The evergreen trees are up and fairy lights are twinkling form ever corner of the city – there’s no denying it’s Christmastime! If you’re anything like me and have left the gift shopping too late, do not despair – I have a gift guide for you, right here!
This post is for you other halves. You loving, patient paramours who have to put up with ballet-crazed partners (BCPs) and their weird habits (endless dancing around the house, using EVERYTHING as a ballet barre, engaging you in incomprehensible “ballet talk” at odd hours of the day…). You are true angels!
Finding gifts for your BCPs can be a daunting task – especially if you don’t share their enthusiasm for the art form. The following is a list of the top ten gifts I think most BCPs will enjoy receiving this festive season. I hope it helps!
1. Go see a show
The ultimate gift for any BCP is a ticket to see a ballet – you can never go wrong with this one. You’ve probably heard your BCP mumbling something about “Nutcracker Season” recently – the Nutcracker is THE Christmastime ballet and one most BCPs will enjoy watching. Why not get them tickets to see it?
Penny-wise tip: Ballet tickets can be expensive, depending on where you sit. If your heart is set on getting your BCP tickets to a ballet but you don’t want to pay a mini fortune to buy them, try getting the so-called “student tickets” higher up in the galleries. They are further away from the stage but cost only a fraction of the price of regular tickets. Another bonus of these seats – no one will notice if you nod off for a power nap. It’s a win-win deal!
2. Support their “team”
Just as every sports fan has their favourite teams and players, every BCP has their favourite ballet companies and dancers. Why not get them merchandise from their favourite ballet company? Not sure which company they like? Even if they favour a foreign one, most BCPs will also have a soft spot for their local ballet company. Look for merchandise from the ballet company in the city/country they live in/are originally from.
Sources (clockwise): Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet
3. Keep them warm
Ever notice how your BCP wraps themselves in layer upon layer of clothes before ballet class? That is to keep their muscles and joints warm enough to avoid injury – particularly important for adult BCPs. Help keep them warm by getting them some more layers to put on. These warm-up booties are pretty popular at the moment and can even be warn on chilly nights at home.
4. Help them shine
BCPs can never have too many leotards. The difficulty is finding ones that look special enough to let their personalities shine out. Yumiko leotards are famous for doing just that and most BCPs would be delighted to own one. If you know your BCPs favourite colours you can even design a leotard just for them on the Yumiko website (click on the source link below the image)!
5. Clear the (foul) air
If you’ve noticed a foul smell wafting out of your BCPs dance bag, that would be the result of years of carrying sweaty clothes and ballet shoes – yuck! It might be time to get them a new dance bag and Repetto has a few lovely ones to offer.
6. Ease their tension
I don’t know a single BCP who would not be delighted to get a professional massage. Massages can enhance performance by releasing muscular tension, help speed up the body’s natural recovery process and can even help prevent injuries. What is not to love? Massage styles that have been shown to be beneficial to dancers include sports massage, Swedish massage and lymph massage.
7. Give the gift of relaxation
If he or she is anything like me, your BCP will usually return home from ballet class completely exhausted. I, for one, am always grateful for a warm bath, some relaxing music and my foot roller to help relieve my tired feet. Why not make your BCP a “recuperation kit” with a soothing Epsom bath salts, a foot roller/massage ball and a nice ballet CD? I’m feeling soothed and relaxed just thinking about it.
Sources (clockwise): A Balanchine Album; Epsom bath salt; Foot roller
8. Capture their success
Photos make a wonderful gift for dancers and are a great memento of a particular moment in their dance journey/career. Why not book a special photo session for your BCP at a local photography studio and make them a dance model for a day?
Penny-wise tip: The obvious way to save money on this gift is to take the photos yourself. So, if there are any avid photographers among you, why not make your BCP the subject of your next photography project?
9. Feed their inner bookworm
If there is one thing true BCPs never tire of, its learning about ballet. As you already know, they’ll spend hours watching ballet videos on youtube, searching the internet for tour dates and information on their favourite dance companies and reading biographies of ballet’s greatest dancers. Books about ballet are always a good idea! Here are a few of my favourites.
Sources (clockwise): Apollo’s Angels, Classical Ballet Technique, Dancers Among Us, Mao’s Last Dancer,
10. Support their habit
A gift that will always be well-received are vouchers for their ballet studio. They are going to take the classes anyway, why not help support their ballet habit? If you do get vouchers, just be sure to get ones for a ballet studio your BCP actually likes – they can be picky about which classes they attend and which teachers they train with.
11. Continue being you (bonus)
As is usually the case, the best presents are the ones money cannot buy. I’m sure many BCPs will agree, the fact that you put up with their ballet craziness is the greatest gift of all. So, patient paramours, continue smiling when your BCP practices ballet combinations in the living room while you’re trying to watch TV. Keep letting them hog the computer all day to watch the 1 millionth ballet video on Youtube. Keep pretending to listen while they explain (again) just why they love Vishneva, Osipova and Seminova.
Your support, active or passive, is the best gift you can give.
That concludes my list of top ten (plus one) gifts for BCPs – I hope my suggestions were helpful. To the BCPs that are reading this, is there anything I missed? Let me know what’s on your ballet Christmas wish list.