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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Rachel (age 9) doing Ballerina Hank (video) <-- suggestions? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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My daughter Rachel (age 9) wants to improve her Ballerina Hank routine.
Her Ballerina Hank ("BH") routine consists of 4 basic moves which she repeats over and over during the short-length music. The moves:

1. Basic wiggle (between cupped hands)
2. Summersaults
3. Over-the-shoulder catch
4. Sideways catch

As I mentioned, she repeats those 4 moves over and over, and with so few moves she finds it difficult to even keep going for that short-length song. She'd like to have more than 4 unique moves.
In Rachel's quest for more moves, she searched YouTube for BH performances... and found a handful of videos (that's where she saw the summersault move) but in general no good ideas were found.
Her Ballerina Hank ("BH") routine:
(Please view this: It's short!)
If anyone does Ballerina Hank and can offer some moves suggestions, or, can point her to someone's YouTube video where someone's doing some other moves, that would be awesome.
(Also feel free to make suggestions in general about her BH routine or her entire act)
Thank You!
Mark (Rachel's dad)
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I think the routine is wonderful, especially for a nine-year-old. My only suggestion is that she "pay more attention" to the silk, because there are several places where she is glancing into the wings as if there is "something" there that might be "helping" the silk to dance. (We all KNOW that it is MAGIC!!!) Smile

Keep up the good work!
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
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On 2009-03-30 22:35, ClintonMagus wrote:
there are several places where she is glancing into the wings as if there is "something" there that might be "helping" the silk to dance. (We all KNOW that it is MAGIC!!!) Smile
Hey Clinton --

Thanks for your input. Actually Rachel was staring at *me*, in the wings! Just before curtain time, she was really nervous that she'd run out of BH moves before the music ended, so I told her that she could look over to me and I'd signal her on what moves to do. During the routine she looked over a few times, but then she got her confidence up and kept going.

Btw her original opening routine was vanishing/re-appearing silk (using a tip) to music, then at the very last minute she changed over to Ballerina Hank.

We drove out to Magic Galore and More in Westminster, California, and the owner, Ken Sands (a great guy btw!) strongly suggested Ballerina Hank, but he was out of stock. So I placed a mail order with MisDirections magic shop in San Francisco, and the package arrived about 1 week before Rachel's show. So she had a week to learn/perfect BH, otherwise fall back on her vanishing/reappearing silk routine. I think that,

Thanks again for your input! Mark
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I find absolutely no fault in her dancing silk. I couldn't do it better myself. She has poise, she is fearless, and absolutely enjoying herself. I found her act flawless. Shield and protect her. She is a beautiful little Shirley Temple.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
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She's fantastic!
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Rachel its Great!
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Thanks for your comments on her Ballerina Hank routine, and for your
life words of wisdom, much appreciated! (and I totally agree with you)

DanielCoyne and Hansel:

Thanks guys for
your great comments!
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Cute, Cute, Cute!!!

Don't change a thing.

The innocence of children doing magic is truly magic.
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Hey Clinton --
Yesterday I sent you a pm, please check, thx Mark
Autumn Morning Star
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I loved it! I would only suggest she act as if the silk is her "buddy". Ask her to experiment and think of how the silk would act if it was her best friend. See what she develops from this! My Don Wayne "dancing silk" tickles my face, chin, and kisses my cheek. The response is excellent!

I also set the tone with my music. Rachel could use a short piece with easy to recognize, "iconic" music. I suggest a syncopated beat to give her definite music cues to work with. Working with the music alone could stimulate some really cool ideas.
Good Luck!
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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I was doing magic at your age too and you have such grace and poise on stage, especially in front of your peers! Your coreography is fabulous and your magic is spot on. I wish you the best of luck!!!

Thom Bliss
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I don't know that she actually needs more moves. Looked fine to me.

But since you asked for suggestions (I'm not familiar with Ballerina Hank, so I don't know if any of these will work with it):
Magically produce the hank at the start.
Vanish it afterwards.
In the middle of her routine make it disappear then reappear.
Tie a knot in it, which then unties itself or fades away.
Accidentally drop it on the floor. When she bends down to pick it up, it hopes to the other side. When she turns to that side to pick it up, it then hopes to to the other side. After several tries, back and forth, she commands it to jump into her hand, and it does.
She tries putting it in a bag. It jumps out.
Perhaps it could do some of the things that a Zombie ball does - climb up and down her arm, jump behind her. She might turn around (but not for too long) as the hank dances. We could still see part of it as it moves over her shoulder.
Hope this helps.

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Very nice!! Second video I have seen of Rachel - that was her with the floating cup too, right?

Excellent little magi-in-training!

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Great job! What a cutie! It's always good to see kids perform magic. If you want to ask some more moves, how about acting like the hank pull her away and she tries to pull it back, some mime movements? Or the hank wants to fly to the left while she tries to go to the right, alittle bit of tuck-a-war would add some time to fill the song? Or the hank fly up on the air and she runs after it to with both hands on the air trying to catch it, like when the kid ry to catch a butterfly? My 2 cents!
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I think the above suggestions are better than mine, but;
How about a sneeze?
How about having it change colors? (behind the newspaper, or a gimmick?), then,
how about have it go into the change bag to begin the silk flag routine? and don't forget to show the empty bag.
Think about the theme of your presentation. Patriotic= marching with it, etc.
funny= tug of war. Sweet= butterfly's. Then work your theme.

She did a GREAT job.
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Yup, that was Rachel doing some street magic.
Thanks for your support last year and this year.

Thom, Ken and Ed:

Great suggestions, thanks!. I'll share them with Rachel as she does still sometimes do Ballerina Hank, however my original post is a year old now, and she's moved on to a new act for this year's school variety show.

This year's school variety show:

Auditions are in April and the show will be in May. (even though it's called "auditions", it's a school thing so basically every kid who tries out, makes it in. The auditions are for screening out acts which don't follow the rules, for example no act is allowed to have rap music with bad lyrics) For this year's act Rachel want's to try a levitation, body vanish and so forth. (see my post about Steve Fearson's Monkey Vanish) We may build a few cardboard illusions from UF Grant's book Victory Carton Illusions.

Once there's an actual act and she's done a few rehearsals, perhaps I can video tape her act and post it here for your critique and suggestions, before the actual live performance.

Thank you!
Mark (Rachel's dad)
Alan Munro
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Just a few comments on the first video. Overall, it was a nice act. I'd move the mike stand closer to the table to eliminate unnecessary movement. It helps to be relaxed, so that she doesn't appear to be wondering what comes next. The focus should be on the props and audience, and not on what's happening backstage.

A silent script would make the plots clearer in the minds of the audience and the feet should be kept closer together to appear poised on stage. There are many pointers in Magic And Showmanship by Henning Nelms.

The flag combined with the appearing pole was one of the best uses of the prop, but considering that it's the flag, it should be in a nicer container up on a table or something. I think that a little music or patter while pouring the milk would have been nice.

She's certainly better than I was at her age.
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Very nice - a very self-confident young lady. Don't let her quit!

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