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Our Christmas Tree!

My son and I decorated our Christmas Tree together!

We wanted to share our decorating process with you. This year we opted to keep our Christmas area in a room we can shut off, to protect our fragile decorations from cats (especially our youngest). We keep our Christmas decorating fairly minimal and a lot of it is homemade, but we like the stories and memories that surround the ornaments.

Many of these ornaments were given to my son by his Spanish tutor, who we all loved greatly. She incorporated what they were into the lessons, and let my son keep them afterwards. Such a gift to have someone work with him with such love!

Other ornaments were made by my son for his Dad as Christmas presents, and we love to look back on what he made and what year it was. My son and his Dad share a love of Star Wars, so they are in charge of the Star Wars decorations for the tree, too!

Several were gifts from my son's first Christmas. He was such a loved child right from the beginning! Everyone was so excited for us, and his first Christmas was extra special. My favorite is the blue rattle with his name on it, given to us by my in-law's. It came in a wood box with his name put on it, and I absolutely love it.

The giant stocking was also from a dear friend who used it to wrap a present for our son. We will continue to hang the stocking for years to come.

I think what I love most is how such a humble little tree with it's few lights and my handmade stockings can bring my son SO much joy! It doesn't matter to him; Christmas is magical. I think we should remember this about dance as well. What we do is seen so differently through the eyes of children. We don't have to be the fanciest, but it is our uniqueness that can make us the most loved.

- Abby

Giving Yoga A Try

I've tried yoga a couple times in my life and I've never left feeling a strong desire to do it again. The first time the experience was a little too...organic for me? The male instructor was wearing short shorts and came over to compliment my flexibility (oh, the good ole days) and proceeded to stradle over my face to help me deepen the stretch. It was just a little too intense, lol.

The second time the room was super hot, which felt good for my muscles, but as you all know I am one of the sweatiest people on the planet so I was literally slipping all over my mat trying to hold a lunge. I got so frustrated, but didn't know at the time about a helpful accessory called the yoga towel.

But after a year of my body taking a beating from my corporate photo/video job, I've gotten to the point where all the massages in the world won't fix my tightness alone! It seems everyone I know that does yoga just feels really good all the time. I wanna feel good all the time!

So I went. My friend Michelle went as well so we could be newbies together. We took a calm Restore & Flow class because I want to start slowwww. Most of the class was spent focusing on breathing, which until then I thought I knew how to do... Wow, was I wrong! Lol. My heart is thanking me because I had no idea how much I was restricting my own breathing with tension!

Here more of my thoughts on the first class (I've been to a couple more since and will continue to update you!) and what I'd like to get out of yoga here!

- Jana

Fun Combos!

My metatarsals decided to cut me a break two weeks ago and I fully got to enjoy the combos in my Monday afternoon class! I made it through the entire class and only modified a few things (i'm talkin' to you, italian fouette). I'm still not holding balances as long as I would like, but they were an improvement this day compared to the previous week.

After I got home I did some light stretching to keep working on my damn left hamstring. It's SO tight. I need to do a penché comparison photo to show you just how bad it is! And then I put on my pointe shoes to do some relevés so I could work my calves a bit more without overdoing the pressure on the balls of my feet.

I've cut a small amount of the shank on these shoes to help me get all the way over the platforms. I had never done that before so I was cautious about cutting too much, but it did help some so I think I will go in and cut a bit more.

Then I headed over to our business (my husband owns & operates a micro brewery) to work on some product photos and to start decorating the taproom for Christmas!

I share all of this and more in a vlog-style video where you can also watch the center combos we did in class! Watch it here and give the video a "thumbs up" if you enjoy it!

Hope you all are having a great start to your December!

- Jana

Gift Guide for Dancers! Holiday 2017

Happy December! It's officially the holiday season and we are so excited for festive outings and cozy nights at home! It's also time to send that Christmas list out and start shopping for others, so we are back again this year with another Gift Guide for Dancers!

We are proud of ourselves for filming this one "together" and we hope you enjoy our little mash up :) Here are 10 things Abby and Jana are asking for or suggest asking for this Christmas 2017! 

1. Zum Chakra Shea Butter Bath Salts Gift Set 2. Zarely tights 3. Your Choice Resistance Loop Bands 4. Cloud & Victory t-shirt 5. David Howard Ballet Class DVD's 6. Cantique Novel 7. Pure Wave Cordless Body Massager 8. Bosu Ball 9. Compression Socks 10. Local Ballet Tickets/Merch/Class Card

This Gift Guide video kicks off our Vlogmas series in December where we post two to three holiday/festive videos a week until Christmas! If you're not subscribed to our YouTube channel, do so here to follow along!

Happy Shopping and Happy Gifting!

Abby & Jana

Feeling the Adult Ballet Love!

Oh, do I hope you take the time to watch this vlog! I attend my usual Monday afternoon class and then sit down with my fellow adult ballet friend, Theresa, to share the story of how a girl on YouTube helped her feel like she could come back to ballet, years after retiring from dancing. That girl had blonde hair and was named Jana, and it was over a year after coming back to ballet, making friends with a blonde girl named Jana, that Theresa put together I was the same girl on YouTube!

Abby and I get a lot of comments in this community about how we've helped them find the confidence to come back to or start ballet and it fills our hearts so full. To witness this in person, with someone I have felt "gets" me and my love for ballet is one of the greatest feelings ever.

It's stories like this that make us feel like our videos and social media posts sharing our dance lives is much greater than us. We hope you find your way to the barre or studio or stage if in your heart it's where you have to be!

Much love,

Vlogmas 2017!

If you missed the fun announcement on YouTube, Ballerinas By Night is doing Vlogmas again this year! We will be sharing dancing footage, vlogs, and festive outings 2 to 3 times a week starting December 1st!

Make sure you're subscribed to our YouTube channel to get notifications of our new videos! We can't wait!

And if you can't wait until December 1, watch our 2016 Vlogmas here :)

Abby & Jana

Small Progress & Fall is Here!

My gosh, is there anything better feeling than having a good dance day??! As an adult (a currently injured adult), I find a good dance day seems to be more and more of a rare occasion.

In my video last week I updated you all on my injury and loss of my mother-in-law which caused me to take a break from ballet. As I'm easing back to class, I'm modifying and stopping when I feel I'm about to do too much. I'm happy to report that last Monday I was able to add in a tiny more to my class participation! I did some small jumps - did them very small and focused on articulating my feet through the floor. I did okay and it felt so good to keep moving!!

And then because I was feeling okay I thought, "why not put pointe shoes on?!" as one does when they are a crazy-ballet-loving grown woman. I did a few exercises at the barre and definitely felt the leg muscles soreness the next day - yesssss.

I vlogged this whole day so follow along with me as I geek out over fall weather and having a good dance day :)

- Jana