Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Monday, September 30, 2013

Jazz and Contemporary Exams Then Acrobatics

Acrobatic practice

On Friday Salem had his NZAMD Contemporary exam along with his Jazz and Contemporary Medal tests.
This took up all morning with a break in between each one.
So we went to get him a snack at each break at a cafe just down the road, The Jolly Rodger, a very nice little cafe with really nice staff.

Receiving his jazz medal.

Exam day is always a cafe day and he needed to keep his energy up.

The examiner was very nice and Salem said she had good chats with them, was really friendly.
She also got through the exams very quickly and was ahead of the allocated time.

Ready for some contemporary.

Salem was pleased with his dancing and had fun doing the exams.
The medal tests were great because parents get to watch, so of course I watched and he danced very well.
Just have to wait for his results now.

Receiving his contemporary medal.

On Friday evening he had his last Lyrical/Jazz/Acrobatic class in Waikanae and had so much fun as they did a whole lot of acrobatics.

It's bendy boy!!!!

He ended up getting a really bad headache from doing hand stands up against the wall which he had never done before and was a bit nervous about it.  And he wasn't used to being up-side-down.

He learnt a few things and was ready to challenge himself and has been practicing the acrobatics at the end of his practice sessions at the gym.  He leaves doing the handstands until the end and is not getting the headache any more.

He has been working hard and is learning which muscles to use and is so happy at being able to achieve things he didn't think he could do so soon.

Waikanae Dance School is having an Acrobatic Workshop on Thursday morning and is really looking forward to going.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Krakowiak Costume Arrives and Today's Jazz Exam

Krakowiak Costume

On Wednesday evening we had a lovely surprise waiting for us.....
the long awaited Krakowiak costume from Poland.

We had been watching it's progress through tracking with the postal service and it seemed to have stayed in Sydney, Australia for over a week.

Looks great at the back too.

But it was finally here and we were so pleased, it was really well made and of very high quality.
The kaftan and hat were made from a very nice wool fabric so it will stand up to a lot of dancing.

It was well worth getting the costume from Poland.
Take a look at their website:

Salem is thrilled with his new costume.

Needless to say, Salem tried it on straight away and looked so good in it.

For the competitions on Labour Weekend (25th - 28th October) we will have to borrow a proper pair of character boots.  I will get him his own pair made next year after the summer holidays as his feet usually grow a bit then and of course no more comps this year after these ones.

We added the feathers to his hat.

I had ordered the hat without the peacock feathers, which they usually come with, as I didn't want any hassles with it getting into the country.  So we added our own ones.

Now he has to practice his dance with all his costume on so he can get used to it before the comps.

Warming up before his exam.

Today Salem had his Grade 5 NZAMD Jazz exam.
He was very pleased with how he had danced and said that the examiner was very nice.

After that, we had some lunch and then it was off to the gym for some dance practice.
Mainly concentrating on his contemporary syllabus stuff as he has his contemporary exam tomorrow morning.

Very pleased with himself afterwards.

So it is up early tomorrow to get ready for his contemporary exam and his jazz medal test and contemporary medal test.

Then later he has his Lyrical/Jazz/Acrobatics class at Waikanae Dance School.
He is a busy boy ...... but he loves it!!!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Concert Day and Another Performance This Week

Practicing "Ameno"  on the stage.

Waikanae Dance School's "Showtime" concert was great.
Salem had a blast and had a great time with all the other dancers who shared one big room as their dressing room.
He spent a lot of time entertaining the little ones and even gave horsie back rides.

All the dancers did well and it really looked like they were enjoying themselves.
Salem danced his solo Ameno very well and his class dance was pretty good too.
I really enjoyed watching the show.

Salem will get to see it when we get the DVD of the show.

Well done to all the Waikanae Dance School dancers!!!!!!!!

Outside Kena Kena Resthome.

This afternoon, Salem along with seven other dancers from the dance school, performed for the residents at the Kena Kena Resthome in Paraparaumu.

What a great experience this was for him, being part of a group and doing something special for some lovely people in our community.

Everyone danced two items each, there was ballet, lyrical, modern and acrobatics.
Salem did Ameno and Valse.
This was the first time he has performed Valse before an audience.
There was only a small space to dance but everyone managed to fit their dances in.

With chocolate in hand after performing.

After they had finished performing, they were all given some chocolate each and they were asked questions from the audience.
Then they got to have a good chat with their very attentive audience.

Salem went around introducing himself and shaking hands and spent time talking to everyone.
It was a very good experience for him.  I think he got as much from talking to everyone, as they did watching him and the others perform.  He had the biggest smile on his face for the rest of the afternoon.

He would love to do this again.

Some of the other dancers.

Then it was off to his contemporary lesson at KDC.
He has his jazz and contemporary exams and medal tests next Thursday and Friday.
He is feeling very confident with those.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Last Practice Before Concert Day

Ameno practice

Tomorrow afternoon Salem is debuting his new barefoot dance Ameno at the Waikanae Dance School's concert at Waikanae Memorial Hall.
He was luckily invited to do this solo as well as his class dance with his class mates.

So today he went through Ameno a few times and in costume to see if there was no costume malfunctions and that it looked good ...... he looked very good.
It is a great opportunity to do this dance before the next competitions in October.

A quick water break

After a quick change into his practice gear, we want to keep the costume clean for tomorrow, it was back into practicing all his other dances.
His lyrical dance, Polaroid Millenium, is looking so good, I keep asking him to do it again as I really enjoy watching him dance it.
Salem had shown this dance and his Krakowiak dance to Jacqui this week and they both have her seal of approval.  She also gave him some advice on technique which was very helpful.

Getting lyrical with Polaroid Millenium.

He really enjoys his Krakowiak dance and can't wait until his costume arrives from Poland.
We have checked on it's tracking and the package is currently in Sydney, Australia, so it won't be to much longer before it arrives here in New Zealand.

After our lunch break, Salem had his second Intermediate class at KDC.
Yay, no more Intermediate Foundation!!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Exam Day and a Fun Dance Class

Having a bit of a practice at
Waikanae Dance School

Yesterday was exam day and what a mission it was.
Salem was still not very well but he was feeling a bit better.
We traveled into Wellington on a horrible cold windy and rainy day.  It was a real polar blast from the south.
It really didn't help Salem with his cold.

At the NZ School of dance we waited around in the dressing room with Josephine, who was going in to the exam with Salem, and the Mum's who were waiting.
Salem's ballet teacher, Miss Pond gave Salem a lovely little gift of blue "Foot Fizz" for tired feet, gift wrapped with some blue Hersheys kisses.  Salem was very pleased.
The dressing room was quite hot, had to go out many times to cool down.
Then when it was exam time, the two of them were taken up to the studio with two other girls from another dance school.

Salem was a bit upset when he came back down after the exam.
He had felt very unwell during the exam and the heat in the studio was unbearable for him.
He said he made silly little mistakes but on talking to him today, he did a lot of things very well.
He did look very ill.
So it was out to brave the weather and get back home, then it was straight into bed for Salem and a lot of TLC.

I haven't put any exam day photos up as I had forgotten to put my SD card back into my camera, silly me, but I did have my video camera with me so I could take photos with that.  I just have to fill the rest of the DVD before I can use the photos.

Outside Waikanae Dance School's lovely studio.

I made Salem stay in bed today and there was no dance practice.
He felt a lot better by the afternoon so I thought it was okay for him to go to his lesson up at Waikanae Dance School.  It is only just over a week to go before their concert, so Salem didn't want to miss a class.
He really enjoyed the class.  They finished their concert dance and Salem gets to finish doing the splits which he is very happy about.

The Tui's favourite Kowhai Tree.

While Salem dances in the lovely little studio, I sit outside listening to the birds in the trees getting ready for bed.  There are some very noisy tui's who love to bicker and play chasing.  They are a joy to watch and listen to.
And then all of a sudden when it gets totally dark, all the birds are silent.
Bed time!!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Exam Countdown - 1 Day Until Intermediate Foundation Exam

One day til exam time and the cat is
wondering what he is doing???

Tomorrow is exam day ..... finally!!!!!
Salem woke up feeling better today but now has a runny nose.
He had a good two hour lesson with Jacqui this afternoon but started to feel ill again, not as bad as yesterday though.
So as soon as we got home it was straight into bed, after we had taken his "Number One" photo.
We forgot to do it at the gym again!!!!

Then it was another attack to the cold with paracetamol, vitamin c, and everything else like yesterday.
Hopefully he will feel better again tomorrow after a good nights sleep.
He can feel ill again when we get back home after his exam ;^)

We have every thing ready for the exam, clean leggings, leotard, socks and shoes, a drink bottle and hand towel.  Boys don't need much for the exam unlike the girls.

Can't wait until tomorrow!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Exam Countdown - 2 Days Until Intermediate Foundation Exam

Two days til exam time.

It's now two days until the exam and Salem is ill!!!
What a time to get sick.
He woke up with a sore throat yesterday after having the exam rehearsal the afternoon/evening before.
Being in a overly warm room with around 30 other kids during flu season is not a good idea.
This morning his throat was very sore and he was very tired.
Not a nice feeling for a kid he doesn't normally get ill.

But he was determined to go up to the gym to have a practice for his exam after dosing up on paracetamol and drinking plenty of water.  Also having lots of breaks.

Ill in bed eating oranges.

When we got home it was straight to bed with water, black currant juice, electrolyte drink to sip on, packets of Throaties to suck on, oranges, vitamen C tablets, and because we are going to blast this cold away, Betadine Gargle to help his throat. Oh, and of course, more paracetamol and soup for dinner.
We are going to beat this cold!!!!!!!

Hopefully he will feel better in the morning as tomorrow afternoon he has a session at the gym with Jacqui who will take him through his exam exercises and help him tidy up what he needs to.
Let's hope he has a good sleep tonight and feels better in the morning.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Exam Countdown - 3 Days Until Intermediate Foundation Exam

Three days til exam time

It's getting closer!!!!!!!
After yesterday's rehearsal Salem is still very confident.
We had our usual practice session at the gym today, just his new competition dances as he had his usual Intermediate Foundation class at the dance school (KDC).
I got to watch his class today as it is parents viewing week.  I always watch his classes on these days so I know what he is supposed to be doing.
I am usually the only parent who watches in Salem's classes which is a real shame.  The other parents really miss out on seeing their child improve.
Parents are more inclined to watch when their kids are in the junior classes.
I see it as being a very valuable tool.

Male dance supports
Clockwise from top left - Spratz, Paul Wright, Bloch.

I thought I would talk about male dance supports, also called dancers belts, especially after noticing a teenaged boy dance without one.
I think it is important for a boy dancer to wear one before it is really needed.
They might not have the tackle to fill one out but it does give a nice line and makes everything look neat and tidy.  It helps the boy not to be so self conscious in tight tights and leggings.  And of course it offers a bit of protection from accidents with other dancers.
Most older boys wear them but I do notice (and I am not being pervy) at competitions that the pre-teens and young teenaged boys don't.  It's hard to bring it up in conversations with their parents especially when talking about boys costumes etc.

Salem has been wearing them for a few years now and would never dream of dancing without one on.
Sure they are not comfortable at the start, being a g-string, but he soon got used to it.

We have used three different brands:
     Spratz - made in New Zealand $26
     Paul Wright - made in Indonesia $26
     Bloch - made in Australia $60

We have found the Spratz and Paul Wright ones the best.  After many washes in the washing machine, they still stay in good condition. The elastic stays in pretty good condition too.  All are used a lot as Salem wears one every day so are washed after every use so we have had to buy quite a few to always have a clean one available.  They dry well outside on the clothes line, I don't know how well they would do in the dryer. These ones are the cheapest and I think they are really good value for money.

Bloch is the most expensive and we have only one pair but I would not buy another.  The elastic hasn't held up well and the black colour in the elastic came out onto Salem's skin, this is after being washed several times and I don't use a harsh laundry powder, I just use Lux Flakes.  So it has discoloured some of his leotards so is only worn with a black leotard.  As you can see in the above photo, the dye has come out of the Bloch dance support.    I would give these ones a miss.

Definitely something to talk over with your ballet boy.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Exam Countdown - 4 Days Until Intermediate Foundation Exam

Four days til exam time.

It's not long now until exam day.
This afternoon we went into Wellington to the New Zealand School of Dance for Salem's exam rehearsal.
Salem and four girls from his dance school joined up with the rather large class from Wellington Dance Academy for the rehearsal.  It was nice to catch up with his old class mates, he used to go there for a bit but the travel became to much for him with the extra classes needed for Grade 5/Intermediate Foundation.

Miss Helen (Salem's former teacher) from Wellington Dance Academy took the rehearsal class along with Miss Irena on the piano.
Salem really enjoyed the class and he is not worried about the exam anymore.
He could see that he wasn't making so many mistakes etc as he is being told he is in class  (at KDC) and he was one of the very few who did well with the free enchainments.

Sewn up a new pair of leggings.

I was able to watch from outside the studio, they had a nice big window.  He did very well.
The rehearsal went for two hours so I had bought along some sewing with me.
I had to make a new pair of navy coloured leggings for his exam as I can't buy ones which fit Salem properly.  He is very long and skinny.  The ones he was wearing today are a few years old, actually they were originally his older brothers, they still fit him but are far too short.  They are 3/4 length now.
So I have hand sewn them.  I find that the stitching lasts longer and can stretch better when I do it by hand.
So they are all done and fit him perfectly.
I must get my A into G and make him some more leggings while I'm in legging mode.