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!!
“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
It is that time of year again, and casting for the Nutcracker has officially been released. This is the ballet that inspired me to begin dancing again as my seven-year old eyes peered up at the stage in complete astonishment. I watched as Clara journeyed through the snowy forest and into the land of sweets where she was greeted by a sugar plum fairy and handsome cavalier. My heart soared as I watched them fly across the stage, and I knew that I wanted to be just like that when I grew up.
Ten years later, I am preparing for my own debut of the very role that I had idolized… I could not be more humbled to announce that I have been cast as the sugar plum fairy. This is my last Nutcracker before graduation and possibly the last one that I will ever do, so I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I never thought that I would ever get this chance, so I am incredibly honored. I am going to do the very best that I can, and I hope to inspire the audience as I once was.
I am also looking forward to dancing in mirliton and the snow corps de ballet. Rehearsals have already begun, and I am getting very excited for the big day to arrive! This will certainly be a show to remember, and this is something I will never forget…
Have you ever seen the Nutcracker? If you are dancing, what roles did you land this year? Do you have anything exciting coming up? Thanks for reading!
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.
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…
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!
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!
I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for me, and I am so blessed to have such a loving, caring, giving, inspiring, and amazing father. The past few years have been filled with memorable adventures that I will cherish for a lifetime, and I am so grateful for all of your support to do what I love. You have shown me that I can do anything that I set my mind to, and you have taught me so much throughout the past seventeen years. I learned that superheros truly do exist because I am looking right at one… I love you so much, and I hope that you have a fantastic Father’s Day!
Happy Father’s Day to all of those super awesome dads out there!
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!