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? 

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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?

Readers, I Need You!

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Help! I have compiled a small list of upcoming post ideas, but I need you to vote on what you would be most interested in reading. You can drop you top choice(s) in the comments section, and the post with the highest vote will be released on February 5th! Your input is very much appreciated because it will help me develop fun content that you all enjoy! All of these ideas will probably be used sometime in the future, but I am wondering which one will generate the most interest… If you have any post suggestions, you can add it in the comments section along with your top choice from the list below. I love inspiration from other amazing bloggers, and I am looking forward to hearing from you!

*Embarrassing moments: I will reveal some memories that left me cringing or laughing at my own foolish actions.

*Backstage Secrets: There are some things non-dancers never know. Discover some of the weird tricks and backstage secrets that is not public knowledge…

*First Few Months of Driving: My thoughts and experiences as a newly licensed driver.

*Guilty Confessions: Do you want me to admit some concealed truths about myself?

*Playlist: I will share my top favorite songs that I am listening to right now!

*My Blogging Experience: Find out about my experience with blogging and some of the things that I love/hate about owning this internet space. It might surprise you!

Important notice: Your votes will be counted until February 1st, so you have about a week to make your decision. Now, go cast your vote! 🙂

Merry Christmas 2018!

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD.”

~Luke 2:10-11

Happy Holidays to all of my dear readers!

SURPRISE! After a few attempts, my friends and I finally (somewhat) built a human Christmas tree in the second picture. The peak of the tree is clearly missing, but I am honestly just happy that none of us got hurt.
Hopefully you are able to spend the day with loved ones and reunite with distant friends and family, but no matter how you choose to celebrate, I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!