Monthly Archives: March 2014

Finally, online ordering success!

If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you’ll know the search for new tights, especially, online has been an epic fail.

Capezio changed the brand I used to wear into something more see-through. My reliable Sansha brand has also been hard to find, even in the dance store I shop at when I have no other choice.

I have to credit Merciechatons with helping me actually find a pair that is opaque enough to wear to class. I followed the link to Discount Dance Supply and took one more chance.

They came yesterday. I didn’t get hopes up until I put them. They were the right fit and very opaque (finding the right fit, too, can be a challenge because men’s sizes are all over the map.

For the record, for any guy out there trying ballet who is brave enough to wear tights, the brand I bought was an M. Stevens pair (first time I’ve ever bought their brand). The only question now is how durable they are. Guess I’ll know that in a few weeks. I intend to buy an extra pair or two, but they are a little pricier than Capezio or Sansha.

As for dancing itself, we’re on spring break this week. I’m feeling a bit like a sloth and can’t wait to get back into the studio. Right now, that’ll be Sunday with Cinderella rehearsal. But I’m hoping they’ll offer a class between now and then.






A flourish, and now a break

I realize it’s been a few days since my last post.

The combination of work, school and dance has taken it’s toll lately.

Not that I’ve minded the dance part. I’ve had ballet classes the last three days, and one Cinderella rehearsal. Hard to believe we are three weeks away from taking the stage.

Thursday officially started spring break from school. We don’t return again until March 31st. The ballet school is officially closed after today until then, too. But we’re told they may hold an unscheduled open class or two (I’m hoping), but rehearsals won’t resume until the 30th.

I still have to work. I intended to take the week for vacation. Then I got cast in Cinderella, so I saved the vacation days for tech week.

Mentally, I’m ready for the break. Stressing about graphic design projects in addition to working a stressful job takes its toll. Dancing cuts down on the stress, but because of my school schedule, the number of classes I’ve been able to take has been cut back a bit.

I have two graphic design projects coming up. One is in my combined graphic design-water color class (the photo is from a previous project that probably says a lot about me, since I used to write, I dance and I design). I have another complicated project in my web animation class (it’s where you learn Pixar-type skills). I’m happy to get a break.

Dance-wise, I’ve gone through a period of ups and downs emotionally. I’m totally digging the school sketch dance I’m in. It’s the one where I think I can prove to myself that I can somewhat dance. It’s got a lot of fun combinations in it.

And I have my Cinderella part pretty much down. But I had one of those moments last night that I often fight.

My character only has a few dance steps, and is only in Act I.

There is an older, former company dancer, a somewhat strange guy who plays the dressmaker to my hair dresser. He is also in Act 2, in a cool waltz scene. And I’m somewhat jealous. I’ve always thought of myself as a better overall dancer, but his turns blow mine away.

So doubt crept in. Maybe Mr. O cast him for that role because he didn’t think I could dance as well? Yeah, that’s my lack of confidence talking.

I beat myself up over it last night.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my part. I’m looking forward to being in Cinderella. And I’ve gotten more of my share of good roles, more than most adult recreational dancers. And for the most part. I’m content. But still, I got pretty down on myself.

But then I went to Mrs. O’s class this morning, a fun, full-out class without the stress of a rehearsal. There were a few complicated combinations.

It turned out to be one of my better classes in a while.

Yes, my pirouettes still sucked. But my jetes during petite allegro were cleaner. So were my brises and assembles’.

And I nailed the grande allegro combination that was pretty tricky. I had a hallelujah moment with sissonne ouverts (misspelled?) and three changes in direction with fouettes (another hallelujah moment). And I was on time with the music.

I left class thinking maybe I can halfway dance.Image

Seriously Capezio?

Chalk this up to male dancer problem No. 150.

My reliable Sansha tights are getting holes. I bought a pair of Capezios about a couple of months ago from the dancewear store. Yep, as I suspected, not opaque enough.

So I went online shopping again. Somehow, I can’t find Sanshas in my size. So I read a review about Capezio’s offering once again, and it was suggested to bump up a size. I ordered the larger size, tried them on when they came in and … if you see your dance belt, totally uncool.

So I settled on a trick I’ve heard. I doubled up (put on both pairs). It solved the see-through problem. But wearing two pairs of tights at the same time causes other problems, mainly they bunch, especially in the feet, which killed my turns yesterday.

Not to mention, it’s not very comfortable and makes things a little hotter in a studio that was already steaming.

So the temporary fix is to either go back to the getting more holes Sanshas or continue to double up until I find the elusive pair (or pairs) that are a fit for me.

Capezio once carried a brand that was a fit for me. I had two pairs that lasted almost three years. Then they discontinued carrying the brand, and replaced it with the brand that has been the scourge of my existence.

Haven’t they heard, when something’s not broke, don’t fix it?

There are bourees in this dance?

That’s what I was thinking as we put the final steps in for our school sketch dance at the end of May.

Second thought? Guys aren’t supposed to do bourees.

There is a part of the dance where we come together in a triangle. As the lone male dancer in a group of 10, I am the center mark person,

We come on stage in groups, we do steps in our groups and then we come together in a triangle before the final steps (grande allegro).

At the end of our particular group’s steps, if we are not on our spot, we bouree to get there.

I did not protest. It actually makes since. And for me, it’s only about four or so, at most.

And really, as we were doing them, it actually looked cool.

And the school sketch crowd usually isn’t the cultured crowd that will see us perform Cinderella.

So I doubt very many people in the audience will be thinking: “Isn’t that a girl’s step.”

My timing was a little off tonight, in part because I was thinking my way through it. When I do that, I’m either too slow, or too fast. But the steps are doable and amazingly fun.

I honestly believe I’m looking forward to this dance more than I am performing in Cinderella.

That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to Cinderella. I am.

And we’re four weeks away from bringing it to the stage. It may be the most challenging story ballet we’ve ever done.

It’s the first full length ballet outside of Nutcracker that we’ve performed. We’ve done Romeo and Juliet, Dracula, Firebird and Billy the Kid, but we did shortened versions that lasted about 45 minutes.

Cinderella is two hours and two acts, although my time on stage is about 10 minutes. It’s going to be an amazing production.

And our rehearsals are going to really get intense leading up to production week.