Playlist 4 July

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The fourth of July is right around the corner, and it is time to add the finishing touches to the 2019 celebratory playlist. This is the biggest annual event that my family hosts, and we are expecting over fifty guests this year. I am typically in charge of constructing the playlists for most of our gatherings, and I try to make them as large as possible to avoid the annoyance of song repetition. I have searched all over the place for independence-themed songs, and I want to give you a small glimpse into this year’s bunch… Not all of these songs have the intensity for the firework show, but they will certainly be played during the party. I hope you enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

  • It’s America by Rodney Atkins
  • Fire by Barns Courtney
  • All American Mutt by Jamie Kent
  • Fight for You by Shawn McDonald
  • Freedom by Pharrell Williams
  • Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue by Toby Keith
  • American Woman by Lenny Kravitz
  • Smoke Clears by Andy Grammer
  • Alive by Pearl Jam
  • All-American Girl by Carrie Underwood

Have you heard any of these before? Did you like this post? What are your song recommendations for me?

*Also, I accidentally set a backdate on my previous post, “Dryads & Shades,” so it did not show up as a recent post WordPress… That was my mistake, but be sure to go check it out here if you missed it. Thanks for reading!

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Lost in Space

Space Center

I spent the past few days lost in space as visions of nebulas sent me swirling through the great unknown. I was reminded how insignificant I truly am as I attempted to comprehend the vastness of our world beyond the night sky. I walked underneath massive rockets, went through a black hole simulator, and toured a realistic model of the International Space Station. NASA has always intrigued me, but the US Space & Rocket Center allowed me to appreciate our universe even greater than before.

Camping

I am so fortunate to have camped in the mountains and explored this museum with such great people because we made memories that will certainly last a lifetime. Friends and family gathered around the fire, laughing, talking, and playing games underneath the stars. Now, it is time to face reality again as spring break comes to a close, but I will never forget the weekend that I was lost in space…

What did you do over spring break? Have you visited this museum before? Are you interested in astronomy too?

Something about 17…

17th

Now, it is official. I had been anticipating this day for weeks, so I am very happy that I can finally say that I am seventeen years old. As much as I don’t want my childhood to end, this is a super exciting milestone because it is the perfect balance between the youth of sweet sixteen and the maturity of adulthood. I was literally counting down the days, and I can’t even tell you how happy I am that it is finally here. Some people are still confused why this is such a big deal for me, and I honestly don’t exactly know either. There is just something about 17…

birthdaybabe

Confetti flew as I made a wish, blew out the candles, got a little wild, and turned another year older. I had a fantastic party on Saturday, and I was so thankful to celebrate with everyone. I even got a super cute cup that made me feel extra special (thanks, mom). I had a blast, and I will never forget that one moment where everything was perfect. I looked around the table at all of the smiling faces, and I remember wishing the clock would freeze at that exact moment in time. Family and friends were all gathered together, and I just wanted it to last forever… Every single one of those amazing people are so special to me, and I don’t think I could ever fully explain how much they have changed my life. My heart is so full, and I can’t thank everyone enough for everything.

I also want to make it very clear that I was not drinking under age, and soda was the only thing that filled that glass. I am not that bad you guys!

ANYWAYS, Cheers to 17!

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?

Alice, Results, and Tutus

friends

Have you wondered how Alice in Wonderland is coming together? Did you stop by to see which blog post won the most votes? Why is there a tutu in my title? I have lots of updates…

Alice in Wonderland is less than a week away, and these past two weeks have been so stressful (mentally and physically)  as we put this entire ballet together. The cast list has been slightly adjusted, so I will now be dancing as Alice’s sister, garden flower, lead deck of cards, maid, and white queen corps de ballet. Yesterday, I was also given the responsibility to understudy the Mad Hatter due to a foot injury. I am praying that my friend gets better, but I will be sure to learn all of the choreography so that I can step in if she needs me during the long show weekend. I am excited to dance in this fun ballet, but I also am getting very nervous as all of these dancers whirl my brain in circles.

The blog post poll officially closed yesterday, and I am so excited to announce that Backstage Secrets won the most votes! I am so thankful for everyone who participated, and I will be sure to post all of these ideas at some point in the future. Right now, I am looking forward to sharing all of the weird things that dancers do before/during a show that the public doesn’t know. This will be very amusing and probably shocking to most of you. This post should be up on Tuesday, but please be patient if it gets delayed for some reason.

HAPPY TUTU DAY! (2/2/19) I know it isn’t on a Tuesday this year, but it is still a dance day worth celebrating.

Thank you for reading, and have a fantastic Superbowl Sunday! 🙂

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! 🙂

Taking Flight

ceremony

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.

peacock

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. 🙂