Just like that, Nutcracker 2019 has officially come to a close, but I would do anything to go back and relive my moment as the sugar plum fairy…
I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to dance such an iconic role, and it was truly an honor to perform. My second show on Saturday night was better than I had ever expected, and I can’t recall time where I was that happy onstage before. I was overcome with joy, and I truly danced my heart out which doesn’t happen everyday. I am not sure how my dancing was physically, but I think that last show was one of the best ones I have ever done. If anything, it is definitely something that I will remember for a very long time.
However, I am going to be honest and admit that it was not an easy weekend for me, and this Nutcracker certainly had its hiccups. I was in a lot of pain as my muscles kept seizing up in the middle of my dances, my Achilles was hurting, and I had a really bad cough that was a constant struggle. Also, slipping onstage during the pas de deux of my first show was far from the debut that I had envisioned.
Despite the circumstances, it truly was an incredible experience, and I am already missing that theater. It has been an amazing journey to get here, and I have made so many memories that will last an entire lifetime. Thank you to everyone who came out to support me and also everyone who encouraged me backstage. The entire cast danced beautifully, and I am so lucky to have shared that stage with such a talented group of artists. This was truly a dream, and I will always remember Nutcracker 2019…
It is so easy to forget why you love this art form when you sacrifice so much of your life inside of a studio with your feet cramping, muscles burning, and sweat dripping in your eyes. It is so easy to forget why you love this art form when you think about how many things you have missed out on by not living a “normal” life for a dream that you may never even reach. It is so easy to forget… until you step onto that stage to dance for hundreds of people and hear their applause… until you experience an injury that prevents you from being able to express yourself for weeks… until you are offered a job contract that allows you to do what you love and not sit in an office all day long… until an audience member warmly touches your shoulder after a performance and tells you how grateful he/she is for sharing your gift…
The fact is, I hear negativity every single day whether it is inside of my own head or from other people expressing their personal unhappiness. I have begun to realize that dance is a mental battle, and it is something that continuously challenges people both emotionally and physically. I have known so many people who have stopped fighting for this dream and have had thoughts of “what if I didn’t, where would I be now?” for the rest of their lives. Do not ever forget why you started dancing, and do not ever forget that magical moment that lit up your young eyes when you discovered it for the very first time. Always remember the power that dance has to heal and change people’s lives, and never allow your current emotions to put out the flame that burns deep within your soul. Remain true to yourself, and have faith through it all.
No matter how defeated you may feel at times, never forget this art form… It is part of you. It IS you… Do you really want to let it all go?
I know that this post was significantly longer than my typical posts, but I just felt like the world needed to read this because these words have been lingering in my head for quite some time now. Too many people in my life have incredible talent, but they are quickly loosing their passion; I don’t ever want that to happen to me.
Photo credits: Richard Jean-Louis
“She believed she could so she did”
Today, I wanted to take a second and reflect back to exactly ONE week before Snow Queen. I will never forget this day, because I think God was sending me a message of encouragement 7 DAYS before my big moment…
Long story short, it was the first Friday of November, and I was spending some time with my best friend. We decided to enjoy the weather (while it was still warm) and went shopping at an outdoor mall for awhile. Believe it or not, every single store that we visited had an item with this quote that caught my eye. Shirts. Coffee mugs. Poster Boards. Notebooks. This quote was everywhere… At first, I didn’t think much about it! I remember thinking, ‘this must be a popular quote the season’, but I soon began to think that maybe God was trying to tell me something. What could it be? My friend was the one who reminded me that Snow Queen was exactly one week away, and that was when I finally understood the message that was being sent! God wanted me to see this so that I would believe in myself. He wanted me to know that He was going to be there with me the whole time. He wanted to me to have the confidence to shine under those lights, and He wanted me to know that I was not alone. I kept this quote with me, and I started believing it. It was no surprise that when my big weekend arrived, this quote proved to be true!
*God communicates to people in many ways, and I think that this was His way of speaking to ME that night… Some people might argue that it was just coincidental, and they might be right! However, I find it to be quite odd that EVERY STORE that we visited had that quote on an item somewhere that just happened to catch my eye <hidden or not, it always ended up in front of me>…In the end, you can make your own conclusion, but I have enough faith to understand that this was more than just a coincidence. This was exactly what I needed to to make it through that weekend.
As a result, I have no shame to tell you that
I will never forget the night that I received God’s Message.
Believe it or not, someone had something positive to say to me every day this week. From Monday afternoon straight through Friday, my entire week was lit up with positivity. I could not be more thankful for the supportive environment that surrounds me each and everyday, and I am so blessed to have the ability to dance with such a beautiful community of dancers; I can’t wait to see how far they will go.
You all are amazing. Thank you for giving me such an great week! 🙂
Lately, I have read some incredibly moving posts that have really changed the way that I look at situations in life! I wanted to share part of Josiah Harry’s post…
Be Phenomenal or Be Forgotten!
“Not long ago, I was that person who was living beneath his potential. I was the person who watched success from the sidelines while everyone else was winning. That was until I decided that I had enough. Today, my life is no longer defined by the word average. I have taken the leap toward greatness. I have made up my mind that I will be a best-selling author. I have accepted that I will become a multimillionaire. I have decided that I will own and operate a multibillion-dollar brand. I live in the pursuit of excellence—I’m ALL IN—giving 120% effort all day, everyday.
The prevailing theme of my posts is that YOU are powerful beyond measure. But you must believe that for yourself. I cannot want success for you more than you want it for yourself. So, I implore you to activate the greatness that lies within you. No more excuses. Be the person you were meant to be. Don’t worry about your past, just focus on the promise. Go forth and live your life as a conqueror because that is who you are. You deserve to experience life’s best. The choice is yours. Be phenomenal or you will be forgotten!”