Tag Archives: rehearsal

White shoes, white tights required

The law of averages finally caught up with me.

I’ve performed in Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Firebird, Dracula, Billy the Kid and Cinderella without hearing the words “white ballet shoes and white tights are required” from the wardrobe lady.

Through almost nine years of performing, I’ve gotten away with the security of black tights and shoes.

That is not the case for Sleeping Beauty and my role as a Court Man. Had a second fitting today, and that’s when the wardrobe lady dropped the bomb: You’ll need a pair of white ballet shoes and white tights.

For the record, I didn’t pitch a fit.

I may be an old recreational dancer, but I am a dancer.

I know that if I’m asked to perform, weird and wacky costumes are part of the territory.

A tunic, white shirt, nickers (thank the Lord) are part of the costume this time around along with white shoes and tights.

There is a store in town that is a sponsor of the ballet, so I got the shoes. And since I’m wearing something over the tights, the store lady suggested ladies tights as opposed to ordering a more expensive pair of men’s tights that I would never ever wear in class and may not ever again in a performance (although you never know).

Cue the laughter, I’ll be wearing an extra-large pair of ladies Capezio tights under the nickers (maybe I should have read the few reviews my fellow bloggers who happen to be female did about them …lol).

Seriously, though, I am liking this role more than I thought I would. There is a little partnering involved and a few other ballet steps to it.

And I was assigned a role front and center since I have more performing experience than the rest of the Court Men, which is really cool. We’re on stage for the entire opening act, including the opening scene.

We really got into the meat of the role today.

It was fun. And it was cool to see Act I finally unfold. The fairy dances were absolutely beautiful, which is remarkable considering how many classes and rehearsals that have been missed because of the wacky winter weather we’ve been having,

And once again rehearsal followed a very kick ass class (pardon the expression).

The petite allegro combinations were a bit more tricky today, but I thought I acquitted myself quite well today.

We also did a tricky combination across the floor today that included a pirouette that went into a fouette. And amazingly I was able to go into fouettes pretty well during most of the combination.

Amazing to me considering I hardly ever do fouette turns during center work, normally turns from second.

I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things with classes. Hopefully, the weather will start cooperating.

Finally, ballet normalcy

Saturday class, costume fitting and rehearsal.

It’s been a while since my Saturdays have had anything like that on the agenda, thanks to school work, sickness and a brutal work schedule.

I made my return to Mrs. O’s Saturday class for the first time since Christmas. God how I’ve missed it.

It was physical. I was sloppy because I’ve missed more classes than I’ve made since Christmas break.

But it was really fun. Barre was doable. My pirouettes sucked (but that usually happens when I’m back in the routine). I actually fared reasonably well during one of the petite allegro combinations. The other, not so much (the combination of sissones and brises threw me off).

Mrs. O’s grande allegro combination once again was pretty cool, although the foute after the tour jete on the left side didn’t really process well, But it was really fun trying to execute it.

Between class and rehearsal was the costume fitting I finally was able to make for my part in Sleeping Beauty..

Interesting exchange with the wardrobe mistress.

Wardrobe mistress: Are you shrinking?

Me: Pardon?

Wardrobe mistress: Have you lost weight?

Me (thinking): Either this is a positive side effect of having the flu a couple of weeks ago, or my Dr. Pepper diet is working better than I thought!

Evidently, my measurements were smaller than they were for Nutcracker or Cinderella last spring.

The batteries aren’t working on my scales, so I have no idea if I’ve lost weight or not. But it’s nice to have someone ask you if you’ve lost weight.

Finally, it was fun to actually begin rehearsing for my minor part. Not much dancing to it as far as I know. It’s mainly character. And there is a lot more to it than what we rehearsed today.

But it was cool to see Act 1 coming together.

Can’t wait for next week. It’s nice to finally get back in a routine.

Getting rid of the on-stage jitters

Never fails, I’m always a bundle of nerves during the first full run through on the VBC stage, especially during Chinese.

We had Act II rehearsal tonight. I thought I did OK for the first night, I wasn’t quite as sharp as I want to be, and my jumps were not as high as I would have preferred. But there were no major mistakes, so I’ll take it. I know things will get better from here on out now that I’m used to being back in the theater.

I’m a lot more comfortable, and a little more confident after the second run through. There’s been a slight change in the choreography, but that’s not really a big deal.

I thought it was a good rehearsal overall. Our Sugar Plum and cavalier are going to rock the grande pas. And the guest artist we have doing Russian can really leap. It’s going to be fun to watch him perform.

We have Act I tomorrow, which means I switch to party dad and work the magical bed during battle scene. It’s a totally different vibe from Act II, which to be honest is more fun for me.

Get to sleep in a little tomorrow, but have my last final of the semester at noon.

Dress rehearsal is Wednesday … and then it’s seven shows in four days starting Thursday.


One of the traditions we have during Nutcracker is gifting. The kids exchange gifts with other kids who are in the same dance with them.

As an adult, I really don’t expect a gift, but it melts my heart when I get one, I do confess.

Last year, one of the Chinese girls gave me a small Chinese soup bowl with scented soap. A couple of years before, one of my party “daughters” gave me a Nutcracker ornament that hangs from my tree each year now. Tonight, one of my Chinese girls gave me a box with candy. It’s pretty cool.


My biggest challenge may not be on stage, but sharing a small dressing room with the rest of the party dads, the guy playing Mr. Stalhbaum, the guy playing Drosselmeyer and Mother Ginger. I’m the only one with a costume change, which means trying to keep up with clothes, costumes and shoes, while trying to work around eight or nine other people.

Of course, by the time Act II is over, it’ll be cleared out except for me and the dad who plays Mother Ginger.

I will try to post pics by the time we’re done. Didn’t have a whole lot of time tonight.

Only in ballet: “Since it’s cold, it’s OK to keep your clothes on.”

Those were the words Mrs. O said this morning.

And with good reason: It was frigid in the studio where we have class. In Alabama, we have bi-polar winter weather. Two days ago, the high was 74 and humid. The studio felt sticky.

Today, highs in the low 40s, but this morning it was in the 30s with snow flurries and sleet. And our heating and cooling unit was on the fritz (no pun intended considering its Nutcracker time).

Since it was a company level class, normally the warmups must come off before we hit center. Today, Mrs. O left the warmups can be worn option, of which most of us took advantage of it.

It was a fairly easy class considering we start rehearsing at the theater tomorrow. I got praise during a jete combination during petite allegro and that NEVER happens. It was a fun class.

We also had our final rehearsal in the studio this after (it was Act I). Party scene went really well. Things always seem to come together right when we hit the theater.

Of course, with the new sets, it will be interesting to see how things go once we’re there.

Theater week actually begins today. I’m about to head out to help with the sets. I’m excited. This is my favorite week of the year.

A piece our company is performing


Our company does an “Unplugged” performance every fall of works that are more contemporary ballet.

PNB Agon rehearsal

Love watching rehearsal footage. Our artistic director and school director danced under her at PNB. Both are my teachers.

A little something from PNB

Yes, more amazing fouettes. Love the way she spots since that’s my weakness.