Dryads & Shades

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Excerpts from two beautiful ballets filled the stage last week as dryads instantly transformed into a kingdom of shades.

Right after floating through the dream scene of Don Quixote, I only had a few seconds to recover before jumping into the first shade variation of La Bayadere. I had performed it before, but I forgot how physically demanding it was especially in addition to the corps de ballet work. It is one of the fastest variations that I have ever done, so maintaining precise execution of each step, despite the fatigue, is an incredibly challenging endeavor. However, the encouraging cheers from the audience gave me so much energy, and I finished stronger than I ever had in rehearsal. When I hit my final pose, I couldn’t hold back the giant smile that radiated from my face… It was a great show!

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On The Edge: dance video

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Eccentric movements return to my memory as I flashback to the mixed repertoire showcase of May… I was not lying when I said that I would share a video of myself dancing, and I know that several of you really wanted to see “On The Edge.” I choreographed this contemporary ballet solo last season, and I am so thankful that I was able to snag a video of dress rehearsal. The last six seconds did get cut out, and the stage lighting made a small section a little blurry. Despite the minor complications with technology, I am still willing to perform for you! This is the first time that I have ever publicly released a video of my dancing. I am nowhere near perfect, but I thought it would be fun to switch things up a bit. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!

**Special thanks to my friend for taking the video! I really appreciate it!

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!

Backstage Secrets

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The house lights start to dim, and hushed voices lead into silence. The orchestra begins to play the first few notes as the curtain rises. The show has begun. Audience members witness the artists’ story, but the other side of the stage remains hidden from them. Behind the backdrop, beyond the Marley floors, and in the depths of the wings lays an unknown world filled with secrets that only dancers share… until today. I have selected my top 6. Enjoy!

Toothbrush Trick: Believe it or not, I blend my hair together with a toothbrush before shows to to remove the dreaded streaks from a wide toothed brush/comb. Gel and hairspray makes hair stick together, so this trick is lifesaving. I have a specific toothbrush dedicated for this purpose, and it has never been used in my mouth. I thought I should clarify.

Calamine: We always have to apply a light layer of calamine onto our new pointe shoes before a performance so they don’t reflect the bright stage lights. Most directors would agree that shiny shoes can be very distracting.

Butt Glue: It isn’t ballet related (DO NOT use this with tights), but this is crucial for contemporary/modern shows when we are only wearing a leotard. We put a line of butt glue on the edge of our leotard so that it doesn’t move onstage. Trust me, it has spared us from countless wedgies. Enough said.

Securing Ribbon: It is practically impossible to tie all of the pointe shoe ribbon around ankles, so the remaining ribbon is tucked in under the knot. However, they occasionally fall out, so we always have to sew them to the top layer with a few stitches with thick thread (dental floss works too).

Weird Words: This was actually my idea, and a few of my fellow dancers still think this is a bit odd… During a long corps de ballet section, we are continuously going on and offstage, and it can be intimidating to run offstage with ten seconds to remember which part of the dance comes next. I create weird words or letters so that I don’t blank out in the wings before my next enterance. I still remember the Friends dance of Copellia was “SAP D-G.” The first time I went offstage, I came back on with my Solo… ran offstage for a few seconds and waited for the Adagio section to begin. I continued to go through SAP D-G until the end of the dance!

Rosin: We often coat the back of our heels with rosin so that our pointe shoes don’t slip off of our feet if they feel loose.

Thanks for reading! Did some of these things surprise you? What are some of YOUR backstage secrets?

Resolutions & Music!

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It is almost day 3 of the new year, and I am already feeling overwhelmed as I anticipate the chaos that is about to begin. That’s why, I decided to make a fun post to distract myself from the reality of holiday break coming to a close… I decided to do a mashup of two of my favorite types of posts during this time of year: resolution and playlist.

Resolutions & Goals For 2019

Resolutions:

  1. Eat healthier: Let me clarify that I am a healthy eater, but I could definitely make an effort to do better (like cutting down on the holiday sweets for a start!)
  2. Improve and strengthen relationships with friends and family
  3. Don’t procrastinate: I feel like this one is on my list every year, but I will work on it…

Goals:

  1. Begin writing a novel
  2. Watch the last two Harry Potter movies to complete the series
  3. Post frequently throughout the year
  4. Accomplish everything on these lists

Discover New Songs For The New Year!

I have been absolutely loving all of these songs lately, so I put this small playlist together just for you guys. I love finding new songs, so feel free to drop a few suggestions in the comments. Do you like any of the songs that I shared? Enjoy!

Bad Liar by Imagine Dragons

Human by Rag’n’Bone Man

Cup Of Tea by Kacey Musgraves

Beautiful Goodbye by Maroon 5

Use Somebody by Kings of Leon

At My Best by Machine Gun Kelly (feat. Hailee Steinfeld)

You’re Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins

Beggin For Thread by Banks

9 Christmas Favorites

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Christmas is coming up so quickly, and I can hardly believe that it is only nine days away! In honor of this countdown, I thought it would be fun to share nine things that I love about this time of the year…

  1. The lights– Christmas lights make me so happy! My family often dedicates a night to view lights around town a few days before Christmas.
  2. Egg nog (non alcoholic)– I have an obsession with this seasonal beverage.
  3. Shopping– As stressful as it may be at times, I really enjoy Christmas shopping and finding special gifts to give my friends/family.
  4. Music– I may sound crazy, but I usually start listening to Christmas music November 1st because I love it so much!
  5. Cookies– I always look forward to eating that sweet batch of Christmas cookies.
  6. Family– I really love it when family and friends gather to celebrate.
  7. Christmas Dinner– Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile probably know that I absolutely love food, and Christmas dinner is the best!
  8. Wrapping gifts– It is so fun to wrap gifts and place them under the tree.
  9. Movies– There is no better way to get in the Christmas mood than to snuggle up in a nice, fuzzy blanket and watch holiday movies!

Do you like any of these things too? Did I miss anything?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week! 🙂

This Art Form

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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