Feeling Better Now…

After hearing from very sweet Kristin Sloan and some others, and having the day to think stuff over, I feel much better about things regarding my last post. Still dismayed that it happened (and it definitely was not in any way, shape or form Kristin’s fault!!), but I guess the lesson I’ve learned is that you have to not let people instigate crap and get a rise out of you, both in blogs and in life. So, I’m over it!

Anyway, it was an okay day… but would’ve been better if the weather forecaster was more correct about the weather! It was definitely nowhere near the upper 50s / low 60s, but I went to the park anyway:

Both pics are of Strawberry Fields — -people hot-blooded enough to hang out on the benches, and in some cases, sing and play guitar to each other!

Still too chilly for me to hang out outside for more than about 45 minutes, so came home and immersed myself in brain candy 🙂 Slightly embarrassed to admit I’m reading this, but what better way to try to get over being bummed, right! I bought this book for $1 at my local library’s sale — can’t get a better price on such candy 🙂

And then got the mail and was delighted to see an offer from Theater Development Fund of discount tickets to see the Eifman Ballet at City Center in April! Very excited — I’d wanted to see them, and, with all the money I spend on ballroom leaving me little for any outside leisure spending money, I’m always thrilled about getting a deal 🙂 Thanks TDF!!

Anyway, my friend from the studio, Elaine, and I are planning to go out to costume-maker Valentina’s shop next weekend, so I have to figure out what kind of costume I want for the showcase. Jacob had suggested something strapless and backless (how’s it gonna stay on???) with long gloves. Sounds beautiful but he also said it wouldn’t look completely right without being covered with rhinestones, which I don’t know if I can afford this time around. Ballroom’s getting REALLY expensive — just spent nearly $1000 for 10 lessons!! He said I could always buy them and put them on myself which would be considerably cheaper, but I don’t know if I trust myself to do a good job with such a thing! Anyway, thinking about Rita Hayworth as my role-model, since it’s foxtrot and all, I came up with some ideas:

If there’s mesh covering at the top, it’d stay on… Or:

This kind of top is pretty… As is this:

How cute is she!! I so wanna be her!!



Another possibility, although that one may be too expensive. Longer = more money…especially if rhinestones are involved…

Oh, but aren’t they cute!

Something like this is what I really really love — the flowing, layered chiffon skirt, part of which can be gathered and held up with the hand at certain points. Which is really similar to the basic black that Elaine Kudo wore in the original Sinatra Suites:

Dunno if you can really see it, but it’s a basic black leotard with a black chiffon skirt, about knee length, and only a few rhinestones right on the top on the bust. May be perfect for my routine, and perfectly affordable 🙂

By the way, all of the above pictures of Rita Hayworth are taken from this website.


  1. tonya, hope that uncomfortable situation has resolved nicely!

  2. That’s going to look so gorgeous while you dance!

  3. Yes, I think it has, Jennifer — thanks! Thanks you guys 🙂

  4. ok it is late and i need sleep but i can totally give you ideas on places to buy costume stuff…we HAVE to do it all ourselves, its too pricey otherwise.

    If you are unsure of your ability to properly add rhinestones, a heat setter is probably the way to go, you can get them and rhinestones (you need the heat set ones) in the garment district.

    Another trick is to use a mix of swarovskis (MUCH SPARKLIER) and cheapo rhinestones.
    Maybe wont look quite as good as if all swarovskis but a good way to save money.

    Appliques are another good thing to use.

    I will find you some urls, but i cant think of the name of my favorite places right now!


  5. i can help you with the rhinestone application tonya – i just did my first costume (with a lot of help from you-know-who.) no heat setter – this is not a bedazzing type situation.

    also, ixnay on the non-swarowskis. they are a waste of money.

  6. Thanks so much, Delirium! Yeah, the seamstress I’ve been going to is about as inexpensive as they come (at least for ballroom), but it’s still several hundred per costume, and I need to cut costs somewhere! If I just have her sew the thing and then I do the stones myself I figured I could save that way. It could end up being fun, probably, though, knowing me I should probably try a few out on a cheap leotard first till I get the hang of it! Anyway, I really appreciate yoru advice, whenever you have time 🙂

  7. oh, i just got your comment too, m. thanks!

  8. you’re welcome. one more thing: no black, you need to pop off the stage. i wore bright yellow for my competition and even without stones (which i eventually bought) the costume just JUMPED out at the eye. if you don’t want to overspend on stones or overspend on tailoring, you need to make your statement with color.

  9. Though I’ve never done costumes for ballroom, I have years of experience with costumes and rhinestones. The Swarovski Hot Fix stones are definitely the way to go for costumes. The flat back rhinestones that you glue on are a bit cheaper but won’t last through more than a few hand washings (even with the “special” glue they sell you) and the ones with the prongs are a real no-no on dance costumes because they can catch on your partner’s costume. Also if you haven’t done it before you might want to invest in one of the heat setting tools (only about $20) because it will be easier to control placement. I usually use an iron but if you don’t know what you are doing you can burn large holes (and believe me I have lots of experience in that too!!!)

    Check out M&J Trimming on 6th Ave (www.mjtrim.com). They carry pretty much all the Swarovski colors and sizes (SS20 is a good standard size) and though most of their merchandise is expensive, their prices for the Swarovski stones are very reasonable compared to some other places I’ve shopped. They also have an instruction page on their website telling you how to apply them.

    Also, once you get going and realize how easy (and fun) it is to “glitz it up”, don’t overdo it. Remember all those stones are made of crystal and their weight adds up and nothing is more unattractive than a dance costume that does not move with the dancer.

    Good luck!

  10. Wow, thanks so much for all that — I’m going to print this out and bring it with me when I go to the store! This is starting to look exciting — I’m always up for learning a new skill!

  11. I’d also check out the M&J website stitches gave the link to (that’s what i was trying to think of last night. I could remember the store but not the name). They have sales on lg quantites of the heat set swarovskis and the setter.

    Stitches is also spot on with size and the pros and cons of the various application methods (in my experience)–the prong ones are a disaster waiting to happen!!

    M&J does have good prices on the bulk.
    for smaller amts i usually go to Match Feather, as their prices are excellent.

    I’ve never used a setter myself, but i’ve heard excellent things about them, I’m not quite sure why m was so set against them–i’m getting one for a costume i’m making this spring!

  12. i like placing the stones by hand – no ironing, it’s too imprecise for me. i glue them each individually and it’s actually faster than ironing them on. the ‘stickability’ i find to be the same (hand-glue versus iron.) the technique isn’t that hard to master.

    and remember, there is no such thing as too many swarowskis in ballroom. it’s just not possible 🙂

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