I’m Back and Ready to MOVE!

Hi everyone!

WOW, the American Dance Festival was a WHIRLWIND! I cannot fully express in words how busy I was, and how saturated I am right now with everything I was exposed to. ADF was one of the very best decisions I ever made, and I can’t believe all of the connections I made, experiences I had, and dances I danced.

There were too many great moments to pick a favorite! But let me just say the community ADF creates cannot be found anywhere else. Everyone is free to be 100% themselves, everyone is encouraging, and everyone is there to connect with each other through dance. Durham, North Carolina is the perfect city for the festival to be located in too. This is because Durham is filled with so many artists, dancers, and musicians, and everyone is so open to collaborating to make something beautiful.

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Photography by: Tim Lytvinenko

Some of my favorite performances I watched included the ADF Alumni concert, Rosie Herrara Dance Theater, Kyle Abraham A.I.M., and Michelle Dorrance’s tap solo in the Wondrous Women Concert. In addition to dancing full time, I was working in the Performances office of the festival assisting the staff with picking up and taking care of visiting dance company needs! I met so many amazing performers and choreographers, and even was invited to some exclusive invite-only events by some of the choreographers (I can’t share information on these things now, but in the fall when they happen I will be able to post about them! So exciting!).

While I was there, I also collaborated with a Raleigh-based artist named Tim Lytvinenko. He needed a model for a project series he is working on (his work is in the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh BY THE WAY), and I needed dance photos. So we exchanged photo shoots which was super fun! He is going to turn one of the photos he made of me into a piece of art which can hopefully be in his museum installation one day. Here is one of his favorites.

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Photography by: Tim Lytvinenko

Side note: This photo reminds me a lot of the movie DVD cover ofย Across the Universe. Do you all know that movie? It is a movie musical telling a story through the songs of the Beatles. It’s amazing, and if you haven’t seen it, after you’re done reading please go watch it.

Anyway, I was able to perform in student choreography concerts, visit the Nasher Museum of Art, watch dance films, take masterclasses, and push my body to new limits. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been fortunate because this week the company I dance for is performing in a summer arts festival in New York, and we have been rehearsing and creating all week ๐Ÿ™‚ It is nice to keep moving and not be stuck home sedentary after 6 weeks of nonstop movement at ADF. I have some auditions and fun adventures in NYC coming up next week and in August too! There is no time rest it seems, but I don’t mind pushing my body this much if it means I can dance!

There is so much going on, and all of it is amazing! I can’t wait to share more with you!

Thank you for reading – it’s so nice to be back!

Xoxo

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Marshalls Haul & Try-On

Hello internet loves!

Yesterday was Saturday, and I officially deemed yesterday, “Treat Yourself Saturday”! I’ve been going through a rough time, and I decided to go to Marshalls and try to find some new sneakers, and new clothes for my summer at the American Dance Festival! Here are some of the awesome clothes/shoes I found while I shopped! ๐Ÿ™‚
SKECHERS KNIT AIR-COOLED MEMORY FOAM SNEAKERS

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These sneakers are ADORABLE. I love that they don’t have laces, yet they are snug and supportive of my ankle and foot. They are light weight, and would be great for treadmill running, exercise, and everyday running to and from my different jobs/rehearsals.
DANSKIN LEGGINGS

OMGosh! I’ve been DYING for a pair of Danskins ever since Jenna Dewan Tatum became a spokesperson for them (lame I know, BUT I love her, soo…). As a teenager, I bought Danskin shorts and yoga pants from Wal-Mart, but the Danskin line in Wal-Mart is not the same as the leggings you get from the online store, and these are the ones from the online store! They are high-waisted and long in length which fit my legs so nicely! The compression and shaping are great, and they are not see-through at all. I LOVE them! They also make the booty look good, so that is not a bad feature either ๐Ÿ™‚
CROCHET 90-DEGREE BY REFLEX ATHLETIC CAPRI

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Please ignore the stains on the mirror, they are paint and not makeup or anything. Just paint spots that won’t come off!

These are so cool, I had to buy them! Not only do they fit well, and are not see-through, they have this super cool design on them that is super unique. I’ve never seen athletic leggings like this before, and I had to have them. They were super affordable, too which makes it even better!
ACTIVE USA CROCHET BLUE OFF-THE-SHOULDER TOP

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I really need to update my actual wardrobe. As you can see, I buy a lot of athletic clothes, and a lot of my “normal” clothes I also use for class and rehearsal. I need more blouses for going out and looking like I’m not coming from the gym, so my best friend picked out this top for me. It is such a beautiful shade of blue, and the off-the-shoulder silhouette is very summery and flattering.

I’m so excited to wear all of these beautiful clothes and shoes! ๐Ÿ™‚ Marshalls is great for finding great style deals, and for buying cute and lasting athletic clothing that doesn’t break the bank. Marshalls also always has great deals on Skechers if you want comfortable athletic shoes at an affordable price tag!

Talk to you guys soon, xoxo

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American Dance Festival Dance Professionals Workshop Sampler

Hi everyone!

Apologies for being M.I.A., I spent 10 days in North Carolina for the American Dance Festival’s (ADF) Dance Professionals Workshop (DPW) Sampler! Back in November, I posted about the American Dance Festival and my application to the program, so you can click on this link and read more about the festival to see what it is all about! (Planning Post-Graduation: American Dance Festival!). ADFย is usually held at Duke University, and offers a six week professional training program for dancers ages 18+, and a three week pre-professional training program for dancers ages 13-17. This year, the festival this year is celebrating it’s 40th year in Durham, NC, and the festival itself is over 80 years old!

Let me tell y’all, this experience was life-changing!! The festival exposed me to so many amazing people and dance artists, and I was surrounded by like-minded, focused individuals who all had something special and positive to add to the energy and the art being created in the room. Being a DPW Sampler participant, I was able to drop-in to any classes I wanted! Since this was the first DPW of the summer, it was the second week of classes for the six week school students. For this reason, we were lucky we were able to drop into classes and be in somewhat the same boat as the six week school students in regard to learning new movement material and phrase progressions.

Our sampler involved seven participants (including myself) , plus the workshop leader Nia Love, and her daughter who is also a professional dancer. After a full-day of classes and dancing, our sampler cohort would get together and explore the Duke University Gardens, have lunch together, or have conversations discussing current events and issues followed by structured improvisations. One of the benefits of having a sampler cohort is that it allows you to make friends with students like you who are only there for one week. It helps to have friends to eat meals with, go see the performances with, and go exploring with!

Every night there was a new performance to see, and some performances I saw included Cherdonna Shinatra, Beth Gill, and Pilobolus! The show tickets are complimentary for ADF students (which is amazing), and all of the shows I saw were fantastic in their own way. I think my favorite performance was Pilobolus! Y’all definitely need to go see them if you’re new to the modern dance scene and want a good introduction into concert dance.

I cannot forget to mention Durham is an ADORABLE city!! It has a young vibe, and street artwork is everywhere. As you probably saw on my Instagram, I was enjoying all of the aesthetics the city of Durham offered. These murals are just some of the gorgeous murals I saw during my stay. Local businesses in Durham wave the ADF flag and have ADF posters and postcards hanging in their shop windows. It is amazing that this city supports the arts (and dance!) as much as they do. You don’t really find this kind of culture in many places.

During my stay, I took classes such as Gaga, West African, Afro-contemporary modern technique, improvisation, ballet, yoga, contemporary, modern technique, and Feldenkrais. I met dancers from all over the country and all over the world, and shared thoughtful moments and memories with everyone I met. I sweat my ass off, and walked about 23,000 steps each day (according to my FitBit). The memories and art shared and created at ADF will resonate with me for the rest of my life, and I plan on attending the six week school next summer! โค

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If you are looking for an affordable summer training program and are serious about improving yourself and pushing your limits, go check out the ADF website for more information. http://www.americandancefestival.org/. The DPW Sampler was an amazing and cost-effective way to train over the summer and gain exposure to new teachers and techniques to help me grow as an artist and a dancer. The six week school is also a great price for the amount of training and time you spend in the studio, in addition to all of the amazing shows and opportunities to perform that are offered to you through the festival.

It is bittersweet my dancing adventure in NC is over, but it has me so motivated to improve myself and focus on the dance projects and companies I am involved with now! More news is to come, and I can’t wait to show y’all what I have been working on! โค

xoxo until next time

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Planning Post-Graduation: American Dance Festival!

Hello beautifuls!

Tonight’s post is going to be a bit different than normal. I want to talk about my post-graduation planning.

I will be earning my undergraduate degrees and walking in May with my two degrees (dance and psychology), so I need to start optimizing my summer to prepare me for a fall season of working and auditioning. I hope to find work for the summer at dance studios teaching summer dance classes, and I also hope to find a barre fitness studio to work at and become a certified barre fitness instructor (most barre studios will pay for your certification process if you’re working for their company).

Other than trying to find dance-related work, I have some exciting news!! I am going to be attending the American Dance Festival (ADF) in Durham, North Carolina this summer! It’s been a dream of mine to attend this festival for three years! For those of you who don’t know what ADF is, here’s a little excerpt from their website!

“Since 1934, ADF has remained committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields. Remaining true to the goals of its founding artists, ADFโ€™s programs are developed based on its mission: to encourage and support the creation and presentation of new modern dance work by both established and emerging choreographers, to preserve our modern dance heritage through continued presentation of classic works as well as through archival efforts, to build wider national and international audiences for modern dance, to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the art form and its cultural and historical significance…”ย 

(You can read the full mission statement here:American Dance Festival: Who We Are)

The American Dance Festival offers one week, three week, and six week programs for dancers, dance educators, and choreographers. The festival involves taking dance and somatic classes, participating in panel discussions, watching professional performances, and opportunities to work with modern dance companies to learn repertoire and audition!

Because I have plans to work this summer (to start saving money to pay off my student loans), I will be attending their Dance Professionals Workshop (DPW) which is a week-long program for dancers with five years of professional experience, or dancers who have completed an undergraduate program (ie: me). DPW allows participants to take any classes they want, in addition to DPW specific discussions and classes. DPW attendees earn a workshop completion certificate at the end of the week as well! Furthermore, I will have the opportunity to see professional dance companies perform at the Durham Performing Arts Center, and will be living for a week on campus!

I literally am so excited for this because I haven’t been able to afford a summer dance program in almost seven years! I’ve also been wanting to attend ADF since I was a college freshman, and I finally believe I have the physical capabilities and the financial means to send myself there and complete their summer dance program. Most importantly, this festival will be another stepping stone on the journey to living my dreams! Since this is the first summer I don’t have to take a summer academic course, and since I will not be returning to school in the fall, it’s a great opportunity for me to train over the summer and keep myself in dancing shape, network with professionals, and audition for companies!

The applications are available for early registration later this month, so once I submit my application, they will send me a whole packet of registration information. Moreover, early in 2017 (March) when my college dance department attends the American Dance Associations Northeast Conference, there will be an opportunity for me to audition for a scholarship to ADF, and if I get a scholarship, maybe I will be able to attend the festival for a little longer (who knows).

Either way, I’m going to be attending for at least a week, and I am looking forward to my experience coming up this summer! I love North Carolina, and I’m excited to see Durham! Summer 2017 is looking better and better and it’s only November!!

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Are you already planning your summer? Are you dancing over the summer or attending some sort of festival? Let me know!

Until next time loves – always believe in the beauty of your dreams!

Xoxo

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