in the wings

Sometimes watching a ballet from the wings is even better than sitting front row.

I love the effect the boom lights have on these photos…so cool.  They’re like sparkling gems dressing up the royal court in the act I shots, and that single lonely light reflecting the black marley floor in the last photo looks like a glowing moon over the lake.  Gorgeous.

On another note, I’m so glad to have some photos of myself in the air.  I’ve proved to myself that I can jump!  Now I just have to do it all the time…hmmmm…some people’s summer goals are to read a particular book or master a new cocktail recipe; Mine is to see how long I can suspend in the air!


Life is made up of moments.  Moments of impact that arrive without warning and change you forever.  These moments come in all varieties- beautiful, ugly, monumental, minute- they alter your outlook and force you to slow down and think.

During the intermission between II and III Act of Saturday night’s show, I was given advice by a very wise friend/philanthropist/videographer/fan of the ballet (this man wears many hats).  He told me that life is about collecting moments.  He said, “Collect the moments that make you proud.  Remember these moments so you can use them later in life to remind yourself of your accomplishments.  Bookmark this day, don’t ever forget this feeling.”

I plan on following this advice at every moment of impact life throws my way.  Starting with the moment I noticed the above photograph taken and posted to my Facebook wall by Gene Schiavone (signed “…g”).  Gene is famous in the ballet world for his stunning photography, characterized by his ability to capture the passion, artistry, and intensity behind each movement, without sacrificing composition and form.  Mr. Schiavone travels to different companies around the world photographing dancers in rehearsals and onstage, yielding gorgeous photos that a few lucky dancers have the privilege of adding to their collection of moments.  This weekend, I became one of those lucky dancers, and I am beyond honored and STILL in shock.

If you want to see more of Gene’s outstanding ballet photography, view his photos and support him by ‘liking‘ his fan page on Facebook!

swan lake wrap up

{documenting my stage makeup overload}
{dress rehearsal of Act III}
{me and Brenna as swans}
{plunged my feet into a bucket of icewater before the last show}
{roommie picture :)}
{post-performance gala}

That’s it!  The last chords have been struck, final bows have been taken, the curtain has come down and Swan Lake, along with FBP’s season, has finally come to a close.  Several injuries, countless podiatrist appointments, several pounds of hairspray, 4 pairs of pointe shoes, and a big bucket of ice later, I feel that I have gained more from this performance that I’d ever even imagined.  Not only have I grown immensely as a dancer (who knew I would have the physical capacity to make it through two shows of pas de trois and cygnets?!  *patting my own back right now*), but I’ve learned that it’s important to listen to your body.  This sounds obvious for a dancer, right?  But the life of a professional dancer means constantly striving for perfection, aiming to impress your peers, teachers, audience and director.  More often than not, this takes the courage to move out of your comfort zone and the strength to work through extreme pain…something I’ve had acute experience with these past few weeks.  With the idea that ballet dancers must have the body of a bird but the endurance of a camel in mind, my initial response would be to “keep calm and carry on”.  But while performing this past weekend, I’ve discovered that it’s okay to take a break every so often, rest my toes, heal my injuries and relax my mind.  With that said, I’m looking forward to a week free of commitments, followed by 9 days in Florida to visit the roommie’s hometown!  Can’t wait, hope everyone is making it through Monday! xo


It’s fairly well-known that no one says “good luck” in the theater.  It’s an old taboo, claiming that the phrase actually brings quite the opposite of what is intended.  So, in the acting field, “good luck” has been replaced with the rather obscure saying “break a leg!”.  Obviously, borrowing this well-wisher would not fly with ballet dancers.  A broken leg is career-ending, not something to discuss moments before curtain.  Soooo in the world of ballet, we say “merde”.

If you’ve taken any french, you may know that this actually means “shit”…doesn’t seem like the best word to be exchanging backstage does it?  “hey, tegan, merde!”…”thanks, you too! merde!”  Yes it’s weird.  Yes we know.  Yes we do it anyway.  There’s some superstition that if you’ve already said the worst there is to say backstage, nothing worse can happen onstage.  I’m not sure how true any of it is, but I’m not willing to risk finding out!  So wish me “merde” on my first show this morning!  AH!

diary of a swan

{a shot from one of the final studio rehearsals, a funny swan lake photo found on pinterest, and a holga photo of me taken by a friend a few weeks ago}

Here we are.  It’s Thursday, one day until the first show (a morning show for schools followed by the opening night performance) and the jitters excitement is setting in.  We had the first dress rehearsal last night, and while it’s true that the costumes, headpieces, hair and makeup, scenery and lights instantly make any movement about 1000x harder, Tchaikovsky’s iconic score really helps pull us all through.  The exquisite music so perfectly expresses the anguish of a flock of princesses imprisoned in swan’s bodies, the fragility of a forbidden love, and the sly trickery of an evil seduction.  So it follows suit that when you’re in the IV Act of a high-energy ballet wondering how you’re going to pull off that final flight circle around the 100×45-foot stage flapping your swan “wings” and pointing your aching toes out in front of you, the tragically dramatic final chords in the ballet come up behind you like a huge gush of wind, sending you back in line with the rest of the corps.

 Never seen Swan Lake?  You are missing out.  Ballet fan or not this show has something for everyone…

Call 401-421-ARTS for ticket information or visit