Summer Room Renovation!

Hi everybody!

Over the summer, I moved back home from college. My bedroom in my parent’s house was cluttered, dusty, and a bit juvenile. To be honest, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t need or want anymore. I decided to clean my room out and give it a fresh coat of paint. Then I decided I would rearrange my furniture, and declutter as much as I can! I wanted to show you all what the finished product was because it turned out so nice! The best part was that I did it all by myself! Here is what it looked like before (the day I began cleaning it out).

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As you can see, my room was literally busting at the seams with clutter and crap I didn’t use or have space for. After four whole days of cleaning, painting, and rearranging, here is the final product! Click the below photo to expand because it is a panorama!

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I still can’t believe the difference!! Since I took these photos back in June, I’ve hung a big dream catcher on the wall, a canvas my boyfriend painted me, a picture my best friend printed, and a dry erase monthly calendar. But these photos were taken before I had all of those items to hang on my walls!

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I completed this project at the end of June, and now as fall progresses, I am thinking about doing some more cleaning and sorting of the items in my room. To me it feels great to throw out or donate items I no longer use or want.

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It feels great to put some elbow grease and sweat into your living space! My room finally feels like an adult bedroom that I can live in as I begin my “adult” life (while I still live at home). What kind of projects have you done at home? Do you like your living space?

Let me know what you think of my project below!

Xoxoxo

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Staying Organized and Marketing Yourself as a Dance Professional

Hi everybody!

As you all know, I am trying to break into the dance industry as a professional performer and as a respected dance educator. I’ve been learning as I go, and it has been so hectic trying to stay organized on top of all of my responsibilities as a dancer in two companies, and a teacher at four different studios. I will share with you the ways I’ve found to be most effective in keeping my life together! ❤  These tips are focused for dancers, but are helpful for any young professionals trying to break into their own industries!

1. KEEP A BINDER, AGENDA PLANNER, & JOURNAL ON HAND ALL OF THE TIME

This one is a biggie. I cannot tell you how helpful each of these resources are. My binder separates my paperwork for all of my studios. It organizes my class rosters by day and time, separates costume pictures for recital dances, and allows me to keep track of employee agreements and contracts. Furthermore, the binder allows me to keep a portfolio of different class combinations, barre for each level of ballet I teach, and choreography. The agenda planner obviously helps me keep track of commitments, auditions, teaching, private lessons, and rehearsals.

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My journal helps me keep track of all of my ideas for my classes, for my blog, and allows me to create to-do lists. With all of your paperwork organized, you will not only thank yourself for keeping your life in order, but you will appear organized to your employers and directors, and appear as though you take your job seriously (which you should), which is a win for both parties.

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2. KEEP COPIES OF YOUR PERFORMANCE BILLS, RESUME, AND HEADSHOT

I cannot stress ENOUGH how important this is. If you don’t keep track of your performances or choreography showcases, how can you prove to future employers or directors these events actually happened? Also, keeping copies helps you create a precise CV/resume – performance bills usually have choreographer names spelled correctly, and include the name of the piece you danced in, the music, and the names of the other dancers you performed with. This information is pertinent for networking with other dance professionals and creators in the field, and pertinent for updating you’re own CV.

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Keeping extra copies of your headshot and resume is helpful if you have a lot of back-to-back auditions or workshops you’re attending. Sometimes workshop teachers will ask for participants’ headshots and resumes, and having extra copies readily available will only be beneficial to you and to the hiring directors! You never know who you’re going to meet!

3. MAKE BUSINESS CARDS MARKETING YOURSELF AS A PROFESSIONAL

Okay, a lot of dancers (especially emerging professionals) don’t believe they need business cards since dance is not necessarily an “office job”. However, that is actually false! Dance is a business, and a small fraternity at that. I decided earlier in the summer to make business cards for myself and for my blog/Etsy shop. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have them on hand since I was securing a lot of studio jobs and auditions.

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Low and behold, at the dance festival I performed in (see First Professional Performances – I Can’t Believe This Is Real Life), one guy from another company who performed in the show gave me his card and asked me for mine!! Luckily, I had them on hand to distribute! Again, YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU WILL MEET! Whether or not these dancers are in the same dance genre as you, networking is so important, and you never know how these people could influence your career later down the line.

4. MAKE A FREE WEBSITE PORTFOLIO DOCUMENTING YOUR DANCE EXPERIENCE

The internet and WordPress are a great way to advertise yourself for free! I use WordPress.com for my blog, and for my professional dance website. Check it out at juliakathryn.dance. You can use one of the readily made templates, and customize it to your liking. You can include a copy of your resume, your dance reel, dance photography, highlight important workshops or dance experiences, and more!

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Furthermore, you can buy a web domain and link it to your free website, so when people search for your site, you have a professional domain to go with it. I bought a few domains and linked them to my free WordPress website from GoDaddy.com. This online portfolio you can link in the signature of your emails, put on your business cards and resume, and you can put it on your social media to direct followers to your professional work.

This concludes my top tips for staying organized and marketing yourself as a dance professional. All of these resources are also cost effective – my planner was $5 from Wal-Mart, the journal was a gift so it was free, the binder I already had with dividers from college, the website is free, my business cards cost about $10 for 100 of my dancer ones, and $15 for my blog ones (because they are square and printed front and back), costing me bout $25 before tax and shipping. My website domains with discounts for a year of ownership was $41 for three domains. An 8inx10in headshot print out costs about $3 from Walgreens.

I hope you enjoyed my top tips! I didn’t realize how important the business side of the dance world was until I graduated college, but these resources have helped me land a lot of jobs in the last six months!! 🙂 I hope they continue to do me well in the months ahead, as I try to break further into this industry as a young professional.

What are your favorite ways to market yourself? Have you tried any of these resources? Let me know if this was helpful!

xoxo

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Bloch Sonata Pointe Shoes and Elastoribbon!

Hi everyone!

My lovely boyfriend bought me a brand new pair of pointe shoes and ribbons/elastics for Christmas in 2015 (LOL) and I have been dancing on dead shoes for about two years now! I don’t recommend dancing on dead shoes, but let me explain myself.

I love the Bloch Sonatas because the shank is supportive, they fit my foot nicely, and once they are worn in, they are super flexible and mold to the foot really well. Back during the holidays in 2015, I had just bought my own Bloch Sonatas, and hadn’t even sewn them yet. So, I put my new ones away for the day I needed new shoes. I don’t do pointe as much as I do modern and contemporary, so they lasted me a long time.

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That day has finally come to use my new ones, however, and I decided to try the Bloch Elastoribbon my boyfriend bought with the new shoes! The Elastoribbon is cool because the ribbon is interrupted by a piece of elastic that wraps around the achilles tendon to offer a more comfortable fit. For this reason, they were a little tricky to sew. Nonetheless, here are my pointe shoes fully sewn, and I will tell you how I like to sew them.

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For my ribbons, it was weird to try to measure the length I needed because the elastic is placed in a peculiar spot on the ribbon itself. I decided to sew the ribbon in, and then measure it around my ankle, and adjust the ribbon once I determined the length needed to properly wrap around my ankle. To begin, I place my ribbon on the middle seam of the side of the pointe shoe (it is covered by the ribbon in this image), and sew it in place. As you can see, it is folded and sewn down to shorten the ribbon once I knew how long I needed it to be.

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For the elastic that supports the ankle and wraps only around the ankle, I use the back seam as a guide, and angle the elastic out and away from the seam. So the elastic exits the back of the shoe about an inch away from the seam.

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As you can see, where the elastic appears off the back of the shoe is about an inch away from the back seam.

Here is the finished product, and a demonstration of how the elastoribbon looks on my ankle and supports the achilles

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I am curious to try these new bad boys in the studio. I need to break the shoe in a little bit because the shank is really stiff right out of the box, but I plan to do an update once I know how these hold up. The color of the elastoribbon matched the color of my Sonatas perfectly, though! I’ve tried a few brands of pointe shoes, and Bloch Sonatas have been and still hold first place for me in comfort, shape, and support. ❤

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If you have used Elastoribbon before, drop a comment and let me know how you like it! I am so pleased with how beautiful my shoes look, and I can’t wait to break them in! Hopefully the ribbon works well for me and my body!

Until next time, happy dancing!

Xoxo

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First Professional Performances – I Can’t Believe This Is Real Life

Hi ladies and gents!

This summer, I have had the opportunity to dance in my first professional productions and dance concerts. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had, and I cannot wait to see how my career develops over the rest of this year! Anyway, last week I finished a performance series with Introspective Movement Project – a Philly-based contemporary-jazz dance company. Introspective Movement Project (Let’s call it I.M.P. for short) hosted the That Which Connects Festival – a dance festival in Camden, NJ that celebrates the dance community from the the greater Philadelphia and greater New York City areas.

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Three days leading up to the festival, we also hosted a summer intensive for dance students. The intensive allowed the students to train for three very long days in various dance styles. For the students, each day culminated with a three hour rehearsal where my lovely director set a new piece on the students to perform in the festival showcase. This gave the students an opportunity to perform alongside all of the professional companies who were performing in the showcase. That Which Connects attempts to bridge the gap between pre-professional and professional dancers, which I believe is a beautiful convergence.

As a company, we were at the theater everyday rehearsing for a few hours, and we also had the opportunity to take whatever classes we could fit into our day (after rehearsals of course). It was a very exhausting week of traveling, dancing, and rehearsing, however, it was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! It was my first real taste into a professional dance career and lifestyle, and it was awesome!

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I.M.P. ladies – Photography by Marla Wolfinger

I can’t wait to see what is next for I.M.P., and for me as I pursue some other dance opportunities. I really hope I can get more work for the fall and winter season, as I’ve now realized I love the craziness of a professional performer’s life. Each day in rehearsal for the festival, I thought to myself. “I can’t believe this is my life”. Imagine the dream you’ve always had coming true, and multiply it by 10 and that is the awe I felt the week of the festival.

If you asked 17 year old me if I was going to be a professional dancer one day, I would have told you “Maybe, but I don’t know if I’m good enough or if that is what I want”. Now 5 years later, I am officially a professional dancer, and am proud as hell to tell people, “Yes I dance for a living!”.

Never stop believing in the possibility of your dreams because literally anything is possible if you want it bad enough!! ❤

How has your summer dance season been? What performances did you dance in or see? Let me know!

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Aerie Chill Play Move Review and Photos!

Hello everybody!

As you all know – I am a HUGE fan of Aerie. Aerie is a ladies loungewear, activewear, underwear store, and is a sister store to American Eagle Outfitters. About a week ago, I took advantage of a rewards member discount, and purchased two sports bras, a tank top, and a sweater! I loved the pink sports bra I bought because it matched a pair of leggings I bought from Aerie back in the spring time. My best friend and I were already planning to have a photoshoot day, so once my order came in, I knew I wanted to take some pictures in my new Aerie apparel. I also needed new headshots and action shots for auditions, so we grabbed our cameras and took some dance photos!

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The sports bra I am wearing in these images which is one of their Chill, Play, Move bras in the color ballet pinkI am also wearing their highwaisted Chill, Play, Move leggings which are a grey and pink floral print. Can you tell I love them!? The bra is so comfortable, and it offers a lot of support for the girls (if you know what I mean). The leggings are great too, and hold me in while giving me full range of motion!

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If you have not checked out Aerie’s apparel, you should definitely give them a chance! They always have great deals on their website, and most of the time they offer free shipping. The best part about Aerie is that they do not retouch their models, and they have models of all body types and ethnics in their marketing. The company campaign is #aerieREAL and being proud to show the world the REAL you! I love my body and am proud of who I am, and I am happy to know one of my favorite retailers supports all body types and different kinds of women wearing their brand!

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If you like my makeup in these photos, I did my makeup myself and used the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette on my eyes. I also used the Cailyn Cosmetics Pure Lust Extreme Lust Tint + Velvet in the shade Practicable (seriously it is a favorite of mine!!) on my lips.

What are your favorite activewear brands? Do you like Aerie? What do you love about them? Let me know! ❤

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

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