Posts Tagged ‘Christiana Bennett

Well…life as I know it has ended. Okay, Monday’s as I know it has ended…and what a finale it was. Breaking Pointe this season has made me laugh and cry, and enjoy ballet even more than I already did. Plus, “meeting” new dancers and reminiscing with last year’s. This has been an emotional roller coaster for me, so I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for the cast.

The dancers are off to sunny Los Angeles (Malibu?) The first thing Veronica says (squeals with excitement) when she sees the home is, “that is just like in The Great Gatsby. She’s a bit obsessed with that movie/book). What a spectacular view and when Ronnie is saying he’d be happy being the pool boy, it was absolutely adorable. It’s nice to see people, whom we see as television celebrities being in awe over something as well. I think we forget that they are human and become fans, as well. And let me add…so nice to see Ronnie. I’ve missed him this year. Knowing his boot is off and he’s back dancing…well, that is at least one huge reason there must be a season three. It is imperative that we see Ronnie Underwood dance again.

Ever since Veronica went to the dance intensive with the St. Louis Ballet, she has been absolutely in love with the gypsy dance of La Esmeralda. When Beckanne began dancing the routine, again there was squealing (like a little school girl). She was enthralled from the moment the music and tambourine were in place. And when Ms. Sisk does the Échappé with the angle-turn-booch thing…well, Veronica was practically screaming with joy stating, “that’s the way it’s supposed to be done.” Um, I had figured that out already! I fully realize angle-turn-booch is not the appropriate terminology, but Veronica said Beckanne would probably appreciate my use of the word “booch.” And I give Tyra Banks full credit for teaching me that word on America’s Next Top Model.” I love seeing that Becks and Chase O’Connell are taking the next step in their relationship. Meeting the folks is a definite serious thing, but it appears they are doing it right, building slowly. Hey, that is what makes a relationship last. Slow and steady wins the race!

When Rex Tilton and Christiana Bennett dance, well, it’s always magical. And ever the professional, you would never know by her dancing or her schmoozing that Christiana had any personal life issues going on. She is graceful and elegant and classy. And Rex, have I mentioned how adorable I think he is? While I understood her going home, I so wish she and Christopher Ruud could work on their marriage, instead of divorcing. I am proud that they can still work together during what must be a difficult life rebuilding period. And I am fully aware everything had already been done by the time filming wrapped up which first, let’s you know I have no prior knowledge of what is going on. Second, make your realize I’m writing in real-time as you are watching it. But, I can still dream of a reunion. And didn’t Chris look so handsome in his suit? Seeing him lighten up a bit at the beach made me happy and hopeful that he will find what he is looking for. Plus, I hope that Christiana can reclaim her life and be happy as well.

When Rex and Allison DeBona danced…well, I thought, almost verbatim what Adam Sklute said. It was so personal and beautiful that I felt like a voyeur peeping through their window. But even feeling that way, you can’t turn your head. It was just too gut-wrenching, yet beautiful to see them practically dance their entire relationship on stage. I fully understand where Rex is coming from on putting the kibosh on an instant reunion. Allison hurt him in the past. I hope that they can take things slow, build a relationship from their friendship and fall in love all over again. They both deserve that. But, slow going, although difficult, is the best thing for them. No running straight from Jonathon back to Rex, even though she realized what the rest of us knew all along, that she never stopped being in love with Rex…but Rex needs to realize she is in it for him…that she has no doubts…so, I hope he doesn’t keep her at arm’s length too long. They both deserve to have love. I am thrilled Alli is staying. She is such a lovely dancer and she is such a great friend.

And Joshua Whitehead. He is just precious. He has a good head on his shoulders. He will work hard. I completely see a bright future ahead for him. He is such a joy to watch and listen to. I love his dedication. Silver…while her voice kills me (I know, she can’t help it, and it does fit her personality)…I like the energy she brings to the show. She’s a bundle of energetic fun, plus it’s obvious she is a caring person. She really fits in with the group. I missed seeing Zachary Prentice in this episode other than the brief shots. I’m glad to see he is balancing his work life with his love life. Both are so important to have a complete and fulfilling life.

And Ian Tanzer. There are no words for how I’m feeling on your leaving. I’m heartbroken, but so excited for your next step in Sarasota…and with Alyson. I know you are going to find what you are looking for professionally (you’ve already found what you want in your personal life). Never have I seen someone with as positive of an attitude as you. You are so inspiring. And while I feel I’ve neglected you…I know we will have a long friendship…even if it’s just via Twitter (but it’s not going to be, so there!) I wish you the absolute best and know we will be talking soon! We still have an interview to do (I’ve been so nitpicky because I want it to be perfect, like you deserve).

So, Ballet West and Adam…I fully plan to be blogging about you all for a long time. I’m on a mission for three things…1. to get a season three of Breaking Pointe. 2. To get Veronica there for a private lesson with Christopher Ruud. 3. To see “Petit Mort” performed by these dancers I’ve come to love (either in person or on video, I’m flexible).

I hope you love this show and these dancers as much as I. This year they have shown us what true friendship is, what professionalism is all about, and how amazingly beautiful ballet is. Please keep checking out my blog. There could be some surprise interviews coming…and I ask questions that are for the dancer next door. Love to all and remember…Life is too short to go unnoticed…DANCE!

Breaking Pointe…is this the end? Well…for some things it is. Cinderella is over. Ian Tanzer is leaving (*tears*), and Christiana and Christopher are separated. But, the show isn’t over, at least. There is one more episode. Wait, what? There is only one more episode? What am I going to do on Monday evenings? Nothing to watch, nothing to review? This. Is. Unacceptable!

Okay, so that being said. Tonight’s blog is going to be completely different. Instead of just reviewing the show, tonight’s episode kind of went hand in hand with how the day went in my household. Let’s actually run all the way back to pre-school for Miss Veronica. That would have been about…2002. A boy told her she was fat (she wasn’t). She was devastated. And that stayed with her. Fast forward to 2013. She loved seeing that the dancers of Ballet West actually eat…a lot…often. So while she chooses grilled chicken quite a bit, she eats. She doesn’t eat a ton, but I’m not worried about Anorexia or Bulimia. Then today, a girl from church (I know, church, right?) commented that she would laugh when Veronica quit dancing and got fat. First, I do not believe she will ever quit dancing. Second, even if she does, it doesn’t mean Veronica will get fat. And finally? Really, I don’t think anyone should make a comment like that. Especially when they purport to be a stand-up Christian. And seriously, so many girls get self-image images by something as simple as a comment.

How does that tie in? Hearing Zachary Prentice talk about his body image and how his physique often bothers him, makes you realize it isn’t just the lady’s that are concerned with their body. Further, these dancers not only work out in a studio doing barre work and combinations, or perform on stage, they also do weight training…obviously, you have to be fitter than fit to be a ballerina (or ballerino…and I know that isn’t right, but come on, it’s funny.) And when all the gossip was going on and drama throughout the season, you see how all the whispers and secret looks can make someone extremely self-conscious.

Then, this same girl criticized my daughter because she quit going to youth ministry last year. Veronica has a tendency to be a tad shy and stands off to herself because she doesn’t feel confident enough to just walk up and join in. This probably makes her look as if she is stuck up. Trust me, she’s not. Of course, last night she tried at youth and the person cut her off and walked away. Yep, that’s a real confidence booster. Of course, during summer school Veronica said this person was very stand-offish and un-talkative to everyone. But, I’ll attribute that to insecurity on this person’s part (while I don’t know if it was shyness, I will give the benefit of the doubt). But the girl from this morning said Veronica didn’t give enough time to the church. While she did quit ministry last year, she did not quit church. And I believe that it is between Veronica and God…not Veronica and this girl.

To hear Joshua Whitehead talking so openly with his mother about faith and prayer, really made me realize that faith will take you far in life. If you have a good foundation and belief system in your heart of something that is bigger than yourself, well, you can accomplish anything. Look at how much Josh has overcome. Hunger, poverty…difficulty getting to dance, being a person of color in a predominantly Caucasian field. But his mother prayed and believed in God and her son. And Josh believed in himself and his mother and God. Who cares what this girl thinks. Veronica has a strong moral compass that will take her far…to anywhere she wants to go.

Which brings me to friendship. Sometimes, a higher power places people in your life. Whether that is a spouse or a friend…something draws us to others…to people that change our lives in ways we can’t even begin to understand. Christiana and Christopher obviously have a deep love for one another. Perhaps a separation will make them realize that they belong together. Chris stated regarding the potential breakup of his seven-year marriage as “feeling like you’re dying of a broken heart, it’ll change you.” Yes, it will. And admitting that you became more interested or busy with the tiny details as opposed to your marriage is a huge step in rectifying a situation. And Christiana stating, “And the worst part of that is waking up someday and not recognizing the person you’ve been with,” or even recognizing yourself, well, that does say a lot. Does it mean it’s beyond repair? No, it doesn’t. But, even if it does end, their life together wasn’t for nothing. They were what each other needed at that time. They made each other better and stronger…that will always be with them.

The friendship between Christiana and Allison is definitely a beautiful, supportive friendship. When you hear of so much backstabbing for parts and promotions, to see two dancers lift each other up, and support one another, and be there no matter what, well, it certainly talks highly of their friendship.

Will Rex Tilton and Allison DeBona end up together? Of course we don’t know…but there is something that continues to pull them together. If they can give into it without forgetting who they are, they just may have a chance at success. Working together is hard. But, separating one from the other can be the difference between losing yourself and strengthening yourself within your relationship. Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell are so young in their pairing, but it is obvious they care about each other. Hopefully his decision to stay at Ballet West to prove to her his commitment won’t be the wrong one. But again, if they work at it, they should be just fine.

I guess the whole gist of this is that no matter what someone says to you, you have to thicken up your skin and not take it personally (even when it is personal; and especially if your desire is to be in such a cutthroat industry). You must be gracious and kind, and then move on. If someone is rude or the relationship brings you down, step away from it and evaluate its value. If there is none, avoid it. If there is? Well, fight for it with every fiber of your being. Because in the end…all you will have is your relationships. Surround yourself with positive people. Be a positive person. And never, ever forget you have worth.

Breaking Pointe and the dancers of Ballet West showed me something tonight that I had suspected for a while. Professional dancers are not that different from dancers at any local studio. They get the same jitters, have the same fears, and worry about the same things. Listening to all of the performers for “Cinderella” talk about dress rehearsal and how afraid they were preparing for this huge production, reminded me of Veronica talking about rehearsing for the Southern Illinois Music Festival’s performance of “Swan Lake”. While it was a local performance, professional dancers are brought in to play the leads. That can definitely be a bit intimidating. Veronica said that dress rehearsal “is more stressful” than performance time, “but you wouldn’t think it would be.””

So tonight’s episode, while relieving a few of my fears for Veronica, also made me sad for so many different cast members. Whom should I start with tonight? (I still hate to choose between whom and who, but you see which won out). Looks like my first notes are on Zachary Prentice. Wow, has he changed since the first couple of episodes. Either editing decided to make him look human, or he realized that he was being a jerk. The episode where he talked about his body insecurities is where I really found him to be humble and engaging. And the weeks since then? Well, he’s continued on that path (except for one brief moment in the studio where he was bragging about his contract…and that would be hard NOT to do). He talked about his nerves. He did the most hilarious happy dance that made me…happy! When his wig fell off during the real performance and Adam Sklute was a tad (maybe a lot, he has a good poker face) agitated with him, Veronica said, “come on, he can ham this up and pull it off as something funny.” Which is exactly what he did. And the crowd loved it. And Adam loved it (not as much as had the wig stayed on, but still, he was impressed with his professionalism under pressure). Veronica went on to say that is what she telepathically told him to do last week.

And when Zach said, “oh my gosh, this ballet is cursed.” I believed him. I saw all the previews. I knew the many things that were coming. Ian Tanzer, wow, did things slide into a dark abyss or what? I have made no bones about the fact I adore Ian. I think he is near perfection (from a lay person’s eye). Can I see at times things he could clean up? You betcha, but come on…look at that face…listen to his amazing attitude. When he said he wanted to dance his best and make Adam think he made the wrong decision at contract time, I became even more crazy about this young man. And not in some bizarre Mrs. Robinson way…but as someone who definitely loves and respects ballet and the dancers that perform it. When he and Joshua Whitehead run into each other and his thumb snaps, my stomach immediately tied up in knots. NOOO…this can’t be happening. He’s worked so hard. It’s his last show with Ballet West. Seriously? This can not be happening to him. But, there he was, after trying to work out alternative ways to life his lovely dancer, realizing he could not do it. Even with that disappointment, he was a class act. His girlfriend, Allyson Hanson, was so supportive. Since I can’t steal him away for my daughter, it’s nice to know he has such a sweet, kind, and supportive presence in his life. Kudos to both of you. And a lifetime of happiness.

I can’t imagine how difficult this season must have been on Ronnie Underwood. I’ve missed seeing his chiseled good looks and cocky attitude each week. As I always tell my dancer, everything you do can put your feet, ankles, and legs at risk for ending a potential career (you  know, so stop jumping, running, moving). When Ronnie had the infection and the medical staff even uttered the words that he could lose a foot, I’m sure he felt like someone sucker punched him. I felt sick to my tummy just thinking about it and I don’t know him personally. Seeing him work his way back shows how dedicated he is to his craft. I know that next season is going to show him rising time and again to the occasion of beautiful dancing. Get well, Ronnie…Breaking Pointe and Ballet West aren’t the same without you!

Beckanne Sisk who has been struggling this year with focus and drive, totally amazes me on stage. I think she said something to the effect of not thinking of the choreography while on stage, instead relaxing to “let muscle memory take over.” Muscle memory is something I hear a lot from my dancer. I thought Becks had no weaknesses after hearing Adam talk of her last year and watching her perform, I am amazed by her grace and beauty. When Adam said that with her promotion he expected her to fix things, I was blown away. Floppy feet? Beckanne? Really? Then Veronica explained it all to me and I got it. Adam, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. Beckanne totally has this! She is also still concerned whether her handsome beau, Chase will get a contract. But, I know this won’t affect her ability to be the dancer Adam sees her being in the future. So, bring on the hard work…she’s ready!

Rex Tilton has battled an injury all season. According to Christiana (or Allison, I forgot to write it in my notes, thinking I’d remember…obviously I didn’t), this has been “the year of the injury at Ballet West.” Definitely true. Rex is not only battling whether he can perform at full capacity, but will his performance prove to Adam that he deserves a promotion. Allison and Beckanne talk about this and feel he should (perhaps Allison saying this is because she feels a strong connection to his being there). Rex feels he should. I’ll admit it…I believe he should. Mine is selfish, because I would hate to see him go. While he did favor his injured foot, he performed beautifully. Right before the Prince and Cinderella walk down the stairs, that little grin he gives the audience made me squeal like a little school girl. He was entirely too adorable. I was so proud of his perseverance in this performance.

I want to see Christopher Ruud perform as one of the evil step-sisters. Come on…show more than just snippets of his performance. Both men (I mean sisters,) are a hoot and a half. Hilarious. It’s interesting to see Chris seemingly reach out to Christiana only to be rebuffed. Yet, I see where she is coming from with the no talking at work rule. Hubs and I used to work at the same prison…he as a correctional officer and I was a social worker. It was tough working in the same building. I preferred to call him Office Francis and have as little interaction as possible. Thankfully, the one time I was assaulted, he wasn’t on duty. Can you imagine that drama? Hubs might be in prison had he been there. And while we couldn’t keep a total non-talking rule at work, we only allowed 30 minutes of work talk once we got home. Now that I’m not in the prison setting, he sometimes goes on (and on and on) about work…but I tune it out. Shh…don’t tell him. Oops, I digress. When Chris asked if she was okay, in pain, or had swelling, perhaps she should have answered. But, she is dealing with so much as a principal, cracking the shell…even barely, could open the floodgates where she can’t focus on performing. A slip up on stage, and her career could be over. Chris knows that. So, while I love him (and still can’t wait for him to train Veronica), maybe he should have kept up with the rule. I don’t know…I’m not in their marriage.

So…let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this episode. Wait, do ballet dancers eat meat and potatoes? Just kidding. This episode, in my honest opinion, goes completely to Christiana Bennett and Allison DeBona. They showed what true friendship means. I love how Allison told it like it was to Christiana. When she said she wasn’t listening and Christiana said she was…Alli responded with, “no, you’re not.” And it was blunt and not sugar-coated. That is what a real friend does. They both shared relationship concerns with each other. They both had things that caused them to make definitive types of comments. When Christiana fell off pointe during a turn with Rex, she criticized herself for the silly mistake (her words, not mine). She realizes that her personal life is affecting her professionally (how could it not?) and that she has to sever those feelings to stay on top of being professional during this production. When Allison told Jonathon (and shame on you for not being there for her. Put your petty jealousy aside and get over yourself. Being there for each other is a two-way street) that “I wish somebody was out there that I knew,” she was begging for him to apologize (in my mind, at least) and tell her that he was wrong and should have. But instead, he seemed to rush her off the phone.

Enter Christiana for friendship 2.0. Allison says that he (Jonathon) is a “hurt person.” Christiana replied, “sometimes there’s too much hurt to keep pushing on.” That one statement covered both of them. Both of these women are in transitional periods in their life both professionally and personally. While they are separate entities, they really aren’t. If you have a bad day at work, it goes home with you. If you have a bad day at home, it goes to work with you. Yes, to an extent you can “sever” those feelings and go into tunnel vision…but those feelings are still there.

So, let’s pretend that what we see on Breaking Pointe is the whole story. There is no editing. What you see is what you get. Here are my thoughts on it. Like them or hate them…it’s how I see things if these were all of the pieces to these puzzles.

I believe that marriage should be forever. And I say that as someone who has been divorced and is remarried (for almost 16 years). In a perfect world, couples would talk through their problems and fix them. They would work it out and life would be grand. That isn’t always the case. Sometimes the canyon is just to wide to fix. Sometimes you try to talk and work it out, and the only acceptable answer is that “we don’t work.” Divorce has become so easy, yet I do not believe that Christiana see it as an easy out. It is obvious her heart is torn in so many directions. And should she and Christopher not stay together, they will still work together, so even that doesn’t end all of the emotions.

And Allison and Jonathon’s relationship…I get where he is coming from. He is ready to settle down and get married. But, I also think a bigger piece of the puzzle is he wants her away from Rex. Let’s pretend for a second that this isn’t true. He can’t leave his residency. Okay. He is passionate about his career. Yet, he is willing to ask, beg, and give the ultimatum that if Allison wants him, she must give up her passion to be with him. Leave ballet. Leave her dream. Really? You think that’s okay? It’s my way or we’re over? You come see me, but I’m not coming there because I might have to see Rex. Sorry that you are dancing a role you love, I don’t want to see your ex, so I’m letting you perform in front no one you love. No way. Unacceptable. Relationships are two-way streets (I said this already, so it must be true). It’s not all your way. It is about compromise. It’s about working things out through thick and thin or hundreds of miles.

I read an article once that said in all actuality, people aren’t meant to be monogamous. That doesn’t mean to run out and get a sister-wife, or a harem. It means that the person right for you at twenty, just might not be the right person for you at thirty, or forty. Again, I’m not saying, get divorced each decade. But it makes sense. I am most definitely not the same person as I was twenty years ago. As a couple, you hope to grow together, closer each year…but, is that realistic? Not everyone grows at the same pace (or at all). While I love my husband, he is not the same person I married (nor am I). How I am now, would probably never have given him a chance. Thankfully, we are able to work through bumps in the road and I hope we always can. Is our marriage perfect? Excuse me while I laugh hysterically. The old Dear Abby stand by, though, keeps it in perspective for now. Am I better off with him or without him? I can’t picture life without him, so I’m in the right place. But…Ms. Bennett and Mr. Ruud deserve to have happiness and unconditional love…if it’s not with each other? Maybe it is time for the next chapter of their lives. For Allison and Jonathon…ask yourself…if I am willing to give up everything I love about my career to start a life with you…just what are you giving up for me? And if there is any part of your heart still being held by someone else…it just might be the person you belong with.

Last season was filled with a lot of eating, humor, eating, dancing, drinking, eating, and drinking. I loved every last second of it. This season is giving us a much bigger look at their personal lives. I feel so much more invested in these dancers. I feel a part of their lives. I hurt when they hurt. I laugh when they laugh. I am in awe when they dance. I want this show to go on and on…I dream of taking Veronica to train with Chris Ruud. I long for her to dance under Adam’s watchful eye. I want to continue getting to know these dancers. And I want for them all to have happiness because every week, they bring happiness to my home.

Photo by Steven FrancisIt is obvious I am a ballet nut. If I could only choose one dance style to watch for the rest of my life, it would be ballet. I watch “Breaking Pointe,” my daughter is a ballerina, we go to the ballet anytime we can, and we watched Bunheads for the dancing, not the teenage drama. To see the dancers of Ballet West perform, would be a dream come true. Interestingly, I also love hip hop, which is definitely on the polar opposite end of the dance spectrum (but more closely related to the dancing gyrations of Miss Miley Cyrus.)

I made the mistake (?) of watching the Miley Cyrus performance at the VMA’s on MTV Monday night. Well, I watched Breaking Pointe Monday (of course), then watched her on Tuesday. There are so many things I could say. One being how disappointed I am in Robin Thicke for agreeing to be in such a spectacle. I love Robin, but he definitely lost some points in my book. Her performance (using that word for lack of a better one) was pure filth. I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open like some prehistoric cave dweller, while my daughters sat there embarrassed and uncomfortable…much like the bulk of the audience goers.

I don’t mind the twerking so much (each generation has their style of dirty dancing), but I did not need to see her flabby butt hanging out of her too-small undies, jiggling all over the stage while her tongue kept rolling out of her mouth like a Saint Bernard on a 110 degree day. And just what exactly, was up with the foam finger? So, here it is…my Take 5 dedicated to the reasons Miley Cyrus and ballerinas have nothing in common.

1. The first difference is years of formal dance training. While Miley isn’t a terrible dancer, she can’t even hold a pointe ribbon compared to the likes of Christiana Bennett, Allison DeBona, and Beckanne Sisk. Heck, she couldn’t even hold Veronica’s (and she’s only 15.) While Miley will hopefully never grace the stage of Ballet West or ABT, you don’t necessarily expect to see one of the aforementioned dancers doing the Jersey Turnpike up against Eminem, either. It is possible that Ronnie Underwood could give Miley a run for her money in inappropriate dancing, but that seems to be an isolated incident (okay, probably not, but it was only televised once.)

2. Ballerina’s wear a lovely bun, centered and neat. Miley’s two bun look was more Hellboy than Swan Lake. And before you count me as a total hater, I actually like her short haircut…just not the ill-placed Princess Leia cinnamon buns.

3. Ballerina’s never…and I do mean NEVER have flabby booties. They have tight, round tushes that fill out jeans and leotard’s. No, I’m not a perv, I have dancers whom I see every day at home. When they dance around, there is never a jiggle in sight. And if you watch Breaking Pointe, you know that neither the male nor female dancers ever look like a “bowl full of jello.” NEVER!

4. I have never witnessed a ballet where it was necessary for the soloist or prima to have their tongues hanging out like Gene Simmons at a Kiss concert. Miley had hers out at least 3 times in the first 5 seconds of her song. Seriously Miley, you are too cute to look like a rabid dog. Keep your tongue inside your mouth, please. You are not a frog trying to catch a fly…or at least I don’t think you are.

5. In ballet you have a three-hour performance of grace, beauty, and class (in costumes that accentuate their fabulous physiques), not 3 minutes of porn on national television in nude colored underwear that make your bum look like the bottom part of a chicken, which you rub against a married man in a Beetlejuice suit.

So…there you have it. My 5 reasons ballet and Miley Cyrus are nothing alike. I can NOT un-see that performance. My eyes are seared from all of that…trash. When will it be Monday so my peepers can once again be filled with all things lovely?

And merely as a PSA…I don’t hate Miley Cyrus. I do not like her actions. When you are in the spotlight, whether you want it or not, you are a role model. I realize she is trying to “find herself,” as an adult artist. Trust me, Miley, you don’t need to find yourself, I saw practically all of you in this performance. Don’t be yet another artist to succumb to the pressures and end tragically before your talent is used to it’s full potential. You can sing, you can act…don’t waste it on disgusting displays of attention seeking.

I can’t. I mean seriously, I just can’t. Breaking Pointe has taken my heart, ripped it out, stomped on it a few times, then kicked it to the filthy gutter with a perfectly ragged toe shoe. Listen, it has been a ROUGH week in my world, and I can not take the emotional roller coaster I feel right now. Seriously, I…CAN…NOT…TAKE…IT! There, I am drawing an imaginary line in the sand and giving you an ultimatum. Either cheer up or I’m done.

Okay, I’m just kidding. This weeks episode had a little bit of everything (although, perhaps there could have been a smidge more dancing, just saying. I want to see Christopher Ruud perform the whole dance as the ugly, stepsister). There was humor (Chris Ruud strutting daintily in a dress), cockiness (Zach bragging in front of Ian about getting the contract. I know he wants to scream it from the rafters, but a little humility would be more classy, but seriously Zach, I do understand your pride. You earned it. So enjoy!), adoration (did you see those students fawning over Beckanne, who was gracious and humble), and all kinds of emotions.

Allison and Rex…last season I wanted to shake them both and tell them to grow up and get the H. E. Double Hockey Sticks away from each other. They were toxic with a capital Arsenic. This year, they show respect for each other and genuine fondness. Whether they are merely friends, or is there an unending love just begging to be given a real chance, well, we don’t know yet, but they were so cute tonight. I loved the teasing and playfulness. I enjoy that he is completely respecting where she is coming from with her emotions and may be heading with her future (despite her really needing to know the same from him). It’s nice to see him offer advice and her take it…but, it may have been rewarding to see him do the same. Take the bleeping energy bar, Rex. Sheesh!

I love Ian’s confidence. I love that he just put it out there that Ballet West was giving up the hardest working dancer in ballet. Hey, it takes some “manliness” to just lay it out there like that. I love that despite his being disappointed and hurt, he is still the consummate professional. I’m a huge fan. Veronica is a huge fan. I know there are tremendous things in the future for him. And I will be there every step of the way (documenting, like his own personal stalker…I mean, historian).

Adam…obviously under some pressure. I mean, you know, if you consider running Ballet West and putting on a hug Ce production of Cinderella to be pressure. He wants, expects, and demands perfection. But, as you can see, he is there, hour after hour supporting his dancers. He doesn’t just order them to do something, then go hole up in his office counting his scarf collection. He is truly invested. He shows it week after week…he cares about his dancers. Yes, he expects that they keep their personal lives out of the studio and do what they are born (and paid) to do, but you can see it in his eyes, that he hurts when his dancers hurt. Veronica said she would love to dance under his tutelage. He is definitely someone who is portrayed as a leader whom I would feel confidant and comfortable sending my daughter.

It was fun watching Beckanne and Katie Martin (totally miss her) go back to The Rock School for Dance Education. Obviously this year has been a bit of a struggle for Becks (my new nickname for her) motivation-wise. It was great to see the huge smile grace her lovely face as she helped the young, star-struck dancer. Her posture even became more motivated. And it’s always a delight to see her relationship with her bestie, Katie.

Well, here we go with the meat and potatoes section. Christiana and Christopher. You can see so much hurt in both of their eyes. I’m not even going to pretend to know what goes on behind the closed doors of their home. No one knows but them. And sometimes you can love someone and it just not be working at that time. Chris seems to know where his shortcomings are (too much time dancing and directing). Christiana just feels lost and that things are crashing down around her. I can’t even begin to know how difficult this all must be…to have it play out on television, while you are working together professionally…there are so many variables, it has to be almost unbearable. Yet, she handles it with class and grace. And so does he.

It’s devastating to see that their future may not be together. Who can forget their dinner last year when she talked about newbies always biting at your heels, wanting your job. How supportive he was of her feelings. And perhaps, editing is making this worse than it is. Somehow though, their eyes seem almost glazed over with regret and loneliness. Perhaps a break, like she mentioned to her brother is what could save them…I don’t know. And her talking with Allison, literally felt like I was there, I just wanted to take her hand and tell her everything would be alright. But, even if I was there, I couldn’t do that. Because I do not know. Veronica said she wanted to hug her. Can you tell we are a touchy feely family?

These real emotions shown on this show do just that. They bring us in. We aren’t some television voyeurs waiting to see Ronnie dance like a stripper (although, hey, I’m not opposed to that), but it makes us feel like we are with friends. We care what happens to our friends. We laugh when they are funny. We hurt for them when they are aching. We cringe when they are injured, knowing all to well what that could mean to their dancing future. This show portrays so much more than just a cultured version of “Jersey Shore.” It portrays real people, living extremely cool, but real lives. Yeah, yeah, editing can do about anything, but I truly believe that this show portrays the life of a ballerina with many realities. I really hope that all of the dancers feel joy and happiness, because Breaking Pointe brings those feelings to me.

Just one more thing, though…are we gonna dance or what? Show me some more dancing. Show Veronica the technique that she longs to see as she, herself improves as a dancer. And, if you have a copy of Petit Mort lying around, I would be more than happy to watch it (repeatedly) and then review it. Thank you Breaking Pointe for making Monday’s a whole lot better!

Well, I finally feel like I can write and make sense about my feelings regarding the “meetings” with Adam Sklute on this week’s episode of Breaking Pointe. Without any further adieu, here goes.

Here are my happy and fuzzy feelings. I am so very, truly, happy and proud of Allison. Soloist…about darned time. While moments last year I wanted to fast-forward through her scenes (come on, she was a bit of a “B” word), this year, I see the humble, vulnerable, fiercely talented woman she is. She has so much on her plate…is there a future with Jonathon, should there be a future with Jonathon, or are they doomed because of history, careers, distance, and a lack of full understanding about what makes her tick (that passion for dance,) I’m surprised she hasn’t completely fallen apart. She’s a strong one! Yeah, yeah, I know her contract was addressed an episode ago, but dangit, I’m so excited for her I wanted to mention it again. Allison DeBona, you rock, girl!

Beckanne Sisk has moved up the ranks at lightning fast speed. Soloist, so soon? Okay, so she’s majorly talented, but does she deserve it? Um…darn tootin’. (Okay, I don’t really use sayings like that, but I though it might be fun to try it out. Doesn’t really work for me, does it? I didn’t think so, either.) While I worry that her expectations of where she should be in the company could be her demise (she obviously puts a lot of pressure on herself), Adam has definitely seen that sparkling, star quality from day one. I guess that’s why Adam is the director, and I’m merely blogging about it. So, Beckanne should be extremely happy and proud. Okay, for the thing she said that I found ironic and humorous. She was talking with Chase O’Connell, her adorable boyfriend, about their future, both personally and professionally. Chase was discussing how if he didn’t promote, he would audition elsewhere (I wish they had focused some on his talent during the season, and perhaps they will). Beckanne comments that he has no patience and has to realize he must work hard and it will not go unnoticed (not really those words, but you get the gist.) Yet, in her meeting with Mr. Sklute, she was talking about her feelings of being stagnant and wanting to move up. Just shows that sometimes you can give advice, even when not completely taking it yourself. This is not a slam on the lovely Ms. Sisk, merely an observation on a young couple trying to find their way in the world of professional ballet.

Now on to being perplexed. Rex Tilton. Okay, so he tucked and rolled during the sheet scene in “Petit Mort.” (Have I mentioned just how incredibly desperate I am to see this ballet?) He did roll with grace and professionalism (can fall professionally…yes, I think so). He had some drama and focus issues last season (or a lot). He has an injury he’s recovering from. (It happens, unfortunately). When he met with Adam and was left at his current position with the possibility to promote, I was bumfuzzled. On the one hand, yes, he has a job and it is good with lots of potential. On the other hand, come on, he’s precious…promote him. (I know you don’t promote on being adorable, but perhaps you should!)

Let’s move on to Zachary Prentice. I have made no bones about the fact I didn’t care for him. I think I likened him to a junior high girl. This episode though, he showed vulnerability. He wasn’t the catty, behind the back talking, diva digging into everyone’s personal lives. He discussed how he and Ian Tanzer have worked hard and are each other’s competition. He talked of how Ian fits the look that Ballet West likes more than he does (even Adam said that). He discussed his self-esteem with his body (everyone does that, but in the land of ballet, professional or not, the dancers do obsess). And he questioned where he would go if all of his time and dedication didn’t pay off. So, he won me over. I saw a different side tonight and I am happy and proud of him for being promoted. Congratulations, Zach. I look forward to seeing you dance.

Now, that being said…WHAT…THE…HECK…ADAM SKLUTE! Seriously, you couldn’t have made room for both Zach and Ian? Ian Tanzer has been my favorite since the moment I laid eyes on him this season. He has a classic handsomeness and that body…so lean and lanky. The type that you just know will look elegant on stage playing beautifully, masculine roles. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I may have even teared up a bit (I don’t remember, I think instead of tears we all may have screamed a resounding “NOOOO!!!”) I will not say what happens to him, because I do not know if this information has been revealed, and it’s not my story to discuss (yet, interview in the works!) All I know, is that he handled himself with class. Way to go, Ian…you are definitely a winner. I can not wait to see you continue to grow as a performer and I know your humbleness will take you far. Bravo!

I’d say yet another winning episode. This show is by far my favorite and must-see program. It’s an eternity between Monday’s! Veronica said that after watching this show for two seasons, she just may wish to audition for Ballet West when she graduates high school. While her ultimate goal has always been to be in the ballet in Paris, she said being able to train with Chris Ruud, and Adam Sklute (not gonna lie Adam, mostly Chris at this point. Hey, she’s only 15 and he’s like a teen idol) and to dance with the likes of Christiana, Allison, and Beckanne…she is thinking Salt Lake City just may be where she heads. I can live with that…Utah is a beautiful state. Let’s keep this show going and see her in a few years!

Well, it’s only four days until another episode of Breaking Pointe. I can feel the withdrawals already. *sigh*

I reviewed Breaking Pointe Season One, and was hard on a couple of people. Now is the time to critique season two…who will survive the wrath of Kristin? Well, let’s see. Our household was waiting, rather impatiently for the show to begin. Veronica was at a summer intensive with the Atlanta Ballet, but thankfully, it was over prior to the show beginning. That makes me think…I guess I need to catch everyone up on Veronica, as well…and not just the photo shoot. Nonetheless, this is about Ballet West. So, let’s go dancer by dancer again. And while some people say, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, my motto is, if you can’t say anything nice, come sit next to me. Okay, I think I stole that from Mae West (or Steel Magnolias, or some such), I’m really not sure. So, here goes…

Ballet may seem like a beautiful fairytale, but behind the scenes, is where the real drama lies. For a ballet dancer, the path to perfection is paved with fear, agony, and sacrifice. I take the most stunning, powerful dancers, put them on the stage to live out their dreams. Some will rise to the challenge, but for others, this may be their breaking pointe. (Opening quote from season two, not sure who wrote it).

This season brought some returning dancers, and a few new ones. I was amazed at how much I missed these people, like they were my long, lost best friends…you know the ones that don’t even know you exist? Yep, that’s my Ballet West friends!

Christiana Bennett – Still the ultimate in graceful beauty. But, there is a dark cloud looming…not one of what character will I get in Cinderella, but more seriously, one that affects her life even after dance. While we all know working with a spouse is probably not the best idea, it is her relationship, that last season was filled with kindness, respect, and love.

There are two things I think about dating / marrying where you work. One is that you should choose someone outside your field. That way you can decompress with someone who has no real knowledge of your business. You can, in essence, forget the day and just relax. The other, is that you should choose someone in your field, because they fully understand the long hours, the hard work, the dedication, and difficulty of being in the performing arts. Obviously, they are in the latter category, so let’s move on to her husband.

Christopher Ruud – Handsome. Talented. Driven. Not unlike his stunning wife. But now, instead of being a dancer, choreographer, and husband, he is also the director of Ballet West 2. His life has a lot more business to it. While he seems to be spending a lot of time away from her, the scenes in the most recent episode where he tries to talk with her and apologizes (more than once) were extremely touching and seem to show that he is completely invested in the relationship.

While we all know (and I’ve said before), editing can make something look like anything the producers want. But, I (in my naiveté) believe they would not jeopardize a seven-year marriage for ratings. It appears from previews that there will continue to be conversation regarding their relationship and where it is going. For both of them, I hope they can work it out, if it’s meant to be…they totally seem to have something good and real. But, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

Rex Tilton – Battling a foot injury, he struggles with what role he will get in Cinderella (Prince), and continues to be that guy that you just want to hug. Still love him and still think he has the potential to be principal! I need to see him more! Get well, soon!

Ronnie Underwood – So, I’ve seen a new side of him this season, even with him being in the show much less. It’s obviously devastating and scary to think about a career ending injury, but then when the doctor said the infection could mean amputation if not improved, well, that’s horrifying to anyone. I love that when he is back, he kept pulling up or removing his shirt. Yep, that is exactly what I’m talking about. So handsome. Can’t wait to see his pure and manly talent back up on that stage!

Beckanne Sisk – Hmm…where to begin. Wow, she has grown up a lot this last year. A cute boyfriend, confidence…she is poised to move up the ranks at mach speed. I would prefer to not see her drink since she’s underage, but who am I to judge? She has a major clash with Zach…I will address him later. I think she has her head on straight and her argument where she states Zach should stay out of her relationship with Chase was spot on. It is their relationship, no one else’s, as long as it doesn’t affect her work or bring drama to anyone else’s performances. She is truly graceful and beautiful and talented. I can’t wait to continue watching her grow as an adult and a dancer. I can’t really say much about Chase, as it hasn’t focused on him much. But, he seems like a nice young man.

Josh – I love that there is a dancer of color. How wonderful to show the world that you don’t have to just be a cookie cutter image of what “normal” ballet dancers are. He’s kind and talented.

Zach – I think he is vicious and mean. But, he is talented. He reminds me of a junior high girl. You know, the one that is all about the drama while saying they like everyone? I’m holding out hope that I’m wrong, because I don’t like that pettiness, but will have to wait and see. I do like his committed relationship and the closeness they share.

Ian Tanzer – Definitely my favorite new dancer. Handsome. Talented. Masculine. Funny and nice. I want so much for him to get a contract. I think that he definitely has what it takes to be a leading man. His girlfriend, Allyson, is adorable and such a darling love story. I can’t wait to get to know him better, to interview him, and to get to know what makes him tick!

Adam Sklute – Still completely amazing. Watching him tear up when talking to Josh or Allison, certainly makes me realize he cares more than just a boss-employee relationship. There aren’t enough words to review him. All I can say, is that my daughter after seeing him with Allison, said she wants to be in Ballet West and dance for Adam when she turns 18. We shall see…

And finally, Allison DeBona – What a transformation. This season, she is kind, insightful, caring, intelligent…and we can’t forget beautiful and talented. She is a comforting friend. She is a dedicated dancer. And now, she is in love with Jonathon. Perhaps I should say re-in love. He wants her to quit dance and move to Detroit to be with him as he finishes his medical residency. My first thought is why would he want her to give up her career for his? I see that long distance doesn’t work forever. He’s ready for marriage, babies, and stability. She may be too, but is she really ready to retire? Has she achieved all she wants? I keep saying, if it’s meant to be, he will wait. Yet, I can bat this one back and forth for hours. When she talks with Adam about her contract and says she has not fallen out of love with dance…I knew then and there, she wasn’t ready to retire. What a complete relief. Veronica felt that way too. I even sniffled a bit over her exchange with both Adam and Jonathon. I’m thrilled she will be staying.

So, this season is shaping up to be everything I want and more. I get to spend time with my girls. I get to watch amazing dancers and choreography and ballet’s (have I mentioned I would really like to see Petite Mort?) I can’t wait to see where the rest of this season leaves. Would do almost anything to see these ballet dancers perform in person. Will I ever get that? Perhaps not. But, I can feel invested in where they go and how they get there.

If you haven’t watched this amazing show…please do. It just might give you a different view of this amazing art form!