The Introverted Performer – Common or Conundrum?

The idea of being an introvert AND a performer can be mystifying to many people. However, the fact is that many of us *are* introverts. I don’t claim any moral ups or downs, it’s simply a fact–and not necessarily a contradiction!

How is this possible?

Aslahan of Boston, a gorgeous, engaging performer, and a most thoughtful and knowledgable instructor, has decided to address this topic. She has developed a new blog series featuring interviews with introvert performers–and, as it happens, mine is the debut piece!

Workshop students with Aslahan. Introverted doesn't mean boring!

Workshop students with Aslahan. Introverted doesn’t mean boring!

Says Aslahan: “When I began performing, I struggled with this idea. ‘Everyone knows’ that performers are extroverts – would being an introvert hold me back? Was it an insurmountable obstacle? I love to perform – how was that possible if performing was extroverted in nature? I became determined to see the advantages of being an introvert, to figure out ways to leverage my introverted nature to be an asset to me as a performer.”

You can read my interview here:

http://aslahan.com/blog/rosa-noreen-introvert-and-performer/

And stay tuned to Aslahan’s blog for more posts on this fascinating topic!

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Homemade Ballet Barre

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Homemade PVC pipe ballet barre

This summer, I made my very own kitchen-sized ballet barre out of PVC pipe from my local hardware store. It came up in conversation on Facebook recently, so I thought I would share this mini tutorial with all of you!

Here is how I made my barre. See the notes below for how you might modify it based on your height and other preferences.

Supplies:

  • PVC pipe primer and cement (two-can set)
  • 1.5″ PVC pipe
  • 4 ten-inch lengths for the legs
  • 2 thirty-seven-inch lengths for the uprights
  • 1 thirty-five-inch length for the horizontal piece
  • 6 elbows (4 for leg endcaps, 2 to connect the uprights to the horizontal piece)
  • 2 tees to connect the legs to the uprights

This resulted in a 41″ high barre. I’m 5’7″ and it’s a little on the high side for me, but I’m comfortable with it. If you are shorter, consider taking a couple of few inches off the 37″ uprights. However, don’t go too short or you’ll be slouching–and that’s not what you’re supposed to do at the barre! 😉

Stretching on my homemade ballet barre

Stretching on my homemade ballet barre

At this length, the barre is plenty sturdy for stretching, though I wouldn’t hang on it like monkey bars. The longer the horizontal tube, the less sturdy it will be.

The barre is stable since it has a nice wide base, but it is very light so it moves around on the floor a lot. I am thinking about filling the legs with sand and plugging the feet. You could also fill some pillowcases with sand (or cat litter) and put them on the feet to help keep it in place. Suggestions are welcome!

A two-tier barre is also possible. To do that, you would need t-connectors on the uprights to allow for a second horizontal tube a few inches below the top horizontal tube… Check YouTube for some tutorials if you can’t envision it yourself.

Even kitties love ballet barres!

Even kitties love ballet barres!

Chances are good that your local hardware store will cut the piece to order for you. Maine Hardware here in Portland was awesome!

Note that the PVC cement dries after a couple of seconds so definitely do a trial run of the assembly without glue to work out any kinks and ensure that joints are all going to be facing the right way! I recommend using the PVC cement over anything else since you don’t want this thing falling apart mid-use.

Also note: the cement is stinky! You’ll *definitely* need good ventilation… 😛 Outdoors or garage assembly is best.

Happy dancing!