Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Exam Countdown - 5 Days Until Intermediate Foundation Exam

Five days until exam time.

Not long to go now, only five days until Salem's first vocational exam.
He had his usual Saturday Intermediate Foundation class at the dance school.  But he didn't have a practice session at the studio at the gym this morning as he is not having his usual Sunday break day tomorrow.
We have to go into Wellington to the New Zealand School of Dance as his class is joining up with others from the Wellington Dance Academy to have a run through of the exam with the pianist.

Wearing the "Toesies".

I have just ordered some more foot thongs/pads for Salem as they are great for Lyrical, Barefoot and Contemporary, especially if you get really sweaty sticky feet like Salem gets.  Yuck!!!!!
Salem calls the "Toesies".
He has had a pair for quite a few months now and they are still in good condition but really needed a wash as they get stinky and dirty.
I used Sunlight Soap to wash them with and they look like new again.

"Toesies" - Foot thongs/pads

I ordered him two more pairs as he will be using them practically every day now that he has his barefoot and lyrical dances along with his contemporary.
We have been getting the cheaper versions online off Trade Me.  Salem likes the ones that are like finger-less gloves as the other type doesn't appeal to him.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Exam Countdown - 6 Days Until Intermediate Foundation Exam

Six days til exam time.

It's less than a week to go until exam day.
We had another good practice session up at the gym today.
Did some more of his Grade 6 syllabus work, it's looking very good.
Added in his Lyrical exercises to practice before his class at Waikanae Dance School tonight.
We don't have the music from his class yet but Dido's "Thank You" and Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever" songs work really well for practicing them.

Practicing his Grade 6 Ballet

Also worked on his new dances:

Ameno - barefoot
Valse - classical
Polariod Millenium - lyrical
Krakowiak - character.

They are all completed and now Salem just needs to get confident with them and tidy up on his technique.
They are all really good and he should be proud of his choreographies.

More Grade 6 Ballet

Salem did all three of his variations and we are really pleased with them, he will be more than ready for the competitions.  Though he will only get to do two of them for the Senior Variation Championships.  But he has the three to chose from.
We have ordered a costume for his Krakowiak dance from
in Poland.  I was going to make one myself but it will end up cheaper getting it from Poland.
Can't wait for it to arrive.


The Lyrical class was lots of fun tonight.  It's a nice small group of girls he is dancing with and they all get along well.  They were taught more of their dance that they will be doing in the concert on the 15th September at Waikanae Memorial Hall.  If you are out this way, the concert starts at 4pm, so come and check it out.  Tickets are only $5 from
It's going to be a bit more low key compared to the concerts Salem has been doing previously which Salem is quite looking forward too. 
But still lots of great dancing and costumes!!!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Exam Countdown - 7 Days Until Intermediate Foundation Exam

Seven days til exam time.

Yep, it's seven days until exam day.  Salem has his RAD Intermediate Foundation exam which is being held at the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington.

He has had lots of practice of the syllabus and has found the lead up to the exams had started to early for him and is quite over it all and can't wait to start on the Intermediate syllabus.

Plenty of ballet practice.

He has been going over the Intermediate Foundation stuff with Jacqui, tidying everything up.
He is looking very good.

So that he doesn't over think the exam stuff, he has been working on his own choreographies, Grade 6 Ballet and some Lyrical too.  Along with getting ready for the Contemporary and Jazz exams.  And a concert thrown in in the middle of all of this.
September is going to be a very busy month!!!!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dancing On Shaky Ground and Costume Making

At the Botanic Gardens oblivious to the

Yesterday, Friday, we decided to catch the train into Wellington to have a bit of a break from dance practice and to by some fabric and look for some patterns to make some more costumes for all the new dances that Salem is choreographing.

First we went to the St James for lunch and a pot of tea.  Then it was off on the bus to Spotlight to look at all the fabrics.  We couldn't find what we wanted there, well there was some nice stretchy fabric but I was not going to spend $40 a metre for what we wanted.  Spotlight is supposed to be reasonably, if not cheaply priced.  But the cheaper stuff (not by much) was see-through when stretched.  So we didn't buy any fabric there, but we did by two Burda patterns there that were half price.  Not exactly what I wanted but I can adjust the patterns.

It is really hard to find patterns to make dance costumes for boys, especially a very skinny boy.  I find that I can lengthen patterns if buying children's ones, but with men's I have to shorten and take in them.  Also the designs are not exactly what I want so I have to alter the designs.  for jackets, the arm hole length has to come up higher under the arm so that it doesn't pull when the dancer lifts up their arms.  I bought a men's Butterick pattern very cheaply on-line as well this week.

So after leaving Spotlight very disappointed, we caught another bus back into the city and went to Arthur Toyes Fabrics in the Grand Arcade and had much better luck fabric-wise and bought some red and some purple stretch fabric.  I'm going to make some leggings (tights), leotards and body suits (long legged unitards).  The fabrics were on sale, I love sales!!!!!!!!

The patterns and material we bought

So happy with our purchases, we caught the very crowded bus up to the Botanic Gardens to chill out a bit and breathe some fresh air.  Salem ran about and went exploring while I found myself a nice spot to sit near the fountain in the shade.  It was so lovely after the bustle of the city.

While sitting enjoying the gardens I felt the earth move a bit under me and thought "ha, a small earthquake" and shouted out to Salem that I thought I had felt a small earthquake, he said he didn't feel anything, but he was running around.  I then forgot about it.

Soon after lots of people started walking through the gardens and I noticed that the traffic had got very heavy and I just dismissed it as people heading home for the weekend.  Not long after we notice fire-engine sirens and the engines coming past, but still thought nothing of it.

Then it was time to head off on our walk back into the city to get to the railway station to go home.  So off we went via a dairy (convenience store) and bought ourselves some ice creams to eat on our walk.  So much traffic and more fire engines going by, we thought there must have been a fire in the city.

As we walked we couldn't believe how much traffic there was and there were so may people waiting for buses and walking home.  It shows you how long it has been since we have lived in the city, we just thought it was normal.  When we got to the subway to get to the station, it was quite deserted even though on street level it was hard to move because of people everywhere.  Then we saw that the doors to the station were closed. which I have never seen before, and were cordoned off with emergency tape.  We went up to the security guards and asked why the station was shut.  They said the trains were not going.  We asked why.  They said because of the earthquakes.  We must have been the only two people in the city oblivious to what had happened.

Salem was upset as there were not going to be any trains at all and there were no replacement buses and that he was going to miss his dance class in Waikanae.  Well, we had nowhere to stay overnight in Wellington, no transport so there was only one thing for it.....get to the main road and hitch-hike.  So off we went through hundreds of people, there were hundreds at the side of the road waiting for people to pick them up and we stuck our thumbs out and had a ride in a couple of minutes.  A lovely lady was going out to Waikanae said jump in and we did along with a man who was going to Paraparaumu.  Fantastic!!!!

It was a long ride as the traffic was grid-locked at times but once out of the city and up the gorge, the traffic was quite steady.  I had phoned home to see if the grumpy teenager was okay and he said that the earthquake had really rocked the house but nothing was damaged.  The electricity had been off for a while but was back on again.  I felt better knowing that he was alright and he said the cats didn't even bothre moving when it had happened.  Typical.

When we had stopped in traffic between Paraparaumu and Waikanae, we felt an earthquake, the car was rocking.  Then this lovely lady took us all the way up to Salem's dance class which he was ten minutes early for.  He had a great class and got to show off one of his own new dances "Ameno" which everyone though was really good.  Next week he gets to show off another.  While I was waiting I felt a few of the aftershocks.

Afterwards were lucky to have the bus driver take us all the way back to Paraparaumu, as there were no trains, he was going back to the depot as he had finished his shift and then he gave us a ride home in his car. People are so great in an emergency!!!!!!!

Well, that was our exciting day out.  We are still experiencing a lot of aftershocks, some quite big.  Check out this site at and to see how many are happening, there's been hundreds!!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hutt Valley and Kapiti Competitions

Two Cups and a Flower

Sorry we haven't done a post sooner, I am still having problems with our internet connection and to top it off, our camera seems to be on it's last legs and is making funny noises.
My apologies to anyone we have had emails from and not replied to.  One email I tried to send off 20 times (no kidding) before I gave up.  I seemed to have a connection so pressed send and then it disconnected.
So here is our up-date........ fingers crossed.....

Classical Impromptu

Salem had a lot of fun at the Hutt Valley Performing Arts Competitions which was held at The Little Theatre, we were there from the 13th to 15th July .
We were lucky enough to stay with the wonderful Helena which meant no travelling back out to Kapiti very late at night, and then back to the Hutt after only a few hours sleep.
A big THANK YOU to Helena.
The weather was really stormy over that weekend.  It was so bad that we didn't even want to step out of the theatre to go next door to the library in the long breaks between dances.

Modern Impromptu

His first dance was on Saturday night, Contemporary 12yrs and over and he came 1st Place.  He was so thrilled.  He won a cup and it is really huge.
He also danced in the Junior Variation but wasn't placed.  Only 1st and 2nd was awarded.

On Suday he was awarded Very Highly Commended (4th Placing) for  his Classical, Character and Impromptu Barefoot dances.  It was the first time he had ever done impromptus at competitions.  He then won 1st Place for the Classical Impromptu. He won another cup. I watched him dance and he looked amazing.
He also danced in the Neo Classsical class but didn't get placed.  Only 1st, 2nd and 3rd was awarded.

Then on Monday was all the modern dances.
He was awarded 3rd Place for Restricted Modern Jazz Solo 12 and under 14yrs.
Very Highly Commended's for both Modern Expressive/Contemporary and Modern Jazz Solo.

Salem did his first impromptu for Modern, every one did jazz while he did contemporary.  He did well considering the song was "You Gotta Know" by Supergroove.  Check the song out on You Tube. He earned a Highly Commended.

We later found out that Salem had been awarded Runner-Up for the Modern Scholarship winning a rosette, a dance gear voucher and some cash.  We had left to go home before the special awards had been presented.  We have picked up his goodies since then.

Barefoot Impromptu Costume

Then it was the Dance Kapiti Dance Festival which he danced in from the 20th to 23rd July.
This is a local Kapiti competition which meant little traveling.  Thanks to Grandma for all the rides to the theatre and for all the hot chocolates!!!!!!
I didn't take any photos at this competition due to the camera having a hissy-fit.

Salem was awarded Very Highly Commended's for his Classical, Character, Novice Variation and Neo-Classical 14 yrs and over.

For Modern Expressive/Contemporary he got Commended, and for his Jazz - Highly Commended.
The adjudicater seemed to not like/understand the choreography for his contemporary, which is implied in his report.

Well, no more competitions until the next ABTC's one in October on Labour weekend.
Salem has been busy getting ready for his exams and having some great lessons with Jonte and Jacqui.
He is also putting together his own choreographies and they are looking amazing,  more on those later.
And he has been going to a Lyrical, Jazz & Acrobatics class at Waikanae Dance School which he is really enjoying.
Well that is all for now....wish me luck in posting this........