Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Spotlight on Kara Mclaughlin from The Scottish Ballet

Kara Mclaughlin, Scottish Ballet

I was delighted to interview the lovely Kara Mclaughlin. She is a professional ballet dancer and is part of the wonderful Scottish Ballet Company.

The Scottish Ballet is very close to our little Tippy Toes hearts, as Emma and I trained at The Dance School of Scotland at Knightswood which is a vocational school affiliated with The Scottish Ballet.

In fact, we trained alongside Kara and we both knew in those days how successful Kara would become, as even at a young age, she was completely professional, extremely hard working and especially graceful and talented.

Irvine-born Kara McLaughlin joined Scottish Ballet in 1996 straight from the Dance School of Scotland, thus creating a piece of Scottish Ballet history. She was promoted to Coryphée in July 2007.

I caught up with Kara to ask her a few questions:

At what age did you know you wanted to be a ballerina?

I began dancing at the age of 3 holding onto a chair as a barre and I loved it. I loved the movement, music and discipline. I guess when my mum pointed out to me that I should talk to the other girls it was clear I was serious about dancing. I used to go and watch the Scottish Ballet Company and it was a dream to be on stage like that someday.

What is your most precious memory of dancing as a child?

My most precious memory dancing as a child was when I had the part of Pinocchio at the Magnum Theatre in Irvine. It was my first lead character role speaking and dancing. Knowing my whole family were there to support me was the best feeling.

Did you have a favourite teacher or role model?

I have had many great teachers throughout my career. They have been strict but fair and made me realise how hard a profession this is and that you need to work hard. Without doubt my role models are my mum and dad. They are full of support and encouragement and I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

Tippy Toes Ballet LoveWhy do you think every little girl should take up ballet?

I think ballet is great for kids for many reasons. The physical side, keeping them active and working their coordination. The discipline, keeping to a schedule, retaining information and remembering corrections and exercises. learning to have determination to accomplish a step to make it better. Socially, it's a great way to interact with other kids.

Which role was your favourite to dance and why?

My favourite role was as Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. I loved it, the costume, the character the drama and the music was fantastic.

What is the most beautiful costume that you have worn?

Lady Capulet was one of the greatest costumes. It was a long, simple black velvet dress with sparkly diamond earrings. I have been lucky to wear some beautiful tutus in Nutcracker and Cinderella and some lovely 1920s cocktail dresses in Pennies from heaven and Nutcracker also.

In your opinion what is the hardest thing about ballet?

The hardest thing about ballet is the commitment and dedication you have to put in and the ability to remain positive and believe you can accomplish things when they seem so hard. You have to learn to pick yourself up regardless and keep trying. Its knowing that although ballet is so difficult the greatest accomplishment is making it look effortless to the audience.

Who is your favourite pas de deux partner?

I have been lucky to dance with some great partners in my life and I couldn't possibly single one out. The best effect of a partnership is when the dancers get on well and can give honest opinions about things and keep trying to give the dance the best value.

What has been your proudest moment so far?

My prodest moment was being offered the job with Scottish Ballet, my dream come true. I thank my lucky stars every day to work for my national company and perform on my home stage where my friends and family can watch.

Do you have any advice for our aspiring ballerina's?

My advice for aspiring ballerinas would be to just keep at it. If you love to dance and perform and your heart is in it just keep dancing from your heart. However hard it seems dont give up. Keep working hard and never stop learning. Have an open mind and be true to yourself and your work. Be the best dancer you can be for you, no-one else. Nothing beats the feeling of bowing on the stage to an audience clapping, standing and shouting bravo !

Kara Mclaughlin, Scottish Ballet

A big thank you to Kara for the interview, and if you would like to find out more information on Kara and her career, take a look here at The Scottish Ballet website.

Love Nicola x

Sunday, 28 October 2012

And the winner is....

Lottie Doll from Arklu

Congratulations to Sarah from Modern Country Style, you are the winner of the Lottie Spring Celebration Ballet Doll Giveaway! 

Thank you to everyone who entered. Take a look at the Lottie Doll website for more information on Lottie!

Love Nicola x

Friday, 26 October 2012

Little Ballerina Images

We wanted to share with you these gorgeous images of our favourite kind of ballerina - little ones!
Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend filled with happiness, joy and of course lots of dancing!

Love Nicola x

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Lottie, The Spring Celebration Ballet Doll GIVEAWAY!

Meet Lottie, The Spring Celebration Ballet doll. Lottie is a new doll brand for girls aged 3-8 made by Arklu. 

We already love Lottie here at Tippy Toes Ballet because she is childlike, she doesn't wear make-up or jewellery, and of course this Spring Celebration doll is a ballerina!

Lottie's motto is ‘Be bold, be brave, be you’.

She is flexible, poseable and can stand on her own two feet….a life-skill that is important for girls both big and small.

We will be playing with Lottie in our Hitchin Tippy Toes Balllet class and letting you know what the children thought of her with a full review in a few weeks,  but in the mean time, we have one of these lovely dolls up for grabs!

All you have to do is answer the question below to enter the competition, however you can earn more entries by following the instructions.

Good Luck!
Love Nicola x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Ballet Facts and Figures

We have made a Ballet Facts and Figures poster for you to download, print, or use on your blog or website, please just link back to us if you do. Download this poster here

Love Nicola x

Monday, 15 October 2012

We heart it!

If you haven't already signed up to We heart it,  we would definitely recommend you do!
It is very similar to pinterest but a lot prettier to look at, and we have found so many lovely ballet photo's on there already. Who can resist?!

All you have to do is go to http://www.weheartit.com to sign up, then you can add a button to your browser. Once you have the heart button, you can heart any photograph you come across on any website and catalogue them all in the one place.

You can link up with your friends, or people with similar interests.

tippytoesballet on weheartit.com

If you want to collect all of your favourite ballet images in one place, this is definitely the place to do it.

Love Nicola x

Thursday, 11 October 2012

All things Ballet on Etsy

We have put together our favourite ballet items on Etsy and thought we would share them with you.
If you haven't had a look on Etsy yet, we highly recommend it. It is a handmade marketplace online, and is a wonderful site to shop for presents for others or for yourself!

Here are our ballet faves:

pom pom leotard from Frillerup

feather headband by Ferlies

poster by Keepcalmshop

balance photograph by SaraMcCormick

adult tutu by MirelaOlarlu

hand stamped necklace by andiestevensdesigns

i hope you dance lyric sign by TheHouseofBelonging

soft leather ballet flats by thewhiteribbon

girls tutu by sweethearttutus

ballet leg warmers by Flowerpot

elephant ballerina by sistersdreams

crystal rhinestone ballet flats by TheGreenAppleSea
We especially love these crystal ballet shoes, how adorable!

Love Nicola x

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Spotlight on Margot Fonteyn

margot Fonteyn

"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable."
-Margot Fonteyn

Margot Fonteyn

Fact #1- Many think Margot Fonteyn to be one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time.

Margot Fonteyn

Fact #2- Margot was born Margaret Hookham.

Margot Fonteyn

Fact #3- She was made a dame in 1956 at the age of 37.

Margot Fonteyn was born in Reigate, Surrey, England 1919. She joined Vic-Wells Ballet in 1934. She had quick progress and in 1939 she had already danced Giselle, Odette-Odile and Aurora. She became the world's greatest ballerina and could have retired as such when she was 40. But her meeting with Rudolf Nureyev in 1962 gave the world the magic of their great partnership and her career continued until she was 58.

If you would like to read the full story of Margot Fonteyn's life,  We highly recommend a firm favourite of ours at Tippy Toes Ballet - Margot Fonteyn written by Maredith Daneman.

Margot Fonteyn

Love Nicola x

Sunday, 7 October 2012

New ballet blog!

Welcome to our new ballet blog!
We promise to fulfil your cravings for all things ballet!
To begin we thought we would post you some ballet eye candy!

These photo's are taken by Jordan Matter who is just about to release a book named Dancer's among us, full of beautiful photographs of dancer's in every day situations.

To view more gorgeous photo's or pre-order the book go on over to www.dancersamongus.com

If you haven't already please follow us on facebook and twitter and we look forward to blogging with you!

Love Nicola x
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