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

‘Krazy’ Rehearsals…


How do you know it’s show time? When you blink and three weeks have gone by with no blog post! Didn’t even realise… SO! Here we go. Because Studio 3’s annual show, ‘Dance Krazy’ at Harrogate Royal Hall, is NEXT WEEK! Despite the title, I’m not going to talk TOO much about my pieces in the show – I haven’t really given much away on social media – about what we’ve been doing OR how rehearsals have been. But, as always, I’m just putting thoughts out there that have been influenced by what’s going on in my life. So let’s just roll with it…

Before going away to train, I performed in 14 Dance Krazy’s, 1997-2011. This will be the first one for me in teacher mode. I reckon it’s going to be a very strange experience on the day, but I’m so looking forward to it.
I’ve spoken before (in particular on my work account on Snapchat) about how it’s hard to switch off with this job. You don’t just work the couple of hours that you’re in the studio, there’s sooooooo much time spent planning, reviewing, creating, choreographing, video making, music editing… I love it, but it ends up being very time consuming. I definitely didn’t give my teachers the credit they deserved – you just don’t realise how in-depth this job is until you do it yourself. And I’m only a teacher – I don’t own the business or own the school. How Ms Hall finds time to sleep, I’ll never know!

girls-blur‘Me and My Girls’ – Commercial Jazz Rehearsal

AND the main thing about all this: you can’t switch off. My brain doesn’t care if it’s Saturday night and I have a film on, or if I’m out at the pub. If I get inspiration (for a piece, class, whatever), I have to go with it. Coz you don’t know when you might get it again! Thankfully my nearest and dearest are very understanding and have learned to deal with me if I suddenly say ‘hold that thought, I’ve just figured out how the spacing will work in section 7 – bear with whilst I write it down!’.

Show time is worse. There’s technically less choreography to worry about (coz now they’re all finished, it’s just my adult classes I have to plan for). But there’s 10 times more stress. Especially when you’re working to a short time scale.

choreo

BUT. Whilst it’s stressful, it’s SO exciting. I love show time. Being on the other side of it is different. It’s not the first time, I choreographed school productions etc, but this is on a totally different level – maybe because it’s my job and I’m so invested in it. Give it 9 days, I might decide that actually, it’s JUST stressful – I’ll keep you posted 😉 

Rehearsals have always filled me with excitement, however hard they are. And the feeling when things start going right is simply immense. So here we go. Last week of rehearsals. There’s still lots of hard work that needs to be done – but I remain positive and optimistic, look forward to seeing all my girls this week, AND going along to have a sneaky peek at other rehearsals too.

All that’s left to say, is that I wish all involved lots of love and luck! And don’t forget to use your peripheral vision 😉

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

Merry Blogmas…


‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’. 

It really is. And even more so for me this year…this is the first time I’ve been around for the run up to Christmas since I was at school. Yes, I would come back for a couple of weeks whilst I was training. But I missed all the run up things. Studio 3’s Christmas Crackers, the Knaresborough lights switch on, Santa and Knaresborough Lions Club going round the estates visiting everyone with carols blasting from the sleigh. (As it happens, I managed to miss Santa, again, for the sixth year running – I was at work. Mental note to cancel classes on the first Monday in December next year in order to see him – sorry lyrical Jazz girls, priorities…) 😉

Knaresborough’s beautiful this year. As she is every year. Some of the decorations are gorgeous. Knaresborough House is magical! And so classy. I think we all know why there’s no decorations on the grass this year…but the new decoration plan works. Let’s stick with it from now on. And has everyone seen the window display at The Yorkshire Soap company?! That made me feel all warm and fuzzy when I saw that. 

soap

Welcoming Christmas with the Christmas lights switch on was magical. So many people, such high spirits. It was a cold night and even wearing fake fur didn’t keep out the cold. What DID help was the hot chocolate down at the Train Station after Studio 3’s final performance of the night on the platform. Mind you, I’m complaining… I feel for the piper who was there in his kilt…

And I have to do a quick shoutout to work – firstly to Danceology who started Christmas a month ago! And the girls I saw on the last Saturday of term – without you, I wouldn’t have had the excuse to pretend to be a Christmas tree or dance around being a reindeer. And secondly to Studio 3 who’ve been busy performing at festive events left right and centre for weeks! Christmas Crackers 2016 was such a lovely weekend, everyone happy and smiling, both the youngsters involved, and the parents. Most especially so when 6 of the mums did a flash mob and performed one of their daughter’s numbers on stage – step for step – the girls were mortified and the ladies were incredible – a job well done 😉

 I’m very much looking forward to this week. The last week in the run up to Christmas: last minute bits of shopping, the hustle and bustle of people in town, catching up with friends as we begin to find more free time, the quiet nights in with a cuppa and a Christmas film…or a loud night out at a party…  😉

And of course, re-connecting with family and friends. I know some of my friends are working away from home/overseas/on board ships. I hope you’re having the times of your lives, and sending love to anyone out there reading this who’s separated from their family. 

xmas-2And sending love to all of you reading this. The blog thing is still new for me…I’ve just kind of gone with the flow! Thankyou for reading and supporting both it and me. It means an awful lot.
I shall leave you with my guilty pleasure Christmas song. Just coz 🙂

Merry Christmas!
Lynette x

A Step Back in Time…


It’s funny isn’t it, how a certain sight, sound or smell can instantly transport you back to another time, to a specific memory. Sometimes a memory you didn’t even know existed. 

Over the past couple of years, seeing a programme or film on telly has suddenly taken me back to being a kid – it’s hard to explain the feeling you get, a bit of a warm fuzzy realisation….? Brambly Hedge, Percy the Park Keeper and Camberwick Green, are the main TV programmes I’ve happened across. Wow. Please tell me I’m not the only one to remember these? 

It’s the same with music, especially as a dancer. We hear SO much music over the years, especially if you started training as soon as you learned how to walk. Some songs are obvious ones – songs that you really loved rehearsing and performing to, or associate with a certain person or event. But some music you don’t even think about, it’s only when you hear it years later that it gives you goosebumps.

Last week, it happened massively. I was covering an evening at Studio 3 and had the chance to teach 3 classes of Riverdance. I’ve always loved Irish, my first solo I made up for the Choreography Competition when I was 7 was ‘Cry of the Celts’ from Lord of the Dance. I really missed it (Irish) when I went away to train, but that was 5 1/2 years ago, I guess I got used to not doing it – I’d forgotten until Thursday how much I love it, the style, the music.  

Dancing and teaching those was a weird experience. Total role reversal. But I loved it. Especially when ‘Reel Around the Sun’ came on. Any of you who danced at Studio 3 know that dance. And the intense music in the introduction. The girls in the class even said how much that piece of music gets their heart racing. And it’s true. Yes we love it at the time, but when you hear it years later and still remember all the choreography too…that’s one intense feeling.

I love that feeling of nostalgia. I always have, it just makes me really happy. I’m looking forward/hope for more moments like that 🙂

Lynette x

P.S. It’s Christmas show week this week, if you’re on Instagram, give me an add (lynette_s3dance) for behind the scenes on rehearsals, prep and show day madness – there’s gonna be a lot of drama and festive fun 😉 

I Can Hear the Bells…


So, Tuesday afternoon I get in from a meeting and have a couple of hours to lesson plan before I turn on my heel and head back into town to work. So, motivated head on, I bypass the kitchen (yeh, I know…!) and head straight upstairs. Now, some of you will know, when I’m walking ANYWHERE, I have my earphones in. Fairly loud, not enough to deafen me like we did when we were teens, but you know, loud enough to drown out the world. So I didn’t notice the delicate ‘bips’ of the house alarm going off. 30 seconds later, I’m just about at my room and I hear some kind of alarm thing. Puzzled, look around, take out an earphone… YEP. The burglar alarm is wailing, full blast, for the whole world to hear – I leg it back along the landing, down the stairs, turn back on myself down the hall to get to the alarm box to put in the code. I don’t think I’ve ever run so fast in my life. Apologies to any of my neighbours who were disturbed. Although, having said that, it was 2pm. It’s not like it was 6:30am. Like the last time I did it…

earphones-1

So with alarms in mind, I have to share with you the couple of alarm related incidents that have happened at theatres. These are different theatres and happened years apart. I guess when you spend so much time in and around them, it’s only a matter of time before a bit of drama happens.

Dry Ice
The first fire alarm incident of my career happened at Studio 3’s annual show, Dance Krazy at Harrogate International Centre. I’m pretty sure it was 2006, please correct me if I’m wrong (if anyone can remember that is, we were only in our mid teens)! So we were all ready to go, we were standing by in the wings for the opening number – and the fire alarm goes off. Now, it was quite a while ago so it’s hard to remember in exact detail, but I didn’t think it was real. You know, as you do, how many times have you been somewhere, heard an alarm and looked around for assurance it was an accident? We’d be a nightmare in an actual fire, back at college they would test the alarm weekly so it became fairly normal to hear it over the plinky plonk of the piano as you did your battement glissés.
Anyway, back onto topic. They started evacuating the audience which is when we were told we needed to make our way outside.
So there we all are, outside, at night, in February – we were in jazz pants and a top. It was not warm. The rest of the school was ready for the ballet so were stood around in leotards and tights! The poor little ones must’ve been freezing. And do you know why the fire alarm went off? Because they pumped too much dry ice onto the stage (smoke, for any of you non-theatre-speaking folk reading this). They started pumping the stuff onto stage 30 minutes before the curtain. 30 MINUTES! Is it any wonder the fire alarms thought it was real smoke?! Thankfully I’ve not come across any further problems with dry ice and fire alarms – but there’s always time…

smoke
Image taken from Dance Krazy 2006

Fire Doors
HSAP’s Footloose in 2010 at Harrogate Theatre. Again, the alarm went off and we didn’t know what was happening, whether to go out into the cold or not. But we did, in full costume, as we were about 5 minutes away from starting the show. The firemen came. I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but it was something to do with a fire door being open and dust from the lights floating…somewhere…? Though a couple of the girls were convinced they’d left their straighteners on that had started a fire 😉 I’m not clear on the details (maybe someone can fill me in), but there’s nothing that throws you off your game and pre-show warm ups/rituals like being stood outside in the cold and the rain.

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Firemen come to our rescue as we evacuate the theatre

Main moral of the story… Don’t go wild with dry ice. And always check your straighteners/tongs are switched off.
Oh, and take your earphones out as soon as you get in the house…

Lynette x

#HairIssues…


Yep, hair. Hair is actually a bigger deal to dancers/performers than we give it/them credit for. I mean, sometimes it can be good: hair down can enhance the style and feel routines (Commercial Jazz and Lyrical being a couple of the main ones). EVERYONE loves a bit of hairography  😉  But no matter what you’re doing – there are always hair issues. 

The ‘Boring’ Hair Cut:
So this isn’t so much of an issue anymore. Anyone who knows me can probably tell by the state of my mane that being able to control my hair is a thing of the past. I was at the hairdressers the other day, the first time back with my old salon and old stylist in five years. And it reminded me of the countless times I went in for the same boring hair cut. It couldn’t be so long it was out of control. But it couldn’t be too short that it couldn’t – here it is, the big one, are you ready for it? – get it into a ballet bun. I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there, young and old who’ve sat in the chair and had this discussion. If your hairdresser cut your hair too short to fit into a bun…
God help her when your Mum found out.
hair-grips

Escape Artist Hair Grip:
Go on. How many of you dancers out there have been mid dance and felt a grip starting to wriggle it’s way out of your perfectly styled up do. A few seconds later you hear that unmistakable metallic ping as it hits the floor. You spend the rest of the routine trying to guess where it might be so you don’t step on it. And once you finish dancing, spend the next 30 seconds squinting at the floor trying to find it…

The Hair Whip:
It’s happened to us all. Getting whipped in the eye by your ponytail as you pirouette/chainés across the room. And wow does it sting.

Rehearsal Hair:
You leave the house looking fab. You rock up to rehearsals. You go crazy with the choreo, give it your all, have a great time. All is well. Until you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror or reflection in a window. Wow. Hello frizzy mane. What was the point in doing anything with you? I could’ve walked through a hedge backwards and look better than this…

hair-banner

Sticky Crispy Hair:
Yes. Show hair. Whether you have straight hair or curly hair, you fall victim. If you have straight hair, you add some curls to give it a bit of oomph on stage. If you have curly hair, you need to keep an eye on the oomph so it doesn’t go from ‘nicely volumised’ to ‘crazy frizzy cat lady’ (the latter HAS crept up on me a couple of times in the past…)
And the answer? Hairspray. To hold the curls in the silky smooth straight hair, you need half a can of hairspray. To control the frizz, you need half a can of hairspray. Which is fine. It works. But then you get home and touch your hair…wow. A sticky, matted, crispy mess. Looked great on stage. Not so much in the bathroom mirror.
Then you have the ‘to wash or not to wash’ dilemma. If you wash it, you wash the yuckiness out and are set to go with fresh hair for the next day – until you cover it in hairspray again for the show. If you don’t wash it, it’s already full of product and prepped for the next night (yay!) – but then you have to go through the day with a sticky matted mess on top of your head.

After all these years of shows, I’ve still not come up with a show-week-hair-game-plan. And I’m actually slightly disappointed in myself. I’m organisation Queen. I colour coordinate running orders with costume info, quick change info, timings of each scene and how long between each change. I have separate paper pads at home for different genres of my work. Everything in my life is organised. My DVDs are arranged, in categories, then in alphabetical order for goodness sake. And I still have no system for show hair. Tut tut. 

There will always be hair dramas. But for now, I’m leaving it there. You never know, if you’re lucky there might be a #HairIssuesPart2 some time in the future  😉
If you’ve got any hair nightmares you want to share, feel free to drop me a comment below! Until next time… 

Stay sassy. And try some hairography. I promise it’ll help warm you up in this cold weather.

Lynette x

Post-Show Blues…


#omigodyouguys

It’s very strange waking up on Monday morning after show week. All the madness has come to an abrupt halt and you’re not quite sure what to do with yourself. Show week is so intense, you go through so many emotions for so many different reasons (excitement, nervousness, anger, frustration, sadness, giddiness) and you’re so insanely busy you don’t have time to stop and think.

This week just gone with HSAP wasn’t my busiest – back at college, show week meant you were in the theatre for at least 12 hours every single day. THAT was intense. But there was also a lot of sitting around I guess. This week we were only called for evenings, but that meant we had so much less time! Still, whatever show you’re involved in, that feeling afterwards is going to be a rather empty one. The obvious realisation is that you won’t do these numbers with this cast ever again. But there’s also the smaller things, the small rituals you end up adopting as the show goes on and you get used to your track.

Rituals and routines like when you always see the same person at the exact same point in the show as you walk to the wings (and worry if you don’t see them). Or like when you come off from from a certain number and you head to the back of the wings rather than the stairs – all to avoid a collision with the person you know is legging it from stage right to get on in time. You just get used to how the show works, in all aspects. And in the days and weeks to come, you’ll miss the little things.

blogg Cast selfies from the run of Legally Blonde at Harrogate Theatre

You won’t stand in the wings and sing your favourite bits of harmony right before you go on. You won’t exchange words with the person you cross tracks with on stage. You won’t have that niggle in the back of your mind about that really quick costume change. You won’t DO that quick change you worry about. You won’t sing along to the same song in the dressing room as all of you get changed. You won’t worry about doing a pirouette and face planting in the pit (which there was a high possibility of on more than one occasion in this show). It’s a very strange feeling when a show ends. After all the build up and countless rehearsals, then, suddenly, nothing.

And then you also realise – ‘hang on, I used to spend 4 or 5 evenings a week in rehearsal. What on earth am I going to do with myself now?!’ Which is not uncommon for performers. So I guess it’s on to the next thing. Some will look for show work elsewhere. Some will find a new project to distract themselves. Me? I’m able to finally focus all my efforts on my job (and I’ve mentioned it before, but no, teaching doesn’t mean just turning up for a few hours on a night and having a boogie – there’s a LOT that goes with it). But I love that. I love when I’m able give something my full attention. I’ve loved my first few weeks of teaching, both at Studio 3 and Danceology. I love my job. But I WILL miss HSAP and Legally Blonde.

#DressingRoomLife video from my YouTube channel (Lynette Pickering)

It was an honour to work with such an incredibly talented group of people. The cast were amazing and as for the creative team – wow. I always loved doing these shows when I was in my teens, but now I have so much respect for these people too. They are truly amazing at what they do and I honestly do admire them. And the icing on the cake? We pulled off a good show. The reviews and feedback from audiences have been incredible. And that just finishes off the experience nicely. As with any show. Knowing you not only had a good time, but that you did your job and entertained people. Yes there were a few hiccups during a couple of shows, but that’s bound to happen. The overall experience was an immense one. And who could complain about a standing ovation?!

AND, for the first time in over a year, I got to perform on stage!  I cannot TELL you how much of an incredible feeling that was. All my Christmases came at once when I stepped out on that stage last Monday. I could gush on about that more, but I won’t.

So, cast and crew of Harrogate St. Andrew’s Player’s Legally Blonde – I shall miss you. Love and respect. #snaps

Lynette x

Rehearsal Geek…


I can’t even explain how much of a rehearsal geek I am. Always have been. Rehearsals finishing late? Running numbers on a weekend? Sometimes running from one rehearsal to another? When I was younger I used to pretend I didn’t like it – that it was a chore. Nope, love it. The typical “sorry I can’t, I have rehearsal” excuse was/is used a lot, but I’d be lying if I said I felt guilty every time I used it… And has anyone ever missed just ONE rehearsal and felt like you’ve missed a whole year? Possibly one of the worst theatre-related feelings ever.

So with show week starting, you can imagine I’ve been in my element recently. Long rehearsals, hard work, trying to be the best you can be. Working with an incredibly talented cast and creative team that you look up to. AND, this time, for the first time in my 24 years – I’m in a show with all 3 of my bestest friends. Which is amazing. Imagine a night with your ‘crew’ or ‘squad’ or ‘posse’ or whatever the cool name is nowadays. Now, imagine you all have a love for the same thing. And imagine you get to do that for a few hours a night, 4 or 5 times a week. You build a special bond with your dance/theatre friends and getting to share the stage with them is just on another level. And d’you know what else, you’re not afraid to tell each other when someone’s doing something wrong – you’ll still love each other at the end of the day!

Sweaty, exhausted, post-rehearsal selfie with my absolute favourites

I tell you what though, my body had a big surprise the morning after first rehearsal. I could barely move. It’s been just over a year since graduation and full time training ended. It’s not like I spent a year doing nothing, I went to the gym, I took class and now I’m teaching too. But nothing can prepare you for a Ms. Denison rehearsal. You go hard or go home. Not that you wouldn’t give it your all every single time – but for non-dancers out there, don’t think you turn up to an HSAP rehearsal and casually shuffle around the stage. It’s. FULL. ON. Thankfully now, a month down the line, my body’s more used to it (though I’m convinced I’ve still got a pulled hammy from that first rehearsal). And I still wake up with bruises on random body parts and wonder how they got there.

In summary – rehearsals give me life. Being in a room with such a talented group of people is an absolute pleasure. And being able to go 110% with your dancing and performance is an absolute joy after a few months without it. I get to dance when I teach of course. But when you’re teaching, it’s about your students. About their growth and development. This has given me the excuse to lose myself in performance again. I can’t decide if that’s selfish or not, being so self indulgent? Or actually the opposite because you’re doing it for an audience, for their entertainment? Or maybe it’s a bit of both? I’m just thinking as I speak here…any thoughts on the subject, go ahead and leave me a comment. At the end of the day, in life, we do what makes us happy. So perhaps it doesn’t even call for discussion if it makes me happy.

Anyway, it’s only a matter of days now until Legally Blonde opens in Harrogate! Watch this space, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of show week thoughts and drama to comment on 😉

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