441: Ballerina Kit

Most parents know little girls go through the “I want to be a Ballerina” stage:

This is a wonderful thing; dance, culture, beauty and movement are all things that make our lives richer. Few go on to be professional ballet dancers (more’s the pity, few fit the fragile stick-insect archetype) but learning dance improves coordination, flexibility and overall fitness.

A lovely little lady called Kit has started ballet – she is gorgeous and will be fabulous, so thought it appropriate to celebrate by designing an original model inspired by the work of Stephen Weiss (girl in a dress) and Claudio Acuna (hoodie) that captures the special elegance of a child and her first tutu.

I _think_ this is an original fold – after abandoning a search for something similar I thought it easier to invent one for myself. Working on some basic geometry, I started with an A3 sheet, divided it into thirds longways, top third upper torso, middle third tutu, bottom third legs.

Originally I then divided the paper into 32ths, box pleated arms and legs to result in a pretty frilly tutu but a really tall thin ballerina.

Scrapping that, i reduced the long divisions to 16ths and that made the proportions for arms, head and legs much more child-like.

I posed the model as if at the bar, practicing the leggy-uppy pose that I think ballerinas adopt whilst imagining the perfect pirouette and then mounted her on a plastic lid – the model lends itself to poses – I can imagine a bunch of them in a tableau all trying less than perfectly to do what the ballet teacher asks of them. I might fold this at some time, now I have resolved the basic geometry.

I am very happy with this fold, and hope Kit likes it (it is a gift to her, in the hope it spurs her to keep at it and dance for the love of dance)

Playing around a little with the geometry of this fold (as you do), I discovered the overall shape and proportions of the model vary from “golden” rectangle (A3, A4 etc) compared to a square cut from that rectangle. The square results in a much more child-like model, the rectangle gives a longer torso and legs – must get around to diagramming this before someone else claims it is theirs.


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