Hi, guys. You know when people write those inspiring essays about learning to say “no”? The ones where they champion the freedom, the health, the peace that comes with signing up for just as much as one can handle without tipping the scale too far toward swamped? Those people who have figured out how to be “good busy”, where they are toeing the line between active and buried and their hustle is inspiring? Yeah, I am not one of those at the moment.

Since last summer it seems I have not found the space to lighten my own workload. Personal ambition and love of projects are shaming me into a cycle of “yes! oh no, burn out, repeat.” It’s a loop I’d love to break open, a ride I long to jump off of.

When I was 10 my family when to Disneyland. Not knowing how fast the coaster would be, my mother dragged me onto Thunder Mountain Railroad with my brother, sister, and father, so that we could “enjoy” one ride together as a family. I spent the entire hour? 8 minutes jumping out of my skin, clutched to her flank and begging I’m not sure who to stop the ride so I could PLEASE GET OFF. In a completely non-morbid way, lately life feels a bit like this. On the inside I am screaming for everything to stop, but I can’t quite get myself to press pause.

M and I were discussing my overbooked schedule, trying to determine, as he puts it “the low hanging fruit” to be knocked from my priorities. Dancing, we agreed, come first right now. Have you read this article about adjusting ballet class to train a modern day dancer? Until then, cross training runs in at a close second. Another job for which I am counted on and given money to complete is that of PR & Communications Assistant. While it is work I enjoy- writing, designing, marketing, creating, sharing- my cluttered life makes the weight of this job feel overwhelming. But no less important. So then it’s on to school, a degree I am desperate to finally complete (hopefully) just over a year from now. Ambitious me decided to take on an internship for this semester. “I’ll write a history of the Company in honor of our 40 years! It’ll be great! It’ll be fun!” Ha. Past Keeks is unkind to Present Keeks. Diving into the archives and interviewing famous Festival Ballet faces should have been so enlightening. Instead it’s getting shoved into my stress compartment, entombed by this other commitment or that. Of course then the fun projects pile up, but how can I reject a Cinderella guesting the week after our season ends, a fashion show with Anthropologie on International Women’s Day, or a women’s initiative choreography project? Extracurricular creativity feeds the sooooul. So what’s left? Subbing for some of my favorite schools here and there? A trip to the theater because you got awesome tickets to An American in Paris for Christmas? International travel plans? Friday night rituals with friends? Monday tea dates? Sundays with your best friend (which are mostly gone because you are performing all the dang time (which is actually a “yay!” because that’s your first love but what about your love love?!). This is all before grocery shopping, laundry-doing, showering, keeping my house clean, my plants alive, attempting to see my family, and you know, all of those other human things. I don’t know how to solve this problem, which I firmly defend as a good one to have, but I do know that I am nervously laughing on the inside, ready to burst, all. the. time.

This is not a refreshing post wherein I solve my life’s problems. It is a simple rant about the hurriedness of life for what appears to have been far too long now, and my personal ambition’s apparent need to continue a vicious cycle. Thank you for letting me spill in this sacred space, which by the way, I have also been missing quite a bit, and will never categorize as “low hanging fruit”.

If I were looking at myself as someone else I would say, “Slow down. Keep going. All the way…stop. Relax. It’s okay. Turn it down. Cancel it. Take your time. You will get there. You will make it. It will still be there when you are ready, and if it isn’t, something else will be waiting. Do not fear.”

That’s all for now, xx.

shifting gears

Bouncing between planets and back pain, neoclassicism has left the building in favor of a quite indulgent flavor: rolly, flowy, weighted, contemporary goodness. It’s a hinge, y’all. And my heart is happy.


For the past week, we’ve been bringing the work of two incredible artists to life. Kurt Douglas‘ “Thrust” is a whirling wonder- eleven minutes of movement that bring satisfaction to my soul and sweat to my thighs. Yep. It’s lefty Limón fused with Kurt’s innate nimble shifting, flowing formations, intricate accented patterns, and a whole lot of running. I absolutely love it.


yon Tande is tackling a bit of history- Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”- and you guys, it gets the heart going. The ritualistic piece may quite literally make the earth tremble and sprout. What a total dream to be moved by this epic score!

I’ve been struggling with how to write this without sounding cheesy, but you guys, it has been so inspiring working with these two choreographers all week. They are passionate, positive, and so full of life. A total breath of fresh air in the doldrums of a stormy is-it-spring-yet month. You can find out a bit more about Kurt and Tande in my interviews with them over on the FBP Blog #shamelessplug if you’re interested. For now, I’m off to the studio for a double show day of “The Little Prince” (you were still wondering about that “interplanetary” business I mentioned in the first sentence, weren’t you?) and dinner with my lovely parents. Happy Sunday!

a chat with lauren lovette

Lauren_Lovette_for_Zarely_1800_1000_1400x.progressiveNYCB Principal Lauren Lovette, photo by Zarely.

At the Vail Dance Festival back in August, I was walking through the park on my way back from the amphitheater when I happened upon Lauren Lovette. She was sitting on a park bench, headphones around her neck, smiling at the wind. Mere hours away from premiering her new work (in which she was also dancing) that evening, Lauren looked calm and comfortable. So I decided to say hello.

Two hours later, we had recorded an entire (2 part!) interview and were now veering into a most interesting topic- her recent foray into veganism. Having just watched What The Health? with the rest of the Netflix loving world, veganism was at the forefront of my mind, and chatting about it with Lauren only further excited me. It wasn’t until the imminent food poisoning incident that I actually went fully plant-based, but I recently re-listened to our veganism chat and found Lauren’s story pretty enlightening.

Ms. Lovette is insightful, down-to-earth, and honest. Plus, there’s no denying her perfect podcast toned voice. ;) She shares her struggle with keeping on weight, eating a junk food diet, fighting for endurance, a serious health scare, and healing herself with plant food.

If you are curious, pull up a park bench and chat with us…

Thank you so much, Lauren, for sharing your experience!

a note just to say…

…back in October, I did a thing. I went to NYC to review a City Ballet show, and disastrous food poisoning usurped the whole trip. Foul, unspeakable things happened in that midtown hotel room.

Needless to say, I was a changed lady. Sushi rudely spurred my demise, so it was goodbye fish. What’s a 7-year pescatarian lady to eat then? Cue the endless binge-watching of plant-based Youtubers, the reading of manymanymany articles, essays, and books, and the debating of documentaries, both credible and not. This was some of the most eye opening research of my life- because it affected not only my life but the planet I live on! and the lives of millions of animals. After years of dabbling and consideration, spawned by a bad oyster in the East Village I finally did my own research and found my ethical connection to veganism. I was hooked.


Four months of veganism is nothing monumental for a girl who has been eating mostly plant-based for many a moon now, but I will say making this shift several weeks before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other cheese-and-meat-related festivities was a bit of a challenge and I am proud of my success (and my purple sweet potato pie!). I feel happy, energetic, and connected.

I hope this does not sound preachy, or omnivore-shame-y, or anything like that. It is simply a post to let you all in on this shift. This space would not feel like my own if I did not document this thing that has altered my perspective entirely. And if anyone else is interested in plant-based eating, stay tuned for my conversation with Lauren Lovette, another recently vegan professional dancer, who just happens to be a ballerina with the New York City Ballet and an all around lovely human.

Until then, thank you for supporting me in this little corner of the interwebs. xx, k.


Disclaimer: I know, I know! *Consuming raw or partially-cooked food may result in food born illnesses*, yada yada. Just sharing my personal experience and all that jazz.

february explorations





The culmination of a year’s worth of work took the form of a deeply satisfying performance weekend (more on that soon, promise) and a less-than-satisfying surprise: a week of layoff!

Always making lemonade from lemons, etc. etc., M and I have taken full advantage of this time off to reconnect with each other (he spent the past few weeks in California) and our favorite little state. A staycation in PVD led to Australian brekkie, and Italian pantry staple shopping on Federal Hill. We swung by the new North (GET THE PARSNIPS), crashed our favorite rooftop, and celebrated the Avon’s 80th birthday with I, Tonya and vegan licorice and our favorite dark chocolate, crafted in Boulder and scouted from the choco-wall of the best secret spot.

Our next adventure day brought us outside the city to Rhode Island’s South County. Ever just need to look at the ocean? Maybe it’s an Ocean State kid thing. We bundled up and M took me for a hike around Long Pond. Have you seen Moonrise Kingdom? I’m an official Wes Fanderson. I’m embarrassed by this joke, but M told me to put it on the blog so, here we are!

Post hike hunger led us towards Crazy BurgerNaturally you can’t pass through Charlestown without stopping at the original Dave’s Coffee (try the granola bar!) and letting the waves roll over your snow boots at Blue Shutters. We finished the night off parked at the mouth of Narragansett beach, debating the merits of plant-based eating while the Atlantic lapped in and out and soft snowflakes blurred together, filming over the windshield with winter weekend magic.

another year older


I turn 26 brushing my teeth. The shower is running, I’m wearing nothing but rainwater and hairspray.

I turn 26 humming Stravinsky- several different scores.

I turn 26 proudly, in the capable arms of my best friend as we dance.

I turn 26 clinking paper cups of Cliquot with my best girls in a disordered dressing room. My face wears random spots of stage makeup and my feet are bare.

I turn 26 reunited with my best guy. My beanfriend, my boo, my adventure buddy explorer. We watch curling and sneak day old donuts and ignore the prosecco.

I turn 26 with vegan carrot cake, pink tea kettles, and a well deserved chai.

I turn 26 with surprise heart-shaped greens, telepathic pen pals, and warm long distance hugs.

I turn 26 with tiny rubies in my ears, love on my lips, and stars in my eyes.

in my skin


I’ve been standing in the shower for far longer than necessary, letting the hot water patter over my shoulders and steam up my sore body. Two thick strips of kinesio tape flank my pulled lateral quad. A pillow of gauze inflates with water between my scarred baby toe and my bruised fourth toenail. The biggest toe on my other foot hides its half-nail under a bandage cap. Ballerina feet indeed.

That morning, finally seeing my podiatrist after a week of phone tag, he jokes that I’m lucky he doesn’t have a jealous wife. I have 3 voicemails in my inbox that say, “Hi Kirsten, it’s me. I’ll try again later.” This morning the office is empty save for my mother, the secretary, the doctor, and me. He’s wearing full scrubs, gracious nature brings him in to cut away bits of my skin before heading to the hospital for a full day of surgeries. My mother- bless her brave soul- is enlisted as accomplice, er assistant, in the scraping of my toe gunk. She patiently holds back my pesky wiggly toe- the one that’s had a bit of bone removed by that very wonderful podiatrist himself several years before- and never even squirms at its squishy ilk.

Today begins a week of 12-hour days. Beginning in the studio at 9:30am and wrapping in the theater at 10pm when the union crew turns out the lights on us, we will work. We will warm up, we will rehearse, we will warm up again. We will space, we will learn, we will dance. We will correct, repeat, perform. Repeat. A week quite literally full of ballet. Equal parts intimidated and excited, a recipe for the best kind of butterflies.

Here goes.