Tag Archives: sansha devil shoes

“Dance your cares away…worries for another day”

12 Aug

Last night I tried to stay up so I could watch the Perseid meteor shower, and was watching reruns of The Nanny to help me stay awake, but I’m feeble and old so of course I fell asleep anyway to Fran Drescher’s soothing caramel voice.  Unfortunately, I fell asleep sitting on the couch so this morning in ballet my hip flexors were tighter than a Sansha devil shoe.  So not only did I not get to see the meteors, I also struggled through ballet because I felt like I couldn’t even stand up on my legs.  Massive lose-lose for the home team.

About class, sometimes Karen will repeat a petite allegro from the previous class, since it’s good to have time to let things gel in your head even if you don’t actually do it in between classes.  However, Magelas only shows up sporadically for class and somehow manages to always comes in on the second day of the allegro, and gets a thrown into a “ballotté-ballotté-coupé-ballonné-glissade-brisé-glissade-jeté battu-pas de bourée-changement-glissade-jeté battu-coupé-assemblé-assemblé” with only a quick mark and a prayer.  I kind of imagine classes in New York to be something like that, except approximately three thousand times scarier, wall to wall with highly skilled people who know what they’re doing and have freakishly good short term memories.  It’s actually one of my long term goals to go to New York and drop in for a class, which should probably start with actually going to New York someday.  I was even born in Kingston and when I tell people I was born in New York they assume city instead of the state which inflates my ego a little and makes me feel closer to the American epicenter of dance, but the truth is I haven’t been since I was an infant and I’d probably have a hard time getting through a class without wanting to scamper into a corner and hide.  Meanwhile, I was silently laughing at Magelas in her befuddled state (we’re friends, it’s ok!), which meant that I promptly screwed up when it was my turn to go.  Karma always bites back and I never learn…

She divided the class for petite allegro into a faster tempo and a slower tempo, just based on whoever wanted to do what, and I picked faster but messed up so I did the slower tempo too.  We repeated the petite allegro, so I figured it would be good cardio too to just keep going.  This is quite the shock considering I never do any form of cardio (running hurts my hips and I’m like a cat and despise being submerged, thanks to years of misery as a competitive swimmer.  After twelve years you’d think I’d let it go, but I was also the kind of child that was TRAUMATIZED by The Goonies and an episode of Fraggle Rock where there were these cocoon thingies that hatched and made me cry hysterically).  I was a wee bit winded, but felt good about it.  It ended up being a huge mistake though, because for whatever reason, she had us do the grande allegro three times.  So I ended up doing petite x 4 and grande x 3, and my legs liquefied and are currently in some kind of gelatinous state.  At one point during the grande I just forgot what was happening and didn’t even do the assemblé and did a pas de chat (which was earlier in the combination), when midair I remembered what it was supposed to be, and so I improvised and tacked on an assemblé-ish creature, which didn’t come to fruition because I almost ran into the wall.  I turned around and made eye contact with Karen, who kind of made a face and pointed to her brain.

But I was a helpful little imp today when she was demonstrating a pique into attitude, moving the leg through passé and doing a tombé onto it, while staying on relevé.  She asked if she could borrow my shoulder and I was happy to oblige.  I’m sure the class would have erupted into chaos had I not been there to save the day.  That was during a waltzy combo that included an arabesque turn, which normally I have some issues with but I almost survived today.  It was one of those things where we did it across the floor and the first time they went really well (much to my surprise), were ok the second time and by the third time they completely deteriorated (and yes, we did that combination three times too…rough seas).  People often say you should stop while you’re ahead, but we don’t seem to get that option in dance.  I really psych myself out way too much.

Lately I’ve been really concentrating on trying to get my shoulders to stay relaxed but it’s really affecting my port de bras.  It’s almost as if I have to relearn them again, so I can figure out how to initiate movement from my back instead of just from the extremities, and I have good days.  However, it is making my fingers do funky things and my hands are weird enough as it is.  You see, besides my lower back, the only other part of my body that’s pretty flexible are my middle and ring fingers.  They’re actually hyper extended which allows me to bend just the top joint.  But isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?  Of all the joints to have natural flexibility, all I get are two fingers.  Like I couldn’t have prettier ankles or a nicer line through the knees, I had to get fingers.  And just the two, because my other fingers and wrists aren’t flexible at all (like those crazy people who can bend their thumbs backwards and touch their wrists…creepy)

The point is, my legs are so sore right now it’s actually borderline not funny.  At all.  Or is it?

The Shoe Review

8 Jul

So even though I just bought a pair of white shoes, I also wanted to try a pair of canvas shoes because I haven’t worn them in a long time.  You see, eons ago I had a bad experience with canvas shoes because the first pair I ever got were too small and hurt my longer second toe, but the next size up were so big they were completely bunching up all around my foot and I could feel my feet sliding around inside.  Since then, the story of my life has been leather shoes.  Anyway, I’ve mentioned before I have the most hideous feet known to man and dinosaur and although I tend to avoid the “magic button” mentality where people end up thinking their lives would be perfect if this one thing was fixed, a good shoe is still not to be underestimated.  After much research (seriously, way too much time on my hands) I decided to try the Karl Heinz Martin Stretch Ones.

Karl Heinz Martin Stretch-One

Karl Heinz Martin Stretch-One

Some featurettes about the KHM’s…they come with a right and left shoe (what a novel idea!) and are made of a very soft, stretchy canvas, which gives my prehensile second toe that I normally use to climb trees and ward off predators some room to lengthen, and unlike the Satanic Sansha shoes (say that 3 times fast!) I once had, the elasticity of the material will conform to the shape of your foot.  They also come with in either High Cut or Low Cut, the HC being for those with longer toes and higher Achilles and the LC (coupe basse, the package said!) for shorter toes and lower Achilles (which I bought).  Furthermore, they also come in 3 different widths (although KHM’s website says extra wide is available, but no North American retailer carries XW).  The structure of the shoe also allows it to fit your arch pretty darn closely, and I don’t have good arches so I need all the help I can get.  The shoes also come in your typical assortment of colors, including white, pink, black and tan.  I can honestly say these are the best fitting, most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.

Now because KHMs are from Germany, they aren’t easy to get but can be ordered online at Dance Express (www.dancex.com) and New York Dance Store (www.nydancestore.com), and I have to say there is something kind of fishy about them because they both offer exactly the same products and yet New York Dance Store charges more.  Oh yes, you’re talking to a super shopper right here…I always look around a lot before indecisively deciding on what to buy and I am incredibly picky.  Once I even traversed all of Tokyo Disney Sea, only to decide right before I left to go back to one of the gift shops to buy a charm for my phone.  But back to the price differences, for examplification, the KHMs are $15.90 at DanceX, and $20.90 at NY.  Hmm.  Now both websites do require a minimum $40 order, which can be a pain in the ass, but you could always use new dancewear, right?  I myself bought some of Sansha’s bike shorts (the “Houston,” which has a stripe down the side), and thankfully, unlike their devil shoes, the shorts fit great and are comfortable.  And For the record, the Houston shorts are only $14 at DanceX, compared to $18 at NY.

You wouldn't know the trouble I went through to get this...unless you're Erina you would.  It was worth it.

You wouldn't know the trouble I went through to get this...unless you're Erina you would. It was worth it.

The Houston’s are actually great…they’re supposed to be mid thigh, but I have freakishly long thighs so they’re a bit higher on me, but as stupid as it sounds I actually find the stripe down the side helpful because I am a notorious pelvis tilter and I can actually see in the mirror when my alignment goes awry.  I wasn’t a huge fan of showing my mammoth gigantor thighs, but I care more about placement and technique then the way my body looks.  It was actually quite enlightening, and I also discovered my right quad is a lot more developed than my left one.  It’s a wonder I don’t walk around in circles.

So there you have it folks…youdancefunny endorses the KHMs and the Houston shorts.  Because KHM and Sansha are not so great about giving sizing information, I have taken it upon myself to do the research for you (seriously, I even e-mailed the people at KHM and Sansha, and nobody got back to me…some customer service!  I had to find the following myself).  KHM shoes are the same as Sansha sizing, and Sansha shoe sizing charts are available on the net.  I myself wear a size 8 street shoe (men’s) and thus a size 11 KHM.  As for the Houston shorts (the burgundy stripe being the one I bought), a UK website recommends the following for Sansha men’s dancewear: 

Waist Size

S: 28 – 30”

M: 30 – 32”

L: 32 – 34”

XL: 34 – 36”

The shorts themselves actually come in sizes 3-6.  My waist is around 28” (a little less actually, unless I’ve eaten Chipotle) and the Small, which came as a size 3 fit well.  Hope this information helps someone out there!  And something something I’m not responsible for any injuries you may incur as a result of trying these products blah blah blah, end disclaimer.  Happy dancing!