Crossing Boundaries

Being a person who has very clearly defined views on religion and politics, part of what I like about this issue is that it has nothing to do with religion or politics.

You may not like my fundamentalist Christian beliefs. That is fine. Just make sure you visit the links. You may think my morality stinks. You may despise my Conservative politics. You may be, horror of horrors, a member of the Labour party. But if you always remove your shoes at the door, at least we have something in common.

Removing shoes in homes unites people.

Fundamentalist Muslims in Indonesia remove their shoes at the door. So do humanist liberals in Sweden. Hindus in India remove their shoes. So do Christians in South Korea or former Communists in Russia.

It may be that you are an environmentalist. You may remove your shoes because you worry about pollution and toxins. Or you may be an Ecosceptic like me. Nevermind. I can be Green on this issue. Unless being green means only buying a pair of slippers every five years and not twice a year.

You may like to wear slippers in your house, you may prefer to go barefoot. Or perhaps you always wear brightly coloured socks on your carpet.

You may provide slippers for your guests, or you may expect them to bring their own.

You may visit because you just think that stocking feet are kinky. Never mind, you are welcome to visit anyway.


Cheap hotels in Sydney are as plentiful as the many styles of Ugg boots that I would be wearing when I was there. Sydney is one of my dream places that I want to see on a vacation. Once Survivor was filmed on location in the outback, I was hooked. Australia was one of the places that was on my list. Whatever your accomodation needs are, whether it be a 5 star hotel or just a place to sleep, you will be able to find it at a reasonable price. There are even special deals for travel on short notice available. While my trip will be planned it is nice to know that if you were to hit a windfall and decide to take off, you would have no problem with accomodations.

Some of the best values in Sydney Hotels can be found in Darling Harbour because of all the attactions there. It would be great to be so close to the Sydney Aquarium. I hear that is a spectacular place. In addition, there are water activities, the threater and museums to choose from as well. Today there is even a special on accomodations that begin at $99.00 at the Vulcan Hotel. Be sure to check that out.

Sydney Accommodations at such good values are available only via Cheaper than Hotels. They have put together a team of professonal staff that have created good working relationships with various hotels around the world in order to provide their customers with such good prices. They provide competive rates with many free perks! If you are on the move to go downunder or back of beyond , then check out the values on the hotels in Sydney. You will not be disappointed! You might just be happy as larry! G'day.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Wellie Hater!

My mother is a wellie hater. I was talking about boots that I really like and the fact that it hasd just begun to drizzle outside. My mother informed me that she absolutely hates my rain boots. She hates the cowboy boots as well, but she REALLY hates my rainboots. I informed her that regardless, I loved them or I would not have bought them and that I would be wearing them regardless of what she thought! Can we say FIGHT! Hating my shoes is fighting words.

Now I could see if I were wearing rain boots on sunny that is an idea...on sunny days and looking crazy! Say something then. But not just because y9ou don't like them and I have been wearing them for two years. The nerve. Some peopel just don't have good taste. I will be earing my rain boots and cowboy boots for many years to come! She had better watch out! She might get a pair of rain boots for her birthday! See how she likes those wellies..I mean apples!

Here are my offensive shoes!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Smelly Feet


The issue of 'smelly feet' is often raised as an argument against the Shoes-Off rule.

In Western society there seems to be a lot of paranoia about the phenomena of 'smelly feet'. I think this is simply a result of people not removing their shoes very often. Your feet will actually smell a lot less if you remove your shoes regularly. It is unfortunate that we in Britain have not yet reached the civilised heights of Finland, where it is acceptable to remove shoes in business meetings and on trains (not that people do not do so in Britain, but it is frowned upon somewhat).

Nevertheless, I think most people worry too much about this issue. People imagine their feet smell far more than they actually do. I have met very few people who let off much of an aroma after removing their shoes, and most of them were people who did not wash and change their socks regularly.

If people know in advance that they need to remove their shoes, they can make sure they wear clean socks, or even better, bring slippers with them. If they are especially worried about it, they can use some of those fancy foot deoderents.

Feet wil smell a lot less if people wear sandals. Sneakers are best avoided in favour of leather shoes.

Some people will say 'I would rather put up with a dirty floor than people's smelly feet.' Well, I guess people must set up their onw priorities. However, stinking feet will leave with the guests. A dirty floor will not. Nor will the dust they brought in on their shoes, and that is very bad for your health.

Athlete's Foot


An unpleasent fungal infection.

A lot of people mention Athlete's Foot as an argument against people having a shoes-off policy. However, this is a quite unnecessary concern.

Athlete's Foot is generally associated with swimming pools and changing rooms. It is possible to catch Athlete's Foot on one's barefeet at a swimming pool or in a locker room. However, recent research indicates that this is not so likely as was previously thought.

Most importantly, the reason people catch Athlete's Foot in those places is not because people there are barefoot, but because the fungus needs a warm and wet environment. People get exposed to the fungus in the damp conditions. If they fail to dry their feet, the fungus is very comfortable and even more so if the victim puts on sweaty socks.

The fungus will not survive long on the clean, dry floor or carpet of a person's home and so you are very unlikely to catch Athlete's Foot in somebody's house, even if the owner has the condition.

What is more, people who are not wearing socks are likely to put on sandals when they leave, as opposed to closed shoes. Thus, they will not create the right environment for the condition to thrive.

Of course, if you are worried about it, you can always bring some slippers or socks when you visit a shoes-off home.

People who have a shoes-off policy ought to let their visitors know in advance and be willing to lend a pair of clean socks, if not slippers.

Thoughts About Learning

I was talking with a friend of mine whose child is now in college and she said that one of the things she did that really made a difference in her child's education and college choice was listening to books on tape. Instead of listening to the radio whenever they were in the car, she was listening to classic books like Wuthering Heights, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies and Shakespeare. She did this and she said it helped alot with her childs comprehension and vocabulary. I thought that was a great idea. I went to my local library on yesterday and checked out Animal Farm and Pompeii, The History of the Roman Empire for dirty Fila. Can we say she was not pleased.

We had a long talk about why I was doing this and how it could help her future and that she needed to look to the future for high school and college. She reluctantly finally did listen to what I had to say. It is only to help her. I also explained that no matter how old you are, learning never stops. It does not stop when school is out during the summer or after you complete college. Learning continues forever. I explained to her that I might be going back to graduate school and that I might do that the e-learning way. Nowadays with the age of technology people can get graduate and undergraduate degrees in the conveniece of their own homes via computer. Capella University is one establishment that provides that for its students.

With e-learning you can access your classes and tests at any time. You also can participate in class discussions and interact with the professor as needed. Grades and homework are posted online. It is so easy it is almost like using an email system. Using the computer to study is interactive with a good deal of your course work being done offline. Capella is an accredited university with some of the best teachers in their field of academics. There are also enrollment counselors that will help with your course selection to be sure that you reach your educational as well as professsional goals.

Enrollment is open now, so consider enrolling. It is never too late to get an education or furthur the one you already have. Capella has eight new graduate and undergraduate programs in information technology, education, criminal justice, psychology and business. They also have a new program in public safety making them among the first on-line schools to offer that to their students. Capella is an institution that is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence !

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Almost Time for School Shoes

dirty Fila informed me today what shoes she wants for school. She wants a new pair of Sperry topsiders and a pair of some special sort of Adidas shoes. I can't recall the type, but she can. What I do recall about them is the price...about $70. The Sperry's will be about $60. I have already priced those. This is the shoe she wants but I noticed some other new styles that were just as nice or nicer for fall. She may not end up with these.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Beliefnet-Chattering Mind: Do You Keep a Shoe-free Home?

Beliefnet-Chattering Mind: Do You Keep a Shoe-free Home?

Knitter's Review Forums: Taking off shoes at house parties?

Knitter's Review Forums: Taking off shoes at house parties?

Simply Green: Shoes@Door

Simply Green: Shoes@Door

Richyrich directed me to this blog post.

He also directed me to this article:

Leaving Shoes at the Door Keeps Carpet Like New

We are on a roll!

The young estate agent lead a couple of ladies on a tour of the house again. Before they came in, he asked them if they would not mind taking off their sandals, which they graciously did.

My parents would never ask a visitor to remove her shoes, but it is nice to have an estate agent do it instead. It is also good to see people being gracious about going barefoot in somebody else's house and not making a fuss.

Should One Provide Slippers for Guests?


In some Eastern European and Asian countries, guests change from their shoes into slippers provided by the host.

Some argue that if you intend to have a shoes-off policy in your home, you should keep some slippers for guests to wear. This will make them feel more comfortable and prevent embarassments such as foot odour and holes in socks.

This is a fairly good idea, but I am not so sure. If slippers are provided, then they must either be disposable plastic slippers or else slippers that can go in the washing machine. It would be quite unreasonable to expect guests to wear slippers that have been worn by somebody else that day. I am not sure whether most slippers are machine washable. Some guests might not even trust you that they really have been cleaned and may prefer to stay in bare or stocking feet.

I think the practise of providing guest slippers might be just a bit too weird for British. Many British people will have been to a house where shoes-off was required, but not many people will have been offered guest slippers to wear, unless it was in another country. I think a lot of English guests would prefer to go shoe-less, rather than wear slippers that are not their own.

I think it is a good idea to buy slippers for family and regular visitors and keep them at your house. These should be worn only by the person they are provided for. Hopefully, one's family and close friends would be delighted by this consideration.

Providing clean socks is a different matter. I would suggest keeping a supply of clean socks in different sizes by the door for guests who are not comfortable going barefoot.

I think it is very sensible to let visitors know in advance that one has a shoes-off rule in one's home. That way, they can be sure to wear socks without holes or bring their own slippers if they prefer.

Home Viewers Again

A family viewed the house with the estate agent again this afternoon. They all removed their shoes without being asked (well, the adults; the mother prompted her children to remove their shoes) and toured the house in socks or barefeet.

It is good to see people doing this, especially with the wet weather we are getting at the moment.

Ballet Shoes and Pointe Shoes - Increase Ballet Turnout

To increase your ballet turnout, first try a truer test for turnout than the butterfly or frog position, where your hips are flexed and turnout will look like more than it really is.

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight. Here your hips are in an extended position. Bend one leg to a 90 degree angle. (If your hip comes of the floor, then you need to stretch out your quadriceps and iliopsoas muscles, as in doing a runner's lunge.) You could have someone gently hold your hip down on the floor if you like. Then allow your bent leg to angle down toward the straight knee. Where the leg stops, this is the correct degree of your turnout.

Doing the frog position on your back or stomach is not good for your knees even if you are flexible.

Now more importantly, how to hold the turnout that you do have....if you watch dance movies carefully you will see that the most brilliantly artistic dancers in the world are not necessarily born with a lot of turnout - and it doesn't matter! They are still brilliant.

Your lateral rotator muscles are your prime turnout muscles, specifically: Piriformis;Obturator Internus;Obturator Externus;Quadratus Femoris; Gemellus Superior; Gemellus Inferior. These muscles lie underneath your gluts. When they contract your thigh rotates. If your leg is behind you, the gluts and hamstring muscles also help to hold the rotation.

The balance and tone of any muscle comes from its ability to work, and its ability to relax when not working. So having lateral rotators that clench to rotate, and don't relax in between exercises, do not have the strength they could have. Turning in during class, in between exercises, is a good habit to have.

For example, when you tendu devant, if your hips remain in placement and your thigh is moving freely on its own, you should be able to rotate to your full natural turnout, even if you cannot always hold it. You may have to practice this with your gluts released, to isolate the rotator muscles. Gluts don't increase your turnout.

If you sit on the floor, legs straight out in front of you, relax your gluts on the floor. Then just engage your rotator muscles and turn your thighs out without your gluts working. This will help you isolate the rotators. If you can raise the legs, one by one, an inch or two off the floor, and hold this turnout, you'll feel the rotators holding against the flexion action. If your hip comes up too, then you are not isolating the leg from the hip completely.

Standing in first position, you want to open the legs by contracting the rotator muscles, but not clenching the gluts at this point. It's good to be able to tighten and hold the gluts when you need to, but not at this moment. Whatever position you end up in, that is your turnout. Same for fifth, with the extra challenge of having one leg slightly behind your pelvis and the other in front. This requires more strength.

While many teachers would not allow this, I would encourage them to have many students working in third position for much longer than they usually feel is "normal". It's not that far to fifth position once the muscles are strengthened. Advanced students and professionals do different things to compensate for not having that perfect fifth position. If they have good teachers, they learn to do this minimally and without injury. But they are doing it very deliberately.

Some people's thighs are in a different position in their hip sockets, that allows more turnout. This is the way they are born. So don't look at anyone else and compare. Also some people have tibial torsion, which means their leg from the knee down is rotated outward. It can lead to other problems, but will give their feet a turned out look, while their knees and thighs may not be able to achieve the same turnout.

Another exercise to strengthen the turnout is as follows: lie down on the floor on your back, feet in first position, flexed as though you were standing. Pressing the back of the legs into the floor can help you feel the rotators. Move the legs, feet still flexed, about half an inch outward toward second position. Keep pressing the back of the legs into the floor, and don't let your back arch. You may only be able to go an inch , - but you'll feel those turnout muscles! Do that ten times every day and you will be much stronger standing up and doing the regular class movements. You won't regret investing time in this exercise. Be sure to relax the rotators afterwards.

Recently I enjoyed a movie of William Forsythe's company. He says in the initial interview "Well, ballet is not anatomically correct".

What an understatement! Yet still, you can increase ballet turnout.



Some people are of the opinion that it is very important that guests have the choice of whether to keep their shoes on or not.

However, it is not as simple as that. Some choices may impose on the choices of others.

Some visitors may want to take their shoes off, but may fear that doing so will be considered rude. Being informed that shoes-off is encouraged will be a great welcome for these people.

The shoes-on folks might then argue, "Yes, but you can still let people keep their shoes on without imposing on the people who prefer to go shoeless."

However, this is not the case. Firstly, those people who want to take their shoes off may fear, if there are lots of other guests, particularly at a party, that their feet may get squashed by other peoples' shoes. In a crowded party, it can be hard to avoid having people tread on your toes.

Secondly, people who take their shoes off will prefer to walk on a floor that is cleaner. In fact, there is another issue here, as Angie pointed out in a previous post. Some guests will enjoy sitting on the floor. And sitting on the floor is a much more pleasent experience when it is clean. So allowing guests the choice of wearing shoes imposes on those who like to sit on the floor.

The simple truth is that no host can please everybody. However, there are far more good reasons to insist on shoes coming off at the door than for allowing shoes to stay on. Let guests chose between slippers, socks ot barefeet. That is choice enough.

Am I going Catholic?

I went to the Anglican cathedral to pray today. I knelt down, but before I did I took off my sandals to pray barefoot. That does not seem very Protestant, though it does seem more reverant.

It is not Selfish to ask Visitors to Remove their Shoes


Some people claim it is selfish to ask visitors to remove their shoes. They think that it shows excessive concern for one's carpet or flooring.

On the contrary it is not selfish at all.

Firstly, there is an health issue involved. Peoples' shoes pick up dust and animal excrement which is not good for one's health and especially bad for the health of one's children. If one has babies or small children that play on the floor it is extremely sensible to keep one's home shoe-free.

There are many worries today about the health risks posed by pollution, toxins and chemicals. Personally, I think many of these health scares are exagerrated. Many of the supposed health risks have not been scientifically verified. However, it is best to keep as much nasty stuff out of the house as possible.

Secondly, the notion of selfishness here is relative. In a country where shoe-removing is the norm, like Finland or Russia, it would hardly be selfish to insist on shoes-off.

In Britain or the USA, where keeping shoes on is the norm, there are many people who would like to insitute a shoes-off policy, but who are afraid of causing offence or being deemed 'selfish.' If a person is brave enough to insist on shoes-off, she makes it easier for those other people who feel that they would like to make their homes shoe-free. In time, the norms of the UK and the USA may change and shoe-removing may become as normal as it is in Thailand or Sweden.

Dancers Weight Loss, and A Healthy Diet

Dancers and weight loss can be a problem, sometimes only in the minds of the dancers....but in the external world, weight management must be approached so as to achieve over all health.

Fresh, unprocessed foods are the best foods to eat on a daily basis. You need some lean proteins, (soft cooked eggs, meats, chicken, fish, tofu if you like it --) and fresh vegetables, fruits and salads, at least 50% raw. You can make some yummy dips, from lemon juice and olive oil, grated cheese or sour cream, and add some ranch flavoring, or flavor it as you like with other herbs.

Nuts, celery, fruit and yogurt are great snacks. If you have sweet cravings, you will have to avoid sweets for a couple of weeks altogether to make that go away. You may have headaches and energy highs and lows during that time, but it's kind of like drug withdrawal. Sugar acts like a drug in our bodies. Our system has to get used to running on real food again, with minimal sugar.

Packaged diet foods with artificial flavors are full of unhealthy chemicals. Do you know that when medical researchers want to quickly fatten mice up for an experiment they give them artificial sweeteners? The same kind of food chemicals that are in diet sodas, which make you crave carbs!

If you have true energy problems, ask your parents to take you to your doctor for a general physical. It's good to know that your body is okay. Most medical doctors would say I'm too strict on the diet part, but I am a dancer and that's what works. I do not think you should ever be hungry or feel deprived - but what you choose to snack on stores as fat, or not. Carbs like chips, crackers, and breads are useless calories. They do not build your bones and muscles, or brain cells. Also know that an iodine deficiency wreaks havoc with your weight, metabolism and health in general.

"Protein Power" by the medical doctors Eades and Eades, is an informative book. It explains how the body metabolises efficiently - that is, creates energy for you. The body can do this without any sugar at all! In fact, meats and vegetables have carb content, and that is enough for us.

Oils and fats are extremely important to eat - but, choose the healthy ones. Flax seed oil and olive oil are the most common oils to make salad dressings from. Most store bought salad dressings have heavier oils in them, and nearly always have some sugar. (And chemicals).

Butter is good for you, and so is the fat in eggs, but keep the yolks soft. Not eating any fat is BAD for you. Just don't eat too much, and how much is not too much, is relative to how often and how hard you exercise.

This is an overview. You need to read about health and diet and explore what will work for you.

If emotional eating or just bad eating habits is something you need help with, take a look at Deborah Vogel's CD about training your brain for dancers weight loss.

Home Viewing Today

I had to conduct a tour of the house myself for the first time today. The estate agent was unable to send anyone to conduct the viewing and my parents were at work.

The question was, would I ask them to take their shoes off? On the one hand, it was my parents house and my responsibility was to them. They would never ask for shoes off. On the other hand, it was raining and they would go in my bedroom.

It occurred to me that I could at least ask them to remove their shoes before going up stairs, as soem people do.

As it happened, I did not. The person who came was a middle aged lady who brought her mother with her. I was not going to ask an elderly lady to take her shoes off.

When I took them upstairs, I noticed them stopping before going in my bedroom, when they saw the no-shoes sign on the door (which my parents ignore). But I gestured them in.

Despite the soaking rain, the lady wanted to view the garden, but she left her mother inside. She took her shoes off when she came back in and went back through the kitchen and hall in her barefeet. I thanked her for doing that. No shoes in my house, please. No shoes in my house, please.

The perspective of a Japanese person in Yankland.



I believe there is an issue of stewardship here.

All that we have is a gift from God. We may enjoy our posessions, but we do need to give account to the Lord of how we have used them.

Carpet cleaning services are necessary to keep homes really clean, but they are very expensive. Replacing carpets costs even more. Having a shoes-off policy considerably reduces the need for maintaining carpets and other kinds of flooring. Therefore, as stewards of God's gifts, I would suggest that Christians ought to strongly consider the benefits of having a shoes-off policy in their homes.

Clean homes can also be more effectively used in the service of the Kingdom. Homes can be put to so many uses; entertaining visiting speakers, providing shelter for those who need it, hosting fellowship meetings (I think a good case can be made for holding all church meetings in homes) and Church lunches. Keeping homes shoe-free means that larger numbers of people can be accomdated at the home with minimal impact. It also makes the floor a safer place for small children and babies.

BBC Journalists

I have noticed that BBC journalists very rarely remove their shoes when visiting houses to film and conduct interviews. I appreciate that this is the UK, where most people do not require shoes-off as a rule, but I think it is a nice gesture to take them off without being asked if the people living in the house are shoe-less.

I was just watching BBC News 24 and a journalist visited the mobile home of a man whose house had been flooded. She kept her shoes on, even though the ground outside must surely have been filthy after the flooding.

I get the impression that a lot of BBC journalists hate taking off their shoes. I recall a BBC journalist visited a house where she was asked to remove her shoes. She did so, but the next time she was filmed in that house, her shoes were back on.



You may not have a baby at crawling age
But if you ask visitors to your home to remove their shoes, you send a message that it is acceptable to keep your home shoe-free. That makes life easier for those who do have crawling babies.

You may not have a new carpet
You may have an old carpet that needs replacing or a wooden
floor that is covered in scratch marks. But if you have a shoes-off policy, it will make it easier for those who do have a new carpet to do the same.

You may not live in an area where there is pesticide on the ground
But if you have a no-shoes rule in your house, it will make those who do need to require shoes-off feel more comfortable about it.

Bride Attacks Groom with Stiletto Shoe

This is not the best way to start off the perfect marriage!

(AP) LONDON Scottish bride Teresa Brown's dream of a perfect wedding day probably did not include attacking the groom with her stiletto shoe and spending the weekend in a cell.

Police arrested the 33-year-old in the couple's hotel room in April while her wedding reception continued downstairs, prosecutor Alan Townsend said Tuesday at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. She spent the rest of her wedding weekend in a cell.

The distraught groom, Mark Allerton, 40, staggered to the front desk, clutching a bloody towel to his head, Townsend said.

"He indicated that his wife had struck him over the head with a stiletto heel," the prosecutor said.

Police found Brown, a real estate agent's assistant, sitting on the hotel room bed, surrounded by broken glass.

Brown told police she and her husband had "been accusing each other of different things," the prosecutor said, without going into details. Brown said she hit him on the head because he had taken a hold of her, he added.

Brown's lawyer Stuart Beveridge said the newlyweds began throwing things at each other after an argument in their room turned physical. He said Brown had been on antidepressants at the time and had been drinking.

"She and her husband are still together although this incident has not helped," he said, adding she is receiving counseling.

Sheriff James Tierney let Brown off on the assault charge with a warning and fined her 250 pounds ($505) for damaging the hotel room and ordered her to pay the hotel 500 pounds ($1,150) in compensation.

Hilton Treetops said in a statement that they were happy the case has closed.

"This has been a very unusual case," the hotel said.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Times: Bride attacked groom with high heel

Times: Bride attacked groom with high heel

You really don't want your guests doing this to you. Make sure they take those killer heels off at the door.

I suppose this is probably one of the reasons why the police confiscate the shoes of people they have arrested.

Hotel Rooms

Believe it or not, when I am staying in an hotel, I always remove my shoes on entering my room. I even think I would be bothered if somebody visited me in the hotel room and did not remove their shoes.

Ballet Shoes and Pointe Shoes and Summer Intensives

Go to a pointe shoe guide for pointe shoe sizing tips, strengthening exercises, and more.

Summer Intensives offer a chance for increased flexibility. After your first morning class, you are partially warmed up for the rest of the day. That is, unless you are resting in between classes in highly air conditioned environments. I recommend not to do that. A cool but not cold place, perhaps shady outdoors somewhere, is better.

Also, allow your ballet shoes and pointe shoes to dry as much as possible in between classes, they will last longer, and will not lose that 'exactly right fit' so soon. Having two pairs of each helps, if you can do that.

Intensive training in ballet means intensive use of the flexor muscles. Battment tendu, grande battment and developpe en avant mean heavy use of the iliopsoas (hip flexor) muscles. Without constant stretching, this tension will compromise your turnout, as the tension at the side of the hips will counter the thigh's ability to rotate outwards. It will also lessen the flexibility of the low back and front of the hip, in doing an arabesque.

A standing lunge done in between exercises will relieve the tension building up in the hip flexors and postural muscles. Finding exactly the right balance between strength and stretch is what creates power in your work.

One of the best ways to stretch for a good arabesque is at the corner of the studio where you can hold on to one barre, while placing yourself in your ideal arabesque position with your working leg on the barre of the other wall behind you. If there is a lower barre, use it so as to get a more upright (but still adjusted forward)
back position. Do a demi plie repeatedly, holding the position well-placed.

If there is no corner with barres, get a fellow student to hold your hands to keep you upright, and place your leg on the barre behind you to do your demi plies.

A wonderful stretch regimen for dancers is yoga. My favorite is "Ali McGraw - Yoga Mind & Body". It is a few years old but still available. It is not for beginners, but dancers will love it. The positions are easy for most dancers, and give fantastic relief to muscle tension. Done in the evening it will leave you stretched and ready to sleep.

A more active stretching routine is the "Classical Stretch" series.(now also called Essentrics") On a lighter class schedule day, or on a no-class day, the "Athletes' Intense Stretch" will get rid of the muscle tension while still allowing muscle recovery.

If you are recovering from injury, both of the above may be helpful, but please consult with your doctor, teacher or trainer as to whether you are ready to do these routines.

Losing electrolytes and dehydration can cause muscle tension and cramps. Real sea salt on your foods, calcium/magnesium supplements and "All 12" cell salts are a great help. Celery is one of the saltiest foods you can eat, get organic. It contains multiple mineral salts, and is a hydrating food too - a perfect snack in between classes.

The apparency of weight loss through dehydration is a seductive trap. Recognize it and don't worry about weight. If you feel puffy from drinking water, then your mineral balance is off and your cells are floating in water but are not able to use it. So you're still dehydrated. Forget the junk food sports waters. Better to mix a pinch of sea salt into your water and drink it. Neon colors and a couple of minerals won't help.

So please take care of yourselves in the heat, treat spare time as recovery time, and you will reap the most benefits from your summer intensive!

Happy Fourth of July!

Celebrate in the "right attire!" Can't have a dress like this without the correct shoes!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Some Serious Theology- Are you a Tramplian or an Offalist?


You may be sick of the Calvinist/ Arminian debate, so let me introduce you to some new theological terms; Tramplian and Offalist.

Tramplians like to trample the carpets or flooring of their homes with their shoes on. They find it rather objectionable to be asked to remove their shoes when visiting somebody else's home.

The central principle in Tramplian theology is the freedom of the will. They believe that they should be the ones to decide whether they take their shoes off at a dinner party. Their attitude is "I decided what outfit to wear. I decided what shoes to wear. I should be able to keep them on if I like". They do not believe that a hostess should impose shoelessness on them.

Tramplians have a strong belief in the goodness of hosts. They consider that a hostess should be above all concerned for her guests wishes and convenience above keeping her home clean. They believe that if a hostess likes them enougth to invite them into her home, she will accept them with their shoes on.

Tramplians believe in the power of their own ability to keep their shoes clean. They consider themselves to be grown-up and to be careful about what they tread on. They do acknowledge that their shoes can be tainted by the corruption of dirty streets, however they hold that this can easily be dealt with by wiping their feet on their hostess' doormat. Their shoes can be restored to cleanliness by the exercise of their will.

Offalists in contrast, always remove their shoes at the door. Offalists believe in the Total Depravity of the soles of their shoes. The corruption of city streets has completely ruined the condition of their shoes, they argue, and the only hope is a change of nature for their feet, namely into slippers or clean socks. The Offalist pays heed to warnings about the health risks of pesticide, lead paint and animal excrement.

The Offalist upholds the sovereignty of the host. The hostess has been very generous in inviting her guests, however, she is sovereign over her own home and has the authority to set the rules. She will not allow anything corrupt to defile her home. Those who would enter her home must not come in their own shoes, but must meet her condition of a change into slippers or stocking feet.

The Offalist holds that the root problem of the Tramplian's theology is human pride. The Tramplian is proud of her ability to make decisions about her outfit. She is proud of her Manolos, her Prada heels or her Jimmy Choo boots. She is too proud to combine her outfit with stocking feet. She resents the idea that her hostess would not accept her in her own shoes.

The Offalist argues that if the Tramplian would only forsake her pride, she would actually find that she was far more comfortable in slippers, socks or bare feet. Her determination to remain in her stilettos will in the end hurt her feet and drag her to destruction. She may well remain outside the dinner party in the outer darkness.

National Terror Alert

Britain is on a national terror alert.

Hopefully our airports will maintain the sensible policy of requiring checks on passengers' shoes.