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Walking Upsidedown

Because I like to look at life a little differently.

A Dancer’s Diet

[So I will start out by apologizing and saying that I think I’m the world’s worst blogger…sorry I haven’t updated in awhile! I will now attempt to make up for the past 3 weeks in the next few days! Ready? Here goes…]

Alright so I know a lot of people assume dancer’s don’t eat, those of you who know me know that is not true at all! And honestly when we’re not dancing, we are probably eating…or sleeping but no one wants to read a blog post about that. Well, New York being New York has a million things to eat and a million places to eat them and they’re all wonderful and delicious!

I also included the links to the websites so you can look at the menus on your computer and drool. (Or at the very least get hungry!) You’re welcome. 😉

Here’s a few of my favorites:

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It’s melting!

1) Gelato from Amarino

Amarino’s listed as one of the best places to get gelato in New York, and I’d have to agree! You can order just gelato in a cup, in a crepe, or in a cone. I got it in a cone and it comes shaped like a rose! It was a work of art I tell you, it was so cool to watch them scoop and shape the gelato. It was topped by their signature macaroon, which is gelato filled! I’ve never had a macaroon before but even I knew it was a good one. I went with Aggie, and she’s had macaroons (from France no less!) and she said she thought these were better…of course like I said they were gelato filled so that may have made a difference. 😉 I had the tiramisu, chocolate, caramel, dulce de leche and the strawberry gelato…well they said you could have as many flavors as you wanted so I took them at their word! 😉

(Side note: there are Amarino locations around the U.S….and I happen to know there is one in Kalamazoo and Chicago! Go if you get the chance! amarino.com)

 

2) Donut Ice Cream Sandwich from Holey Cream

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Yes, this is a real thing. Aggie told me about this place and we had been planning on a trip here since we found out we were both going to be in NY. (We always tend to eat when we’re together…I told you, it’s a dancer thing!) Basically it’s a fresh-made donut, filled with ice cream (of your choice, I had the rocky road!) covered with frosting (of your choice, mine was vanilla) topped with a topping of your choice (also your choice, mine was crumbled Reese’s peanut butter candy for me!) and then a drizzle of chocolate syrup topped it off…and yes I ate the whole thing. No judgement please. It was delicious and totally worth the “food baby” I had during technique class the next day. 😉 They also had trays of other very delicious looking deserts (such as cupcakes, brownies and donuts) should you not be able to handle the delicious richness of the sandwich! 😉 Or if that doesn’t fill you up! (Unfortunately…or should I say fortunately…they are only here in NY! holeycream.com)

 

 

3) Garlic knots from Rosella’s

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of these…I tend to eat them before I can take one. 😉 A lot of the Italian restaurants have garlic knots but everyone seems to agree that Rosella’s are the best. I wouldn’t know, I only eat Rosella’s…call me a garlic snob! 😉 Rosella’s is a pizza place literally across the street from my dorm…a very dangerous thing let me tell you. Plus you can get 4 for $2, and you all know I’m a sucker for a good deal! (Plus I seemed to have charmed an older gentleman who I think owns it/manages because he gave me a discount one time and 5 garlic knots another time! I’m not complaining!) I don’t even order pizza, just the knots. My RA was laughing at me one night because she asked where I was going when I got in the elevator and I told her I needed breadsticks and just laughed and said that was the most random thing she’d ever heard. Well everyone has to be remembered for something! 😉 rosellaspizza.com

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4) Nathan’s Hot Dog with fries (from Coney Island of course!)

There’s nothing like a hot dog from Coney…it’s just a thing like pasta in Italy! It was absolutely delicious, plus I got mine with cheese, which of course made it even better. 😉

The french fries were very good too! I don’t usually like the crinkle ones, but they make them really crispy and not soggy which is nice. 😉 I also got a slurpee (since I haven’t had one in like 3 years and that totally hit the spot!) It was the perfect lunch for a day at Coney! You could get pizza and stuff like that too but that seemed weird at Coney…or is that just me?

5) A Lunch Special from Mee Noodle Shop

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This is definitely a great place to get some lunch. They have a good lunch special (especially for New York!) where you get your choice of soup, rice and main dish.

(I got egg drop soup, fried rice and shrimp chow mein!) I’ve been here twice now (with Aggie!) after church since it’s between the church and her dorm. It’s a nice break from the cafeteria food I eat all week let me tell you. 😉 They have a lot of other things on the menu but the lunch special is a great deal and you get quite a bit of food!! meenoodlenyc.com

6) Chocolate Ganache Cupcake from Dean & Deluca 20046255_1376568055792071_952038661_n

I went here by recommendation of my Aunt Nita (thank you!!! <3) and it was worth the walk. Dean & Deluca is an artsy-fartsy (sorry but it’s true!) grocery store in NY. There are several locations but we went to the one in the Upper East side.The food is on the pricey side…my cupcake wasn’t a bad price but some of the other stuff…like a pound of salmon for $48.00 or the loaf of cinnamon swirl bread (a small loaf!) for $14.50… I mean it was good (there was samples!) but I wouldn’t pay that much for it. Chalk it up to my good ole’ Midwestern frugalness. 😉

Seriously tho, try one of the cupcakes. There are several other flavors, like banana and peanut butter, and vanilla something-or-other…they all looked good!

If you don’t believe me on the prices chceck out their website… 😉 deandeluca.com

Honorable Mention: All the Italian Bakeries (Especially the one with the window cookies in Greenwich!)

Sorry I don’t know the name but you’d totally know it if you walked by it. It’s on Mulberry Street in Greenwich and in their front window are trays of giant cookies. They have a special, $4 for a “window cookie” and they are sooo yummy. (And huge! They don’t fit in the palm of your hand!) I split an M&M one with a friend even half was a lot of cookie for one person! And I plan to go back because they have tiramisu cups…oh yes… ❤ For someone who likes salt over sugar I’ve been eating a lot of dessert…

 

So are you drooling yet? I hope you enjoyed this segment of A Dancer’s Diet with me your host, Emilee! 🙂 Stay tuned for more yummy finds here in NY! Goodnite! 😉

And a random side note (you know how much I love those!) Chipotle here is good and really popular, they’re all over the place. I had a wonderful lunch with a friend who lives in New Jersey and they make it pretty good here… so there you go, now you know that Chipotle is good here in NY.

New York: The Photo Edition – Part 1

Walking Back

There are some really pretty sights on the way back from the Joffrey building! (These were shot on my cell phone!)

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The view of the Joffrey building from the cute little park across the street 🙂
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The New York City public library!
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|| Street Shade ||
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I ❤ Greenwich
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The view of the Joffrey Ballet School building from the cute little park across the street 🙂

Greenwich

The whole area was so picturesque! I just had to get some pictures! A really good way to spend a beautiful evening! (These were taken on my Nikon)

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This city = my aesthetic 🙂
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The gate outside the house below 🙂

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Can you imagine living here?

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|| Reflection ||

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I’d love to bike through here!

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|| Please Proceed ||

Well there you have it! Honestly the more I see of this city, especially Greenwich, the more I like! (And apparently I’m  looking like a local, got asked about subway directions twice today!) Greenwich is definitely one of my favorite parts of New York, all the little shops, restaurants and the old houses just make me really happy! 🙂 Well goodnite for now, I’ll keep you all updated! ❤

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{ New York, New York: Day 1 }

 

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This was on the edge of the LaGuardia Airport landing strip 🙂

And so it begins…

My flight and uber ride were uneventful and very smooth! I slept the entirety of both flights! Plus I didn’t have to weigh my bags and I’m sure the one was more than 50 lbs. The lady just picked it up and gave me the tags and said to take it to the scanners. Thank you Jesus, cause at 5:30 in the morning I was not in the mood to open my suitcase in front of a bunch of strangers to repack and rearrange. (Plus think about it, putting the stuff in the smaller suitcase still means that stuff goes on the plane. Why does it matter what bag it’s in? And they don’t weigh passengers, I obviously weigh less than a full-grown man so just pretend that all that stuff is my weight as a full grown man! Just kidding… 😉 )

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This is in the lobby of our dorms 🙂

So now onto the dancing, my 5 weeks with Joffrey is off to a great start!

I started off my morning with learning how to ride the subway to the studios! (It’s really simple!)

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Here’s our stop! 

We had contemporary first thing, what a great way to start! It was fun, high-energy and so enjoyable! Second class was repertoire which consisted of another contemporary piece. This one was choreographed for a Swiss dance company and it was really fast. To give you an idea of just how fast our teacher told us “to expect out hair to fall out, blood to come out our ears and to cry…” He also told us he could  see the fear on our faces…I don’t really think he was joking either. (On the second part I mean!) There was a part of it where we jumped up in the air and landed loosely in the middle splits (not all the way cause you had to get out quickly!)…seriously and we did that in a single count.

Then came lunch. Enough said.

For the fourth class of the day we had ballet. Oh it was wonderful, there’s nothing like a good ballet class… 🙂 Our teacher was  Ceyhun Ozsoy. He’s really funny and a good teacher! He was also our teacher for pas de deux class. It was nice because we had nine guys in class, each with 2-3 girls each. (And my partner was taller than me! Although that’s not hard to achieve…) All in all, it was a very good start to my time with Joffrey! Oh, and here are some pictures of the view of our studio today! (Jealous yet? The studio is in Greenwich! Planning to go and explore!)

It was pouring by the time we left for the dorms. We all got drenched as we made our way back, it was a pretty good storm with thunder, lightning and a flood warning. (There was no floods, just giant puddles!)

Even though it was raining my new friend Katelin and I decided to explore. We made it to the Brooklyn Bridge, after a bit of  confusion about whether the bridge was reached by the “Uptown” subway or the, I can’t remember but basically the “Not-Uptown” subway. 😉

It was amazing. The view even though it was overcast was stunning. I can’t say much more than that so just look at these pictures I took…and edited a little bit. 🙂

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This is my favorite shot! ❤

Something  really cool is that as we were heading back after walking over the bridge (and taking lots of pictures!) the sun started to come back out and since it was still raining there was a huge rainbow! It was a picture perfect moment, something I will always remember that’s for sure! Everyone was stopping to take pictures of it! (The cool thing too is that back in MI there was a rainbow by my house too! We had a “rainbow connection”! ❤ )

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This picture doesn’t do it justice!

So there you have it! My first full day in NYC! Well this girl is headed to bed now, I am tired and yes I’m sore too! (The good kind of sore!) I promise to keep you all updated!


P.S. My dorm room is nice! I somehow ended up getting my own room, which is kinda nice, a little weird and kinda quiet but I’m putting it to good use! B\After all, I have a bathroom all to myself, small fridge/freezer, microwave, two sets of dresser drawers, a closet, and a desk. (And a bed of course!) My view is really good too, I can even see the Bridge!)

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|| My view ||

 

 

 

Wisdom Shared is the Best Kind

I asked some dancer friends of mine for some advice they’d like to share. As dancers we should come together and help each other be the best we can be, because knowledge is power! It helps us grow and achieve! (And sharing is caring!)

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Coming together is a beginning, working together is success…<3

I figured now, with a lot of us getting ready to head out to intensives all over and getting ready for new seasons it’d be a great time to share! So enjoy these, and I hope you take something from it! (And for those of you who aren’t dancers, this gives you a look into our brains!)

Teaching is the act of sharing the knowledge we have been given by others with hope that someday, in some way it again will be passed on…

Agatha

Agatha

While training in class it is easy to overwork your body. You should push yourself, but you should also be smart. For example, forcing your legs to turn out to 180 degrees can put a lot of strain on your knees and hips. Instead, think about rotating your knees open and back to avoid torquing or twisting anything. Always keep in mind proper technique when trying difficult or new steps. Often your technique will help you to master the difficult steps more quickly and at the same time prevent injury. As I like to remind myself: Dance smarter, not harder.


Nicole

Nicole

My advice for everything in the studio would be to really focus on your technique at the barre. The little things like making sure your elbow isn’t droopy in second and when standing in any position it’s okay to force your turnout a little bit, but make sure you’re still using your muscles to hold that and you’re not forcing it to a point where you are going to roll over your feet and strain your knees. When you get into center that’s when to focus more on your presentation and dancing.  I find that it helps me to warm-up before class, treat every class like it’s an audition, NEVER mark with your back turned to the teacher and make sure you’re not distracted by something else when the teacher is giving an exercise. And last but not least, just have fun!


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Amanda

Everyone  focuses so much on improving their extensions, getting higher jumps, achieving more turns, creating the most flattering lines.

Those are all great things. But even more important is your passion for ballet, because that’s what really drives everything you do.

Someday talent will get old.

Instead, dance because you truly love it, because you want it in your life forever, and because you want to keep learning and practicing no matter what. Once you realize your love for ballet, the challenges along the way won’t mean anything. A lot of people spend their entire lives searching for something they enjoy, and we’re so lucky to have discovered something we’re passionate about already. Cherish it and never let it go.


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Sierra

Advice for making your arabesques look your very best: My first tip to obtain a beautiful arabesque is to make sure that  your arms are squared or line up directly with your body to help you keep your balance. Make sure your chin is lifted to look over the fingers of the arm that is lifted.

My second tip is to makes sure that he leg (that is squared behind you) is as straight as it can be to achieve a long line.

My third tip is to always be thinking about rotation of your standing leg so that it is as turned out as you can make it to achieve this classical position.


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Something I have been sharing with my students recently that’s been on my heart. In this world full of acro, cheerleading, and hip hop sometimes it’s difficult to not get bored studying ballet. Many students get bored or frustrated and end up quitting ballet thinking they’ll have more fun just doing a different style. After all one year of ballet is enough right? Now I can go on to the “fun” styles.

But what many people lose sight of is that ballet is the core of ALL dance. Asking someone to become a well trained dancer without continual study of ballet is like asking a pianist to play a song without knowing where the notes are.

Ballet teaches you how to control every muscle in your body with grace and ease unlike ANY activity. It’s strength and beauty cannot be rivaled. Yes it can get tedious at times, yes other styles of dance may be more upbeat and fun but without ballet at the core of dance I truly believe a dancer cannot reach their full potential.Ballet is as equally hard as it is rewarding. The amount of effort you put into it is the amount of reward you will see returned. It’s so vital that in a world filled with competition dance that we retain the art in our dancing. Ballet is an art that can be traced back for centuries. The history and evolution of ballet is a marvel. The moment dancers turn their back on ballet is the moment dance becomes a little less an art and a little more a sport.My prayer as a teacher is to inspire my students to fall in love with all dance but especially ballet the mother of dance. Because the truth is with the right attitude ballet can be the most joyous of all dance styles.And all this is being said by someone who when I was a student would have chosen modern, or lyrical over ballet in a second. This is coming from someone who has had to suffer humiliation, pain, and disappointment in ballet again and again. But through all that I see so clearly the invaluable importance of ballet and I am thankful I never gave up on it.


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Advice for a wholesome class! Many dancers want to get the most out of their technique class; whether that is ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, and the list goes on! What many dancers fail to realize is the importance of an intentional Warm Up and Cool Down. Before and after every class, a dancer or athlete should be prepping the body to prevent injury and further their technique. For ballet and modern, here are, here are exercises I try to incorporate to ensure a successful and focused class:

Warm Up:

Cardio: Start by doing slight cardio to warm up the ENTIRE body and increase blood flow is a must! Abdominal exercises like the single and double leg stretch, plank, and lower leg lifts are excellent to warm up the core, back, and limbs.

Active Stretch: Exercises like the sun salutes moving through downward dog encourage you to use your breath and send oxygen to muscles before class.

Massage: Start sending blood and oxygen to the feet, legs, and any injured areas with a gentle massage to warm up the muscles and prepare them for larger movements.

Cool Down:

Layer: Keep warm!!! Make sure your worked muscles are covered to keep from being pulled post-class.

Stretch: Now is the time to sit in deep stretches and let your body go a little further as your heart rate decreases. Breathe deeply into muscles as they relax because at the point in your workout, your muscles are ready to lengthen longer.

Massage: A little extra massage never hurts! It is so important to roll out muscles to prevent soreness or tightness after a long class or rehearsal. Especially areas known for tightness such as the calves which affect the hamstrings and feet should be rolled and massaged daily. Using a tennis ball, foot roller, body roller, or the base of your palm are excellent tools.

** No matter what, pick Warm Ups and Cool Downs that fit your routine and needs! Every dancer needs them! Pay close attention to the signals from your body and continue to expand and tailor your exercises as you grow as a dancer.


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Emilee

That’s me!! 😉 Okay, so I’m talking about “mental technique”, in dance just like in anything else, your mindset affect your actions. It’s every bit as important as your dance technique.

Start by believing in yourself. Yes I know it’s kinda cliche…but it’s so true. You have to expect great things of yourself before you can do it. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the whole picture, set small daily goals for yourself, cause trust me, there is something very satisfactory about checking things off a list.

Push yourself a little more everyday, try something outside your comfort zone. (Even if it’s something “small” like trying a new food or wearing a different leotard than you usually would!) So start today by setting some goals that both excite and scare you!

Discipline and hard work are another important aspect. When you’re in class, it’s not about being perfect, getting your leg the highest, or doing the most turns. It’s about your EFFORT. Strive for progress not perfection. When your bring your A-game every day (even when it’s hard!) that’s when the transformation happens. Your personal successes won’t happen from what you do on occasion, it comes from what you do consistently on a daily basis. Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going!

And lastly, don’t get intimidated. Remember that you have your own strengths, even if they’re not visible yet. (But truth be told, they are there, you’re just not looking hard enough!) Stand strong in your belief in yourself, don’t let yourself get backed out of your dream by an opinion. Because quite honestly the people that are telling you that you can’t, are probably the ones afraid that you will. Listen instead to people that you respect, who will give it you straight up, be honest with yourself and know what is a realistic possibility for your future.

So to sum it up:

  • Believe in yourself!
  • If you really want to achieve something you’ll find a way. Your dreams won’t work unless you do!!!
  • Surround yourself with people that will build you up, breathe life into you. Blow off those naysayers!

Well there you have it! I hope you enjoyed these and got as much as I did from all these amazing dancers and their amazing advice. If you have advice of your own you’d like to share, send it my way! I’d love to post more advice pieces! ❤

New Seasons

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Rascal is ready for graduation!

It’s happening! Graduation from high school! I can hardly believe it! I’m starting “life”…although what that means exactly I’m not sure… 🙂

So I told you all I’d let you know the results of my auditions! (Although I’m sure most of you know by now!) I was accepted into 4 different programs/companies and I had several 2nd audition opportunities. However I have decided after much thought and prayer to join Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet in Killingworth, CT. It’s a wonderful Christ-centered company and I’ve gotten the chance to “meet” some of the company over the phone.

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Jumping for joy!

I’m currently in the process of settling all details (housing, transportation, etc) and they have all been a HUGE help. (I’ll be moving in July after I finish at Joffrey!) Their advice and help has meant the world. I can’t wait to start with them and have the opportunity to continue dancing in a company and ministry setting is a dream come true.

Going into a new season of life is both exciting and daunting. As I’m saying goodbye to high school and hello to new adventures I’ve been thinking about Ecclesiastes 3 and how it seems to sum up life perfectly:

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven… God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”  (NLT)

We can’t stay forever in the same place. So instead of looking at changes as scary (or even bad) look at them as an opportunity! A chance to meet new people, visit new places, experience new things!seasons thoreau

One other thing is that starting a new season makes you appreciate all you’ve already experienced and savor each moment! ♥ Looking back at what’s happened the past few years and how things have changed, how I’ve grown, what I’ve learned…it’s a bit bittersweet to see it all, the lessons I’ve learned and the ways I’ve changed…

Another verse that always gives me comfort if I start to feel anxious or stressed about the future is from Philippians 1:6: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” God started something in you when he created you, something good and He’s going to fulfill that something. I also really love this quote by C.S. Lewis…

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I guess what I’m trying to say here is, just enjoy life. Live each day to the fullest. Laugh a lot. Cry if you need to. Embrace it all!

There is a bit of what has been running through my mind…all those nice deep, rambling and contemplative thoughts of mine I’m sure you’ve been dying to know. 😉 Now here’s some more of what I’ve been up to lately! (It’s been waaaay to long since I last updated you all! Sorry!)

Well I finished out my 14th year of ballet! My last performance as a student was in MBA’s production of Coppelia.  (Well it was supposed to be the last one but there’s one more coming up! More on that later!) This was definitely a memory falling into the bittersweet catergory…and was made all the more special by my friends and family.

After the show was over the last two weeks of classes flew by and the last day was a bit anticlimactic! It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come in 14 years, and it’s definitely encouraging to see all the ways I’ve improved and all the amazing opportunities God has brought my way throughout my “ballet journey”. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and met so many special people. (You all know who you are! ♥)

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Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape… #bentnotbroken

I was thinking the other day how funny it is that I’ve taken such a liking and interest in modern. I’m going to be flat out honest here…I hated modern and contemporary. And now I can’t get enough of it! (Yes I really was one of those bunheads. 😉 ) I even went to see Alvin Ailey perform. And oh my gosh, their performance was absolutely amazing and inspiring!!! I especially loved the pas de deux called “After the Rain” and the one hip hop peice…almost made me want to take more hip hop classes…notice I said almost. 😉

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At a Dance in the Annex class…I highly recommend going! Lots of different instructors and a lot of fun! (Photo cred: Artpeers)
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Snuggles!

Just this past weekend there was some family in town! ♥ My, aunt, cousin and her two cute little kiddos!

They are so much fun and so adorable. They introduced me to some new games, one called “Sleeping Queens” (can they make a kid’s card game anymore complicated?!) and another called “Unicorn Glitterluck”…very girly, very pink, and very sparkly. (I give it two thumbs up!) Yes, it really is a real game, Google it. There was a lot of giggles, cuddles and questions…after all that’s what kids do! 😉

On another note, I find it only fair to warn you all that you’d better check your insurance because…

THIS GIRL GOT HER LICENSE. Yes, I finally did it. And yes, I’m quite proud of myself…I managed to get it in about only 2 1/2 months. I think I may have set a record! 😉

The driving test was nowhere as bad (In other words: scary) as I thought it was going to be. That may also be because I like freeway driving and parallel parking…I’m weird awesome like that I know.

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Please note in the picture how high my seat is cranked up. I literally can’t touch the floor with my heels or right foot! Also note how close the seat is to the wheel, another “perk” to short legs! 😉 No worries though, I make it work! 🙂

I had a laugh during my test (silently and to myself of course) at the reaction from my driving tester when he found out that I’m a dancer. Part of our conversation as I drove was, “Aren’t dancers usually…taller? Cause you’re rather small…” “How tall are you anyways?” and “Do they make special toe shoes for the vertically challenged?” I kid you not.

Well there you have it… that’s what I’ve been up to lately! I really will try to update more often…I have been informed several times now that I don’t update enough, so my most humble apologies! 😉 Hugs to you all!

(Feel free to comment on my posts or message me! I’d love to hear from you! ♥)

 

{March Madness}

March madness…otherwise known as audition season! (Nothing whatsoever to do with college basketball! 😉 ) It was a jam-packed month, with school, classes, rehearsals, deadlines, flying to auditions and to finish it out a bout of the flu.

The first audition in March was for Joffrey’s ballet intensive.

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On to New York!

Honestly… the only reason I went was because I had signed up for it in California and I had already paid so I figured I had  mind as well do it here in Michigan. It wasn’t the greatest audition, the room was really small and the flooring was wooden…not a good way to nail those pirouettes, very slippery!
I definitely intend to go until I was surprised (very pleasantly!) with my audition results. I not only got into the program, but I also was awarded a merit scholarship!

I’ll be there for 5 weeks this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited! God is good!

My second audition was for Ad Deum, a modern company in Houston. I got to spend a

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Taking class from Alicia Mack Graf

week in Texas at Ad Deum’s spring intensive.  It was a good challenge for this bunhead that’s for sure! 😉 I enjoyed the it so much though and they made it really fun. I got to take classes from teachers like Alicia Mack Graf and Randall Flinn (Ad Deum’s artistic director). Plus I tried hip-hop…and no, there is no videos of that.  😉

And of course I to experience some of Texas. My first night there I went out to eat with my roommates and we went to this “TexOrleans” (their words not mine) restaurant called BB’s Cafe (it was the only place open after 10:30…apparently there’s not a lot of 24-hour places to eat in Houston…) I got fried chicken tenders…I was given a small mountain of them. The plate was mounded with french fries and then over that was the chicken…definitely worth the price.

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Dinner with the hotel squad ♥

It was sooooo good, plus they had this really good dipping sauce…yum! I also tried crawfish and raw oysters. The crawfish freaked me out a bit, the fact that you had to crack them open and they had everything still attached, they tasted good but not good enough to have to go through that experience again. 😉 I made lots of wonderful new friends (that’s one of the best parts of intensives!) especially among my fellow hotel roomies. 🙂 We all treated ourselves to a dinner out at BB’s again at the end of the week.

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Hello little oysters!

After I got back from Houston (at 12am) I had a performance at the Forest Hills’ Expo and then I flew out Sunday morning for Tacoma for my second audition. (It was a crazy weekend!)

I was pretty tired by the time I got to Tacoma. (After flying and ubering for the first time and then performing and then flying again… Plus I had to run through the airport. When your first flight is delayed and the airline person tells you you’ll definitely make it in time I thought she meant 30 minutes….not arriving at the first boarding call… I apologize to anyone I may have bumped into or frightened during my mad dash through the airport.)

Fortunately we made a coffee stop and had some down time that evening. The trainees hosted a dinner for all the auditioners (yes I know that’s not really a word!) at the studio, Food never tasted so good… 😉

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The trainees and auditioners 🙂

Monday morning we got out numbers and guess who was number 1? Yep, this girl. Which means I was first to share my testimony, first to go across the floor, and first to perform my worship solo….no pressure. 😉 It honestly wasn’t that bad, although pointe class was a bit rough since I was coming off a week of modern but all things considered I was pretty happy.

Another of my favorite parts of traveling is the food.We went out to a burger place where I got the Count von Count which to quote the menu was “roasted garlic and beef patty, bacon-garlic aioli, arugula salad, roasted mashed garlic, on garlic-infused brioche bun”.

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Meet my new friend, the Count von Count!

It was heaven for this garlic loving girl….plus it came with steak fries. We also went to this place called the Metropolitan Market that made something called “The Cookie”. It was this giant chocolate chip cookie made with Belgian chocolate and walnuts…it was gooey and crunchy and warm… I bought one to take home to share but I left it in the hotel… 😥

Once I got home I was ready to sleep and that I did… and then I woke up and got the flu. Yep, really fun. A week and a half on the couch, basically just sleeping and feeling really miserable. (I’m pretty sure it was partly due to the guy next to me on one of my flights who coughed and sneezed and wiped his nose the whole flight…thank you so much sir…) Fortunately I am feeling so much better now! 🙂 Well except for the annoying, hacky cough that always lasts for weeks. Cough drop anyone?

And now my latest thing is I am learning to drive! Watch out world, here I come! I passed my permit test with flying colors, and I’ve already driven around on actual streets with actual people on them! 😉 Let’s just say I have a very brave momma (I drove us to get Chinese food the other nite!!!!) and a huge shout-out to the brave souls who risk their lives as driving instructors. Let’s give them a round of applause. 😉 (And let me just say it’s very weird to sit in the driver’s seat…)

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Guess who finally has her permit!!!

So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. 🙂 Thanks to everyone who’s been keeping up with me on my little (and sometimes big!) adventures and reading my rambling here on my blog. I’ll try to update more often in the future, I’ve been told I don’t update enough. 😉 I’ll let everyone know soon about the results of my trainee auditions. It’s some pretty exciting stuff! 😀 Hugs!

|| Weekend Adventures ||

It’s that time of year again!  Yes…it’s audition season! This past weekend I auditioned for Alvin Ailey’s summer intensive in NY.  The audition was in Detroit on Sat. morning which meant a mini-road trip with my friend Agatha and her mom Friday nite after ballet. (The audition was at 10 so we were going to spend the nite in a hotel.) We had a lot of fun, goofing around and letting off some pent-up silliness. 😛

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Sleep Sweet Sleep

We stayed in the Atheneum, which was a pretty nice hotel…valet parking and everything. 😉 (The beds were super comfy and the pillows were super fluffy which to me is one of the most important things about a hotel!) The elevators had a center console with buttons for all 4 elevators (we couldn’t find the button at first!) and all the floors and doors looked the same with really tiny room numbers on the doors and seemed to be built in a circle like a maze. [Cue laughter] We did eventually get to bed. 😉

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On the Blue Cross Blue Shield building they had a heart! Too cute not to take a picture out our window! ;

This was my first audition for a modern based program so this was a new experience for me. I really enjoyed it though, the majority of the audition was a normal ballet class, although there was no barre we just started in center. Kinda nice though…barre during auditions can be kinda boring. 😉

A “fun” surprise was realizing they had numbered us by our last names…and I was first for the senior/professional group (after all with the last name “Alexander”what do you expect?)…I had no problem with this during the ballet part, that’s something I understand.imag0261

I don’t mind going first and being in the front… however during the modern section being from and center was a tad bit daunting. I am more comfortable watching and learning before taking my turn. Plus most of the dancers there had strong modern dance backgrounds… and let’s be honest, I’m definitely a bunhead. 😉

It didn’t to bad actually, and having Agatha there was definitely a plus, she knew modern and had gone to Alvin Ailey’s summer program before so she helped me out…(“That’s turned in, not turned out!!”)

On a side note the reason for the audition is that lately I’ve been taking some private lessons and focusing on modern. It’s been so much fun, pushing my limits and challenging myself. That is one perk to being back in MI, I have a wonderful modern teacher who has been a huge help and encouragement. ♥

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Modern rehearsal – “Senza Mamma”

After the audition we had the auction performance in the evening so we came right back….ok we may have stopped at a dance store and burger place… 😉 And you may all pat me on the back, because I went into this new dance store (where there was a lot of very pretty leotards!) and came out without buying ANYTHING! 

imag0267Very impressive for this shop-til-you-drop girl. 😉

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There’s no one I’d rather drive through the middle of nowhere with than you…♥

We also ended up driving through the middle of nowhere for awhile (can you say farms, fields and red barns?) thanks to the GPS. 😉 At least the scenery was pretty! But no worries, we made it back with plenty of time to spare.

The auction is always a big deal, since it’s our school’s big fundraiser with a performance and it gives us all a chance to dress up fancy. 🙂 This year I got to play the photographer too!

The theme was “A Night in Venice” and it was  very “fancy-smancy” with masks and everything was gold colored. (That’s a terrible description but hey it’s true!) Everything looked wonderful and I enjoyed capturing the evening on my camera. I loved the modern piece this year, called “Senza Mamma” (set to the song…opera music is really great with dance!).

By the end of the evening however I was totally ready for bed…we didn’t get home from the auction till 11:30 and I had been up since 7 that morning with a short 20 minute nap in between. It was a wonderful weekend though, and it has me checking my email waiting for the results of my audition. 😉

So that’s what I’ve been up. Now I’m focusing on school, finishing and submitting my video auditions (prayers appreciated!) and rehearsing for our spring show, Coppelia! It’s going to be another busy few months. 🙂

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Pointe shoes take really good artsy photos 😉

It’s been a whirlwind December! It’s been full of school, classes, rehearsals, performances, family visits, a surprise visit home to MI, and of course CHRISTMAS! And of course, I’ve loved every single minute of it. 😀 I’ve been meaning to post an update for a while now but I’ve just never had the time. 😉

One of the highlights of December for me has always been performing in the Nutcracker. This year getting to perform with Long Beach Ballet in their production was such a wonderful experience. This production boasts a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, and a cast of over 200. (As it says on the Long Beach Nutcracker website…check it out! http://longbeachnutcracker.com/

I had such a good time, made lots of wonderful friends, and got to wear a pink tutu to top it off!  Yes, it was a pretty amazing show. 😀

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Level 6…and Ben (He’s in the Arabian dance) 🙂

I love that feeling when you get to show week and you first stand on the stage and look at all the seats… I also love that feeling when you put on full stage makeup and your costume for the first time…it’s definitely a rush. 😉 We had pretty nice dressing rooms (I mean after the “dressing rooms” in China I will never complain again!) with nice lighting, it was a bit cramped though after we all got in there…think 14 girls, their costumes, dance bags, makeup, snacks, and everything else we lug around…but we made it work. I even got my dance bag (nicknamed the “small sofa”) to fit, so it can be done. 😉

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I kept my space organized! (Also notice the very pretty opening night flowers on the left courtesy of my wonderful family!)

There was of course the late rehearsals, changes in schedule, costume malfunctions (never a good thing when the hooks pop off your tutu, the bodice wasn’t shortened, or the straps were shortened instead of lengthened!), bathrooms that clogged, slippery stages, and such, but the performances all went very well! We had full houses (The Long Beach Terrace Theater seats 3,000!!!)  several nights which is always fun. We solved the costume problems by switching tutus which solved the problem of some tutus being too big and others too small or short.

Of course most of the fun happens in the dressing rooms (you spend a lot of time down there after all!); there is dancing and music, endless rounds of slapjack, and a lot of joking nonsense that really doesn’t make any sense. 😉

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Nothing beats the view…♥

Another highlight of the performance was performing with some professionals from all over including some from  San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Seth Orza and his wife Sarah Richard Orza as the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugarplum Fairy and from San Francisco the first weekend and then Seth and Vanessa Zahorian (as the Sugarplum) from PNB the second weekend. They were all amazing of course and it was wonderful getting to watch them in warm-up class and performing.

This year was also my 6th and final performance in the Nutcracker as a student, since this is my senior year. Pretty bittersweet, but what a way to finish out my Nutcracker memories. ♥

Another thing that made Nutcracker very special was my mom and sister flying out to spend a week with me and getting to see the show! ❤ They had lots of fun, I got to show them around Long Beach. Showing them some of my favorite spots from my explorations this summer!

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Rainbow Harbor (with Shoreline Village in the background!)

 

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In-N-Out

We visited the Aquarium of the Pacific, they got to try In-N-Out,  we did a bit of shopping at Shoreline Village, and we had quite a bit of fun. 😀

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Jellies!

After the last show I got to go home to Michigan for the holiday’s which was a fun surprise! The family knew of course, but it was quite fun surprising everyone else on Christmas Eve! Getting to hug my grandparents was definitely a highlight to this year’s Christmas. ♥  And of course getting to see my little darling Rascal, who I have missed so much! He’s apparently missed me too since he followed me around for 3 days after I got home!

And now it’s 2017, hard to believe a new year has started! I’m looking forward to seeing what this year holds in store! It’s been very fun to catch up with everyone over holiday break! (And getting some of the MI things I’ve missed…like Biggby and snow!!) I’ve definitely been missing all my California friends though!

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Pineapple tree! 😉

And now, I’ll sign off… 🙂

Sorry it’s taken me so long to update this…I won’t be so late with the next blog post! Hope you enjoyed catching up with my latest adventures!

P.S. The pineapple tree has nothing to do with this blog post, it was just too cute to not add a picture in! 😉

Life Is Good. :)

 

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Halloween ’16 

img_20161031_223435It’s hard to believe it’s November already! Time seems to be flying by what with school, ballet classes, rehearsals, and occasionally a little bit of fun! 😉

For Halloween we had the night off of ballet so one of the girls from ballet had a small party. I went as a hippy (which several people confused me with Pocahontas…not sure where they got that…is is the dark hair maybe) and I went trick-or-treating for the first time ever. It was cold and dark…and I really don’t like candy that much but being with friends made it fun. 🙂  It was a great way to get to know everyone better too!

Rehearsals are going well for The Nutcracker. I’m really looking forward to getting to perform next month. We had Nutcracker photos done, all that gussying up for a quick 5 minute session! 😉 But it was fun, I’ve always loved playing dress-up, and who doesn’t love a pink tutu? 🙂

This past Friday, I got to go and see the Mikhailovsky Theatre’s production of La Corsaire. It was a great performance, Ivan Vasiliev was amazing! His j15126080_1127396314042581_1728670814_oumps and turns were just….wow! The ballerinas were also very good, with long, long legs as long as my entire body… 😉  We had very good seats too, only 6 rows from the front. 😀

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Turns out some other people were taking the nigh
t off of ballet including Mr. Wilcox. 🙂 During the intermissions (there were 2!) we hung out in the lobby and took pictures in the mirrored walls. 🙂

I’ve also been staying busy with audition stuff for trainee programs; filling out applications and filming combinations and variations. The first application is due by Dec. 1st! I’ve already filmed half of what I need and will have the rest finished by the end of the week. Prayers are appreciated as I go through this new and exciting (and slightly scary!) process.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I for one am looking forward to the turkey and all the other goodies that come with that! 😉 I am such a foodie…but you all know that already!

Plus another reason I love Thanksgiving is that we are that much closer to Christmas! And this girl is so ready, Christmas music, decorations and Hallmark movies have got me in the mood for the most wonderful time of year! 🙂 Ray, Ann and I all enjoy watching the Hallmark movies in the evening, it’s a great way to unwind.

Well, sending love and hugs to everyone!  ❤ Hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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