Friday, April 22, 2011

Costume "editing"

It's hard to find costumes, especially for older girls, that are modest. So, I often have to get creative, ordering a pretty but not too expensive costume that can be "edited." Often I add leotards or skirts underneath, depending on what the costume needs.

However, I try to find costumes that won't need too many alterations, as the costs and time add up if fixing multiple ones for a class.

With my solo, though, I could be more creative, since I only had to edit one. So, I ordered this dress, and added a maroon leotard, white chiffon fabric drape (to cover spaghetti straps and low neck), white skirt (since the dress was see-through - thankfully I already had this skirt from a previous costume), and a maroon sash (since the dress has an empire waist, and looked funny seeing the skirt waistband show through).

A bit of work, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. The dress works perfectly for my solo, danced to "The Faithful" by Steve Green, and representing China in "Let the Nations be Glad!"

Thursday ballet portraits

Portraits turned out well from Thursday classes! Again, I had costumes arrive at the very last minute (after being back ordered and then shipped overnight express), but they came in time for pictures. So, praise God!

My dad was so kind to spend another afternoon taking pictures in between us practicing dances.

Country: Ireland

Ballet III got creative with poses!

We added their black class leo and skirt under this one, but it worked well, and didn't cost extra!

Country: Mexico

This costume is so cute! Works very well for the song "Cristo Me Ama" ("Jesus Loves Me" in Spanish)

Country: France

The pastel colors are so pretty together! The blue costumes were the last to arrive, 30 minutes after this class started. We were all so grateful when they came!

We added the colored leotards underneath for modesty, but even though they're from a different company than the costume, they matched perfectly!

Sister pictures are also so sweet. I love how these sisters are making each other laugh. :)

More sisters! Not all sister pictures fit together as well due to different colored costumes, but these three looked perfect together!

You can see more pictures in a Picasa album by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday Ballet Portraits

Pictures went well during classes yesterday! The girls all look beautiful, and it's fun to see the costumes turn out!

Country: Canada

After preparing myself for the worst (usually costumes turn out much skimpier in reality than they look in pictures) I was pleased to find these needed very little alteration - just a little take-in at the neck to help it not gape. No slips or other additions needed!

Country: Philippines

When I saw these costumes in the catalog, I new I wanted to get them if possible. No alterations, and so many beautiful colors together!

Country: South Korea

These costumes are just plain fun! Sequins and ruffles are cute on little girls!

Country: Russia

Girls in these costumes made it feel like we'd stepped into a winter wonderland.

We added the white leos underneath for modesty, but I found them on clearance, which was nice!

Country: Austria

Little 4-year-old students are so adorable!

Sister pictures are fun. I currently have 12 families with two or more daughters taking dance. It's fun to make it a family activity.

You can see more pictures in a Picasa album by clicking here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cowgirls from the USA!

Ballet portraits are this week! Thanks to a backdrop created with the help of friends and family, a wonderful camera borrowed from a generous friend, and a dad willing to give of his time to take pictures, I'm able to offer pictures at affordable prices for families.

This group is representing the USA in "Let the Nations be Glad!"

Dancing to "The Great Adventure" (with stick horses!) for an extra optional dance for girls ages 5-9. Girls must want to be cowgirls, since 11 signed up! They sure are cute... :)

Wee Ballet 1 in class

Wee Ballet 1 is my youngest class, consisting of 4-5 year old little girls. They're very sweet, but also challenging at times, to teach them to listen and focus and follow along. 6 are in the class this semester, and they've done very well so far!

Reviewing basic positions and pretty arms. "Make a picture frame for your face!"

Stretching to the side

Wiggling their toes and then trying to grab them - without bending their knees! :)

Lining up to dance across the floor. This in itself can be a challenge. ;)

Making sweet friends in ballet class.

Picture credit: D. Smith

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Tour jete!

Grande Jete!

Mirror images are fun! :)

Picture credit: The Paces

Teaching Images

Since turnout is so important, I often find myself looking down more than up. It's neat to look at this picture, and see turn-out being applied!

Arabesques are coming along...

They're learning to spot... Always gratifying to see students turning together at the same rate!

I found this picture funny. As they do their dance, I'm walking through carrying my notebook, which I affectionately refer to as "my brain." It has my choreography written in it, and I'd be lost without it, trying to keep track of 15+ dances!

Picture credit: The Paces

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Props

Long streamers for "Cristo Me Ama" the dance representing Mexico.

Ribbons for the dance representing Israel

Pink, purple, and blue fabric billows for the Philippines

Photo credit: The Paces

Barre Work


Arabesque allonge


Grand Battement
Photo credit: The Paces

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Making a picture backdrop

Next week is picture week at The King's Praise Ballet! My dad takes the pictures so that we can offer them at a very affordable price for families. Wanting a more professional backdrop this time, though, I brainstormed with an artist from my church, and am excited what God brought together!

Looking online, picture backdrops cost $100 or more. Not wanting to spend that money, I instead went to the Salvation Army store and found 5 sheets for $1 each. Can't beat that! :) Then, it was to start painting.

Dad rigged up the backdrop against plastic against the side of our house. It was nice to stand and paint, but we weren't sure how to paint, and ended up wetting the sheet, which then made the paint run. So, the first attempt didn't work quite like we wanted... It also faded a lot, since we'd watered down the acrylic paint.

A few days later we set to work again, this time laying the sheet down flat on plastic on our basketball court. It worked much better, once we figured out what to do. :) It was fun smearing the paint together!

Testing out the backdrop for a picture in my room meant we couldn't spread it out fully. Plus, I'm not exactly in ballet clothes, so the actual ballet portraits will look much better!

It definitely gives the cloud effect, though! It will work quite nicely with our "nations / world" theme for this year's recital!

Green = Monkeys

I never thought I'd be teaching my ballet students to act like monkeys...


You'll have to come to "Let the Nations be Glad!" on May 13th to find out what it means! :)



Photo credit: The Paces

Red = Fire




Photo credit: The Paces

Blue = Water




Photo credit: The Paces

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


From two legs...

... to one

Photo credit: The Paces


Talking about turnout

Feeling proper placement

Photo credit: The Paces