Pointe Shoes: Finding the Perfect Shoe For You

Let's talk pointe shoes! They are beautiful, but they can be high-maintenance, painful little monsters. Josephine, an expert pointe shoe fitter from Southern California created The Pointe Shop, a mobile pointe shoe store that comes to you and finds the perfect shoe for your foot. Josephine, who trained in classical ballet herself, saw there was a need to find proper shoes for ballerinas.

"I see a lot of dancers stop pointe work because they get frustrated with their shoes, but it doesn’t have to be the case," Josephine said. "If the dancer is in the right shoes, they will be able to dance more beautifully, safely and easily. The dancer should be able to focus on improving their dancing abilities without worrying about their shoes. That’s our job!"

Photo: Josephine, who learned how to fit pointe shoes from her mother, is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop and tap.


What Dancers Want You to Know About the Free People Ballet Line

Free People, a clothing boutique that opened in the 1970s and today has three wholesale showrooms in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, recently posted a photo on their Instagram announcing their new ballet line. The ballet world is stunned, a little hurt, but mostly - it has everyone talking.

Photo posted on Free People's Instagram account announcing the new line.


Teaching Ballet: The Royal Ballet School Visits Richmond Ballet

Written by: Meredith Lee and Sheena Jeffers

We've all been there. A famous teacher from a prestigious institution comes into your studio to teach class, and instantly it's like you've never taken a technique class in your life! Your hands clam up, you clench the barre, you force your turn out, and is it just me? Or does gravity seem to be extra powerful today?

But stellar ballet educators, Mark Annear and Jay Jolley from The Royal Ballet School and Judy Jacob of The School of Richmond Ballet know just how to break through students' nerves and anxieties to pull the best out of their ballet training. The goals: remain cool, calm and collected; to keep a clear head and stay focused on personal goals.

Recently, The School of Richmond Ballet hosted The Royal Ballet School where Mark Annear, Head of Outreach and Teacher Training for The Royal Ballet School, and Jay Jolley, Acting Director of The Royal Ballet School, gave master classes to students and workshops to ballet teachers. The visit gave the schools and educators time to collaborate and discuss ballet training. Annear, Jolley and Judy Jacob, School Director of The School of Richmond Ballet, came together to look at the process of educating young dancers, and they spoke to us about their approaches!

Photo: Mark Annear, Head of Outreach and Teacher Training from The Royal Ballet School, conducts a demonstration class with students from The School of Richmond Ballet. Richmond Ballet 2014. All rights reserved. Photo by Sarah Ferguson.


Take Care of Your Ballerina Hair

 Pulling your hair into a ballet bun every day puts a lot of stress and tension on your hair and scalp. Hair designer, Corie Crowley, helps us understand how to take care of your hair (and pamper it) after long dance days of sweat, elastic bands and bobby pins.


Nutrition & Flexibility for Dancers Mind, Body, Spirit

Written by: Stacey Nemour

For everyone, but especially for dancers, being healthy and at your appropriate weight - a weight that supports functioning at the highest level - is a form of self-mastery. Some of us master money, relationships, career or some other special skill. Dancers want to master their strength and potential. Mastery turns out to be what we believe we are capable of. Our bodies reflect what we believe about ourselves. In life, we have the greatest gift of all: power of free choice and to be the person we want to be.


This v. That: Ballet

In ballet, there are so many terms that either sound alike, look alike or seem eerily similar. They're the set of words that always get switched in your brain or make you think a little harder on which is which. Stress no more! We are here to help you see and feel the difference in seemingly similar ballet terms.


How To Create a Strong Audition Video

With the advanced technology of today's world, some companies and schools offer the option of submitting a  video audition. If you have never created a video before, this option can feel daunting and more stressful than traveling to attend an audition where the exercises, variations and choreography are set out for you by the directors in the room. With a video, you are on your own.

Here are some helpful hints if you're preparing an audition video.

Photo: Dancing with myself by Mg Frontera


Reversing Ballet Combinations

We all dread the same words from our ballet teachers' mouths: "Now reverse!"

But reversing ballet combinations helps our minds and bodies train in a more advanced manner, preparing us for more advanced dancing. Reversing combinations is very similar to putting together a puzzle. It challenges our minds to take each individual piece of the combination, reverse it, while quickly putting them back together. Reversing combinations takes practice, and it can be frustrating for those who are just stepping into this seemingly frantic world. But we are here to help you!

Here is out "How-To" guide to understanding reversing ballet combinations.

Photo: From the series "Espirit de Corps" by photographer Jesús Chapa-Malacara


On Being a Professional Ballerina: Cody Beaton

Cody Beaton, of Round Rock, Texas, studied at the Austin Conservatory of the Arts for 12 years. She attended summer programs at Colorado Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, and American Ballet Theatre. She spent one season with the Colorado Ballet Studio Company, and in the next three years, she progressed through Richmond Ballet’s trainee and apprentice programs. She joined the professional company in 2010. Four years later, Cody is still dancing her heart out on stage and living her dream.

But is being a professional ballerina what she thought it would be? What is like to work as a ballerina?

Photo: Cody Beaton in Swipe. Choreography by Val Caniparoli. Richmond Ballet 2012. All rights reserved. Photo by Sarah Ferguson.


Playing for Ballerinas: The Accompanist

You walk into class and prepare to focus, warm your body, and dance. But dancers often forget that accompanists help train our ear and our bodies with their intricate and ever-changing music which they produce on the spot.

Christopher Hobson, a freelance Ballet Répétiteur, Orchestral Musician and Composer, plays, prepares and sells music for ballet classes around the world. He plays the piano, percussion, violin, saxophone and clarinet. Having grown up with music, Chris transitioned into working with dancers later. Today, he talks with us about the 20 dance classes he plays for a week and the challenges and beauty of merging music and dance.




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