Archive | August 2013

Grishkos Are A-OK

I purchased, and put to the test, my new Grishko 2007 pointe shoes. The verdict – not too shabby. It has been so long since I have tried a normal shoe. Gaynor Minden is clearly a superior shoe, but different in so many respects. The General said I should use a traditional shoe to build foot strength, so I did like a good little student. But, I wasn’t entirely sure that they were going to work out at first.

First of all, I was worried about toe pain. I always had toe pain in my Capezios. I figured I would have toe pain in every traditional shoe. Not the case, apparently. Grishkos were as painless as my Gaynors. Yeah! I thinks it’s because Grishkos are as “comfortably tight” as my Gaynors. I do not fall into my box with either of these shoes. I have discovered proper fitting is the key to having painless pointe. (Der, I know, but until you know what ‘proper fitting’ means, you are going to struggle a bit).

The difference – stiffness. The box is pretty stiff. Like little bricks, really. Luckily, it only took me about 15 minutes of working the shoe to get comfortable. But I still get the “slap” sound in floor that Gaynors do not get. I have to work harder to make them soundless. That’s a good thing. I should always to be working harder; working harder to be a better dancer. 🙂

The other difference is the support in the shank. I have been wearing a “worn in” shank for some time; it’s nice having some help. It is especially helpful with my turns. Turns are more daunting when your shanks are worn it. My Grishkos help tremendously when I have to turn across the floor. What an unexpected surprise!!

I don’t know how long these shoes will last, but I feel that it would be in my best interest to have a pair of Grishkos for class and Gaynors for performances and outside class practices. I feel that these are the brands that will help me improve my dancing in the end. I am resolved in the fact that I will be buying new pointe shoes every month. No biggie. That’s what happens when you practice pointe on a regular basis. And quite frankly? Not a bad problem to have.

Grishkos are A-OK in my book. For those who are looking, you should definitely give it a whirl. 🙂

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Olgebay

The husband and I took the kiddles to Olgebay park in West Virginia this week. It was nice just spending time with the kids. We swam, we went to the zoo, we played putt putt and hung out at the playground. The kids especially got a kick out of spending the night in the same room with the parents. I slept with my son one night and with my daughter. My daughter is the superior sleeping partner by far. My son woke up both nights screaming at about 4 a.m. for god knows what. Boo.

So, on the last evening, I saw a delightful photo opportunity by the lake. I posted both because I thought they were both pretty. Enjoy.

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I Run, Run, Leapt, Yo!

I know it has been a while since I posted about any of my dance progress. What can I say? I didn’t feel like there was anything really interesting to post about. Not to mention I am low on material since I only have one class a week (boo).

This last week was an ordinary class. We are away from the barre ALREADY! It was a short-lived event, being at the barre. What was it? Two weeks, maybe? Ahhh, the barre. How I will miss thee. See you again next summer….

Anywho – back to class. Everything was proceeding as usual and then out of nowhere what does the General do?! Why she pulls out the mats. What’s so important with the mats? Well, we cannot very well leap without a cushion to land on, can we?! I stared at her while she thrust the flat, blue cushions into the corner of the room. The General turned on some funky hip-hop music to motivate our bodies into the air and any we went. Man, it has been a coon’s age since I have leapt. My performance routines did not have a single leap and we only practiced them every once in a while, so yeah. It’s been a couple of months. I did, however, leap during out pointe lesson a couple of times for kicks and giggles. Your feet look so pretty in pointe shoes. It makes leaping that much more prettier. I watched as the advanced students assemble, glissade, jete onto the mat. I have not tried that combination and all I intended to do was get to point A to point B without looking like a total goon. When my turn came I was staring down that mat like it owed me money. Coincidentally, I felt like the mat was staring at me as well. “What ch’ya gonna do punk? You wanna piece of my blue plastic goodness? Well, get a steppin girl and try not to look stupid.” To the left of the fluffy menace was the General, sitting Indian style in a chair that was conveniently positioned next to the mat so not to miss a single step, stumble or jump. Smiling at every dancer that approached, ready to make any necessary critiques or suggestions on how to improve our leaps.

So, I ran. All that was running through my mind was “don’t forget to point your feet LB!” “Stretch your legs as far as they will go!” and the words of my former teacher resonated in my brain “Run, run, leap!” I looked to my left as I briefly soared through the air and took a glimpse of myself in the mirror beside the General. Is that me?! No, that cannot be me. I’m, I’m, really leaping!! Not just the flailing-barely-splitting-my-legs kind of a leap, but a real, ballerina type leap!!! No, it had to be a fluke. I couldn’t possible get that lucky twice. WRONG – I did it again, and again, and again! Even my little friend (she is an adorable middle-school-aged young lady that has been helping me with my arabesque penche. Yup, I’m still working on it) gave me a nice complement. She said, “Wow! You looked like a real ballerina when you jumped!” Me? Leapt like a ballerina? *Swoon. The General even gave me a couple of nods of approval, especially when we jumped in second position. A leap I HATE doing by the way because no one makes it look good; so queer jumping in second. But, I was actually able to extend my legs in a way that wasn’t completely awkward looking. Huh, who would have thunk it?!

So, what has changed from last year? Well, I credit the constant stretching and, duh, practice. Confidence doesn’t hurt either. I remember this time last year the General informed me that I may never be able to leap because of my age and lack of experience. I believed her and was resolved in the fact that leaping may never be for me. Well, I suppose we were wrong! You can learn to leap no matter what your age! So, keep up the good my fellow adult-ballet beginners and you too can be goon-free during a leap exercise in class!

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