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My Triplet Ballerinas: Three Little Miracles, Part 1

Guest Blogger: Megan J. My triplet ballerinas are my daughters, Makenna Anne, Jaeli Jo and Maysie Jailyn. My triplet daughters, these three little miracles, each have their own unique personality.

Makenna Anne is the first born. From the moment Makenna took her first breath, she has made her presence known. With the loudest cry and weighing the most of the three, Makenna had our attention from minute one. She knows what she wants and doesn’t give up until she gets it. She can be very independent, liking to do things on her own, but she also sometimes gets into a great deal of trouble when doing so!

Jaeli Jo was born second. Jaeli has always melted the hearts of those around her. She has been by far the easiest of the three, but we occasionally get a glimpse of a temper. She can be easily reasoned with though and is always looking for ways to make you smile. She is very silly when trying to make you laugh and cries with you when you are sad. She enjoys her alone time, but she loves to be with her friends and her sisters too.

Maysie Jailyn was the last to be born and the smallest. Maysie has continuously showed us what love is all about. We felt the most heartache with her in the NICU with her bad diaper rash and low sugar. She always keeps us on our toes. The drama this girl has just shows how passionate she is. Attention is what she craves and probably always will. She loves and needs her one-on-one times and makes it very well known!

Look for Part 2 of Megan J.’s blog, “Three Little Miracles”, next month.

Ballerinas: Pas De Chat

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Pas de chat  (pah duh shah) is French for “cat’s step” and is a classical ballet term meaning “Step of a Cat” since the step resembles a cat-like jump. Pas de chat is a leap from one foot to the other before the feet are drawn up and the knees are bent at the level of the opposite knee to form a diamond with the legs. To finish a pas de chat, the ballerina should land lightly like a cat, one leg after the other.

Pas de chat is a very quick step that usually happens on one count of music. It is a quite difficult move because the legs lift quickly one after the other. The first known use of pas de chat was in 1914. Beverly

A Ballerina Book: “I Want To Be A Ballerina”

“I Want to Be a Ballerina” is written by Anna Membrino and illustrated by Smiljana Coh. This is a picture book about Mia who wants to be a ballerina just like her big sister. In this book, Mia’s sister teaches her there is more to being a ballerina than just putting on the right clothes.

This is a cute, simple story about a little girl that just wants to be a ballerina. It tells a story of working hard to get what you want. “I Want to Be a Ballerina” is told in 1st Person from Mia’s point of view. The illustrations are so beautiful and intricate. I loved it. Beverly

My Triplet Ballerinas: Summer One-on-One Times

My triplet ballerinas are my triplet grand-daughters, Makenna, Jaeli and Maysie. When the triplets were younger, they still wanted a little alone time with Grandma during the summer months.

The summer the triplets turned 8, I started organizing individual one-on-one times with each of them. The chosen triplet would have overnight time once during the summer. But, they always wanted more time with me, so I would add visits here and there during the summer days for some mini one-on-one times that never seemed to be enough.

The summer the triplets turned 9, we finally found a system that we were all happy with and worked for a few years. Each triplet had a day with me of doing something special they liked with an overnight before or after. Sadly, due to the pandemic this year and them growing up and more interested in their electronics, summer one-on-one time has probably come to an end. But, I will always treasure the memories of the times I had a little alone time with each of them getting to know the special young ladies they are. Beverly      

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Ballerinas: Pliés

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Plié (plee-ay) is a movement in ballet in which the knees are bent outward while the back is held straight. There are two versions of a plié: demi-plié and grand plié. Demi-plié is a small or half bend of the knees with the heels securely on the ground. Grand plié is a full or large bend of the knees. The knees should be bent until the thighs are horizontal to the floor.

Pliés act as a springboard for all jumps. They also build strength and turnout in the legs and hip joints while absorbing shock. Correct use and development of a plié is a basic but essential movement to a dancer’s technique. Pliés are the foundation of every turn, jump and landing in ballet. Beverly

My Triplet Ballerinas: Triplet Friends

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

One of the biggest struggles my triplet girls faced in their early school years was making friends outside of their “sister group”. During these first couple years of school, it seemed very difficult for them to make new friends within their individual classes. So, when Jaeli connected with a group of friends in her class, we were thrilled and so excited for her. She developed a unique friendship with one of the girls in her group that was undeniably precious. They were very close and she talked about her every day. They would give each other hugs when they saw each other outside of school and had the occasional play date.

Unfortunately, the decision to have the triplets repeat 1st grade was made due to them struggling academically. This was one of the toughest decisions we had to make as parents of multiples. In the years since, we knew it was the right decision based on their academic improvement. However, making new friends is still a big challenge for Jaeli. She has yet to find that one friend she feels as close to as she did back then. Thankfully, the other two can make friends just fine. The hardest part is that Jaeli was the most social of the three her first year of 1st Grade and had a great group of friends. She considered a couple of them her best friends. But, of course, the friends moved on to 2nd Grade and Jaeli had to start all over.  

It helps though that for the last few years, Jaeli has had her sister, Maysie, in the same classroom as her. I think it gives Jaeli a lot of confidence having Maysie guide her in making friends and I don’t think it holds Maysie back from continuing to make friends. But, in the long run, they will always have each other as a “friend”. We will see what this new year of middle school brings with making friends for all of them.

A Ballerina Book: “Ballet Star”

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“Ballet Star” is written by Nicola Baxter and illustrated by Gill Cooper. This is a picture book about a little girl with a big dream. Star’s granny took her to the ballet one day. She found it to be so magical that she wanted to learn how to do it too. Star took ballet lessons and discovered that ballet is hard work. She also realized it would be a long time until she could dance well. Would she ever be a true ballet star?

This was another ballet book that sparked a few ideas when I was writing “The Triplet Ballerinas”. I loved all the colorful illustrations and all the ballet terms throughout. There was even a page describing Star’s ballerina look. I am sure it will also remain on my “keeper” shelf. Beverly

Ballerinas: Pirouette

woman dancing valley outdoor

One of the best known turns in ballet is called a “pirouette”. Pirouette is French for “to whirl about” and is one of the most difficult of all dance steps. To execute a pirouette, the ballerina must make a complete turn around herself while balancing on one leg. She may also turn in place or spin around fast while balanced on the points of her toes (“en pointe“). Typically, in a pirouette, the raised foot is touching the knee of the supporting leg. This turn can also be done with different arm and leg positions.

A pirouette can also be called “twirling”, which is what I called it in “The Triplet Ballerinas”. Twirling was Macie’s specialty (“Macie….twirled back and forth”). Macie was also known to twirl “fast” (always on one leg of course!). Beverly

My Triplet Ballerinas: A Triple Inspiration

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

A Ballerina Book: “Tallulah’s Solo”

“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.)