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.

I am often superstitious…


…afraid to say things out loud before they’ve happened, let alone celebrate achievements in advance. As if the uttering of gratification scares away good fortune. Like the vocal recognition of fulfillment prior to the physical fulfillment somehow makes that inevitability impossible.

This tendency is a consequence of genetics (Hi, Mom!) and 24 years in a field of inherent uncertainty. Nothing is “a given”. Every day could be my last day dancing. But then again, every day could be my last.

So what about the recognition of the gifts right here and now? What about appreciating the struggle? What if the hardship is the gift?

Yesterday morning, before my walk in to the studio, I felt called to stop in my tracks, open my eyes wider, and take in a few deep breaths. As the cold air swirled up through my nostrils and into my chest, I became aware of my own heartbeat. The complicated system of highways in my body streamed actively, my spine extended and my chin lifted to accept another breath. I suddenly felt grateful not only for the present moment, but for the future things I looked forward to but had since felt too afraid to let manifest in my mind firmly.

“Don’t count your nuts before they are cracked,” I heard myself tell me. “You’ll jinx it!” another part of me whined. And then something strange happened.

They stopped. They accepted. I recognized. I received.

This very physical act of  receiving all of the good- the simple, the complex, the already, the not yet- curved up the corners of my mouth. I was somehow simultaneously filled up with gratitude and emptied out with even more room for achieving.

If you can today, go outside. Take a deep breath. Thank your body. Welcome your self.


photo by Samantha Wong.