Is this it?

Posted: September 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’m really in a quandary with ballet at the moment.

Last year I hit a huge plateau where I wasn’t getting anywhere, and I felt like “is this it then? Is this as good as I’m going to be?”

Then work and personal stuff got in the way, and I had to take an enforced break.

I’m considering what I can actually achieve going back. Most of the classes locally are the wrong level- either beginner or semi pro- I’m kind of improvers+ level (if there is such a thing!)

My other major gripe is that I’m going to classes and never feel like I have learnt- feedback and corrections would be nice.

In a lot of ways, I need to decide what I want to get out of ballet. For me it should be about progression, development and structure.

Any thoughts?

Update of sorts

Posted: July 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hi all,

Thought it was probably time I wrote something… 

A first for this blogger, I’m writing at over 100mph, as I’m sat on a train!

My triumphant return to class got slightly delayed, I’m sad to say. I DID do a few classes, but then, as is often is the way circumstances got in the way. I had a close family bereavement which came out of the blue. I hadn’t really recovered from that and then ended up having to work away for 8 weeks, which is finally coming to an end this week. Annoyingly this means now most classes have finished till September. 

Not one to be put off, I’m going to try and spend the summer getting fitter- I’ve finally accepted that a couple of ballet classes a week are not going to be enough to keep me fit, so couch to 5k here I come!

Hopefully I’ll get back to ballet in September properly, which will mean I’ve had over a year of not consistently getting to class…

I’ll keep you updated!

Hello again and sorry

Posted: April 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

This is a bit of an awkward one to write, and I have had a go at writing this a few times and given up.

I feel like I need to apologise for my absence, both from my blog and ballet in general.

The last year or so has been incredibly difficult for me, for various personal reasons. Life got very hard.

I have always had a bit of an issue with my mental health, and it got the better of me there for a while. I managed to keep going to work, although sometimes I’m not sure how. Being happy and positive for 8 hours a day is very emotionally draining.  By the time I had survived work I was exhausted and going to a class was the last thing on my mind.

This video explains how I felt far better than I ever could; I had a black dog, his name was depression

By December last year it came to a head and I confided a couple of people, who persuaded me to get help. And I’m glad they did.

On a positive note, I’m now past the worst of it, and well on the way to being more balanced. I have a new job to look forward to, and hopefully a return to ballet. Not sure what that looks like yet, but it’s definitely something I miss.

So, sorry to all the teachers whose classes I missed- I have some catching up to do!

And to anyone who feels like I did- you are not alone.

Shires Ballet Workshop

Posted: June 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hi all,

hope you are enjoying the fine weather we have been having. You may recall that I have been involved with setting up a ballet company- well, we now have some news! 

We are running our first workshop on the 10th of August, in Northampton. 

we have two fantastic teachers, Aime Brotherton ( and Sophie Kilby-Smith ( who will be there to guide and share their knowledge. We are planning to do some rep work in the afternoon- we are still working on what, so watch this space!

So to get involved with this exciting oportunitiy please email the team on

Oh, and its a bargain at £30 for the day.


Look forward to seeing some of you there! 


Posted: May 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Well folks, where do I start? So much has happened since my last blog!

Massive news- I have started a ballet company!


Like many of the more bizarre decisions in my life, this was driven by a throwaway comment on Twitter. I can’t recall how the subject came up, but rather than get frustrated by the lack of performance opportunities for adult dancers outside of London, I thought lets get something started!


I mentioned the idea to a few people I trust, to gauge opinion/interest and Shires Ballet was born.


I’ve been very lucky- I have a fantastic team of people who have offered to assist me in the running of the company- Thanks Ladies.

You’ll learn more about them when the website arrives. (Soon) In the meantime please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


Its early days for Shires, but rest assured you will here more about us! 


And as always, I promise to try and blog more! 

Pointe Shoes

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Folks- I finally did it! 

After much talk and research I took the plunge- and went and got fitted for some pointe shoes!

On Thursday I featured to Freed of London’s shop at St Martins Lane, near Covent Garden, not really knowing what to expect. 

On my 2nd attempt (okay, I walked past first time because shop was full of scary bun heads) I went in. Lass behind the counter (coincidently the one who seems to know exactly what size you need (see previous blog)) asks “How can I help?” then we get into the fitting.

I’ll be honest, having spoken to them on the phone I wasn’t expecting to try one pair let alone the eight or so that I did!

I have to say it felt rather peculiar in various aspects-

  1. Firstly, these things on my feet that felt like nothing else I have ever worn, the nearest thing I could describe them to is similar to too small steel toe cap boots (which probably doesn’t do pointe shoes any favours!)
  2. I have never looked down at my feet and seen pink satin shoes before and as a male dancer its very unusual!
  3. People bang on about it being emotional being fitted for your first pointe shoes- I get it, but I can’t explain it. Its probably in the same stable as the first time you partner someone- a bit of a milestone.

The fitter was incredible- Her understanding of how the shoe would work with my foot and what tweaks she would need to do to get the perfect shoe for me was superb- Things like identifying that I have a strong high instep and suggesting a deep V vamp and knowing which of Her makers shoes would suit my foot. 

Throughout the fitting I had been pliéing and putting one or the other foot on the platform, with little or no weight on it. Then she says to me-

“Come into parallel and take my hands…” 

“Oh bother” it think (or words to that effect) having guessed what was coming next;

“Just pop one foot up and then the other”

Just she says. Just. Like its no drama.

So I go for it.


“Congratulations” She says “You are on pointe”

My well considered and very eloquent reply “This feels very strange!”

We finished off the fitting, talked about padding options, different finishes and finalised exactly what was to be ordered. 

I ended up with 

  • Freed Classic special order
  • Mens last
  • Wing block, banged out wide (yes, apparently that is a technical term)
  • Deep V vamp
  • Angled Platform 
  • Elastic Drawstrings
  • Plus some other bits that I have either forgotten or didn’t understand

The only downside- the two to three month wait. But when you consider that Freed produce thousands of shoes and these are made to a very exact specification- I’m not going to complain.

Oh, and don’t worry, come May-June time, you WILL be seeing pictures!

An extended hiatus

Posted: February 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hi all,
Just a short entry to say- I am still here and dancing, but due to work constraints and my home pc expiring, I may be quiet for some time… I’m still around on twitter, and hope to restart blogging soon.
Keep pointing those feet folks!