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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Champagne Lounge March 2007


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Hi All!


I didn't see a champagne post for March so I thought I would start one. Last night I finally stepped out of my dance comfort zone and took a hip hop class at my gym. It was SO much fun! It was such a great cardio workout and I am sore in places (back especially) that rarely get sore from ballet. You could definitely tell that I was more of a ballet dancer than most of the girls, but it was so fun to let go!



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Well, this doesn't actually concern any accomplishments on my part, but I have found some ballet classes here in Moscow. There are 4 of us in the class, and it is taught by a husband and wife who dance with one of the smaller companies here. The best part is that we have class 5 days a week!!! I have never been able to find adult classes that frequently, and with such a small class, and two instuctors, I think I will really be able to improve. The classes are $10 US dollars each, a bit pricey for Russia, but still a bargain. I am in ballet heaven!


Some of us from the class went to the Grishko store and the Sansha store this afternoon. Shoes are CHEAP...points are 300 rubles, or about 10 dollars, and flats are about 5. They are stamped,so you can't export them, but I am going to stock up before I leave.



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My fouettes are slowly slowly slowly coming back.... (and no, still no comments from you-know-who, but I'm refusing to visit the wine couch this month... I'm wallowing enough by myself as it is!)

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Some of us from the class went to the Grishko store and the Sansha store this afternoon. Shoes are CHEAP...points are 300 rubles, or about 10 dollars, and flats are about 5. They are stamped,so you can't export them, but I am going to stock up before I leave.



Ah, so that's how we buy our pointe shoes so cheaper than other countries do...


Because I know the guy who runs the dance store here, and he sells my Grishkos for like 25$ "to me", but for others they are like 35-40$. And they are all stamped. So including the shipping, that's the real price for us to buy them =) Turkey is lucky I guess in terms of price. But we don't have any other option than Grishko Fouettes tho if I wanted to, I would make them import other models like 2007. So yep, stock up while you can!! =)


My champagne moment this week, it was on Saturday and I'm a bit late to write this now but my teacher loved my "presence" on stage as a witch (Carabosse) and she said that I had exactly correct facial expressions. Tho I hate the idea that I'm not "dancing" or doing anything really balletic, I guess I'm getting in the mood...

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At one time about 5-10 years ago there was a huge "shuttle trade" between Russia and Turkey, and a lot of it went through Istanbul (I think the area in Istanbul is called Laleli??). People would generally buy stuff in Turkey, sell it in Russia, and return to Turkey with the earnings to buy more stuff. I would imagine that a few Russians figured out that they could bring some ballet shoes with them on the Russia-Turkey leg of the trip...


Nowadays the trading channels are more organized, or so I hear. I haven't been to Turkey in a few years.


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Ah, my dance store is nothing, I said 35-40$ but in my dance studio they sell pointe shoes for 65-70$ can you imagine?? It really gets on my nerves when I see this kind of "trade cheats". People are so naive. And I don't want to tell them about my dance store because this time my studio director will hate me because I would prevent her to earn money but this is so unfair. Yet, it is not my business, everyone can make a research and find a cheaper store by themselves, in Ankara there are only 3 dance stores, it's not that hard to find a cheap one.


And what I hate the most, I have bought a pair of GM's and paid a lot of money where I could just give 25$ for a perfectly fitted pointe shoe (Fouettes are really made for my feet) and GM's are killing my feet. I haven't been on pointe for weeks because of them.. argh... Yes if I was in Istanbul I would be luckier about finding a "distributor" and buying my shoes cheaper.

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Nothing in particular, but I've had a couple of really great classes, the kind that leave me feeling incredibly fulfilled when I leave. :angry:


This week my teacher took my leg and held it up for me, showing me what I could do with the turnout and flexibility I have if only I had the strength to go with it. (I don't have a lot of any of those things, as an aside.) With her help, I got to get a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw something looking back that was actually rather lovely. Gives me something to shoot for, way, way off in the future. ;)

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I bought a pair of new pointes yesterday and for me it is always like birthday and christmas together. I finally decided to get a pair of Ouch Pouchs but unfortunately they have been out of stock but they are ordered and will come in about two weeks.

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I was pulled aside after class by my teacher so she could tell me how much I've improved since I returned after my crazy 6 month injury hiatus. It's hard sometimes to even do things like pointing my foot (orthotics and full sole leather slippers!) so this is welcome news. I'm still working on a lot of varied issues, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel!

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I'm cool now with my teacher, I guess.


I have an exhausting Carabosse part which lasts 6 minutes or so, non-stop and on pointe. I asked for it, I know. It's not that hard, a whole bunch of bourrees (I do bourrees all the time around the stage)4 passès, 2 arabesques, ermm approximately 6 soutenus en tournant on pointe. And all the mimics that the Paris Opera and Ballet Carabosse version does.(yep, including "put your hands up in the air" running). But the choreography looks cool I guess, so they say anyway. And they say that they are scared of me when I look into their eyes while acting, and my teacher says that it is priceless. I'm getting in the mood.


Ah, and of course... I accidentally did 4-5 double pirouettes (left en dehors of course). And just one student saw that. And when I tried to do that again I was back to my own creation, I couldn't even turn 1 single pirouette for 1 time without throwing myself off balance. I rule.. :lol: There is something really wrong you know, I guess I will never be able to turn except accidents.

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Well... I've been away from the boards for a bit but to make a long story short, I auditioned (forced to do so) for sleeping beauty (university production, only about 300 attendees, but still!) and am proud to announce that I am officially Aurora... and seriously excited about it! WOO HOO! I've fallen in love with Aurora's Variation from the 3rd Act, even though it is a bit challenging (in a different way than what I am used to... unusual ports des bras and lots of quick, sprightly footwork, whereas I tend to love variations with lots of leaps and arabesques)! And this after a really bad week... and no one is being catty or acting upset- everyone's rooting for me and it feels really great :yes:

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Wow, we could hold a virtual performance of sleeping beauty here on the ABSBB- I'll be the Lilac fairy!


My moment is- 1st pointe fitting with orthotics- soon to be 1st pointe class in 8 months since injury. I can't wait!

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Lol yes, we should get together to perform Sleeping Beauty for BT4D. Any other fairies? :shrug:


I want to add, nothing ballet related but... In Turkey you get your driving license when you are 18. And I'm 21, I don't have a license, nobody had ever thought me even how to start the engine of a car properly till that day (one day I tried,but I was almost exploding the car when I pushed the gas pedal too much). Last Sunday a friend of mine was driving me home, and my home is in somewhere really deserted and weird with bad roads (they are shortcuts actually) with lots of holes and bumps etc. and we don't have illumination for some of those roads. While on one of those roads my friend stopped the car and said "Get out" and I was like "Wha?!" I got out of the car, he took my seat and waited for me to sit on the driver's seat. I was shocked, I knew that he had known that I couldn't drive a car. He calmly told me what to do and I could drive! I even drove backwards and turned and parked the car perfectly etc. and he was more shocked than I was and said "No you are lying, so you say you can't drive?!", well I can't, and I was soo happy that I screamed and jumped in the middle of the road, because I've always wanted to drive, I was having dreams where I drive a car etc. (funny, everybody else dreams of flying=P) but my family does not sign me to a driving school, or they don't teach me how to drive because they think that all other drivers on the roads are very bad and untrained and dangerous and they think that something bad is going to happen to me. Being a military child isn't cool, they are always over-protective. Anyway even if I knew how to drive properly I could not have a car until I had a regular full-time job, so... :(


But I have something called "beginner's luck" here, when I try to do something that I haven't done before, first time I do it perfect. Then it gets worse, and I do it like a beginner should do. I remember the first time I go to bowling, my every shot was a strike, and everyone was shocked, after the first game I couldn't make even one of those thingies fall, and I still can't; I hate bowling =P Anyway, that was not actually my first trial, so I have a talent I guess :)

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I had a great class yesterday! I'd spent all day at work watching ballet videos on You Tube, because I was bored and didn't have anything to do. By the time I got to class I was feeling like I had to drastic action (watching all those talented young people will do that to you!) So I worked even harder than usual, with particular emphasis on artistry and upper body, because I reckon that's a good cheat to make you look better, fast.


I worked so hard sweat was pouring out of me and one of my toes was even bleeding a bit after pointe. But I felt wonderful and dreamed about dancing literally all night!

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At class yesterday I had a NYC choreo/director said I had good pirouettes! I have been focusing on relaxing the ribs and squeezing the butt cheeks together.


I now get consistent 3-4 pirouttes that are clean!


I have been stretching to get my forward and backward extensions higher. It is working.

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