Bloch Sonata Pointe Shoes and Elastoribbon!

Hi everyone!

My lovely boyfriend bought me a brand new pair of pointe shoes and ribbons/elastics for Christmas in 2015 (LOL) and I have been dancing on dead shoes for about two years now! I don’t recommend dancing on dead shoes, but let me explain myself.

I love the Bloch Sonatas because the shank is supportive, they fit my foot nicely, and once they are worn in, they are super flexible and mold to the foot really well. Back during the holidays in 2015, I had just bought my own Bloch Sonatas, and hadn’t even sewn them yet. So, I put my new ones away for the day I needed new shoes. I don’t do pointe as much as I do modern and contemporary, so they lasted me a long time.

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That day has finally come to use my new ones, however, and I decided to try the Bloch Elastoribbon my boyfriend bought with the new shoes! The Elastoribbon is cool because the ribbon is interrupted by a piece of elastic that wraps around the achilles tendon to offer a more comfortable fit. For this reason, they were a little tricky to sew. Nonetheless, here are my pointe shoes fully sewn, and I will tell you how I like to sew them.

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For my ribbons, it was weird to try to measure the length I needed because the elastic is placed in a peculiar spot on the ribbon itself. I decided to sew the ribbon in, and then measure it around my ankle, and adjust the ribbon once I determined the length needed to properly wrap around my ankle. To begin, I place my ribbon on the middle seam of the side of the pointe shoe (it is covered by the ribbon in this image), and sew it in place. As you can see, it is folded and sewn down to shorten the ribbon once I knew how long I needed it to be.

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For the elastic that supports the ankle and wraps only around the ankle, I use the back seam as a guide, and angle the elastic out and away from the seam. So the elastic exits the back of the shoe about an inch away from the seam.

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As you can see, where the elastic appears off the back of the shoe is about an inch away from the back seam.

Here is the finished product, and a demonstration of how the elastoribbon looks on my ankle and supports the achilles

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I am curious to try these new bad boys in the studio. I need to break the shoe in a little bit because the shank is really stiff right out of the box, but I plan to do an update once I know how these hold up. The color of the elastoribbon matched the color of my Sonatas perfectly, though! I’ve tried a few brands of pointe shoes, and Bloch Sonatas have been and still hold first place for me in comfort, shape, and support. ❤

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If you have used Elastoribbon before, drop a comment and let me know how you like it! I am so pleased with how beautiful my shoes look, and I can’t wait to break them in! Hopefully the ribbon works well for me and my body!

Until next time, happy dancing!

Xoxo

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Aerie Chill Play Move Review and Photos!

Hello everybody!

As you all know – I am a HUGE fan of Aerie. Aerie is a ladies loungewear, activewear, underwear store, and is a sister store to American Eagle Outfitters. About a week ago, I took advantage of a rewards member discount, and purchased two sports bras, a tank top, and a sweater! I loved the pink sports bra I bought because it matched a pair of leggings I bought from Aerie back in the spring time. My best friend and I were already planning to have a photoshoot day, so once my order came in, I knew I wanted to take some pictures in my new Aerie apparel. I also needed new headshots and action shots for auditions, so we grabbed our cameras and took some dance photos!

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The sports bra I am wearing in these images which is one of their Chill, Play, Move bras in the color ballet pinkI am also wearing their highwaisted Chill, Play, Move leggings which are a grey and pink floral print. Can you tell I love them!? The bra is so comfortable, and it offers a lot of support for the girls (if you know what I mean). The leggings are great too, and hold me in while giving me full range of motion!

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If you have not checked out Aerie’s apparel, you should definitely give them a chance! They always have great deals on their website, and most of the time they offer free shipping. The best part about Aerie is that they do not retouch their models, and they have models of all body types and ethnics in their marketing. The company campaign is #aerieREAL and being proud to show the world the REAL you! I love my body and am proud of who I am, and I am happy to know one of my favorite retailers supports all body types and different kinds of women wearing their brand!

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If you like my makeup in these photos, I did my makeup myself and used the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette on my eyes. I also used the Cailyn Cosmetics Pure Lust Extreme Lust Tint + Velvet in the shade Practicable (seriously it is a favorite of mine!!) on my lips.

What are your favorite activewear brands? Do you like Aerie? What do you love about them? Let me know! ❤

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

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The Inspiration Behind my Blog and Etsy Shop

Hello beautiful internet people!

I wanted to tell you all a story this evening about the inspiration behind Julia’s Leaps of Faith! There are so many reasons why I started my blog, but the blog it is today is completely different than the blog it began as, and the direction my blog is headed now has a definite backstory I think is important to share! There are two influences that helped me shape Julia’s Leaps of Faith into what it is today, so here we go!

As a child/teenager, I danced a lot at my local studio. I was taking seven classes a week, and to be honest I was no where near my peers in the amount of classes they were enrolled in. Truth is – dance lessons are super expensive, especially for parents of three who are paying for three childrens’ extracurricular activities, sports, and living expenses. I could not afford to dance as much as my peers, but in order to continue dancing as much as I was, I partook in a workstudy program at my studio. I student-taught/assisted classes each week, and I was given an hourly stipend to cut the costs of my monthly tuition (to help my parents pay the bills!).

This definitely helped my parents afford my dance lessons, and all the while I was able to assist my favorite teacher, Miss Sarah, in her ballet classes. Thursdays were the best because I helped Miss Sarah teach for two hours in the evening, and then I took two hours of her advanced class at night. Plus, I would buy us both Dunkin Donuts coffee every week, and in the fall we would delight over our obsession with Dunkin pumpkin coffee (hot with milk and sweetner on the side). See, Miss Sarah was a professional ballerina and always came to class with her hair in a PERFECT French Twist slicked back and pinned, her eyeshadow was flawlessly done, and the colors of her eyeshadow complimented her leotard and ballet skirt, and it complimented her earrings (she wore the prettiest earrings!).

I always admired her eyeshadow and earrings, and I knew when I was the lead dance teacher in the future I was going to try to compose myself in the way Miss Sarah did so gracefully! Miss Sarah also was the only teacher who never waivered in her belief in me to suceed and achieve in dance, and in all of my other endeavors. She is a big reason I am where I am today as a dancer/performer. As you can see, I only have very fond memories of this teacher, and she clearly left a positive impact on me!

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Always leaping!

The same year I began student teaching with Miss Sarah, I also began dancing in my high school’s musical productions! It was the first musical I ever danced in, and I began experimenting with makeup A LOT. I never wore a lot of makeup – a little mascara and blush, but I didn’t wear eyeliner or eyeshadow. But since I was going to be performing on stage as a character, I needed to improve my makeup skills. I bought a Maybelline and a Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow trio, and I began my experimentation! I also tried to mimic the winged liner I saw all of the other dancers wearing!

Thus, this experience catalyzed my obsession with makeup and eyeshadow, and I have not stopped experimenting with makeup or beauty products since. I was 15 when this all began, and now as a 22 year old woman I am so thankful dance and makeup go hand-in-hand, and that I can merge my two favorite obsessions together! ❤

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Talk about a throwback… Here is 15 year old me experimenting with layering white eyeliner on top of my winged black liquid liner. This picture was taken in 2011 (check out my auburn hair!)

I started making makeup because I wanted to have my own makeup collection available to performers and people everywhere who need cruelty-free and quality makeup, whether they need to perform on stage or at their workplace! Doing your makeup makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you shine! I want people to shine and feel as beautiful as they can because they deserve to! And who knows, you may be the person who inspires another young kid to go pursue their dreams and work hard, and to have kick-ass eye makeup while doing it (like Miss Sarah did for me)!

If you would like to purchase any of the makeup I make, or purchase a custom palette, visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/juliasleapsoffaith! The link will direct you to my page.

Xoxo lots of love and positive energy

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Dance Christmas Wishlist

Hello WordPress! Thank God it’s Friday, right?! I survived my first week of finals. That’s right people – I have two whole weeks of finals! That’s a dance major’s life anyway. During our last week of classes, we have our movement finals during our scheduled class times, and then during the actual finals week (the university-wide finals time), we have our dance jury. A dance jury is basically a time where you go into the studio alone to face the panel of your professors and they ask you to perform whatever final they want to see (we have different movement combinations/variations for each teacher and for each style of dance). After you dance, they give you your final evaluations and critiques for the semester.

I am the first one out of the department to have my jury this year (I don’t know why, but hopefully it’s a good thing!), and I have the holidays on my mind! I also am thinking of all of the dance stuff I need for next semester, so here is a brief list of everything I want!

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A few of the items I want from DiscountDance.com

As I’ve written in the past, I L.O.V.E. DiscountDance.com! It is my go-to site for everything I need for classes, rehearsals, and shows. All the items I want this Christmas can be purchased on DiscountDance!

  1. Bloch Sonatas: Bloch Sonatas are the pointe shoe I currently use! For one of my ballet teacher’s classes, we are doing a few different variations and solos from Swan Lake, and my pointe shoes are just at the point where they are about to break or die completely. They mold to my feet really well, and I love how the platform takes a while to become squishy. The pair I currently use is still pretty hard in the platform/box, however, I need a new pair for next semester.
  2. Bloch Elastoribbon: I’ve never tried this elastoribbon before – I’ve always had to sew on regular elastics and regular ribbons. But for my next set of pointe shoes I want to try this ribbon and see if it gives me any more support, or if I like it better than doing traditional elastic and ribbon separately.
  3. Natalie Long Sleeve Leotard: I want a long sleeve leo for the winter, and this leotard is super cute! It has a low cut back with a pinch twist, and it looks super comfortable. Every Natalie leotard I own fits me really well and wicks away moisture well too!
  4. Feather Lites Gel Toe Pads: (not pictured) I use gel toe pads in my pointe shoes to protect my feet, and I haven’t used this brand before. These come in a pretty pink or purple color, and I’d love to get them in purple since it’s my favorite color! Plus, with colored gel pads, I wouldn’t be able to see the discoloration from repeated use which makes the regular transparent toe pads look icky (don’t worry – I wash and baby powder my gel pads each week, but they still become discolored over time).

There you have it y’all! It’s a short and sweet list, but unfortunately dance apparel and shoes are expensive, so even though it’s a short list, it’s all worth over $100. Hopefully Santa brings me some cool dance gear this year!

Do you dance? What dance brands do you like?

Busy Busy Bee

Hello everyone!

This week has been crazy busy! My ballet classes were on pointe this week, I had a full week of rehearsals, I’ve been editing and revising my resume like crazy for an internship I’m applying for, I’ve been studying for this anatomy midterm and trying to do all the homework for this week for my psychology and nutrition classes.. It’s been rough and I’m exhausted! I actually just woke up a few minutes ago with a migraine! However, I wanted to tell you all some exciting news!

I go to a small college, and my dance department wasn’t sure if our budget for the year was going to get approved until yesterday! (Yeah more than halfway through the first semester and our budget was finally approved. Sounds kind of crazy right?!). Well regardless, thankfully the budget was approved, and that means the junior and senior dance majors get to go to the American College Dance Festival!! I have been dying to go since I was a freshman, but this privelege is only open to juniors and seniors. At last, it’s my turn to go and I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED.

This conference is called ACDA and we basically travel to a college that is hosting the festival. We either stay on campus or in a hotel, and take dance classes, sit in on lectures from dance professionals on a wide range of fun topics, and also there is an adjudication for different performances. As it looks like now, I may be performing in the adjudication with one piece our department performed last spring for our concert. Also, if your piece is great, you get to perform the piece again in the gala event on the final night. I cannot wait to go! It’s a four day event, and it’s in March, so I’m so excited I have this trip to look forward to!

We will be attending the ACDA conference in Brockport, NY. It’s pretty far away from where we are, but it should be a fun and new adventure (Especially trying to get there! Haha).
Is your college is attending the ACDA in Brockport in 2016? Let me know!

In other news, ladies and gents, keep in mind about the giveaway coming up in November between me and An Anchor of Love! Keep your eyes out for my blog with updates and rules of entry in a few weeks!

Have a happy Thursday!