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Ballerinas: Hairstyles

A young ballerina will probably be required to wear her hair in a ballet hairstyle. This consists of either a ponytail twisted into a bun, pigtail braids pinned on top of the head (younger ballerinas) or even a headband around the head of ballerinas with short hair. All of these hairstyles help keep the hair out of a ballerina’s face and away from their neck, which is very important when performing their ballet moves. It also helps to show graceful head and neck movements.

A ballerina bun: Comb the hair into a neat ponytail high on the head. Twist the hair tightly around the elastic. Fix it in place with bobby pins. Use a little water to smooth down any messy hair. Then, add a ribbon, making sure it is fixed securely. Beverly

A Ballerina Book: “Glad, Glad Bear!”

“Glad, Glad Bear!” is a children’s picture book by Kimberly Gee. It was published in 2020 by Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

This is a cute book about a little boy bear who puts on a pink tutu with black leggings and becomes very excited to go to his first ballet class. He feels a little different and shy at first until the music starts. The author makes good use of the few words that are on most of the pages; some pages are even on a simple white page with just a few words (“Today is dance day.”) and then an illustration/text or just an illustration on the page before or after. I loved the illustrations; they are very colorful. Beverly

Ballerinas: En Pointe

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. Beverly

A Ballerina Book: Pinkalicious Tutu-rrific

Pinkalicious Tutu-rrific is an “I Can Read!” book (Level 1-beginning reading). It was published in 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers. It was written by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann with illustrations by Victoria Kann.

Pinkalicious is excited to start her beginner class of ballet in her, of course, pink tutu. She accidentally goes to the advanced class instead of the beginner class though. “I took a deep breath and twirled and whirled and spun around.” This was a cute book full of ballet. The illustrations were colorful (especially all the different colors of tutus) and the words would be easy to read for a beginner reader. I really liked it. Beverly

Ballerinas: Pirouette (A Triplet Ballerina Twirl)

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

A Ballerina Book: “Ballet”

“Let’s Dance Ballet” by Aaron Carr is an AV2 Media Enhanced book. It was published in 2014 in the United States.

First of all, I love the “triplet ballerinas” on the cover in their tutus of different colors so similar to the cover of my book, “The Triplet Ballerinas”. Instead of illustrations though, this book has photos of ballet dancers. There are captions to go along with the photos. Some simply tell us, “I love ballet dancing. I am going to dance today.” Others might tell us what they will be wearing. Some inform us of ballet facts (“Mirrors let ballet dancers see how they move.”) or ballet style (“Ballet dancers must wear a special outfit.”). This was a cute book that would be great for the beginning reader who loves ballet and ballerinas. Beverly

My Triplet Ballerinas: Cool Facts About My Triplets, Part 2

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

As toddlers, the triplets were a handful. They constantly took off their diapers and would play with their poo. I tried everything from taping their diapers with duct tape to making my own jumpers for them. I even dressed them in zippered jumpers backwards…but they just unzipped each other. We just dealt with it until they were fully potty trained. When they were about two years old, they conspired to keep their dad and I from getting into their room and stacked all three of their pack-n-plays in front of the door. Their dad had to bust down the door to get in – we still have a hole in the door due to this.

The triplets are not all really close at the same time. Jaeli and Maysie used to have a close bond and “stuck” together. Now Maysie is a loner, but still needs Jaeli at times, and Jaeli and Makenna are very tight. I am sure this will change again over time though.

Maysie is also very precise and neat, unlike her sisters! Her room is always picked up and she sticks to a schedule. If something gets in the way of her schedule, it is the end of the world! I love this about her though. Having triplets, I need at least one of them to have a little OCD to keep me sane!

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