Easter 2020!

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I hope that you all had a blessed Easter 2020! Although this year was quite different than others, my family still celebrated the resurrection of our Savior, and we had a great day despite the circumstances. I have to admit that quarantine definitely intensified my sweet tooth, and I have been trying to control my chocolate intake all day… Can anyone else relate?

Also, I am sending prayers to those who were impacted by the storms last night and especially for those who lost their homes or loved ones. May they be comforted and regain strength during these difficult times.

Lastly, my new sibling will arrive in two weeks, and I am getting very excited to meet the newest addition of my family. I hope that you all have a fantastic week, and thanks for reading! Until next time.

Fall Semester 2019

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This semester was harder than I ever expected, but I learned more life-lessons within the past sixteen weeks than any of the other semesters combined. Looking back, I am not really sure how I made it through everything, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences that helped me become who I am today despite the challenges.

I always use to tell myself that nothing is impossible and that I could do anything I set my mind to if I was determined enough. This helped me achieve great things in the past, but this semester humbled me to realize that some things truly aren’t possible. I was pushing myself harder than I ever had before, and I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself. This year, I took a full semester at the college through dual-enrollment while dancing full time as a professional trainee ballet dancer. Though I had done this before, my academic courses were more difficult this time, and the demands were a lot higher. I was only getting about five hours of sleep every single night just to keep my feet on the ground, and the exhaustion/stress really started to take a toll on my health.

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I learned that “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”

The problem was, I was trying to give 100% effort at both school and dance because I didn’t know where I would end up or what I even wanted anymore. A professional career in ballet is extremely competitive, and universities are also highly selective; I needed to be perfect at both. It was about mid-October when I realized that something had to change because I physically couldn’t do everything anymore, and I was wearing myself out… I had some big decisions to make. After thinking everything through, I decided to no longer pursue a professional career in ballet after Nutcracker which was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make. Even though it is a huge change in my life, I know that I made the right decision, and I did what it best for me. Since then, I am so much happier, and I passed all of my classes!

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Through it all, it truly was bittersweet to walk off campus for the last time knowing that some of my friends wont return in January… From the coffee shop shows, Friday morning laughs, “flying squirrel” (inside joke), study groups, and hot chocolate chats, I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to hang with. I made some great friendships, and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful memories! It certainly wasn’t an easy semester, but we got through it together. The Fall semester is officially complete. I can’t believe it, but we did it!!

in the end…

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“in the end, she became

more than what she expected.

she became the journey,

and like all journeys,

she did not end, she just

simply changed directions

and kept going.”


*quote: r.m. drake

*photo: richard jean-louis

Study Tips: Finals

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It is finals week!

Before you surround yourself with a monstrosity of textbooks and attempt to recall that lecture back from August, I want to share a few study tips that might be beneficial to you… I have compiled a small list, so I hope this helps!

1) Write with red ink

I have read several articles that the color, red, is most effective for enhancing memory, so I write in red ink when I am studying important concepts or formulas that I need to memorize. I believe it really works!

2) Go to the library

Honestly, it’s really difficult for me to study for a long time at home because I constantly find excuses to get up or become distracted with something else… I am much more productive when I go to the library because I am surrounded by people who are working as well. I get more done, and I am more focused in the end.

3) Keep a paper and reread it constantly

Everyone has their own way of retaining material, but it really helps me to write down all of the concepts that I am struggling on a few sheets of paper, keep them with me, and reread them several times throughout the day. It keeps the material fresh in my head, and I am able to recall it much quicker.

4) Set aside a specific amount of time

We all know the classic excuse: “I ran out of time to study…” That mentality just leads to cramming the night before an exam which is the worst (believe me.) Therefore, I set aside a specific amount of time each day, and I study for that full amount of time even if I don’t do it in one sitting.

I tell myself: “Set a time. Make it a priority. Do it. No excuses.”


The semester is almost over, and we are right at the finish line… We can do this! I really hope this post was helpful, and please don’t hesitate to share your own study techniques in the comments. Good luck on your exams!!

Nutty Weekend

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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.

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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…

Exploring Cherokee, NC

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I spent my long weekend in the mountains of North Carolina where I embraced the peaceful solitude and experienced the traditional artwork and culture of the great Cherokee Indians. It was nice to leave all the stress behind so that I could recharge to tackle another crazy month. I will admit that the lack of phone service during the trip was a struggle for me, but the beautiful weather, scenery, and memories definitely made the trip worthwhile. I especially loved exploring the cultural district of Cherokee where I watched some of the native dances and admired all of the amazing artwork. Hand painted bear statues decorated the town, and the detailing of this one in particular caught my eye. It was also fun to peek inside the small shops and see all of the beautifully handcrafted jewelry, baskets, and pottery.

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Hiking up Mingo Falls was another highlight of the trip. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the waterfall to be as big as it was, so I was really surprised when I saw the view. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I am so glad that I was able to see it.


I hope that you all had a Happy Labor Day! I have lots of exciting content that will be released very soon, so I hope that you stick around. Also, Nutcracker casting came out last week, so I will reveal that very shortly as well. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for reading!

How did you spend your holiday weekend? Have you ever visited Cherokee, NC? Do you enjoy the mountains? Are there any special post requests?

Starting a Blog?

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Within the past few months, several people have come to me with questions about blogging, so I thought it might be beneficial to share my insight for all new/existing bloggers out there. I have been blogging for several years now, so I am very happy to share my personal tips and advice… Whether you are considering your own site, just starting off, or have had lots of experience, I hope this post is helpful!

1: It’s what you want it to be.

Embrace your unique style of writing because your blog is whatever you want it to be. Don’t feel like you have to follow strict guidelines because there is no right or wrong way to do it. Your blog is very personal, so be creative, have fun, and enjoy writing about anything and everything you want!

2: Be aware of your audience.

The entire world has access to your site at any given moment, so the publicity of a blog (without privacy settings) is pretty immense. Therefore, it is very important that you are aware of the information that you post and pay close attention to photos to ensure that your location isn’t outwardly revealed unless you want it to be. Blogging is one of my biggest hobbies, but safety is always taken into consideration before I hit the “publish” button. I don’t mean to discourage you; I just want you to be aware of your audience and make smart decisions when you post.

3: It takes time to grow.

One of the most common concerns that you may have when you first begin a blog is the lack of readers because it takes a while to become recognized in the community. Don’t become discouraged, but use this time to improve your site and become familiar with certain blogging techniques. I recommend that you engage with other bloggers by following, liking, and commenting on their sites, and it also helps to promote your blog on existing social media platforms. With time, you will gain more followers and your status/traffic will continue to grow!

4: Quality over quantity.

I think one of the worst mistakes that you can make as a blogger is forgetting that the quality of posts always overrules quantity. Don’t rush the writing process just to post something because this will lead to poor quality posts that will bore both you and your readers, so write when you are inspired. Your posts do not have deadline, so you can take as long as you need (days, weeks, or even months.) Whatever you do, you must always maintain quality over quantity.

5: Respond to readers.

When people take time to comment on your posts, it is always good to like and respond to them even if it is a simple ‘thank you.’ They made the effort to reach out to you and express their thoughts and appreciation for your writing, so don’t let that go unrecognized.

6: Research writing prompts.

There are going to be times when you really want to write something, but you just don’t know what. Whenever this happens, I honestly Google writing prompts to get my creativity flowing again. That is my little blogging secret…

7: Why not?

Blogging has really given me the opportunity to express myself, share my passion of writing with the world, meet hundreds of inspiring people, and document memorable moments of my life that can be revisited in the future. If blogging has ever crossed your mind, I really encourage you to at least try it because why not? You can always delete your site if you hate it, but you will never know unless you try. My blog has really impacted my life, and I don’t have a single regret. I am so thankful for all of my readers, and I hope to continue posting for many years to come.


Please feel free to drop any individual questions in the comments section because I am happy to help you begin/continue your blogging journey! A few months ago, I released a post that provided a small overview of my experience on WordPress so far, so be sure to go check that out if you are interested. Thank you so much for reading, and good luck blogging!

What are your thoughts on this post? Do you have any tips or advice? Are there any questions that you still have? Ask away!

Senior Year!

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I am officially a senior… I feel really old when I say that, and it sounds a little freaky if I’m honest. I still can’t believe that I have actually come this far, but I know that my journey is only just beginning as I decide where I want to go from here. Auditions for professional dance companies are quickly filling up my calendar, and college applications, research, and tours are going to keep me busy for the next several months. I have reached a very confusing and stressful time in my life as I make major life-decisions that will determine my entire future in both dance and school.

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The possibilities seem endless as I attempt to narrow down the perfect fit for me and figure out what I truly want to do with my life. For years, I had always seemed to know exactly what I wanted and thought I had a plan to get there. However, I am quickly realizing that life is much more complicated than I once thought because things are constantly changing, and new opportunities are always arising. Out of seventeen years, I think this just might be the biggest and most determining one yet…

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Here’s to another awesome year, new memories, and lovely faces. School has officially begun, and I am almost to the finish line for high school graduation. I just have to get through a few more classes…This will be definitely not be an easy year, but it is SENIOR YEAR so bring it on!! I am ready, so let’s do this!

What was your senior year like? Do you have any tips to narrow down universities? What have you been up to lately? Thanks for reading!

Unknowable

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“I learned not to trust people; I learned not to believe what they say but to watch what they do. I learned to suspect that anyone is capable of living a lie. I came to believe that other people- even when you think you know them well- are ultimately unknowable”

~Lynn Barber


*Photo Credits: Richard Jean-Louis

Retourner

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This week marks the beginning of a brand new season, and I am so excited for all of the amazing adventures that await. This is a very big year for me because I am a senior in the professional-trainee division, so this will be my final year with the academy. I have made so many great memories throughout the past five years, and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful opportunities that have had. The fact is, I am not certain where my future in dance leads because job contracts are so competitive. As much as I would love to dance in a company, nothing is guaranteed, so I am going to embrace every moment that I have in the studio this year. I am not going to complain about the fatigue, the stress, the aching muscles, the blistered toes, and the long rehearsal days… I am just going to dance my heart out, and enjoy doing what I love.

The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Professional Mixed Rep, Mulan, “an unwritten story,” and Night of Variations are all scheduled to take the stage, and I cannot wait to begin preparing for these productions. I know that this will be an incredibly busy season, but it will certainly be one to remember. I hope that you join me for another great year…

Thanks for reading!