Feb 23, 2016

dancing and dresses

Between Say Yes to the Dress, My Fair Wedding, I Found the Gown, and every other show involving a bride on the search for the perfect dress, so much pressure has been put on brides to experience "the bridal moment." You know the one, the tears erupting from the bride, the sighs of glee from her shopping party, and the indescribable knowing that you have found the perfect gown. It's suppose to be the best dress you've ever worn and the dress you know will make Mr. Right choke up despite every effort to "not be that guy."

 It's a process and we're definitely getting closer to finding "the one." In fact, maybe we already have. The search has helped occupy whatever available space was left in my mind.

A few lessons learned thus far in the semester:

1: Wedding planning is hard

2: Writing is hard

3: Dancing Sleeping Beauty is hard

This past week was February break and I reveled in every bit of my love/hate relationship with it. Just when you're feeling on top of your game (dance-wise, that is) we take a break. Why, I ask you?! I ventured into the studio on this past Thursday for an Aurora coaching session and actually made it through the entire ballet (phew).

In addition to rehearsals, writing a novel, planning a wedding, and fervidly trying to finish my senior year of college in the summa cum laude category, a twist is added to the mix. I mentioned a while back that I would be working in Sleeping Beauty with an old friend who currently resides in the grand ol' Big Apple. We got a chance last month to begin rehearsing before he had to dash back to the city for the month of February. So yes, that means through the whole month (literally until March 1st), I have been without my prince. Fellow principal dancer, Glenn, has been kind enough to work with me in his absence to hopefully make everything flow a little bit smoother once my partner and I reunite. Eager to start putting Sleeping Beauty together in a run-through with any and all pieces to the jigsaw that is a full-length ballet.

Last topic on the agenda... Oh, yes. That novella thing I keep referencing.

I'm quite excited about it.

It's a story about ballet, (go figure) but more specifically about one woman's journey through the joys and tribulations of the lifestyle that include the competitive nature of the beast, supporting oneself financially through their career, balancing everything with a personal life, and the inevitability of injury. I'm toying with the idea of posting the first few pages up here. You'll have to let me know what you think.

It must be at least okay to receive a compliment like this one:

A photo posted by Rhiannon Pelletier (@rhiannonkpelletier) on

Life is cold up here in Maine but it's Tuesday, the sun is shining, my 8:00am class got cancelled and I am administering strikes to my to-do list like I'm the U.S. government. 

All is well.

Feb 12, 2016

jazz festival {barcelona}

I recently talked about how much it breaks my heart to see a student walk away from dance for financial reasons. I would like to see every child have the opportunity to study and practice dance... Oh, what a Utopia that would be. There is much that dance will teach you about the world, others, and yourself that simply isn't found in traditional classrooms.

That is the foundation upon which Jazz Dance Festival Barcelona is built.

It is a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve and spread knowledge of the origins of jazz dancing by bringing students and titled teachers together from all over the globe to study. It takes me aback sometimes when I'm conducting a class and reference George Balanchine or Darci Kistler only to meet blank eyes and furrowed brows (which I then, of course, take a 5-10 minute tangent explaining the origins of the Balanchine technique). 

The things we may perceive as common knowledge of the dance world simply aren't that to everyone. It's important to educate our students about the history of our art forms. It brings us closer to understanding the movement and, in turn, understanding ourselves. 

Names like Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, Matt Mattox, and Fosse that Jazz Dance Festival Barcelona hopes to make familiar to their students. They aim to bring this education to the Spanish students of their area that cannot afford to travel to America or across Europe to take classes. They hope to spread this opportunity worldwide as well. This year, they organized a dance competition and, thanks to Harlequin Floors as a sponsor, can award 500€ (about $560.00) as the first place prize. The festival grows with every season and hopes to continue organizing what they describe as the "magic moment" of each year. 

They encourage dancers to visit Barcelona during beautiful Easter time to practice jazz and learn more about its history. They also offer master classes in ballet, contemporary, and Bollywood.

They run this season from March 23rd-27th with a class schedule that can be seen on their website.

Feb 8, 2016

snow day

I wish a photo could properly capture the cascading of a snowflake or the violent wind of a storm.

Another snow day for us northerners. That brings it to two within a week!

~ * ~

this calls for girly "hulk juice"

a coffee shop playlist on spotify

and an abundance of studying that needs doing

~ * ~

Happy snow day, all.

glad there's love to keep us warm

Feb 7, 2016


As a teacher, it breaks my heart to watch a potential-filled student walk away from dance. Oftentimes the decision is one pushed laboriously by financial burden, as we all know how expensive a love of dance is. The costumes, the pointe shoes, the lessons, legwarmers, and leotards... Oh, my parents' poor bank account! My sister and I were lucky to have parents so accepting and supportive of our passions and that our family could afford to help us foster those passions. But not all little dancers are so fortunate and at this thought is where Jordana Jands set to work.

In a small town in Alberta, Canada, Jands' apparel line dancelove provides their customers with the ability to support the worldwide dance community while sporting the comfiest clothing featuring adorable scripted dance lingo. For each purchase, $1 is donated to a local dance studio to be used towards covering costs for dancers that need financial assistance. What could make you feel better about where you're putting your dollar than that? It's a wonderful mission from a great company with completely lovely products. And I can't forget to mention how luxuriously soft that sweatshirt is. With a harsh winters' week up here in Maine, it was my choice article of clothing pretty much Monday through Friday. The materials are high quality with fine texture and I can certainly attest to their durability. Such a beautiful mission will warm your heart on this February day.

Thank you, Jordana, for your genius and thank you to Patricia with Kivalo Photography for the wonderful photographs.

Feb 5, 2016

friday fun

Some social media highlights to kick off your weekend on the right note.

Something to laugh about, something to make you want to hop in the studio, something to make you want to fly, and a little bit of magic.

Mid-week mood lift: we had a special surprise visitor join our dancers for class this morning! #WackyWednesday #PasDeBourREX
Posted by Cincinnati Ballet on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cinderella Lorena FeijooSUPER FOUETTES
Posted by Sรณ Bailarinos on Sunday, February 2, 2014

Posted by Michaela DePrince on Monday, February 1, 2016

the journey of a ballerina that is drawn towards a higher power By the great Glen Keane
Posted by Flipbook Market on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Feb 2, 2016

winter woes

Spending my days talking about morphemes, syntax, and chapter formatting... Oh, how cold and dreary January can be. The sky is muted, fingers are white with chill, and time seems to drone on like a steam engine, unwavering its progress without consciousness, decision, or reason. Dear, me, how melancholy.

Have the January blues gotten to you too? They're beatin' me down, guys. It's a hard fight. Typically, I find there's no better remedy than a quiet weekend, lots of a tea, and a feel-good flick; something surely on the prescription now.

How are you beating the blues this winter? Tips encouraged!

In other news, helping out a friend with a photo shoot, Aurora interviews, and so, so, so much writing. I mentioned previously that I have to write a novel throughout the course of the semester. 60 page minimum and I'm officially 19 in!... Progress, people. Progress.

Sleeping Beauty is coming up and we have three lovely dancers who have been cast as Aurora. In this video Rhiannon, Veronica and Lizzy talk to us after learning they have the opportunity to take on this daunting role.
Posted by Maine State Ballet on Monday, February 1, 2016