Happy New Year and a Whole30 Challenge!

Hello lovelies,

I took some time away from writing the last few weeks to focus on my family, friends, and the holidays. The end of the year is always so hectic, as is the beginning of the next one. I am preparing to hit the ground running this January with classes, auditions, adventures, a new job, and new experiences, and there is not a lot of time for me to relax it seems!

Anyway, I had a lovely Christmas, and for my family this was the first Christmas that actually felt like a true Christmas in a long time. It was just my family, my siblings’ significant others, and my grandma, and it was perfect. We ate delicious food (some of which I prepared), including home made ginger bread I made with my dad. I received some very generous presents, some of which I am going to review on here hopefully sometime this month. 🙂

I loved my makeup on Christmas Day! My aunt’s boyfriend even complimented me on it.

I spent New Years Eve running around Manhattan and NYC with some friends who live there. I had a great time, and it was my first time spending New Year’s Eve in NYC since 2005 when my family went in to see the ball drop! I met some friends (old and new) at an Indian restaurant, and then we took a cab over to Industry City in Brooklyn for a NYE party!

I actually had to teach fitness this morning. I wasn’t drinking much last night because I knew I was going to be up late and had to be functional for work, but I still had a great time, made it to work on time, and did my job well! I also was kissed at midnight for the first time in a few years, and it meant a lot to me. So if last night/early this morning is any indication with how the rest of 2019 is going to go, count me in for ALL OF IT.

Top 9 Instagram posts from 2018 @julias_leaps_of_faith

My last/newest endeavor is today I began the Whole30 challenge. It is basically a dietary plan that cuts out all anti-inflammatory foods as a “reset” to your body, taste buds, cravings, etc. No dairy, wheat/grains, corn, seeds, legumes, processed sugar, artificial sugars, and alcohol. Basically what foods are “approved” are lean meats, veggies, fruits, tree nuts, and potatoes. I am not following this diet verbatim because I am very active, and I do need some grain carbohydrates throughout the day just to keep my energy levels up. However, I will be doing a check in with this after the month is over to see how I feel, and see how I did!

I am so thrilled 2018 is FINALLY behind me. There were a lot of amazing memories in 2018 that overshadowed a lot of darkness, so I am grateful for all of the change and growth 2018 brought me. Now, however, I am prepared for a bountiful 2019 where I hope to see some pay off with all of the seeds I’ve planted and watered in 2018. 2019 Julia is determined, better trained, more confident, and more self-aware, and I look forward to what’s to come.

xoxo

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Final Performances of 2018

As 2018 winds down, the curtain just closed on my last performance of 2018. I finished out the year with my one company’s annual Nutcracker Tea – an abbreviated version of Act II of the full-length Nutcracker. Guests are invited to eat sweets and pastries as they drink tea and coffee and watch the main company and the student company perform. It was so much fun, and I enjoy performing the Nutcracker for all of it’s magic and for the beautiful music.

This tea is most suitable for young kids, as we also have “fairy makeovers” available to them before the show, and they have the option to sit up front and close at the children’s seating right in front of the black box stage. Their eyes are usually so excited and curious as they watch everyone perform. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you’re inspiring young kids, and I imagine this is similar to what people working at Disney feel like. I would still love to work for the Disney company one day. 

Other than Nutcracker, I performed in the gala for another company as their season opener on December 1. It was more of a wine and dine event for donors and patrons, but we performed a short, groovy dance for the attendees which was located at a really cute NYC dinner theater on West 72nd street. Lady Gaga apparently performed at this same theater before she became super famous, so it was kind of cool to think about that while having my own experience at the venue.

I have a few performances lined up for the new year already, as well as some auditions!! I’ll be performing a solo I’m choreographing at a showcase in March (which will be my first solo EVER!!), and I think we are going to be rehearsing for a full-length Cinderella ballet for May/June. The second week of January, I also have auditions for Disney World Orlando, and Royal Caribbean. They are open calls, so I’m expecting to be waiting a while as there are usually 400-600 people who show up for open calls. I will be re-auditioning for the Rockettes’ Summer Program in January or February as well, and hopefully more opportunities will be available soon. I can’t wait!

Related: Rockettes Mini Intensive – I Was Invited!

Voices of Dance Festival  The Tank Theater NYC
September 2018

2018 was filled with many successes, adventures, leaps of faith, and new experiences. Although checkered by heart break and some failure, I’d say for what it was, I made 2018 the best I possibly could given my circumstances. I am looking forward to burying 2018 in the past, and moving forward into 2019 happier, healthier, stronger, and way more excited for the future.

xoxo

New Natalie Dancewear Dance Socks

Hello loves!

On Wednesday, I was on my way to rehearsal when my phone lit up with an Instagram notification! A few weeks ago, I entered a contest on Instagram with DiscountDance.com – the online retailer I purchase all of my dancewear and needs from. They were having a contest, and to enter you had to comment below their photo your favorite blog post from the Discount Dance blog, and why for a chance to win THREE pairs of the new Natalie Dancewear Dance socks!

Well, as I am walking down 8th street in the East Village NYC, my phone lit up with a “liked comment” notification, telling me Discount Dance liked my contest entry comment. At this point, I totally forgot I entered the contest two weeks prior, and thought it was nice of them to acknowledge my comment (I wrote a lot, and really liked the article from their blog). Five minutes later, I received another notification from Instagram from a tagged comment from Discount Dance, saying I was one of the lucky winners!!

Coincidentally, this summer I discovered Natalie Dancewear made turn socks, which I put on my birthday wishlist! I didn’t necessarily think those socks were going to be great because they had padding on the ball of the foot of the sock, but I thought they  would be interesting to try. I never ended up buying them or getting them as a gift, so when I saw Natalie made a new design for their dance socks without padding, I new I had to enter the contest! If I didn’t win, I told myself I’d buy a pair just to try whenever DiscountDance.com had a free shipping deal.

Related: See Birthday Wishlist – It’s My Jordan Year

Now, I have three pairs of these socks coming my way for free! I was so shocked I won, and I cannot wait to try them out! They remind me a lot of the Apolla Shocks socks, which are the biggest name in dance socks on the market right now, with each pair retailing about $30. I don’t own Apollas, but I know a lot of dancers and dance educators who do who love them.

The Natalie socks retail for about $11.00 a pair (but right now they are on sale on their website for $5.91), so I will definitely be writing a follow-up post about their wear, durability, and traction once I have a few weeks to test them out! Here is a link in case you want to check them out:

Natalie Dance Socks

This was one of the highlights of my week, so I just had to share it. I hope you all enjoy this snow day we’re having if you live on the Northern East coast, and if not, have a fabulous Friday anyway!

**This post is not in any way sponsored by DiscountDance.com. I entered the contest and was choosen by the decision of Discount Dance**

Xoxo

October Blessings – Reflection

Hi loves!

Remember a while back I mentioned October was going to be a really exciting month?! WELL – exciting doesn’t even scratch the surface. It was a whirlwind to say the least, and here is a rundown of all the amazing things I did and saw this past month!

1. Long2 Dance Company Rehearsals

I began rehearsing with Vanessa Long’s trainee company, and it has been so much fun! I enjoy Vanessa and our other director Zoe, and I feel like we have a strong group of women in our ensemble. Wednesday’s are CRAZY for me teaching fitness in the morning, running to LOWER MANHATTAN for three hours of rehearsal, and then running back to teach dance at night afterwards, but really either way, I end my Wednesdays fulfilled and excited for what’s to come – even though my body usually feels like it is on the verge of collapse. Peep the company sweatshirt 😉

Related: My First NYC Dance Job Starts this Fall!! (2018)

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2. My first month as a Certified Xtend Barre Instructor/TRX Training

October was also my first full month as a certified and paid Xtend Barre instructor! I taught a month full of my own classes, taught my first 75 minute barre camp, AND I was trained in a new class – Xtend Suspend (TRX). I’ve been preparing my Xtend TRX workout, and hopefully by December will be teaching the TRX classes at the studio as well! I really love my job as a fitness instructor, and my body has never been stronger.

Related: I am Officially an Xtend Barre Instructor!

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3. Dorrance Dance Event

Over the summer while I was attending ADF, I met a choreographer I LOVE – Michelle Dorrance! I hung out with her in her dressing room after a show she performed in, and she invited me to an INVITE-ONLY event being held in NYC sometime in October. It was so hush-hush, that she couldn’t tell me what was going to happen, and only told me I had to email her assistant and tell her Michelle invited me to be on the list to get in. This was back in July when I met her, and I went to that event on October 30. It turns out it was a private viewing of a piece they debuted in 2017 as a rehearsal for their season Gala happening the next day (Oct. 31)! It was incredible, and was held in the rotunda at the Guggenheim on the upper east side. I was surrounded by lots of dancers, artists, and dance patrons, so to be invited to something like this was truly a brilliant experience.

Related: I’m Back and Ready to MOVE!

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4. Halloween Activities

I met some pretty awesome people this month at different parties and events themed around Halloween. It is my favorite holiday, and my favorite season to be spooky, so I had a lot of fun dressing up and creating characters for myself. I also had a lot of fun being able to party with my good friends and let loose a little after so much hustling and working! Since I already posted a picture of my fortune teller makeup, I’ll show you some galaxy makeup I attempted to do for a party I went to with my best friend.

PS: That septum piercing in the photo below is fake 😉

Related: Evil (Mis)Fortune Teller Halloween Makeup!

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5. MY NEW PIERCINGS

Okay so number five is one of the BEST parts of October! I had two new piercings installed, and I am OBSSESSED WITH THEM! I love them so much to the point where I am actually going to make a whole post about them! 🙂 The post should be up sometime this week! I won’t tell you what I had done (it’s a surprise), but I will tell you I did a LOT of research before I had it done. And I feel like if I make a post or two about my experience, it might help someone else who is contemplating going for it too! Pictures are to come with the post, so stay tuned 🙂

This October had to be the best and busiest I’ve ever experienced. Between running to and from NYC, to modifying my body, to furthering my education and career; this month has been productive and exciting. I am so thrilled to finish out 2018 strong. And I’m SO ready for a new beginning with 2019.

Thanks for reading, xoxo

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November Fall Photos

Hi beauties!

Yesterday the foliage in NJ hit it’s peak! My best friend and I made sure we took advantage of the fall aesthetics before winter creeps upon us with a fun photoshoot. By next weekend, all of the beautiful golden and red leaves will have fallen off the trees and I will have to stare at barren forestry for the next 6 months. UGH. As the leaves die they are beautiful, but once they have fallen and are actually dead, everything turns gray for many months and it is so dreadful. And this daylight savings nonsense has me feeling some type of way with it being 5:30pm and PITCH DARK outside. Either way – I really like the vibe from all of these photos!

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My best friend and I go out multiple times a year and take fun photos of each other! It’s something we’ve always done and always have fun doing. I just wanted to share some of the images with you. I feel very introspective/introverted lately in the sense of not sharing my feelings with people as I figure out my own way to process what I need to. These images reflect those sentiments, and I decided to work a lot with my hands to abstract how I’ve been feeling.

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Confused, random, sleepy, happy, feminine, and grungy are all words I would use to describe my current emotional state and these photographs. Many of my most favorite images from these were taken when I wasn’t trying to make anything particularly beautiful, and it’s really amazing to see what my best friend decided to capture – purposefully and accidentally – and see what she thought was beautiful about these moments.

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We traveled to a nearby farm near rolling mountains and fields of dead corn stalks as one of our backdrops. There is something about setting sunlight which makes everything seem angelic and feel okay.

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I am so fortunate to have such an amazing best friend. Her name is Kelsie, and if you get a chance definitely check out her photography Instagram. It is at the handle @kdeckerpics. She is a phenomenal lady and artist!

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I hope you like these images because they bring me some joy! They remind me of all of the onlookers who gave us funny looks or car honks from where we were taking photos, and all of the funny moments trying to create a cool image.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday babes. Thanks for reading.

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