Last night, driving toward the last sunset of summer layoff, I was stumbling in the description of my own confusing feelings on returning to the studio, and M said something  rather poetic.

“It’s like you’re about to jump into a cold lake.  You have been standing on the edge for so long, counting down, 3…2…1…but it’s not time.  3…2…no!  3…2…

Once you jump in, you will feel so good.  Refreshed, energetic, in your element.  Comfortable, even.  You just need to make that first splash.”

His flawless analogy revealed more than the fact that I had obviously bloated his ears full of my bipolar, excited laments on the subject far too many times, but also that he was listening.  I mean, really listening.  The kind that defines passivity with its fervent opposition.  Listening with an attentive purpose, wheels turning, taking in every word and searching his own glossary of Kirsten closeness to dissect the true meaning in each one.

This morning I am grateful for the chance to dive in, and for the support of someone who knows just when to let go of my hand and whisper “Jump.”



collage by Merve Özaslan.

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.

a letter from your dance teacher


Last night I stumbled upon this article from Huffington Post, and found it so intriguing I knew I had to share it with all of you.  The piece is written as a letter to the dance students of 2013 from “Your Dance Teacher”.  Although I have never actually taught, I immediately related to the letter from a student’s point of view, and I’m sure many of you will too.

Ms. Beckford’s letter addresses the many emotional hardships dance students undertake as a result of “harsh” or seemingly unreasonable teaching techniques from their instructors (you’ve all heard of ballet teachers using canes, scarves and brute force to literally whip kids into shape, right?).  However, instead of sympathizing with the discouraged or frustrated student as you might initially imagine, this letter expressly sides with the dance teachers of the world, explaining that they are merely trying to help in the only way they can.  This is something I not only agree with out of mere principle (seriously, read the letter, it is all so very well articulated), but also from first-hand experience.  Yes, public, sarcastic comments from instructors during dance class can be rough.  Humiliating even.  But it should never be disparaging.  If a teacher takes the time to correct you (which does sometimes happen so many times in one class you might begin to think you’ll never be able to make that correction), it means they see potential in you.  It means you should just work harder, not give up.

Although I do wish this letter had been written to me during my often tumultuous years of training, I wouldn’t have had to read it to know that my teacher’s biting remark about my floppy feet in petit allegro was not a result of her anger towards me or dissatisfaction with her own life; It was a direct representation of her dedication to me and to her job as an instructor of dance.  By inherently knowing this (okay, it did take some convincing from my mother), I was able to not only respect my teachers, but also befriend many of them.  And these friendships have lead to a mutual professional appreciation and connections all over the world.  Last month, when my old ballet teacher, Milica, came into town from Serbia to set Sleeping Beauty, she immediately told me how proud of me she was and how impressed she was with my growth over the years we’ve spent apart.  Next month while I travel throughout Paris, I am thrilled to be able to call up one of the teachers who changed my dancing the most, Yves (pictured above, he is a Paris native) to show me around.  It’s like Ms. Beckford says:

“The teachers who gave me the harshest, most brutally honest corrections are the ones I learned the most from. I didn’t like what they had to say, but in my day, we just went home and cried — never did we accuse the teacher of disrespect. Weeks, months or even years later, I realized how right the teacher was. That said, their corrections didn’t mean I was a) a bad dancer b) never going to dance professionally c) meant to be a Taco Bell employee.”

A lesson that it seems many of the ballet students of today could benefit greatly from.  Being a dancer takes a very thick skin.  If you want to be a professional and you don’t have a thick, outer coating protecting your emotions from criticism, you have two options: either grow one, or try soccer.

living colorfully


““Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively.” –Mel Brooks

Colorful new tchotchkes brightening up these gray days spent in my apartment…a new dish from Anthropologie (on sale for $2!) holding earrings in the bathroom, Rife Paper Company pink ombré phone case of my dreams finally arrived, pretty pom-pom candle sconce hanging by my bed (also an Anthro treasure), ceramic egg carton repurposed into a jewelry dish (I seriously can’t leave Anthro empty handed), and of course, pretty fresh flowers make everything better. :) Happy Thursday, friends!

a selfy et un sentiment


Hey look!  It’s me!  Out in the world!  After a week on the couch feeling less than dapper, a 30-second walk down the street on a sunny day feels a bit like winning the lottery.  For some reason, it seemed absolutely necessary to document this event by taking a picture of myself, i.e. a selfy.  I mean, I even wanded my hair for the occasion!  With that optimism in mind, I’d like to offer you this piece of advice:


You really said it all, Platypus The Wise.  You really are wise.

Happy Sunday!

top image via my instagram (@keeksevans); bottom image via

15 truths


I came across this article last night and found it to be an extremely insightful and honest description of the life of a professional dancer.  While this particular article focuses on overcoming the hardships of the ballet world, I actually think each little bit of advice, or “truth”, is relevant in almost any profession (with the exception of #1…knowing that “Dance is Hard” proooobably won’t help you get a promotion at the law firm you work for.)  While reading this article, I became extremely inspired to hone my skills, pay close attention to the details that are important in my field, and ignore those that are not.  This is the most empowering set of suggestions I’ve read in quite some time.  I thought I would share these truths with all of you this morning, so that you might keep them in mind as you tackle the day’s obstacles.  I know I will.

what lies ahead

Sometimes life can drag you down.

People are habitual by nature.  We get hung up on the past, encasing ourselves in a repetitive circular motion in which all spaces of time become our present and we lose touch with the moment.  Today becomes yesterday before tomorrow even has the chance to rise and shine.

Want an attainable goal for this week?  Move forward in a positive direction.  Break the time-warping cycle and view your life as an open road in which the past is left behind you, the future is almost recognizable on the horizon and you become consumed by the nature of the present.