Yoga Resource: DoYouYoga!

A post shared by DOYOUYOGA.com (@doyouyoga) on May 28, 2017 at 12:47pm PDT

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Today I want to share one of my current favorite websites! DOYOUYOGA.com is an awesome website with TONS of online classes as well as articles and a community. So far I have been taking advantage of the free content (and there’s plenty of it!), but eventually I plan on purchasing a premium membership to gain access to a huge selection of classes. They keep adding new ones too!

Right now I am doing their 30-Days of Yoga Challenge. I have already completed the 28 Day Yoga for Beginners Program.

Yoga is a great compliment to ballet! Well, I’m a firm believer that yoga is a great compliment to pretty much anything. It’s often hard to find balance between strength and flexibility, but yoga, like dance, builds strength while at the same time working flexibility. It’s also important for ballet dancers to do exercises that strengthen muscles in ways a normal ballet class won’t. For example: working in parallel positions instead of turned out. Yoga also has the added perk of calming mindfulness. Ballet barre in warm up classes can sometimes have a meditative feel to it (as long as class exercises aren’t too complicated), but often in company class I find myself thinking in overtime trying to process corrections and remember tricky exercises. During my yoga practice I have an opportunity to let my mind focus on breath or simply being present in my movements. For someone with a busy mind, this is often my best way to meditate because I use the movements to focus and calm my mind.

I love it when I have time to actually attend a yoga class. Nothing can quite replace actually getting hands on corrections from a teacher or feeding off the energy of your peers in the class. However, online classes have their own special perks. For example, no driving to get to class! This is a major perk for me as I often spend too many hours a day in my car in traffic. Another cool perk is I get to create my own yoga atmosphere. I like to lay out my mat, and light some candles. Sometimes I like to make my own playlist to listen to. Also, if you get super relaxed during savasana, you can fall asleep without the danger of being super embarrassed when you wake up to everyone else walking out of the room and trying to tiptoe around you after class! For the record, I have never actually fallen asleep (I promise). I am far too self-conscious of accidentally being one of those snoring yoga sleepers to let my self relax that much in public.

Another great perk is that if you are a beginner who is a little too shy to actually attend class, you can get a feel for yoga from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Hope you give the website a try and let me know what you think! Also, please share any similar websites that you think I might enjoy!

Any other dancers out there who enjoy yoga as a part of their cross training?

Hugs,

silattitudetiny

Dancewear haul (Discount Dance) and first impressions

The best way to really stock up on dancewear at an affordable price is to visit Discount Dance Supply. I’ve been ordering from them for many years (my mom even used to phone in orders from the mailed catalogue when I was young!). They offer pretty much anything you could need related to dance supplies. I recently ordered some new items and wanted to share what I got!

ddshaul

My newest goodies!

The goods: Two leotards, tights, toe pads, technique slippers.

Toesavers SkinnyDips Toepads – I have been wearing the same old toe pads for a few years now. They have holes in them and aren’t doing much for me anymore (and are pretty gross now to tell the truth). The trouble is that every time I try to get a new pair, they are too thick. I like to be able to feel the floor and too much padding makes me feel unstable. These “SkinnyDips” are nice and thin. I have worn them for one rehearsal so far. They offer just enough padding to protect my easily bruise-able toenails, but are thin enough that I feel like I’m in control of my feet and balance. So far my one complaint is that they are rather big and I will need to trim them so they don’t show from under the vamp (though to be fair, I did order them in the bigger size).

Theatricals Convertible Tights – I always want convertible tights or stirrups. I absolutely have to be able to get my toes free from my tights during classes or rehearsals, so I never wear footed tights. Unfortunately, tights can be pretty expensive, especially considering how easily they wear out. I’ve been on a quest for affordable, but durable, tights. These aren’t the most durable I’ve had, but they make up for that fact with the affordable factor. They are currently only $5.95 on Discount Dance! They have a wide array of colors to choose from. I got mine in “Prima Pink,” which is a perfect ballet class pink. Another perk is that these tights are really comfortable. Really soft fabric and not itchy. Also the convertible foot is smooth and doesn’t bunch up under the toes like some brands do. I’d say they are excellent value for your money.

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Leotards by Natalie.

Deep V-Back Long Sleeve Leotard – A new favorite leotard of mine! I actually ordered the red one in a previous shipment, wore it a few weeks, and LOVED it so much I had to get it in blue also. Long sleeved leos are my favorite because I feel like they make my arms look longer. The super low back helps to keep cool. The silhouette and fabric together are just so flattering! I think I want it in black next… 🙂

theatricals

Theatricals “SofTouch” slippers.

The last thing I got was a new pair of technique slippers. For the past three years or so I’ve been wearing Sansha technique slippers, and I’ve liked them, but I started to see my fellow dancers wearing the Theatricals “SofTouch” Canvas Stretch Split-Sole Ballet Shoes and decided to give them a try myself. So far so good. I’ve only worn them for a short warm up so far, but I love how light they feel on my feet. It almost feels like wearing a sock. They are also really form fitting and flattering on the foot without baggy bits. So far the main thing I prefer with my old Sanshas is that the sole on those was very flat and you couldn’t really feel it. With the Theatricals I can definitely feel the sole under my foot and it’s a little bumpy. Not too bad though and I think once I wear the shoes for a few classes I will become more used to the feel.

And that’s it for my dancewear haul! I will definitely be doing more of these in the future as well as reviewing more of my favorite brands/products. Let me know if there are any that you particularly recommend because I would love to check them out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

silattitudetiny

New Social Media Pages

Hello! Just a quick post to let you all know that I now have a Facebook for the blog as well as a Pinterest page!

Facebook

Pinterest

The buttons at the very bottom of the page work now too, and you can also scroll down to visit my Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. Now you can follow me all over the place! 😀

Stay tuned for a post on my latest Discount Dance Supply haul coming soon!

silattitudetiny

My “Blogiversary” and life updates

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The Lilac Fairy? Doodling for tiara designs.

I just found out that a few days ago was my 1 year anniversary of creating this blog! In some ways it feels like it has been longer because of how much has happened in my life since I started. On the other hand, it also feels like I’ve just begun because I guess I maybe thought I would have had more content after a whole year, but since I’ve had a pretty busy year (auditions, moving, joining a new ballet company, starting a new teaching job) I guess I’ll not beat myself up too much over that fact.

Anyway, something very exciting for me is that I have begun to get some comments and messages from you guys who are reading this. You have no idea how happy it makes me that there are people out there reading and enjoying the content I create, so thank you to everyone who has written a comment or note to me so far. Please feel free to give me suggestions for future posts!

So because it’s my “Blogiversary” I started thinking about new beginnings and the like. Thinking about that reminded me that I never set any New Years Resolutions for 2017. I think I want to type up a quick list of goals for 2017. They will be sort of like resolutions, but a little more relaxed, because we all know that resolutions are not really effective for long term success (in most cases anyway). Here we go…

2017 Goals

For the blog:

  • Find some kind of posting schedule, or at least get a little more regular with posts.
  • Start to create a few floor barre workouts and stretch routines.
  • Get started on some product reviews, dancer style, more tutorials related to hair and makeup.
  • Get more into the “Strength” side of this blog. The fitness, workouts, maybe some healthy eating tips.

For me:

  • Find time to begin working on my future headpiece business (a longer term goal, but it’s time to finally lay the groundwork).
  • Make time for myself: Read more, meditate more, do more yoga, create more art.

* * *

And now for a little life update: I’m actually doing rather well right now. My injured ankle is now nearly back to normal (although it still doesn’t like when I do pirouettes because the turning puts strain on recovering tendons). I also managed to earn a promotion for next year even though I’ve been injured most of this year! I am in rehearsals for a show coming up in a few months. My students that I teach are all rapidly improving. Lots of really great and exciting things!

Visit me again soon to see how I’m keeping up with my goals.

Hugs,

silattitudetiny

Lets talk about Pointe Shoes…

shoes

Recycling used ribbons… Worn out old shoes on the left, shiny new pair on the right.

I just finished sewing my first pair of pointe shoes in two years! Yes, two years is a very long time between shoes! Typically a standard pair of pointe shoes only has about 8 hours of good life in them before they’re mush. A couple reasons why it’s been so long for me to finally get a new pair: First, I had my year off dancing while I recovered from burn out and tendonitis. Next, my more recent ankle sprain. The brand new shiny pair of shoes pictured in the photo above I ordered in the fall last year around the time I slipped and got the sprain that still haunts me. After getting injured there was no reason to sew them since I wasn’t really doing much dancing at all, let alone pointework. I even danced Nutcracker on my older shoes because they still had life left in them from barely wearing them at the beginning of the season. Finally I’m doing enough dancing and rehearsing that it was time to sew a fresh pair.

Another reason why I haven’t needed to sew a new pair so soon is that a few years ago I made the switch to Gaynor Minden brand pointe shoes (read about what makes them special: here). I had gotten fed up with forking over all my money on a new pair of shoes every other week, so when I heard from the other dancers in my company that they were wearing Gaynors for months at a time, I knew I needed to try them for myself. The transition was difficult because they really don’t feel much like the typical pointe shoe at first, but once I got used to them I really fell in love! Gaynor Minden shoes can last me 2-6 months or more depending on the type of rehearsals I do.

So, here’s a little pointe shoe pro tip: Reuse your ribbons! When I was finally ready to sew my new pointe shoes I realized that I had neglected to order new ribbons… No problem! All I had to do was detach some ribbons from an old pair, wash them, and sew them to my new pair! It’s always a good idea to take good care of your pointe shoe ribbons because if you keep them clean and from tearing and fraying, you can reuse them on a second pair of pointe shoes.

* * *

Coming up I will be posting some more updates on how I am doing with rehearsals and my return to pointework. Some more tutorials are in the works too, so come back soon!

Hugs,

silattitudetiny

My Nutcracker Post… Finally!

nutcracker

I drew the Nutcracker and a dancing snowflake 🙂

I’m back! I wish that wasn’t something I kept saying on here since I would love to have some consistency with my posts. Unfortunately I haven’t yet managed to find a proper rhythm within my weekly schedule (which is now busier than ever!). I had meant to write this particular post during my Christmas break! A lot of stuff popped up suddenly around that time. On top of a variety of things that demanded my attention, I also got rather ill and didn’t have the energy to tackle extra activities.

Anyway, I still wanted to write a little bit about my Nutcracker.

I am very proud and excited to have made it through Nutcracker. I was finally able to perform in my pointe shoes on my ankle that I had sprained! I was a little worried I would need to pull out of the show because of my injury that I got all the way back in October. It still hurts me sometimes and is definitely much weaker now than my other ankle. It really has been the worst injury of my life and I am still in recovery from it. It was also my first time performing a proper ballet since before my year off from dancing! Getting back into ballet shape has been a tough enough battle anyway after that year off, but the sprain has made things even more difficult. I still have to sit out of most of the jumps in ballet class and limit my time wearing pointe shoes, but I have been getting stronger each week and I have hope that soon I will be back in top form and there will no longer be a trace of injury.

Some thoughts and favorite moments from Nutcracker 2016:

  • After the shows I went out in costume to the lobby of the theatre. Lots of children (and some adults) asked to get their photo with me and I even autographed a few programs.
  • The feeling of those special moments of being in perfect sync with the rest of the corps de ballet. (Large group ensemble dances)
  • Being told by a character performer backstage that she loved my quality of dancing and that she thought I should be getting lead roles.
  • Wearing a tiara will never get old.
  • That feeling of triumph after surviving the snow scene. (So much paper snow piled up on the stage that it becomes way too easy to slip and fall)
  • Final bows to the sound of over 2000 people clapping their hands.

* * *

In other news, only about two weeks until my next show. Then preparations begin for yet another after that. In addition to my rehearsals, I am in the process of choreographing several recital dances for the students I teach. On top of that, I am working towards the possible creation of my very own Etsy shop! Busy busy… But so excited about a lot of things!

I have some great ideas for future posts, so come back again soon!

Thanks for visiting,

silattitudetiny

Tutorial: Ballet Bun for Everyday Class

balletbun

Today I wanted to post my first tutorial! I decided to begin with something essential to ballet dancers: The Ballet Bun.

Now, there are MANY ways to go about creating a ballet bun. Today I will show you the way I personally put up my hair for everyday classes, rehearsals, teaching, or even the gym. It is fairly quick to do once you have gotten practice. People have said that my hair ends up looking a bit like a cinnamon roll (yum) when I put it up this way because it is a very coiled look. This technique is good for keeping the bun a little flatter to the head than some other styles and it is also less likely to fall out while dancing or doing cardio.

My hair in particular is very long and thick, so this tutorial works especially well for long hair.

Now, lets give this a try!

You will need:

  • Ponytail holder/elastic
  • Bobby Pins
  • Hairnet (optional)
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Hairspray (optional)

step1

Step One: Make a ponytail. I use my brush and comb to evenly pull the hair back from my face. How high you make your ponytail will dictate how high your bun is. I currently like to make my bun higher on my head, so I begin with a high ponytail.

step2

Step Two: For this particular style of bun I divide the ponytail in half.

step3

Step Three: Start with one section (section A) and begin to twist and coil it around the base of the ponytail. Start pinning right away, but stop once you have gone around to where the other section (section B) of hair is. Depending on how long your hair is, you might have quite a lot of the first section left over. If that is the case, let the rest just hang there a bit and we will come back to it later.

step4

Step Four: Once the first section (section A) is pinned around, repeat with the other section (section B). Coil it in the same direction as the first and begin to wrap it around the  section that is already pinned. Concentrate on pinning it to the outside of the already pinned section so that you get a flat spiral rather than building it up so that it sticks out from your head. Stop pinning this section once it is coiled around to where the other section (section A) left off.

Step Five: Go back to the first section and continue to coil. Repeat between both sections until all hair has been coiled up. It should look like a cinnamon roll at this point. Be sure to tuck in the ends neatly once all the hair is used up. Again, if you have long hair like me, you will need to repeat these steps a few times to get all the hair up.

Step Six: Finishing touches. If using a hairnet (optional), go ahead and put that over the bun now. I usually double mine up so it fits securely. Then I take at least 4 bobby pins and secure the hairnet on all sides. I tend to use my extra long pins here to really secure the bun. You can spray hair all over with hairspray, or slick hair back with water to create a smooth wispy-free look. Hairspray will last longer, but for everyday I tend to use water so that my hair isn’t crunchy later in the day if I have other meetings or errands to do. If I’m doing my hair for a show then I use a heavy hair gel to really make the hair stay in place! At the end I like to take two extra bobby pins to secure the wisps at the back of my neck under my bun. I just pull it up and criss cross the pins.

finishedbun

And that is how I do my everyday class and rehearsal bun! From there you can always dress it up by adding a headband or some jeweled pins, etc. I used to get really creative with it, but lately I’m more lazy.. haha. Maybe I’ll start experimenting again and post my creations?

Let me know if you try the tutorial! Please give me suggestions on what could make it better. Also, please let me know what other tutorials or content you would like to see!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

silattitudetiny

Future Post Sneak Peak: Ballet Bun Tutorial

Another sneak peek of my Ballet Bun #tutorial coming soon to the Ballerina Strength blog! #ballet #drawing #hair #hairstyles

A post shared by Ballerina Strength (@ballerinastrength) on

I’ve been working on my Ballet Bun Tutorial and I decided to make little doodles to illustrate it with. Here’s a sneak peek from my Instagram! Make sure to check out my Instagram if you haven’t already!

Hugs,

silattitudetiny

Ankle Recovery Progress

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A throwback photo from school a few years ago. Stretching in a doorframe backstage before a show. Wearing all my cozy warm ups!

I know I made it sound as if I were going to post more frequent updates of my ankle recovery, but the actual act of focusing on healing took up more time and energy than I anticipated!

Some very good news is that I managed to perform the more modern role in my company’s latest ballet. No pointe shoes, or jumping, but a lot of rolling around on the floor with bare feet. Perfect! It was a nice distraction to be able to focus on that and still feel like I was a part of everything even though I had to give up the part on pointe that I had originally been more excited for… Oh well.

My next goal is to be back to 100% in time for Nutcracker! I have about 6 weeks… Not a lot of time, but I think I can do it! Confident I can at least be 80%…

So here’s the current status of my ankle:

  • Still a little visible swelling, but so much better than it was a few weeks ago. Still icing it as well as epsom salt soaks.
  • Still not at full mobility, but that is also improving. It is better when I warm it up well. It tends to be stiff in the mornings or after I’ve sat or stood for an extended period of time without actively flexing, pointing, or massaging the ankle. I’ve been massaging with Tiger Balm before and after ballet classes and that helps tremendously.
  • Strength is currently very lacking. This is to be expected after keeping off of it as much as possible for a few weeks! I have only recently been pushing myself to take a full barre and even then I have not done any one footed releves on the injured ankle until just this week. I’ve only done a few so far, but it now feels like a gigantic victory.

Here’s what’s next:

  • Continuing to ice and care for the ankle in order to completely get rid of the remaining swelling.
  • Continue to gently stretch the ankle to regain full mobility. At the moment I do careful calf stretch lunges to stretch the flexion, and to stretch the point I sit on the floor and just use my hands to bend and shape the foot. Usually I do these stretches after I massage the ankle with Tiger Balm.
  • Continue strength exercises for the ankle. Aside from taking barre, at the moment I will focus mainly on non-weight bearing exercises, such as theraband exercises, in order to avoid re-injury while the ankle is still weak. I have ordered some brand new therabands from Discount Dance Supply. They have yet to arrive, but once I get them I will review them for you.

I will admit that my Arms Challenge probably won’t be continued at this time. I think it has been postponed so long now that if I were to pick it up again I would want to start at the beginning. So for now I won’t pressure myself with a challenge other than getting my ankle back to fully functioning in order to perform.

And that’s about it for now! I do have the ballet bun tutorial in the works still, so hopefully I can finish that soon… Stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting!

Hugs,

silattitudetiny