Just Shake It Off…

OK, so have you seen Taylor Swift’s newest video, “Shake it Off”?

Check it out…It’s got some great ballet and dancing goodness…and Taylor’s goofiness…

So, I think this is something that has a great message for those of us in the “adult beginner/back to ballet” category.  I know most of us worry about being the worst one or looking a fool.

Who care’s what anyone else can do, just shake it.

Go shake it, adult beginners, and shake it big but remember to point your toes.

Four Not So Little Swans

So today is my Birthday and this is what I find on my Facebook wall from Mrs. L…

Four Not So Little and Hairy Swans

Four Not So Little and Hairy Swans

This was too funny not to share….and now I have another picture to add to my Four Little Swans collection!

Well…off to a sushi birthday lunch and then to ballet class tonight!!!

XOXO

~ BTFP

 

Timeless, Part I

Ballet is timeless, wouldn’t you say?  It stays the same yet evolves.

In this post, I said I would save this topic for a separate post, so here it is…

In March, my son and I attended the local professional ballet company, Ballet Pensacola, mixed repertoire production called “Timeless”.  It was truly wonderful and I was so impressed with the dancers and the company.

I had just started back into ballet classes so I was really excited to go and see this.  My only hitch was ticket cost, since I just started back into classes, I was pinching pennies.  I was not sure I really could afford to go.  I got lucky, and for once my lazy perusal of facebook paid off, as they advertised on there a buy-one-get-one-free ticket flash sale.  Ballet boo-yah!  I can afford it now!

So, I get down to the box office theater and they ask for a passcode.  I was like whuuut? There was nothing about needing a code to purchase the tickets on their facebook page (I know because after I got home, I checked).  So the girl gave me a hint and being a bunhead, I guessed it.  I can’t remember the question but the answer was Swan Lake.  I was so happy I got the tickets since it was the only way I could afford it.

Ballet 002

My tickies for the performance and I threw in my mini-pointe shoe to make the picture “extra ballet-y” Notice one of the tickets is priced “$0” since it was bogo- ballet boo-yah!

Since my husband had to work, I took my seven year old son with me.  He and I have  “dates” where we dress nice and go out to lunch or dinner together and have special Mommy-son time.  We’ve been doing this since he was about two years old and it’s one of our favorite things we do together.  I thought this would make for a great “date” for us. He was excited to go and be in a “real” theater.  I learned he was a little nervous there were going to be too many girls and not many boys though. He is at that age where it’s important for the boys to equal or out number the girls. LOL  I wanted him to experience something more cultural and what a live performance is like.  TV and YouTube can only go so far.  Who knows, he may want to try ballet after seeing it? Yeah, nooo….

So, for our date, we dressed really nice for the ballet.  He wore a tie and I had my hair curled and wore my purple sparkly top.  We looked so fancy!  He wanted to go to his favorite restaurant, Red Lobster, and use his gift card from Santa Claus.  Since I saved on the tickets to the performance, I was able to grant his request.  He ate crab legs and I had the shrimp scampi.  We laughed and talked and had a great time.  Now that we have full bellies it’s time to get to the theater for the show…so excited!

Did I mention this was the first live ballet performance I had seen since I had been in one, like forever ago?  I was ready to come out of my skin I was so excited.  I knew they are a mostly contemporary company but was not sure what to expect when it came to what they were going to perform but I didn’t care…I was just happy to be there.

We get to our seats and we are in the balcony.  Did I also mention my son is not a fan of heights?  He did NOT like the sloping down stairs of the balcony to our seats.  For a few moments I was worried this was not going to happen.  I eased him to our seats and once he realized we were a few rows back from the edge he was OK and started to dig being up high.  I felt the balcony was really high up and close to the stage.  Like weirdly close.  I was thankful I had gotten the BOGO tickets and made a note to myself to get floor tickets to any future performance at this theater.  We also had the requisite 7 feet tall gentlemen that seem to follow me to any event I go to and are seated directly in front of me. The seats were also minuscule.  Airlines make bigger seats. LOL  Regardless, it was fun watching the people file into their seats dressed up for the ballet. It was closing night and you could just feel an excited air about the theater.  Half of it was probably radiating off of me.

We look through the program to see what they were going to perform and I saw it was a mixed repertoire of  two classic pas de deux’s and the rest was contemporary.  The first up was the Black Swan Pas de Deux!  I was stoked.  That is one of my all time favorite pdd’s!  There was also the Peasant pdd from Giselle.  I had been hoping for more classics but interested to see what the contemporary would be. I have not ever been to a contemporary ballet performance. I also love to peruse the dancer bio’s in the programs too.  Like where they trained, are they a soloist, principal, apprentice…I just love that stuff.

Program from the performance and my mini-pointe shoe again...

Program from the performance and my mini-pointe shoe again…

So, the artistic director comes on stage and welcomes us and he was quite funny and charming, he exits the stage, and the plush red velvet curtain rises, to a gorgeous swan…

To be continued in “Timeless, Part II”

Free People Ballet

So, have you seen the ad from Free People clothing?

If not, watch it here…

So, what do ya think?

Honestly, I’m divided.  I could connect to the dialogue, whether real or fictional.  The dancing I thought, well she’s just going with it and being free, maybe she had limited instruction and doing the best she could and just moving from the heart, which I think is beautiful.  I mean not everyone who is dancing from the age of 3 is of the level of  Osipova, Makarova, or Baryshnikov.  Maybe she takes only a class a week?  Then she went en pointe and I thought an ankle was going to be broken or a knee twisted.

I don’t really know who the model/dancer is and if her “story” is real or just a story.  As an adult returning to ballet, I want to be supportive and do not want to tear her down.  She did her best in the ad. She is a beautiful young lady who obviously takes care of her body and looks fit. I saw some really nasty comments on YouTube and other places on the web where this ad kept creeping up.  You can be critical without being an “arse”.

My issue is more about the company than the dancer. Who knows what this company was wanting to convey with her story. Maybe they didn’t want “perfect” maybe they wanted someone with imperfections, which is all of us, to make us more relate-able to the products?  I do find the pointe technique concerning and not responsible of the company or the dancer’s instructors, but who knows the full story, it’s just an ad.

If you go on their website, they do have a selection of ballet clothes, which are really pretty. They aren’t like “traditional” ballet clothes but barre wear, like for a barre exercise class maybe?  Some not are my style for ballet class but look really comfy.  They look nicely made as well. I liked their website but I doubt their price points will work with many dancers.  Some of the product pictures have 15 second videos of her dancing.  You can tell on her face she is enjoying herself.  Dance isn’t always about perfect technique but the joy and beauty from the heart, and she does convey that to me.   From a consumer/marketing perspective, while the pictures of the dancer/model are really pretty some I find take away from the clothes because of the technique.

Here is an example of the pointe technique that just makes me cringe and I think it takes away from the beauty of the clothes…

free people

Free People Image

If this is their idea of ballet then…perhaps a bit more research on ballet when they want to sell something to the ballet world?  It seems many in the ballet world are offended by the ad, and I can understand it.  So, would you want to buy something from a company who represents ballet like this? I think of Cloud and Victory and Discount Dance Supply, among many others, who utilize dancers for their advertising campaigns, which in my opinion, lends credibility to the products they are selling.

The real story is…we are all talking about it. 🙂  I had never heard of them until this ad came out.  Would I have heard about them if she had been a more “perfect” dancer? Would I find the clothes more appealing if the dancer had better technique? The jury is out on that one…

 

 

So You Think You Can Boogie Like Baryshnikov?

OK, piggy backing onto my post yesterday….

I saw this video today and it made me think of C&V’s “Boogie Like Baryshnikov” t-shirt…

Can you boogie like this?

 If you had this expression…

Gravity does not apply to Baryshnikov!

Gravity does not apply to Baryshnikov!

…like me and your answer is no…then go buy this from C&V

C&V Image "Boogie Like Baryshnikov"

C&V Image
“Boogie Like Baryshnikov”

Behind the Cloud and a Story of Victory

Cloud & Victory is one of my favorite ballet online retailers.  I  just love their quirkiness and sense of humor.  Like this shirt…

C&V Image  "I'm Bringing Sissones Back"

C&V Image “I’m Bringing Sissones Back”

And this one too…

C&V Image "Boogie Like Baryshinikov"

C&V Image
“Boogie Like Baryshnikov”

 

C&V also does some really cool ballet video mash-ups like this one here.

Now, there is more to admire, the article written by the founder of C&V, Min, for Dance Advantage, Reverse Black Swan Syndrome. Min wrote so honestly and straightforward about her life, starting ballet as an adult (She’s one of us too!), life struggles, and starting her business, Cloud & Victory.  Take a few minutes to read her story.  I found myself identifying with so very much with her and I was so proud of all the hard work she has put forth in her life and the dance studio.

So, I’ll close this post with a little more C&V quirkiness with two of my favorite things, Keenan Kampa and a turkey…if you’re familiar with C&V and Ms. Kampa…this makes perfect sense…oh and don’t forget to add them to your blogroll! C&V Sessions

C&V Image Thanksgiving Keenan

C&V Image
Thanksgiving Keenan