Season 2018-19 Recap

lookingback

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!

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Backstage Secrets

Pas de deux

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?

Winter Begins!

nutcracker2018

“A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!”

~Unknown

I have a love/hate relationship with the winter season, but I always end up looking forward to it every year… The snow transforms our ordinary town into an enchanted world where young eyes sparkle with excitement. It brings families together for an adventurous day of snowman building and hot coco drinking by the fireplace. This season is so memorable and amazing. Wishing you all a beautiful first day of winter 2018-19!

*Photo credits: Mandy E. (Nutcracker 2018 “snow”)

The Nutcracker 2018

Last night was even more magical than I imagined as I finally got to perform the role that I had admired ever since I was a very young ballerina! I couldn’t have asked for the snow pas de deux to have gone any better for the shows, and I am so incredibly thankful for my snow king who supported me through it all. Despite the 14 hour-long day that was spent in the theater, this production generated so much positive energy within me, and I really wish that I could rewind the clock to do it again. Even after I came offstage, I could not stop smiling as the sound of applause filled my heart with so much happiness. However, the curtain has officially closed for the Nutcracker, but we will be back in the theater in a month for our production of Alice in Wonderland. I heard that casting will be announced within the next week, so be sure to keep an eye out for it! 🙂

I hope that you all had a fantastic weekend!

One More Week…

snowpasdedeux

I see the elaborate tutus hung on the racks and admire the glittering tiaras set in careful stacks. The props in the basket are so very sweet. This show will definitely be a treat!

It is hard to believe that opening night for “The Nutcracker” is exactly one week from today, but I am looking forward to performing in the very first show of the 2018-19 season. I am so humbled to have been cast as the snow queen because it is one of my favorite roles in the entire ballet. As much as I love it, the snow pas de deux is has been very challenging physically and mentally as I try to get as close to perfection as possible. I want to leave the audience in awe this holiday season and perform to the best of my ability. I have one more week. Wish me luck!

Nutcracker Casting 2018!

lift

A few days ago, the casting for this year’s production of The Nutcracker was released. My friends and I had been discussing the possibilities for weeks now, and we had all been anxiously waiting to find out if our predictions were accurate.. I have been cast as a maid, the snow queen, and marzipan. I had never imagined that I would have been selected for these roles, and I am incredibly thankful.

The enchanted forest of snow has always been one of my favorite scenes out of the entire ballet, and I am absolutely honored to have been cast as the queen. I had always hoped that I would perform marzipan someday, but I never expected it to be so soon…

My very first rehearsal is Tuesday. Wish me luck! 🙂

Grande Finale

This weekend, we took our final bow for the 2017-18 season, and it was a very bittersweet moment… This season was filled with so many incredible opportunities that I never imagined I would ever receive, and it is crazy to think that it is already over.

Heartwarming memories from my very first principal role from Snow Queen overwhelmed me…

The 4 Little Swan choreography from Swan Lake washed over me…

Flashbacks from Canary Fairy in Sleeping Beauty made my feet start fluttering…

I remembered how proud I was to see my very own choreography about HOUR LIVES take that stage…

I recalled wearing the bubbly head pieces from a mixed rep show…

Dancing as a poppy in the Wizard of Oz was an experience that I will never forget…

Thank you to all of my followers and supporters who have been there for me through it all! It was a great year. 🙂