My triplet ballerinas are my triplet grand-daughters, Makenna, Jaeli and Maysie. It was very easy to dedicate “The Triplet Ballerinas” to them. The dedication says, “For my triplet granddaughters, Makenna, Jaeli and Maysie, who inspire me each and every day“. This is so true.
When I started writing almost 5 years ago, I had no idea what to write about. After a dog came to our house one Fall day, lost from a hunter, I thought maybe this would be a good story for a picture book. I couldn’t make that story work, but then I was inspired with writing about the triplets and it evolved from there.
Back then, the triplets were of an age (around 6 years old) that they would have really enjoyed reading and sharing this picture book. Even though, by the time the book was published, they had left picture books behind and entered chapter books, they still love that I wrote a picture book inspired by them and dedicated to them. Beverly
“Tallulah’s Solo” is written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. This is a picture book about a little girl named Tallulah who knows she is an excellent ballet dancer and expects to be doing a solo in the winter recital. She is excited to introduce her little brother, Beckett, to ballet and is sure he will be an excellent ballet dancer too. Beckett is more interested in playing and fooling around though. At the recital audition for “The Frog Prince”, Tallulah is sure she will be given a solo part. But then, something unexpected happens that Tallulah is not happy about at all. In the end, though, Tallulah does the right thing and is soon rewarded.
I love this book. It was one of the ballerina books I read when I first started to write “The Triplet Ballerinas” and it sparked so many ideas in my head. “Tallulah’s Solo” is mostly set in the ballet world and is full of ballet terms with illustrations that make them come to life. But it also tells a story about the relationship between another set of siblings who come together in the end. This book is sure to remain on my “keeper” shelf. Beverly
(Look for a new “A Ballerina Book” post every month to add to “The Ballerinas Blog” lineup.)
Guest blogger: Megan J. My triplet ballerinas are my daughters, Makenna Anne, Jaeli Jo and Maysie Jailyn.
In December of 2007, I gave blood at my doctor’s office hoping I was pregnant. “You’re definitely pregnant,” the nurse said when she called. She also commented that it was most likely twins because my levels were so high. We were ecstatic!
During our first ultrasound at 6 weeks, the doctor wanted to measure the baby to make sure everything was good and on track. The nurse turned out to be right, it was twins! The babies had not developed heartbeats yet, but they looked great. We were told to come back in a week to measure again and there should be two beating hearts then.
At 7 weeks, we went into the ultrasound room, and they started measuring the babies. We heard the first heartbeat and it was very overwhelming. Then we heard the second baby with another strong heartbeat. My husband and I had tried for so long to get pregnant so we were thrilled we were getting two babies at once. The ultrasound tech said she was almost done and both babies looked great. While she was finishing up, I thought I saw a third blinking spot, very similar to the other two blinking spots that showed the heartbeats. I figured I was just seeing things from all the excitement. But then, the tech looked at us and said, “I see another heartbeat.” I looked at my husband, thought about it for a moment and instantly got tears in my eyes. The third baby was doing great as well! We went home in complete shock. After being so excited for twins, we thought, “What’s one more?” We felt very blessed and thankful for our three healthy babies.
There is one piece of equipment that you need in order to learn ballet. Dancers hold on to a handrail called a “barre” to support them while they practice positions. The barre can be permanently attached to the walls or freestanding so that it can be moved into position and cleared away to free up central floor space.
Barres are used extensively in ballet training and warm up exercises. Such exercises are commonly referred to as “barre work”. Even experienced ballerinas do barre work at the start of each class. Barre work prepares you for dancing during the second part of the class. It establishes correct placement and it develops core and leg strength.
There are also barre workout classes that use a combination of postures inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates. In these classes, the barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises for isometric strength training.
The arabesque (air-uh-BESK) is one of the most beautiful and graceful positions a ballerina can create in ballet. The dancer makes straight lines with her legs and arms. Her body is supported on one leg while the other leg is extended horizontally backward. The standing leg can be either straight or bent, but the back leg must always be straight, either on the ground or raised in the air.
There are several different versions of arabesque that are defined by the position of the dancer’s arms. In first arabesque, the arm that is on the same side as the supporting leg is extended out in front of her body with the other arm extended on the side or towards the diagonal back. In second arabesque, the arm that is on the same side as the back leg is extended out in front of her body and the arm on the side of the supporting leg is to the side or diagonal back. In third arabesque, a dancer has both arms extended in front of her body with the arm on the same side as the supporting leg slightly higher than the other so that the hand is anywhere between the top of her head to a foot above her head.
The ballerina can always achieve a good arabesque by remembering to turn out her legs and feet, stretch her legs, point her toes, and keep her stomach muscles strong. Beverly
Guest blogger: Megan J. My triplet ballerinas are my daughters, Makenna Anne, Jaeli Jo and Maysie Jailyn.
My first Mother’s Day was over 12 years ago when I was pregnant with the triplets. Before that, this special day only meant just celebrating my Mom. It was always hard thinking of something to buy her that would mean a lot. After becoming a mom myself, I realize no matter what I get her, it will always mean a lot to her.
Now, I look forward to the little gifts the kids make me or the ones they buy me. When I got home from the store the other day, after leaving them at home with their dad, I walked into the garage and saw a pot of calla lilies. These are my favorite flowers and I always enjoy getting them. I have a few spots in the flower bed where they come back each year, but most of them don’t make it through the winter. So, the more, the better! The triplets have usually remembered over the last couple years that this is my favorite flower. They have had to remind their dad a few times though, but I think he remembers now thanks to them! I told my husband how nice it was he even got me purple ones, which are my favorite color. I added that I couldn’t believe he remembered! He then let me down easy and said it was one of the triplets who told him. They know me well!
My children usually still need help to come up with gift ideas for me and be reminded of the day. My birthday is right before Mother’s Day so that is two gifts they have to come up with. But, honestly, I would be happy with a hug and “I love you” on both days.
My triplet ballerinas are my triplet grand-daughters, Makenna, Jaeli and Maysie. I have been blessed with these three granddaughters who call me “grandma”. They are my first grandchild(ren) so that makes it even more special.
Before the triplets came along, I spent my free time mostly scrapbooking. Of course, I wanted to scrapbook about these wondrous, new grandchildren. I wanted to scrapbook about them and any other grandchildren I had through the years. Sadly, finding time for scrapbooking became second to spending my time helping take care of the triplets and, later on, other grandchildren. So then, any hobbies I had were put on the back burner and I never really returned to them.
These days, you will find me still taking care of my grandchildren sometimes, but marketing and promotion of “The Triplet Ballerinas” has now replaced scrapbooking and any other hobbies. Years ago, I had no thoughts of writing a children’s book, but I was inspired by my own triplet granddaughters to do so. I truly have been blessed with three beautiful triplet granddaughters. Beverly
“En Pointe” means to dance on the tips of the toes. When ballerinas dance en pointe, they wear specially-made pointe shoes that support their feet and toes. They keep these in place with ribbon. A ballerina depends on her pointe shoes to be extremely sturdy. Pointe shoes are made from cloth and glue and baked hard in a special oven. The tip of the shoe is a rigid box made of densely packed layers of fabric, cardboard and/or paper. The shoes are covered in pink satin and dyed different colors to match the ballerina’s costume. Pointe shoes should be fitted to the shape of the ballerina’s foot. On average, these shoes cost between $45 and $120 per pair, but most dancers pay $65-$75 for a pair of pointe shoes.
Ballerinas first started to dance en pointe over 150 years ago. The age to start dancing en pointe is usually not before 11 years old, although some ballet teachers rely on ability not age. Whatever age a dancer is when she first puts on her pointe shoes, I am sure she feels like she is floating on air.
My triplet ballerinas are my grand-daughters, Makenna, Jaeli and Maysie. Once in awhile, I will watch a movie or a TV show that reminds me of them.
Recently, I watched a movie about a tomboyish 12-year-old girl, Ryan, who was best friends all through elementary school with Tina. Tina spent the summer before they started middle school visiting relatives. She returned on the first day of school wearing fashionable clothes and makeup and soon attracted the attention of boys. Tina moved on with a new, popular crowd. Meanwhile, Ryan was still a tomboy starting something new on her own because the person she thought she could count on had left her behind. Since Ryan only had one friend her whole life, she was uncertain how to make a new friend and ended up alone.
While I watched this movie, I compared Ryan and Tina to my own triplet granddaughters. I don’t think any of them will feel so alone the way Ryan does in this movie because they will always have each other. They have best friends for life who can never leave them behind (even if they want to). Hopefully, when the triplets themselves start middle school soon, they will have no problems making friends separate from each other because they know what it is like to have more than one best friend. I am sure they will always be able to count on each other also no matter how much they might change. Beverly