frog legs and photoshoots

Sometimes life throws new, potentially exciting opportunities your way.  In these instances, my rule is to always take advantage, no matter how scary it may seem (like that time I surprised myself by swallowing my preconceptions along with one of the frog legs my boyfriend ordered for dinner on my brother’s birthday).  Some of these endeavors prove themselves worthy of the momentary discomfort, while others fall short, leaving you with a slightly amphibious  jaded taste in your mouth.  My stint in the world of fashion modeling has officially joined the ranks of the famed frog leg tasting.  1001810_10151699646889663_1774515263_n

PS- I didn’t like the frog legs.

Above is the only photo from last weekend’s photoshoot that I sort of like.  You see, dear readers, sometimes when you go out of your comfort zone, the result is just that: uncomfortable.  This awkwardness is natural in learning a new skill or making friends, but when it comes to selling clothes, not so much.  Let’s get something straight- it’s not that I’m saying it’s an awful picture, just that through this experience, I have realized that seeing photos of myself attempting to model is one of my least favorite things ever.

So it turns out however fun the actual photoshoot session may be (and it was!), modeling is not really my thing.  But by refusing to give in to my reluctance, I learned something new about myself.  And I learned a lot about modeling, too(!), which means I’m wiser…and isn’t that worth all of the awkwardness in the end?  Je pense que oui.  So there you have it: some wiser words straight from me to you.  Have a lovely weekend, and challenge yourself to one awkward activity today…you’ll thank me later.

guest posting it up

dancehealthier

Hey all, just wanted to pop in and share some exciting news with you…

A few weeks ago, the author of one of my favorite dance blogs, Jill, asked me to write a guest post for her site, Dance Healthier.  My first guest post ever, weeeee!  Of course I obliged, attempted to write a short and sweet story about what inspires me, and promptly typed up a multi-paragraph chapter all about why I love dancing.  Woops.  Anyway, it turns out Jill loved the article and posted it on her lovely blog yesterday!  So I figured I would let you all know both about my little guest posty and also about Jill’s fantastic health-and-fitness-for-dancers blog.  Well, what are you waiting for?! Go check it out!!!

sunday funday

tix sangria

On Sunday, Alex, Tegan and I shared quite the lovely Cinco de Mayo.  We attended Boston Ballet’s Chroma (AMAZING show- tickets courtesy of my new Bostonian friend and gorgeous BB company member, Robby Kretz), where we bumped into a few other FBP dancers and guest choreographers (been missing our Mr. Plotnikov!), then headed to Fajitas & Ritas for some delicious Mexican grub before driving back to Providence for a round (or two) of sangria.  Sunday Funday indeed!  But the highlight of my day?  Meeting and chatting with Boston Ballet’s artistic director, Mikko Nessinen.  Pretty awesome stuff!

Happy Monday, ladies and gentlebeans! xx

injuries and remedies

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For anyone who doesn’t already know, I’d just like to take the time to say this right now: Ballet is hard.  Like, really hard.  And I don’t mean deciding between Froyo World and Orange Leaf hard, I mean sweating through multiple layers, bloody toepads, and collapsing on the couch immediately upon returning home every day hard.  But just when you thought the challenges were purely physical, you find yourself battling those dreadful little shadows of depression creeping into your brain.  Ballet is based on the pursuit of technical and artistic perfection, two things that are actually impossible.  Yet we work tirelessly day in and day out to achieve these unattainable goals, consequently setting ourselves up for failure.  No wonder we can so easily become depressed…

When you are injured, this pursuit of perfection does not cease- at least not mentally.  Physically, you are handicapped, but mentally you continue the fight.  Your life becomes a constant internal self-interrogation…what could I have done differently to prevent this?  How do I heal?  Which rehearsals am I missing?  Will I be better in time to perform?  It goes on and on.  With your mind racing a mile a minute but your body stuck in a rut, frustration is almost expected.  But it shouldn’t be mandatory, should it?  So how do you stamp out those mind-dwelling flames of self doubt and worry?  Everyone has a different method.  For me, there is nothing like getting out in the sun for at least 10 minutes, talking to my mom, having a bite (or 5) of a giant oatmeal raisin cookie, and dropping by the studio to see my friends.  And when all that fails, fresh flowers, wine, a trip to the RedBox and a night in with my boyfriend is always a winning combination!  It’s all about the healing powers, people!  Send me your good vibes!

enchante

Hello!  Just popping in to share my “Meet The Dancers” video, part of a series created by FBP principle dancer, Vilia Putrius.  Vilia has put her movie making skills to the test, filming and editing each dancer’s interview one by one.  She incorporates childhood photos and performance as well as rehearsal footage into these short but sweet fact-packed segments to produce fun and interesting little blurbs about the FBP dancers.  Take a peek at my video, and enjoy a little laugh at my 7th-grade-self marzipan-ing it up.  Oh, and I’d love to know…what’s on your bucket list?

creative courage

creative courage

The most important thing I have learned this year is that creativity takes courage.  Choreographers harness their inspiration to compose a piece, but it is up to the dancers to interpret the steps and turn them into something that will ignite the audience.  Doing this requires becoming vulnerable, taking a risk, and displaying emotion- the ultimate illustration of courage.

inspecting introspection retrospectively

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Just thought I would check back in here to record the effects of today’s “be happy” plan.  This day has brought me many things, among them a new mantra: Good things come to those who smile.

Today was one of the best days I’ve had in a while.  Nothing monumental happened; there were many tough rehearsals and stinky pointe shoes and all that (ballet) jazz.  But something felt so different.  I was smiling, happy, energetic- three words that could not have been further from describing me yesterday.  This difference, I now realize, came from me.  It wasn’t some kind of huge spiritual awakening, or centering of my “qi” (though I am still working on it, ahem, take-home-needles-permanently-stuffed-into-my-hand/back/ear- I’m talking to you), no, it was much simpler than that.  All it took was a smile.  Today I decided to smile when my alarm went off too early, when I rushed to take all of my many new herb supplements (more perks of acupuncture, weeee), spilt hot tea on my hand, did my first plie of the day, put on the aforementioned stinky pointe shoes, got my bum kicked in rehearsal for Enroulment, did one too many pas de chats en pointe during fairy rehearsal- all of it.  I smiled all day, and you know what?  The day smiled back.

PS- If you’re in the New England area, come out to see how well my acupuncture/smiling tactics have been working in this weekend’s performance of Up Close On Hope!

*photo by A. Cemal Ekin, pictured are Ruth Whitney and Alan Alberto in Unexpected, from last weekend’s Up Close 

victory dance

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Tomorrow will be my first day back in the studio after a week’s hiatus.  I know, I know- a week off from ballet to recover from an injury is really not all that major.  Many dancers are forced to take several weeks and even months away from the studio to heal their ballet-broken bodies, and they often do so with the poise of a graceful ballerina.  My experience, on the other hand, went a bit differently.  I spent most of my days glued to the couch in a dizzy, nauseous, drug-induced daze, refusing to eat anything but peach rings, blueberries and the occasional jelly bean.  I spent my nights flip-flopping between fighting off negative thoughts and succumbing to pathetic self-pity tears on my pillow.  I left my sunken spot on the sofa only to receive acupuncture treatments every other day, and was skeptical about even those outings.  But, pokey little needles, you’ve made a believer out of me!  While I’m not yet 100% better, I’ve had an amazing improvement.  My back pain is almost completely gone, and my overall well-being has skyrocketed.  My daily demeanor has shifted from stressed and slightly irritable to relaxed and happy.  My boyfriend even told me, “You seem so happy now, that is radiates.”  Success?  I think so.

Special thanks to my wonderful mom, who has stood by me through every single up and down, every peach ring feeding and acupuncture session, and everything in between.  And thank you for helping me take my pants off when I couldn’t do so myself.  Oh, and for putting them back on, too.  You’re the best.