Dancers, Fairies, and Road Trips!

Hello beautiful readers!

Holy apologies – I have been so absent lately for good reason, and I wanted to update you all on my life and tell you what is coming next for me!

Last week was my final week of teaching, and my final week of rehearsals for the company’s big show. On Saturday June 9, the Warwick Dance Collective presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet, and I danced the roles of a lead fairy attendant and a maid of honor at the triple wedding in act II.  (See Related)

Related: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Fairy Makeup and Hair

I am not a ballerina, however, the company I dance with right now performs mostly ballet, and I am trying to teach myself how to dance gracefully in pointe shoes! This show was particularly challenging because I have never danced en pointe in a show for any longer than 5 min. I realized the brand of pointe shoes I’ve been rehearsing in are not the best shoe for my feet.

Anyway, there will be official video and pictures emailed to me, but below are images of my official fairy/bridesmaid makeup, and a picture my dad snapped of me from the audience.

In addition to having a fun time performing, I was accquainted with new dancers! My director brought in all of the male dancers from other companies, and they were all so fun and kind. I’ve never met a better bunch of dancers to work with on a project! Although hectic, overall Midsummers was a great experience!

The following day, Sunday June 10, I drove 10 hours south to the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC! The drive was not bad, and my mom came with me. I drove all 10 hours because I wanted to see if I would be able to do it when I was that tired – and I did! I was exhausted from my crazy week, but I knew it would be a push from show weekend until the end of ADF.

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Can’t stop won’t stop! Am I right?

I am officially here, and my first day of work was today. I am working in the performances office, and I am so excited I have the opportunity to meet a lot of the choreographers who come to dance, teach, and perform at the festival. Today, they literally put my ass to WERK. I did so much manual labor I feel like my arms are going to fall off. And tomorrow I have to pick up dancers of Shen Wei Dance Arts from the Raleigh/Durham airport. Crazy right? I might be picking up the ACTUAL Shen Wei – uhmm what?! So cool!

Thursday is the official start of this year’s festival, and I have a crazy weekend coming up as well. There will be a lot of auditions, classes, and work to do so I may not get around to posting until Sunday to let you all know about my week. I am going to do a summer series of ADF posts on my journey here, my work, progress, and the adventures I find myself on!

Also, I just want to quickly shout out my beautiful mother for being an ABSOLUTE ANGEL and driving with me, going food shopping for me, helping me move in, and providing more love and nurturing than I deserve! She helped me prepare and execute SO MUCH for this trip, and this trip would not have been as comfortable or smooth if she was not here to help me. So thank you momma! I love you!

Until next time, I hope you all have an amazing week!

Xoxo

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The Inspiration Behind my Blog and Etsy Shop

Hello beautiful internet people!

I wanted to tell you all a story this evening about the inspiration behind Julia’s Leaps of Faith! There are so many reasons why I started my blog, but the blog it is today is completely different than the blog it began as, and the direction my blog is headed now has a definite backstory I think is important to share! There are two influences that helped me shape Julia’s Leaps of Faith into what it is today, so here we go!

As a child/teenager, I danced a lot at my local studio. I was taking seven classes a week, and to be honest I was no where near my peers in the amount of classes they were enrolled in. Truth is – dance lessons are super expensive, especially for parents of three who are paying for three childrens’ extracurricular activities, sports, and living expenses. I could not afford to dance as much as my peers, but in order to continue dancing as much as I was, I partook in a workstudy program at my studio. I student-taught/assisted classes each week, and I was given an hourly stipend to cut the costs of my monthly tuition (to help my parents pay the bills!).

This definitely helped my parents afford my dance lessons, and all the while I was able to assist my favorite teacher, Miss Sarah, in her ballet classes. Thursdays were the best because I helped Miss Sarah teach for two hours in the evening, and then I took two hours of her advanced class at night. Plus, I would buy us both Dunkin Donuts coffee every week, and in the fall we would delight over our obsession with Dunkin pumpkin coffee (hot with milk and sweetner on the side). See, Miss Sarah was a professional ballerina and always came to class with her hair in a PERFECT French Twist slicked back and pinned, her eyeshadow was flawlessly done, and the colors of her eyeshadow complimented her leotard and ballet skirt, and it complimented her earrings (she wore the prettiest earrings!).

I always admired her eyeshadow and earrings, and I knew when I was the lead dance teacher in the future I was going to try to compose myself in the way Miss Sarah did so gracefully! Miss Sarah also was the only teacher who never waivered in her belief in me to suceed and achieve in dance, and in all of my other endeavors. She is a big reason I am where I am today as a dancer/performer. As you can see, I only have very fond memories of this teacher, and she clearly left a positive impact on me!

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Always leaping!

The same year I began student teaching with Miss Sarah, I also began dancing in my high school’s musical productions! It was the first musical I ever danced in, and I began experimenting with makeup A LOT. I never wore a lot of makeup – a little mascara and blush, but I didn’t wear eyeliner or eyeshadow. But since I was going to be performing on stage as a character, I needed to improve my makeup skills. I bought a Maybelline and a Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow trio, and I began my experimentation! I also tried to mimic the winged liner I saw all of the other dancers wearing!

Thus, this experience catalyzed my obsession with makeup and eyeshadow, and I have not stopped experimenting with makeup or beauty products since. I was 15 when this all began, and now as a 22 year old woman I am so thankful dance and makeup go hand-in-hand, and that I can merge my two favorite obsessions together! ❤

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Talk about a throwback… Here is 15 year old me experimenting with layering white eyeliner on top of my winged black liquid liner. This picture was taken in 2011 (check out my auburn hair!)

I started making makeup because I wanted to have my own makeup collection available to performers and people everywhere who need cruelty-free and quality makeup, whether they need to perform on stage or at their workplace! Doing your makeup makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you shine! I want people to shine and feel as beautiful as they can because they deserve to! And who knows, you may be the person who inspires another young kid to go pursue their dreams and work hard, and to have kick-ass eye makeup while doing it (like Miss Sarah did for me)!

If you would like to purchase any of the makeup I make, or purchase a custom palette, visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/juliasleapsoffaith! The link will direct you to my page.

Xoxo lots of love and positive energy

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