Four Guys Walk Into a Barre

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I got my Husband to take ballet class, with five of our friends (4 boys 3 girls[including myself]). I scheduled a private class with my Mentor. We had an hour and a half all to ourself with her. This was their first time so we had to start very basic. I got to dance PDD with my Husband, and it was fun and cute. Except he’s shorter than I am en pointe so he wasn’t the best partner height wise. Otherwise he lifted with the best of them, supported me when needed, and was an excellent sport! Everyone was!

There was a many bent knees, and nearly pointed foot as one could get, difficulties stretching and reaching toes. It was amazing! They were in wonderment. They’ve seen me all dance and now they got to try it. It was like… a sweet reward to hear “this is so hard!” often.

Everyone followed to the best of their ability, it was when we got to grand jetés they had difficulties. Their brain was working hardest then. They later complained to me that they felt so uncoordinated when they leapt. They couldn’t make their body go from one leg and then land to the other. Or when we did sauté arabesques, trying to figure out when to jump and how you then got to the other leg. We did not waltz or do balances. They were still grasping at the idea of spotting amongst many things.

Their minds were boggled and their bodies contorted by yours truly. I got a many a yelps of pain from everyone when I was trying to help point their toes. They have the dexterity, but not the stretch.

Ah, it was pure enjoyment and everyone loved it! Even if it was slightly torturous.

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How I Bun : A Tutorial

RO requested a tutorial on my Colossal hair bun. My hair hasn’t been this long since I was a wee girl. I have photo journaled me putting my hair up before I run off to class.

How to bun like MC –

Things you will need:

brush, detangler(if necessary), fine tooth comb, pony tail holder, triangle clips, large curved hair pins.

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Scuncii made my clips and pony tail holder purchased at a drugstore. My large pins I bought at a japanese $1.50 store. My Teacher bought hers that are plastic from the dollar store somewhere-… magical.

step 1 – My hair is a mix of thick near fine hair, and strong slippery wavy asian hair. Many a tears have been shed over my hair and even trying to do a simple french braid has caused my Mother much grief. I start off with completely wet hair. Dried of enough moisture as to work with wet hair- not sopping wet. A detangled may have been spritzed at the ends because hair is long, it gets tangled. Brush through your moist hair and pull your hair back in any part or non part you prefer (I have a severe part, it just doesn’t work when bunning).

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Pro Tip – If it’s winter time and you don’t want to step out with wet hair, blow dry your roots a bit until they’re mostly dry. Then you will not catch pneumonia.

Step 2 – Brush hair up into a pony tail, then securely set your ponytail high on your crown. It may appear uncouth and rough.

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At that point, you take your fine toothed comb and brush through your uncouth hair and refine it. Just brush through until you stop at the pony tail holder. Do not ravage it, gentle strokes!

IMG_7556Now it appears shiny and slightly uniform. Don’t worry it’s going to get sweaty anyways!

Pro Tip – Depending on your hair, you may want a different pony tail holder. I must use thick ones to hold this mass together tightly. You may need a thin one if you have extremely fine hair.

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Step 3 – Take your pony tail with your dominant hand, doesn’t need to be finely brushed or anything… and twirl it like a mindless person day dreaming of ridiculous things.

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Once you reach the end, hold firmly. You must now begin to coil if it already hasn’t begun to on itself.

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I twist counter clockwise, seems reasonable that my hair wants to continue to turn counter clockwise when making my bun. You may automatically turn a different way, it doesn’t matter. You’ll probably yield the same results. Coil that mo-fo round and round but keeping the body of the twisted tail flat against the crown, and not jumping away from it. Flat is key to good turns, why? Because you’re not worried or fussing with your hair when you’re whip your head around. Also things staying closer to the body will turn better as a bun farther from the head will want to pull away from the head. SO KEEP IT CLOSE.

IMG_7559Ta-da! Magnifique! Grasp the tiny end tail tightly, it needs to be secured underneath your bun. Just tuck it in there nice like.

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Step 4- While one hand is holding in place your tucked tail, take your free hand and grab a honking big pin. Find a good place and securely insert your pin to more of the outside area of the bun coil. Not too far out, you want to grasp a good chunk of hair. Insertion needs to be at a 90° angle from your head plane. So it should stick out,IMG_7563

some may prefer a different angle, depends on how tight you want your hair. When the end of the pins reach your scalp pull back just a smidge, in your minds eye think a few mm. Then angle the pin inwards towards the center of the bun while grasping hair internally in the bun. Just keep pushing the pin until you feel it’s securely passed through several layers and caught on to the opposite side and poked through. I’ll be honest my photo is horrible. It’s not easy taking a photo of that. Anyways read the instructions – far better. Take your smaller pin and go 45° up from your first pin insertion. Think quarters of the hour. If you placed a pin at 9-3, place your next pin at 12-6. Since my other pin is smaller it won’t grasp as much but secure the original pinning more. If all done correctly you can whip your head side to side with out any fears and your bun will look AWESOME –

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You may have some fly aways (especially if your hair is layered). You can pin those down with smaller pins or ignore them like I do as I will get all sweaty later and wash my hair out at the end of the night.

 

Step 5 – Securing loose ends. Now that your bun is safely in place. You want to make sure nothing else gets in your eyes. I have 3 clips up top to hold any “bangs” I may have. One on each side of my head to keep fly aways away. Smooth out each area of hair with your hand first before inserting your clip. That way you’ll clip in as much hair as possible before they make a break for it.

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Cover any bumpy roughness with decoration –

IMG_7568And you’re golden! I only recommend this bun tutorial for class hair. If you’re looking for performance, that’s a whole different rodeo. Tell me what you think? Good, bad? The ugly? Questions? FEEDBACK!

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations Seahawks

I’ve been watching the Seahawks since I was a little girl. My Dad and Brother shouting and yelling on Sunday afternoons. My Husband and I recently got really into the Seahawks this year since I wasn’t involved in work and could be more involved with TV (hello dancing with the stars, the peoples court, etc). We had the opportunity to see a pre-season game a couple summers ago and it was a real joy to see.
Last night was big for us, Seattle, Washington. The “12th” man.

Well this morning I got an email from allaboutdance.com about a shoe sale. They are like the one email spam that I happily open and go window shopping. I browsed shoes and decided I didn’t need anything from their sale, but casually romped through their leotards to see the latest desirable styles.

I came across this bad boy!!

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Hello Seahawks colors!!! I bought it. I hope I get to wear it in class before the week is over on Thursday. It’s a beautiful leotard to boot! I’m ready to dance in it!!!!!!

Go Hawks!!

Gaynor Minden and my two cents

I wanted to announce my change of opinion on Gaynor Mindens. My Grishkos have served me well the last 5 months. They do incredibly pinch my pinky toes sometimes until it’s black and blue. My pinky toes are now heavily armored with calluses from relentless friction causing blisters. I have no issues with this as being able to dance in a supportive pointe shoe is essential, especially during Nutcracker season. They were FAR better than my Bloch Axis.

I recently came to the revelation that my 5 classes a week and nutcracker work have really strengthened my feet. Grishkos most definitely helped too. Being a Russian shoe, they’re very solid, strong, and it’s a work out just to break in the shoe. However, I was able to kill a pair in a month of dancing, and I’m not a professional who may have killed them in a couple hours. Yet the short amount of time the shoes were viable to me was a testament to my foot strength.

I decided to try my Gaynors again. They sat there sadly neglected. So much so a large spider and made a hidey hole of one of my shoes. Yuck. They were swiftly evicted. I hadn’t touched my GMs since summer. I didn’t even wear them at the intensive, they rubbed a ruptured blister worse. I had issues previously wearing my GMs, getting over the box, sinking after my feet warmed up, lack of foot strength in pointing. I think even with the flexible shank the shoe was too strong for me at that time.
I didn’t want to waste the hefty $80+ I dropped into these shoes so I wanted to give them another try.

Last week after resewing them I tested them out. I forgot how “soft” in comparison to traditional shoes these are. So quiet, no clunking about. Demi was not a fight with the shoe.
What surprised me most was how easy my ability to get over the box. It was like wearing my Bloch axis again. I get over the box so easily I wobble off pointe if I’m not careful. I don’t ever remember this being the case when I first go the shoes.
When pointing my foot in dégagé or develope it was a beautiful arched pointe. It did not look like the pre-arched shoe by itself. It actually looked like I was pushing the shank and creating my own pointe.

After the first night though I hated the shoes from discomfort. My feet were sinking by the end of barre. I had to remove my shoes after a few center exercises.

Second night wearing them I stuffed some extra box liners I had. World of difference. A little too tight in certain places but even my Teacher recognized a difference in my dancing with them. I recognized a difference. It was very easy and I had great capability with the shoes. I could actually use them to their potential than be dragged down by discomfort.

I think now, when I buy a new pair maybe sometime before June, I’ll order a size smaller in the box. It may look unattractive by rippling but after the shoes stretch out a little I think the fit will be just right. I still want to buy the additional padding for “thin” feet like mine to see how much a difference that will be.

I still have two pairs of grishkos to get through before I try new shoes again.

Overall, I think Gaynor Mindens are good shoes if fit correctly, and it can still be a struggle to get there. I do feel though that you need to have proper foot strength first before buying a pair. If your feet aren’t strong I feel they may make your feet weaker and they should stop being prescribed to dancers who’s feet are less than perfect for pointe. That’s my two cents.