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Life Coach Guides Dancers

Navigating the unknown waters of the professional dance world can be scary. Meet Ava Adinolfi. Ava, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, has a mission: to help guide young dancers from Point A to Point B by identifying goals and figuring out how to make them happen.


 

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.


 

Learning to Dance Like a Man: Male Vaganova Student Shares His Story

Being a male in the ballet world takes a lot of hard work and focus. It is a very different experience for males. Lawrence Lambert, a 20-year-old dancer studying at Vaganova Ballet Academy, shares his experiences. Lawrence tells of his journey from his small mining hometown of Cessnock, New South Whales, Australia to Vaganova where he is currently in level 7.

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Photo by: Branco Gaica, National College of Dance


 

Advice From Dance Moms to Dance Moms

At Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins, we often get questions from parents who are at a crossroads. Their daughter or son has been taking dance for awhile, and it's time to make a choice: "How serious are we going to take this dance thing?"

Decisions must be made. Pre-professional dance training, and competition dance teams, are a large time and financial investment. There will be hours and hours of classes, rehearsals and traveling. There will be tuition, travel expenses, competition fees and costumes. Your child will be dealing with the stress of handling school work and dance work.

Questions must be answered: Is your child ready? Is it too much? If you don't allow them to do the pre-professional or competition track, are you holding them back? Is it too hard? Is your child emotionally able to handle it? Will they still perform well at school?

So Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins sat down with some moms who have been in this exact spot. And all they all admitted one thing: It's a stressful place to be in!

Dance moms Gina (mother to Robbie Downey, or @balletbabble), Tori (mother to @real_world_ballerina), and Angela (mother to Sheena Jeffers, content creator for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins, @balletbobbypins) talk about their experiences at the "dance crossroads."

So here it is, straight from dance moms: Advice from the hearts and minds of moms who have been exactly where you are.

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Photo: Liza Minnelli as a child (daughter of Judy Garland & Vincent Minnelli). She went on (and is one of the few artists) to win four Tony Awards, an Oscar, an Emmy Award, two Golden Globes, and a Grammy Legend Award.


 

Real_World_Ballerina: Student, Comedian, Dancer

Ballet and humor? Oh yes. Real_world_ballerina knows how to keep it real!

You may be one of the 15,000 following her on Instagram. Real_world_ballerina (who prefers to go by her Internet handle) is vibrant, full of life, energy and positivity. But she also knows about discipline, focus and the seriousness that is required when studying ballet. Hence, real_world_ballerina was born. The 17-year-old pre-professional ballet student from Orange County, California, has been featured by Pointe Magazine and Dance Spirit for capturing the humor and hard work that lies behind the scenes in the ballet world. Today, she talks with Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins!

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Photo: real_world_ballerina


 

Artists: Saving for The Future

As dancers, dance teachers and artists, we often work off of contracts between theaters, companies and studios. In the government's eyes, we are considered "self-employed." Being self employed has many rewards, like the freedom to make your own decisions, working the hours you prefer and most importantly the monetary rewards can be endless.  However, there are numerous pitfalls that can derail a dream.

Today, we are asking the tough questions to investment advisor, Kevin Bostic. We want to know how to keep dancing and keep our finances on track - for today and tomorrow!

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Photo Source: Drew Humphrey & Ensemble, "We're in the Money;" 42nd Street


 

Ballerina Uses Ballet Training in Aerial Dance

Meet Elizabeth Fraley! She trained as a ballerina growing up, and now she uses her ballet background in the world of aerial dance. From Fairfax Station, Virginia, Elizabeth followed her dream to Los Angeles, California where she continues to train in dance, body conditioning and yoga while pursuing her PhD (in cell and molecular biology)! Read more about this dancer!

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Photo by: Dan Krauss


 

Dream Logistics

Written by: Sheena Jeffers for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins

Happy, happy June! This is the last month of working my full-time, day job... so that I can focus full-time on my dream life! {Cheers!}

It has certainly been a journey. Back in 2008, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. Then in 2009, I discovered I wanted to be a teacher. Then in 2010, I wanted to be a yoga teacher. Then in 2011, I discovered I wanted to be a leader. Then in 2012, I applied for graduate school.


 

Motivating the Unmotivated

Robert J. Samuelson recently wrote in an Op/Ed piece about higher education about those who are disconnected from it. He described it perfectly:

"School bores and bothers them. Teaching them is hard, because they're not motivated. But they also make teaching the rest harder. Their disaffection and periodic disruptions drain teachers' time and energy. The climate for learning is poisoned."

His description may sound negative, but really it isn't. He hit the nail on the head, and the only way to overcome that disconnect is:  "... to motivate the unmotivated."

These are not terrible, unwanted students. They are certainly capable of learning, even if their desire remains undiscovered, even to themselves.

How do we, as teachers, motivate the unmotivated?


 

The Things You Have to Give Up

Written by: Sheena Jeffers for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins

My uncle recently sent me an e-mail with this quote: "The champion wins first, then walks into the arena. Everybody else walks into the arena and then tries to figure out what to do." - Jim Fannin

After I walked across that graduation stage and accepted those two degrees I had worked oh-so-very hard for, I had this cocky confidence and a head full of ideas of exactly what my twenties were supposed to look like. I had already secured a great-paying job (for a recent graduate), and I had already planned on purchasing my first new car. I was 22-year-old, armed with two degrees, a solid GPA and job experience! This was going to be great.

Then four years went by. And I learned so much. And I realized to be a champion, I had a lot to learn, and I had many battles to win before I could be truly successful.


 

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