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Ballerinas: Ballon (A Triplet Ballerina Float)  

In “The Triplet Ballerinas”, brown-haired Julie’s ballet move is “floating”-so lightly she sometimes floats off her feet! In ballet,”ballon” (French for balloon) describes a ballerina who appears to be floating in the air (or suspended in the air) while performing movements during a jump. It may seem as though the dancer effortlessly becomes airborne, floats in the air and lands softly.

Ballon is also a term used to describe the quality of a dancer’s jumps or a dancer’s “bounce” before they jump. Ballerinas aspire to develop “great ballon”, which is that quality of appearing to hover in the air at the apex of the jump. Dancers try to achieve ballon in large jumps as well as in small, quick jumps. Ballon does not refer to the height of the jump though. Beverly

A Ballerina Book: “Beautiful Ballerinas”    

“Beautiful Ballerinas” is by Elizabeth Dombey and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. It was published in 2014 by Grosset & Dunlap/Penquin Group.

This is a small, hardcover book full of a mixture of photographs and illustrations. It tells of what the life of a ballerina might be like, starting with their early training. It also shows positions of ballet, ballet exercises and center floor work. There is also a page all about a ballerina’s pointe shoes. Throughout the book are many ballet terms that are explained in an easy-to-understand fashion. At the end of the book is pictures and texts that tell the history of ballet. This would be a very interesting book for any ballet and ballerina lovers. Beverly

My Triplet Ballerinas: Cool Facts About My Triplets, Part 1

Guest Blogger: Megan J. My triplet ballerinas are my daughters, Makenna Anne, Jaeli Jo and Maysie Jailyn

At my first ultrasound, we found out we were having twins, but they did not have their heartbeats yet. We went back at 7 weeks to get measurements and check for heartbeats. We had two healthy heartbeats and then after measuring both babies, the nurse says, “Uh Oh! I see another one” which the next ultrasound also showed three. My pregnancy was easy, and I only had to go to the hospital once for Braxton Hicks contractions at 28 weeks. I made it to 34 weeks and 4 days with three healthy girls.

Makenna is fraternal and Jaeli and Maysie are identical. Jaeli and Maysie took a DNA test when they were six months old because of how much they looked alike (the doctors told us they were all fraternal). I have only ever given myself a scare one time mixing them up when I had to undress them for their 6-month photo shoot at the hospital, but, luckily, I had painted Maysie’s toenail for this specific reason!

Look for Part 2 of “Cool Facts About My Triplets” next month

Ballerinas: Jeté (A Triplet Ballerina Leap)

In “The Triplet Ballerinas”, red-haired Annie’s ballet move is leaping-sometimes high! Leaping seemed to fit her personality. A leap (or jump) in ballet is called a jeté, which is a leap in which the weight of the dancer is transferred from one foot to the other. The most common leap is called a grand jeté (which is usually a step for advanced jumpers). This is a long horizontal jump starting from one leg and landing on the other. To make a jump even higher, the dancer lifts her head and arms and looks toward her high arm.

Some other leaps are the switch leap (this one starts like a grand jeté and then switches in the air), tour jeté (this is a turning leap), straddle leap (a Russian leap mostly found in jazz dance), supported leaps (this is one where a dancer uses a partner to help her get off the ground or to catch her at the end of a leap) and a pas de chat (this is a small leap performed directly to the front of the stage). Beverly

My Triplet Ballerinas…Christmas Poses

My triplet ballerinas are my grand-daughters, Makenna, Jaeli and Maysie. In 2008, when the triplets were around 5 months old, we had lots of fun posing them in different Christmas outfits for their first Christmas. Those poor babies probably wondered what was going on, but they were good babies and cooperated for us. It was a new and wondrous time for all of us but is now a distant memory. Where has the time gone?

Many Christmases later, there are no more giant stockings, no more matching outfits and the only posing done is if the girls decide they want to (which they never do!). But every Christmas is a time for us to marvel at the miracles that were brought into our lives so many years ago. Beverly

Ballerinas: Rises and Relevés

Photo by Jansel Ferma on

Rises and relevés (“raise up”) show a ballerina’s balance and strength. Relevé is a classic ballet move and it is a movement in which the dancer rises on the tips of the toes. It begins with a demi-plie’ so the ballerina can push up from the floor and then rises up into demi-pointe (on the balls of her feet) or en pointe (on the toes), either on one foot or both feet. For a rise, the ballerina will stretch her knees and push up from the floor with straight legs. She lifts her heels but keeps her toes on the floor. For a relevé, the ballerina will pull her legs and toes toward each other with a spring to reach position. Her toes will move to come underneath her.

Rises and relevés are part of basic ballet and are very important when the ballerina does many dancing tricks and turns. They are pretty simple if done in the right way. Beverly

A Ballerina Book: “B is for Ballet”

American Ballet Theatre presents this book, “B is for Ballet” by John Robert Allman and illustrations by Rachael Dean. It was published in 2020 by Doubleday, an imprint of Random House.

This is a hardcover book with a “Dance Alphabet”: “A is for the arabesque….”, “B is for the ballet barre, where dancers learn to balance….” and so on through the alphabet. Most of the illustrations also have a caption in small print somewhere on the page of who the illustration of the ballet dancer and sometimes their dance is based on. This is a beautiful book of illustrations and text all about ballet. I even learned new ballet words that I hadn’t heard before. In the back of the book is lists of ballet terminology, ballets, choreographers and dancers that were included in the book. Beverly  

My Triplet Ballerinas: All About My Triplets, Part 3

Guest blogger: Megan J. My triplet ballerinas are my daughters, Makenna Anne, Jaeli Jo and Maysie Jailyn

Makenna Anne (Baby A, nickname ATTITUDE). Makenna is a big-time prankster (fake snakes are her favorite but she has also put rubber ducks and tiny spiders around her school) – as her middle school teachers well know and now expect from her! I am shocked she has never received Friday school. I told her if she did, I would just sit back and laugh and say “I told you so”.

Jaeli Jo (Baby B, nickname SASSY). Jaeli has given me the “freakiest” scare to date. It was a few years ago when we were camping with some friends and family. We decided to take the dog with us this time… which we no longer do because of the incident that took place. As we were unloading wood, Jaeli was holding onto the dog by his leash and somehow tripped over it, falling hands first to the ground. You would think she would have been crying hysterically with a fall like this… but no tears. Everyone who saw it happen was in shock because we instantly saw her arm in the shape of an S! I rushed her to the emergency room, knowing her arm was for sure broke. She was a trooper… until they gave her the pain medicine shot in her butt! Tears came rolling down. Sadly, she could not join us for the rest of the camping trip as she had to have surgery to put her arm back together, but she loved the time she got to spend with her Grandma.

Maysie Jailyn (Baby C, nickname DRAMA). Maysie may be dramatic, but the love she has for me is undeniable. She has to tell me she loves me and say “good night” every single night. She can’t miss one night – or she can’t sleep. She gives the best hugs and loves me the most, at least she shows it the most, which warms my heart more than she will ever know!

Ballerinas: Preparation

Photo by Anna Shvets on

It takes many hours of preparation for a ballerina to get ready for a performance. The ballerina will try out lots of hairstyles, hair accessories and makeup. Each performance needs a different costume and a hairstyle that is neat and tidy. Some performances may require a headdress or tiara that will need to be fixed in place whenever the ballerina practices so that she gets used to wearing it. This also keeps it from dropping off her head during the performance when she is doing fast moves such as pirouettes. Even the ballerina’s makeup should be styled in a different way for each performance. Ballerinas wear makeup on stage so that the audience can see their faces clearly-a little bit of makeup on the eyes, lips and cheeks will make the ballerina’s face clear under the bright lights.

The ballerina should get a good night’s sleep the last few nights before a performance. When she arrives at the studio for practice, the ballerina should turn everything else off but dancing which will be good practice for managing emotions when she needs to perform onstage. This is also a good time to release any stress she is feeling about performing. The ballerina needs to always warm up her muscles before practice or a performance to prevent a strain or injury. Finally, some suggestions for food for a few of the ballerina’s meals: Dinner (day before performance) Chicken with potatoes and vegetables (Lots of protein that will help her regain strength). Breakfast (day of performance) Oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Beverly

A Ballerina Book: “Ballet Dancing”

“Ballet Dancing” by Kathryn Clay was published by Capstone Press in 2010. It is a Pebble Plus “Dance, Dance, Dance” book.

This is another book that is filled with photo images of ballet dancers instead of illustrations. “Ballet Dancing” is a cute, hardcover book that tells all about ballet: what to wear, the five positions of ballet, ballet moves and even a glossary at the back of the book that explains ballet terms. It is geared to early readers and children who are 4–8 years old. I loved seeing all the ballet words throughout the book. Beverly