Amethyst and the Ballet and Dancing Collection

A curvy paper doll with brown skin, black hair, a pair of modern dance shoes and a pair of toe shoes. Free to print and she can wear any of the clothing from the Jewels and Gemstones collection.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
There are several different styles of shoes worn for dance. The most iconic is probably the en pointe shoes and I made sure to include those with Amethyst today.

However, her other shoes are known as “lyrical shoes” they are usually worn for modern dance. The shoes leave the toes exposed and really only cover the ball of the foot for protection. Years ago, when I did tech theater work, we used to drape carpets over the edges of lighting rigs so dancers would feel the different fabric when leaving stage and know there was heavy piece of metal underneath the carpet.

Stubbed toes are not a minor issue when you’re a professional dancer.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I was thinking of ballet of course and dance when I dis this paper doll. I wanted to do a companion to Pearl.

Specific Source Images: These dance shoes

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More of the Ballet and Dancing Collection
Around the Internet: Discount Dance Supply is my go-to for images of dancing shoes & What is Lyrical Dance?

Last Thoughts
Can I just say that I love theatre. I have a Master Degree in the stupid topic. I know more about theater then most rational people do. However, I’ll be darned if I can figure out the difference between lyrical and modern dance. I am sorry dance people, but your nuances befuddle me.

Now, if anyone would like a talk on how Masque evolved into Opera and Ballet, I can hook you up. (No one wants this, I assure you.)

Did you know I have a Patreon? You probably do, but I’m always happy to remind you. Head over here if you want more paper dolls each week.

Okay, so I want to draw more dancing stuff that is not ballet, even though ballet was how we started. I’m thinking maybe hip-hop dance or modern or something. Any suggestions? Let me know in a comment.

A Classic Pancake Tutu in Pink

A classic pancake style pink tutu for the paper dolls with en pointe shoes. Print in color or black and white for coloring.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
There are several different traditional styles of tutus. One of them is a Pancake style tutu which is a shorter tutu style with a wired hoop in-between the layers of tulle to help the tutu keep its shape.

Moral of the story, tutus are complicated! (Also, the word “tutu” is fun to say.)

I didn’t pick a specific ballet to base this tutu off of. There’s a lot of ballets in this world and this tutu could really be in any number. Part of the point of this tutu was just to practice drawing this style of tutu which isn’t easy.

One of the things about my art, is that I tend to be a pretty tight artist. I have trouble loosening up my line work and tutus are very much a lose sort of thing. Tulle is like that.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I wasn’t thinking of any specific ballet when I designed this tutu. I wanted to draw something that could be in all sorts of things. One thing that fascinates me are the traditions around ballet costuming, but I didn’t feel like doing the research to say for sure which ballet this costume would go with.

Specific Source Images: This tutu, This tutu, This tutu and This tutu

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More of the Ballet and Dancing Collection
Around the Internet: I have a Ballet Pinterest Board, a Brief History of the Tutu and Types of Tutus from the Pacific Northwest Ballet

Last Thoughts
What’s interesting about the tutu is that the skirt doesn’t actually come out from the waist. It comes out slightly below the waist, closer to the top of the hip. That completely changes the shape of the garment. My paper dolls have fairly short torsos or it would be even more obvious.

Yes, for those of you paying close attention, I am reusing my toe shoes. A person can only draw en pointe shoes so many times before you get a little bored of them.

If you like the blog, consider becoming a Patreon. You get extra paper dolls and get to support PTP.

The Firebird: A Ballet Costume

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
The Firebird is a ballet based on Russian folklore that opened in 1910. There was a real fad for all things Russian in the early part of the 20th century. Sergei Diaghilev created the Ballet Russes in Paris in 1909 to take advantage of this obsession. While he was at it, he decided to commission a new ballet that would be very much Russian in themes. He hired Igor Stravinsky (at the time largely unknown) to compose the work.

The Firebird is a pretty short ballet (it’s only about 45 minutes) and it tells the story of a young man, Prince Ivan Tsarevich (the Russian version of Prince Charming) who captures the Firebird while she is eating a golden apple at night. She offers him a magic feather and warns him about Koshi (also spelled Koschei or Kochi) the Deathless, an evil sorcerer. In the morning, Prince Ivan spies thirteen dancing princesses and he falls in love with one of them. Like you do. So, he decides to rescue them.

Prince Ivan confronts Koshi and uses his magic feather to protect himself from Koshi’s magic. Then the Firebird is summoned, she casts a spell on Koshi and his followers causing them to dance until they collapse (this is a ballet, after all). Prince Ivan than destroys a magical egg which holds the key to the sorcerer’s immortality. Once the spells is broken, the princesses are freed and everything is happily ever after.

Listen, it’s a ballet with a magical dancing bird- no one said there needed to be a logical plot.

Koshi the Deathless, the Firebird and Ivan Tsarevich are all figures from Russian fairy-tales and folklore, but the combination of all of them is pretty much just from the ballet.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
In ballet costumes, there is tradition stacked on tradition. The Firebird, the principle dancer role in the Ballet, is strangely one where there isn’t so much tradition stacked on tradition. Perhaps because the character is a mythological beast, or perhaps because the Ballet Russes was always a bit cutting edge and innovative, the Firebird costume isn’t very standardized. You see all sorts of versions around from traditional tutus to unitards to other.

Specific Source Images: This one was a big influence on my Firebird design.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More from the Ballet and Dancing collection
Around the Internet: The Firdbird on Wikipedia and the Danish Royal Ballet preforming the Firebird on Youtube (their costuming is fantastically non-traditional)

Last Thoughts
I love and have always loved Russian fairytales. I grew up hearing them. My favorite was Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf which I made my mother read to me over and over again. She probably got so sick of that fairy tale.

I’d like to give a shout out to my Patreon supporters, because without you all, the blog wouldn’t happen.

Ballet Practice Clothing

A set of dancing clothing with two leotards, two skirts and two wrap sweaters with tights and toe shoes for the curvy Jewels and Gemstones paper dolls.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I love drawing pretty things like tutus, but I also wanted to draw practice clothing, because in reality many folks who dance, dance for the love of dance. They are not automatically dancing with the goal of performance before a crowd.

I have mixed feelings about ballet’s relationship with body shape, as I have said before. The stats on dancers and eating disorders are troubling. One 2003 study from the journal Psychopathology found that non-professional ballet dancers reported the highest prevalence of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa 1.8%; bulimia nervosa 2.7%; eating disorders not otherwise specified 22.1%) compared to gymnasts and bodybuilders, two other performative sports with high prevalence of eating disorders. I should add that the study looked at non-professional dancers, so I’m not saying these are the stats for people actually dancing in the National Ballet company or something.

Anyhow, I couldn’t in good conscious draw ballerina paper dolls for kids without feeling like I needed to mention the issues of body image and ballet. I try so hard not to preach on this site, but I know too many people in recovery from eating disorders, so I take that stuff really seriously.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I don’t do a lot of mix ad match sets anymore, but given that I couldn’t fit clothing and en pointe shoes on the same pages as the dolls I drew to go with this series, I thought I would make sure to give a variety of practice clothing to be mixed and matched. If you’re paying close attention, you’ll notice the en pointe shoes duplicate. I didn’t feel like drawing the same thing over and over again.

Specific Source Images: Dancewear Solutions and International Dance Supplies were two of the sites I used to find images of dance clothing.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & other Ballerina paper dolls
Around the Internet:Eating Disorders and Body Image Disturbances among Ballet Dancers, Gymnasium Users and Body Builders, Why Ballet Hasn’t Yet Caught Up to the Body Positivity Movement from Medium & Big Moves Dance Company: Beyond Body Positive Towards Fat Liberation

Last Thoughts

So, right now life is super crazy busy for me and I don’t see it slowing down for a while. I keep thinking- next month won’t be so bad and then next month rolls around and it is just as insane. So, thank you for your paitence as I work through everything happening in my life.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that becoming a patron means getting an extra paper doll/outfit every Friday.

I’m thinking I should also draw some non-ballet stuff. I specifically called this collection Ballet & Dancing. What other sorts of dance should I include? Leave me a suggestion in the comments.

Pearl & The Ballet and Dancing Collection

A ballerina paper doll with en pointe shoes and practice slippers. She can share any of the paper doll clothing from the Jewels and Gemstones series.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I was never a dancer. I just didn’t take to it as a kid. My lack of coordination generally leaves something to be desired. However, I do love to dance, even if I do so badly. Who cares? I’m also never going to be a professional weight-lifter, but I like lifting weights.

One of the things that is important to me is that all bodies have value and all bodies are beautiful. Ballet, to a high degree, profits from the deprivation of female bodies and the idealization of a form of beauty to which few can attain naturally. So, clearly I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but what the heck? I have mixed feelings about all sorts of topics from drawing pulpy sexy armor to princess dresses.

Mixed feeling just means being aware of the complexities of the universe and that’s something I think is important to cultivate.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
All right, so I wanted to make sure to include pointe shoes with each of my ballerina paper dolls, because I wanted them to match the dolls individual skintone. There’s this concept in ballet called “breaking the line” and you don’t want the color of the toe shoes to break the smooth expanse of leg. However, toe shoes take up a lot of room, so there’s not a lot of space for other stuff on the page. Opps.

Specific Source Images: Well, I googled en pointe shoes and went from there? I mean, I don’t have a specific image to share here.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & other Ballerina paper dolls
Around the Internet: There’s a super interesting article from New York Times about the introduction of brown pointe shoes in 2018.

Last Thoughts
True story, I will never forget my sister (who did ballet) being given a lecture by her dance teacher on the proper location for the bun on her head. It was one of those moments, when I recall thinking that the level of weird obsessive detail in ballet is… well, weird.

I do not know if Pearl’s bun would be considered acceptable, but I’m also pretty sure I don’t care.

I love creating paper dolls (as you know) and becoming a patron helps you partner with me to make this happen. So, consider joining us!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of today’s paper doll! I love hearing from you all.

En Pointe: A Printable Ballerina Paper Doll in Color

logo-mia-ballerina-colorMore ballerina paper dolls!

Okay, so this is the last one, but I did have fun with this little foray into dance clothes for the moment. Now that I have done these, I feel like I should do some tap dance clothes or something.

Anyhow, today’s Mia ballet set is in color. While Monica is the white swan from Swan Lake, Mia is the Black Swan for Swan Lake. Of course, traditionally, these parts are danced by the same dancer, but I thought it would be more fun to break up the two tutus across the sets.

Her Giselle costume is from the second act and therefore had to be white. After the character Giselle dies, the whole second act of the ballet is done in white costumes. It is sometimes called the “White Act” for this reason. I couldn’t exactly make it purple.

Don Quixote costumes are often based on Spanish flamingo dresses and this one is sort of in that vein. I settled on a golden bodice, black tutu and red roses. I’m not entirely pleased with how it came out, actually. I do think this tutu could also be for the Nutcracker’s Spanish Chocolate dance.  I chose teal for both Romeo and Juliet and Scheherazade (which I think I finally have memorized how to spell).

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For those of you who have been paying close attention, you have likely noticed that the en pointe shoes were copied for both sets. I thought about drawing two of basically then same thing and then came to my senses. The dolls leg positioning doesn’t really allow for “other” en pointe poses then this one. The leg warmers are also duplicated across both sets. Once again, I didn’t really want to draw the exact same thing twice.

Generally, I try to avoid copying from pervious sets- which is how I have draw way more pairs of skinny jeans than any person should- but sometimes I give myself a break and do it.

Lastly for those of my readers in the United States, Happy Labor Day! Let us all take a moment and be grateful for the people who fought hard to provide their fellow workers with a better way of life. Also, eat barbecue.

En Pointe: A Black and White Ballerina Paper Doll

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Today, my Monica paper doll ballerina is being joined by Mia, also getting to be a ballerina. Mia’s costumes are from (left to right) Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Scheherazade and Romeo and Juliet. I do feel rather that Monica got the better known ballets since most people have heard of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, but haven’t heard of Scheherazade, despite being an amazing piece of music.

When I was first compiling my list of ballets to draw for these paper doll sets, I wanted to show the range of ballet costumes beyond the tutu. Romeo and Juliet is usually costumed in a renaissance inspired style and Scheherazade is usually done as an orientalist fantasy set in the Middle-East. So, those are my two nods to the “non-tutu” look for these paper dolls. After all, not every dance costume is a tutu.

Mia has practice clothing as well- a simple wrap skirt, leg warmers, a long sleeved leotard, tunic top and flat soled dancing shoes. Of course, she can share her warm up clothes with Monica and between the two of them, I think there is a nice variety of options. I didn’t, to be frank, want to spend a lot of time on practice clothing. It is not nearly as fun to draw as fancy tutus.

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There are some mix and match options as well from Monica’s set. Monica’s Copellia tutu, for example, would also work for the first act of Giselle, before Giselle dies. I am particularly pleased with how the transparent overlay on Mia’s Giselle tutu came out, actually.

I have been spending a lot of time looking at the work of Charles Ventura and Pat Stall, both of whom had a mastery of black and white line-work that I can only dream of one day achieving. I have been collecting their work, along with other black and white paper doll artists, on my black and white paper dolls Pinterest board for a while.

Studying the techniques of artists you admire is a great way to learn how to try new things.

Does anyone know if Charles Ventura or Pat Stall are still alive? I really feel like I should write them and tell them how much I love their paper dolls.