What’s In My Dance Bag #2 – Updated Dance Bag Tour!

Hey daydreamers! Random question: how early is to early to listen to Christmas music? Usually I strictly ban it until after Thanksgiving, but the Jonas Brothers just came out with a new Christmas song and okay, I admit I’ve listened to it about 15 times since it came out…

Anyway, I know I just did a “what’s in my dance bag” in like August, but my dance bag has changed a LOT since then. First of all, volleyball season ended, I got pointe shoes, new leotards, I’m now at the dance studio 24/7…and oh, yeah, I got a new bag. So yeah, I think that justifies a new tour! If you want to check out the first one, click here.

Let’s just dive headfirst into the post, since I can’t wait to get started!

First, we have the actual bag! I got it for my birthday, and it’s this really cute duffel bag from Rebok. I love the blush pink color! (Pretty much everything I got for my birthday is blush pink…) There’s a mesh pocket on the side, another side pocket with a zipper, and a front pocket with velcro. There’s one main strap that goes over your shoulder, and two smaller straps that velcro together to hold stuff on top of the bag – I use it to hold my pointe shoe bag in place!

In the mesh side pocket, I keep my ballet shoes! I normally just stuff them there after class. That way they can air out after getting all sweaty from dancing (ew). My ballet shoes are leather split-soles from SoDanca, but I’ve been thinking about switching to canvas ballet shoes so I can point my foot more easily.

And next, my pointe shoe bag! I keep my shoes in a blue mesh bag that I stick in the outside pocket. Like my ballet shoes, that gives them a chance to air out after getting sweaty, so they won’t break down as easily!

In my pointe bag, I have my toe pads, toe tape, and of course, pointe shoes! I wear Pillows For Pointe Gellows toe pads, and I love them because they’re reversible! I really like the gel side on my toes – for the first few releves, it’s actually comfortable because the gel feels really soothing. (After that, well…not so comfortable.) I also use Gaynor Minden Microfoam toe tape, which I don’t use super often since I haven’t gotten any blisters yet (thankfully!).

Then, of course, my pointe shoes! Like I said in my pointe fitting vlog, I wear Bloch European Balance, size 4, No X. Translation for non dancers: the number of “X” you have determines the width of your shoe – so if you had XXXX, you’d have really wide feet, and No X means your feet are so narrow that they’re not even wide enough to have one X. Like me. πŸ˜‚

Here are some gorgeous pictures of my feet. πŸ˜‚ These involved me tying them, standing on top of my desk, bending down and desperately grabbing the wall while I tried to balance on one foot in the left picture. You’re welcome. 😜

The side pocket contains a very dirty-looking Ziploc bag that contains a travel hairbrush and used to have bobby pins and hair ties in it, but I don’t know where those ended up…and also my red Theraband, which looks really cool in front of my desk lamp, lol!

Finally, let’s look INSIDE the bag!

First, I have another mesh bag containing all my shoes that aren’t actually ballet-related. I’ve had this in my closet since like fourth grade, and I just decided to use it to keep all my shoes together. It’s really cheap and flimsy, but it works!

Inside my purple mesh bag, (how many times have I said the word “mesh” in this post??) I have my jazz and contemporary shoes! When Payless had this huge closing sale I got these tan jazz shoes for only $4 or $5. I think I got the contemporary/lyrical shoes off of Amazon?

Some more slightly weird looking pictures of my feet that also involved standing on top of my desk! In the right one, you can see how the contemporary/lyrical shoes fit over your foot. I actually don’t use these very much; I’d rather go barefoot. The other day in contemporary class, I tried to wear them, and I actually got annoyed that they were slipping off my feet and took them off! I just keep them in my bag anyway.

Then I have my pink leg warmers I got from Target in my birthday shopping haul post that I love! I wear them all the time, especially in my early-morning weekend classes to help me warm up.

Then I also keep this warm grey sweatshirt in my backpack to wear in between rehearsals and on the way to class! It’s really cozy and now that the weather is FINALLY cooling down here in southeast Texas (πŸ˜‚), I wear it all the time.

I love how the filter made my dirty desk look like a clean white background, lol! I also keep these black Spandex shorts that I wore under my uniform during volleyball season in my bag, but now that volleyball is over, I always wear them over my leotard and tights during class! I also keep blackish-navy biker shorts in there too in case I don’t have my Spandex for some reason.

My level color is royal blue, so I have two leotards in that color! The first leotard has spaghetti straps, a lower neck, and V-cut back. The only problem is the straps are a little loose, but otherwise it’s really pretty and comfortable!

My other one is like the opposite of the first leotard: it has a very high neck, thick straps, and back that’s higher than the top. Both are really cute and comfy, though! I also have a black leotard, but when I was taking the pictures for this post I was actually wearing it since I had just gotten back from class. πŸ˜‚

And, of course, I have tights. I always wear convertible tights, because it’s so much easier to put on toe pads and go barefoot for contemporary class! Once again, I have another pair, but I was wearing them at the time…

I also have a random hairbrush and spray bottle that I use to do my hair for class and rehearsal on the go. There’s not actually thickening spray in the misting bottle – it’s actually just a totally random bottle that I’ve had since the beginning of time, and it’s full of water.

I also, quite randomly, have a pinkish-red fox Squishmallow in my dance bag! Isn’t it cute? For pre-pointe class, we would do releve exercises in parallel, and we’d have to keep a small stuffed animal in between our heels without dropping it. We’d also have to do bourres with them in between our thighs to keep your legs together! Now that I’m on pointe we don’t really use this that much, but I still keep it in my bag in case we do.

(Okay, but the picture on the right actually looks really pretty?) I also keep Spenco 2nd Skinβ„’ Squares in my bag. They’re like little jelly squares with blue backings on them. You stick the square on your blister and peel off the blue backing, and finally attach it with toe tape, and it completely covers up your blisters and keeps them from rubbing! Once again, I haven’t had to use these a lot because I haven’t gotten a blister yet (YAY).

Finally, I have a bag with all of my pointe sewing stuff in it! (Not sure why there’s an empty band-aid box?) The bag is actually the baggie my pointe shoes came in! Inside is scissors, some ribbon and elastic scraps, stretch ribbon that I don’t use but came with my Bloch stitch kit that has some thread and a seam ripper plus some ribbed elastic, a Bunheads stitch kit that has thread and needles, and some measuring tape.

And that’s it! Wow, that ended up being way longer than I expected, and I even left out some stuff. Applause if you made it to the end! πŸ˜‚

Also, don’t forget: There’s still time to ask questions for the Q&A next week! All you have to do is simply comment down below, and I’m going to be answering all of your questions this Saturday!

I hope you enjoyed looking at what’s in my dance bag, and happy Saturday! *waves*

How early is too early for Christmas music? Do you dance? What’s in your dance or sports bag? How do you organize everything? Any questions for the Q&A?

P.S. – If you share this post by reblogging, pinning on Pinterest, sharing on social media, or sending the link to a friend, you’ll get three FREE desktop wallpapers sent straight to your inbox! Just leave a comment telling me how you shared this post!


GETTING MY FIRST PAIR OF POINTE SHOES?! | First Ever Vlog

I’ll never forget the day I found out I was getting my first pair of pointe shoes. It had been a long, crazy, horrible day, and I was feeling so stressed and frazzled when I walked into the studio, I couldn’t remember where to put my bag. I was pretty suspicious, though – there was supposed to be a parent meeting that day. And that could only mean one thing!!

My mom and I walked into the studio to find my class huddled in a circle around my teacher. She handed us each a packet that read-

Dear Emmie*,

The image of dancing on pointe as effortless is a mere illusion. Much energy and skill is required to assimilate hundreds of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones to rise up and dance on pointe. Many dancers have impatiently waited for their first pair of pointe shoes only to be shocked at how difficult dancing on their toes can be. the results of such misunderstanding can lead to frustration, disappointment, and in some cases, injury.

As you begin your pointe study, please be aware that it is a privilege that is accompanied by significant responsibility.

1. Your attendance to each class is imperative.

2. You will be required to dance in the summer to maintain your sill and strength. If you don’t dance at least 4 weeks in the summer, you will not be able to return to pointe study at the beginning of the next fall term.

3. Don’t work at home in your pointe shoes on your own, as you may develop improper habits. Be patient and endure!

*Not what the letter actually said, obviously, it said my real name lol.

As soon as I saw the packet, I knew – it was real. It was actually happening. I was going to get my pointe shoes! And after 3 weeks of waiting, the day of my first pointe shoe fitting had finally come.

Hey guys! Today I’m doing something a little different – I decided to make a vlog about my first ever pointe shoe fitting! I filmed the entire day, from waking up, heading there, the actual fitting (sort of), and when I got back! I’m so excited about how this video turned out and I really hope you guys will like it!

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CREDITS – Intro: Taylor Layman https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpEI…

Intro Music: Wanderlust by Nomyn https://soundcloud.com/nomyn Creative Commons β€” Attribution 3.0 Unported β€” CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/wanderlust-nomyn Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/Q66WFX4eeVw

Background Music: Audio Library

I really hope you guys enjoyed! I’m so sorry this video is SUPER late, but that’s because this took so long to edit and upload, plus I’ve been busy with dance and school so I haven’t had time to actually type this post up.

Do you have pointe shoes? Opinion on microwave mac-and-cheese? Have you ever danced before? How far can you go on your splits? Who’s your favorite YouTuber?

P.S. – If you share this post by reblogging, pinning on Pinterest, sharing on social media, or sending the link to a friend, you’ll get three FREE desktop wallpapers sent straight to your inbox! Just leave a comment telling me how you shared this post!


The Pointe Book {Mini Book Review} + Pointe Shoes Expectations VS Reality Ft. Natalie @ Taking The Cake

Whew. That was quite the long title.

Hey daydreamers! Today I’m doing something a little bit different than usual: I have two posts that aren’t really long enough by themselves, but since the topics go PERFECTLY together, I decided to smoosh them into one giant pointe-shoe post!

In case you didn’t catch the CRAZY EXCITING announcement in my last post, I’m getting my pointe shoes in exactly 2 weeks from today! I’m so excited, so while I’m impatiently waiting for October 19, I’m trying to soak up as much pointe shoe information as I can. And what better way to do that than read The Pointe Book by Janice Barringer and Sarah Schlesigner and ask Natalie from Taking The Cake some questions about pointe?

So today I’m going to be doing a miniature book review, plus a super fun collab with Natalie where I share my pointe shoe expectations, and she gives me the reality! This post is going to be AWESOME, so let’s get started!

***Gifs via Google***

A complete examination of the pointe technique and pointe shoes is provided in this guide. Dancers tired of their pointe shoes wearing out too quickly benefit from a thorough explanation of the shoemaking process, and the book includes tips that show how to best fit, care for, and custom order toe shoes. Interviews with ballet stars reveal their highly evolved but proven methods of caring for pointe shoes, while the basics of the pointe technique, different methods, and its history are also discussed. With a handy reference on pointe-related injuries and their remedies, this new edition also offers the latest information on contemporary designs, materials, products, and suppliers. A sampling of pointe technique schools around the country offers an authoritative syllabus for teachers and students alike.

Synopsis & Cover from BarnesAndNoble.Com

Cons

  • The cover is really bland: it’s literally just a bunch of text in boring fonts slapped on a stock photo of pointe shoes. Not exactly my favorite design, but the back cover looks really nice! I think maybe they could’ve used more interesting fonts and aligned the text better, or maybe a different image where the shoes don’t look so yellow.
  • Some of the information was oudated, but that’s expected from a book that was published in 2012. Maybe they’ll make a fourth edition?
  • I didn’t think some of the sizing recommendations were super helpful for a beginner, since I had no idea if I had a high arch or tapered toes or a large instep since I didn’t have anything to compare to. (I did figure out I had high-ish arch and slightly tapered toes, though!)
  • I think the chapter that just listed dance flooring companies was pretty unnecessary. I think they could’ve done a list of the names and websites, maybe not writing out the entire flooring company’s catalog and history.
  • It was pretty wordy.
  • These are actually the only cons. This book was awesome!

Pros

  • This was so inspirational! The history of pointe chapter was mind-blowing, and as I read, I just wanted to dance forever!
  • I thought it was really cool learning about the different pointe shoe companies, how the shoes are made, and different ballet companies and academies.
  • The “Conversations on Pointe” chapter is one of my favorites. It was super cool seeing how famous ballerinas wear their pointe shoes!
  • I’m definitely going to keep this book in my dance bag for reference, especially for the Injuries sections. They had tons of different remedies for lots of different pointe-related injuries, from calluses to corns!
  • I think it was set up really nicely, starting with history and ending with questions on whether pointe shoes are relevant today.

Overall

This book was super helpful and taught me a lot about pointe shoes. It showed me what to expect and cleared up misconceptions. I recommend this book to anyone who’s just starting pointe or has been dancing for years!

πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸβ˜†

I rate this book 4.5/5 stars!

Next, I’m going to be sharing some of my expectations for pointe shoes, and Natalie is going to be debunking them and sharing her pointe shoe realities! Thank you so much for collaborating with me, Natalie! This was so fun! πŸ˜‰

Emmie’s Expectation: It’s going to take 9 million years to find my first pair of pointe shoes, but once I get them, I’ll never want to take them off!

Natalie’s Reality: Actually, I’m pretty sure it only took about a half hour of trying on shoes for me to find the right ones-I have very wide feet so that kind of narrowed the options down. I’m also still wearing the same kind of pointe shoes, Bloch European Balance. My dance teacher actually told me I wasn’t allowed to wear anything else because my feet are so wide.

Emmie’s Expectation: I’m going to get a TON of blisters.

Natalie’s Reality: I have never ever gotten a single blister, so fear not, young padawan. I have rubbed some skin off on my little toe, but that’s about it and it didn’t hurt.

Emmie’s Expectation: Sewing my pointe shoes will be pretty easy. 

Natalie’s Reality: Well, that depends. I learned to sew when I was really young, so sewing wasn’t hard for me, but I found sewing the ribbons the first time to be stressful since I had just gotten these beautiful shiny pink shoes and I didn’t want to ruin them. Also, sewing elastic is such a huge pain the first time. (at my school, were required to have elastic on our pointe shoes in addition to ribbons)

Emmie’s Expectation: The first time I stand en pointe will be totally magical! And painful. πŸ˜‚ 

Natalie’s Reality: Yes and no. Yes, it’s freaking amazing and it feels like being 8 feet tall and on top of the world. And no, it doesn’t hurt, it actually feels just fine, except for a little pressure on your toes. If the shoes hurt when you step up on them, then they probably aren’t the right shoes.

Emmie’s Expectation: I’m going to need a million layers of padding – tape, Ouch Pouches, lambs’ wool, Second Skin…

Natalie’s Reality: I wear toe pads and that’s it. It’s very important to be able to ‘feel the floor’ beneath the shoe,and with too much padding, that’s really hard. And like I said, I’ve never gotten a blister.

Emmie’s Expectation: My first class will pretty much be sewing and tying ribbons. 

Natalie’s Reality: My first pointe class we actually did get to dance a good bit. At my ballet school, level 4 and up wears ribbons on their flat shoes, so we all knew how to tie them. Our teacher just helped us burn the ends of our ribbons (so they don’t fray) and then we were up and dancing.

Emmie’s Expectation: It’ll be pretty easy to releve, but literally impossible to pirouette or even stand on one foot. 

Natalie’s Reality: Rolling up onto releve feels fine the first time, uncomfortable the fifth time, and ”OH MY GOSH I WANNA DIE” the tenth time. As for pirouettes…eheheh, still working on those. 

And that’s it for this pointe-shoe megapost! I had so much fun doing this collab with Natalie and reviewing The Pointe Book! Thanks for reading!

AND IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT THE NEXT TIME I POST I WILL BE TWELVE. WHAT.

Do you wear pointe shoes? What were some of your expectations that you had? Do you take ballet? Or dance? Have you read The Pointe Book?

P.S. – If you share this post by reblogging, pinning on Pinterest, sharing on social media, or sending the link to a friend, you’ll get three FREE desktop wallpapers sent straight to your inbox! Just leave a comment telling me how you shared this post!


Birthday Shopping Haul! (Ft. A CRAZY EXCITING Announcement!)

Hey daydreamers! Ahh, I can’t believe that I’m going to be 12 in 12 days! (Well, actually 11, because I’m posting this late but OH WELL.) That’s crazy! To celebrate, my Grandma took me on a shopping trip for my birthday, so today I’m going to be showing you what I got! Thanks, Grandma!

About that CRAZY EXCITING announcement mentioned in the title…well, you’re going to have to wait until the end of the post – BUT IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE BALLET RELATED. *is freaking out*

*BORING DISCLAIMER STUFF* I’m not trying to brag about what I got, no hate please, I’m just showing you, blah blah blah. Let’s get started!

First, my grandma took me to get my nails done, and I’m obsessed with this copper color! Thanks, Grandma! I mean, this obviously isn’t a shopping item, but…

First off, I got this cute sparkly notebook from Claire’s! It has the words “Pretty little thoughts” on the front, and comes with a little golden pen. I’m so excited to write in this once I finish my current diary!

Claire’s had this buy 3 get 3 free deal, so I got five different nail polishes! I got a dark pink, light blue, matte pastel purple, white, and a clear coat. I’m definitely excited to paint my nails more, and this was a big item on my wishlist!

Of course, I had to get some scrunchies from Justice! I’m addicted. I have way too many scrunchies, but I love these gold and mint teal ones! I’m super excited to wear these.

I also got these cute jeans from Justice! These are super comfortable skinny jeans, and they’re light wash – my favorite! I love the little embroidery and the faded look. These are so cute! I wore them today and GUYS THESE ARE SO COMFY! Plus they go great with my scrunchies.

Next, I got these adorable light pink leg warmers from Target that I love! They’re so comfy and cute. I’m super excited to wear these, especially when – oh wait, you’re going to have to wait until the end of the post. πŸ˜‰ MWAHAHA

Also from the More Than Magic line, I got this cucumber melon sheet mask! I looove sheet masks, and I’m really excited to try this one out.

I also got this sun kissed summer-scented body lotion! It feels really good on my hands. I’m not 100% a fan of how it smells, (but I do think the scent is growing on me!) but it’s really soothing to wear!

From Target, I also got this 5-pack of lip balm. I really needed these, since I’m running low on all of my lip balm and my lips are allllwaaays chapped. They all smell pretty good, and I love the different scents and flavors!

I also got this cute athletic grey tank top from Target. It’s super comfortable, and it’ll go perfectly with those jeans! As a dancer, it’s pretty important for me to be able to move in what I’m wearing, since I’m constantly stretching and practicing. Plus, the top is cute!

I also got these adorable purple/pink/blue marble leggings from Target! I love the gorgeous pattern on these leggings and all the cute little details, like the crisscrossing at the ankles and stitching on the sides. They also feel super comfortable and I can totally breathe and move around in them! I’m wearing them right now with a matching tank top that I have.

Okay, last but not least, we have the item I’m most excited about…a Quip toothbrush! I’m so excited to open this! Also, I love how the copper matches my nails PERFECTLY, lol.

When you open it up, you’ll find a code to order refill batteries and brush heads, the brush itself in a plastic tube, and a pamphlet thingy that has brushing tips, toothpaste that you can get, how to get started, why Quip, and more!

And here’s the brush! I literally brushed my teeth in the middle of this post because I wanted to try it out so badly, and IT IS AMAZING. It’s like the best of both worlds, regular and electric, all wrapped up in one (aesthetically pleasing, lol) toothbrush!

I hope you guys liked this post! Once again, huge thanks to my Grandma for taking me shopping, I had so much fun! I’ll probably do a separate birthday haul post with the things I’ll get for my actual birthday, and of course I’ll show you guys what I did!

Hmm, anything else? Nope? Alright then, thanks for reading, see you next Saturday! *waves*

Kidding…I’ve kept you in suspense long enough! (I mean, you probably figured it out, but…) IT’S TIME FOR THE SUPER IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT…I’m getting my pointe shoes!

*Squeals* If you skipped the post and scrolled down to the announcement, GO BACK AND READ THE POST. Okay? Done? Good! I’m going to my first fitting on October 19, and I’m so excited! I found out Wednesday, and I’ve spent the past few days hungrily devouring as much knowledge as I can: I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos, the making of pointe shoe films, read articles, and I’m even reading this book called The Pointe Book! It’s really good, and I’ll definitely do a review soon!

Are you as excited as I am that I’m finally getting pointe shoes? Which item is your favorite? Do you like the new More Than Magic brand from Target? Opinion on electric toothbrushes? Light or dark wash?

P.S. – If you share this post by reblogging, pinning on Pinterest, sharing on social media, or sending the link to a friend, you’ll get three FREE desktop wallpapers sent straight to your inbox! Just leave a comment telling me how you shared this post!