Michael Jackson Style

Michael Jackson is the reason I dance today ! He was the artist who opened my eyes to ‘a performance’, I watched his videos on repeat in front of the tv and learnt all the steps to his dance routines, (‘Beat It’ was my favourite) ! Even today when I watch him dance, I still can’t get over his technique, he is far better than the professional dancers behind him. Every movement is crisp, clean and very musical. But what I’ve discovered recently is that he’s my fashion idol too ! He has a masculine look paired with such flamboyance, it’s super fun and very confident. His clumpy shoes with a load of sparkle and then a simple white tee. MJ at his best. 

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Waist down a huge metallic, glitter explosion. Super fun. 

Trousers - m.topshop.com

The Socks - m.asos.com

Shoes -  www.selfridges.com

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The classic white vest. Simple.  

Vest - m.topshop.com

Tights - dancer.com

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Candy stick trousers are flamboyant, adding a white shirt tones it down. 

Trousers - Vintage  

Shirt -  m.zara.com

Coat -  m.asos.com

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I like wearing my shirt for ballet, I sometimes tie it around the waist or wear it like a jacket. 

White Shirt -  www.marksandspencer.com

Black Skirt -  dancer.com

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Gold and white. A classy combo, in an artistic kind of way.

Trousers - www.selfridges.com

Shirt - m.zara.com

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Twinkle Toes 

Those Socks - m.asos.com

Shoes -  www.mulberry.com

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I’ve always raved about how much I love my costume from Orlando, Woolf Works !!! Now I know why !  

Calm Before The Snow Storm

It’s that time of the year again .. The Nutcracker ! It’s a mammoth of a production with so many involved. We rehearse individually our dance roles ( Arabian, for example ) 3 weeks prior to the ‘Full Call’. A full call is a run of the whole ballet with all dancers involved. Because there are so many shows, we have many different roles to dance. For example one night I will do Lead Flower the next, Arabian... 

I wanted to give you an insight into what happens around the sides of the studio ! If we are not in the scene we very rarely just sit and watch, we are constantly multitasking. The ballet master for this production is Christopher Carr, and we are intently listening to his corrections, counts and general humour. There are often differences of opinion (is the arm up on 7 or 6 for example) Christopher always has the final say. 

Warning ⚠️  

There are spoilers ! 

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Annette and Fumi sewing pointe shoes. We go through so many shoes it’s a great chance to catch up on the sewing !

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Frankie taking time to go through her pointe shoes to see which ones are best for her rehearsal ( soft, hard etc ) 

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You will see Sian our Ballet Mistress, giving corrections, teaching steps to new members or students, while the rehearsal is still going to let the full call run smoothly without too many stops. 

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There are a huge amount of props and sets involved with The Nutcracker. Sarah, one of our Heads of Stage management, is here to make sure every prop is in the right place at the right time. You would be suprised how many props are used for just two acts, from a Drosselmeyer party trick to a simple tea light on a table. 

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For full calls and most rehearsals, we have our wonderful conductors keep an eye on tempo and cues.. VITAL for any successful production ! Here is Paul Murphy & Barry Wordsworth. 

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Lukas playing Sudoko and drinking ginger beer while the ladies from Mirlitons are on. 

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Romany and Joshua having a quick bite outside the studio, it can be quite hot and chaotic in the studio. Nice to break away for 5. 

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Gemma watching intently while releasing her calves with a roller. 

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Tom sitting on a roller.  

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Lara in her own little world, watching 3 different roles at the same time while marking the steps herself !

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Liberty, a student from White Lodge, writing down notes after her run of party scene ! 

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David working out his doll box before rehearsing !  

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Tristan taking time to stretch before his dance section.  

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Ollie talking with Paul.

Ollie has worked with the Royal Ballet Company for over 52 years !! He is an extra in this ballet and has done this ballet since it opened 30 years ago ( I asked him ) when I see Ollie with his iconic t shirts, I know it’s Christmas!!! A legend. 

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Gary with his Drosselmeyer cloak on, resting before his next entrance. 

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Students from White Lodge, watching ( very cutely I might add ) Act 1. Here is Layla with her little shoe off ! 

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There are a couple of shoe changes for the ladies in Act 1. Here is Natalie swapping from character to pointe shoes. 

Audition Style

 

Auditioning for a job is incredibly stressful, it's one of the most important moments in your career as a dancer and presenting yourself properly is crucial.

As I know that it's that time of the year when auditions are advertised I have listed the 5 most important things to consider for your audition bag. 

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1. 

 If this is your first audition then don't dress like a student! What you'll often hear is "I need somebody with a bit more experience". Give the impression of experience by getting out of that uniform.

Emma Jane  In a Classic look but the lacy top makes her style personal.

Emma Jane 

In a Classic look but the lacy top makes her style personal.

2. 

No matter how good you are, if you're in a room full of people all competing for the same job then you need to stand out. Give the director the opportunity to say "the girl in the turquoise leotard". They don't know your name - give them something to focus on.

Bright Turquoise Leotard.  

Bright Turquoise Leotard.  

Solomon would be called 'the guy in the green shorts'! 

Solomon would be called 'the guy in the green shorts'! 

3. 

Look presentable. Keep hair tidy and for the ladies keep make up simple. 

Lettie- Hair tied back loosely to show her beautiful face.  

Lettie- Hair tied back loosely to show her beautiful face.  

Matt- Using a bandana to keep his hair off his face  

Matt- Using a bandana to keep his hair off his face  

4.

Don't hide behind loose clothing or garb. It actually does the opposite and draws attention to want you want to hide, like feet for an example!  

Me- How not to dress- leg warmers, a top around my waist. The look is messy.  Gina- How to dress ! It's a clean look, it shows her bod and she is wearing a bright pink leotard to stand out  

Me- How not to dress- leg warmers, a top around my waist. The look is messy. 

Gina- How to dress ! It's a clean look, it shows her bod and she is wearing a bright pink leotard to stand out  

5. 

Wear your favourite outfit  because that means comfort and confidence. 

I feel very confident in a long sleeved leotard. I don't know why but I do!   

I feel very confident in a long sleeved leotard. I don't know why but I do!   

6.

Just another little tip ...

Never do the exercise unless you're sure of it. Go in the second group!  

My story. 

 When I auditioned, before receiving my contract at The Royal Ballet I wore this outfit for every audition I went to, from Hong Kong to Boston.

It was a cap-sleeved chocolate brown unitard. Unusual and exposing, I knew there wouldn't be many others wearing something similar. I didn't wear anything else, no leg warmers, no skirt and no tracksuit top. Of course I was nervous but I knew it would make me stand out and seem confident, even if I wasn't. My friends still mention the days I traveled around Europe to auditions with the brown unitard and detergent, it worked - I got the job and still have the unitard for nostalgia purposes!

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And Good luck from Ballet.Style xx 

Untouchables- Costumes Up Close

Hofesh Shechter’s ballet ‘Untouchables’ comes with some great costumes. I didn’t get a chance to highlight these costumes when it first debuted at the Royal Opera House in 2015, so grabbed the chance this time. When I watch this ballet I get a feeling of anguish, rebellion and oppression, I think these costumes perfectly highlight the zeitgeist - a feeling of separation and isolation.... also they are just super cool, love the use of the belts !! Costumes designed by Holly Waddington. 

KRISTEN

KRISTEN

ASHLEY

ASHLEY

LEO

LEO

BEATRIZ

BEATRIZ

DAVID

DAVID

MICA

MICA

JOSHUA & JAMES

JOSHUA & JAMES

ISABELLA

ISABELLA

TIERNEY  

TIERNEY  

FRANCISCO  

FRANCISCO  

Suit obsession

My office may be on stage but it doesn’t stop me from wearing a suit ! I love and adore suits, I really do feel stong and feminine.  They have become ‘on trend’ recently which means they have hit the high street in a big way, there are a lot of colours and designs to select from. My mission is to find a blue velvet trouser suit for this winter .. wish me luck ! 

Here are my Top 4 .. 

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The Suit - m.zara.com

Shoes -  mulberry.com

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The Suit -  m.hm.com

Top -  www.urbanoutfitters.com

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The Suit -  shop.mango.com

Boots -  www.drmartens.com

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The Tux - m.hm.com

Top -  www.uniqlo.com

 

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My Office..

x

 

Motivational Beats

 You will often see a random dancer in the studio, the gym or just hanging out in the changing room with their headphones on ! It’s a great way to just motivate us to do that quad stretch or get us in the mood to hype ourselves for the next rehearsal. The key is - what music is going to best prepare me for what I’m about to do? Sometimes it’s Faure’s requiem ( my favourite classical piece ) before yoga, and sometimes it’s Chemical Brothers while pumping in the gym!  However saying this, some days it’s just nice to zone out, away from it all. Especially when you have a show in the evening, the days can get long. I like to listen to ‘LBC Radio’ some afternoons, just to shake things up. 

Here’s a taster of what gets us jetèing out of our beds and pointing our toes ..

I’m listening to ...  I Feel Love - Donna Summer   https://open.spotify.com/track/6efRrfjV1YW1rtecLUHoP1?si=boj2eLcu

I’m listening to ... 

I Feel Love - Donna Summer 

 https://open.spotify.com/track/6efRrfjV1YW1rtecLUHoP1?si=boj2eLcu

Nicol listening to..   Counting on Me - Aeroplane   https://open.spotify.com/track/7fYECRxSRbhOB9JtsQtmQj?si=ca9qnAw2

Nicol listening to.. 

 Counting on Me - Aeroplane 

 https://open.spotify.com/track/7fYECRxSRbhOB9JtsQtmQj?si=ca9qnAw2

Melissa listening to ....  River - Bishop Briggs  https://open.spotify.com/track/7lNQ4YZEAZc1nvfSNPzSvU?si=IG0cPPnE

Melissa listening to .... 

River - Bishop Briggs

 https://open.spotify.com/track/7lNQ4YZEAZc1nvfSNPzSvU?si=IG0cPPnE

Claire listening to ...  Stay Awake - London Grammar  https://open.spotify.com/track/2OVDbwqXO828DRJHxQSWX5?si=5KeQzsxC

Claire listening to ... 

Stay Awake - London Grammar

 https://open.spotify.com/track/2OVDbwqXO828DRJHxQSWX5?si=5KeQzsxC

Harry listening to ...  Daydream - Medasin   https://open.spotify.com/track/6DEDhjTllUrPw29BivTvn2?si=mziK62a1 

Harry listening to ... 

Daydream - Medasin  

https://open.spotify.com/track/6DEDhjTllUrPw29BivTvn2?si=mziK62a1 

Beatriz listening to ..  Colored Lines - Nakaya    https://open.spotify.com/track/5oy9JcNziIlNrgybXmFjmN?si=EdHps3qW

Beatriz listening to .. 

Colored Lines - Nakaya  

 https://open.spotify.com/track/5oy9JcNziIlNrgybXmFjmN?si=EdHps3qW

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Luca listening to ...  

Beautiful People - Jimmy Cliff

https://open.spotify.com/track/5yoAAVeGTLkP7aezWcbsfN?si=VFHrqwoq  

 Nadia listening to ... Nick Mulvey - Mountain to Move.    https://open.spotify.com/track/7FFJTBErmrxgOIlQrA7Zoq?si=0mOYjfCe

 Nadia listening to ...

Nick Mulvey - Mountain to Move.  

 https://open.spotify.com/track/7FFJTBErmrxgOIlQrA7Zoq?si=0mOYjfCe

David listening to ..  Drops of Jupiter- Train  https://open.spotify.com/track/2hKdd3qO7cWr2Jo0Bcs0MA?si=42GbotCT

David listening to .. 

Drops of Jupiter- Train

 https://open.spotify.com/track/2hKdd3qO7cWr2Jo0Bcs0MA?si=42GbotCT

Then there is the Sarah , very relaxed listening to .. BBC Radio 4 !   www.bbc.co.uk/radio4

Then there is the Sarah , very relaxed listening to ..

BBC Radio 4 ! 

 www.bbc.co.uk/radio4

Adult ballet

Ballet is not just for professionals. Any one can do it. I was lucky enough to be invited to photograph for a couple of days on an adult amateur ballet course earlier this summer. These are not kids who do summer school every year, they are normal people with full time jobs - doctors, teachers... even a geologist! I admire their dedication in leaping out of their comfort zone - they could be on a beach in Majorca but instead they are working hard at their hobby.

 Their outfits were a big part of their day and I decide to do a blog based on them as they looked so great! Ballet Style knows - you can walk the walk but do you have the look....?! 

Loving Holly's use of colour here. The matching cardie with leotard is so cute and the nude skirt blances it off.  Cardie - http://m.boden.co.uk/  Leotard -  http://www.yumiko.com

Loving Holly's use of colour here. The matching cardie with leotard is so cute and the nude skirt blances it off. 

Cardie - http://m.boden.co.uk/ 

Leotard -  http://www.yumiko.com

Anita, Naomi and Vanessa draining their legs with an array of ballet footwear !  Vanessa's Boots -  http://uk.blochworld.com

Anita, Naomi and Vanessa draining their legs with an array of ballet footwear ! 

Vanessa's Boots -  http://uk.blochworld.com

Tony in an all black ensemble. Ballet shoes -  http://uk.blochworld.com

Tony in an all black ensemble.

Ballet shoes -  http://uk.blochworld.com

Sarah in a cosy jumpsuit in between classes.  

Sarah in a cosy jumpsuit in between classes.  

Yasmin looking very chic and on trend with a striking red top and headband. 

Yasmin looking very chic and on trend with a striking red top and headband. 

Sabina in a thick knitted scarf with a floaty floral skirt. 

Sabina in a thick knitted scarf with a floaty floral skirt. 

Great use of colour from Zoe.  Skirt -  http://www.designedbyalice.co.uk

Great use of colour from Zoe. 

Skirt -  http://www.designedbyalice.co.uk

Some really fun skirts worn by Jess and Tracy. Super colourful !   Skirts - https://m.facebook.com/balletmafialondon/

Some really fun skirts worn by Jess and Tracy. Super colourful !  

Skirts - https://m.facebook.com/balletmafialondon/

Not for the faint hearted but Thomas wears his tiger stripes with confidence! Unitard - made by Thomas himself- Diamond Flamingo !  Boots -  http://bbooties.eu/Home.php

Not for the faint hearted but Thomas wears his tiger stripes with confidence!

Unitard - made by Thomas himself- Diamond Flamingo ! 

Boots -  http://bbooties.eu/Home.php

A striking catsuit worn by Gill. Appreciating those gorgeous mesh panels.   Catsuit -  http://www.sweatybetty.com

A striking catsuit worn by Gill. Appreciating those gorgeous mesh panels.  

Catsuit -  http://www.sweatybetty.com

Yoshi wearing matching jacket and leg warmers, in some dynamic stripes.  Jacket and leg warmers -  https://www.chacott-jp.com

Yoshi wearing matching jacket and leg warmers, in some dynamic stripes. 

Jacket and leg warmers -  https://www.chacott-jp.com

Amazing shout out to Henry St Clair ... (my husband, haha !)   who provides these summer/easter courses - showing that ballet is not just for professionals but for everyone ! 

https://www.balletagent.com/about