Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Come join our dance community!

Season 4!

We’re a diverse and inclusive community of adult ballet dancers.

Leigh Purtill Ballet Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a focus on bringing ballet to audiences who never thought ballet would be for them. 

We perform in various venues and for a wide range of audiences. 

We do community outreach and workshops for kids and teens too. 

We’d love to see YOU at our company intention on January 12, 2020.


When: Sunday, January 12, 2020
Time: 12-2PM
Where: Inspire Dance Studio, 457 Foothill Blvd, La Canada CA 91011

PLEASE take a moment to read our company membership requirements!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

My first monthly newsletter!

Hello all and welcome to December!

I hate getting a ton of emails, especially when the good ones get swamped by the spam. So rather than send you all a bunch of my super awesome and informative emails about class changes and workshops, etc. I decided I would start a monthly newsletter!

In it, I will let you know about any changes to my classes, my schedule, my locations, etc. as well as links to cool things like pirouette tips or fun shows, my recent blog posts or even my book reviews for Dance Advantage. I'll also include brief company updates in case you are in the company or want to know more about it.

You can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time! I know that not everyone likes newsletters but I find it much easier to keep things all in one place rather than a whole bunch of emails that I send to the trash and then have to go searching for.

Here's the link on the web.

View this email in your browser

December 2019 schedule

All classes will be in session through the end of 2019, except NO CLASS on Christmas Day. **On Christmas Eve, 12/24, and New Year's Eve, 12/31, there will be MORNING classes only: 10:30AM-12PM at Inspire Dance Studio in La Canada. These will be Open Level classes and everyone can attend! View my full schedule here (scroll to bottom of page).

December special treats!
Beginner class will be learning my Tarantella dance from Nutcracker.
Pointe class will be learning my Sugar Plum Fairy variation.

Special notes

Beginning January 1, 2020, the price of a single class will be $18; 5-class cards will be $85; 10-class cards will be $155. As always, they have NO expiration date and may be used for any of my classes.

Featured technique tip!

We could all use some tips on turns! Here is one that speaks to the UNDERARMS, an oft-neglected area of the body.  Underarm pirouettes!


The company will have a final meeting on December 7 at Inspire from 1-2PM. Mark your calendars: Our Intention for the 2020 season will be on Sunday, January 12, 12PM. Everyone is welcome to participate if they would like to be part of the company's 4th season. More information to come!

Many thanks to all of you who attended our show in October! We had over 600 guests and we performed in a beautiful new theater, the Manoukian Performing Arts Center. For those of you who missed it, the photos featured here (courtesy of Raul Paredes) are the newest characters in "Sweet Sorrow, A Zombie Ballet": Werewolves (Celia Green and Omaira Galarza), Their Innocent Victim (Kavita Master), and Benvolio (Bill Reiss)!
Copyright © 2019 Leigh Purtill Ballet, All rights reserved.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Thanksgiving Morning! Open level ballet with me!

Local dancers!

Come take ballet with me on Thanksgiving morning! It will be an Open Level class at Inspire Dance Studio in La Canada - easy access from the freeways, plenty of free parking, and right next to a Trader Joe's if you have last-minute shopping needs. 
What: Open Level Adult Ballet
When: Thursday, 11/28, 10:30AM-12PM
Where: Inspire Dance Studio, 457 Foothill Blvd, La Canada, CA

Hope you can make it! If not, I hope you enjoy the day with family and friends. And many thanks for another wonderful year of dance! My favorite place to be is in the studio with all of you.

P.S. All classes will be held as usual through the holiday weekend!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Underarm Pirouettes

Technically they should be called "serratus anterior" pirouettes. The serratus muscles connect the first 8 ribs to the thorax (think of a serrated knife on either side of your rib cage under your armpits).
Illustration courtesy Wikipedia

We turn with so many parts of our bodies, such as:
--our feet, which push us up to releve and initiate momentum
--our calves, which hold us up in releve to sustain the turn
--our arms, which help give us lift and sustain momentum
--our hands, which help initiate the turn
--our backs, which can initiate the turn as well
--our necks, which keep our alignment from head to toe
--our eyes, which spot and keep us from getting dizzy
--our heads, which help keep our balance
--our torsos, which keep us balanced and lifted during the turn

That's a LOT of body parts! So which one is missing?

Kneecaps? Pull 'em up on the releve!

Chin? Don't let it dip or pull back on the spot!

Elbows? Keep them rounded!

Shoulders? Keep them down!

Derrieres? Engage those glutes but don't grip them!

Which leaves us with...the underarms! With so many other body parts to talk about, we forget about the underarms, the serratus anterior muscles, but they are so important for our turns. They need to be engaged like the back muscles, lifted like the torso, and feel connected to the arms before and during the turn.

How do we find these muscles? Next time you're at the barre, try to do one of the simpler exercises with both hands off the barre and the arms in second. In order to hold yourself in a turned-out position and prevent yourself from falling over while also working the gesture leg, you need to ground yourself in two places: the glutes of the standing leg and the underarm of the barre arm.

How do we know if they are engaged on the turn? You will feel a lift like you are a balloon filled with helium and you will turn as if you are floating. Conversely, if you are aiming for multiple pirouettes, you will feel the rotation like a washing machine, spinning in opposite directions as you reach the arms away from you and snap them back in.
Photo courtesy Daily Nothings, cc license
Something new to think about during turns! Happy dancing~

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Got a few minutes to answer a few questions about ballet?

10 questions could get you $20!
Hello all!

One of my students created a survey that gathers data about ballet classes, attendance, and preferences. If you have a few minutes to answer a few short questions, that would be wonderful and very, very helpful!
You do not need to be one of my current or former students, nor must you live in this area to participate. Many of the questions are general and speak to how and why adults take ballet class (or in some cases, don't).

By participating, you can enter a random drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card! Just click the link below to be taken to the SurveyMonkey survey. And feel free to share with friends.  

Ballet class survey

photo courtesy Kevin Dooley, cc license

Thank you so much!

The survey link will expire Oct 31 at midnight (ooh, spooky!).