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?

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Redemption

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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!

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? 

From my window…

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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…

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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

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. 🙂

New Year 2019

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“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

~Brad Paisley

2018 is packed with so many great memories that I will never forget, and I feel like the experiences have really helped me grow as an individual. I am so grateful for all of the people who impacted me, both negatively and positively, throughout this past year because I learned a lot from each of them. Aside from personal life, this blog of mine has grown so much, and views have topped 6,000 for the year! I am so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you readers. Your comments/likes mean so much to me, and I greatly appreciate the tremendous amount of support and inspiration that you have continuously given me. I also really enjoyed discovering new blogs and meeting so many talented writers in the past year. I truly cannot thank everyone enough! I hope 2019 brings even more wonderful memories.

Happy New Year to you all!

It’s Thanksgiving, 2018!

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I just want to take a second to acknowledge all of my dear readers and followers on this blog of mine. I am so thankful for all of your support, and it means so much to know that my words are being read and appreciated by so many people. Hopefully, you are all able to spend this afternoon celebrating with loved ones, filling your stomachs full of turkey and pie, as well as reflecting on all of your wonderful blessings.

For this post, I have decided to share 10 things that I am thankful for in no particular order:

  1. The food and clean drinking water on the table
  2. My faith
  3. Family and friends
  4. My heart to love
  5. Home
  6. Education
  7. Freedom
  8. My lungs that keep me breathing and alive
  9. My car
  10. My memory to remember those great moments in time

Feel free to share what you are thankful for in the comments below.

Happy Thanksgiving!