I am in transition. Hope you enjoy the ride through my thoughts, hopes, dreams, stories, adventures, misadventures, and the never ending pursuit of the things we call happy.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

When the holidays are over

Chapter 3: taking down the tree

Every single turn around the sun at this time I find myself slightly melancholy. Let me just say however that's the very first time I've every used that in writing and I just can't help but think how odd a word that is... Melancholy. I think it's as odd as whistle or svelte. 

Anyhow, I get this sense of sadness and it doesn't seem obvious right at first til I realize like clock work, we are taking down the tree tomorrow and that means that the season of carols and obnoxious weight gain cause "holidays" has come to a close and the realization sets in that no, it's not happy happy jolly per say... It's just fat. 

People will ask "what did ya get for Christmas?" And now I just answer "fat, I got fat for Christmas". Awkward silence usually ensues. 

Sigh. 

Ever get amused like I do with stores?Like did they all conspire together and say "whelp, now that it's January everyone will have resolutions to lose weight so we should shove all the work out propaganda in their face?". It's right next to the Valentine's Day hearts which are next to the Cadbury eggs I recently saw out. Calm it down Easter Bunny! You will get your turn right after my guilt ridden month of wearing work out clothes whilst eating my Valentine's Day candy hearts, that I then feel guilty about but least I look like I tried with my new sneakers and head band. 

Anyhow, no point to this other than I hope I'm not alone in feeling the melancholy. Sure Valentine's Day is great... And the Easter bunny all a fluffy... But ya just never know who will be in your life around the Christmas tree one year to the next. 

Makes ya think... Huh. 

Guess between each holiday we should find a way to keep that spirit of love going... Even while wearing the faux work out pants because let's face it... Nine times out of ten you are wearing them around the house binge watching your favorite Netflix show while snacking on hummus enjoying a glass of wine. 

I know I just did tonight. 😉

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Youth filled

Chapter two: going backwards 

Remember when we were young and all we wanted to do was grow up? Remember that? What the hell were we thinking? 

The saying "the good ole days" is always behind us yet we are seemingly always surging forward towards... something. Anything at times. 

For my 30th birthday last year my husband surprised me on a trip to Rome. We ate. Drank a lot of wine. Walked a crap ton. Drank more wine. Ate buffalo mozzarella in between the drinking of the wine and the walking. Gelato. And I captured as much as humanly possible but we didn't even make a dent. It wasn't built in a day I hear. 

It was spectacular. 

On one excursion of the seeing the things, between one particular gelato break, we came across a man making huge bubbles. All the non tourist folk just bustled by and even some tourist didn't notice as it wasn't far from all the other actual photo ops Trip Advisors recommends. However, he just continued to make these glorious bubbles that danced high into the street and above statues dating mostly BC. He had gained a rather captive audience in one little girl. I love moments like this. Where you see someone just LIVING. Truly Living. It couldn't have been more perfect. Her shirt read "LOVE" and that she was doing... she was loving life without regard to who was watching or not but simply enjoying the moment she was given. 

When was the last time you truly LIVED?


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

No one ever tells ya these things...

Chapter one: now what

Time is a funny thing. Not the funny "haha" funny but the "shake the head" while ya smile funny. It also plays Jedi like mind tricks when it comes to speed. For instance, I can be on the elyptical watching an entire episode and somehow only mere minutes go by. Granted, I only watched mere minutes of the show but it surely felt like a whole episode, and by full episode I mean 9 hours long. I can also, however, hit my snooze button for what feels like a few seconds and then wake up twenty minutes later debating eye liner or brushing my teeth... both rather important I hear. 

Take the past 30 years of my life. I was born. Did stuff. And yet somehow woke up this morning (after several snoozes mind you) wondering what I want to do with my life. Isn't that funny. The "funny" that it's almost depressing cause it's true but you'd rather laugh than cry today funny because you chose the eye liner and raccoon eyes isn't your best of looks.  

As it stands I am a ballet dancer. Therefore I am poor. I didn't choose it. And no I'm not the type to say it "chose me" that appears on cutesy wooden Pinterest DIY plaques that hang on your wall. No, my mother started me in dance classes a little before the age of 3. To say the least I think she was attempting to feminize me. To this day that plan of action hasn't helped much in that department, much to her dismay. But it did help me find a love for expressing my awkward lil self that very much suited me. 

I didn't have a lot of school friends. Having a singular dimple rest high on only one cheek dubbing me "crater face" didn't serve me well for the popular kids table but more so the foreign exchange students lunch table where to this day I remember Han, a Chinese exchange student from Mrs. Ogden's second grade class, was my best friend. Just like ballet, we didn't have a lot to say. 

30. It's not old but it isn't, to society's standard, young either. It's an in between. Pretty much my life as of current. 

I've been a dancer for now 27 years. 13 professionally. 16 with ballet boarding school added in. 13 years teaching. 4 years choreographing. 1 1/2 years freelancing full time. 

But now what. 

According to the IRS my current status would be unemployed. Yikes. So much for my Presidential Award of Academic Achievement.  

Funny how you work basically your entire life (minus three years of it) towards a goal, then you reach it and then the road bends. So you bend. Then it loops. So you loop. And when it fails, as some companies do, or an injury happens, or you aren't recontracted, you decide that won't be your fate... Failure... but in between projects, during rehab, auditioning over and over again, that is the feeling, failure. You work towards a goal, accomplish the goal, then the merri go round loops around again. 

I'd like to say that when facing these moments I was a warrior in my own story. That I faced the bump in the road head on. But it wasn't always that way. Instead of being a warrior, I was a worrier. I eventually got over myself, and got back on the merri go round but a little more bruised. They don't tell you this but, when you are getting your ticket for the ride, the second you doubt and worry you get thrown off... Hence the bruising. Ya think you'd learn. 

One thing I have in fact learned is that the times I worried I can't ever get back. They were pretty useless and served no one. The movement I decided to push on are the times that crap got done (ya that feminizing still hasn't kicked in yet mama). 

So now in the in between of "now what" and all the "are we there yet's" I'm going to take this time and not worry. Not obsess. Not get my panties all in a wad... Cause that's never a fun time. 

If anything, I know time will pass no matter how quick or slow the circumstances and what will come (or not) will be a ride all on its own. 

Now... Off to brush my teeth. 

Til next time,
The Dancer Project






Friday, October 4, 2013

My meeting and love affair with 'Giselle'.

You're given opportunities in life that do one of two things, cause a substantial amount of growth by the "rising up to the occasion" or are to be treated as a lesson for future growth. Either way ya grow. These very opportunities, when you are handed them, are life changing in either outcome. They seem bigger than you, outside of your reach. My first time of growth, by no surprise to anyone who knows me, involves a dog. I was 11, and her name was Emma. I was entrusted with her life from her first breath and over the course of 13 years grew as she grew through the trial and errors of that said growth to her last. The second account I can recall of said growth was at 13 when I was entrusted with my first "big role"... Marie (or Clara) in 'The Nutcracker'. It was that performance I knew this was what I wanted to do when I grew up. Fast forward several years, several companies, several lessons learned, cities lived, injuries healed, love found, I have found my home and quite possibly most growth at Dance Theatre of Tennessee. I feel as though every performance series has caused a growth in my artist, over the course of our now fourth season. The most recent has been in 'Giselle' which is one of the most iconic roles a ballerina can ever be given the chance to perform (no pressure). It's been on my ballet bucket list since the first time I saw it, but never really thought I'd get the chance to do. The whole process has been with trials and errors over the course of rehearsals. With a ballet that is your artistic director's favorites and who has performed it several times in his own career, knowing it inside and out, one can only imagine the details for every movement that are demanded on every part (again no pressure). He had encouraged me to watch other 'Giselle's on my downtime, sent me a documentary to watch, had Kathy Mcbeth from Atlanta come to give some coaching and words of wisdom, and arranged a few Skype rehearsal sessions with his mentor and prima ballerina Lisa Macuja Elizalde, artistic director of his own stomping grounds of Ballet Manila in the Philippines. In the process, I was even asked if I'd be willing to dye my hair dark. Being a natural dirty blonde, but pretty open, I agreed. I think it was to help me not see "Jen" in the mirror but to look different... Younger maybe... To help me get out of my head a bit. It's a ballet that I have seen every great ballerina, all my ballet icons, dance on VHS' (remember those). I (like any girl) have more insecurities than I would ever outwardly admit, that have been planted from early teachers or artistic directors whoever doubted me to get to where I am now ... More self doubt than my sassy self would really show anyone... And like any artist, a fear of failing at these life opportunities, even in all the growth, because iconic ballets like 'Giselle' don't come around every day, nor the promise to even check off your ballet bucket list. From the first step on stage to the last I've been guided, pushed to think differently, "try it this way", "almost", "it's getting there", to after our review came out and my director told me he was proud of me... I know that there has been growth, but also a ton of lessons that will be carried from this series. It's been more than I have ever hoped for. To say the growth my artistic director envisioned for my artist and entrusting me with his favorite ballet, an all the other ballerinas that have ever danced it before me, I can only but hope to know this kind of growth again in my dancing career. To share the stage with a company of my friends who have also grown and been pushed, dance next to my friend and favorite partner from year one to now as my Albrect, and having my family and friends come to see this special performance, I couldn't feel more like the luckiest girl... All because of my artistic director believing in my growth. It's been magical. 









Wednesday, January 2, 2013

“What we find changes who we become.” ― Peter Morville



re·search

  [ri-surchree-surch] 
Noun
1.diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts,theories, applications, etc.: recent research in medicine.

I recently heard a story of a woman who has cancer in her jaw bone from none other than her toothpaste!!! How horrible is that?!? We all were taught, "Brush your teeth in the morning and at night" in elementary school "health class"... we see these commercials where these unrealistic expectations for sparkling white teeth that chime (my teeth have yet to "ding" no matter how diligently I brush or how lazily I do ps dot com)... and can I just say I have neither smiled whilst brushing my teeth... once I tried it and gagged... that's talent to try and look sexy aaaaand smile while brushing your teeth... not possible.

So it got me thinking... what other products that I use that I seemingly thought were good, heck SAFE even to use and my friend told me of an incredible site called 'Environmental Working Group' (http://www.ewg.org/) where you can actually type in your beauty products that you use from toothpaste to mascara to hair products to see where it rates your products... here's the link to that section and what it has to say about it (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/)

"The American government doesn’t require health studies or pre-market testing of the chemicals in personal care products, even though just about everyone is exposed to them. Through Skin Deep, we put the power of information in consumers’ hands. When you know what’s in the products you bring into your home and how those chemicals may affect your health and the environment, you can make informed purchasing decisions — and help transform the marketplace. At the same time, we advocate responsible corporate and governmental policies to protect the most vulnerable among us."
I went one by one of all my make up, that is usually left over stuff from the Nutcracker season, and slightly cried as some of my favorite products rated in the 4-7 ranges with high levels of cancer causing ingredients, high levels of developmental and reproductive toxicity, high causes of allergies and immunotoxicity, with almost all having tested on animals. With a sinking heart I had two products at the end (a lipstick and eye liner) that were in the 1-2 range. Woop Woop... ?. HA! And naturally neither company admitted to animal testing in which case any intelligent person could concur that they indeed tested in animals.

Another new year new me was to only purchase products that didn't test on animals. No beauty product is worth it to me to use to know that it was first tested on an innocent little beautiful creature that's only fault in the world it had to briefly live in was simply being born... there's already too many ugly things in the world that beauty products don't need to add to the ugly... isn't it so ironic that the products made to make humans pretty were made in an ugly inhumane manner. Irony at it's best.

But now with the knowledge under my belt that I also needed to look at health purposes it almost seemed impossible to find a product made without chemicals that can cause harm or future harm to me and also was cruelty free... and my stubbornness to want to buy all my make up needs from one place... was that so much to ask... and it almost was. After a tragic experience at Sephora where half the time they wanted to paint my face with this product and that and not wanting to listen first to what I was looking for and feeling so overwhelmed I was going to either go Tasmanian Devil all up all over that store or walk out... I chose the legal way and proceeded to walk away from the yappy boy with blue hair and eyeliner.

There were several options that were all made well, but most that didn't seem cruelty free and I was beginning to feel a bit disheartened. Then I saw a Bare Mineral store... I saw the sales gal and with her happy, perky, lil self before she said anything with what I was sure a Disney Princess voice that was somehow condescending like the Sephora folk I said,"Look before you start your schpeel, are your products and company made with animal testing or are they cruelty free?". She triple checked and even called corporate and they confirmed that...
"Bare Minerals does not test any of its products on animals or work with manufacturers that do. They make natural makeup brushes from goat and pony hair, but the animals are not harmed in that process."
I then stopped scaring her, smiled, and said, "thanks I'd like all new make up". I left with a rather empty wallet,new foundation, blush, two eye shadows, an eye liner, a mascara, and two applicator brushes.

I am so happy with the start of my new venture. I highly recommend checking out where your products land and encourage you to make changes where they need to be made. I figure that if every woman took a stand to the make up industry that voiced how we don't want crap any more, that cancer is never worth it, then things could really begin to change. Don't become a statistic.

Cheers to lookin pretty and feelin good about it
and
Namaste Ya'll!

“What we find changes who we become.”  ― Peter Morville


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quick and EASY NOMNOMNOM!

ok... so... 

if anyone knows me, I mean really knows me, this whole ballerina thing from the outside is a definite facade, because on the very core of my being lives a rather larger (huge, grand, flat out bigger) version of myself that apparently the dance world hasn't approved of. 

I love food. 
LOOOOOVE food. 

I love new restaurants and local eats. Not a big fan of chains as I believe the whole country in becoming exactly that... a "chain". But that's another post for another time after some wine is consumed.

But one of my New Years resolution is to get back to one of my most favorite of "hobbies"... cooking. I used to cook all the time. But in the past few years "due to this" and "due to that" I just stopped. In some parts it was monetary, as when we lived in New York, Top Ramen was a delicacy and let me tell ya, when we would make buttered noodles, whoa, did we think we "made it". Ha! Then time was short between 4 full time jobs, dancing, teaching, doing private lessons, and working at a pet resort.... I am glad somewhere in there I showered a time or two. Then recently, it's been the fact of living in a 4 bedroom 1 and 1/2 baths house, married, with three dogs, a cat, 3 extra people (not always with the understanding of when one eats, the dish that they ate from, if placed in sink will stay there and not grow legs and crawl it's own little dish self to the dishwasher conveniently placed right next to the sink that it was placed in the first place and no this IS NOT a sore subject....) I can say the will power to cook in a dish infected sink hasn't been my cup of cous cous. 

But not to worry... a tide has turned, will powered recharged, and use of my obnoxious nature will be put to what I believe will be good effective use along with ideas of dishes on beds when left in sink for awhile are thought. I want to cook so all be darn I will cook. 

Last night I made a split pea soup with goat cheese, a roasted tomato with thyme, black truffle oil, puff pastry tart, and dusted off my ice cream maker I begged my husband for 3 years ago and haven't used to make pumpkin ice cream. 

whoa whoa whoa whoa and whoa was my fat girl inside me excited!

The soup was ridiculously easy. I am going to my family's house on the 3rd charged with helping them make easy choices to better their health, as my mother had heart attacks and recently in the spring had a heart attack and triple bypass surgery and just two days ago got out of the hospital after Christmas for chest pains and low blood levels... Her surgeon had told her he didn't care if she had to go vegan, that major life style changes needed to be made. Well, you tell a woman (I won't say her age for fear that the wrath of Paula would get me) in her social security days, from Mississippi, whom her favorite movie and iconic characters of 'Gone with the Wind' have shaped her to this day, that she can no longer eat meat... good luck with that and watch her right hook, it's a dousey. Some people are just stuck in their ways and not willing to change, but I can at least say I tried til my dying day to help her be able to down the road see me retire, have a house, have kids... 

so this soup...

all ya need is:

  1. 1 lb bag or frozen peas (we got organic)
  2.  4 tablespoons unsalted butter (again used organic) 
  3. 14 1/2 ounces stock (we used vegetable stock but you can use chicken just get reduced sodium so you can control the salt) 
  4. 1 small/medium onion chopped, and salt and pepper (we use sea salt and ground our pepper but you can use what ever ya got layin around).

throw it all in a pot (making sure peas are completely under the liquid, bring to a rolling boil for about 10 minutes, then put in a blender and blend. We took it back to stove and added salt and pepper to let it reheat. We also added goat cheese at the end and it added a little salty yummy goodness. 

That's it!

Next time we are going to roast garlic and add that and maybe even caramelize the onions just to add to the flavor but on some nights when I get home late this would be a cinch to make as is!

So here's to cooking, getting back to the basics in a big big big way, enjoying the process, and delicious results!!!! 

CHEERS!

Namaste y'all!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

“...the still point in a turning world.” ― T.S. Eliot

Since last post...


Obama got re-elected and for whomever you may have voted for (or not voted for) I think we all need to wish him luck and pray (always) that he has a good heart and sound mind in every decision he makes. I voted not for the lesser of two evils like many people did, as to tell you the truth that didn't sound too appealing... I mean really???... "Lesser of two evils"... I did however vote for the under dog. This nation is so full of dark horses never heard and I have certainly always been a fan of the under dog as I was once one of em. 

Thanksgiving came and went and plentiful amount of food was consumed with a performance the next day (my tutu was a threethree... HA!). We have been slowly changing our eating and are mainly vegetarian but I suppose an occasional pescatarian moment flashes (I.E. seafood), but I gotta tell ya... on Holidays as such, it is difficult and not quite accomplished. I suppose it's a work in progress, but I have completely cut out pork. What can I say, I love pigs. I could say that it's because Christians were derived from Judaism and the law was quite simple to not eat pork... or for the cholesterol effects... but really... I love pigs. Here's a "did ya know"...

-Pigs are very intelligent and learn quickly. They pick up tricks faster than dogs. Pigs rank #4 in animal intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. Piglets learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called.

I just can't bring myself to do it anymore. My roommate told me her parents when she was little tried to get her to eat pork by saying "it's not a pig... it's pork". That's exactly how I felt I had been eating. How awful right?!? 

Nutcracker came and all the nuts were cracked over a 6 city tour. Oi. Let me tell ya... there was glitter in places that should never be glitter! It's my husband's busiest time at his work too and they had their Christmas decorating so when he and I would see one another 1. We'd both look close to disco balls that if we had a baby it'd come out looking like a fairy from 'Ferngully' and 2. with how busy we both were I said once, "You look vaguely familiar... I wore white one day right?... and there was a cake... God ya... we are married aren't we?!?". 

Then came Christmas... I think... it went by so fast that currently our tree is still being lite cause I feel I barely enjoyed it, I cleaned the house for the past two days listening to Spotify's Christmas old and new song list (yes, that happened), and I plan on consuming large amounts of eggnog while it's still being sold (buffalo trace may or not be added). 

And soon will be a New Year. Thank the good Lord up above. I know it's not like a new year really makes "A new you" but here's a little secret... I totally jinxed 2012. Yup, it was me. 

Here's why. 

New Years 2011, I had never before (nor since) consumed so many colorful drinks before and needless to say while giving a rather heartfelt toast to my husband and roommates proclaiming my love for them all and ended it with a tear and "here's to a happy 2012", then proceeded to hug the toilet bowl the rest of the night... thank goodness for the coldness of toilet bowls... genius. 

Now if you missed it... the point of it all was this was the close of 2010 entering into 2011... I had said 2012. Yeup... jinxed. So even after a new year redo speech done...  about a week after that I got a concussion by falling on ice at a gas station and acting like a goat rammed right into the gas pump,  a man tried to help me after I had blacked out and said "here mam' lemme take you somewhere", in which case I shoved him away and replied, "ewwww creeper" I can only say it wasn't my most glamorous of moments and only in my defense... a gal hits her head you need to clarify "somewhere" pal. Then a landslide of mishaps, heartaches, pains and then 2012 came and it's been the most difficult of years (mother had a heart attack, Isla had to be put to sleep, we had to live again another year with roommates, my best friend moved away, big fights (one almost finishing a beautiful relationship), big mistakes, car finally breaking down, and several etc. as the list goes one (and that's just my family... the whole country has been heartbroken by attacks and sad stories of hate crimes) I'm glad (with a little help from coffee, wine, friends, family, and love) that I can still wanna keep on keepin on instead of where I could have napped through out the whole year to skip the heart aches. But ya live ya learn and hopefully grow. 

2013 already looks more hopeful, but all be darn I plan on skipping the speech making this year (just to be on the safe side).

My new years resolutions this year are things I don't know what I have waited for to accomplish and am looking forward to em. I'll post as I accomplish em. Til then... Happiest of NEW years to you and yours... here's a wish for me and my loves, but also for you and your's.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you 

can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the 

roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But 

presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not 

seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building 

quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting 

on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being 

made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it 

Himself.” 

― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity





Saturday, November 3, 2012

Secrets

se·cret   /ˈsēkrit/

Adjective: Not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others: "a secret plan".


Noun: Something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others: "a state secret".

I've never been a fan of secrets. The fact is the are always revealed in the final outcome so why of WHY would anyone try to keep one in the first place? Normally, as logic would suggest, secrets are usually in conjunction with something one should not be apart of in the first place that is trying to hide out the skeletons in the closet that you don't want people to see. It applies to everything... work, friendships, family, relationships... if you have to make a secret about it you probably would be ashamed of it if known by others so ya probably shouldn't do it.

I found out recently one of my most favorite of people in the entire world has been asked to retire from the company she has been with for 10+ years. Now, in a normal civilian job that wouldn't be TOO horrendous as the normal retiring age according to Social Security (yes I did chuckle as I went to check out online as that was the first option to find out) is between the ages of 62 and 70. My friend is in her early thirties. She is a ballet dancer as am I if you haven't read any of my previous blogs.

Something has happened to the ballet world. And well, to be honest has been happening for some time... about 7-10 years or so. Not just with dancers being forced into retirement 3-5 years earlier than they would like, but with Artistic directors literally disposing of the amazing great artist who once were the bouncy kids in the studio dancing around with scarves and doing free style dancing at the end of their pre-ballet/creative movement class because something inside of them moved as the music was playing. And although I know something will always move inside of a dancer even when, Heaven forbid, they are old and potentially wheel chair bound with the years dedicated and sweat equity put into the few and far between cherished moments you had as magic happened on stage and you knew not only did you change as an artist in that moment but also person... something will always arouse on the inside when the music goes on... but the tragedy is, at 33+ you are still capable, and quite honestly with enough life under your belt to TRULY create art.

Young dancers (as I recall being one many moons ago) don't have enough life to do and dance what these artist can that when they are pushed out and replaced with these younger artists some of the magic dies. And I am scared on the inside that sooner or later with the patterns that are happening in the dance world that eventually the young dancers will only have young (or younger) dancers to look up to and emulate and 1. never hit their artistic prime, but 2. it be too late cause all the magic will have been completely depleted.

My friend was given 2 options. Tell everyone that she is retiring on her own accord with the ultimatum of severance and a farewell show (whatever that will entail), and a final solo bow in front of the audience that has grown to love her and the work she has given OR be fired when the ever terrifying "Letters of Intent" come out usually around February to give you your yay or nay for the next season contract renewal.

Secrets.

I am only but lucky to have had this amazing artist, among others that have since been pushed too early from the stage as well because of unfortunately the same Artistic Director, to have been my example of what an artist truly is. I was one of the awestruck young dancers that sat in every rehearsal I could to watch and be moved to tears as they created amazing pieces of magic even in the studio.

I'm only 27. I know that there are more years and tears behind me than there are in front of me but I hope they are never cut too early.

The company I am with now does many outreaches that, yes on occasion are difficult as they change your schedule upside down and it's difficult to plan your other work schedules around, but when has anything in life that is worth while ever been without difficulties??? And yesterday didn't give me much hope for the future of dance as a list was put up and two of the young dancers saw they had to dance the Sugar Plum pas for one of the outreaches at a venue that is about 40 min away. Sarcastic comments and annoyance filled the room. Then my Artistic Director said there was one in house showing going to be made for The Make a Wish Foundation. A little girl fought brain cancer for 9 years, was in remission for a few, but the cancer came back and now it's terminal... and her wish was to always be The Sugar Plum Fairy. I almost burst into tears as only seconds before two bratty young dancers were complaining they had to dance the very thing this girl wished for and would probably trade spots with either of them if only to get the chance to dance they very thing they complained about. Isn't the purpose for what we do everyday, slaving, sweating, painfully trying to accomplish the perfection we set in our head to perform? Irony at it's saddest.

Here's to all the amazing artists that I can not only say changed my outlook of being an artist and having to take pride, dedication, work ethic, patience, strength, dignity, hope, responsibility and ownership for the chance given to do what it is we love, but also get the chance to call them friends.

And here's to all the future generations... study older artists... don't take ANYTHING for granted, WORK HARDER everyday than you did the day before, remember what Balanchine said "I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance.", know nothing will ever be just handed to you, COMPLAINING gets you nowhere and no friends that will respect you, ALWAYS know how lucky you are to get to do what it is you say you LOVE... if you don't love it don't do it as you don't deserve it than, and know you too will one day be "older".


























 




Thursday, October 11, 2012

Summer now Falling for Fall

I've lapsed in writing and I can only blame it on...

teaching summer programs, doing our summer series at Dance Theatre of Tennessee, pulling off a fundraiser I fronted called "12 for 2012" that was 9 days of crazy to only come up with a huge success so sometimes crazy is a good thing (thank God for my sake), got an overnight visit from my best friend from Cincinnati Ballet days, working, helping my best friend from 15 years old move far far away :( and side note apparently no amount of my whining was able to stop this move from occurring but whine I did, spending a week with my second family in Savannah,GA where we ate, drank, walked, and even saw Forrest Gump (I have a picture to prove it later), and met a couple (Max and Betty) celebrating 60 years of marriage... what a love story, followed by seeing the last of we 'Drake gals' (patented phrase... ok not really but it should be) become another last name and having the Big Day be a long weekend of family I have never met and realizing, after meeting said family members, I am now fully convinced I am NOT adopted for sure, got to play with a pig named Bacon, then spent a week with my family where I got to be a kid again and adventures of Sea World and other such things but that was certainly a highlight cause anything after Sea World just couldn't hold up... but really... Shamu is the bomb, starting my third season with Dance Theatre of Tennessee and teaching in the academy with private lessons almost every night, with a few smaller show series and one weekend of getting to pretend to be sexy as I got to dance Carmen in 'Carmen'..........to name a few... soooooooooo hence the delay in my writing...

We are heading into Nutcracker season, and I get a tiny chuckle when the youngins in the co (I'm the oldest gal and so everyone is a younin and that's why I'm called 'Mama Jen', God help em if that were really the case), but when they start grumbling about Nutcracker. I used to be a youngin. I also used to grumble about Nutcracker, but not now. Not when there are more years behind me than ahead of me and after a season a few years back where I wasn't dancing Nutcracker (injury) I was just a normal person. Didn't get to cringe when the Russian music would come on in Hallmark, or the Sugar Plum when played during commercials, or have to worry about swallowing clumps of "snow" (i.e. old paper that is swept up after every show to be reused... I'm a fan of recycling but when a battery falls with the "snow" and other foreign objects I'd be ok with new snow every once and awhile) you realize how much more being a part of the Holiday season is to not just the audience coming, as their holiday check list gets checked off by seeing it, but also how much it is a part of you. So as they will grumble, I'll sit with a smile as one day many moons from now they will have that moment that hits em too... and find the grumblings of their youngins to be all the more amusing.

The leaves are also changing. It's officially Fall. And cause Starbucks says so by bringing the Pumpkin Spice Latte seasonal drinks back. It's my absolute favorite time of year.

I'll be better at writing... pinkie promise. But for now, here are a few pix to show you the past couple months... Cheers!

"12 for 2012"

 







Summer series and getting to work with the amazing Darrell Grand Moultrie



Cincy BFF visit


BFF from age 15 moving pod... we are maturing nicely from 15.


New friend, Bacon


Seesters Wedding




Savannah,GA


With Forrest naturally


Sea World!!!!


Why do I look like the only happy one??? lol


When life hands you a sword at Sea World the opportunity to duel is endless


Max and Betty


Carmen











Cheers!


From the Summer Series


One of the solos I choreographed for "12 for 2012" It was called 'Flowers from Cambodia' and the piece is about human trafficking specifically in Cambodia.
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