Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Good day readers! I’m back and this time I’ve brought a product review that I’m quite passionate about called DanceJour. This 132 page notebook, by Cecile Janiek, is designed specifically with dance journaling in mind.

(Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand featuring the Ally, Krystn and Jadyn DanceJours)

Note taking is nothing new, and neither are the reasons why we do it. Writing our thoughts down help us to focus is a great memory recall tool. Students use it in school to prepare for tests and exams. Business personnel use notes in meetings as reminders to the material they’ve covered or things that still need to be done.

Dancers are no exception to this rule. In fact, dancers at the studios I teach at are required to take notes daily regarding their corrections in class and variations they study. This not only helps them grow as a student, but also prepares them to be a successful teacher or professional by creating valuable work ethic. 

Cecile Janicek aspires to help these dancers do that through DanceJour. The goal-oriented writing journal was inspired by her daughters who need to have an organized space to write down their training, thoughts and inspiration. What began as a regular spiral composition notebook turned into many notebooks in an attempt to make revisiting and revising old notes easier. Then they tried to go digital, which didn’t pan out how they hoped. Taking all points into consideration Cecile believes that “there’s something to be said about writing it down after all (in pen and paper).” Which led to the hand-tailored notebook she surprised her daughter with prior to DanceJour’s launch in January 2015.

So lets get to the pointe:

The Journal is a 6 x 9.  A two-in-one planner and diary that has shipped to seven different countries so far. It is set up with 52 weekly double pages to accommodate daily schedules and corrections, including space to log your daily strengthening and conditioning exercises. There’s also a place to write daily and weekly focuses to keep your goals on track and a designated spot to write down your accomplishments. In a world where dancers are constantly striving for perfection, this is an encouraging and a necessary reflection for positive thinking.

Currently, the target audience is students and pre-professional dancers still working to perfect their craft, but this is a great option for adult ballet dancers serious about their new hobby. In addition, Cecile envisions the journal as a valuable tool that can be used by a number of other athletes including gymnasts, ice skaters and performing artists.

Pros, Cons, Other:

DanceJour encourages organization, time management, creative thinking and positive self evaluation.  One of the biggest selling points for me is that this planner has empty date and year spots. That means that if you buy it in the middle of the year, you aren’t wasting half the planner. You can simply start at the beginning and work your way through no matter when you purchase it.

The next major selling point is the variations pages to keep track of notes from rehearsals.  There’s plenty of them to get you through the season! It also has a place to organize competitions, performances, and audition reminders as well as contacts.

While using this product, I tried my hardest to find con’s worth writing about because this is after all a review and I want to be honest with my readers. Eventually I had to take a step back and see what I was doing outside of my planner as well as think back over my initial reaction when opening it’s pages.

I remember being slightly overwhelmed by all the little boxes at first.  Upon further inspection, I feel some of these could be consolidated to simplify the format. Technically the milestones could be written under “Good things that happened” and the weekly focus could go under “Things to do”. 

With DanceJours reiteration of goals, it would be nice to see 3-4 goal sheets placed throughout the notebook to plan out stretch goals, intermediate goals and short term goals. This would encourage self evaluation when dancers come across a new stretch goal page.  Dancers would be forced to revisit goals they set up previously and evaluate whether or not they accomplished the goals they set. 

The only other con for me is that only one style is available through Amazon. The other styles have to be purchased through DanceJour’s website.  Hopefully, more options will become available through the holy grail of online shopping in the future!

Looking to the future:

Recently, Cecile created a mini version of DanceJour with summer intensives in mind. She’s currently working on a new release that includes new cover designs and more features like a self-assessment page (Definite stretch goal planning potential!). She has also created a whole sale program for studios and retail outlets who want to purchase in bulk.  There is also a private-labelling program available which Cecile indicates has “hit the ground running.” 

I can see why. Even as a professional, DanceJour has replaced my regular planner and I recommend it to all of my friends. With a reasonable price and no other detailed viable alternatives, this is a wonderful tool for performing artist of all ages and levels.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Welcome to the Glittering Pointe

Hello everyone and welcome to the launch of the GlitteringPointe! A project following months of prep work that's made me even more excited about our potential adventures!

In a dancers life there are only so many hours in a day to contribute to other hobbies he/she loves. Which is unfortunate considering that besides ballet, coffee and chocolate, I'm also a sucker for books, beauty, fashion and writing!

During a brainstorming session on how to find time for my hobbies, a light bulb (finally) went off. Ballet dancers often spend their days locked away in the studio--sweaty and sporting leotards, tights and warm ups. Recently, dance photography in swanky fashion apparel has become really popular. And all one has to do to see the effect ballet has on the fashion industry is step out to their local department store. So, while it would be easy to bring ballet to fashion as most dancers do on Instagram, twitter, Facebook, etc, I want more. I want to bring fashion back to ballet with a little bit of writing mixed in.

This is how I stand apart.

I aspire to review the things you love (or that you will hopefully grow to love) - whether you're a student, professional or just a balletomane taking class. I will review ballet fashion, beauty, fitness and even healthy snacks. We will look at mainstream dance wear apparel as well as the ever expanding world of bespoke dance wear created "for dancers by dancers".

I'll keep you up-to-date on the "in" fashion colors, prints and fabrics and where you can look to get something that will set you apart. I want to make you as bold in your studio attire as the girl on the subway - who's sporting a sock bun and her favorite Manolos with a tulle skirt in the latest trendy colors. I will also take you into the bathrooms of some of our fellow dancers to find out what their beauty routines are to maintain a fresh face throughout the dance season. On top of it all, I'm even going to throw in some rockin' rehearsal-ready snacks!

To kick off the launch, I'd like to announce our first Foot Stretcher giveaway winner - something I hope becomes a staple synonymous with the GlitteringPointe.

So, without further ado, our Memorial Day shabby chic foot stretcher winner is Daniela Colon. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your new fashionable gear!

I'd like to take a moment to also thank everyone who entered, I'm awed by the number. That said, keep an eye out for future foot stretcher giveaways!

...and remember: Don't stop until you've reached your Glittering Pointe.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Glittering Moments

Keep an eye out. There's some exciting things in the works for the all new Glittering Pointe. Let your friends know! xoxo

The relaunch date will be announced on instagram soon, so make sure you are following!