dreamy january

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Blue skies, red bricks and white tiles.  Patriotism painted in Boston’s bright blood, streaked with a nostalgia for times yet to be had.  How can you long for a time and place you’ve yet to know?

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If I could control the calendar, I would place the New Year in autumn. Fall would refresh us, with its subtle sinking temperatures and tendency to steer us towards all things new.  We would make our resolutions when the leaves turn gold, sparked by a behavioral stamp embossed on our temporal condition since childhood.  Back to school, new schedules, the shedding of our summer skin.

January feels more like a time for questions.  A time for exploration, investigation, experimentation.  A time to take the pressure off, test the waters, let the kettle scream.

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Today we head back into the studios to begin work on three new ballets.  All contemporary, all world premieres. Heading straight into the unknown, fresh off the Nutcracker Express, I can almost feel the words buzzing in my head…exploration, investigation, experimentation.

Happy New Year.

So far 2016 has felt positively dreamy.  But I suppose that’s to be expected when it starts off with fireworks over Boston harbor, compelling conversation and a hot chocolate tour of New England, right?

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r e s o l v i n g

IMG_6456As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of lists.  Making them, reading them, crossing things off of them…any way to list is a good way to list, in my opinion.  Around this time every year, people all over the world- including those who don’t typically “list”- start listing.  What to do better, faster, less, and more of, how to be stronger, smarter, richer, more lovable…

Being the list-lover that I am, in previous years I’ve jumped at the opportunity to make a formal one come January.  But last year I created a new tradition, sort of by accident, and it significantly changed my perspective.  So I’m doing it again.  One resolution, one bold choice, one decision for 2016.  Here goes.

2015 was a year of immense personal growth.  I survived one of New England’s snowiest winters all alone in my little apartment, danced some really inspiring roles, made a very special new friend and went on so many adventures.  Most importantly, though, I was gifted my very first iron, which means I’m officially a grown up.  Wrinkle-free dressing=adulthood, right?

Since last year’s resolution was to consciously live, this year I’m giving myself a break.  For the next 12 months, I’d like to focus on putting less pressure on myself.  My resolution is a reminder that it’s okay to take things slowly, or to take a different route entirely.  I hope to spend less time worrying about goals whose moments have yet to arrive, and instead take a beat to recognize the many things that I have accomplished.  In 2016 I am pursuing positivity, living the questions, and letting things fall into place on their own, as they always seem to have a way of doing.

BUT! because let’s face it, we all know I can’t resist a list, some of my favorite moments from 2015…

performing Coma

befriending the lovely ladies of Danseuse 

collaborating with Miss Jones Dance on this custom “Setting The Barre” leotard

performing Apollo

making so many new friends and all of the collaborations, reviews, guest posts, interviews, and photoshoots (& giveaway!) that followed

spinning around Providence with Free People

getting poetic again

finally exploring Providence’s incredible coffee shop scene

and subsequently spent far too long putting together an extensive list of my favorite spots to eat, drink, and play in Providence.  Because I suppose I love this little city juuuust a wee bit.

and last but not least, quite possibly the best day of the year.

a new year’s resolution

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Hello!  It’s a new year and with the hanging of fresh calendars comes a new season, new goals, and the setting of new works in the studio.

2014 was a very polarized one for me.  The highs were like dreams, but the lows…unimaginable nightmares.  Great love was lost, accidents erupted, lives were compromised, and relationships evolved.  I have been thinking a lot lately about resolutions, do you make them?  I usually write up a list of relatively unimportant steps to “self betterment”, but while composing an email on that very subject late Monday night, the only resolution I’ll be making this year sort of just….wrote itself…

“By the time December 31st rolls around, I find myself reflecting on the previous year’s self-promises (most of which are unfulfilled, I might add…how typical), and feel obligated to think up a new way to phrase “drink more water” and “pay it forward” in an attempt to trick myself into believing this new year will be, well, new.  This year’s reflection was different, though.  And not because I actually did start drinking more water in 2014 (woohoo!), but because in light of the harshness of life’s fragility making itself impossible to ignore this year, my resolution seemed so obvious to me.  In 2015 I want to really live.  I want to go slowly, do one thing at a time, and actually observe the world around me.  I want to notice if the neighbors down the street painted their fence or a new bit of graffiti has popped up on the building next to the ballet studio.  I want to write to my grandmother more often, strike up a conversation with the stranger putting an alarming amount of sugar in his coffee, and go to sleep each day with at least one new realization, experience, or random conundrum to investigate.  I guess what I mean is I would like to allow my mind to wander away from the meaningless worries of my own overly analytical brain and into the lightness that is taking each day one at a time.”

Some of my favorite moments from 2014…

shooting this Time vs. Money music video for The Bynars

this photoshoot with Andrew Marnier

performing Sugarplum for the first time and booking my first guesting

moving into my first apartment of my own– more updates to follow!

this walk around Swan Point Cemetery

shooting this mock gatorade commercial

being introduced to gwenythbrand

the summer of extreme personal growth

flying off to Neverland

modeling for MAC cosmetics

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resolving

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How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?  Do you ever make them?  Better question- Do you ever keep them?

In my case, creating a list of resolutions that I’ll stick to throughout the new year is something of a fantasy.  It’s not that I don’t have goals, don’t get me wrong, and I’ve mentioned before that I very much like emphasizing these goals as I change the calendar and my moral, physical and emotional slate clears, but it’s rare that my resolutions actually define my actions in those twelve months that follow.  Buuuut, despite my inability to fully implement these specific intentions, I can’t deny the joy I take in recording a fresh set of goals on January 1st (or 2nd ;).

Every year I strive to live in the moment, document more, work on my photography skills, do more creative writing, read at least 3 books (come on, girl, you can handle that), and take care of my body, but this year I have one resolution, discussed with my brother on Christmas night, that stands out from the rest.  So without further ado, le resolution principe de 2014:

Kirsten, you must take care of you car.  

2013 marks the year I bought my first car all by myself.  I love my little VW Golf, aka Greta, and it’s time I started giving her the love, oil changes, and vacuum-seshes she deserves.  So let it be written, so let it be done.

What are your goals for the coming year?

farewell, 2013

2013 was truly one for the books.  Travels, trials, treats, and tears, this year has bestowed them all.  From adventures in France to promotions in Providence, the memories made in 2013 will be cherished for a lifetime.

Now, dear readers, I leave you with an extremely thorough photo diary from this past year.  I tried to edit out just my few most favorite memories, but like I said, 2013 was one for the books.

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clarity

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If you’ve never stayed up late at night emptying every orifice of your home, tossing out old things and rearranging the new, you don’t know what you’re missing.

There is something about a clean and simple living space that can alter your mood entirely.   As the calendar days roll by, our lives become cluttered physically and mentally, stuffing our closets and our minds with baggage better suited for Logan Airport’s endless luggage claim.  With the new year approaching in what seems to be a swifter pace each December, time can begin to feel like a big snowball, rolling closer and larger and faster towards our backs every second.  January 1st is our chance to clear all slates, both environmental and metaphoric, and head into a new calendar with the excess behind us and only the essentials in our keeping.  So here’s to cleaning it out, calming the soul, and raising a glass to 2014.  Let’s make this the best year yet.

new year’s purge

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My mother and I share this funny quality in that we love a good purge.  No, no, no, I don’t mean bulimia (although how often do you hear a ballet dancer talk of any other sort of purging?), I mean a full-on life cleanse.  This means emptying out the drawers, cabinets, cupboards, and closets to make way for all the junk of the new year.  I mean, when you’re finding pointe shoes in your purse, you know it’s time for a good clean out.  So that’s what I’ll be doing with the rest of my night, readers: pitching out the dead batteries that have somehow survived atop a stack of old lightbulbs and empty masking tape rollers.  I might as well donate those sweaters I haven’t worn in 3 years while I’m at it, huh?  Hey, don’t judge me!  I told you it was junk!  If this has inspired any of you to join me in the cleaning fun, I wish you a Happy New Year’s Purge!