Bikram Ballet

You may have noticed it's been pretty hot in London recently! Everyone loves a hot day, but not necessarily a hot studio ! Studios can get quite muggy at the best of times, from dancing and sweating in there all day. When the day is hot as well, I like to call it Bikram Ballet, ( Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga style, and it's practiced in a room heated to 35–42 °C)! A hot day has its pros and cons for a dancer  

The pros

• Warming-up takes less time in the morning

• You are less likely to strain muscles

•  Dancers are generally happier !!! We tend to have a deficiency in vitamin D from being cooped up on stage or in the studio, so more sunshine is good.

The cons   

• Heat can exacerbate any existing injuries by increasing inflammation

• Can make dehydration quicker

• Can bring on fatigue  

 However, hot temperatures or not it doesn't stop these dancers looking ever so stylish ! 

Eric looking effortlessly cool and retro with tiny boxer shorts. Love them.  

Eric looking effortlessly cool and retro with tiny boxer shorts. Love them.  

Some splashes of colour with this skirt and a halter neck leo and keeps me cool.  Skirt - www.lovelilydanceandleisurewear.com

Some splashes of colour with this skirt and a halter neck leo and keeps me cool. 

Skirt - www.lovelilydanceandleisurewear.com

A fun mishmash of sunnies, shorts and thick leg warmers for Marcy. 

A fun mishmash of sunnies, shorts and thick leg warmers for Marcy. 

Double short shorts for Annette.   shop.lululemon.com

Double short shorts for Annette.  

shop.lululemon.com

Fumi's wearing soft pale colours, with a floaty skirt.  

Fumi's wearing soft pale colours, with a floaty skirt.  

Going for a strawberries and cream look but still not handling the heat well! Skirt - www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

Going for a strawberries and cream look but still not handling the heat well!

Skirt - www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

Adoring Julia's flamingo leotard. Bringing some Miami Vibes to class. Leotard - m2.hm.com

Adoring Julia's flamingo leotard. Bringing some Miami Vibes to class.

Leotard - m2.hm.com

Why wear a top in 30 degree heat while interval training ? Nicol's thoughts ! 

Why wear a top in 30 degree heat while interval training ? Nicol's thoughts ! 

Estelle wearing 'baggy boyfriend' shorts from 'Champion', easy and relaxed.  www.champion.com

Estelle wearing 'baggy boyfriend' shorts from 'Champion', easy and relaxed. 

www.champion.com

Leticia and Chi showing their beautifully toned balletic legs. 

Leticia and Chi showing their beautifully toned balletic legs. 

Claire going tightless with just beautiful arches as an accessory. 

Claire going tightless with just beautiful arches as an accessory. 

High bun, gillet, ballet shorts and flip flops ? Sian makes it work !  

High bun, gillet, ballet shorts and flip flops ? Sian makes it work !  

Chi showing us how to cut your ballet tights to a perfect length to flatter those pins !  

Chi showing us how to cut your ballet tights to a perfect length to flatter those pins !  

Leotard. Ballet skirt. Pointe shoes. That's all I need today. It's too hot. Leotard - dancexclusive.co.uk  Skirt -www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

Leotard. Ballet skirt. Pointe shoes. That's all I need today. It's too hot.

Leotard - dancexclusive.co.uk 

Skirt -www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

No footwear for David, it's how he rolls.  

No footwear for David, it's how he rolls.  

Lara rocking a sporty look in class.  

Lara rocking a sporty look in class.  

Pins are out in 34 degree heat ! 

Pins are out in 34 degree heat ! 

My Top 6 costumes 16/17

Here is a countdown of my favourite costumes this season 16/17! This season has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I was very ill with a nasty sinusitis infection which led to me missing a triple bill, and to be honest I'm still not fully back. I've been told that the virus I have, can last for a few months. Also, on top of that I'm still fighting the pain in my achilles ! But it wasn't all doom and gloom, I had some exciting debuts this year, (Countess Larisch/ Carabosse)  and have had a great time going back to some old roles in 'Carbon life' and Helena in 'The Dream'. With these roles came working with incredible coaches to put me on that stage. Dame Monica Mason, Leanne Benjamin and Johnny Cope to name a few.

So here's the countdown..

 

 Number 6... 

 My first costume is Florestan in 'The Sleeping Beauty'. It's an adorable little tutu, with bows and pink puffy sleeves. I personally loved the choker as well, gave that 90s throwback edge!

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   Number 5...

My next costume is Olga's in 'Anastasia' Act 1. A light and breathable costume to sweat in, I also felt very true to the period the ballet was set in. The sleeves and collar with the fine lace sewn in made this a very feminine number. . 

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 Number 4... 

Who can forget Carabosse in 'The  Sleeping Beauty'? Before I did this role I didn't realise how this costume is quite a raunchy little number !! Layers and layers of dense lace on the bottom half and fine delicate lace on top, with a serpent intwined around the bust area.  It was a very special role for me, and to work with Dame Monica Mason was a real highlight of the season. 

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Number 3... 

Number three is Demi Diamonds in Balanchine's ballet 'Jewels'. The dropped tulle tutu, encrusted sparkles, and lace gloves, it screams 'BALLERINA'.  It reminded me of one of Degas paintings 'Dancers, Pink and green', however there was one flaw to this costume.... it showed serious sweat marks !!

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Number 2... 

And at number two is Countess Larisch in 'Mayerling' act 1. I love this costume but I think it's more what this costume represents for me than the costume itself. A costume I never thought I would put on in my career, I couldn't quite believe i was doing it, and to also get an extra show with Edward Watson was a slight dream-come-true moment. 

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  And Number 1 Is...

Orlando - 'Woolf Works II' !!

A gold suit with an Elizabethan collar, a peplum waist, and detachable arms.... What more could you want?! It does weigh a ton but it's absolutely worth it. I feel so strong and powerful with this costume on, it fires me up, and this is before I start dancing, hear the music and see the set. It's an absolute genius of a costume!

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In action with my number one costume. Photo by Alice Pennefather.  

In action with my number one costume. Photo by Alice Pennefather.  

The Art Of Zen


Tonight is the final show at the Royal Opera House for Zenaida Yanowsky.


Putting aside Zen's dancing for a moment, she is one of the most unique ballerinas I know. She exudes an inner confidence and it shows in her style - wearing a unitard with a luminous yellow t-shirt underneath, throwing her hair up with a couple of pins and not a dash of make-up.

There's a sense of 'don't give a damn' in Zen, she's just incredibly cool, unbelievably hard working and an absolute laugh to work with. I've never met such a humble person. I remember once going to the laundry room and Zen was quietly folding my clean  washing into a pile. That sums her up perfectly - she didn't know who's it was, she just wanted to help.

She's got the body and height of a supermodel and legs that go on for days. Whatever she wears looks uber-stylish, not many people can get away with a babygrow!


Zen, I'm going to miss your dancing, your unitards, the legs and your wicked sense of humour!

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Get Shorty

A good pair of shorts can really put you in the mood to work hard - they're more sporty and athletic than a skirt and there's no hiding, you've really got to work your legs. That's why you'll see a lot of us wear them for class at the beginning of the day.

Dependant on repertoire, us ladies go through phases with our choice of shorts. What length? Baggy and grungy or an incy wincy 70's gym hot pant. You decide...

Chi www.gap.co.uk

Chi

www.gap.co.uk

Julia  m.nike.com  Leticia  m2.hm.com

Julia

 m.nike.com

 Leticia

 m2.hm.com

Melzie   www.blochworld.com 

Melzie 

 www.blochworld.com 

Ro  www.freedoflondon.com

Ro 

www.freedoflondon.com

Olivia I'm wearing - www.capezioeurope.com

Olivia

I'm wearing - www.capezioeurope.com

Lizzie www.capezioeurope.com

Lizzie

www.capezioeurope.com

Sian   www.gap.co.uk

Sian  

www.gap.co.uk

Lauren  

Lauren  

blochworld.com

Claire   primark.com

Claire  

primark.com

Charlotte   m.nike.com

Charlotte  

m.nike.com

Tierney uk.blochworld.com

Tierney

uk.blochworld.com

Gem m2.hm.com

Gem

m2.hm.com

Mayerling - Behined The Scenes

Mayerling - what a beautiful ballet. One of the real gems of the Royal Ballet's repertoire and a ballet and a role that I've always wanted to dance. I was lucky enough to be able to perform the role of Countess Larisch( as a debut ), considered the glue that holds the narrative together. Rudolph's lover, the woman who procures Mary Vetsera for him and the character that appears throughout the ballet, orchestrating proceedings. 

 As much as I enjoyed my performance on stage there was also a performance off stage - constant changing of costume, hair, jewellery and shoes. I was astounded at the amount of work that goes into the characterisation of these roles behind the scenes. The costumers, milliners, make-up artists and designers deserve real appreciation for their role in creating my role. 

 

Here's a glimpse into the off-stage performance. 

ACT ONE, A LIGHTER DRESS FOR THIS ACT. HAVE TO TAKE OFF LONG ELBOW GLOVES FOR THE PAS DE DEUX, AS THEY CAN AFFECT GRIPS WHILE PARTNERING. MY NECKLACE IS ALSO SEWN ONTO MY DRESS TO KEEP IT OUT OF MY PARTNERS FACE. 

ACT ONE, A LIGHTER DRESS FOR THIS ACT. HAVE TO TAKE OFF LONG ELBOW GLOVES FOR THE PAS DE DEUX, AS THEY CAN AFFECT GRIPS WHILE PARTNERING. MY NECKLACE IS ALSO SEWN ONTO MY DRESS TO KEEP IT OUT OF MY PARTNERS FACE. 

THIS WIG IS NOT THE MOST FLATTERING, BUT I KIND OF LOVE IT AS IT REALLY DOES PUT ME INTO MY ROLE - THE AMBITIOUS DESPERATE LADY THAT COUNTESS LARISCH IS. 

THIS WIG IS NOT THE MOST FLATTERING, BUT I KIND OF LOVE IT AS IT REALLY DOES PUT ME INTO MY ROLE - THE AMBITIOUS DESPERATE LADY THAT COUNTESS LARISCH IS. 

ACT TWO, CARD SCENE. GORGEOUS OPULENT COSTUME. A VERY IMPORTANT SCENE FOR THE STORY. QUITE HEAVY ON THE BUSTLE, SO HAVE TO TAKE EXTRA CARE WHILE MANOUVERING AROUND THE TABLE. 

ACT TWO, CARD SCENE. GORGEOUS OPULENT COSTUME. A VERY IMPORTANT SCENE FOR THE STORY. QUITE HEAVY ON THE BUSTLE, SO HAVE TO TAKE EXTRA CARE WHILE MANOUVERING AROUND THE TABLE. 

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THE HAT LOOKS BIG BUT IS ACTUALLY QUITE LIGHT, SO IT DOESNT AFFECT MY TURNS. ALSO, I CAN'T USE AS MANY HAIR PINS AS I'D LIKE AS THEY TAKE SO LONG TO GET OUT AND THERE'S NO TIME DURING THE QUICK-CHANGE. 

ACT TWO, HOFFBURG SCENE. MY FIRST QUICK CHANGE FROM CARD SCENE. AS I HAVE A VERY SHORT TIME TO DO THIS, I DO THIS QUICK CHANGE IN THE WINGS RIGHT BY STAGE. ITS TRICKY AS THERE ARE A LOT OF HOOKS AND BARS FOR THIS COSTUME TOO! 

ACT TWO, HOFFBURG SCENE. MY FIRST QUICK CHANGE FROM CARD SCENE. AS I HAVE A VERY SHORT TIME TO DO THIS, I DO THIS QUICK CHANGE IN THE WINGS RIGHT BY STAGE. ITS TRICKY AS THERE ARE A LOT OF HOOKS AND BARS FOR THIS COSTUME TOO! 

ACT THREE, SNOW SCENE. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS OUTFIT! IT DOES GET QUITE HOT IN THERE AND IS VERY HEAVY BUT IT'S ALL WORTH IT FOR THIS GLAMOUR!

ACT THREE, SNOW SCENE. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS OUTFIT! IT DOES GET QUITE HOT IN THERE AND IS VERY HEAVY BUT IT'S ALL WORTH IT FOR THIS GLAMOUR!

I HAVE TO DO A VERY QUICK CHANGE FROM SNOW SCENE TO BEDROOM SCENE. IN ABOUT 30 SECONDS I HAVE TO CHANGE MY HAT TO A HEADRESS, SWAP JEWELLERY AND OBVIOUSLY CHANGE OUTFIT. 

I HAVE TO DO A VERY QUICK CHANGE FROM SNOW SCENE TO BEDROOM SCENE. IN ABOUT 30 SECONDS I HAVE TO CHANGE MY HAT TO A HEADRESS, SWAP JEWELLERY AND OBVIOUSLY CHANGE OUTFIT. 

ACT THREE. BEDROOM SCENE. PERFECT DRESS TO FINISH WITH. LUCIOUS HEAVY VELVETS BUT LIGHT AS A FEATHER. 

ACT THREE. BEDROOM SCENE. PERFECT DRESS TO FINISH WITH. LUCIOUS HEAVY VELVETS BUT LIGHT AS A FEATHER. 

Missing The Pointe

When we are not dancing our hearts out in our pointe shoes (or in flatties as men) then we need good comfortable footwear. When walking between rehearsals, canteen visits, physiotherapy suite, costume fittings, Opera houses can be big. A dancer is very particular about their chosen shoe. Some like to keep the foot and ankle warm and go for a big boot style. Or a trainer to support the foot and it's alignment, or like me - have an array of footwear all dependent on the day !!!

ED IN HIS CLASSIC SLIPPERS. SUPER WARM, SUPER COMFY, VERY COOL.  www.amazon.co.uk

ED IN HIS CLASSIC SLIPPERS. SUPER WARM, SUPER COMFY, VERY COOL. 

www.amazon.co.uk

MAYARA WEARING TRAINERS WITH FANTASTIC BRIGHT AND WARM SOCKS  www.newbalance.co.uk

MAYARA WEARING TRAINERS WITH FANTASTIC BRIGHT AND WARM SOCKS

 www.newbalance.co.uk

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YUHUI AND MARCIE HAVING FUN WITH THEIR BOOTS.

YUHUI'S STARRY BOOTS - www.uniqlo.com

MARCELINO'S DIP-DYE BOOTS - www.blochworld.com

LETTIE IN SOFT SLIPPERS    m.primark.com

LETTIE IN SOFT SLIPPERS  

 m.primark.com

YUHUI IS GOING HARDCORE WITH HER SLIPPERS. WALKING WHILE RECEIVING REFLEXOLOGY !    www.amazon.co.uk

YUHUI IS GOING HARDCORE WITH HER SLIPPERS. WALKING WHILE RECEIVING REFLEXOLOGY !  

 www.amazon.co.uk

LOVE AKANE'S CHOICE OF COLOURS WITH THESE GREAT TRAINERS.    www.newbalance.co.uk

LOVE AKANE'S CHOICE OF COLOURS WITH THESE GREAT TRAINERS.  

 www.newbalance.co.uk

I LOVE MY NIKE AIRS AS NOT ONLY ARE THEY VERY SUPPORTIVE BUT ALSO HAVE A SLIGHT HEEL RAISE WHICH IS GREAT IF I HAVE TIGHT CALVES.   m.nike.com

I LOVE MY NIKE AIRS AS NOT ONLY ARE THEY VERY SUPPORTIVE BUT ALSO HAVE A SLIGHT HEEL RAISE WHICH IS GREAT IF I HAVE TIGHT CALVES. 

 m.nike.com

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HAYLEY GOING FOR A GOOD SUPORTIVE TRAINER. 

 m.nike.com

SARAH KEEPING HER TOOTSIES WARM IN THESE CLASSIC BOOTIES.    www.blochworld.com

SARAH KEEPING HER TOOTSIES WARM IN THESE CLASSIC BOOTIES.  

 www.blochworld.com

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WHEN I WANT A BIT OF LUXURY, THESE SLIPPERS TICK THE BOX !

 www.aandreassen.com

DEMELZA WEARING THOSE BALLET BOOTS AGAIN.   www.blochworld.com

DEMELZA WEARING THOSE BALLET BOOTS AGAIN. 

 www.blochworld.com

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LARA GIVING HER TOES SOME AIR IN HER FLIP FLOPS.  

 www.havaianas-store.com

MY SLIPPERS LIKE YUHUIS COME WITH A LITTLE MASSAGE ON EACH WALK. I WEAR THEM WHEN MY FEET ARE VERY TIGHT. I BOUGHT THEM YEARS AGO IN JAPAN, SO SADLY CANT REMEMBER WHAT STORE I BOUGHT THEM FROM ! 

MY SLIPPERS LIKE YUHUIS COME WITH A LITTLE MASSAGE ON EACH WALK. I WEAR THEM WHEN MY FEET ARE VERY TIGHT. I BOUGHT THEM YEARS AGO IN JAPAN, SO SADLY CANT REMEMBER WHAT STORE I BOUGHT THEM FROM ! 

MATTS TRAINERS ARE COMFORTABLE, YET VERY COOL.   m.nike.com

MATTS TRAINERS ARE COMFORTABLE, YET VERY COOL. 

 m.nike.com

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MEG GOING DOWN THE UGG ROUTE ! SHE ALSO HAS A PAIR IN BLACK.

 www.ugg.com

LOVE THESE GREY TRAINERS FROM ANNETTE !   m.nike.com

LOVE THESE GREY TRAINERS FROM ANNETTE ! 

 m.nike.com

GEM GIVING HER POOR FEET SOME AIR AFTER A HARD SHOW!  www.matalan.co.uk

GEM GIVING HER POOR FEET SOME AIR AFTER A HARD SHOW!

 www.matalan.co.uk