bippity-bopitty-boo

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You know those moments in life when everything seems to fall into place serendipitously? A stranger reaches out on Facebook, timing is right, and good vibes effervesce abundantly…

This was my Cinderella story. On Tuesday we drove to Connecticut and made a variation (with 3 menages!). On Wednesday we tasted a giant pretzel, then hit the stage with lights and fog. And glitter. On Thursday we dress rehearsed and dress rehearsed again. Followed by margaritas and tacos in the rain. On Friday we took a Tesla to lunch, we ran-through et voila, on Saturday, we performed for a sold out house. We signed autographs, we took pictures, we performed again. We ate tapas and crossed paths with old friends while forging ships with new ones. On Sunday, another sold out show, more signatures on playbills, and sweet words from the kindest of people. Goodbyes were harder than anticipated, for this crew I spent just 6 days with. But isn’t that what it’s all about? Experiences that leave you wanting more, and checking your toes for magical shoes, as you lay half asleep in your bed, wondering if the whole thing had perhaps been a dream…

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performance photos and beautiful experience via Ballet Theater Company.

weekend in wonderland

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When you start the weekend on a Thursday afternoon with airport wine and your best friend.

When you realize how to spell Chautauqua.

When you fly into a blizzard, but a bold ballet dad braves the storm.

When your apartment is above the old McDuff’s, and has the puppy portraits and “wipe your paws” doormat to prove it.

When you can walk from McDuff’s to the (gorgeous) studios and the theater in under 3 minutes.

When you find breakfast cookies. And so you return after hours to beg for more. And then leave with 6.

When you warm up to Christmas carols and the snow just keeps coming.

When you mirror the 12-year-old ballerina showing you how to Sugarplum and remember yourself as a 12-year-old bunhead and wonder how this all came to be.

When you realize your tutu matches your tea saucer and your life is complete.

When the waitress thinks you’re married and refills your would-be husband’s coffee again and again (and again).

When angels literally surround you and ask questions like, “Do you live at your studio, or do you have a house?”

When you vow never to turn Hallmark channel off.

When dinner turns strangers into friends and the person across from you says “bubblah”.

When you take your partner’s hand, step into sous-sus, and feel astoundingly present.

When you sign an autograph for Phoebe on the bathroom counter and she smiles a smile bigger than her face.

…you’ve just done a Nutcracker guesting in Wonderland.

making spirits bright

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Over the weekend, A and I headed up to the historic town of Winchester, MA for a Sugarplum guesting.  Diverts and rosin, golden tiaras and (so many!) children- what a way to kick off the Nutcracker season…

Though it feels good to be back in my city (and stalking Seven Stars), I really am a big fan of traveling to places my eyes have never met.  No matter if the destination waits just 60 miles north and the duration of the stay plans to be quite limited; The eminence of adventure is not lost in short journeys.  Discovering (and dancing) in new places is one of my favorite flavors of thrill.  Of course, sparkling tutus, glassy birch trees, miniature bottles of bubbly, warm crêpes and generous best best friends do seem to add just the right spice.

Oh yes, it’s a wonderful life.

a midwestern nutcracker

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Saturday, December 13th, 2014 marks an important date for me;  Not only was is my first time ever performing as the Sugarplum, but also my first time dancing in a Nutcracker performance outside of FBP’s show at PPAC, which I’ve been a part of for 14 years of my life.  A pretty big deal, to say the least!

Being a guest artist was such a lovely experience, and our hosts showed us some really exceptional hospitality, with bountiful gift baskets upon arrival, hand drawn cards from the students wishing us luck, heated blankets backstage and in our dressing room, and a seemingly endless supply of cold water bottles to keep us hydrated.  The performances went fairly well, considering the less-than-favorable stage conditions, my bursitis, and a mild case of pre-performance jitters.  Although I must say, I think my favorite part of the trip was the cast party held “in our honor”, complete with an adorably inspiring question and answer session with the students.  Some of the highlights:

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In addition to the adorable notes of encouragement, and inquisitive/informative questionnaires from the littles, I especially enjoyed sharing the story of my injury recovery and some motivational words with a young dancer who had recently been diagnosed with a spinal stress fracture, just like mine.

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I boarded the plane homeward bound with a full heart and an inspired mind; A change of scenery and a fresh audience can work real wonders on a tired body.  Stay tuned for the scoop FBP’s Nutcracker opening this weekend, and our premiere of Grand Pas at PPAC!

all photos via STB’s new instagram