Season 2018-19 Recap

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The 2018-19 season has come to a close, so I took some time to revisit all of my adventures from the past several months…

I remembered the exhilaration of dancing the Snow Queen pas de deux in The Nutcracker, and flutes of Act 2 came floating back to me from when I took the stage as a Mirliton. My heart became warm as I recalled performing the Sugar Plum Fairy variation for the seniors at the assisted living facility, and I smiled at the memory of pure joy on their faces. I recalled working with the choreographer of “Flight” and being part of its debut in January as well as the Balanchine-themed “Spiral.” Both of these creations were brought to three separate stages as we popped in and out of the city this year, and each experience was uniquely special. I shivered at the flashback of February and all of the stress that accompanied those long days of overtime at the studio. Alice in Wonderland definitely kept us on our toes as we raced against time to put the entire ballet together, but the performance was worth every moment. Shortly after, we dove into The Little Mermaid where we spent over 13 hours in the theater on a show day, and the contemporary repertoire marked the successful ending of this very busy season.

I am incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities that I had, and I cannot thank everyone enough for the tremendous amount of support through it all. I especially want to thank all of my followers for joining me this year, liking my posts, and leaving such positive comments. It means so much to know that my friends, family, and readers all believe in my ability to succeed, so THANK YOU!

How was your dance season? Do you have any questions for me? Any special post requests? Happy Summer!

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College: Freshman Year

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College Year 1: OFFICIALLY DONE!

(Casually doing an Arabesque at school…)

I cannot believe that my freshman year of college is actually complete, and I am about one year away from attaining my associates degree in Marketing Management. I have learned so much in the last two semesters, and I am just so thankful for this opportunity to attend this awesome school as a dual-enrolled student. It was certainly a challenge to manage a full college schedule on top of my other responsibilities, and I have no doubt that I pushed myself harder than ever before… I recall doing assignments at 2 AM while Nirvana and Pearl Jam blared out of my headphones, studying vigorously in between rehearsals, hauling a load of math problems to the tutoring center before exams, reading textbook pages for hours in the library, and reviewing papers with friends before submitting them to my professor. It was hard, but this experience really allowed me to grow as both a person and student which is really rewarding in the end. It was a great year, and I am so lucky to have had such awesome people to share it with.

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I have a few weeks on break before the summer semester kicks off, but I am going to embrace this sunshine and blue sky while it lasts… Summer vibes are in the air; it’s a beautiful day!

Has your summer break started yet? What was your freshman experience like? Who else is a Marketing major? Do you enjoy bubble tea? 

Behind the Curtain

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13 hours in the theater. 6 quick changes. 3 performances. 2 dress rehearsals. All in 1 busy day.


I glanced at the bruises forming on my feet, and my body was overcome with a state of pure exhaustion. It was my eleventh hour in the theater, and I stood behind the curtain listening to the constant murmur of the crowd as they made their way to their seats. The final show of “The Little Mermaid” was about to begin, and I was minutes away from tackling another ballet with the very little energy that I had left. It is expected that every performance has the same quality, and the audience deserves the same experience every show because tickets all cost the same. This is where it gets challenging and stressful for us, dancers. At the end of the day, fatigue and aching muscles must be concealed by bubbly smiles and seemingly effortless movements which is extremely difficult. I don’t think the audience ever truly realizes what actually goes on backstage, and the beauty of this art form can be very deceiving by the graceful image that we portray.

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All in all, it was great to be back in the theater, but I think ballet officially kicked my butt.

What did you do this weekend? Have you had any performances recently? Are you ready for summer?

Catching Up

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I hope that you all had a great week and a blessed Ash Wednesday! I apologize for my lack of posting/reading, but I should be able to get back on track now. Midterm week finally arrived which meant extra coffee and cram-study sessions for me… That pretty much explains why I have been absent for the past few days.

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I went to an early mass this year for Ash Wednesday because it was the only possibility for me, so I wore ashes on my forehead all day. I was shocked by the amount of confused faces that passed me in the hallways at school, and I actually had multiple people tell me that I had something on my head. It was an interesting day, but I was not embarrassed. I used these encounters as a way to educate others and help them understand the purpose of the ashes.

“We can feel a little funny with ashes on our foreheads, but for Catholics, that is how we mark the start of Lent. Ashes don’t say we’re holy. They say we’re sinners. They don’t say we’re perfect, only that we’re willing to try. They don’t say we’re models of religiosity, but they do say we belong.”

~Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, RSM

Next weekend, we will bring “Flight” back to the stage, so be sure to keep an eye out for that post! I also just want to take a second to thank all of my loyal readers who continuously read/comment on my posts. You are all so positive and encouraging, so I will not desert this internet space anytime soon (despite occasional inactivity). You are all amazing, and I cannot thank you enough for that. Now, go be awesome!

Photo Credits: Richard Jean-Louis

My Survival Kit

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Lately, several people have asked me the same exact question, and I began to realize that this might make a really interesting blog post. People catch a glimpse of my overflowing list of of day-by-day tasks on my weekly planner and look at me wide-eyed…

“How do you do it all?”

My reply is always the same: “I don’t even know.” In reality, however, I guess there really is a method to manage this madness, but it is not easy! I will be completely honest and tell you that there have been many nights that I have gotten under four hours of sleep as deadlines crept up faster than expected, so I don’t want you to get the impression that I have mastered these strategies because that is far from the truth. For the most part, however, I think this survival kit has really been the reason that I have been able to “do it all,” so I thought it might be neat to share with you.

1: Staying Organized:

My agenda/weekly calendar is actually color coded so that I can quickly see the homework load for each class. I also write down the important projects, papers, quizzes, and exams for that week in a black pen and highlight it in bright yellow so that I don’t accidentally miss them or forget to study. My friends think I am a bit crazy, but I actually color code my notes as well by the units or lectures.

2: Managing Time:

I always go to the campus library at least 30 min (sometimes even an hour) before my class begins to get a head start on homework for that day. I use every free moment that I have to get things done, so I frequently work Friday nights or even weekends as well. Time management is extremely important, so use extra time to your advantage!

3: Routine:

I also think following a routine helps me a lot because my body has gotten use to the wake/sleep times. This doesn’t mean that I am never tired, but it just means that I don’t feel like a walking zombie everyday because my body has gotten into a relatively consistent schedule.

4: Support:

Family and friends have significantly influenced me to keep working hard because I know they believe in me. This ultimately helps me believe in myself too, and it really does feel good to have someone there to encourage me through difficult times with a “you can do it!” attitude.

I also wanted to let you all know that I am scheduled to get my braces off on March 15!!!

I hope that you enjoyed this post, and thanks for reading!

How do YOU manage your schedule? Would you like to know my tips for studying late at night without getting tired? What was it like to get your braces off? 

Taking Flight

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During a live performance, nothing is promised, and the audience experiences something new each time the curtain rises. They are able to witness the real-time mishaps and slips that cannot be undone or edited out. Each show is simply an unparalleled mystery to both the dancers and audience members because it is never certain what the outcome will be regardless of the repeated choreography. Even though dancers try to maintain a professional image, we are just like the people in the darkened theater clutching tickets in their palms. We make mistakes. We fall. We have off days just like everybody else. No matter how hard we strive for perfection, we will never be flawless, and that is reality.

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Saturday, we took Flight, a guest-choreographed modern piece, downtown with peacock feathers perched delicately in our hair. To be honest, I am quite disappointed with my performance. It was an incredibly stressful night as things continuously went wrong, and I had to endure that defeated feeling as I took a bow. This piece will be performed again later this season, so I am hoping that we can redeem ourselves. As of right now, we must move on because it is going to be a busy week in the studio as we prepare for Alice in Wonderland in three weeks! I will not waste any more time thinking about the past. We have a ballet to learn. 🙂

Alice in Wonderland Casting!

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We are switching gears at the studio as we begin to prepare for our February production if Alice in Wonderland. The Nutcracker, snow, and peppermint offerings have been replaced by a giant Cheshire cat, mushrooms, and small cups of tea… Right after the busy weekend in the theater, casting was released, and we started to learn the first few dances of this ballet. I am looking forward to performing as Alice’s sister, maid, and deck of cards lead. I am so proud of my friend who was cast as Alice, and I cannot wait to watch her shine on that stage. It is going to be a great show, and I am excited to watch this magnificent story unfold.