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…

Casting is Out!

at the barre

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!

Retourner

new season

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!

A Humbling Experience

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With each breath, I remember how lucky I am to be alive, and I thank God for the health of myself, friends, and family. It is so easy to take “the little things” in life for granted, but it is important to remember that everything can change in an instant. Nothing is ever guaranteed. As I let my feet sink into the earth, I embrace the sounds of nature and consider how fortunate I am to hear the birds sing. I think about how blessed I am to have vision that allows me to see the amazing world that surrounds me, and a voice to speak what is on my mind… I thank God for waking me up because today truly is a gift.


I danced for the patients at the hospital yesterday, and it was a very humbling experience. Emotions stirred within me as little kids reached for the tutus, stretched their arms up, and moved their feet… I am so grateful that I could share my gift of dance with such an inspiring crowd, and it is something that I will never forget. It felt so rewarding to see the joy on their faces, and I hope that I can do this again in the future. Props to my friend, Claire, who organized the event because it would not have happened if it wasn’t for her… Thank you for everything!

Have you had an eye-opening experience recently? What have you been up to this weekend? I hope that you have a fantastic week.

Dazzling Colors

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The sky was set ablaze, and every color imaginable flashed across the sky. Wondrous eyes peered up to the heavens while embers descended gracefully with a soft, flickering glow. It was one of the biggest parties that my family has ever hosted, and it made my heart so happy to see everyone gathered together on such a special day. My family gets pretty wild on this annual celebration, but this one was even bigger than the last… Each year, our wonderful community of neighbors pitch in to compile a massive firework collection that leaves the whole crowd in awe, and the show is always breathtaking. Bounce-houses, incredible food, sparklers, and smiles filled our yard as all the families came together for one huge party.

It was an extra special year for me because my grandparents were able to come celebrate too! I am so grateful that I was able to be home with my family again this summer because there is nowhere that I would have rather been on my second favorite day of the year. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for such an amazing night. I had an absolute blast, and I love you both so much!

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What did you do to celebrate? Do you enjoy fireworks too? What is your biggest party of the year? I hope that you all had a safe, fun, and Happy 4th of July! 

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!

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!

Eccentric Movements

ontheedge

The audience sat intrigued as we created eccentric movements one dance at a time, and we slid barefoot across the floor embracing the freedom in our blistered toes. It was a night of contemporary, and the stories left people deep in thought as they attempted to interpret the ambiguous shapes. I had the opportunity to choreograph my own contemporary solo this year, and I felt so powerful as I brought “On The Edge” to the stage for the very first time. Halsey’s song, “Castle,” echoed throughout the theater as my legs and arms intertwined to match the vocal cues.

I felt like I attacked the steps with so much power during the onstage rehearsal, but a migraine took over when people actually filled the seats that night. I pushed through all of my dances, not allowing it to alter my performance, but I am upset that I couldn’t truly enjoy myself. Overall, I am so happy with how the choreography turned out, and it is definitely one of my favorite dances that I have ever pieced together. Halsey was my true inspiration, and her song really generated the intensity that I wanted. I hope that I have the chance to perform it again in the future…

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What are your thoughts on this song? Do you enjoy the contemporary style of dance? Can you relate to getting a migraine at the worst possible time?

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?