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!
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!
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!
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!
Over the first weekend in March, I went to New York City with my mom and grandma to see the New York City Ballet perform! This was my first time seeing NYCB perform, and the program they performed in particular is one my grandma has talked about taking me to see for years! They performed Prodigal Son and Liebeslieder Walzer, and both were FANTASTIC.
The Prodigal Son ballet is based on the Prodigal Son parable in the Bible. The story centers on a son who asks his father for his early inheritance, and he leaves home excited to spend all of his new-found riches. On his journey, he is wasteful and extravagant with his inheritance, and ends up destitute, only to crawl home and beg his father to take him back as a servant. To his surprise, his father does not scorn him, and instead, accepts him back with open arms and love.
The ballet adaption of this tale was magnificent. The choreography was so different/contemporary than what I expected. This ballet originally premiered in 1929 when George Balanchine created it on Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. For choreography in 1929, Prodigal Son must have been incredibly avant-garde. Nonetheless, it was gorgeous! I loved every minute of it.
The other ballet we watched – Liebeslieder Walzer – was much different compared to Prodigal Son. Liebeslieder Walzer is set in an 1800s era ballroom, and centers around four couples dancing in the midst of their romances. It is set to 33 of Johannes Brahms waltzes, which were sung by a quartet on stage alongside two piano players. The first part included 18 waltzes where the dancers were in period costumes with character heels. The second half included the last 15 waltzes where the female dancers changed into these gorgeous taupe, purple colored romantic tutus and pointe shoes!
The second part of the Liebeslieder Walzer was a favorite of mine! I saw Tiler Peck SLAY her solos which was a really cool experience for me! Additionally, the costuming and the lighting in the second part captured the romantic mood of the set and the music perfectly. Everything about the Walzer was sheer magic!
After the show ended, we went to the Sugar Factory! My mom and grandma had never been, and the Sugar Factory is known for it’s insane drinks and outrageous desserts! The three of us split a Mai Tai, and it was delicious… and strong. We ordered burgers for dinner (turkey for me), which were also really tasty. For a franchise so focused on dessert and candy, I was surprised their dinner quality matched their drink quality!
Later in the evening, while my mom and grandma were cozy in the hotel room, I walked around Times Square and bought myself a cute ring at Pandora as an “I Love Me” present. This was an important weekend for me, which I will explain below.
Later in the evening, I received a text from a friend telling me to meet him at this underground bar for his friend’s birthday! I never have the chance to see this friend, and he is actually a dancer I picked up from the airport when I was working at the American Dance Festival this summer. Our night together was spontaneous and fun, and was great cap to end an awesome day!
This weekend was really special for many reasons. Without even realizing, my mom and grandma booked this trip on the exact day I decided last year (2018) I was going to end my engagement. On that exact weekend last year, I found out the hard way the person I was engaged to was NOT the person I thought he was. It was the worst weekend of my life, and the most shocking emotional trauma I’ve ever had to process. In those moments last year, I felt alone and disgusting.
Contrary to last year, this year I was surrounded by so much love from friends and family. I was in my favorite city in the entire world watching my favorite art form ever, with my two favorite women in the entire world, and ended my night dancing with one of my favorite people… I couldn’t have asked for a complete 180 degree turn around from where I was emotionally and physically this exact weekend last year. I feel very blessed for my family, and the friends I have made through dance. I am truly healing.
I had so much fun with my mom and my grandma, and they made the weekend super special. If you both read this – thank you for being phenomenal women in my life. This trip to NYC was the mark of new beginnings. I’ve officially survived one year through one of the hardest transitional periods in my life, and I can finally say I am excited for the future to come.
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 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.
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.
As 2018 winds down, the curtain just closed on my last performance of 2018. I finished out the year with my one company’s annual Nutcracker Tea – an abbreviated version of Act II of the full-length Nutcracker. Guests are invited to eat sweets and pastries as they drink tea and coffee and watch the main company and the student company perform. It was so much fun, and I enjoy performing the Nutcracker for all of it’s magic and for the beautiful music.
This tea is most suitable for young kids, as we also have “fairy makeovers” available to them before the show, and they have the option to sit up front and close at the children’s seating right in front of the black box stage. Their eyes are usually so excited and curious as they watch everyone perform. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you’re inspiring young kids, and I imagine this is similar to what people working at Disney feel like. I would still love to work for the Disney company one day.
Other than Nutcracker, I performed in the gala for another company as their season opener on December 1. It was more of a wine and dine event for donors and patrons, but we performed a short, groovy dance for the attendees which was located at a really cute NYC dinner theater on West 72nd street. Lady Gaga apparently performed at this same theater before she became super famous, so it was kind of cool to think about that while having my own experience at the venue.
I have a few performances lined up for the new year already, as well as some auditions!! I’ll be performing a solo I’m choreographing at a showcase in March (which will be my first solo EVER!!), and I think we are going to be rehearsing for a full-length Cinderella ballet for May/June. The second week of January, I also have auditions for Disney World Orlando, and Royal Caribbean. They are open calls, so I’m expecting to be waiting a while as there are usually 400-600 people who show up for open calls. I will be re-auditioning for the Rockettes’ Summer Program in January or February as well, and hopefully more opportunities will be available soon. I can’t wait!
2018 was filled with many successes, adventures, leaps of faith, and new experiences. Although checkered by heart break and some failure, I’d say for what it was, I made 2018 the best I possibly could given my circumstances. I am looking forward to burying 2018 in the past, and moving forward into 2019 happier, healthier, stronger, and way more excited for the future.
On Wednesday, I was on my way to rehearsal when my phone lit up with an Instagram notification! A few weeks ago, I entered a contest on Instagram with DiscountDance.com – the online retailer I purchase all of my dancewear and needs from. They were having a contest, and to enter you had to comment below their photo your favorite blog post from the Discount Dance blog, and why for a chance to win THREE pairs of the new Natalie Dancewear Dance socks!
Well, as I am walking down 8th street in the East Village NYC, my phone lit up with a “liked comment” notification, telling me Discount Dance liked my contest entry comment. At this point, I totally forgot I entered the contest two weeks prior, and thought it was nice of them to acknowledge my comment (I wrote a lot, and really liked the article from their blog). Five minutes later, I received another notification from Instagram from a tagged comment from Discount Dance, saying I was one of the lucky winners!!
Coincidentally, this summer I discovered Natalie Dancewear made turn socks, which I put on my birthday wishlist! I didn’t necessarily think those socks were going to be great because they had padding on the ball of the foot of the sock, but I thought they would be interesting to try. I never ended up buying them or getting them as a gift, so when I saw Natalie made a new design for their dance socks without padding, I new I had to enter the contest! If I didn’t win, I told myself I’d buy a pair just to try whenever DiscountDance.com had a free shipping deal.
Now, I have three pairs of these socks coming my way for free! I was so shocked I won, and I cannot wait to try them out! They remind me a lot of the Apolla Shocks socks, which are the biggest name in dance socks on the market right now, with each pair retailing about $30. I don’t own Apollas, but I know a lot of dancers and dance educators who do who love them.
The Natalie socks retail for about $11.00 a pair (but right now they are on sale on their website for $5.91), so I will definitely be writing a follow-up post about their wear, durability, and traction once I have a few weeks to test them out! Here is a link in case you want to check them out: