26 December 2012


V&A Museum, London

  I'm home now! We arrived in Davao City Friday night this week. I learned a lot of things about this trip; mostly about myself, people, common sense...

  The point of this post is that I'm quitting Ballet. If you've read a lot of my recent posts you can probably tell that I don't want to dance Ballet anymore, that I like theatre and acting, and am probably a little stressed and un-inspired. I could just continue dancing but just not be so serious about it, but, the problem is, it hurts! My foot, my back, I think I should start listening to my body and forget about what everyone else will say. My classmates will probably not fully understand, Teacher Agnes will most likely be disappointed, some people might say "I was right, she wouldn't stay" but it's not about them :)

  I'll probably make a new blog too. Not soon, when I've re-kindled the joy of blogging I will. I like to start from nothing. Start fresh.

  Since I wont dance anymore, I'm selling my new Gaynors for half the price I bought them, since they've already been used. So if you want a Gaynor Minden size 9.5 (8.5 in street shoes), Narrow, Box 3, Extraflex shank, please email me at amberspointe@gmail.com


13 December 2012

favorite places

★ Tower of London
★ Shakespeare's Globe
★ Richard III at the Apollo Theatre
★ Matilda at Cambridge Theatre

These are some of my favorite places and shows we've watched here in London. So far...

  Dad and I went to the National Theatre yesterday. We were looking around at their beautiful bookshop while waiting for their Backstage Tour to start. All the books there were about acting, Shakespeare, dance, and plays. I actually sat down on the couch there and was almost to the end of Act 1 of Terence Rattigan's "The Deep Blue Sea" when the tour did start.

  Our guide took us around two theatres, the Olivier and Lyttleton Theatres, and backstage to the workrooms of the building. The Olivier Theatre (named after Laurence Olivier) was really impressive. The stage was so versatile and the seating convenient for both performer and audience.
Dad let me buy a book afterwards and instead of chosing "The Deep Blue Sea" I chose "In-depth Acting" by Dee Cannon which I think could be a real essential in training for acting (which I am slowly diverting to).

  Today, We finally paid a visit to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The lady at the reception area was very friendly and accomodating. Visitors are not allowed inside the campus, though, so we only got as far as the booking office at the opposite side of the building where I got a printout of the school's 2013 prospectus (which is available for download in their site).

  Having a lot of time in our hands, Dad and I went to a near-by bookstore which was just as good as the National Theatre's. They had a whole shelf of books on dance and dancer's bios. Also,  a section on Drama.

  So yes, it's a happy ending for me! I was able to get my hands on "The Deep Blue Sea" + more Rattigan plays (for a better price).

  My reading list is all fired up!

29 November 2012


Hey There!

I'm actually in London right now. It's freezing! Today the temperature is said to drop all the way to 0ºC. Brrrrrr!

We're here for my sisters Scoliosis which you can read more about in my Mom's blog; Between Now And Later.

Last week, Saturday to be precise, I attended my first Floor Barre class at Ballet For You with Selena Cundari. It was pretty cool and relaxing with some Pilattes sequences and breathing.

I originally planned to join the class until the end of the term which would mean three classes. Unfortunately, due to Dad's travel plans and Ashley's busy therapy schedule, I desided to drop out.

Not to worry! There's Pineapple. Yes, Pineapple! Pineapple Dance Studios, in Covent Garden, holds open classes every day of the week (including Sundays). This afternoon I attended a Musical Theatre Jazz class. It was so fun! We did a heart-pumping warm up-- very much like the ones in LCB and spent the rest of the class perfecting a Fosse routine. The instructor was really concentrated on acting and performing the steps. I oh so want to go back, try out more classes!

We we're walking around Covent Garden yesterday and we (accidentally) found a Bloch store!

We watched the English National Opera perform Carmen last week. It was in English and that disappointed me, I was expecting the original French version, but the orchestra was so good! ♡

09 November 2012

Time To Heal

  Aren't you supposed to feel better after resting!?

  Well during the vacation week, I went running with my dad almost everyday. I didn't like running before because I was always getting side stitches because of my breathing. After some research, I was able to run two rounds at Victoria Plaza though (my record) without having any side stitch so... I feel successful! Hehehe :D

  My foot started hurting the week before vacation time started. It got quite worse and I didn't know what to do. I tried not to cry during pointe class on Wednesday. A part of me wanted to quit ballet again! When my classmates saw me crying last night after class though, they were all so encouraging. Lois said that I shouldn't quit because I'm good, Christine suggested having my foot checked, and Teacher Sweet (whose babies ballet class I assisted in last summer) told me about dancing in a recital two weeks after she broke her foot.

  I guess this foot of mine just wants more rest. I think it would be prudent telling Teacher Agnes about it but (ok here goes) I'm scared. The exercise she taught me really helped my back but what an injurious person I would seem! I also don't see anything but rest for this foot anyway... + I'm not joining the recital again, but more on that soon...

  I've been alternating hot and cold compress and it seems to be working. I apply hot before dancing and ice after. It doesn't hurt in the morning, but as the day progresses, so does the pain.

  I should really asses how I react to these bad days. I guess I'm too-- passionate. I hear many say that that's  a good thing but, in my opinion, it could also mean being rash and impulsive. Take this week; after pointe class, I was lamenting about my foot and ballet, and wanting to quit, without thinking about anything positive at all! Without thinking that there is time to heal, and that I don't have to be too serious about ballet if I don't want it as a career anymore. The world's not gonna end.

  Just this evening, I thought to myself: 'I'll go to ballet tomorrow.' A pointe of my injured foot told me 'No'. Why should I compromise myself? It is an admirable thing to keep pushing on and have strong will but there is a difference, a big difference, between being strong and just (ugh) hurting yourself  

27 October 2012

So, what's up?

  I might just be going through a long mental block but I feel like such an irresponsible blogger if I don't post! We have a long vacation of one week coming up, no ballet class at all. Hopefully a trip to the beach; one of my favorite getaway places :*>

  My mom sent me a link a few days ago and now it's one of my fave sites, Mind Body Green. Speaking of which, there's this blog widget, a list of links, that I've been thinking of adding a long time ago. I think I'll finally apply it to my blog and maybe change my look again. I'm sorry for you, my audience if it's irritating to have a blogger constantly making changes to their site, but that's how I roll. I'm the kind of person who thrives with change. Hopefully you guys who read me are after what I write and not very much how I look ;)

  I just feel the simplicity of my blog's look right now is too lonely :(

  I also feel like adding an About Me page. Finally I didn't get stuck trying to write about myself!

  P.S. Gaynor Mindens aren't as I expected them... No words...

20 October 2012

In The Shoes: Grishko

  If your traditional, get Grishkos. They last  f o r e v e r.

  I bought my second pair of pointes by texting That's D Pointe Dance Shop in Manila after my first pair gave up on me in two weeks. My first (and second) pointe recital was danced in these shoes which make them valuable in the market of sentiment...

  I think I chose Grishko among other brands because a) There was no other that had my size or b) I heard that they were Svetlana Zakharova's shoes. I quite forgot :(

© Kina De Mendoza
© Kina De Mendoza
  My Dear Grishkos lasted for more than one year. This is because they "fossilize". Somehow, if you don't use it for a long time, the glue in the shoe hardens, making it good as new! Credit for that info goes to R.A.D. Ballet Buddy Ingrid :) The shape of the shoe was also very foot-flattering, with a slight V in the vamp, and a long tapered look. Very Russian.
  Because of the shoe's hardness, I got a lot of blisters, also because I didn't have enough padding, causing hammertoes... This blister is the reason for the dark spot (which is blood) on the left shoe...

  This is also the shoe that me and a friend at LCB had a fight about. After a whole day of not talking to each other, I said sorry and she did too... 

  What I liked most about Grishko was it's box. I'm a fan of hard boxes, they give me some support, but are also rather heavy. The shank was good too, very pliable. This is probably the best shoe I've had so far, but I'm going to keep looking... 
© Jun Tupas
{Visit grishko.com}

17 October 2012

It's Here!!!


  My new pointes arrived today!!! On Thursday last week, I e-mailed Danse Boite asking if they had Gaynor Mindens. I'm so happy that they actually have my (huge) size! It took some trouble though, ordering it, there was a little confusion but it was all sorted out on Monday of this week when they replied to my text, confirming the shipment of my shoes :)

  They feel so light! I'm so used to the "traditional" hard, bulky, over protected feel of pointe shoes that these GMs feel like nothing at all!

  I got a size 9.5, narrow, box 3, Extraflex shank. I was a bit torn between a supple and Extraflex but decided on the latter because it's supposedly a good choices for tall dancers. I did my research before buying :) Downloading the fitting guide of whatever brand of pointe shoe your getting really helps. They usually give it for free in their website. You can download the Gaynor Minden Fitting Guidelines Here.

  Sentimental post coming up soon... an In the Shoes write up on my Grishkos ♥
  Pointe class tonight!

14 October 2012

Milk Carton Cat {Recycled Halloween Deco}

  This is my first D.I.Y. ever, so bear with me :) This is a new addition to our recycled Halloween decorations. Milk Carton Cats!

Taken with Instagram.

Ok, so you'll need:
-Milk carton (cleaned and dried)
- Paper
- Crayons
- Scissors
- Embellishments (for eyes etc.)
- A little sister :P

We didn't have colored paper so we colored the paper! hehehe 

Next, we wrapped the milk carton in the (now colored) paper.

After completely wrapping the whole thing and trimming exes paper, we added embellishments. Here we used gem studs and curled strips of paper. You can also use googly eyes :)

* * *

I hope you enjoyed this :) 
Hopefully I'll make better tutorials in the future...
{With better photos}

13 October 2012

Something New

Poster from the Tuburan Institute's Facebook Page.
  So I had a little mix up with my last post regarding the 'visit from a Swiss contemporary company'. They are not, in fact a contemporary dance company but are educators in a form of movement called Eurythmy. As I understand, Eurythmy was developed by Rudolf Steiner and is a part of the Waldorf education system. The Tuburan Institute, a Steiner inspired school here in Davao, brought The Arte Nova Eurythmy Youth Ensemble here. 

  Their performance yesterday, entitled 'Transitions', was a great way to share the ideology behind the movement. it was held at the Davao Convention and Trade Center. The program started beautifully with an a capela of the Philippine National Anthem in which the whole audience joined in creating a wonderful harmony of people.
Tickets and programme from yesterday's show.
Taken with Instagram
  I had never seen movement as free and formless until then. They were so in time with the music yet so human. Ballet is inhuman. Ballet tries to look human in that  it tells a story and creates an atmosphere. But it only looks so because everyone else is moving like dancers, like ballerinas. This, I think, creates a ballet world by humans, that is not human. Ok, I'm sounding a bit wierdo now but, I do hope you get me :( I'm trying to compare the free-ness of Eurythmy with the straight lines of ballet.

  The program included numbers where the performers used flags, rods, and balls which they juggled. there was also an interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Main Theme from Swan Lake.

  Today, the performers visited Locsins to give a workshop on Eurythmy. It was all so organic and natural and not difficult at all, just like Yoga. It made me feel like I could move in any way, awkwardly, gracefully, and not be wrong. The movement accommodation that. It was quite an experience for us dancers who were always told how to do what properly.

  We were doing coordination exercises with fruit as balls and wooden and metal rods this morning. We were joined by other kids, mostly really little ones. I enjoyed the rod throwing the most! We had to find a partner and throw and catch the rods :) We were also taught that each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding movement and some people had their names interpreted!

  I think I'll teach my little siblings what I just learned :)

at DavCon with Mom , little sisters and lil' bro <3

08 October 2012

Buying New Pointes

Mom figuring out the Gaynor Minden tracing sheets at The POD.
Taken with Instagram.
  After pointe class one Wednesday, Ate Nikki asked me if my shoes were soft and said that I should change them as soon as possible. A few before, Teacher Agnes also told me that my Dear Grishkos are deformed. About time I got a new pair, and guess what I've decided on... Gaynor Mindens!

  I just got the email from the GM fitters about my fitting details earlier last week. I wanted to make sure that I got the right size because when buying Gaynor Mindens, you must get a shoe one size larger than your U.S. street shoe size. I'm an 8.5 and 9.5 sounds like a LARGE pointe shoe so I downloaded the tracing sheets as recommended by my Ballet Buddy Christine. But apparently, 9-9.5's the right size o.O

  I decided on GMs because, of course, of all the good reviews surrounding it. I also have never dance with toe pads and since Gaynors are already so cushioned by themselves, they might give me more comfort and I can forget pain... and ever buying pads if they make me happy. FACT: More people in Locsin's wear Gaynors than any brand of pointes.

  So I guess I'm gong to come up  with another In The Shoes post soon. My Grishkos have been really great, but we'll talk about that next time :D

07 October 2012

Halloween Spirit!!!

Clockwise from top left: Cardboard owls, mice, creepy mirrors, bat mobile.
Collage pics from Instagram
  I'm so into dressing the house up for Halloween!!! So far these are what's in our will-be haunted house. Inspiration comes from the following:


  I'm also planning a Halloween dinner for our household with creepy treats on the menu. Check out my Halloween Ideas board in Pinterest. I'm pinning every feasible idea I see!!! 

  I will hopefully post more on this, and maybe a D.I.Y. tutorial for the owls...

06 October 2012

Learning 'Magkaugnay'

Agnes Locsin's 'Romeo & Juliet'
  We started learning this new dance a few weeks ago. It's a modern number to music by Joey Ayala. I don't know if we're going to perform it or anything, but when Teacher Agnes told us about tackling the piece, she mentioned our having to synchronize. Maybe it's a sort of exercise for us? It was performed a long time ago in Locsin's and we are learning the steps via video.

  The choreography leans to the ethnic and folk, as most of Teacher Agnes works do. The steps are challenging especially in the part where we all hold hands. We run the risk of trampling on one another lest someone tripped which, thankfully, hasn't happened yet. I haven't quite absorbed that part yet. There are so many travelling side ways with many changes in the direction we face. It's more of a challenge for the mind, I think, and less of the body. It's not an "Olympic stamina" dance as many of Teacher Agnes 'babies' would say.

  I feel like I am immersing myself in Teacher Agnes work. I'm reading her book right now and it proves to be very enlightening. I wish I could watch all her works! She really takes the message of her dances deeply and seriously. It's much more than the movement...   

  For today's class, we had  'guest artist'. Kuya John is here for Ballet Philippines' tour. I'm not sure what they will be performing, but they'll be in SM Lanang Premier this afternoon :) I assisted Kuya John's Ballet 1b class last summer.

  There's a lot going on in Davao's dance scene since Encantada. A visit from a Swiss contemporary company (details out soon), BP's tour, a production of Romeo and Juliet....

 Roughly translated I think the word 'Magkaugnay' means 'unity'. Google translate says 'correlate' but I like 'unity' better ^_^ Anyway, here's an audio of the music: 


29 September 2012


Natural, locally processed milk.
  What a day! Last week we drove all the way to Tugbok, Mintal to buy milk. Yes! Cow's milk :) So far, Kim's Milk Corporation is the only local milk factory we know around here. We are trying to be Locavores now :)
lo-ca-vore \ˈlō-kə-ˌvȯr\ one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible
  The drive to the factory wasn't too long. It was a breezy day and light drizzle rained on us on our way back while we bought Pomelo.

  ...And we passed Teacher Agnes' place

  I'm so glad with this new discovery! I haven't been drinking any milk (excluding tiny servings with other food) for a really long time until Mom found this local brand in the supermarket.

  Well, we weren't allowed to go into the factory but the whole place was really nice. It was clean, the staff was polite and it felt sooo greeeeennn ^_^

  It even comes in Chocolate ♡ 

* * *
Kim's Milk Corporation is located at Km 22. Los Amigos, Tugbok District, Davao City, Philippines. Tel.: (082) 293-16-78

All pics from Instagram...

25 September 2012

Can't get enough of this...

  I've enjoyed watching Keaton Henson's "To Your Health" music video since class started last June. The music is one of those simple yet inspiring sounds and the clever lyricism of the choreography, by Marguerite Porter, goes so well with it. 

  Though the lyrics of the song express anger and distress, I somehow find peace watching this, especially after a tough class. The lighting of the video looks great to me and Elizabeth McRea (nee Harrod) displays such strength and musical precision. 

  I First heard about this thru Ballet News a year ago, I think.


24 September 2012

Private Concerts

  My sister Ashley performed in her first 'concert' last Sunday. Her teacher, Teacher Chrissie, asked us if we could drive to Tagum (about an hour from Davao City Proper) for a small gathering organized by a British string instrument instructor living there.

  Other students also came to perform. Four others from the Agdao Violin Institute, also teacher Chrissie's students, and students from the Tagum Junior Symphony Orchestra.

  Here are Teacher Chrissie's students from AVI:

  My sister Ashley performing Humoresque by A. Dvorak:

  Here is the Tagum JSO:

In the end, everyone got together;

The Musicians:

  * * *
  I haven't been very devoted to blogging lately. My chemistry set arrived last week so my whole mornings are taken up with academics. 

  Well, according to "Blogging For Bliss", if you don't feel like blogging you don't have to force yourself :) I think I've overloaded this blog with a lot of useless stuff so this little break of inconsistency might be good :D

12 September 2012

Ronan ♡

  I first heard about Ronan Thomson when a friend I met in camp posted a picture of him on Instagram. He is the first four-year-old I have seen with those kind of eyes.

Ronan Thomson
  Ronan passed away last year because of Cancer. I wish I knew about him then. How could I not have? His Mom ran a blog too; Rockstar Ronan. How could I not have heard of little Ronan???!!! I could have prayed for him, and I believe that prayers can make miracles if enough people with enough faith pray for something! One person can make a difference and thats ALWAYS true!

  I knew that Swifty had a new song called 'Ronan' before hearing about his sad story and I was like, "Oh, it's about one of her former flames again" and did not  bother myself to listen to it. Songs with stories behind them really change how they are heard. It brought a stream of tears down my cheeks T-T I think I read someone say that it's her best song yet and I have to agree. Proceeds of the song on iTunes go to The Ronan Thomson Foundation.

  Here is Taylor performing 'Ronan' live:

  I think I'm most affected by Ronan's death because he was the same age as my brother is now...

05 September 2012

(Pointe) Shoe Repair

  Months ago at True Value in Abreeza, I spotted a pair of toe pads. They weren't of a ballet brand but they looked exactly like them! I wanted to get the pair and there but Mom advised me to come back when I had my pointes with me. So yesterday, you can guess that I did just that. Unfortunately for me, True Value ran out of stocks! Apparently, I'm not alone with this discovery -_- I found an alternative, though;

Corn Wraps. 

  Corns, also called Hyperkeratosis, are hardened skin caused by pressure. This can lead to deformities like hammer toes... Here is a photo of my foot from last year; an example of Hammer toes :(

  The Corn Wraps I got at True Value cost P 250 for three pieces. Washable and reusable, I plan to put them in a small pouch [shown above] before tipping into the washing machine.  

* * *

  Last Wednesday, at pointe class, we were doing pique pasés from one end of the room to the other. Teacher Agnes went up to me when I had a dangerous slip on my first attempt. "Look at your pointe shoes, you have to do something about them" she said to me. The satin on the back part of the platform had rubbed off, exposing the slippery cloth-and-glue layer.

'Dead' pointe shoes...
  Here yea, here yea! I have done something about it! I had to find a way to cover the slippery area and remembered Gaynor Minden's Sued Tips. They don't sell them separate form the shoes though so that was out of the question. Another choice was Moleskin. I couldn't find any.

 Now here comes the option I went for where you have to put aside your sentiments; cutting your old ballet flats. I glued and darned the edges of the cutouts to the platform like I have read of so many dancers doing. It isn't as hard as I thought.

 I oh so love tinkering with my pointes! 

  Last week, I think it was Saturday, Nina let me try on her Gaynor Mindens. They were so soft, not at all like pointe shoes. I was sold. My next pair will be Gaynors. "No wonder I feel so tired after pointe class," I thought 'these these GM's are pain-less!"

  Any how, wish me luck with tonight's pointe class. hopefully I have adjusted to the fatigue and pain... Maybe because I'm skipping my iron supplement?

31 August 2012

Hair Experiment Day 19

  It works, it works!!! The tea tree oil works!!! Thank you so much Our Little Appartmet!!!

As soon as my hair dried after taking a shower, I was super thrilled! My head's not as itchy as the last two days and my hair has these twisty curls ^_^ 

My hair also feels softer.

Found this great place for hair tutorials via Pinterest

30 August 2012

Hair Experiment Day 18

Ashley and me at the Mind Museum, Taguig.

  I now have to wash my hair with just water for a full month. Tuesday was the first day in this part of the 'no shampoo process'. It's kind of hard for those of us who don't have a shower in the bathroom because you really have to massage your scalp if you don't want the smell of sweat to stick. Especialy for us who take a bath after dance class... My scalp feels a little itchy but I read from Our Little Apartment that you can add tea tree oil. Experiment time!

  I'm really trying to live healthier. It's actually very fun and rewarding! It makes me happy to know that I am healthy and well because of my choices and discipline. It's very empowering. Kind of cheesy maybe, but it's really how I feel. And it feels great!

The Mind Museum. One of my fave parts of our trip.
  I get most of my organic fru-fru, like bodywash, from Human Nature. So glad that the Abreeza branch of Healthy Options has finally opened, Yogi tea is now more accessible, LoL ^_^ Puentespina Orchids in Agdao is also a great place to buy organic eggs, cheese, and the likes. They'r products are locally grown/made so that's plus points for me <3

  Contrary to her comment on my first post of this experiment, my mom did not join me in my adventure. I think she's satisfied with the not-so-chemically-infused shampoo in Human Nature.

With Lil' Bro <3
About one week after quitting shampoo.
No difference, if you ask me.
  Ta-ta for now, as Tigger would say, I'm excited to try out the tea tree oil! DO NOT hesitate to leave me a message on Facebook, send me a tweet, ask me on Tumblr, or leave a comment here :D