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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Life Update March 2019

It is already ten days into March, and somehow 2019 is already almost a quarter of a year over already?!? WHAT?! Life has been sincerely flashing right by me, and I’ve hardly had any time for myself, let alone time to blog (hence why I am writing this post at 12:14am Eastern time).

This is the first weekend I will be home in a while. Two weekends ago I was galavanting around Chicago with my best friend I haven’t seen in a year! We had the best time, and I will hopefully be able to write a post about our weekend because we hit up a bunch of local spots, saw the Joffrey ballet perform their new world premiere, and got matching tattoos! Anyway, it was a whirlwind and super jam-packed to say the least!

I took this photo at the top of the World Trade Center in NYC last month.

Last weekend, I was in NYC all weekend with my mother and grandmother for a girl’s trip! Back in October, we bought tickets to see the New York City Ballet perform Prodigal Son, which is a ballet my grandma has talked about taking me to for years! So we went into NYC for the Saturday matinee, went for a fun dinner, and stayed in a ritzy hotel near Central Park. You can read more about that trip at this link: New York City Ballet & New Beginnings

In other news, I was accepted into another summer intensive, which was the intensive I really wanted to attend! I will be attending the Peridance Capezio BLUEPRINT Summer Intensive in August! And guess what? This intensive starts three days after the Joffrey, Italy intensive ends, so they will not interfere with each other!

Related:Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive

I was awarded financial aid for Joffrey, and if everything works out with my budget, I will be able to afford to attend both intensives! I might even leave a week early to explore Italy a bit before the intensive starts! My summer is looking like it is going to be full of dance and adventure, and I’m here for all of it!

Street art found at One World Trade

As always, I am still having trouble sleeping, so maybe I can use my time at night awake to write for JLoF again. I love blogging and miss it dearly. I have some more auditions planned for this month, and a busy next couple of months! Fingers crossed that I am hired for some more dance jobs, and in the meantime, I hope I talk to you all again soon!

Xoxo

How to Be Successful at Handling Rejection

Good morning Leaps readers!

Today I want to share with you tips on being better at handling rejection. This is not just for dancers who are cut from auditions, but literally anyone reading this who’s realized, as the Rolling Stones once put it, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Some of my points will take a dance focus, but they are applicable to any and all areas of our lives and careers.

1. Take the Rejection as a Learning Opportunity

Whether you are at an audition or a job interview, reach out to the hiring director afterwards and ask for constructive feedback. If they are kind and have the time, they will try to give you pointers on what they did/didn’t see from you, and what they would have liked to. I have actually made many connections and opportunities for myself by reaching out to the people I wanted to work for to ask for feedback. The constructive critiques will give you something to focus on in your training and preparation for the next audition or interview. And it will also show the hiring director you actually care about improving and have a willingness to learn. By reaching out and showing an interest in growing, they may even reconsider their decision.

2. Look at the Other More Successful Auditionees/Applicants and See how They Prepared

Take a look around you. What are other applicants wearing? Is their resume and headshot in a neat folder, or are they pulling out a crumpled copy from the bottom of their backpack? What kind of training/classes/education did other applicants complete before attending the audition or interview? All of this is useful information, and can help you better prepare for the next time. Did you not bring a headshot or resumé? Was yours crumpled and folded, and on top of another applicant’s whose resumé was laminated and neat? It is important to pay attention to the details more successful applicants paid attention to, which will help put you ahead.

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Photography by Tim Lytvinenko

3. Talk to Other Auditionees/Applicants and Be Friendly (Even After Rejection)

A lot of auditions start the moment you set foot in the audition room. The casting directors and current dancers (or employees) will examine how you interact with the others in the room, your energy, and your willingness to cooperate and be a team player. Sometimes the people you are competing for the same job with are not very friendly, but in every audition I’ve been on, I’ve met at least one person who was super friendly and interested in talking to me. Engaging with the other people in the room is also a great way to network, and who knows! You could meet your new best friend, or a new acquaintance who could lead you to other opportunities.

Being nasty or bitter because you were not the one hired is a big no-no. People remember names and faces, and if you make a grand and unpleasant exit, you will validate their decision to not hire you. Enter and leave with the same dignity and grace you came in with.

4. Use the Rejection to Fuel Your Fire, Not Douse Your Flame

You want this. You made the effort to travel to the audition/interview on time. You bought a new leotard or a new outfit for this day. You did your hair a specific way for this. Remember this goal – these goals – are important to you, and one “No”, or many “Nos” should not make you feel like your goal is unattainable. You can do it, you just have to keep going, keep training, and make your opportunities for yourself. Prepare the best you can, and give it all you have every time, and eventually your hard work will pay off.

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Photography by Tim Lytvinenko

5. Treat Yourself 

After an audition, if you were successful – GREAT. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee or treat, or a nice lunch! If you were unsuccessful – that’s okay! Still treat yourself to your favorite coffee or treat, or a nice lunch. You are worth it, and you always try to make yourself feel positive and good after a rejection. You are worthy of feeling good whether or not you were hired by this one specific person. Self-love builds confidence and resilience, which can only help you when you are trying hard to be hired.

6. Keep Applying for Auditions/Interviews So You Always Have Something to Work Towards

This is pretty self-explanatory, but the more opportunities you create for yourself, the less you will be relying on one specific audition or interview as a potential source of income and fulfillment. Keep researching, keep applying, keep showing up. Make it happen.

Good luck!

xoxo

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My First M.A.C. Products!

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New M.A.C. products!

When I was in NYC last weekend, my parents and I stopped in the M.A.C. store in Times Square. Because my mom is awesome, she decided to buy me an eyeshadow and an eye pigment that I ADORED. I picked out an eyeshadow in the shade Quarry and an eye pigment in the shade Kitschmas. They are beautiful, and here they are swatched below!

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Top swatch is the eye pigment in Kitschmas and the bottom swatch is the eyeshadow in Quarry.

The eye pigment stood out to me right away – it’s a light pink taupe with amazing shine! I love it so much, and it looks beautiful with Quarry in the crease! I knew right away I needed both of these colors to wear together. This is the travel-sized pigment, and it retails for $10.

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Eye pigment in Kitschmas

Quarry is absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful. I’ve never seen a shade like it before. The swatch does not do it justice! It is a grey taupe with brown undertones and it is super pigmented! I have been wearing it all week, and it is versatile enough to wear with a bunch of different other colored shadows. I’m in love, and this shade is a necessity in my collection of eyeshadows! This shadow pot costs $16.

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I’m in love with this one!

This is my first time ever receiving or using M.A.C. and I’m so thrilled with how amazing it works! I definitely will be browsing more of M.A.C.’s products, and hopefully the next time I am in Times Square I can stop in their store again!

I definitely recommend both of these products if you are looking to try M.A.C.!

Much love to you all, have a great day!

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Natural Colour(Pop) Swatches and Review

Good evening everyone! I hope you all are having as wonderful of a weekend as I am! I just arrived home from the Big Apple, and I had a really fun overnight trip with my parents. I had an audition this morning for a summer dance program (which I will write about a little later this week), but for my audition makeup I used some of my new ColourPop products!

If you haven’t read my last post, I bought the Lippie Stix in the color Aquarius, a SuperShock Eyeshadow in the color Cornelious, and a SuperShock Highlighter in the color Wisp, and I promised you all a review!

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From right to left: Wisp, Cornelious, Aquarius

Also as I promised, I swatched them for you, so here is what they all look like in natural light!

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From bottom to top: Aquarius, Cornelious, Wisp

Let me start with a review of Aquarius!

First of all, I love the name Aquarius for a lippie. I love the zodiac theme, and the name Aquarius reminds me of a hippie. A light peachy nude color sounds perfectly reflective of the 1960’s. This shade looks even better on the lips; it looks darker than it actually applies in the picture above, and it smells DELICIOUS! It’s scent is like caramel and it makes it even better to apply because it smells and looks amazing. It lasts for a decent amount of time too, and it is not too flesh-toned where it blended in with my skin.

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As always, the lippie packaging is simple and cute!

Furthermore, I am SOOOOO happy I purchased Cornelious SuperShock Eyeshadow. This shade, as I predicted, is a perfect transition-crease shade! I’ve worn it three times since I received it in the mail this week, and I wore it today in my eye-makeup look as part of my audition makeup! It’s a warm brown with orange undertones, and I don’t usually like to wear orange-toned shadows, but this shadow is more brown than it is orange. It glides on super smooth. I love this shade for a natural look, or a neutral color-palette for eye makeup. I definitely recommend picking this one up!

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Cornelious (It’s not actually this orange. It applies more like a warm light brown)

Finally, I need to talk to y’all about Wisp because it is GORGEOUS.

I am still learning how to apply highlighter correctly (especially creamy and liquid highlighter), and I’m still trying to find the best place in the order of my beauty routine to apply it. Nonetheless, I wore this beaut today for my audition, and it really made my face look performance ready! It is a warm, light bronze color with flecks of gold shimmer and sparkle. It is a natural color, and it laid nicely atop my foundation, and blended well with my bronzer. Lots of ColourPop customers have raved about this highlighter, and I’m excited to keep playing with it and figure out the best way to apply it.

Wisp

This color is so pretty!

As you all can see, I’ve totally been digging my latest ColourPop purchase! Not only did these products help me make a pretty makeup look for my audition, my makeup gave me a nice confidence boost walking into the audition because I felt like I was ready to perform!

If any of you are like me, you usually grab the fun, sparkly colors ColourPop offers when you fill your cart online. Next time you all shop ColourPop, I really think y’all should try some of their more neutral-toned colored products if you haven’t already! As always, ColourPop has delivered, and this is why every month I buy more and more of it!

This week, look out for a post about my audition and trip into NYC, and a post about my trip into the M.A.C. store in Times Square (I may or may not have bought my first M.A.C. shadow and pigment). I’m very excited to use my new M.A.C. products, so there will be swatches and a review of those coming soon!

Until next time beauties!

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