July 2019 Happenings!

Hi everyone!

I turned 24 this past week, and I can’t believe I already made another 365-day trip around the sun. This was the first time I was home for my birthday in two years, and it was amazing to be home with my family and close friends. I share the same birthday as my mom, so to be able to be home and celebrate with her, my grandma, my siblings, and my father meant a lot to me!

A lot has happened since I last posted! Remember in my last post how I mentioned I was going on an audition? Well, your girl was invited to join the company she auditioned for, and tomorrow will mark our third rehearsal together for the summer! It’s very exciting to think I am starting with a new performance group (based out of NYC), who has such an important mission that is near and dear to my heart.

Related: May 2019 Life Update

This specific company is dedicated to raising awareness about eating disorders, and de-stigmatizing mental health. As someone who considers herself a recovered anorexic, and someone who struggled with anxiety her whole life, joining this team of artists means THE WORLD to me. I am so excited for our season. We have so many amazing projects lined up for the summer and fall!

Related: How Dance Helped Me Survive Anorexia and Literally Everything Else

I leave for Joffrey Italy in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!! I literally CANNOT BELIEVE I AM GOING! I prayed for a year for an opportunity to dance and travel, and last minute went to the Joffrey audition, and then was accepted into the Italy location! Life is so funny with the way it works! I can’t wait to travel, train, and experience Italian culture right on the Mediterranean.

Related: Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive

Another cool thing I did recently was get another piercing! I wanted my septum pierced for a while and decided to pull the trigger and go get it done a week and a half before my birthday. This way, it would have a whole month to heal before I leave for Italy. I LOVE how it came out! The piercing is a titanum horseshoe because I can flip it into my nose to hide it. I had it anodized rose gold to match my nipple rings 🙂 Haha. I adore it, and it’s been healing well. I can’t wait for it to heal completely so I can wear cute clickers and other jewelry.

Related: Julia – You Got WHAT Pierced?!

I’m feeling really optimistic about the future, and my coming adventures in Italy and NYC. I’ve been working and trying to enjoy my time home before I jet set off for four weeks to train. 24 is already giving me great energy, and I can’t wait to see where I am next year when I turn 25 (that is a SCARY number oh my gosh).

I hope I can write more, and at least make a post or two while I am in Italy! If not, I will definitely be posting when I get back to the states and after my NYC intensive. I hope you all are enjoying your summer vacations, travels, and adventures!

Xoxo

How Dance Helped Me Survive Anorexia (and Literally Everything Else)

My body has been through A LOT. I’m not just talking about injuries due to accidents that happen in life. I mean, my body and I have survived significant damage and abuse as a result of the actions of other people, and as a result of my four year battle with anorexia nervosa. I was 12 years old when I first noticed there was a disconnect between my body and my mind, and it later manifested into a full-blown eating disorder by the time I was 16. The only constant throughout my entire life is dance, and due to some unfortunate recent events, I feel it is important I share with my followers why dance has saved my life throughout my eating disorder, and the abuse I’ve suffered at the hands of others.

I am a professional dancer, and I have been involved with dance since I was 10 years old. Currently I am 22 years old, and I was 16 when I was admitted inpatient for anorexia. The program I attended was super strict, and I couldn’t even stand up for longer than 10 seconds before a nurse or tech would tell me to sit down. The two weeks I was inpatient, I grew increasingly antsy and upset that my E.D. had interfered with my passion for dance. I was prepping for senior year of high school, and auditioning for college programs, and I was alarmed that my summer potentially would not be spent being able to dance or work toward my goals. Dance was always the one constant in my life, and even with my eating disorder, exercise and dance were always positive places of solace for me, instead of outlets for negative behaviors.

“Dance gives me something to live for, a fulfillment I can’t find anywhere else”

For my whole treatment plan, I set my goal to be able to dance again, and to devote my positive energy and focus into dance as motivation to get better and stay healthy. I even was able to get special permission to attend my dance classes so I could finish my recital that year. With the help of my treatment team, I was able to keep my intake levels accurate and my weight gain on track while I finished my studio season. That summer, my outpatient team even helped me meal plan and prepare me for a dance intensive at a college I was interested in attending after graduating high school. I went to that dance intensive, and the experience changed my life. I had never been so motivated to live my life for myself and for my art which is dance.

I later auditioned for that college, was admitted into the school and dance program on a merit and dance performance scholarship. Four years later, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in dance performance, a B.A. in psychology, and a minor in dance/movement therapy. I am now performing professionally, teaching dance, and looking into dance/movement therapy graduate school. Dance truly helped save my life, and I am forever grateful that dance was a part of my experience with my eating disorder. Dance gives me something to live for, and a fulfillment I can’t find anywhere else.

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I’ve FOUGHT for years to have a healthy relationship with my body. I treasure and value my body, and try to practice body compassion every day of my life. When someone or something happens that puts my body in a vulnerable, compromised, or damaging position, I must remove myself from whatever negative stimulus is causing me and my body harm. Toxic people, situations, and stress only lead to that mind/body disconnect I suffered for so many years as a kid and young adolescent. I have come too far into my recovery and my life to allow myself to tolerate any sort of abuse or direct harm to my body and mind. I’ve come too far in my dance career to allow an eating disorder or other people to abuse my body.

Dance gives me a purpose and a reason to rise out of bed every morning. Life is truly so much better when I can dance through it, and I am blessed and very lucky to have discovered my love for dance at such a young age.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, the link below will direct you to the National Eating Disorder Association’s confidential Helpline

NEDA Eating Disorder Helpline

Until next time,

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