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…

Looking Back…

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2019 flew by, and I am shocked that the new year is right around the corner. So much has happened this year especially within the past month, and I have a lot of catching up to do. Here are some of the highlights of October…

1 ) My mom is pregnant again

I never expected to hear this, but I found out that I am going to have another sibling in April! I am very excited to meet the newest addition to the family, and I am looking forward to all of the wonderful memories that will be made.

2 ) I took my SAT and applied to two universities

This was very stressful because I decided to wait until senior year to take my SAT, but I completed it at the beginning of the month and met the early action deadline for two universities. I should hear back very soon, so I am getting very anxious. I still have a few more to send though…

3 ) I choreographed two contemporary/modern solos for YAGP

I was asked to choreograph two solos for dancers competing in the Youth American Grand Prix this season, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity. It was truly an honor to work with them, and I am absolutely blown away by their talent. I honestly felt like I was rehearsing two young principal dancers… I know that they will go far, and I am very excited for them to showcase their skills.


Also, Nutcracker is less than a week away, and we will be back in the theater in just a few days. Sorry I crammed all the updates into one post, but I hope that you are all doing well. Happy November!!

What have you been up to recently? How was your October? Do you have anything fun planned this month? I would love to hear from you guys because it has been bit since my last post. Thanks for reading.

It’s been awhile

Apple orchard

Hello.

It’s been awhile.

How have you guys been? I know this isn’t the first (unintended) hiatus that I have taken this semester, and it probably wont be the last if I’m honest. However, I really hope that you guys stick around because I am not abandoning the blog! Life has just been quite crazy lately…

I have spent more hours in the school library than I can even count, and chemistry is definitely proving to be an “adventure.” I like all of my classes and professors a lot, but the work load/studying is much more intense and time consuming than previous semesters. I also took my SAT this morning, and I am beginning to narrow down universities that I want to apply/transfer into. I am really anticipating the score because it was my first time, and I really wonder where I will end up… On the other hand, I forgot to tell you guys that the college, where I am currently dual-enrolled, has selected me into The National Society of Leadership and Success!! I am incredibly honored to be a member of this reputable program, and I am so humbled for the opportunity.

Lastly, The Nutcracker will be brought to the theater in one month, so that is quite nerve-wracking. Rehearsals are well underway, but there is still a lot of work that has to be done! I will be sure to keep you all posted, and I hope that you are doing well. Also, an October playlist will be released very soon, so keep an eye out for that…

What have you been up to? How are your classes going so far? Are you a member of the NSLS? Are you planning on watching or dancing in The Nutcracker this season? Thank you for reading this super long post if you are still there!

*Photo: Flashback to last year’s family trip up to the apple orchard.

Retourner

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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!

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!

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

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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?

Embarrassing Moments

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We have all had those moments where our faces turned bright red, and all we wanted to do was hide in a corner and pretend like nothing ever happened. After some time, though, our embarrassing moments become quite amusing and are quickly developed into stories that we laughingly share. I am constantly embarrassing myself, and I have more embarrassing stories that I can even count. However, for the sake of your reading (and my reputation) I have narrowed it down to 4 embarrassing moments that I will share today, so I hope you enjoy…

“Maybe a hundred bad days made a hundred good stories
A hundred good stories make me interesting at parties”

“100 Bad Days” song by AJR

/Parking Problem/  

It was only the first or second week of school, and I did an absolutely terrible parking job (crooked and literally on the line) right in front of the building. Then, another car came and parked on the other side of me which completely pinned my car in. I got dangerously close to the cars with every attempt that I made to move, and the driver of the other car paid no attention to me. I hollered out my window to get some random kid to help because I was desperate and had to get to class. Considering how big our campus is, I thought I would never see him again, but he happens to be in my English class this semester. We are actually really good friends now, but it is never ideal to be remembered by lack of parking skills when you formally meet someone for the first time.

“Oh, I remember you…” 

“Yeeeeah”

“Walking” on a Red Carpet

I made a grand entrance to my first prom by nearly face planting and tripping twice on the red carpet… I will admit that I constantly trip in the hallways at school, stores, and pretty much everywhere else, but who trips going into prom?

Direct Flight

I was at lunch with a group of people that I had just met, and we didn’t know each other very well. We decided to eat outside, and less than 10 minutes passed before a bug flew directly into my eye. I didn’t make a very big deal as I tried to handle it myself, but everyone was at the table started freaking out as they caught sight of my eye. All I will say is that it was a big bug. The waitress even ran over to see why they were all so upset as I quickly/embarrassingly fled to the bathroom to wash out my eye. It was swollen, red, and burning for the remainder of the day... Talk about embarrassing! Honestly, I still cringe at this memory.

Where Is All The Popcorn?

Please tell me that I am not the only one who almost always drops popcorn down my shirt at the movie theater…


Can you relate to any of these? Which moment did you find the most amusing? Feel free to drop some of YOUR embarrassing memories in the comments below (if you would like to). Also, photo credits to my friend, Claire! I know this has nothing to do with the theme of the post, but I still thought I would share because it is a pretty neat capture of my rehearsal. Have a fantastic week, and thanks for reading this lengthy post!

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!