was successfully added to your cart.

Do You Know Any Good Ballet Schools Outside of Denmark?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, October 11, 2019

Thank you for the question idataggaard!

Yes! I will highlight three schools that I believe are very interesting and worth checking out, that are outside of Denmark.

The School of American Ballet. aka SAB.

Now, I might be a bit biased because this is the school that I attended for four years, year round. I credit SAB for giving me my tool box to become a professional. They are a huge part of my foundation and I truly don’t know if I would be where I am today without them.

Photo from the SAB website. Teacher: Suki Schorer

SAB is located in the heart of New York City. Lincoln Center. 66th & Broadway. They train only in the Balanchine style. ALL the dancers that join New York City Ballet must be trained by SAB. So, if you dream of dancing for NYCB one day, then you must attend SAB.

I believe in this school 100%. Their strengths are definitely giving their students a wonderful technique. They teach how to move quickly, how to interrupt the music, and how to move big. You’ll learn a lot and be a much improved dancer by attending SAB.

Picture from SAB website. Teacher: Kay Mazzo

I am very grateful to this school and would recommend everyone to audition for their summer program! It was always so much fun! NYC is not to be missed!



The Royal Ballet School.

I am very impressed by the Royal Ballet School in London, England. They train in the English style of ballet. The system of training is based on the legacy of Ninette de Valois. It is located right in Covent Garden.

Picture from The Royal Ballet School’s Website.

What makes this school stand out, at least in my eyes, is that they have put a huge focus in to a “Healthy Dancer Program.” They have a team of 20, dedicated to the children attending the school. It includes,

Healthcare Manager
Clinical Psychologist
Counselors
Rehabilitation Ballet Instructors
Physiotherapists
Performance Nutritionists
Sports Physicians
Strength and Conditioning coaches
School Nurses
Pilates instructors

Each child is screened and profiled to create a conditioning program that will specifically help them succeed.

The team also collects information alongside the English Institute of Sport, which gives the school wonderful insights about nutritional support.

The school even has counselors as part of a school-wide mental health provision, led by a clinical psychologist Mental Health and Safeguarding Lead. This is so important. The mental side of ballet is the hardest.

Other ballet schools may have elements of what the Royal Ballet School is offering but they are defiantly leading the way.


Canada’s National Ballet School. aka. NBS

The reason why I mention this school is because many of the dancers currently in the Royal Danish Ballet have been trained by NBS. Dancers that I truly admire. For example, Ji Min Hong and Alexander Bozinoff. They all speak very highly of the school. This school is located in Toronto, Canada.

Picture from NBS Website.

The school is modeled after the Royal Ballet School in London and includes living facilities, and exchange programs for their students. This school is definitely also worth looking more in to.

How Many Pirouettes Can You Do!?

By | Ballet | No Comments

How Many Pirouettes Can You Do!?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, October 4, 2019

Thanks for the fun question, buster_jensandersen!

Pirouettes, pique turns, lame ducks, fouette turns, chaines, soutenu’s… I sure do love to turn! There is something about that feeling of being so on balance that you can make the world spin around you, while you stay put!

In my dreams I can turn 6, 7, 8 times around.

Reality always hits! I’ve NEVER done 6, 7, or 8 turns in real life. The dream lives on…

My average is 3 turns. I can consistently do 3 turns to my right. To the left, not nearly as consistent. More, every once in awhile.

3 turns in various ballets.

I can do 4 turns! But I’ve only ever done 4 turns in the studio. Whereas I have done 3 turns on stage multiple times. When I’m in the studio and go around 4 times I always have a little moment of, Did anyone just see that!? It’s exciting. 🙂

Today in the studio!

When you turn on stage and go for more then just two, you are taking a risk. It’s liberating. You can’t save a turn if you go for an additional rotation without being on balance. You will fall out of it. Consequently, possibly making a bit of a mess of your variation…

On stage there is a lot more pressure then just in class. I tend to thrive on the stress! I love the idea of pushing beyond your own limits in front of an audience. I’m a true believer of now or never! I always take the risk and go for 3 turns on stage.

I wouldn’t take this risk though if I didn’t believe in my turns. The faith comes from all the hard work done in class. I’ve analyzed how much force I need, (less is more in my case) and I use my personal corrections to keep my turns turning. Corrections such as, higher passe, don’t over open my left arm (when turning to the right), and to feel my arms being lifted up from underneath them.

How many turns can you do!? What corrections help your turns!?

Keep in mind that a single turn that is placed, turned out and controlled can be just as beautiful as multiple turns. It isn’t about the number, but the quality.

xoxo
-Hol

Did Scottish Highland Dancing Help Prepare Me To Dance The Bournonville Style?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, September 27, 2019

Great Question! Thank you Jim!

I’m absolutely flattered that anyone knows a little bit about my story. Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to check out my background.

For those who don’t know, I was a Scottish, Highland Dancer growing up. From the ages of 6 to 11 years old. I looooved it! Highland was my main focus. I did ballet on the side once or twice a week.

Baby Me.

Highland dancing comes from Scotland. It is a sport that requires a lot of stamina, strength and technique. It was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries and is still danced today.

If you are a Highland Dancer then you go to a Highland Games to compete. Highland games are held all over the world. As a competitor you are judged individually on four different dances, all danced to the sound of a bagpiper. The dances are, The Highland Fling, the Sword Dance, The Sean Triubhas, and The Reel. You wear a kilt, jacket and knee socks in the color of your choice. (There are additional dances, but in general, it is those four that you are asked to compete with).

What really stands out about Highland Dancing is that you continuously jump on the balls of your feet, alternating between legs for nearly four minutes. Your heels never touch the ground and if they do, you lose points. Major leg strength is formed and required.

The Sword dance was always my favorite. You dance over a sword that has been laid down as a cross on the floor. If you kick the sword you are disqualified.

The Sean Triubhas’s movements are the most similar to ballet and the reel is almost like a folk dance. It is all so much fun! To this day if I hear a bagpipe,

1- I need to find it and 2- I can whip out any of the Highland dances. Those steps are imprinted on my brain for forever!

Midwest Champion.

My childhood consisted of almost every weekend traveling to a different state or in to Canada to compete at a Highland Games. I can clearly still see my brother on his game boy in the back seat, my dad driving the car and my mom making sure everything was organized.

I won the Midwest Champion several times but once, at 10 years old, I won the United States Championship! I was ecstatic! My dad was filming the award ceremony and fell off his chair when they announced my name as the winner! Everyone was surprised! 🙂

Ever since winning the USA Championship title in a red kilt, red has been my lucky color.

The smallest one, on the right, is me. USA Champion.

Back to the question. YES! 100%. Highland Dancing defiantly helped me prepare for the Bournonville style, and for ballet in general.

Bournonville is famous for all of its small jumps; petit allegro. In all types of ballet you put your heels all the way down to the floor when jumping. It is healthier for the body. But since Highland is danced only on the balls of the feet, my legs formed a muscle strength from very young, preparing them for all of the Bournonville jumps.

The Highland competitions prepared me for the stage. I was never scared to step out in front of an audience. I was even, usually, the family entertainment at family gatherings. “Get Holly to dance, she will do it.” And so I did.

Performing the Sword Dance at a Family Gathering.

Highland also helped prepare my musicality. In the Bournonville style you have to chose which jumps are accented more then others. Depending on the music, and the sequence of the steps, it can really vary. Highland dancing had my mind focusing on making my jumps musical to the piping and already creating an awareness.

Highland dancing did not really help me prepare for the specific port de bras and head positions that are used in Bournonville ballets. Highland dancing uses the arms, (unlike Irish dancing, which has no arm movements) above the head or on your hips. Rarely below the waist. Bournonville style arms are almost all below the waist.

I would recommend Highland Dancing for anyone, especially if you are already taking ballet classes. It can only help you. Highland is fun, competitive and prepares you for so much potentially in your future! I’m so grateful to my Highland days…

California.

xoxo
-Hol

What Is Your Favorite Bournonville Ballet?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, September 16, 2019

Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Thank you for the Question, cvisintin.

Good Question. I have so much respect for August Bournonville and for all of the ballets he created. Being at the Royal Danish Ballet, his home, you truly learn a lot about him, his style, and the love of the Bournonville tradition.

My favorite Bournonville Ballet is, Napoli. I love the joy that is bursting out of this ballet. Third act, is one of the greatest examples of Bournonville steps with Pas de Six! Everyone has a big smile, the stage is filled with so many dancers, character dancers and children, all having a great time. I love how our joy, gets projected in to the audience with the happy ending, making it nearly impossible to walk away from the show without feeling good.

Holly Dorger & Jonathan Chmelensky as Teresina and Gennaro in Napoli. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Fortunately, Napoli is a ballet that comes up quite often in our repertoire. Another reason why I hold Napoli in particular close to my heart, is because I’ve danced so many of the roles.

12 Finale Couples. Corps de Ballet.

When I first moved to Denmark, I played the mom in first act that eats spaghetti with her two children. I remember at eighteen feeling kind of funny, being so young and playing a mom.

Next, I became one of the twelve finale couples in third act. Then, the next time Napoli was danced, I did finale couples and second act corps de ballet.

Young me in 2nd Act Corps de Ballet.

A few year later, I went the next level up. I joined Pas De Six. I was SO excited when I first got cast to dance pas de six. It felt like I had finally gotten some sort of invisible, Bournonville approval, to be dancing this ballet among dancers specifically trained to dance Bournonville.

My first time dancing in Pas de Six
Pas de Six

Then last year, I was humbled to be cast as the lead role, Teresina. I loved every second.

Teresina!

I personally, am a huge fan of the additions that Nikolaj Hubbe and Sorella Englund added to our current version of Napoli. They added a very sweet and romantic pas de deux in act 1, which uses Bournonville inspired steps and gives the rather mime- filled act, another dancing number.

Corrections with Nikolaj Hubbe & Sorella Englund.

Act 2, they completely re-did. They changed the music and all the steps. Louise Alenius, is the composer of the new music. She is the definition of cool.

Their version of Act 2 is soooo beautiful from the front. The lights truly make it look like everyone is underwater, which is an amazing effect. The pas de deux that was created for Golfo and Teresina, is one of the most fun to dance. The steps make you feel like you are turning in to a sea creature, which is super interesting as an artist to play with.

Act 2. Photo: Henrik Stenberg
Act 2 with Ryan Tomash as Golfo. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Third act is almost untouched, except for the addition of a small pas de deux between Teresina and Gennaro, in the very beginning of the act. This pas helps to tell the story and really shows off the love the characters have for each other. I love it!

3rd Act. With Jonathan Chmelensky as Gennaro. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

On years when we don’t dance Napoli, I miss it! I’m always hoping to hear that it will be in the coming repertoire!

Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Bournonville has many beautiful ballets that I can only hope, one day I’ll be lucky enough to dance.

xoxo
-Hol

Do You Have To Start Dance Young!?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, September 6, 2019

If you were to go in to any professional company class, anywhere in the world and ask the room, How old were you when you first started dancing? The most common answer would be, oh four or five years old. The dancers would all, most likely have a picture similar to the one below.

Me at four years old.

Sometimes, a dancer will say that they started as young as two! But what is even more uncommon to hear, is for a dancer to say that they started dancing in their teens or later.

It happens though! And you can become a professional dancer even if you start late! It is absolutely one of the most motivational stories to hear of, a dancer making it despite their delayed introduction to dance.

A few legends of dance are examples of those that started later. Such as, Rudolf Nureyev, Martha Graham and Misty Copeland! Rudolf didn’t enter a ballet school until he was seventeen! Misty was thirteen and Martha was also in her teens.

In the Royal Danish Ballet, we have one absolutely wonderful dancer, Eliabe D’Abadia, that got a late start to ballet. He is similar to Nureyev, as he didn’t take ballet until he was seventeen! Now he is going on dancing thirteen years professionally! Just amazing! I mean look at this handsome man’s jump, flexibility and feet!

Eliabe D’Abadia Photo: Daniel Stjerne

The one thing that all dancers have to do, but especially if you start later, is to dedicate themselves to dance. You have to be motivated and remain truly focused. Completely submerge yourself in to dance so you have the highest possibility of “catching up” and becoming professional.

There are many more stories of people starting late out there, once you start asking and looking around. Keith Sabado (danced with Mark Morris for 10 years and then with White Oak Dance Project) didn’t take his first dance class until college!

It is never too late to start dancing. To become a professional dancer in a company though, there is a time frame. A professional dancers “life” only lasts into their early forties. At the Royal Danish Ballet you must stop at forty years old. Many stop before.

Motivation, focus and passion is unstoppable even within a time frame. Be that next motivational story we all want to hear about!

xoxo
-Hol

Do You Really Feel The Effects Of Darning Your Pointe Shoes?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, August 16, 2019

To darn or not to darn, that is the question. I started darning my pointe shoes back in 2012. (I think) I never, ever darned my shoes while I was at school. I trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City where it is an extremely uncommon thing to do. It never even crossed my mind.

Once I was in Denmark for a few years, I became curious about one of our principal ballerina’s that always darned her shoes. I asked her all the questions that you are probably asking yourself right now.

Does it really help?
-Does it make your shoes last longer?
-Is it true that it can help your balance?
-How long does it really take?

Is it really worth the effort?

She swore by it for herself and told me to just try it out. I tried it and never stopped. Now, I hate wearing a pair of pointe shoes that haven’t been darned.

Here are my answers to the questions above. I hope it helps you!

Does it really help?
Yes! I can feel so much more in my shoe. The darning makes it so it is more difficult to roll over the front of my pointe shoes. Meaning, that I can now feel where the end of the platform is on my shoe when I stand on pointe. I can easily feel when to hold back or maintain my position.

Does it make your shoes last longer?
Yes! It eliminates the possibility of your shoes going soft at the tip/ top part of the shoe towards the vamp. TIP: I add HotStuff or JetGlue to the top part of my darning. The glue keeps the thread from falling down. See below.

HotStuff/ JetGlue

Is it true it can help your balance?
Yes! Because you can feel more in your shoes, it allows you to feel the entire platform that you are standing on. You will learn to know exactly where to balance.

How long does it really take?
If I am fully concentrated and I have all my supplies, I can do both shoes in 45 minutes. Realistically, I’m darning my shoes while I watch something on TV. 🙂 That easily adds an additional 15 minutes. I say, it takes 1 hour per pair of pointe shoes.

Would you really say it’s worth the effort?
Yes! I really like it. The best combination is soft and darned shoes, in my opinion. That is ballerina heaven for me. I wouldn’t make the darning too big even though it can be tempting. Stray away from “bigger is better.” If the darning becomes too large it can be very noticeable from stage and not the most elegant.

Confession: Sometimes, I wish that I had never started because it is a big, time consuming effort. It is very, very possible to dance wonderfully without it.

WARNING: Darning is like the Pringles saying, “Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.” Except it would go, “Once you darn, you just can’t stop.”

What Are Some Ballerina Diet/ Eating Tips?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, August 5, 2019
Thank you for the Question Mette.

Yea body image… It is a part of a ballerina’s life. I hate that it is, but the fact is, we have to be conscious of what our bodies look like. Our bodies are our tools. To be physically fit goes hand in hand with a balanced eating lifestyle. I’ve listened to so much advice on this subject and it can make you go crazy. Everyone has a theory. You end up just getting more confused than when you started. Once, I tried cutting all bread and ended up feeling extremely fainty in the studio. NOT WORTH IT. I’ve tried replacing a meal with one of those diet drinks. Oooh bad idea. I did not feel good.

My biggest tip is to tune in to yourself and be aware of how your body feels after you eat certain things. Food is so individual and your body is telling you what you need to know.

For me personally, a truly balanced diet is the way to go. Don’t deprive yourself of anything but be aware of your choices. (not including summer vacation 😉 )

I find that running is a huge benefit in my regime. I was always told that running built the wrong muscles and that ballerinas shouldn’t run. I haven’t found this to be true. Ballet alone isn’t enough for me to maintain the ballerina weight. Running helps me stay in check. There is also a balance to running because you don’t want to exhaust yourself. Some months I run a lot (June, July, August, September) but as the season’s performance schedule increases, I decrease my runs. In December, I don’t run. The Nutcracker marathon is enough exhaustion (When I go for a run, I run between 20-30 minutes. Nothing crazy.)

Here are a few Eating Tips that I keep myself aware of too.

Bread. Be a bit aware. I feel it right away in my body if I’ve eaten a lot of bread. Other carbs such as potatoes or pasta work much better for me. Something in bread makes me feel puffy. I do not eliminate it completely but rather only have it at one meal per day.

FISH! I love fish and my body feels great after eating fish. Salmon is a regular for me before a show. I truly recommend.

Sweets. For me, I don’t crave cakes and pies so much as gummies. Oooh gummies are my weak spot. Don’t cut out all goodies but be realistic, knowing that you can’t eat a ton of sweets everyday and have an athletic ballerina body.

Popcorn. My go to snack in the evening is popcorn. If I want to nibble after dinner without feeling like I’m entering junk food land. Popcorn satisfies, especially if you are obsessed with Ranch like me and can add a Ranch Seasoning!

Bananas. Great energy snack. I have at least one everyday.

Eggs. I love starting the morning with eggs. (My trick. Use the water boiler to cook your eggs. Fill the kettle about half way with water and place two eggs inside. Wait for it to boil and click off, then set your timer for 8 minutes. BOOM! Two perfect soft boiled eggs. and no mess. )

Water. Never stop. Keep your system hydrated so it can work properly. I’m a fan of adding Emergen-C in my water bottle. I forget more days than not but I’m so happy for it when I remember.

No Wine. When I’m in season, I don’t feel like drinking all that much, but when I do I never reach for wine. Always hard alcohol or beer. My body reacts to wine by making me feel puffy and my body feels worse the next day as if the inflammation never calmed down after the show.

Never lose the joy of food or all of life’s events that involve food. First and foremost live.

xoxo
-Hol

What Are Pointe Shoes Made Out Of?

By | Ballet | No Comments

http://www.turnedoutpointeofview.com

Ballet

What Are Pointe Shoes Made Out Of?

Awww the beautiful, little slipper that ballerinas wear. Think again! Pointe shoes, from afar look silky, smooth, and light. Up close, knock on the box and many people would guess that they must have metal inside of them. Ouch!

The outisde of the pointe shoe is made from satin, making a feminine, ballerina look. The box, (where the ballerina stands on her toes) is made up of densely packed layers of fabric with cardboard or paper, and lots of glue. The shank, (the inside part of the shoe, running along the bottom part of the dancers foot vertically giving support) is typically made out of layers of cardboard. The shank can be custom ordered and replaced with leather (my personal favorite), plastic, cardstock or even layers of hardened burlap with glue. The sole of the shoe (the backside of the pointe shoe) is made out of a thin layer of leather.

Satin, cardboard, leather, and glue is all there is to make up the shoes that allow ballerinas to create that infamous illusion of whimsical beauty.
xoxo
-Hol

Do I Have To Be Able To Do a Million Pirouettes To Become A Professional?

By | Ballet | No Comments

http://www.turnedoutpointeofview.com

No! It’s true, we have all seen those videos of girls and boys doing many amazing, beautiful pirouettes. 6, 7, 8… Wow! If you can do all those turns that is amazing! Don’t stop turning. It must feel amazing.

In order to become a professional you should be able to do a clean double to the left and to the right. If you can do a triple on your good side, that is a bit of a plus. If you can’t do a triple yet. Keep working on it. It’s on its way.

Always try to finish your turns up. Don’t spin them to get around. Spot clearly.

Insider TIP: Keep the underside of your upper arm feeling lifted throughout the entire turn. Turns aren’t just leg power and balance. Your arms will help you, I promise.
xoxo
Hol

Where Should I Sew My Ribbons and Elastic On My Pointe Shoes?

By | Ballet | No Comments

http://www.turnedoutpointeofview.com

We have all been here. So excited to have your first pair of pointe shoes! But wait, how do I sew my ribbons and elastic on properly? (Or how does my mom sew my ribbons on properly?) This question is best answered visually. Please keep in mind that every foot is individual so what works for me, may not be the best for you.
Here is what I do. Try it! If you don’t like it, then play with it and see what suits your foot best!

ELASTIC:

I sew my elastics just off of the back middle panel of my shoes. Its roughly, 1cm away from the stitches on either side. I do recommend to sew your elastic on in a big square pattern instead of simply straight across. This way, when your foot pulls your shoe, it will pull the entire shoe starting from the bottom.

RIBBONS:

When sewing on your ribbons, look for the middle stitched seam on your shoes. I sew my ribbons about 3cm away from that seam. I again, would recommend the square stitch style. This way the entire ribbon pulls even the lower fabric of your shoe up with your foot!

Give it a try and let me know if it worked for you!
xoxo
-Hol