Ballerina Profile: Nellie of Knit Two, Pointe Two, Bake Two Together

ABP interview 004This week’s profile is of Nellie from Knit Two, Pointe, Bake Two Together. I wrote about the awesome legwarmers she makes a couple weeks ago here.

Adult Ballerina Project: When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

Nellie: Six years ago! Sometimes it feels like yesterday though…

ABP: Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

Nellie: I did: I took ballet and tap from being about three and five respectively up to just short of eleven when I decided I’d had enough for a whole variety of reasons. A few years later a friend from school found dancing lessons and – needing something to do for the sport part of my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – I tagged along and did stage (which involved a lot of ballet and jazz) from fifteen to nearly eighteen.

ABP: Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

Nellie: I always regretted giving up ballet as a kid, whatever else may have gone down my childhood teacher had instilled a real love of ballet in my soul and I couldn’t really live without it. Shortly after I left university I was musing at a friend about how much I wanted to take it back up again, then I moved to London, she found a class and the rest, as they say, is history.

ABP: Where do you take classes?

Nellie: I take four classes a week divided between two studios which couldn’t be any more different if they tried!

ABP: What is your favorite part about ballet?

Nellie: There’s a feeling I refer to as ‘it’ because I don’t quite know how to put it into words but it’s when everything comes together and just feels ‘right’ and remember that this is exactly why I keep taking class.

ABP: What is your least favorite part?

Nellie: Turns to the left! No matter what I do, they just do not come together ever.

ABP: Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

Nellie: Oh my, there are so many – so, so many. I could watch Marianela Nunez of the Royal Ballet for hours on end for incredible technique and stage presence. Cassa Pancho, founder and director of Ballet Black, is also a real inspiration for proving that anything is possible.

ABP: What motivates you to keep dancing?

Nellie: I guess it’s that endless pursuit of perfection thing, the fact that there’s always something to learn or work on. And dance wear – there’s nothing like having a legit reason to splash out on new leotards 😉

ABP: Do you take any other dance classes?

Nellie: Not at the moment – I took tap back up for a while, and I tried street (I was hilariously bad). I’d like to give jazz and contemporary a try at some point though if someone could just squeeze a few more hours in my day!

ABP: What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

Nellie: Knitting (cabled legwarmers and red and white Fair Isle are my ‘thing’ at the minute), baking (there is always a need for cake), reading (mmmmmm books) and sleeping (which I never seem to manage enough of)!

ABP: What advice would you like to give to those who want to start ballet or have just started?

Nellie: Go for it, stick with it and enjoy it!

Legwarmers Part 2: Making Your Own

legwarmers

Like some of the other adult ballerinas I know, I both crochet and knit. I’ve crocheted myself a few pairs of failed legwarmers. They always end up too short and slip like crazy if I actually try to wear them with ballet. I’m forever jealous of these wonderful looking legwarmers made by Knit Two, Pointe Two, Bake Two Together. Her pattern is here, and I’m tempted to break out my knitting needles to make them.

However, I’ve been searching for good patterns to crochet (I’m better at crocheting than I am at knitting) and I stumbled upon these, the Draft Dodger Legwarmers. Besides having a pun-y name, The cuffs at the top and the bottom made me think, even though these don’t contain elastic, they might not slip. I’m still working on them (they’re really long–if you’re considering making them I’d think about cutting back on how many stitches you start out with), but I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Have you made your own legwarmers? How’d they turn out?

Legwarmers Part 1: Shopping For Legwarmers

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The Bambu Legwarmers I admire so much.

As it gets colder and colder in Pennsylvania, my ballet instructor keeps stressing the importance of picking up some legwarmers (or cutting the toes off a pair of long socks) so that our ankles can stay nice and warm.

I’ve been rocking legwarmers since summer (even though it was ridiculously hot–I’ve had some ankle troubles), so I own about four pairs of legwarmers, and I’m some of which have been picked up from dance stores, others of which I’ve picked up from stores like Target. I even picked up a pair of pretty purple ones from Burlington Coat Factory for $6 dollars (a steal, even if they are a little short for my taste).

The Body Wrapper Legwarmers I'll be picking up after Christmas, which are only a tenth of the cost of the others.

The Body Wrapper Legwarmers I’ll be picking up after Christmas, which are only a tenth of the cost of the others.

My current favorite pair is a pair of long Harmonie ones that I bought over the summer from the Rosin Box  (it was one of the only pairs they have, because, you know, who buys legwarmers in the middle of summer?), however I find that sometimes they slip a little around my knees, but for the price, they aren’t bad.

I’ve fallen in love with these echauffe leg warmers, and how they closely hug your leg and won’t slip, as well as the wide variety of colors they come in. However, they’re a bit steep at $80 per pair.

So I’ll probably be picking up a pair of these from Discount Dance or Amazon. They look like they’ll serve about the same purpose and not fall down easily, but they’re made of more of a warm-knitted material instead of the Bamboo yarn of the echauffe legwarmers.

Do you rock legwarmers year round like I do? What is your favorite pair?

 

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