The Heat is On…


Good day and happy Bank Holiday to you all! HOW is it that we find ourselves at yet another Bank Holiday Monday? So soon? If I were the Bank Holiday creator, I’d spread them out through the year – the first Monday at Easter is lovely, but now…does anyone else feel like it’s more of a pain than a treat? Spread them out, give us one in October/November when we’re struggling with the weather and need a helping hand to get us to Christmas (‘:

ANYWAY, my intention wasn’t to be negative. After all, how GLORIOUS has this weather been?! Particularly the last couple of days when it hasn’t been as hot. I don’t like the heat, I never have, particularly when training. And particularly when you’re doing a show – FLASHBACK to July 2014 and Bird College’s Summer Show, when I was in second year. Every day it was over 30 degrees and we had cast members fainting and being sick at the side of the stage. Teachers were coming round to our dressing rooms every half an hour with wet paper towels that had been in the freezer for us to put on the backs of our necks – every single person was looked after, the staff were incredible – but whilst I adore show time, that show week was one of the worst – all because of the heat!

img_0800‘Edward Scissor Hands’ Ballet from Bird College’s ‘Wonderlands’, Summer Show 2014
Photo (and partner!) credit: Oliver John Bylett

Last week we decided to officially start our summer and headed out to Carriage’s Beer Garden in Knaresborough. I’d never been, but was so happy to be introduced to it! The garden sits on a slight hill, on the way down to the station, but hidden from view from the road and covered in flowers and greenery. It was about 6:00pm, the sun wasn’t quite going down, but lower in the sky, and there was the most amazing vibe there – do you know what I mean if I say, it just had that ‘summer’ feeling? Chilled, happy, carefree? That was the vibe. I’m already looking forward to a summer of those evenings. 

Carriages

Having said all this – the RAIN on Saturday afternoon…?! :O I’ve never seen rain like it – and it happened JUST as we were driving back from Wetherby. It fell so fast that there was no where for it to drain away, so the puddles were DEEP, and unavoidable. Ed observed as we saw a bus heading towards the worst affected section, that the bigger vehicles would probably be okay – but our little smart car did struggle bless it :’) The carpet in front of the gaping living room window wasn’t TOO wet when we got in, it only took a few tea towels to soak it up -_-
Mental note (for both of us) to check the weather forecast when leaving the flat and the window is open. At least we don’t have a washing line… #adultprobs 

Of course, it’s miserable again today – typical. I’m cuddling myself up in the arm chair, reading Harry Potter with the window open (only a bit!) so I can hear the rain 🙂 Happy Bank Holiday!

Lynette x

Dance Krazy ’17…


Almost 2 weeks since Dance Krazy. I’m not quite sure how that happened. But seen as it was my first Dance Krazy in teacher mode, it HAD to get a specially dedicated blog post.
(I wish my camera was better quality – the pics I’ve included are from the back of the Grand Circle with my little Canon…but you get the idea!)

Behind the scenes of Dance Krazy 2017

Starting writing this though, I’m not sure where it’s going to go if I’m honest, I’m not sure what I’m going to say. Coz I don’t like being mushy – anyone who knows me knows I’m very blunt. I say it as it is – whether it’s something good or bad. But I DID get a little emotional on show day. I think it was probably a mix of relief and pride. Relief that all that hard work of running and cleaning and polishing and taking the pieces apart was worth it. And pride for my girls. For their outstanding work ethic and commitment to the routines. It was such a rewarding experience. And especially when you hear from the girls themselves how much they enjoyed working on/doing the piece. 

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‘Me and My Girls’ – Commercial Jazz

I’ve been very relaxed for the last week. I put a lot of pressure on myself for Dance Krazy. I know I did. And now I can breathe a HUGE sigh of a relief that everything turned out the way I imagined. 

The entire show was gorgeous. Viv did an amazing job (as always) and the girls and boys were all FAB. You could tell that they were all enjoying themselves up there on that stage.  And that’s the main thing, isn’t it? It was a longgg day, as it always is, and after the dress rehearsal I saw a LOT of sleepy faces. Especially after stuffing faces with tea. Although, this time, I heard no threats of being sick, so that’s a step up from Christmas Crackers! 

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‘Army Girls’ – Street Dance

I feel like there needs to be a massive shout out to the Studio 3 Red T-Shirt ladies – the backstage runners and organisation Queens in charge of the children backstage. The show simply wouldn’t happen without you. And, I’d like to take a selfish moment to shoutout to the original creator of the Red T-Shirt lady idea, the guru herself, my own Mama P. It wasn’t Dance Krazy until you saw Yvonne in Stage Manager mode, running round with her bits of paper, organising all of backstage AS WELL as being my quick changer. Forever grateful and proud of this wonderful woman. 

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‘The Mould’ – Lyrical Jazz

So I guess that’s where I went with the post. I got mushy. For which I apologise, I hate to get mushy. But if there was any time to do it – this would be it. I already knew I was happy being back home and doing a job I love. But when it’s so incredibly rewarding, and having had such a strong support network, both in the run up to the show and on the day (you know who you are ❤️) – it’s just confirmed what I already knew. I’ve said it to her before, but I’m so grateful to Viv for allowing/welcoming me back so warmly and letting me embark on my new dream. Forever thankful to the woman who’s been an inspiration since I was 4.

Signing off before I get any more cringey

Lynette x

Performance Peevs…


I love a theatre trip. Who doesn’t. Especially when you’re part of/trained in the industry. But do you know what (and I’m sure I’m not the only one here), but since training, I’ve found that I’m so overly critical of anything I see. It’s rare that I can sit and watch a piece of theatre without ripping it apart, finding fault in the performance. It’s usually only small things, and things I’m sure go unnoticed most of the time. But as a trained dancer, it’s easy to critique if you see someone fall out of a pirouette or if something goes wrong with the set.

Of course, on the flip side, being a performer too, I know it’s rare that a run of a show will go perfectly. We all have off days. And sometimes problems with set and props are unavoidable. My point is, when I was younger, I would leave the theatre in absolute awe. It’s very rare that that happens now. Which is a shame. 

curtains

And nothing can ruin your theatre experience more than annoying audience members. Especially those sat near you. If you go to the theatre, you’re going to watch a piece of art. You should be considerate of a) the other people around you sat watching, and b) (and arguably most importantly), the performers slogging their guts out on the stage. They’ve worked themselves into the ground since they could walk to get to this point, this is their job – show some respect? 

  • Rattling sweets – SHUSH. Eat before or after or in the interval. Are you in the park or on the beach? No. So it’s not the time for a picnic.
  • Phones – either seeing someone use it or hearing it go off. Put it on silent.
    Put it away.
  • Light up earrings (a festive one) – its lovely that you’re feeling the spirit of the season. But it’s not YOU that can see them, everyone else can. So, unless you’re sat on the back row, these constant flashing lights are at eye level of the people behind you and beside you. Kindly save the twinkles for another time.
  • Talking to your neighbour – you’re making a noise, being rude AND blocking my view of the stage. Shhhhhh.
  • Unnecessary clapping – a 10 second musical interlude as the set changes isn’t an invitation to start clapping along. Especially if you’re the only one doing it.
  • Heckling – 2 minutes into ‘The Full Monty’, someone on my row shouted out ‘GET YER KIT OFF’. Although, in this instance, the lady in question may have just been offended by the appalling attempt at the Yorkshire accent. Honestly, if you’re coming to the centre of Leeds, with a Yorkshire show – you have to have the accent absolutely nailed. So I take that one back, Madame, whoever you are. Well done. 

Please. If you’re reading this, don’t be one of these people. Coz (in the words of Liam Neeson). I will find you. And I will kill you.

Lynette x

The Wet Ballet Shoe…


I thought that by the time I was an adult, I would’ve stopped having the problem of a leaking water bottle. I thought I’d have more sense by now. Or more luck at least. But no.

What did I discover when I got to work last week? All 500mls of lovely, soft, Yorkshire water had escaped the bottle and made friends with the contents of my bag (and yes, that IS a slight dig at southern water. I don’t know how I drank it for five years – nothing ruins your morning cuppa more than a layer of limescale). Thankfully, there wasn’t a lot of things in my bag at the time. My NEW iPad had cleverly jumped into the side pocket out of harms way (thank heavens). But right at the bottom of the bag, the thing that soaked up most of the spillage – my ballet shoes. I could’ve wrung them out. Standing with them under the hand dryer for what seemed like hours got some of the thick off, but sliding your foot into a damp canvas shoe is not the nicest feeling in the world. I’m sure I’m not alone here, there must be a couple of you out there who’ve experienced the same feeling!

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‘My Oh My’ @ Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre, 2000(?)

It did take me back a few years though; to those times when my dance school performed at school fairs and town events. We danced on all types of surfaces: concrete, wood, grass, mud – I’m talking playing fields, school halls, market squares, down Knaresborough high street, and the list goes on. We had a lot of fun. But you always had to make sure you had your old pair of ballet shoes at the ready. No way could you perform in a field one day and turn up to ballet class the next with grass stains on your shoes. So we were always organised. And a good job too, those shoes got wrecked. They got soggy so many times and leaked through your tights until your toes went numb. Except that one time when we were performing in May and it hailed (thankyou, British summer) – hail doesn’t make the grass wet! And yes it was a bit chilly – but we’re from Yorkshire, we’re made of stern stuff. Having said all that, it was an experience. And I will never forget the time we danced in tutus in a hail storm on my school field.

At least in those days, soggy ballet shoes were left by the front door to dry on some newspaper. My recent issue resulted in trailing footprints all over the studio. Thankfully they’d dried enough to not be a health and safety issue (phew). But it was a fairly unpleasant experience – and I just couldn’t channel my inner ballerina or dingle dangle scarecrow because my feet were so uncomfortable. Which was very disappointing. I love having an excuse to be a fairy on a Saturday morning.

Lesson learned – always check your bottle top is screwed on properly.

Lynette x