About

A unique insight to the life of a ballet-dancer

Want to get to know what it’s like living as a male professional ballet dancer? Want to get to know more about the world of dance, and what joys (and pains) it contains? Tights and Tiaras is the place to be.

Tights and Tiaras provides a unique insight to the life of a ballet dancer, Henrik Lamark, and his endeavours to live life doing what he loves the most, dancing. It also contains lots of interesting tips, resources, reviews, comments, guides and more to anyone interested in dance. Tights and Tiaras is a blog not only for dance professionals, but a blog on ballet, for anyone.

Carmina Burana choreographed by Youri Vamos, set to music by Carl Orf. The role of 'Ego' here danced by Henrik Lamark, professional ballet dancer and author of the Tights and Tiaras blog

Henrik Lamark as 'Ego' from Youri Vamos' Carmina Burana, Hungarian Opera House

Following you will find some backstory on the writer, Henrik Lamark. If you are looking for a more traditional CV, please contact Henrik on email.

Name: Henrik Lamark
Born: 5th April 1986 in Bodø, Norway

I started my education as a ballet dancer at 4, but things didn’t get really serious until much later. Raised in Bodø, a small town in northern Norway (let’s just say that it’s closer to the north pole than to Covent Garden) by two parents – though endlessly loving and supportive, not really “in the loop” on the whole ballet-thingy – there were some issues. My first 10 years of training were good for one thing: learning how to love dance. Although now I regret (some might even say I’m bitter, but that’s someone else) not leaving town for a more serious school earlier, what I learned is also probably the reason why I keep doing it: the love of dance.

In 2005, I graduated from the local high-school, with a specialization in dance. Already, I had been traveling to Oslo and the opera-school for weekend-courses for two years, but now I was finally free to go there and join the national college of ballet! I was, by then, sure: When I grow up, I’m going to be a ballet dancer.

Just they didn’t take me..

Turns out, nobody cares how much you love what you are doing. With my technical disadvantages at the moment, they just didn’t have a spot for me at the school that was going to take me to fame and fortune. Bummer.

I was devastated, but not about to give up! That is one of my strongest assets: I’m stubborn as hell! Be that good or bad, it brought me (with a little help from my friends…) to Hungary, and the Hungarian Dance Academy. They were willing to give me a shot (for a prize of course, but luckily, there are banks and loans and interest and.. shit..) at what I wanted for so long: A real ballet education.

School was hard! But I was motivated like no other, and came to like both Budapest, now home away from home, the people and the school. When I graduated, I was a completely changed, both as a person and as a dancer. Since then I have been dancing in and for several companies all around the world, still persuing my dream, still developing.
I’m currently dancing with the Hungarian renown company, the Győr National Ballet, performing neo-classical pieces in Hungary and on stages around the world.

I write with my own voice, and although it’s english, I am, after all, from the northern Norway. I’m straight-forward. Might even be harsh. My father calls me disillusioned. He’s probably right. Living in the world of ballet (or rather on the planet ballet in a galaxy far, far away) is not kids play. It will do things to you!

Tights and Tiaras featured on other sites:
10 questions with… Henrik Lamark on 4Dancers.org
Behind the blogs on Scribnia.com

Tights and Tiaras won the title “Best Dance Blog 2010″ by the contest of the same name, hosted by DanceAdvantage

All pictures used on Tights and Tiaras are mine unless credited otherwise.

The Tights and Tiaras logo is a registered trademark.

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Antoinette September 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Your blog is an inspiration to me not only as a dancer who is still trying to find her silent voice but also to an individual who not going to quit of give up
dancing or even teaching or expressing the love of dance or sharing the love of dance ..

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Henrik September 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Dear Antoinette, thank you for your kind words! It is replies like this that makes me continue writing! I’m glad and honored you enjoy my blog, and will keep on writing it as long as I get feedback like this!
Truly thankfully,
Henrik

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Shivani February 18, 2011 at 10:50 am

well done my friend. if i may call u that. keep dancing… keep the faith! keep dreaming… and keep making it come true

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Henrik February 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm

of course you can ;)
And thank you – I will :P

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Mary Lou March 9, 2011 at 12:21 am

I am a passionate reader to your blog (28 years old, female, from Italy, ballet student as an adult amateur). Just stopping by to congratulate you. You seem a brave person, in all kind of ways. There should be more people like you in this world. Terpsichore bless you! :) ))

Love,
Mary Lou

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Henrik March 9, 2011 at 8:45 am

Thank you, Mary Lou, I’m honored! These words are too kind! I’m happy you enjoy my blog ;)

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Jeff March 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Great blog! I danced back in high school and college, and now at the age of 33 (almost 34) I finally decided to go back to basics and will be taking an adult beginning ballet workshop soon. Thanks for all the interesting stories and tips… I’ll keep reading!

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Henrik March 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Hi! I’m glad you enjoy my blog! Great to hear you are starting ballet again – good luck on that! See you around :) H

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Sarah April 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

Great blog! I love it!
And by the way, happy belated birthday!!!! I’m turning 26 this year which is *even worse* than 25 so I feel your pain ;-)

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Henrik April 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thank you!! As it turns out, it’s not that bad, actually.. At least not so far :) Glad you enjoy my blog! H

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Mary Fernandez April 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Henrik, what an entertaining and witty blog! Love it!!! I will definitely be following you in the future and learning from you, both in terms of dancing and blogging. Speaking of which, how do you find time to both dance and blog? However you do it, I am very impressed. Please keep it up! :-)

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Henrik April 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Dear Mary,
Thank you, I’m glad you like my blog.
As for time, it’s pretty rough sometimes. I try to write my posts well in advance, then, I only need to press publish when the post is actually going up. It does take a lot of time, but has become more or less a hobby of mine, and something I enjoy doing a lot. And with feedback like yours, I will keep on blogging :)

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Mary Fernandez April 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Wow, well I am glad you take the time to do this! It would be neat if more dancers blogged about their lives. Maybe you should do a post on “Blogging for Dancers”? ;-)

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Henrik April 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm

That’s not a bad idea at all. Although, the vast majority of my readers are not actually professional dancers, rather supporters, recreational dancers and lovers of the arts.

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Mary Fernandez April 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

True, I guess most professional dancers aren’t following or writing blogs (unless of course they are highly motivated to take the extra time, like you!)

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Henrik April 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I guess. Plus, there is not as much for them in it – When I write about life as a professional dancer, that is very interesting to anyone that don’t know what that means. To a professional dancer, on the other hand… He or she kind of knows what it’s all about ;)

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Susan Attfield April 27, 2011 at 12:05 am

Hi from South Africa !

We are a group of around 60 adult ballet dancers – mostly beginners with around 10 intermediate and pointe ( adult) students in our fun classes. We are all doing ballet for the love of dancing and most of our students started ballet for the first time in their late 20′s or 30′s. :)

We do ballet just for fun. We have 5 male students in our classes and they have a lot of questions. We always refer the men to your sites for more info and I see they have all linked to your site on Facebook.

You should keep on writing and posting and we all hope to see you dance one day on stage in South Africa !

Just keep on training – everything will fall into place eventually :)

Lots of admiration,
Susan Attfield
Owner of Dance Hub studios

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Henrik April 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

Great! How cool!
So, you actually have an own studio or group for adult students alone? I know a couple of twitterers that would be extremely jealous if they knew about this :)
Please tell your students I’d be more than happy to help with questions or anything! They may e-mail me on Henrik@tightsandtiaras.com anytime – who knows, maybe it turns into good posts for the blog, too! :)
I’d love to come to South Africa to dance – always wanted to go there! That’s one of the cool things about being a dancer, oyu get to see a lot of places that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to see otherwise. The downside is that it’s not me who’s deciding where to go ;)

Thank you for your great support, and please keep in touch!
Cheers
H

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Mary Lou April 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

This is SO great, Ms Attfield! Reading this moved me. Cheers from an adult ballet student from Italy! ;D

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Susan Attfield April 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm

He there again,

Yes I have 2 studios just for adults! :)
I run this as a hobby and have employed qualified RAD teachers to give the classes. We have 9 classes per week and growing. Adults just love to move and nothing beats classical training ;)

You are welcome to link to my facebook groups ” Irene Dance Hub” and ” Brooklyn Dance Hub” on Facebook to see our pics – I am very proud of our dancers and it takes a lot of courage to start with ballet at a later age.

If you would really like to come to South Africa to dance, you should contact the following person – I know he often “imports” male dancers. He has a contemporary ballet group and is privately funded. You can mention my name if it will help – he knows me. Wait, I will rather email that to ou just now. – I forgot this is open forum.

Just keep on breathing and dancing and point till you drop,
Susan

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Henrik April 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Thank you Susan, for your ideas and email – I will get back to you on that note by email.

That’s so cool you have studios for only adult dancers – they are an inspiring and great group of dancers. I got to know a couple of adult beginners through this blog and social networks, and I have learned so much from them. For someone that has danced his whole life, their ‘glow’ and passion for the arts is fantastically inspiring!

Keep on running your studio well – I’m sure there are a lot of adult dancers that truly appreciate your efforts!
Best,
H

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Adrienne September 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

Hi there,
I’m usually not one to leave comments, but I just couldn’t resist this time… I’m an adult beginner, and have no idea how I got the ballet bug, but it’s gotten pretty bad now: I’m devastated if I miss a class. So, waiting for autumn term to start, I’ve been reading ballet blogs.. and that’s how I happenchanced on yours, which I really liked, and thought wow, how exotic, a Norwegian! So now the funny bit: I’m Hungarian and the classes I’m taking are actually in Budapest. Really happy that you’re enjoying Budapest and our ballet scene and hope to see you on stage!

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Henrik September 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Szia Adrienne,
I’m very glad you chose to comment anyway!! Hah, adult classes in Budapest, that’s great! Where are the classes? Who is holding them? Maybe I’ll drop by once I’m in my favorite city :)
I’m glad you enjoy Tights and Tiaras, and please feel free to comment on the articles in the future – I like comments :) I’m working with the Győri Ballet now, so chances are, you can see me onstage if you will! We are performing at the Művészeti Palotája on november the 15th I believe ;)
Hope the autumn term is just around the corner, so you can take ballet classes again! And please let me know if you come to any of our performances! :)
Minden jót! Henrik

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Adrienne September 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Köszönöm a válaszodat, Henrik! I will definitely try to go to your performance, am genuinely interested! The classes are at a dance place called Hölgyválasz, and it’s right behind the old Balettintézet building which means across the street from the Operaház, so an inspirational location. The adult ballet classes are a huge success, but the whole place as well, it seems! I give you a link to the teacher and the building: http://www.holgyvalasz.hu/web/klasszikus_balett
Üdv, Adrienne

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Henrik September 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

Great, I’m happy to hear that!
I know the studio you mention, I’ve passed it a million times, but never actually went inside. I like to take open classes sometimes, I get a lot of inspiration from seeing the engagement of those who dance only because they enjoy it – as a professional dancer, it can be easy to forget why we are doing it. Maybe I’ll drop by for a class sometime :)

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Adrienne October 17, 2011 at 1:41 am

Szia,
Bought tickets to the performance of ‘La vie en rose’ at Müpa! I still greatly enjoy reading your blog and loved that you featured Adult Beginner, my other favorite ballet-blog writer. Hope to read many more of your cool posts!

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Henrik October 18, 2011 at 8:09 am

Cool, I’m glad to hear that. What day are you coming? I’ll make sure to come out and say hello afterwards!! :)

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Beatrice Sweet September 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Amazing – you must have been born to dance or maybe it was the northern lights that inspired you. All the very best for a successful future – a certainty.
Regards
Beatrice

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Henrik September 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Dear Beatrice,
Thank you for your nice words. DoN’t know about the northern lights, but I always wanted to dance :) Thanks for the support! :) H

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Zachariah September 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Dear Henrik,
this is a truly inspiring website. i stumbled upon it doing work for my english class and im so glad i did. Im a 15 year old sophomore living in Southern Vermont USA. My passion is singing acting and dancing, and your articles are very inspiring and helpful for me. Keep up the good work!

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Henrik September 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Hi Zachariah!
I’m glad to hear you enjoy Tights and Tiaras. Please do not hesitate with contacting me with any questions or requests for the site – I wish to make ballet more approachable, and truly write for my audience. Hope to “see” you around Tights and Tiaras in the future!
H

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Roxy January 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hi Henrik!:)[ First of all I want to say that I`m sorry but I don`t speak very good english.]
Your golb helped me a lot and I find it pretty interesting. I`m 15 and I dance since i was 6 but I`m not an professional dancer. I`m trying to do all my best at the ballet classes even if I know that what I do there it`s not even a half form what an professional dancer does. Anyway i love it and even if sometimes my feet are shaking because of the pointe shoes i still do it, but my teacher is old and he will retire in 6 months and in my town he`s the only ballet teacher. And i have no idea what i`ll do after his retire.

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Henrik January 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

Hi Roxy, and thanks for commenting! Your English is just fine, remember, it’s not my first language, either ;)
Maybe you can look on the internet, see if you can find a dance teacher somewhere close that you can go to when your teacher retires?! Or maybe he will be interested in holding private, or limited lessons for you and maybe some of your more devoted friends? Ask him, the worst you can get is a “no”… I’m glad to hear you enjoy dancing and want to continue doing it, I hope it all works out! Let me know if I can be of any help. Otherwise, search the archive here at T & T, you should find answers to many questions related to dance and training :) Good luck, and let me know how you manage! :) Cheers, H

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emma February 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi Henrik,
I am a third year student at Laban and am looking for some advice for writing my C.V. I cant seem to find where to download your C.V for inspiration, if you could point me in the right direction that would be great.

Keep up the good work.
Emma

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Henrik February 17, 2012 at 8:30 am

HI Emma, and thanks for your comment!
I wrote a post on how to write a CV, did you read it?
http://www.tightsandtiaras.com/2010/09/how-to-write-cv/
Otherwise, send me an email if you still want to see mine, and I’ll send you a copy. :)
Cheers,
H

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Jenna March 3, 2012 at 7:40 am

Hey Henrik!
I just wanted to pop in and say that I love reading your blog! I found it a few months ago when I was browsing the blog roll on another dance blog that I enjoy reading, and I’ve been enjoying all of your previous posts in my spare time. I particular love reading your “Bedtime Stories” posts :)

I’m a 24 year old Canadian who has just recently started ballet as an adult (2 years ago, actually), although I actually grew up folk dancing. My family is originally from Norway, and so I’ve always been heavily involved in Scandinavian heritage groups. Making the switch to ballet has been challenging, but it’s also been very fun and very exciting! I found a great group of adult ladies who are just as enthusiastic about ballet as I am, and we took our first exam together earlier today, just because we can!

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Henrik March 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hi Jenna!
I’m glad you like the articles at Tights and Tiaras, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy on them :)
Cool to hear you “preserve” your Norwegian heritage “over there” :)
Good luck with the dance, remember, enjoy and have fun! :)
H

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Zachary Oncale March 13, 2012 at 2:10 am

Hi! My name’s zach and recently i’ve been exposed to the world of ballet through my school musical, I have quickly become addicted to the dance, so much so that I have chosen to do my english research paper on the career of a professional ballet dancer, I was wandering if youd be open to answering my questions over email or skype, thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon! P.S. It would be extra amazing since you are so well known and also another male!!!!

Sincerely,

Zachary Oncale

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Henrik March 14, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hi Zach!
Sure, I’d be happy to answer your questions!
Shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you!
Glad you enjoy TnT!

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Suzanne Dieckmann May 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

JUST came across your blog and throughly enjoyed read thru it.
I’m teaching Tutu construction and a Men’s costume class at my seminar (Aug. 2012, Las Vegas) and trying to include what costumers should know about about a dancers needs, Love what you said about working with tutus……….2/9/11 “Sure, not a bad idea I am working on a post on partnering, I’Ll mention it there. BUT, of course: for your eyes (only? no way, for all the readers! ): I like partnering with a normal, classical tutu (The pancake one), it gives the girl a good pose, and doesn’t bother me. Romantic tutu’s are more of a mess, with tulle everywhere, specially in your face when you are lifting.
A thing people maybe don’t know? OK: In school, when I started learning pas de deux, we were wearing normal ballet attire, meaning that the girls wore leotards, no tutu’s. When doing this for a year, our ballet-master told the girls to wear rehearsal tutu’s to pas de deux class. It was like being set back to the first lesson again. Turns out, I had been looking at my partners legs to find her balance, rather than “feeling” where she should be. Took a while to get used to the tutu, but it’s worth the extra work”
May I quote you????
My brother was also a dancer (SF Ballet, boston Ballet, etc), I danced as well so approached tutu building from a dancers view point. too often costumers just make a “pretty” tutu and don’t ask about lifts, or (pet peeve) understand about showing off a dancers line….
thank you for your time…want to go back and read some more of your blog :)

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Henrik May 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

Hi Suzanne, thanks for your comment!
I’m flattered you liked my post, of course you may quote me! :) I stand by everything I write on my blog :)
Hope to ‘see’ you around the blog in the future as well,
Cheers,
H

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André May 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Hi, Henrik!

As many others mentioned above, you are a true inspiration! I’m 18 years old and I have been thinking about going to a ballet classe but I have been a bit afraid of what others might say. As a fellow Norwegian, I know that people here think that boys are not supossed to dance, but you prove them wrong! You make it sound so interesting, and I find your blog very helpful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and dreams with the rest of the world, and thank you for giving me inspiration.

André

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Henrik June 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Hei André,

Takk for fine ord, og sorry for at det har tatt sånn tid å svare. Jeg sier gå for det DU har lyst til. De andre forsvinner etterhvert, men du må leve med deg selv og dine valg resten av livet. Det er bedre å angre på noe man har gjort, enn å angre på at man aldri gjorde noe… :)
H

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Roger Uratani June 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Hello Henrik,

Thank you for a great and inspiring web site. I found it because I am interested in taking my first ballet class. I am 47 years old. I know, I know, I am probably to old to take up dance. But there is a reason to my madness :)

I was in the Navy when I was younger. Went in when I was 17. I have always been very independent. In 2005 I had a ruptured brain aneurysm. When they did the first surgery (I actually had two aneurysm in my head) the paralyzed the right side of my body. When they went in and did the second surgery, the pretty much fixed what they did wrong on the first surgery. I say pretty much because now I walk a little different (though you can’t tell by looking at me) and my right hand shakes a bit and my short term memory is not very good. So I decided to rethink my life and do things that made me happy. I went to Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and graduated with a 3.80 GPA. Which was very difficult with short term memory loss. And I decided I wanted to give ballet a try. I was talking to Dr Dancebelt online and he said that dance might help my coordination. And the local instructor said she majored in dance and physical therapy and she said it will definitely help me.

So I went out the other day and bought me two pairs or tights, two dance belts and a pair of ballet slippers and my first class in this Tuesday the 2nd of July.

I just wanted to thank you for your web site and your encouraging words. I hope this is a great partnership between me and ballet.

Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Roger Uratani

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Henrik July 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Hi Roger,

Wow, your story is just amazing.
Congratulations on being so determent! Best of luck for the dancing, and let us all know how it works out! :)
Cheers,
H

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Xcinia August 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Hi Henrik,
I found your blog when I was researching sprung floors. Do you happen to know if they’ve always been built the same? I’m looking to find out if in the 1940s they were any different. Would you now the history?
Thank you so much for your inspiring words.
X

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Henrik August 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

In the fourties, there were no such thing as sprung floors in the way they are built today, as far as I know. But they used parquet floors with different patterns to ensure the dancers some comfort – wood is softer than concrete. And the patterns helped provide grip. Otherwise, I don’t know much about the flooring in the 1940′s, I guess it varied a lot, like today :) Glad you found my blog, have a look around if you will :)
H

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Alex August 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

Hello Henrik,

First I would like to thank you for the information you’ve put together. As a ballet inspired dancer myself, I do find the information here very enlightening and entertaining.

That you were able to achieve your goals in spite of the local school not accepting you is very highly commendable.

I do wonder, though, whether you can provide a bit insight into the process of actually getting into dance, and your own experiences with it. I.e. schools, audition processes, etc. You may have covered in previous entries, in which case I will locate the information in due time. I only recently found your blog, so I’ve not had a chance to comb through the numerous entries in search of this information.

Again, thank you for the delightfully entertaining view into the life of a male dancer. There is certainly, from my own research, a dearth of information on ballet, written from the male perspective.

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Henrik August 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Hi Alex, and thanks for your nice words!
I did cover the school/audition process in several posts earlier, do a search on ‘school’ or ‘audition’, and you should be able to find some. :) If you think of other subjects you miss on the blog, or if you find this one lacking something, I’m happy for all comments!
Have a nice day,
Cheers, H

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sam November 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm

hey Henrik I was just browsing through Google when i came across your ‘BLOG’ i am doing a degree in fashion 3rd year and my collection will be based on ‘swan lake’ men’s and women’s wear I just need some insight and information on the ballet world maybe some pictures for my research book ????

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Lilli January 10, 2013 at 2:40 am

Hi Henrik,
I am a young ballet dancer myself and I am so intrigued by your website! I find it so cool that you are a professional ballet dancer and you still have time to give tips to other fellow dancers. I have been dancing ballet ever since I was three. Now I am 12 (I know, im very young). Your Blog has helped me so much and has given me such useful information! I hope to succeed in my ballet and you have given me such inspiration to move forward! Thank You so much! Also, I am auditioning for summer intensives this winter and I was wondering if you had any suggestions?
Thanks So Much!!!!!

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alan January 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Just found this website for the first time.
ny guys out there who love seeing ballet and particularly guys in tights ?

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