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HOW TO: Make Believe You're a Ballerina (When You Don't Know Any Ballet)
So I'm obsessed with ballet. Utterly obsessed. I watch the videos on youtube. I cry to "At the Ballet" from A Chorus Line. I even wrote a book about a ballerina that's coming out in 2015. I know all the pretty French words for the different leaps and lifts. I know how often pointe shoes need to be replaced (all the time) and how much they cost (a billion dollars, give or take) and what ballet companies are the very best.
What I don't know is how to dance. I have the balance and rhythmic sense of a toddler coming off a Tilt-a-Whirl. So...how can I add those special touches of ballet magic to my life?
It's not so hard.
Step One: Listen to This. A lot.
Listen to any version that has Kay Cole singing Maggie. Protip: It's on Spotify.
This will fill you with lovely ballet feelings. Anyone who sees you will notice the loveliness radiating from your pores that only ballet can bring.
Original Broadway Actresses Perform "At the Ballet" on Donahue 6
Step Two: Get a Tulle Skirt
Get a big fluffy one or a subtle A-line. Wear it. Twirl in it. If you live in New York like me, annoy everyone by taking up an extra seat on the subway.
However, one time I was getting off the subway in my tulle skirt and a little girl came on wearing a tiara and a tutu. She looked at me like she was Cinderella and I was her fairy godmother.
If that's not worth taking up an extra seat, I don't know what is.
Step Three: See As Many Shows as Possible
There's ballet everywhere. If you live in a big city, you have options at every price range, from big companies to amateur groups. Outside of cities, your options might be a bit more limited...but they'll also be more budget-friendly. Check out youth ballet companies, which almost all have public Nutcracker performances around the holidays at the very least. Is it the best show? No, but it's worth it for the Snow Queen.
A Student Demonstrates a Snow Queen Solo
Step Four: Watch a Ballet Documentary
There's a ton just on Netflix. My favorite is First Position, which has the #1 spot on my list of best Netflix documentaries. It's that good.
First Position Trailer
Step Five: Get Some Ballet Merchandise
You're not saying you're a ballerina. You're just carrying a water bottle. If people want to jump to conclusions, that's their fault, right?
Step Six: Or Get Some Ballet-Themed Jewelry
This one's a little less deceptive. You're just dripping in ballerinas. No big deal.
(The Pandora charm is totally on my holiday wishlist.)
Step Seven: Eat A Lot.
Ballerinas not eating is a myth. They have to get a ton of calories for all that exercise! Follow their example. Eat all the food. (Hey, any excuse, right?)
Step Eight: Try A Ballet-Inspired Workout
They eat all that because they exercise, you know? So give that part a shot too. Youtube is full of tutorials on ballet-inspired workouts for any skill level. I love that they don't require any equipment. Just you and a couple feet of space for jumping around. (Or just you and the music and the mirror, as Cassie would say.)