Tag Archives: dogs and/or cats

Mini-Review: Dance Paws and Capezio Ultra Soft Tights

I’m gonna do a 2-in-1, because if I wait to write these mini-reviews separately it probably won’t get done…

Anyways.

Dance Paws, in the package

Dance Paws, in the package

First up, Dance Paws. These are my first pair of Modern dance “shoes”, or as it says in the package “protection for the bare foot”. While I made it through a year of beginner modern without anything like this, I did notice toward the end of my second session that there was just no way for me to turn more than a half turn in my bare feet since my feet stick to the floor. I tend to have very ‘gummy’ skin, and even if I build up a callus it almost immediately peels off before it gets thick enough. (And I’ve seen, backstage, the aftermath of someone’s callus cracking  *insert horrified face*). As I tend to be resistant of buying new stuff unless I absoutely need it (‘need’ being subjective, since obviously I’m not going to be eating them or living in them…), I made it through the modern classes just doing half turns and dealing with it. But for our performances there was going to be quite a bit of barefoot turning, and the least fun place for a meniscus tear would be on stage in the theater in front of everybody, so off to the dance store I went. I filed it under the ‘cheaper than knee surgery’ category…

That said, these are not cheap! Although they utilize much less material than ballet slippers, they cost over twice as much. Craziness! Especially because they look really simple, like the kind of thing anyone with a sewing machine can whip up in a half-hour, tops. Just a little bit of meshy material, elastic, and a suede (or imitation suede) sole.

Top view, bottom view

Top view, bottom view

Did they work? Yes, much better than I expected. I tried them on in the dance store, but it’s not the same. I tried balancing up on releve a few times, but you can’t really dance around at the store. And since it was cold in our rehearsal room, too cold for me to go barefoot, I didn’t get to  actually start dancing in these until our last dress rehersal already at the theater (which was surprisingly warmer than the studio). And once we started, I didn’t notice them at all. Since I find split-sole ballet slippers to be uncomfortable, I’d been worried that these would feel the same way, but they don’t, they’re much more comfortable. The sole doesn’t get in my way for balancing at all, my turns went well, everything was fine. So yes I would recommend these, though I don’t know how the other brands of modern shoes out on the market compare. (Since trying them on entails sticking your bare toes through the little toe holes, i don’t know if these are a case of you-try-it-you-buy-it. Seems pretty unsanitary otherwise…)

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Capezio Ultra Soft tights

Capezio Ultra Soft tights

Next up, Capezio Ultra Soft tights. These were a recommendation from one of you readers about a year ago, when I asked about tights that were more durable and didn’t run after one wear (like those awful Theatrical brand tights…). Of the ones recommended, these were the only ones I found at the local dance store so I picked them up back then, but I’d been waiting until I needed a new pair (like a performance) to finally wear them.

In short, I love them! Right out of the package they felt much thicker than pretty much every other brand of tights I’ve tried (that would include Bloch, Theatricals, Body Wrappers, Natalie Dancewear). They fit pretty snug, and I got the size L/XL, so that’s one potential downside (not for me personally – a snug fit makes me feel like a superhero!). While being snug as far as the circumference of the legs (and I’ve posted my leg measurements before in my knee pad post – my legs are not on the larger side at all compared to regular people, apparantly huge in dancer terms), there is plenty of room as far as length, so perhaps sizing is based more on length? I was just glad I followed the height-weight chart in the back and didn’t try to squeeze into the S/M. I got the footed tights, but it’s possible the different styles have  different fit, so if i ever try out one of the other styles I’ll have to remember to update this.

As for the color, these are really pink. I know all pink tights start out life as the pinkest they’ll ever be, and gradually begin the process towards gray, but these did seem even more pink than my last new pair of pink tights (Theatricals). It’s a nice pink though, just a little startling at first.

Don’t believe me? Here’s some photographic evidence:

Clockwise from R: Capezio pink tights (new), Theatricals pink tights (new-ish, Theatrical and BodyWrappers Tights (very used)

Clockwise from R: Capezio pink tights (new), Theatricals pink tights (new-ish, Theatrical and BodyWrappers Tights (very used), feline friend

The Theatrical tights in the center are a pair that I had been saving since our performance last June and barely started wearing recently, so the color has not faded yet. I included the very used tights in the picture to show how grayish the pink tights get after lots of wears and washes. As youu can see, the pink of the Capezio tights is much more vibrant. If the color lasts through washes then these will be the perfect tights! However, I’m planning on putting them away for a  while and just wearing my older tights to class in the meantime in case I need new-looking tights for another performance.

And, just for fun, a ballet slipper comparison picture, featuring another feline friend.

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When they said “clean the floor with your shoes” for tendus they weren’t kidding…

There was just no way I could get those shoes clean without accidentally scraping pieces off them!

Ballet Tights! Mini- Review (Updated)

(Edited to add: I made this post to help other ballet students by reviewing some tights, not for a certain individual’s personal gratification.

Hey, weirdo: how about you stop stalking my blog and looking at my pictures of tights?! Seriously, stop being a freaking perv! There’s sites online for that. Don’t make me have to make my entire blog private just to keep your perverted self from looking at my tights pictures.

P.s. – dicussing tights – and only tights – is hardly considered “chatting about ballet”. Don’t contact me again. If you do, I will publish screenshots of every email you’ve sent me. That’s probably what you want – attention. )

 

Been feeling a little down – ok, more than a little – since my last evening class.  However, today a package arrived for me. My tights were here!

As I mentioned in my post from wednesday a week ago, my tights have been deteriorating.  As I looked around the dance studio in the mirror, I’d noticed that the shade of pink was not really pink anymore.  After KitTeaCat Does Ballet (linking feature still down for me) recommended Discount Dance Supply for discount tights, I decided to check them out. After perusing their selection of adult size tights I ended up ordering two pairs.

Previously I’d only purchased tights in person.  Don’t know if the dance store only carried Bloch tights in adult sizes, or if there is a cheaper alternative that I wasn’t shown, but both times I’ve picked up some tights  they were by Bloch.  Since I haven’t tried any other brands I went with two different brands so I could compare and contrast.

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The tights in their package. And Mudgey, reponsible for the first hole in my old tights.

The first pair was by Natalie Dancewear.  I bought their footed microfiber tights in Ballet Pink.  The second pair was  by Theatricals.  For this pair, also microfiber and footed, I opted to go with the color Prima Pink.  I don’t remember how much they cost but it was something around $4 each. The total with shipping – and I assume including sales tax, since they are based in California, which taxes online purchases by it’s residents – came out to $11.11.

For a moment I was a little worried that Prima Pink would be too, well, pink, instead of the supposedly “fleshy” color of Ballet Pink.  Nevermind that neither color is anywhere close to my skin tone.  It appears my worries were unfounded; the colors are very similar, as the pictures will show.

When I pulled the tights out of their respective packages, I was struck by how soft the material of the Theatrical tights is. It just feels so silky smooth, I just wanted to rub it against myself for a bit. The Natalie tights don’t have the same soft feeling, though both pair of tights are made of the same material (microfiber), with the same blend of 86% nylon, 14 % spandex.

I haven’t actually worn either pair of tights yet. Trying on clothes is only fun for me when I’m in a certain mood, however weird that sounds. The rest of the time it makes me lazy. Yeah, trying on the tights makes me lazier than writing  about it, go figure.   But I will be wearing them for class this coming week and I will update on how they are doing and more than just first impressions.

Due to my height/weight ratio it could go either way on the sizing but I went with the larger size.  If I were to put on more muscle on my legs I wouldn’t want to risk them not fitting.  Because I am planning on making them last as long as possible and all.

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The Natalie tights on the left, Theatricals on right. For contrast, in the middle are my discolored tights, formerly Ballet Pink.  Notice how Ballet Pink (left) and Prima Pink (right) are very similar.

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Close-up.  Now you can see why when compared to my classmates tights I was able to see how bad mine were.  Maybe throwing my tights in the wash with my black leotard was not the smartest idea…

When I wore my Bloch tights on wednesday I noticed that they were stretched out in some places but not others. It was really weird, not sure what caused it. They were a smaller size than the pink ones I later got (the discolored ones), so perhaps it happened when I forced myself into them.  At the time when I bought them I was between sizes, but I have since learned my lesson to go with the bigger size.

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Trying to show the stretched-out-ness of the black tights. As you can see, some part look more solid than others, which are more translucent.

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Another attempt to show the strange stretched-out-ness.  It’s just that I thought when things stretch out it would happen kind of evenly…

Updates! (9/29/14)

Wore the Theatrical tights. Was super glad that my in-between-sizes self ordered the next size up because these tights are snug!  They felt great though, the way I imagine a silk stocking would feel.  It was a really chilly morning but the tights did a good job of helping me conserve body heat.

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Trying to show how Prima Pink looks when it’s worn. Not too pink at all! 

(10/01/14 World Ballet Day!!!)

Wore the Natalie Dancewear tights.  Not as snug fitting as the Theatrical tights, though I’m still glad I went a size up.  Actually, I would say that on these tights the leg part doesn’t feel long enough almost, but the underwear part (don’t know what it’s called, I’m not a clothes person, sorry) is roomy.  Almost too roomy.

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Wearing the Natalie tights.  Weirdest photo angle EVER, no “photographer” (lol) today.

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And for color comparison’s sake, one of each tights on each leg.  Natalie Dancewear tights on the left leg (Ballet Pink), Theatrical tights  (Prima Pink) on the right leg.  Please excuse the non-balletish flip flops and another weird photo angle.

So, in conclusion, unless something extreme happens to change my mind, I prefer the Theatrical tights. Besides the silky feel of the material  (which I loved!) , I liked the way the tights felt snug, like they hugged my legs, without feeling like the leg portion was too short.  The Natalie dancewear tights felt like if I didn’t have my leotard to keep them up they would come down, both because I felt like the leg part didn’t go up enough, and the underwear part was a bit loose.

And that concludes my first mini-review .

June 2015

As I realized this page gets viewed quite a bit, I’m updating the info on the tights. (Maybe when I’m not feeling lazy I’ll put up some pictures)

The Theatrical tights began to run in the upper thigh are at some point early this year.  This is after being worn approximately once a week, always hand washed.

The Natalie tights have help up a little bit better. Unfortunately, they began to tear at the seams where the guset is sewn to the tights material.  It’s still just a tiny tear, but still makes me paranoid to wear them too often. Actually, lately I’ve been avoiding wearing them at all.

Lately I’ve been wearing my Body Wrappers tights. They are holding up well so far…

Long Weekend Updates

After waking up from a lovely ballet dream in which I literally flew, I realized that I haven’t updated this blog in an unprecendented-for-me long time. The dream was awesome, by the way. I was like twirling, twirling, twirling, and then I was like twiling while up high in the air or something. Perhaps I was part of a pas-de-deux and that was the part where my partner lifted me in the air and spun me around or something. It was so exhilirating though, if only I could feel that in “real” life! But I guess that’s why I dance, so I can get close to it.

We had houseguests over the long weekend, so that threw off my schedule a bit. I’m not too crazy about long holiday weekends. I would prefer if everyone had a shorter work week so that every weekend would be a long weekend. That would be great! Unfortunately, I’m not in charge of those kinds of things, so the 5 day work week remains the norm for now.

One of our guests brought over an adorable puppy. Unfortunately, said puppy was also very hyperactive, incontinent, and clumsy. I spent a good part of the weekend making sure the puppy wasn’t chewing through my shoes or books (he loved destroying paper), leaving puddles everywhere on my wooden floor, and otherwise disturbing the peace. He did manage to knock over and break one of my practice mirrors, which really sucked! Luckily,Boyfriend managed to glue it back together and it’s semi-functional – and we avoided the seven years of bad luck. On a side note, I never fully appreciated, or even realized, how well-behaved our own dogs are!

It was somewhat difficult finding time or space to practice ballet with guests over. I realize it may sound bad (antisocial, Boyfriend would say), but I’m really glad to have the place back to ourselves so I can get back to my regular routine. Last night I got to have my first home ballet practice since last tuesday (though I did have class on wednesday) and I was so happy, though I did feel a little off balance. When you’re trying to climb the learning curve it’s so easy to just slide back down!

I have class tomorrow – might even try again for two classes – so I need to get this balancing situation stabilized (did I just make an accidental pun?).

It has now been six weeks since I sprained my left ankle and I can finally say that I am back to my pre-fall fitness level. I’m routinely walking my regular morning route and the ankle had not given me any trouble. The weirdest thing happened though: my right ankle, which I injured in a car accident a few years ago (but have not reinjured) began feeling a little funny. Thing is, after it had stopped hurting months after the accident it had been pain free for almost two years. I found it coincidental that after I hurt the left foot the right foot would start to act up. I’m going to go with it’s something psychological, like a phantom limb pain. It’s not even really like full-blown pain, just like a feeling of my attention being focused on that part of the body (whereas usually I don’t focus on a part of my body unless it’s hurting).

Also, WordPress at random keeps erasing blogs from my list of blogs I follow. It’s really annoying and I wish I knew how to fix that glitch. Anyone else experience this or know how to fix it?

My Newest Friend

It’s now been 4 weeks (so it counts to me as a month, even though it might not technically be a month. We could pretend it’s, like, February or something.) since I took my unfortunate mid-summer slide  down the stairs and two weeks since I stopped experiencing any pain or discomfort while walking. A month seems like a nice, neat time frame to celebrate something, so I’ve been celebrating by… walking, which just so happens to be one of my favorite things to do.

I’ve been focused on working my way up to what was my usual pre-fall morning route – a 1.8 mile (3.6 miles round trip) series of tree-and-cactus-lined residential streets, winding up and down through the foothills of a small (3000 ft.) mountain. Not yet, but I’ve been getting closer every day this week. Perhaps even tomorrow. It’s been mostly the heat that’s made me decide to turn back, not my fatigue level. Not that we’ve been having a heat wave – if anything it’s cooled down a bit and today was downright nice. But I’ve been waking up a little bit later than usual, due to staying up too late enjoying my last week of summer vacation, and have not made it out for a walk as early as I would have liked.

I’ve also been doing some midday walking, which is not my favorite – it’s hot! there’s people! – but I wanted to be supportive of Boyfriend’s efforts to get some exercise and spend some quality time before I start school. It was his birthday this past weekend, and the consequent partying is a big factor that led to my desire to increase the exercise level. Class is coming up tomorrow, the start of the semester of ballet next week, and leotards, tights and mirrors are unforgiving.

Also, ever since I started going to class I’ve resumed practice at home. My first week returning to practice I just worked on the most basic moves there are: plies and tendus. I didn’t even go up on releve. This past week though, I’ve gone back to regular practice – without any jumping, although we did sautes and changements in class last wednesday and my ankle felt fine.

The familiar soreness is back – and I love it! I could almost swear that the time I was off, before I started doing floor barre, my muscles felt noticeable weaker and were almost visibly shrinking. Or it could be my imagination. I hope.
Anyway, along with the awesome all-over-body soreness seems to come the (also familar) not-too-pleasant foot soreness. Not pain, nothing related to any injuries, but just a soreness that is usually (temporarily) aliviated by a foot massage.

A couple days ago, I remembered something about a tennis ball. I wasn’t really sure what I was to do with it, so I set it on the floor and rested my foot on it, feeling it’s rough texture against my foot. Then, I applied pressure, almost curving my foot and sort of “rolled” it around for a few minutes.

Best Feeling Ever! Not only was it amazing during the time I was rolling it around, like a foot massage, but afterwards the soreness was completely gone, unlike a foot massage.
I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before!
Thank you Mr. Tennis Ball!
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Now, if only I can keep you safe from my dog…
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She’s not looking. RUN!!!
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People who don’t take care of their animals make me so mad!

This has nothing to do with ballet and is a bit of a rant, so if that’s not your thing I apologize for wasted time. But since this is my blog, I figured I can express my feelings here…

This morning, as I walked along the street on my morning walk, I found two dogs. Or rather they found me. They had an superficial resemblance to my dog, Pup, so I took an immediate liking to them. By the time my walk ended I already felt so attached to them. It was adorable (and how stereotypical) how the female one would walk right next to me while the male one would explore every yard we passed by. I found a piece of paper cup that someone had littered and gave them water from lawn sprinklers. They were very thirsty and already at 7:30 in the morning it was scorching hot. I felt so bad for these dogs! I was terrified that they would go on the street and get ran over. It would be nice if we had the option to keep them. We live in an apartment, though, and already as it is we have two dogs and a cat.
They followed me on my whole walk and I decided that I would take them to the animal shelter. I had my boyfriend call the shelter up, to see where we should bring them. They said that animal control would come to our house. I was pretty irritated to hear this, since we have no yard to speak of and these dogs were huge. Easily 80 pounds each. But the person on the phone said we couldn’t bring them by, only pick ups.
We stood there, next to the dogs (who by now had gotten tired and lay panting at our feet) trying to decide what to do. Bringing them to our apartment was out of the question, and so was leaving them on the street. I just didn’t think I would be able to live with myself if I knew I could do something about it and didn’t. So we came up with a good plan, but first, how to get the dogs in the car?
The dogs were friendly, so they thought going in and out of the car was a game. One would go in, the other would come out. Then someone from a nearby house came out and gave us some dog food, which we used to lure the dogs into the car, and we were on our way.
So this was the plan: since animal control said we couldn’t drop the dogs off, but they could pick them up at any address, we drove to the animal shelter and called them from the parking lot. They gave us a bit of a lecture (and we waited in the hot car with the dogs for almost an hour) but finally someone came out and they took the dogs in. Now we should probably make some “found dog” posters to put up around where we found them.
But seriously, I hate it when people are irresponsible with their animals! These dogs were wandering the street with no collar or leash. People should take steps to take better care of their dogs like check their fences for holes periodically or tie them up or put them inside. I wish I could say that this is an isolated incident, but unfortunately I always see dogs wandering in the street when I go for walks.
Another thing that irritates me is the hurdles they make one jump through in order to do the right thing. It’s ridiculous that if someone doesn’t live somewhere with a yard (or other containment area) in which to keep a stray dog, the animal control people don’t have a way of accomodating you, leaving you with no option but what? Leaving the dog on the street? It’s as ridiculous as how our apartment complex for the longest time didn’t have any recycling bins and now still doesn’t have one for green waste. Why should only people living in houses be given the satisfaction of doing the right thing at no additional inconvenience to them? Is it a punishment for being poor?