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A Ballerina Book: “Tallulah’s Tap Shoes”

“Tallulah’s Tap Shoes” is a children’s picture book written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. It was published in 2015 by Clarion Books.

Tallulah and her brother, Beckett, were on their way to dance camp. Tallulah was looking forward to her ballet classes (“I’m a ballet girl”) but not so much the tap classes. She would be a beginner in tap class and was afraid she would be the worst one. In the end, Tallulah learned she didn’t have to be the best at every dance and even made a new friend who was as good a tap dancer as Tallulah was a ballet dancer. I loved seeing familiar ballet words in this book and learning new tap words. Beverly

Ballerinas: Clothes and Shoes

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

The first step in becoming a ballerina is the right clothes and shoes. The ballerina will need a leotard (a simple short sleeve leotard or a tank leotard) and ballet tights and skirt (tutu). She will also need ballet shoes. These can be made of leather or satin and should be a good fit to show pointed feet. They must be clean and have elastic sewn on to keep them in place with the strings at the front tied neatly in a bow and tucked out of sight. For beginners, leather sole ballet slippers are great. When ready to go on pointe, proper pointe shoes are in need. Whichever shoe the ballerina has, a shoe bag will help keep them neat and clean.

For warmup, wool legwarmers and a crossover cardigan are good. These should be taken off though when muscles are warm. It is helpful to pack all this up in a dance bag. Some other things you might want in your bag are a towel, water bottle and a small, healthy snack. Beverly

A Ballerina Book: “ELLA, of course!”

“ELLA, of course!” is a children’s picture book written by Sarah Weeks and illustrated by Doug Cushman. It was published in 2007 by Harcourt Books. It was a Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee 2010-2011.

Ella is, of course, a problem solver. When she is not allowed to bring her umbrella to the ballet recital, she comes up with an ingenious way to make her beloved umbrella part of the recital. I loved the humor in this book and the colorful illustrations. Beverly

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!