2018 Goal Check-In

Hi ladies and gents!

I realized this month is almost over, which means 2018 is 2/3 of the way through! We only have 4 more months of 2018 (I really can’t believe it), and although it is not too much time, it is still a significant amount of time to get sh*t done!

At the start of this year, my goals included being persistant in the pursuit of my dreams… It’s quite vague really. I didn’t know what to specify because I had so many goals and so many options up in the air, I was very confused as to where I was headed and where I wanted to go. I am certain now, however, that 2018 has been a year to work on many goals relating to my bigger dreams. My dreams relating to dancing, training, and constantly growing.

Below is a list of my goals, and some updates on where I’m at with them!

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Photography by John DeSanto

Dancing professionally: This year, I’ve had the pleasure to continue dancing for the company I dance with in Hudson Valley, NY; in addition to landing some apprentice positions in companies based in New York City. This month has been particularly demanding, as I’ve been auditioning my butt off for a bunch of different NYC-based companies, some of which I am still waiting to hear back from. The fall is looking like it will be really busy for me commuting in and out of NYC (especially in October), so I cannot wait to see how much farther I will go!

Graduate School for dance/movement therapy: I did a LOT of research, and finally found another dance/movement therapy program I want to attend (that is also low-residency!!). It is at Lesley University in Massachusetts, and they actually were ready to admit me in the spring before I even submitted an actual application! I would have sent in my application as well, but I attended the American Dance Festival for June and July, and the timing of the festival interfered with the first summer session for the graduate program. Alas, I am not in graduate school (YET!), but I will definitely be applying in the fall for this summer (2019)! Fingers crossed!

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Photography by John DeSanto

Barre instructor certification: As you all probably saw, I’ve been working on my certification for Xtend Barre (see my post if you are not familiar! Xtend Barre Training). I am very close to finishing my certification and being able to teach my own classes! I will keep you all posted when I do. This is something I’ve wanted to do for years, so the fact that it is actually happening is SO exciting!

Travel: I road-tripped down to the American Dance Festival and had the most AMAZING 6 weeks ever (see I’m Back and Ready to MOVE!). I tried new food, new drinks, made so many new friends and connections, and experienced so much! I always wanted to attend the American Dance Festival, and I made it happen (on scholarship no less!). I also can now say I drove from North Carolina back home, by myself, in only 9 hours! It was incredible, and I hope I can take a few more smaller, fun trips with friends before the year is over!

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Photography by John DeSanto

This is where I am at right now with my goals and my life, and I am so excited to see what the last third of 2018 has in store! I am sure there will be plenty more dances to be danced, and projects to completed before we can kiss 2018 goodbye and welcome 2019 with open arms. But I am not ready to look to 2019 (not yet anyway) – there is still so much to do in 2018!

How are the goals you set at the new year coming? Are you working towards any or all of them?! Let me know in the comments 🙂 I would love to hear how you all are crushing it!

Xoxo

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First Rockette Audition

GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE!

Yesterday was such a fun and exhausting Monday! I auditioned for the Radio City Rockettes for the very first time! I have been told my entire life to audition for the Rockettes because everyone who knows me knows I am a dancer, and says I look the part (and I am definitely tall enough!). If you’re a long-time reader, you also know that I’ve auditioned for their summer program numerous times, and this year was the first year I was invited!

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This audition listing posted late, probably somewhere in the middle of July, so I decided to finally break the ice with the Rockette audition anxiety I’ve had for YEARS and go! It was definitely not as nerve-wracking as I anticipated, and I actually felt really confident and felt like I did a pretty good job (even though I was cut). In my previous post earlier in the summer, Rockette Mini Intensive – I Was Invited!, you know that I was not expecting any invite this year since initially they told me there were no spots for me.

But between my later invite to their summer training, and then their summer audition, I am most certainly going to attend any and all auditions they have to see where else it will lead me. I really hope next summer I can spend the week training with the Rockettes! Audition season is always a pain in the butt, however, it’s also super exciting and keeps me dreaming big; especially days like yesterday!

Did you attend the Rockette audition yesterday? How is your audition season going?

(Related postAudition Season is Coming – Here’s How to Prepare)

xoxo

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I’m Back and Ready to MOVE!

Hi everyone!

WOW, the American Dance Festival was a WHIRLWIND! I cannot fully express in words how busy I was, and how saturated I am right now with everything I was exposed to. ADF was one of the very best decisions I ever made, and I can’t believe all of the connections I made, experiences I had, and dances I danced.

There were too many great moments to pick a favorite! But let me just say the community ADF creates cannot be found anywhere else. Everyone is free to be 100% themselves, everyone is encouraging, and everyone is there to connect with each other through dance. Durham, North Carolina is the perfect city for the festival to be located in too. This is because Durham is filled with so many artists, dancers, and musicians, and everyone is so open to collaborating to make something beautiful.

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Photography by: Tim Lytvinenko

Some of my favorite performances I watched included the ADF Alumni concert, Rosie Herrara Dance Theater, Kyle Abraham A.I.M., and Michelle Dorrance’s tap solo in the Wondrous Women Concert. In addition to dancing full time, I was working in the Performances office of the festival assisting the staff with picking up and taking care of visiting dance company needs! I met so many amazing performers and choreographers, and even was invited to some exclusive invite-only events by some of the choreographers (I can’t share information on these things now, but in the fall when they happen I will be able to post about them! So exciting!).

While I was there, I also collaborated with a Raleigh-based artist named Tim Lytvinenko. He needed a model for a project series he is working on (his work is in the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh BY THE WAY), and I needed dance photos. So we exchanged photo shoots which was super fun! He is going to turn one of the photos he made of me into a piece of art which can hopefully be in his museum installation one day. Here is one of his favorites.

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Photography by: Tim Lytvinenko

Side note: This photo reminds me a lot of the movie DVD cover of Across the Universe. Do you all know that movie? It is a movie musical telling a story through the songs of the Beatles. It’s amazing, and if you haven’t seen it, after you’re done reading please go watch it.

Anyway, I was able to perform in student choreography concerts, visit the Nasher Museum of Art, watch dance films, take masterclasses, and push my body to new limits. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been fortunate because this week the company I dance for is performing in a summer arts festival in New York, and we have been rehearsing and creating all week 🙂 It is nice to keep moving and not be stuck home sedentary after 6 weeks of nonstop movement at ADF. I have some auditions and fun adventures in NYC coming up next week and in August too! There is no time rest it seems, but I don’t mind pushing my body this much if it means I can dance!

There is so much going on, and all of it is amazing! I can’t wait to share more with you!

Thank you for reading – it’s so nice to be back!

Xoxo

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Xtend Barre Training

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! This past weekend I trained to become an Xtend Barre instructor in Brooklyn, New York! Xtend Barre is a really fast-paced high-energy workout that combines dance, Pilates, and weight training to help sculpt, shape, strengthen, and tone your body!

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This is really not just a workout for women either – men struggle through this class, even men who are strong or who are already professional dancers! At the training I attended, there was actually a male dancer from the Martha Graham dance company training with us, and he claims Xtend Barre is one of the most challenging workouts he has ever done. **If you don’t know Martha Graham’s technique, just know Graham dancers are 150% muscle, and if he says Xtend Barre is hard – believe it!**

I’ve been practicing and adding Xtend Barre consistently to my workout regimen for the last month and a half, and the results have been fast! My body is the most toned, strong, and lean it has ever been.  I’ve gained about 5 lbs of muscle within the last two months from switching up my workouts, and adding weight training (not including the weight sculpting you do in Xtend). I’m so excited to be on this journey to becoming an Xtend Barre Instructor. For the last part of the training, all that’s left to do is plan my test-out class, and film a test class for my trainer to review so I can officially start teaching!

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My body never looked like this until I found Xtend Barre – and the toning and definition has been really fast!

I really enjoyed myself learning the Xtend Barre technique this weekend, pushing my body to new limits, and meeting new people. Our trainer was also amazing, and I am really fortunate I was able to train under her direction and knowledge.

There is so much to do, and only 17 days left until my first day of work at the American Dance Festival! I can’t believe everything is wrapping up and coming full-steam ahead so quickly! It is all so exciting and exhausting in the best possible way!

I will definitely keep you all updated on my Xtend training, and can’t wait to share this career expansion into the fitness industry with you!

Have you ever tried Xtend Barre? Let me know if you have, or if you include barre fitness training into your workout regimen. I’d love to know your thoughts on it!

xoxo

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Hello, Dolly! & Chicago on Broadway, The Meatball Shop NYC

Hello beautiful creatures!

Last week, I visited NYC three times! Twice for different Broadway shows, and once for an audition.

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

The shows were amazing, and so was the food we ate before the shows! I wanted to rave to you all about the restaurant we ate at called the Meatball Shop, and tell you how wonderful each of the shows were.

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Dad and I ordering some meatballs before Chicago!

On Sunday April 15, I saw Hello, Dolly! with Bernadette Peters. Melanie Moore, who won Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance, was also starring in this show, so I was super excited to see the production! The day I saw Dolly, I went with some colleagues from one of the dance studios I work at. We were meeting our students in the city at the theater to all see the show! Before we went to the theater. one of my fellow teachers took us to the Meatball Shop which is on 9th ave and 53rd street Manhattan! It is so delicious I can’t even begin to tell you how yummy and FRESH the food is.

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They have a weekend brunch menu, but then they also have a menu where you can pick the kind of meat (or veggie) balls you want, what kind of sauce you want, and how you want them (just in sauce, with pasta, in a hoagie, smashed into a burger… etc.). I got the chicken meatballs “naked” (just in sauce) with fresh pesto and a slice of focaccia. I also ordered the seasonal side salad which was SO YUMMY! It included fresh lemon dressing, watermelon radishes, and feta cheese!

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The food here was so good, I had to take my dad back with me the following weekend when him and I went to see Chicago on April 22! My ticket to see Chicago was free since it was a studio trip, and luckily, additional tickets were cheap. For this reason, I bought my dad an extra ticket and had a nice day in the city with him. When the two of us went in, I ordered the chicken meatballs again and tried them in their parmesan cream sauce. I actually liked the pesto sauce much better, but it was still delicious and mixed well with the salad. It didn’t hurt to wash it all down with some cold Prosecco, either! My dad really enjoyed the food, too!

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Both shows were phenomenal, and I had such a fun time watching them! I never knew what Hello, Dolly! was about, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it. The music, choreography, costuming, and set were incredible. I laughed harder than I ever laughed at any Broadway show, and I also cried and felt super sentimental during the more “emotional” scenes. I can honestly say Hello, Dolly! is my new favorite Broadway show ever! Which is saying a lot, because previously it was Chicago!

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Chicago was different this time compared to when I saw it seven years ago (2011)! Maybe it is because I am older and understand more of the adult humor. Or maybe it is because it is a very different cast who put their own spin on the characters and the show. I don’t know which it is, but seeing Chicago again with this cast was fun because as I mentioned, it was very different from the first time I saw it. Both were great in their own ways. It was my dad’s first time seeing Chicago, and he loved it! Nothing is more captivating than genuine Fosse choreography and amazing dancers who bring it to life on stage.

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This past week was full of adventure and new beginnings. I have not felt this motivated in a while, and I am excited to see what my future holds. Adventuring around New York is becoming commonplace for me, and I can’t get enough. I am thankful to work for a studio that values giving our students immersive experiences in NYC! If you are in NYC at all anytime soon, definitely visit the Meatball Shop and go see a Broadway show if you can! If you need a recommendation, you can’t go wrong with these two 😉

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I love NYC!

Until next time xoxo

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