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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

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