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Holiday Ballet Bloopers

Ballet dancers are supposed to be perfect all the time, but the problem is we’re human…slip-ups happen from time to time. No one wants to admit they slid across stage, fell on their butt or smacked a fellow dancer in the face. So embarrassing! But every dancer has at least one of these stories to share (read about mine HERE). I hope you enjoy this collection of holiday ballet bloopers.

Nutcracker epic fail:

Epic fails complete with sound effects:

And finally…vintage bloopers!

What these clips show us is that even if the worst case happens and you fall on your butt, you get up and keep going. Wasn’t it amazing to see how quickly each of these dancers recovered? So inspiring! It gives new meaning to the phrase “keep calm and carry on.”

 

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Perfect Holiday Books For Dancers and Holiday Book Giveaway!

It’s the time of year when most people are searching for the perfect holiday gift,  but finding the perfect gift for dancers isn’t easy. If you’re looking for gifts for dancers (particularly those who love to read) then have I got a list for you!

Walls

Nova Ren Suma’s supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…

What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?

Tinypretty

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

Wish by Grier Cooper

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.

But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late. Wish, the first book of the Indigo Ballet Series, can be purchased HERE.

raisingTheBarre

I just finished reading Raising The Barre by Lauren Kessler and the subtitle: Big Dreams, False Starts, & My Midlife Quest to Dance The Nutcracker tells you what this book is about: An award-winning author’s journey to reclaim the daring of her girlhood by dancing in the world’s most popular ballet, The Nutcracker, with a professional company.

Kessler weaves just the right amount of humor, courage and ballet trivia to make this book a fun read. It’s the perfect gift for adult ballerinas, would-be ballerinas or anyone who’s ever harbored secret dreams of becoming a dancer.

And don’t you love the cover?

Now for the fantastic news! This week on the blog I’ll be giving away a brand new, shiny hardback copy of Raising the Barre…so enter now! Enter often! Share with Friends…and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking for more books for the dancer in your life? See last year’s reading list here.

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A Dancer’s Gide to Gratitude

A Dancer’s Guide to Gratitude

Today is a day where people across the country take time to express gratitude for the blessings in their lives; yet ballet dancers have a very different list than most. Maybe you’re grateful for that perfectly-broken-in pair of pointe shoes or the uplifting comment you received in class the other day…there’s always something to be grateful for.

pie

So have a little pie (really, just a tiny sliver) and read on.

The Ballet Dancer’s Guide to Gratitude

AmericanBallet

Barre exercises, the solid foundation upon which everything else is built, one step at a time…and brisés and ballonnés, and all of those shining moments where we get to defy gravity and fly.

Adoring ballet fans everywhere…because without them everything we do would lose context and meaning.

Lyrical music that speaks to your soul, sinks into your bones and urges you to move your body in pleasing ways.

Lifelong gifts of ballet: respect for the body and innate understanding of the benefits of discipline and dedication. And there’s the added benefit of stellar posture.

Every musician, composer and conductor who adds their own special ingredient to the melodious mix of sounds that prompts us to dance.

Teachers and all people who have cared enough to nurture, guide and shape who you are today.

 

Dancers who came before us, who led by example, who inspired us to dare to dream of following in their footsteps.

All theaters– whether humble or swimmingly opulent–the places where magic happens for everyone who enters.

New ideas and the people who take the time to contemplate and take action. Without them we would never have had pancake tutus, pointe shoes, or ballet academies.

Choreographic geniuses, those masters who continually reinvent the dance landscape, guiding dancers to take quantum leaps into unexplored territory and keeping audiences inspired.

Experts who make our bodies strong and put us back together when we tear ourselves apart, from podiatrists and surgeons, to massage therapists, Pilates instructors and yoga teachers.

Reverence for dance as an art form, one of the highest human pursuits, and deepest gratitude for those who recognize and support the arts to make it all possible.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be bright and joyful.

beaver

How to Move Past Failure

During the time I was a ballet student at the School of American Ballet falling in class was one of my greatest fears. While the fear wasn’t necessarily rational (I never did fall in class) it lurked like a shadowy predator that I couldn’t shake off. The irony was that class was the place I should have been experimenting, pushing the boundaries, trying new things; if there was ever an ideal place to make mistakes, ballet class was it. Since then I’ve realized that fear of failure is more common than most people would like to admit, but it’s not just the failure itself that worries people. The idea of looking bad or foolish can be enough to keep us from even trying something in the first place.

No one wants to be the star of their own ballet blooper…. but everybody’s doing it–even the pros!

Recently I came across this quote and it was a game-changer:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  ~Winston Churchill

Success never happens all at once–it’s a process–and failures are part of that process. No one whips off a triple pirouette the first time they try to turn, nor is a dancer given a starring role the first day they join a ballet company (except for Claire in the new ballet drama Flesh and Bone). Yet each time we try, whether we’re successful or not, it’s a step forward. Churchill’s quote reminds us to use our failures as stepping-stones, to move from one to the next without losing enthusiasm.

SteppingStones

Better yet, move from one to the next…and keep on keeping on. There’s always a next step.

 

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