Shoes!  Girls aren’t the only ones who like new dance shoes. Boys like clean, new ballet shoes, too.  Last week one of the guys on my class at NBS came in with a new pair of shoes.  He was really happy to have a clean, white pair and he couldn’t help but show them off to all of us other dudes waiting for class to start.  We all looked at our shoes and there was literally this huge sigh. All of us had shoes in different states of cleanliness and disrepair, from the super grungy to pale grey.  It got me wondering how should you keep your shoes clean.  My Mom always cleans my shoes, but I decided I need to start to learn a little about it, so I have been doing a little research and this is what I have found out.  p.s. I washed my shoes for the first time ever using the following instructions. (O.k., o.k.  Big pat on the back for me!)

I wear white canvas shoes.  I have found out that I am lucky because canvas shoes can be put into the washing machine.  Yahoo, less work for me.  You need to wash your canvas shoes on the delicate cycle (I didn’t even know there was a delicate cycle!) and use only a mild laundry soap.  I used Woolite, but you could use any baby detergent.  You need to take your shoes out of the washer before the spin cycle.  Never put your shoes in the dryer.  They could shrink which would be a disaster!   Imagine putting your shoes which you have only worn a few times, because white gets dirty fast, in the washing machine and having to tell your Mom that you can’t get your feet into them anymore, Yikes.  Unhappy Mom, unhappy kid.  When you remove your shoes from the washing machine, stretch them out and dry them on a towel.  When they are still damp, but not really wet, put them on your feet and walk around a bit so that they can form to your feet and put them back to dry completely.  If your shoes are super dirty, you could spray on a little stain remover like Shout and use a brush on them to try to remove the extra dirt.  Don’t brush too hard on them.  My shoes came out almost like new. I don’t wear leather shoes, but when I was researching how to clean canvas shoes I found out that leather shoes should never go into the washing machine!  They would be totally wrecked.  You have to clean leather shoes with mild dish soap and a toothbrush.  You have to be gentle when you brush them.  Then wipe off the dirt with a clean, damp cloth.  You can also use Windex sprayed onto a cloth to clean your shoes.  Once you are happy with the way they look, put on the damp shoes and wear them until they are dry. 

Choreography.  I am getting more interested in this word.  I watch my teachers working on choreographing dances and I am getting excited to see the movements coming together to tell a story.  Do you know what the word choreography means?  I looked it up.  It means dance writing, or designing sequences of movement.  It is really cool to be part of this process from start to finish and see the end result.  I was listening to the radio in the car the other day and one of the songs that came on was My Immortal by Evanescence.  It was so cool.  The music was really lyrical and I could imagine designing a ballet around it.  Do you ever listen to music and imagine designing a dance around the music?  What music do you like best for creating ballet dances, classical or more modern stuff?

In my ballet class with Ms. Randall at NBS, we sometimes create our own improvised dances.  I love it.  It is so much fun to just dance freely to the music.  I try to use my technique and just let go and feel the music, it’s great.

Oh, one more exciting bit of news.  I was asked again to take part in The National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker which will be taking place at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto from December 14 through to January 4th.  I will be playing a guard and a chef, just like last year.  These are two of my favourite roles.  While I am on stage playing the role of a guard, I get to watch the Sugar Plum Fairy dance a solo!  Then while I am playing a chef, I get to really act out the role.  It is so much fun.  This is one of my favourite ballets, the story is great, the sets and costumes are fantastic, and the music is the best ever.  I hope all of you get to watch it.  My friend Sarah, from BSD, auditioned for a role in the Battle Scene and she was chosen for a part.  I am so happy for her.  Maybe we will be in a show together.

Bye for now!

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