Long2 Final Showcase and My First Solo Performance

Hi beauties!

If you recall, around this time last year I was invited to join a second company in NYC. Our season ran from October 2018 until March 13, 2019 (last week), and I wanted to share some photos and thoughts about that experience.

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

Photography Credit: Marisa Augustine
Alvin Ailey Studios February 27

Long2 is the second company to Vanessa Long Dance Company which is based out of New York City. The opportunity to join came the day after I was cut from her main company audition. It was such a thrill to be asked to participate.

We performed a studio showing at the end of February at the Alvin Ailey studios in NYC, and our final showcase was at the Tank Theater in NYC on March 13. Not only did I perform choreography and repertory from her company and other choreographers who set work, I also performed my first SOLO ever which happened to be self-choreographed!

Photography Credit: Marisa Augustine
Alvin Ailey Studios February 27

It was a very empowering experience to perform a solo for the first time – in a NYC theater – that was self-created. My solo is titled “Joe” and is a dance celebrating my grandma and grandpa’s relationship and love for each other. The dance is set to the song I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me by Billie Holiday. I edited and mixed an interview with my grandma over the track as well. In the song, my grandma tells a story of how she realized my grandpa liked her back as they bonded over playing piano at their school.

This weekend, I am performing with my other company in Hudson Valley, NY. I have the opportunity to perform “Joe” again, and I am very excited to do so! I changed some of the choreography, and I will be dressed in 1940s/1950s fashion which will fit the theme of the piece much better than what I wore for the show in NYC.

Photography Credit: Marisa Augustine
Alvin Ailey Studios February 27

This experience was fun, and has connected me to the NYC dance network better than I could have imagined. I am very grateful and thankful for my time with Long2, and look forward to new auditions and opportunities that will arise this spring. I will also be auditioning for her main company again in April!

I hope to take good footage of “Joe” at my show this weekend, and if I do, I will post it to YouTube and post the video in this post. Dance is such an amazng part of my life experience, and I am forever grateful for the way it heals me.

Photography Credit: Marisa Augustine
Alvin Ailey Studios February 27

Write again soon!

xoxo

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Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive

Hello wonderful readers of the internet!

I have been on a whirlwind. 2019 began and I hit the ground running. I’ve been working *7* jobs, taking dance classes, and auditioning like crazy. I’ve been going to casting calls for jobs, but also for summer training programs. I wanted to share a fun story about my audition for the Joffrey Ballet School summer intensive.

Last week, I decided at the very last minute I was going to attend an audition for Joffrey Ballet School. The audition was on Saturday, and I decided Friday evening I was going to go. This was a bit stressful because for the audition I needed a picture of me in first arabesque in pointe shoes, and I needed a headshot with my hair in a “ballet hairstyle”. I didn’t have either on hand. So after a full day of ballet class for me, and teaching tap in the evening, one of my student’s moms’ helped me take a photo in arabesque, I drove an hour home, and my little brother helped me take a headshot with my hair in a ballet bun! Both didn’t turn out too shabby! I ended up running to a CVS at 11:30pm to print them out! When I said last minute, I literally meant the very last minute (the CVS closed at 12am).

This was the headshot my brother took on his iPhone

The audition was in Putnam county NY. I taught barre and TRX Saturday morning, and then I drove myself to the audition site. I felt really good about how I performed. We took a ballet class and then performed combinations en pointe across the floor and in the center. When it was over, I thanked the instructor and the owner of the studio, and was informed I would know my results by the following Friday.

Two days later, I received my acceptance letter! I was accepted into 11 of their programs!! I was actually floored because I almost didn’t go to the audition, and now I have so many options and opportunities available to me!


I’m intrigued by so many of their programs, it’s all a tad overwhelming! I am definitely leaning towards the NYC Ballet Intensive (that is the bread and butter of the Joffrey Ballet School for the summer), and the intensive in Genoa, Italy!! If I attend any of these programs, I don’t think I could make a wrong choice. However, I’ve never been to Italy, and studying ballet and contemporary in Italy sounds like a dream come true!

Even more exciting – my best friend who lives in Chicago told me if I attend the Italy location, she will come at the end of the two week intensive to see our dance showcase, and then her and I could take a week and explore Italy and/or Europe together! Uhm, what!!! Can you say dream summer?!? I am so beyond excited at the thought of the possibility.

I still have a few more summer training programs I am auditioning for this winter, and as you can imagine, none of these programs are cheap. Before I put deposits down for anything, I am going to keep spreading my seeds far and see what grows in time. If this wasn’t already a lot to choose from, hopefully there will be even more to choose from in a few weeks!

It’s encouraging to receive an acceptance letter throughout all of this hustling back and forth between NJ and NYC. And it’s also reassuring that I am good at what I do and all of my effort is not for nothing. I will definitely be updating my blog with news throughout audition season. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Until next time

xoxo

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

I am Officially an Xtend Barre Instructor!

HELLO EVERYONE!

If you recall, in the spring I wrote about my weekend training to become an Xtend Barre instructor, and how Xtend Barre has changed my body! Well as you also know, right after training I left for 6 weeks for the American Dance Festival, and when I returned home, I jumped right into studying and training for test-out for my Xtend Barre certification.

Related: Xtend Barre Training

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I am proud to finally say – I have officially passed my test-out and am now a fully certified Xtend Barre instructor!! This was months in the making, and I’ve wanted to dip into the fitness industry by teaching barre for many years. I’ve trained in all types of barre method classes for the past 5 years as an alternative to a regular workout regimen. My discovery of Xtend Barre was purely by chance, and a risk I knew would be worth the outcome. The opportunity came at a very significant time in my life as well, and I’m so grateful for it’s timing.

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Xtend Barre is a safe, and effective workout I whole-heartedly believe in. Not only have I seen the results on myself, I’ve seen them on many clients at our studio. I am SO PUMPED to be able to continue my education and my skill-set by joining this team of amazing Xtend Barre instructors. There is still so much to learn and discover, and I am definitely on my way to becoming the best, strongest me I can be.

If you all also remember, this was part of my 2018 goals! It’s been on my goal list for three years now, so now that I can officially cross it off of my long-term goal list is such an accomplishment! Onward and upward!

Related: 2018 Goal Check-In 

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If you ever have the opportunity, take an Xtend Barre class. No dance experience is necessary, and many clients have seen improved strength, agility, flexibility, and weight loss!

How have your 2018 goals been wrapping up? We still have 3 months left in 2018. Let’s keep kicking butt!

xoxo

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You Are a Breathtaking Goddess from Heaven, and You Need to Believe it

Happy Sunday Leaps readers!

I was just hired at a barre studio (See Related below), and this journey to become a fitness instructor in the midst of all of the rehearsals for my upcoming show, and preparation for my time at the American Dance Festival has taught me A LOT.  Not only has it helped me sharpen up my time management skills, it has showed me how to embrace challenge with a positive attitude.

Related: Xtend Barre Training

You would think teaching dance and teaching fitness is similar, but to be honest, they are very different. Dance teachers probably have a better sense of rhythm and timing than non-dancers training to be fitness instructors, however, being an effective and consistent fitness trainer is a lot of work, even for experienced dance teachers.

At first, this task seemed really daunting to me – how can I balance all of these goings-on while trying to retrain and adapt my teaching methods for fitness, on top of going through a lot of personal challenges? I have come to realize pushing the limits of my body, mind, and my teaching capabilities is such a healthy and needed challenge for me. These are challenge I didn’t know I needed.

There is one teacher at the barre studio I’ll be working at who I really enjoy, and at the end of every class of hers, she tells us to hold our hands in “prayer” pose, close our eyes, and tell ourselves “You are a breathtaking goddess from heaven who kicked butt today”. This resonates so much with me at this time of my life. Yes, we are ALL breathtaking goddesses from heaven. Even if our biggest accomplishment today was getting out of bed when we didn’t think we could, we kicked butt today. We have ALL of the power to go and get whatever it is we want!

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At the beginning of 2018, I told myself my goal for this year is to take a lot of risks. In January, I didn’t know how I could handle any sort of risk that put me too far out of my comfort zone. The thought alone caused so much anxiety, it made me sick. Halfway through 2018, I faced unforeseen hard challenges already, and have a lot of challenges ahead of me. Now instead of thinking, “How the hell am I going to do this?”; I’m excited and think, “This is going to make me work hard and I am going to gain so much from this experience”.

There is so much good happening from me taking on a lot of challenges at once, and I’m starting to truly believe I am capable of accomplishing everything I want. I hope you all know you too are goddesses from heaven who are powerful, phenomenal, and capable of whatever it is you wish to be. Embrace your own challenges, and accept new ones even if you are unsure of the outcome. Do things that scare you, and be powerful! And above all else, don’t settle for something less than what you want. Because you have the power to make your situation better (you’re a goddess, remember?).

Enjoy your Sunday goddesses!

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