“No one is you and
that is your power”
Photo: Richard Jean-Louis
“No one is you and
that is your power”
Photo: Richard Jean-Louis
It is January, and I am very excited to share my first playlist of 2020! For those of you who are new to the blog, I post a collection of songs every month featuring a wide variety of genres, so I hope you find something that you like. Thanks for listening, and please don’t hesitate to drop your own favorite songs in the comments section. Your thoughts are always welcome, and I would love to hear from you. Enjoy!
A new decade has begun, and a new journey awaits… No matter how 2019 went for you, do not forget the lessons and experiences that helped you become the person that you are today. I hope 2020 is a great year, and I am excited to see what it has in store for all of us.
I am astounded at the growth of this blog within the past twelve months, and I could not be more thankful for the tremendous amount of support. This site topped 8,000 views this year, and I received visitors from all over the world! I am so glad to be part of this community of writers because you are all so talented and inspiring. My most popular post in 2019 was ‘Don’t Be Beautiful’ so be sure to go check that out if you haven’t already!
Beyond the blog, I also want to give a shout-out to all of the people in my personal life who were always there for me and made the year so memorable especially my mom. I don’t know what I would have done without you guys, and it means the world (you know who you are.) 2019 definitely wasn’t an easy year, but it was one that I wont forget because it truly changed my life.
Here’s to a new year and a fresh start. Happy 2020!
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.
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!
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!!
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!
I stood backstage staring at the vibrant feather that I was about to pin back into my hair, and I began to remember January’s performance…
This was our moment of redemption.
My bare feet slid across the stage, and my arms swayed to create abstract shapes that showcased the wonders of modern movement. It all happened so fast, and there wasn’t much time to overthink the steps that my body had instinctively began to do. I soared as high as I possibly could, and I felt like I was really able to live in the moment this time. Just like that, it all ended. Looking out into the audience, the six of us stood together and bowed our heads. The applause filled the theater, and our hearts filled with relief; we did it!
It was honor to perform with this incredibly talented group of dancers, and I am so thankful that I was chosen to be a part of this piece. It was such a wonderful opportunity, and I feel like I have grown a lot as an artist by discovering new ways to move. This piece has also inspired my own choreography because I was able to see how unusual movements develop into something truly amazing. Overall, I really loved this dance, and I hope that I have more opportunities to work with brilliant minds like the choreographer behind “Flight.” Thanks for everything!
From my window, I sit frozen in time as the bitter wind cuts across the night sky. My gaze shifts to the lonely pieces of paper as I contemplate the words running deep within my mind. Hidden corners of these cold thoughts contain unwanted memories of what use to be. My pen remains untouched as I am not sure where to begin writing the story that left me lost in my own imagination. The confusion still rings as I wonder what could have been. The sting of another winter day sends shivers down my spine as I sit frozen in time sipping warm tea from my window…
I know this one was deep. I wrote this a few nights ago, but I am actually quite pleased with how it turned out. What are your thoughts? Did this connect to you in some way?
On a lighter note, I am thrilled to see so many votes coming in for my blog post poll! As I am writing this, Backstage Secrets is in the lead, but it is very closely followed by My Blogging Experience. If you haven’t voted yet, be sure to head over here and drop your top choice(s) in the comments section. Remember, this poll closes February 1st! 🙂 Thanks for reading and have a great week!
Blog Post Current Polls:
Embarrassing Moments: 3 votes
Backstage Secrets: 8 votes
First Few Months of Driving: 2 votes
Guilty Confessions: 3 votes
Playlist: 3 votes
My Blogging Experience: 5 votes
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Martin Luther King Jr! I will keep you in my thoughts throughout this day, and I will never forget what you have done for this country. Thank you.