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Sep 22, 2015

the weekly inspiration




If you follow me on Facebook (and you definitely should if you don't!) then you know I share a fair amount of videos featuring Adiarys Almeida. I can say without reservation that she is one of my favorite dancers if not my absolute favorite. With a superhuman ability to crank out a few extra rotations or hold that balance moments longer, she is a star in every way.

Back in January of 2014, I was so privileged to have the opportunity to interview this gem.

 (check it out!)




Today I'd like to provide for you a little weekly inspiration. Something to remind us all why we do what we do and why we relentlessly work towards perfection.

Maine State Ballet will be performing Sleeping Beauty in the spring of 2016 and I'd be lying if I said my head hasn't already turned in that direction. However, that is the case largely because of this jaw-dropping video. I know you'll be as amazed as I was.



Guys... She doesn't even use the last two partners because she balanced too long... Talk about being on your leg.


Perhaps you want to see some turns? Well, you're in luck! Because Adiarys has them in spades. Below is a video snagged off of Miko Fogarty's Facebook page.

video


How?... Just how, I ask you?





Let's finish it off with a montage.





Happy viewing, readers!


Sep 18, 2015

change of plans



The plan for today was originally to do a post about dance rehearsal styles featuring some photos of my coworkers during class and rehearsals, but there has been a slight change of plans!...


On Saturday, I experienced a very big moment in life. One I had been hoping for but certainly didn't anticipate coming in the near future.

As you may know, I've been with this wonderful man named Travis for a while now. It's a cliche but he's my other half. By now it seems like we've known each other for our entire lives and I am more confident in the fact that he is the one for me than anything else going on in this crazy thing called life

He has made me feel more lighthearted, determined, angry, loved, emotional, and blissfully elated than ever before in my existence. I thank my lucky stars every day that we met.

Saturday, September 12th happened to be my father's birthday and Sunday was my own. We were plagued with poor weather forecasted for Sunday but Saturday was as beautiful as a mid-September day could be. For my birthday we had planned to make our way up to the gorgeous Quaker Ridge (a hilltop in Casco, Maine in which you can see many of the surrounding lakes and the most radiant sunset {photo evidence})for birthday cake and champagne. But with the impending gloomy weather, that plan had to be nixed.

I knew something was up when the cancellation of this plan and formation of a new one suddenly became a big deal. It was all my family could discuss. I wasn't sure what to do... Go anyway and hope the weather held up, find something else to do on Sunday, or, as my father suggested, hijack his birthday (which we often do. Oh, the struggles of back-to-back birthdays!) and go up that evening.

In the end, my father so nobly decided that he wanted to go up to Quaker Ridge to see the sunset for his own birthday, and all was well.

My suspicion grew when Travis announced he had receieved a text from his mother informing him that his family's lawn mower had broken and he needed to help his dad fix it and would likely not be able to join us and the ridge...

However, I really caught on when my mother said, "We're going to take a family photo for the Christmas card at the top of the hill, so dress nicely." I knew a surprise of some sort was coming, I just assumed it would be for my birthday.

So when we hop in the van, climb the hill, reach the top and I see Travis' mother sitting on a picnic table with utter glee constructing her smile, I didn't know what to think.

And then, underneath a gazebo of vines and ivory flowers, was this gorgeous man standing in a bed of rose petals. I was a goner.













I just feel like the luckiest girl in the world.




and... 





WE'RE ENGAGED!!!






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Sep 11, 2015

in this moment



A moment caught in time from this past week. One worth savoring, remembering, and sharing.



I encourage you, dear readers, to do the same and post a link to your "moment" in the comments.



~ * ~


First day back in the studio on Tuesday after a three week hiatus. Feels so good! However, my back did not thank me on Wednesday. That twentieth birthday is really sneaking up on me, teehee (which is on Sunday, by the way!). 





what does your 'moment' look like?



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Sep 7, 2015

labor day wishes and audition tips and tricks



Wishing everyone a happy Labor Day! It's a beautiful Monday here in Maine and I am soaking up every moment of this glorious day off.

Chicken on the barbeque, warm lake water, hot sun, and cold beverages... Life is good!
But after the splendor of the long weekend concludes, Nutcracker auditions follow soon thereafter for many. At my home, Maine State Ballet, even the Sugar Plum Fairy needs to pin on an audition number. As I mentioned on Friday, I don't mind the formality in the least because it's a humbling reminder of where we all started.

But for those wringing their fingers as they approach the barre and more uncertain of what their casting may be this year, it's nice to have a few tips in mind to ensure a smooth audition.



1. Don't panic.

One small mistake will not jeopardize your entire dancing career and likely not change the panel's view of you as a dancer, so get that out of your head. This will make tip number two much easier.


2. Relax.

Oftentimes, the smile on a dancer's face can make the difference between a yes and a no in casting. I know in my own choreography for recital numbers and such, I oftentimes look for the dancer with good technique, but not necessarily the cleanest, and an outstanding acting ability or presence. That is what the director is looking for, the magic in a dancer's eye, the charisma, the je ne sais quoi that makes an audience member's gaze drawn to the dancer.


3. Go for it and push.

Sure, sometimes we don't want to be "that girl" in class that's always pushing things as hard as possible, darting to the front of the room, and aggressively fighting for the instructor's attention. But sometimes it's necessary to move forward and be noticed and this is one of those times. So give it all you've got!


4. Stand out with your dancing.

So now that you're really pushing your dancing, leave it at that. You don't need to show up wearing a pound of glitter eyeshadow, cherry red lipstick, a giant bow in your hair, and a neon leotard. Those are the wrong reasons to stand out and it's not fooling anybody. Many auditions require a black leotard to be worn so choose one that you feel comfortable in and that flatters you, put your hair in a slick bun, and look nice. That's a word often used for audition appearance. Don't touch the nightclub eyeshadow palette, stick with neutral tones and a clean look.


5. Breathe, and get comfortable.

A big part of the "presence" people are always talking about, is just referring to comfort. Directors will feel more confident about casting someone who is comfortable under pressure and in front of crowds. This is your first opportunity to show them that you can handle it.



Merde, everyone!


For comments and questions please post a comment below or contact me at any of the resources listed below. Much love!



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Sep 4, 2015

the lowdown {september 2015}



personal

A last remaining shred of summer heat remains as the signs of autumn slowly come trickling in. The air is drier, the nights colder, and the days are shorter.

But who doesn't love autumn? Let alone autumn in Maine. The crisp air, morning frost on an array of painted leaves, tart apples, and, of course, L. L. Bean boots (which, I'd like to acknowledge, I wore before they were the latest fashion trend on the East Coast). 

Travis (my other half) is attending graduate school in pursuit of his MBA. Although that entails early morning hours of work and long evenings of classes and I fear I will hardly see him throughout the semester, I could not be more proud. It will be more than worth it in the end.



Adrienne (my sister and spirit animal) has begun culinary school and I fear I will hardly see her this semester either... But I'm more than certain that the baked goods and leftover meals she'll hopefully be bringing home will ease the pain. She has more than a knack for baking. The artistry she displays in the dance studio is reflected in the impeccably swirled icing atop her pumpkin spice cupcakes (which by the way, I am craving. Hint, hint, Adri!). 


 


scholastic

It is September 4th and I am one week into my final year of school (and whenever I use the word "final" my father likes to gently remind me that graduate school is always an option... Thanks, Dad [I think]!) How I have come to be a senior in college and nine days away from turning twenty, I will never know. They're not kidding when they say it goes by fast.

the annual "mother-fawning-and-slightly-dying-on-the-inside-but-still-insists-on-taking-a-photo-on-the-first-day-back-to-school-except-this-time-is-the-last" tradition


I love Saint Joseph's College and I have met people that I feel certain will be lifelong friends, but I am excited to see what my professional future has in store. Somewhat terrified, but excited all the same. I think everyone has that moment (or many moments) when the reality of adulthood begins to loom closer and closer above our heads and its nearness grows increasingly unsettling. But that won't make it slow down so I suppose the only thing to do is buckle up and hold on for the ride. Something I'm working diligently at mastering.

It will be a busy semester but I've soaked in every minute of back-to-school shopping I could get (an avid love of mine) so we're off to a good start.

artistic

I can practically hear the Nutcracker overture already! It is all at once an exciting, nerve wracking, and maddening side effect of the turn of summer. Nutcracker auditions for the Maine State Ballet School and Company are held next Friday and Saturday. Yes, even the Sugar Plum Fairies have to audition. For the company members it is indeed a formality but I don't mind in the least because it's a humbling yearly reminder of where we started ourselves. Little ballerinas that have hardly grown into their hair buns dressed in black leotards and look around nervously as their mothers pin an audition number onto them. Even still, we can all remember what that was like.

 
In the midst of Nutcracker hoopla, the company is preparing for our fall ballet, Peter and the Wolf coupled with Western Roundup. Adrienne will be featured as "The Bird" in Peter and I will be featured in Western. They're short and sweet ballets but they're another chance to perform. I am dancing with fellow MSB principal Glenn Davis. Western Roundup is somewhat reminiscent of George Balanchine's Rodeo and it is one of the most fun ballets in our repertoire. 





This time of year I'm usually ailed by that terribly nostalgic longing for it to be the start of summer again. But September has surprised me with an easy acceptance for the change of pace. I look ahead on the school year with eagerness.

Stay tuned next week for audition tips and tricks as the Nutcracker auditions approach!


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