Teen Ballerinas Daily Routine
1 Week Before a Show
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- It is freezing in my house， so Im wearing the booties that I wear for dance.
I have a super long day of school and dance.
So， lets do it！ Hi， Im Kayla Mak， and Im a 16 year old ballet dancer.
I dance six days a week， five hours a day， and Im a junior in high school.
From breaking in pointe shoes， to balancing school work， this is one week in my life.
Every day I have to balance dance and school.
Heres what my day actually looks like.
I try to wake up at A.M.
I usually set four alarms.
I eat cereal for breakfast.
I pack a pair of tights and a black leotard.
I sprint to catch the bus at .
The hardest class Im doing right now is AP Psych.
For AP Psych.
But actually， I got a 92.
Throughout the day if my muscles are sore， I usually apply some Tiger Balm， or I do some splits out in the hallway.
After school I usually have a snack before I get on the train.
Got the goods.
Oh guys， this is my dog Tucker.
I take a train for an hour to Harlem.
I usually try to get as much homework done as I can.
And I take the subway to my dance studio.
Before class， I stretch with my friends， and I roll out my muscles with my rolling balls.
Dance class usually last about five hours.
After class， I usually stay another hour on my own just to work on my piece.
At around I start heading to Grand Central.
And Im so excited.
If I didnt get my work done， before I try to get it done after.
I usually get home at around ， and by then I am starving， so I eat dinner really fast.
And then I go upstairs to my room， and do the rest of my homework.
I usually go to sleep at around .
And I love when I get into my bed， its the best feeling in the whole entire world.
And then I wake up and do it all again the next morning.
As a dancer， you break in a lot of shoes， and its a very rigorous process.
I kind of dread new pointe shoes.
Basically， I have to sew my elastic and ribbons on， and then try to bang on a concrete floor to get the sound out of them.
I step on them， try to make them as soft as possible for my feet.
Bend the whole body weight on there.
Banging the sound out of your pointe shoes， allows a dancer to have a softer lander when jumping.
Because sometimes， loud pointe shoes can be kind of distracting to an audience.
So when you first put your foot in a pointe shoe， its really hard.
Its made out of fabric and wood.
At first， your foot feels pretty squeezed in there， but then after a while when you break in the shoe， your foot should be feeling normal.
Usually going up on pointe， youre basically on your tippy toes.
It is pretty painful in the beginning， but by the end it feels good.
I mean， it feels less painful.
Its first period， and my achilles is really hurting.
This week my achilles has been bothering me， I think its just from all the extra rehearsals.
Usually I try to put on some Tiger Balm if its feeling really tight， or I try to roll out my muscles using my rolling ball.
Tiger Balm is my best friend.
It is basically like an Icy Hot， or Bengay.
It just helps relieve muscles from I guess stress or tension， and it smells really good.
Some people dont like the smell.
- 【Girl】 It smells weird.
- I think it smells good.
It just trails， like the smell just trails with me.
So， I mean its a win lose situation.
It smells like cinnamon.
Yeah， its my signature scent.
After a long day of rehearsal， my achilles has been kind of bothering me， its just been feeling super tight.
I think its time for some Tiger Balm.
Today I will not be rehearsing.
Just so my body can take a break， and I can take a nice， long bath for my really long day tomorrow.
I decided not to rehearse my piece， just because I was having some issues with my achilles.
So， cant wait to go home.
alarm sounding Good morning.
Right now， it is ， it is Wednesday.
My legs feel like jello.
For a dancer， an injury is not very good.
I mean， it“s not good in any situation， but especially as a dancer， because your body”s your instrument.
Im always super careful about listening to my body， and for me stretching is the best feeling.
So， I usually take a block that I have， its like a yoga block.
And I do some over splits just to stretch my hamstrings.
And then I try to roll out some muscles that are knotted.
Rolling knotted muscles is actually a pretty painful experience.
Its like a torture machine.
Im kidding， I mean it does hurt.
But， after your muscles are super relaxed， and it just feels a lot better.
So at home to reset my body， I usually use some heating pads which help me...
Usually I use it on my lower back， so it helps my muscles release tension.
I am elevating my feet.
I was laying down on my back， and I put my feet up so that all the blood can rush out of my feet， because they were super swollen.
But yeah， just from all the rigorous dancing， and on top of all the dancing， I have to walk to and from the subway and my dance studio， which does put a lot on my body.
Im sprinting from my trains all the time.
Because Im gonna get home at 11， if I make my train.
Hopefully I make it， wish me luck.
Thursday I was getting a little worried， because my achilles was still bothering me.
And so I took extra care of it on Thursday night.
My achilles hopefully will not be as aggravated tomorrow， but Ill see you guys tomorrow and good night.
Having school work is pretty hard， and I have to try to find as much time as I can in my day to fit it in.
I just got back home from dance， it is A.M right now.
Im going to try to eat dinner as fast as I can， and then do some more studying for my AP Psych test， and try to start an essay for English.
I don“t know how I”m gonna do it， but we got this.
I“m trying to find a day where I didn”t have homework.
But yeah， almost every days a late night of homework for me.
I am going to work on my essays that is due in 25 minutes.
It“s right now， and it”s due at midnight.
Wish me luck.
When my friends find out about my schedule， they“re usually like， ”I don“t know how you do it.” Like， “How do you have time for work， ”how do you have time to sleep？“ I”m just like， “You just gotta go with it， ”you just gotta do it.“ It”s just like Nike， “Just do it.” So， I just got done with my essays， and I just made it to the deadline， thank goodness.
Lets go！ A day or two before the big performance， I usually have to color my pointe shoes.
Sometimes dancers have to color their pointe shoes to match their skin tone.
People use foundation or makeup products to color their pointe shoes， or sometimes the pointe shoes come pre dyed.
I use foundation and a toothbrush.
And now I am going to put them near my vent， so then they will dry.
And tomorrow“s going to be a great day， so I”ll see you guys in the morning.
Leading up to big performances， I start to get kind of nervous.
Im also super excited.
- 【Man】 Is there really， really hard part of your performance that gives you trouble when youre rehearsing it？
- Like all of its hard.
So， the choreography for my performance was made for TV， and for TV it has to be sharper I guess， because youre portraying it to an audience that is not live.
Youre movements have to be really big and super energetic， so this piece was super difficult.
The most difficult part of my routine is the lame duck.
A lame duck is a pique， which is you“re doing a turn on a straight leg， but then you kind of substitute the supporting leg for the other leg， and it”s tough.
Every time I just pray that I make it， but I usually just try to stick to the basics， and keep my foundation in order to do a good lame duck.
The morning of a big performance， I wake up and I instantly think about it.
Im like， Oh God， todays the big day. And usually， I start getting super nervous， which makes me not eat too much， but I do force myself to eat， because its important to have just a good breakfast before you dance.
Can“t wait to perform， I”ll see you guys there.
Getting to meet fans is the most amazing， and humbling experience.
Just to know that you“ve inspired people， or just to know that they”ve seen you dance before is just really cool.
So， the ideal flooring for pointe shoes is Marley.
Its like a texture of the floor thats smooth， but not slippery， because it has friction for the pointe shoes， so that you dont slip.
In the cases where the floor is not Marley， I have to either use rosin.
Or in this case， I did not have rosin with me.
We“re gonna have to improvise， and I”m gonna have to use some buck glue.
Buck glue is a sticky， clear substance that you usually put under your leotard to make sure that your leotard doesnt ride up， and show anything.
Basically， I just had to rub it on my shoes， and make sure that it was tacky， and make sure that I dont slip on that slippery stage.
- 【Woman】 So， Kayla trend.
- 【Man】 30 seconds， all right.
- Walking out on stage， I try to keep my breathing controlled.
But usually my heart rate just gets super， super high.
I just start breathing super heavily.
- For Kayla Mak！
- And when I get into my beginning pose， I just take two deep breaths， and try to calm myself down.
After I take my two deep breaths， I start performing my piece.
Usually in my brain I get pretty scared for the hard parts of the piece， but then after those are done， I feel super relived.
Its the most liberating feeling， and it just gives me this environment， that allows me to be myself and express my emotions through my art form.
By the end of the piece， I get into my finishing pose， and its just super nice.
I feel super proud of myself， and even if I didnt do that great， I just feel super happy that I got to perform.
The hardest thing about dance， is just never...
You can never be perfect.
Even though dancers are such perfectionist sometimes， it“s hard to realize the fact that nobody”s perfect， and you just have to keep working harder and harder.
- Make some noise for Kayla Mak！
- Nice job Kayla.
- I feel like the performance actually went pretty well considering the floor.
It was kind of slippery， so I did get a little scared on stage.
I think I was super proud of myself that I actually danced on that floor， with the Buck made pointe shoes.
And so， now Im going to do some homework， and try to go to sleep early， because the next day is Monday， and it starts all over again.
So， yeah thank you so much for watching.
Love you guys.