Pegli, Italy – Una Ballerina, Focaccia, e un Caffè Latte Macchiato

It’s been so long since I posted on here, and usually October is the month of the year each year I am actively blogging about Halloween, fall activities, and happenings in my life. Usually I am preparing for Nutcracker and drowing in Dunkin pumpkin coffee, but this year is a bit different.

As the weather changes over to autumnal coolness, I am feeling myself yearning to be back in Italy. For the Joffrey Ballet intensive I attended, I stayed in a small beach district of Genova on the Mediterranean coast, called Pegli. I have been missing the beautiful, simple town; the delicious foccacia, pesto, and espresso, and the intense heat of the sun during the long dance days.

My two weeks with the Joffrey School were so magical and enlightening. Not only did I travel – BY MYSELF – to Pegli (which involved a 7 hour flight, THREE train transfers at stations with no escalators, and a 50 lb suitcase), but I trained hard in a beautiful dance studio on a mountain (that had no air conditioning), with people from all over the USA and Italy. I still can’t believe I was brave enough to do all of this on my own, and with my own money.

No one in this district spoke English, so it forced me to use the little Italian I do know, and learn how to speak. Joffrey also equipped us with four Italian language lessons while we were there. I was told I have great pronunciation, and a lot of Italian people believed I’d been speaking Italian for a lot longer than one week!

Here are some images from the district I lived in. I walked up and down the lungomare (path along the sea) after every meal, and admired the scenery, culture, people, and beaches.

I drank an ameretto sour at a beach bar with my roommate late one night, and tried to communicate with our waiter in Italian to figure out if the other waiter was his brother.

“È tuo fratello?”

“Si, mio gemello!”

I made friends with the hotel baristo and he gave me a bottle of the wine I drank every night for free as a parting gift.

I traveled to Milan and toured the Duomo, and the La Scala theater. We toured Genova, and toured the Princess of Genova’s palace, and the Genova Aquarium – the second largest aquarium in the world.

I ate the most bread and pasta I have in my life, and also drank the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life every morning and afternoon! I cosumed so much gelato I’m surprised I didn’t turn into it. My favorite flavor of gelato is yogurt gelato!

We even toured the world’s best, and freshest pesto company greenhouses, and made our own pesto with their family recipe! Genova pesto is known to be the best in the world.

I cannot wait to travel back to Italy to explore more of the country. With this experience under my belt, I am not afraid to travel alone anywhere. I am so thankful for this experience, and will remember it all for the rest of my life. Thank you to the Joffrey Ballet School for this amazing experience, and all of the amazing faculty.

xoxo

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Fairy Makeup and Hair

Hello everyone!

This weekend has been so crazy because I have been preparing for my company’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is so funny because I never imagined myself dancing professionally (on pointe no less) with a ballet company as one of my first gigs, however, ballet is the reason I fell in love with dance. More specifically, my “Barbie in the Nutcracker” VHS is what made me want to start taking dancing lessons when I first saw it at the ripe age of 6 years old!

I didn’t actually take dance until I was 10 (and my first year of dance was not ballet, unfortunately). But anyway, it is so funny how life presents these moments where everything comes full-circle. I am dancing as a demi-soloist, and dancing the roles as one of the lead fairy attendants to Titania, and a lead bridesmaid for the wedding in Act II. The company had a fundraiser performance for our full-length production this weekend, and I wanted to show you all my makeup and costuming I had for the fairy dance!

I used the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette to create this eye look, and the Ciate London Fierce Flicks liquid eyeliner pen. I LOVE how it turned out. My lips are Colourpop Lippie Stix in the color Lumiere.

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I used M.F.E.O. and Pooter in the crease. Then I used Faint on the center of my lid, with Hustle blended toward the Outer V. I added the colors Buns and Chip to deepen the Outer V. Then I added Sissy (a pink with gold flecks) as a topper to the center of the lid, and lined my lower lash line with it. I added the color Beem to the inner corner!

I didn’t snap a good image of my eye makeup because the lighting in the venue was so yellow and dim. However, this is a closer look at it.

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In the next set of pictures, I’ll show you more of my costume with the other lead fairy attendant. These images were from a performance two weeks ago (where I accidentally didn’t bring my eyeliner, but used the same colors). The lighting in the hallway was perfect for pictures.

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I love being able to wear my hair down for the fairy scene, and wear a flower crown!

And another one!

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6 year old Julia would have DIED to dance in this costume, especially with wings!

I am excited for this performance. It is the first time I will be dancing in pointe shoes in front of an audience in a professional ballet performance. It is coming up in June, and I am hoping to write another post in my bridesmaid costume and hair!

This summer is going to be filled with dance, movement, and progress, and I cannot believe it is all coming up so quickly. Also, the first half of 2018 is almost over – WHERE IS TIME GOING!?!

Let me know what you all think of my makeup and costume! I hope you like it as much as I do!

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Christmas Decorating and Traditions!

Hello beautiful internet readers!

For this Sunday’s post, I wanted to show you some of my FAVORITE Christmas ornaments, and tell you about some family traditions my family has during the holiday season! Decorating the house for Christmas is one of my ALL TIME favorite festivities to do during this time of the year. One tradition in my family is we always hosts for Christmas Eve, and for this reason, having our house festive is a necessity.

Since we always have a tree up every year that requires decorating, here are some of my favorite ornaments that hang on our tree each year.

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This ballerina my parents bought me about 4 or 5 years ago. This dancer’s limbs and head have complete articulation, so you can position her in any pose you want. This year, I decided to have her positioned in ecarte derriere because she looks so pretty! Also, this costume reminds me of Waltz of the Flowers which is from The Nutcracker, so she is definitely one of my top favorites.

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This ornament is my baby’s first Christmas ornament (from 1995), and I love this one because the little bear cub is sleeping in a tea cup! It’s super cute and sentimental to both me and my parents.

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I am almost positive this ornament was gifted to me during high school from my good friend Kelsie! Hello Kitty looks so cute all wrapped up in her red Christmas parka! I used to LOVE Hello Kitty in high school, and even though I’ve grown out of the phase, I still love her as an ornament on our tree!

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This ornament was gift to me from my boyfriend as part of my Christmas gift two years ago when we were in Disney for the holiday. He gave me a bunch of dance stuff that year, and this is the first year I remembered to put this ornament on the tree! It is super pretty and cute, and it reminds me of him so it is a fav of mine for sure!

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I honestly don’t know where this tutu on a hanger ornament came from, but I really like it! It showed up in our ornament box one season a few years ago, and I love it because it reminds me of the Dew Drop Fairy from The Nutcracker! ❤

Additionally, a family tradition of ours is we hang stockings for me and my siblings, and our pets! This year, we also added stockings for my boyfriend and my sister’s boyfriend, with an additional puppy stocking for our newer dog Layla! Hanging stockings is such a fun, old-fashioned tradition, and they make our fireplace look super cozy!

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These are a few of our family traditions, and a few of my favorite ornaments! I love the Christmas season so much, with all of it’s stress and fun activities!

What are some of your favorite traditions during the holiday season? Do you have any favorite ornaments?

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Nutcracker Week – Arabian and Waltz of the Flowers Makeup!

Good afternoon Leaps readers!

My performance weekend is already over! I can’t even believe how fast it went! I am so excited to be able to look back on this weekend with joy and fond memories! I was SO happy with the way my makeup turned out yesterday, and it was tricky figuring out what kind of makeup to do because I had to have a face that fit the Arabian variation and Waltz of the Flowers. My director told us to have our makeup be more fitting for Flowers, so this is what I came up with! Of course, I used my TooFaced Sugar Plum Fun palette!! This was the best time and way to use it!

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I used Ballerinas in my crease, and buffed it into the outer and inner v as well! This shade is a beautiful transition shade. I then used Land of Sweets to deepen my crease, and darken the outer and inner v slightly. I tried to make sure the Ballerinas crease color was still visible when adding the darker color. I pat onto my lid Magic Touch so the center of my eyelid would glisten as it caught the stage lights! I also highlighted my inner corner, and lower lash line with Magic Touch. I used Purple Peppermint to darken the outer v and dusted what was left of it into my inner v as well.

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To complete the eye look, I lined the outer portion of my lower lash line with Land of Sweets! I used e.l.f. Cosmetics Expert Liner to create an upper and lower wing! These double wings are appropriate for both Arabian and Flowers roles. I highlighted my brow bone with Tutus and Tiaras. I used my Essence Princess Lash mascara to lengthen and define my eyelashes, and e.l.f./Chella brow products to fill and define my brows!

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Here is what the makeup looked like with my Arabian costume on! I wore my favorite stage lip – Colourpop UltraMatte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Mama.

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This makeup turned out great! The eyeshadows lasted all day (through two shows), and never creased! The colors were PERFECT for both roles I played, and the Sugar Plum Fun palette was the perfect complement to my costumes! What do you think of this makeup? Did you use the same palette for character performance roles?

I will be writing one last Nutcracker post to show you some photographs from the shows! I hope you enjoyed this post, and took away some makeup combination ideas for your own shows or everyday makeup looks!

Let me know what you think of it! Happy Nutcracker Season, and Happy Holidays!

xoxoxo

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Nutcracker Week – History of the Nutcracker

Hello ladies and gents!

Today I wanted to give a short but sweer history of the Nutcracker ballet! As you’ve probably seen or read, this week includes my Nutcracker performances and since I am so excited for them, I wanted to write posts based off of this theme.

Anyway, if you didn’t know this already, the story of the Nutcracker was originally written in 1816 by a German writer named E.T.A. Hoffmann. The story was originally titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and was  a darker, creepier tale then the one embodied on stage during the ballet. By the 1850s, a man named Alexander Dumas revised the original Nutcracker tale, and cheered it up to be a happier, more magical story.

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The cheerier version of the story is what inspired Marius Petipa to choreograph the first Nutcracker ballet in 1892 (he also choreographed La Bayadere, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty). When Petipa became sick while setting the piece, he handed over the choreographic resonsibilities to Lev Ivanov. Petipa and Ivanov partnered with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky who composed the score for the show. The musical score was a large part of the ballet’s original success.

The ballet didn’t make it to the U.S.A. until 1940 when the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo toured to America and brought the Nutcracker with them. By 1954, George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet choreographed the Nutcracker on his company and first performed it in February of that year. Balanchine is credited as being the first choregographer to recognize the holiday appeal of the Nutcracker ballet, and in 1955, the New York City Ballet performed the Nutcracker in December. Since then, the Nutcracker has been a holiday classic for dance and ballet companies everywhere.

It is crazy to think the Nutcracker was originally written in the beginning of the 1800s, and now in 2017 companies are still performing this work countless times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t think E.T.A. Hoffmann ever expected his creepy story to EVER gain as much popularity as it has, but it is incredible how this century old story is brought to life every year to celebrate Christmas! It is such a deep part of American holiday culture, and it all began with a story written 201 years ago!

I hope you enjoyed this piece of dance history, and tune in for more of my Nutcracker related posts! Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

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