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May - Being a Ballet Mum

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#51 Julie3Girls

Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:19 PM

Wow, I think we are getting off easy with our dance studio.

Makeup - foundation, subtle eyeshadow (brown shades), red lipstick. Eyeliner and mascara for the older girls , not the really little ones. It's very low key, just to get rid of white faces on stage, and to allow you to see their eyes and smiles on stage with the stage lighting.

Hair - buns. And only buns. So many girls do multiple dance styles, they just keep to the bun for everyone so the girls can change between dances.

With the bun, I spray with water, rub some styling mouse into it, and then brush it into a pony tail. Then wrap it into a bun - if you need a flat ballet bow, DON'T twist the hair, just wrap it around, and use a lot of hair pins original.gif Bun net wrapped over it several times. Then hair spray, hair spray, and a bit more hair spray. Good idea to do that outside, makes the fumes less overpowering original.gif
Gel .. I do use a little bit of gel with the tiny wispy bits, but I do that after I've done the bun - just a bit of gel on my fingers, gel the bits of hair that are wispy, and a little bit of combing with a fine tooth comb - carefully so I don't pull hair out of the bun.

Rehearsal day on Nov 21st - I volunteer for rehearsal day, and love it. I get a sneak peak, great chance for photos. Then the concert the following Sunday.

Can't wait for this year. This is our 5th year, starting in 2006 with DD1 doing her first performance at age 4.  This year, I have DD1 in 4 dances, DD2 in 2 dances (one of them DD1 and DD2 are together), and DD3 is doing her first concert ... going to be soooo adorable, 8 little 4yr olds dancing to Swan Lake!

#52 darnie

Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:11 PM

Julie3Girls: Erin has never danced Swan Lake but she has seen a few variations of it and it remains her most favourite ballet!It has a special place in my heart, too.

Abstarni: Our principal is quite strict but she is also reasonably supportive if people approach her. Thank you for your comments on my story and good luck with your jellybean!

SportySpice: My background is in IT so I am probably going to suck at helping out backstage. Erin's involvement in ballet is really ramping up, though, so I feel that I need to get involved and support her.

Bluemist: How are things going?

The ballet performance (Nutcracker) is 19 & 20 November, with the full dress rehearsal on 18th. I am volunteering on 18th & 19th and DH & his sister (who is flying from interstate for the event wub.gif ) will be in the audience. On the 20th, I am going to be in the audience, with my sister and BIL (who are also flying from interstate for the event wub.gif ) and a lady from work who wanted to see the performance. I misread the note and it seems the hair style is "half-up, half-down" (Pollyanna) so I am happy about that. I can do that, and it is much easier than the Heidi-plaits-across-the-top-of-the-head-hairstyle. I need to try makeup this weekend. We have photos on Sunday, so I will try the makeup for Saturday's lesson and then maybe do it for Sunday.

#53 Divine MsM

Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:48 AM

Hey Darnie!  Steve's wife here.

Here are my funny little gripes about being a ballet mum:

1.  I LOST the make up I bought last year.  $200 worth of Nutrimetics.  It's somewhere at home.
2.  DD's mass of hair.  VERY thick and I've had to get it layered to make it manageable.  however talking to the kindy mum's at school it seems the screams and tears whenever brushing hair is involved is quite common.
3.  The number of ballet slippers she goes through!  The other day, I went to adjust the elastic and it disappeared up the seam.  This was an hour before the photos were to be done.  So I've now got 3 pairs of size 13's!
4.  This year, the girls need to have Revlon No 14 Coral lipstick.  I can't wear that shade!  LOL  (I'd already bought 2 other red lipsticks before finding out it had to be a specific one)

BUT I must admit, I cried last year when I saw her perform for the first time.  I dragged most of the in-laws along and they were so proud of her - even when she made a boo boo on stage which was very cute.  All the gripes make it SO worth it and afterwards she's still on a happy high.

After I read your article, I was nodding very sagely while at the same time nodding as your article made me feel very human.

Next year, as I will hopefully have the time, I'm planning on volunteering with the costumes.  I'm not confident in doing the construction work, but I don't mind the detail work such as sewing sequins and beads.

#54 darnie

Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:05 PM


It took me a second to click who you were! laughing2.gif

I don't think it matters if they make mistakes. At that age, everyone is so proud of them for being able to get up on stage and also, anything they do is going to be considered cute!

Have you tried that strawberry detangler spray? That used to work quite well on Erin's hair. I don't use it any more. Water seems to work fine for her hair now.

You are a better person than me - I will never feel up to volunteering with costumes! LOL! I just don't feel confident enough about my sewing.

I have to confess that I also shed tears when Eirn goes on stage. Actually, I shed them even before she gets on stage, when other people's kids are up there! laughing2.gif I love the fact that they all enjoy it so much. It is great to see them having so much fun.

Good luck with the performance this year!

PS I noticed your sig, too. Congratulations! I hadn't heard your news...

#55 Divine MsM

Posted 19 November 2010 - 08:08 AM

Hey Darnie, you're not going to believe what happened last night.  So the kids got out of rehearsals late - no surprise.  DH gets home with DD and while she's tucking into a late dinner of maccas, he's giving her a foot rub with peppermint foot lotion.

I want her to be a ballerina, not a princess!  LOL

#56 Bluemist

Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:45 PM

Hi everyone,

Been meaning to get back here ages ago but things have been busy.
Thanks so much ladies re the hair- all went well for the final performance (except another dancer had to go backwards and ran straight into the lap of my daughter- who looked at this girl like she was going to kill her- then I thought my daughter was going to cry but she didn't and recovered really well  original.gif Phew).
So I have survived..and hopefully will get the dvd maybe tomorrow!
hope so I want DD to see it...she did so well.

#57 bron23

Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:49 PM

Goodluck for tonight Darnie!

#58 darnie

Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:45 AM

Sorry for the delay in getting back to everyone. My mind has been a whirl.

We had the full dress rehearsal Thursday, with the performance Friday & Saturday (tonight, now). I volunteered for Friday night, which meant I also had to be there on Thursday for the rehearsal. It really was much less stressful than I expected. I might even go back next year. Although, I really shouldn't have let the young ballerinas in my care convince me to try the splits and all sorts of other limber and stretch stuff. It kept them entertained while I tried it, then for half an hour later while they told each other that I couldn't do it, but I don't think my back will ever be the same! roll2.gif

Divine MsM: wub.gif How cute. I hate having my feet touched (only got my first pedicure this year, and that was under peer pressure laughing2.gif ) but after the last couple of days, I reckon I could go a foot rub! laughing2.gif

Bluemist: So great to hear that it all went well. I have been wondering how everything went, and whether you sorted out the hair.

bron23: Thank you! I am so pleased that I volunteered. I actually feel good about it. And when I sent those little girls on stage, I teared up. I had spent so much time with them, that it was like sending my own on stage! Erin seemed happy with her dance. I really cannot wait to watch her tonight (Saturday). I saw little bits of it on the TV screen, but they all looked miles away and they were all blue. I couldn't pick out who was who.

OK. Must see if the warm milk I just had is going to help my mind settle and get me to sleep! yyawn.gif

Edited for typos

Edited by darnie, 20 November 2010 - 12:49 AM.

#59 Bluemist

Posted 20 November 2010 - 04:47 PM

Darnie doing the splits now eh? LOL...that made me laugh! As I could just imagine it. I'm feeling so much better now I have been through one concert. We have a studio display on the 4th.

So Darnie- how did it go yesterday and tonight as well eh? Will look forward to reading about that.

Thanks for being here really helps having people that have gone through all this before. original.gif

#60 darnie

Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:11 PM

Right now, I am the world's proudest Mummy. OMGosh! The performance was amazing. I would say that the first hour (jazz/tap/performance group/song and dance) was the best first hour ever in our 3 performances with this dance school. Just awesome. The Nutcracker was beautiful. Just beautiful. I saw my little girl at the front of the stage, and I teared up. And having now been back stage, I'd say that I appreciated it even more, being in the audience. Partly because I could finally see how it all came together, but also because I knew exactly what was going on back stage. Oh wow. Still on a high. And my beautiful little girl's face when I met her at the stage door with her roses was just wonderful. Wow. She had four people in the audience tonight, and we all met her. She thought she was it on a stick!

doing the splits now eh? LOL...that made me laugh! As I could just imagine it.

Believe me, you do not want to imagine anything that ugly! roll2.gif I only did it to keep the kids happy and show them that I was a cool mum! laughing2.gif I thought if they had fun with me, they might actually listen to me, but I think I was kidding myself! laughing2.gif

Bluemist: You are very welcome. If I'd had someone to chat to for Erin's first ballet performance, it would have saved a lot of stress. It sounds as though you have done a wonderful job. Next year, you will be one of the more experienced mums, laughing off the whole thing. That's what happened to me!

I must head to bed. Goodnight!

#61 Divine MsM

Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:58 AM

I know what you mean - I was SO proud of DD when she came on stage and I couldn't take my eyes off her.

I heard from one of the other volunteer mum's that DD behaved herself and not once did she get up to mischief.  Can't help but be doubly proud to hear she was so well behaved.

Now I just need to talk to her about talking during the performance - she was issuing stage directions the little rat and making sure her class mates were doing the right thing.  Rat bag!


PS  I'm SO over sewing ribbons on shoes and protests over wearing eyeliner and mascara!

#62 darnie

Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:09 PM

I was in the room with the pre-primary and primary children and whilst I didn't pick which one was yours (because I was too busy focussing on the 15 primary children that I was partially responsible for), I did note that the pre-primary children were very calm. Certainly no one in that group stood out as being particularly difficult.

Oh, but that was on Friday night, not Saturday night.

#63 MightyMummy

Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:01 PM

I guess I will have a different perspective if I'm ever a ballet mum (DD is only a newborn still). I did ballet from ages 3-17. The hair was not a big deal. I had no fringe and long hair but plenty of girls in my class had very short hair or fringes, nothing that a lot of hair gel won't fix!

The thing I fear is the parental competition about the costume sewing (I was lucky I had a retired seamstress in the family) and the fact that some parents just love to push ideas that suit THEIR daughter but no one else's (Mrs S, your tall chubby redhead was the ONLY one who wanted green fairy dresses with orange flowers on them and they didn't even suit HER let alone anyone else just FYI!).

My advice though - unless she's actually good enough to make a career of it as a dancer or teacher (neither a path I would recommend but anyway)...don't go en pointe. It ruins your feet.

My experience and that of my family in the childhood ballet world was not nearly as fearful as the story makes out. And there were always a few ballet mums who knew the drill who did the hair and makeup for all the little tots on the night. Oh and the reason 3 year olds need makeup seems pretty obvious - stage lighting.

One thing I found did not ring true in the article - who calls ballet gear "uniforms" for goodness sake? Tights and leotards, ballet togs, ballet gear, ballet outfit....yes it is a "uniform" of a type but that's not an expression anyone in the ballet circles I knew or know ever uses.

#64 darnie

Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:21 PM

Hi MightyMummy. I agree re the parental competition, not just about costume sewing, but about lots of things!

I have to admit that en pointe is scary for me. We would prefer that Erin didn't do it, but we are waiting to see what happens down the track. And I have to say that the damage to feet/body is something that worries us and is a reason why we would not push Erin in the direction of professional dancing. But, if she chooses to do that, then we will support her. We will make sure that she is aware of all options available to her, but we will suport her in her dream.

I guess for me, I had never been exposed to dance previously, and many of my friends made it sound like an evil world. So the fear was mine, and I hope I pointed out that it wasn't necessarily justified, but it was how we felt in a world that was new and uncertain to us. I also very much suck at hair and makeup, so having to get that right was quite scary for me at first.

I take your point about "uniforms" but that is actually how our ballet school, at least, describes the gear that is worn during class. Each grade has their own "uniform" consisting of specific colour (and type of) leotards/skirts/tights/whatever and they are expected to wear that "uniform" to class. So yes, I agree that "ballet gear" or something similar may have sounded better but our ballet school does actually call it a uniform.

#65 SportySpice

Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:04 PM

Evening Ballet mummy's

I've been MIA due to work work work and some ballet performances as well!

My little DD had her concert last w'end and was in both performances doing different dances.  Our ballet school is 10 years old and they did a 'celebration' of dances from past concerts - like a highlights show!

Anyway - 2pm and 6pm.  We were at NIDA at 1130am for first "run through", backstage for ages, hair and make up all done and lots of sitting around.  As usual I teared up when i saw her on stage.  She was beautiful and has grown so much from her first performance at the age of 3, now being 6!

The first performance ran over schedule and before I knew it, she was being called on stage for her second run through for the 6pm performance!

All over and at interval I got her and she watched the 2nd half (again) with me, whilst trying so hard to stay awake!   When the final dance was being performed I asked her "do you want to go now?" No mummy, not until the very end!

So at 815pm I finally got her into the car, rugged up and within 3 mins she was sleeping!  Home into bed and woke her usual 615 for school, had brekky and promptly put herself back to bed at 715am.... where I left her for the day to have the day off school (shhhhhhh!) wink.gif

She loved the whole experience and cannot wait for next year as she wants to begin her exams...... so bring on 2011 and let's do the whole thing again! biggrin.gif

#66 TurtleTamer

Posted 15 December 2010 - 12:04 PM

My 3 and 4 year old boys start ballet in Feb, can't wait!  Their ballet school also calls it a uniform for the record.  Bought their clothes on Monday (white leotard with black bike short things over the top) and they are SOOOO cute!  Just got to get the shoes closer to their start day original.gif

#67 bron23

Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:18 PM

Our school also calls it a uniform. Different coloured/styles of leotards and skirts for different levels. Although they dont take kids until they are 4 so whilst her kindy friends can start term 1 because she is the youngest in the class she can't start until term 3. Would you start them in term 3 or leave it until the following year?

#68 darnie

Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:59 PM

SportySpice: Oh hoiw gorgeous! Sounds wonderful!

TurtleTamer: The little boys look quite cute in their uniforms, don't they? wub.gif

bron23: At our school, terms 3 & 4 are spent preparing for the ballet performance and the ballet performance is a really big thing. Because those terms are so performance focussed, I would be hesitant to have my child participating in lessons during those terms (particularly term 4) if I didn't want them to do the performance. So, in your situation, I would see what the students will be doing from term 3. If they are going to be preparing for the end of year performance, then I would be asking details of the performance (what is involved, how full on it is, what the rehearsals are like, etc) and then working out whether my DD could cope with it (emotionally more than anything. At that age, any dancing on stage will look cute regardless of skill and technique, but our performance is full on so I would be looking at whether they can emotionally cope). If none of that was of concern, then I would probably consider starting my DD in term 3, if only because her friends are there. I think a good start is to ask the ballet school what they think. Also, have you checked whether you need to go on a waiting list? Chances are you most likely will, especially for mid-year. At least that would be the case at our school. I hope this helps!

#69 R

Posted 16 December 2010 - 01:45 PM

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#70 anon60

Posted 23 December 2010 - 07:27 AM

I was a Ballet (and Jazz, Tap, National Character, Hip hop and Modern) mum for 13 years. DD danced from the age of 3 until the end of Yr 10. Never thought I'd miss the leotards, the yearly trek to buy new dancing shoes, hair pins, exam time, concert sewing and the concerts themselves. This is the 2nd Christmas since DD stopped (she completed Yr 12 this year) - it's long enough ago now, to start feeling nostalgic about it. It was a large chapter in DD's life.

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