.

well, i'm eating my words; i absolutely love them.

i don't understand what it is about them that makes them so comfortable, so quiet, or so effortless...the website explains it but honestly i don't have the patience to try and understand!  needless to say, i bought a pair to alternate with my freeds and i couldn't be happier with them.

while i understand why it was so easy to look down on them, it is really nice to have a comfortable shoe that lasts long.  and most companies have become more open to using them; dancers from the Bolshoi, ABT, English National Ballet, New York City Ballet, and many others all wear them.  

even my favorite dancer Yekaterina Kondaurova wears them

i do think that they aren't the best shoe for new dancers because i think it is easier to develop strength in a normal shoe.  but if you're like me and you are constantly going through shoes, or if you just want a little more comfort every once in a while, then i say go for it.

so what do you guys think: gaynors yay or nay?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

new apartment means new room!

in exactly one week i'll be living in a whole new city, in a new apartment, with new roommates, new everything.  and even though i should be obsessing about my new dance schedule, i can't seem to stop obsessing about how i'm going to decorate my bedroom!

i've been frequenting blogs like:
apartment 34
habitually chic
dress, design, decor
haute design
desire to inspire

i go to bed dreaming of headboards and i wake up debating the pros and cons to vintage vs. modern styles. i'd be lying if i didn't say i was totally enjoying all the research!