Thoughts from the chiropractors office. 

Yesterday’s barre was wonderful. We did simple,repetitive combinations that were easy on the mind, but required real work to execute properly. Those are my favorite kind. It does us well to remember the basics.  

We worked on finishing recital, which I was excited about since I probably won’t be there the next couple weeks due to work. (I had to miss Tuesday to meet a deadline, so I’m sure the next two weeks are doomed. Yay overtime?) 

There was one point that kind of shot me in the heart. I haven’t quite figured out why I was made to feel that way and what to do about it yet, so I’m not gonna go into detail about it. There’s also details I can’t really divulge that factor into it. I don’t hold it against anyone, I just don’t know what I should do in myself and how I should respond moving forward. 

In essence, I feel foolish. And embarrassed. 


Sometimes I forget that people actually read this blog. I mean, I’ve been writing on it since 2012, I think, and back then no one read it really. Maybe one person here and there, but not really. I think it’s absolutely amazing that people from all over the world find themselves reading my words and my stories, even if I think no one would really find them interesting. But they do. And that’s amazing. 

It really blows my mind that people I know read it. Especially this one guy in class. He is the cockiest know it all i have ever met, not to mention he likes to throw in your face the fact he’s been a vegetarian for three whole days. 

(Okay, real talk, he told me he wanted a shout out in my blog and wanted me to talk bad about him, but really there’s not a mean bone in his body. So. Sorry Matthew, I can’t seriously talk ill of you, but here’s your shout out) 

Life is weird and funny and ironic and takes you places you could never dream or imagine and can also leave you feeling pretty hopeless. It’s all part of the ride and you have to take it as it comes; play the cards you’re dealt. (Quoting a wise man I once knew there at the end.) but I believe, when you look back, even on the days it’s hard as hell to keep going, you’ll see the beautiful things around you if you let yourself remember them. 

Ps. Here is my current view at the chiropractors office. 

Rolly bed for the win. 

(Stay tuned Saturday for a one year recap of my back struggles.)


The Ballet Wall

If you’re been to my house, you’ve undoubtedly noticed what I refer to as my “ballet wall.”

It’s covered in dance-related things that each have a story of their own, which brings me such joy to look at.

Since it’s garnered such interest, I figured I would make a post with the story of each of these things.

First, let’s start top left.
This is actually first mentioned in this post. It may be pictured previously, but only coincidentally. It’s a picture that hung on the wall in the hallway of my old studio. When we would wait for our class to start, we would sit in the hall that was covered in pictures–most from past recitals. But between two doors hung this picture. It was my dance teacher’s from when she was young, and when the studio closed she gave this to me and signed it. My cherished reminder of my humble beginnings.

Below that is a signed picture of Diana Vishneva.
When I first started dancing, I would soak up any and everything ballet related that I could get my hands on. (Who am I kidding, I still do.)I would hear the “older” dancers in class talk about this ballerina and that brand of shoe and this ballet showing and that theatre and I had no clue what any of it meant. I couldn’t tell Baryshnikov from a beagle, and marveled at how these people were able to retain so much information about all these people. Like baseball fanatics spouting off facts about the players records like they’re quoting their favorite poem. Diana Vishneva was the first I remembered, and it was right away. I saw her in a magazine and was taken by her seemingly effortless charisma and grace. Fast forward to having followed her on Instagram and seeing they were doing a kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary featuring her. One of the perks was this picture, and considering a pair of her signed pointe shoes was going for $500+, the donation amount seemed like nothing to me. (The only other ballerina specific I’ve done this for is Misty Copeland. Because queen is queen, obviously. So much respect.) It reminds me of where I want to go and why I love this so much. I know I’ll never get to that level–that’s impossible–but I owe it to myself to strive to be my best every day.

The three to the right are my newest additions.
My best friend and I met almost five years ago. When they got the house they’re now selling, she had these. Ever since I fist saw them hanging in her guest bedroom (“my room.”) I fell in love with them. Of course I wanted them, but it made me feel like a piece of me was with her having them there. Now that they’re packing up their three bedroom house and having to drive 7 hours to an apartment they’ll be living in until they can really get settled, they’re selling as much stuff as they can. She text me asking if I wanted these. Obviously I said yes in a heartbeat. Probably in all caps, let’s be real. Now I feel like a piece of her is with me even though we’ll be hundreds of miles apart.

Bottom right is a signed program by *almost* the entire cast of Season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance.
The story to how I got to see them on tour in San Antonio, and how we happened to meet them can be found here, complete with why it was almost the entire cast and how incredible that experience was. I’m pretty sure I was shaking with excitement the entire night. Sometimes I still can’t believe it happened.

Above that is a signed program by the entire cast of Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance.
Notice this one doesn’t have the *almost*. I wrote about that experience here which completely blew my mind. It was also really interesting to experience it without knowing who this season’s dancers were (except for the ones I had followed from their auditions the season before when they got cut earlier than hoped.) Such top notch people, really.

Last but not least, the center piece.
This is Baby. She’s from Paris. I don’t think I wrote about her before, or maybe I did and just didn’t tag it. Regardless, the story goes that once upon a time, I was in Paris last summer. (hehe) It was the middle section of an almost two week trip to Europe that also involved Amsterdam and London. I had been to Paris before, but before I began ballet again. I also had broken my toe just shortly after arriving last time, so most of my memories are spotty. (Except for sitting in the park with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and a French couple letting me hold their baby. Really neat memory there.) This time I really wanted to explore the art that vendors at the Green Boxes that line the River Seine sell and hope that there was something ballet related I could bring home. (Can you believe I didn’t see a Degas while I was there?! How does one even miss that opportunity?!) We got there right before they all really start closing up, and walked the line of green box vendors that were still around. I found an interesting one that was done using shadowing with spray paint. (I snuck a picture of it illegally. oops.) I made a mental note and kept walking, trying to not give in to my spontaneous nature. (Ya know, the one that called up my friend and said, “Hey, let’s go to Europe!”) (No regrets.) A few boxes down a man had these paintings. Most were city scenes in various color schemes, but hanging in the back was this giant painting of a ballerina. I swear I had seen it somewhere before, but I couldn’t put my finger on where. I checked all the various website I have things like this saved to, but couldn’t find it. (Did I dream it? Who knows. Surely I saw it somewhere…) The other larger pictures he had hanging had smaller versions also for sale, so I looked through to see if there was a smaller version of the ballerina painting. When I couldn’t find anything, I even broke my normal fear of questions and asked the man. He said the big one was the only one. I asked how much it was, he told me 90 euro. Ouch. That was almost all of what I had budgeted for Paris, and we still had a day left and souvenir shopping to do. We continued on through the rest of the green boxes (how I managed to not come home with a million of the books this one vendor had is beyond me) and I gave myself time to think it over. But the more I thought, the more I knew if I walked away from that painting, I would regret it. After all, this trip was about letting go of the voice in my head trying to reason me out of things that make me happy for whatever reason it presented; fear, logic, “adult.” I went back and after he finished helping a family, I told him I wanted her. He looked at me and said, “Are you sure? You know the price?” I told him I had to have her. He took her down and wrapped her up in paper and she was mine. I can’t tell you the sense of euphoria that came over me. I’m pretty sure my friends were sick of me being completely giddy over it, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t remember feeling that happy in a long time. There I was, twenty-six, buying a piece of art on the streets of Paris that I would frame in my home. A piece of art of my favorite ballet picture that I still don’t know where I saw it from before then. I asked the man if he was the artist, he said no. He is the art teacher, and these are his student’s paintings. I was completely floored. And elated.
Forever elated.
I got her framed and my Dad helped me hang her once I moved into my house. I still can’t get over that memory and that it was real and that I managed to get her through baggage claim and home unharmed. (And not lost.) I have a picture of her in my carry on somewhere, but it’s not on my phone like I thought. I’ll check my laptop and see if it’s there. If so, I’ll post it here later.

The ballet barre was given to me by an old family friend. Her daughter used to do Irish Dance, but quit a while ago. She was cleaning out her house and found it and remembered I did ballet so nonchalantly offered it to me like she was offering to drop a letting in the mailbox or something. I don’t think it hit me that she was giving me a real ballet barre until I got home. I was so excited.

On the barre is what I call my pointe shoe grave yard. You can kind of tell some of the shoes aren’t dead just by the state of their shanks while hanging, but some of them didn’t even get to be worn all that much before I had to move on. The trial and error of shoes can be found in blog posts from 2014, leading up to the pointe shoe fitting that changed my life. (Shout out to Amanda at Capezio in Austin for ordering my shoes for me all the time and for introducing me to the new shanks from heaven.)

This wall is full of wonderful memories for me. It makes me feel like life is something worth living, something I enjoy. Full of experiences and stories that make remembering sweet.

I have more ballet things that aren’t on the wall for aesthetic sake. Most are on the wall right next to my bed in their own collage of sorts, complete with ornaments, (especially Mrs. Jane ornaments [these are super special, hand made ornaments to match your Nutcracker character. Mrs. Jane made me a Rat Queen this last year and it’s the best.]) pictures, paintings, posters, and just about anything else you can think of. The wall by my closet has a collage of different things pinned to yarn strung about, including the newspaper article I was in (the background of) from this last year’s Nutcracker (fever and all) as well as notes from younger dancers, gift tags, and little things from the season that remind me of those I love. (Santa Mickey Mouse ears, anyone?)

Life may be really difficult sometimes. It may not be fair. It may not make sense. But if you fill it with the things you love, simply because you love them–no excuse or guilt or repercussions holding you back–you’ll find them to be the warm blanket on those cold, lonely nights.




I almost didn’t get to make today’s ballet class. Honestly, I’m surprised I’ve made as many as I have. I work at a tax office, and we’re in the thick of it right now, yet still I’ve managed to have all the things I need to get done for the day done and have been able to make class and not hit traffic. 

This will probably be the last week of it–heck, maybe even the last day. We’ll see. But im doing what I can to make it. 

Before class even started, I questioned if I should have come. I’m pretty exhausted as I seem to be fighting off some kind of infection or allergies or who knows what, so I’m already run down. Then everyone seemed to be so incredibly loud today. Before we even got into the studio. I found myself actually having to stand to the side and plug my ears. It was crazy. 

In class it was hardly better. Our teacher was even getting frustrated with it. It was so nice having so few people in the class last week that having so many this week was rough. And then add on the talking and distraction and it was rough. 

I was proud that I didn’t get panicky or frustrated though. I’m wondering if that gets worse when I’m being particularly hard on myself; when I feel I have something to prove. At this point I know I’ve done all I can do to “prove” anything and I can’t change any outcome–it’s out of my hands–so why lose sleep over it? (Sometimes easier said than done, like when I was in tears and eating my feelings all weekend. Hah.) 

There was a moment at barre when I had immense Deja vu. Like, I not just that it seemed familiar, but I could tell you what was gonna happen next. I knew where I was gonna look, what I would see, and what I would think, followed by the other persons reaction, before it happened. I think I dreamt it, because there seemed to be a negative connotation to it, but the only thing negative about today was the talking and lack of focus.

Still, our teacher didn’t hammer us too much, so that was nice. She gave us “simple” things to perfect rather than complicated things to attempt. It was really nice. 

I was particularly excited when we did a beginning center combo that involved releve passé and various other rolling up movements I’m usually terrible at. It can sap my drive so quickly when I find myself faultering at something that should be so simple. I could have shut down at the rolling up part I’m not too confident in, but I didn’t. And I was actually able to do better than I expected, and the releve passé’s were actually held and stable and not just a little pop up and back down and pretend it was correct. 

I’m getting stronger, these shoes are better, and approaching it with a view of confidence is working wonders. And it feels so good.

I even attempted jumps, which I’m not supposed to do because of my stupid knee, but whatever. I intended to sit it out, but it’s been so long since I’ve been able to jump and I wanted to know if I could do it. So I did. And I was able to do things I wasn’t able to when I had to stop jumping like that. And I felt myself lifted and actually off the ground enough to pointe my toes. And it just felt great. My knee hurt afterwards, but it was just before being too much. I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay since it’s not an every class thing. But gosh, it felt so good to be able to just do it. 

We had Jazz/Lyrical after which we worked on recital. Which I’m really liking right now. (Is it bad I’m hoping it doesn’t change?) I feel like I can play around and experiment with shapes and movement and I’m pushed to try new things and leave my comfort zone. And I really appreciate that. 

Plus, it’s the one class I have with my girls.

Last year we were all fours. I also took the fives class, but felt pretty out of my depth in it and really uncomfortable. But my fours class made me feel like maybe I wasn’t crazy to think I could do all the things I was trying. And that was due larglely to the fact that our teacher was incredible, but also to the fact of my fellow fours. I was new, i was substantially older than them, I was inexperienced, and they took me in as one of their own and became my friends. 

These girls have drive. They have passion. Not only that, but they care about each other. They don’t feel like they have to cut each other down all the time to be better. They recognize injustices and encourage all the time. They work together. 

And in class tonight they were a large part of the class that was actually paying attention and trying. Sure they may not have been able to do everything, but they did what they could and tried their best. I’ve gotten to watch them improve and grow so much this past year, and it just makes my heart a puddle. I don’t know that I could ever express what they mean to me. I truly cherish each of them. They’re my babies. And they’ve made this ballet experience of mine something I cherish more than I ever thought possible. They get me through the dark days, even when they may not realize it. 

I’m glad I went to class. I’ll be sad when I have to miss. I don’t want summer because I don’t want to not be dancing. But for now, I’ll just cherish the moments I have while I have them. 

(I love you, girls!)


This is something that weighs particularly heavy on my heart (though that seems to be a trend here recently) that I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, but didn’t necessarily know how to go about it. 

How much do I divulge? What do I say? How do I remain sensitive to this topic? How do I get this out and will it be the right way? 

Nonetheless, here is my effort. 

It’s no surprise that you find yourself needing to be vulnerable if you want to go anywhere in your journey of dance. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have to dance, and how many chances there are to perform with where I am now. To be able to work hard in a role and get to perform it and display that hard work and all of the literal blood, sweat, and tears is satisfied in those moments under the stage lights in front of all those friends and strangers. It’s moments like that that make you come alive. (And I guess why it hurts a little deeper to work so hard and not get to perform a role, but that’s not this post.) 

There’s a history of sexual harassment in my past, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of this every time I put on a tutu and go on stage. Though, largely up until this point they have all been romantic tutus and not as big of an issue. This year is different. 

The swan lake tutus are pancake tutus, which I may not even get to wear so that may be a non issue, and two of my recital costumes are flat and one is slit. 

I hadn’t even thought too much about it, I guess at least compared to usual, until yesterday. 

I do what I can to distance myself from certain people in an effort to protect myself. And I’d be lying if fear wasn’t lurking around many corners despite my best efforts. But there’s someone whose been supportive of my shows in the past and I hoped if I just stayed silent then they wouldn’t think to come or whatever. I had forgotten to even think about this until a comment on social media. 

Then I remembered that the person they brought to they last show they came to is now in this show. And they could come through her and her excitement. Putting him in the audience when I potentially could be in a tutu that shoes my entire leg. 

Then there’s the fear of dads coming into the studio. It’s typically not an issue, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if the dads peering through the one way mirror are really watching their daughters, or if they’re watching the full legged, curvy adult in next to nothing; the next to nothing being a non issue in functionality for what I am doing. But in the wrong eyes it could be something easy to fulfill some sick desire. 

It’s why I don’t let anyone go outside the studio without some form of coverup on. 

But even with all my efforts of protection, there’s only so much you can do to avoid situations that are out of your control. 

Does that make them your fault? 


Does that mean you should live in fear? 

No. (As best you can anyway)

Is it likely anything is going to happen like you’re afraid of?

Not really. 

Does that mean I should let it keep me from doing what I love, what makes me feel more alive and safe than anything? 

Not a chance. 

Life is risk. Vulnerability is a risk. But if you let fear hold you back, who will ever hear your story?

The world needs your story. 

Hold yourself well and your head high. Work hard and let go of fear. Be kind, and also wise. Don’t be afraid to distance from people if it helps protect you, but don’t let hypothetical maybes hold you back from doing what makes your soul sing. 
(Ps. My friend wrote a book about her journey to healing from a similar situation. If you or someone you know is going through this, consider checking out her book and her story.) 

Be good people. 

Recently in class, ive noticed something;

The dancers can generally be summed up into two types. 

There’s the dancers that make you feel crappy about yourself, and those that make you feel better about yourself. 

And no I don’t mean “make you feel better about yourself” in the sense of, you think they’re so terrible that they make you feel like you’re at least not that bad. That essentially puts you in the first category. 

What I mean are those people who are so kind and uplifting that you can’t help but believe them when they contradict your negative opinions of yourself. 

Recently I’ve noted both. 

Theres the girl next to you in class, giving off the air that they feel very confident in themselves, whether it’s warranted or not. The girl that pushes the boundaries and rules, seeing how much she can get away with. The girl who gets roles over you and you could be made to believe that she is better than you. 

And maybe she is. But even if that’s true, don’t let it hold you back from pushing forward and doing your best. 

Then there’s the girl next to you in class, silent in her dedication. Notably talented, but always striving to be better. Never letting it get to her head. The girl who would make you nervous to have a part of a dance with, but then you do and she encourages you as an equal, even though you know she’s loads ahead of you. Yet you trust her words telling you that you’re enough. That you look better than you think. 

I took a step back and thought about the person I was. I would hope it’s the latter, but realized that I too can dip into the former. We’re human, this can happen, but that doesn’t give us an excuse or the right to treat people poorly. Selfishness isn’t worth it. 

Mrs Alex is right. I’d rather be a good person than a good dancer, though I will strive to continue to progress in my dance as well. 

If you’re reading this and you’re in my class and worried that the first person might be you, it’s probably not. But let it be a reminder to you to be the best version of yourself. Not just for other people and to please them, but for you. Be kind, it’s truly simple. Work hard, set goals and meet them. Don’t walk all over people to make yourself feel better about yourself. Take the hits, celebrate the victories, do good things. 


I was pleased to find that work hasn’t been crazy enough this week to cause me to miss classes. I thought it would have kicked in already, but so far so good. This means I would only miss three weeks tops. Hopefully I can make at least one class even on the worst weeks, but we’ll see. If all else fails, I’ll do stuff at home. It’s just better in the studio. 

Barre felt so good in class yesterday. Like when you are super dehydrated and drink a cold glass of water. Crazy that I had only gone a week without class, but also factor in the intense rehearsal we had the day before and it makes a bit more sense. 

When we got to center for pointe, my feet felt like they hadn’t even left the shoes. Like they had had no rest since the last time they, even though it had been over 24 hours. It limited me a bit on how much I could do since the pain was pretty intense, but I tried anyway. 

And that’s the difference; I tried. Usually I would panic and freak myself out before I could even give myself a shot at the movements, but even though some of them were new and scary, I tried. I largely did not succeed, but that is okay. It’s one step closer to one day succeeding. It also alleviates many mental blocks that could form from fear I let creep in and tell me I can’t do it. And in trying I could tell that had my feet not felt like death, I would have been more successful. I left feeling empowered, not defeated. And that makes all the difference. 

I also noticed one of the girls in our class. I first met her last year when she was on the fours class recital with us. She was a 3/4 and I was a 4/5. This past year they let her go ahead and come on to the 5s. I was very proud of her. She had been working really hard, taking private lessons, and doing everything she could to work harder. Not just from last year, not just from the start of this season, but even since swan lake, I have noticed a vast improvement in her. Like something just decided to click. Where she used to just give a really good effort but still come up just short, now she gives really good effort and attains. The details are smoothing out and becoming more defined. And yesterday as I watched her in the second group of a combination, I watched her successfully hit all the turns we usually find difficult, and keep up with the movement and do it all the right way. I watched her succeed, and I’ll be damned if she’s not becoming a force to be reckoned with. 

I was so grateful for the reminder she gave me that hard work matters, that it does pay off, and that attitude and determination are truly everything. 

Not to mention, she’s one of my fellow Ugly Ducklings, and that makes me even more proud. 

(That’s you, Maddie.) 

I’m excited for today’s class. I’m hopeful in my abilities and that it will go well. What’s more, I’m eager to come alive. 
Side note. I bought a platter tutu on a whim and it came in and I’m SO excited. 


Swan Lake it til you make it. 

I was a little nervous going into rehearsal today, being that I hadn’t really danced all week. My ankle still doesn’t feel it’s best, and I’m notorious for pushing through things I really shouldn’t, so that also made me nervous. I got sick twice before rehearsal, and was really feeling it during, but managed to power through anyway. 

(For those of you new to the blog, I get sick for seemingly no reason and with little warning. Doctors aren’t sure what the deal is, as the tests all come back just fine. Meh.) 

Warm up went well. Ms Munro complimented me by name again, but I don’t remember what for. But it’s still nice to hear something from the teacher, be it correction or compliment. 

Honestly, it felt good just to be back in the studio again. I was slightly over being around so many people, but it wasn’t all that horrible. I feel like I hardly saw some of my friends, though, which makes me sad. (Lookin at you, Abarrane.) but I watched them dance and that brings me so much joy to see them succeed. 

We ran the entire show straight through. The covers went up and asked who all was missing and where they wanted us. Nicole was out, as was Lucy, and these are two that haven’t been gone. Nicole is similar to Lauren, who I had covered twice and Maddie a few times, and Lucy is sort of similar to Lauren in their aspects but not really in most. It was a hard day. 

Ms Munro put me in the spot of the girl whose always gone. It made sense, but it different, but I didn’t fight it even though I would have known Nicole’s spot the most out of all the available. This is the plight of the cover. We have to be ready, do our best, and make it happen. Hannah did really well at it, I thought. Especially for the role being so new. I felt really insecure about a few places, but did the best I could. I want to work on them and think through them more this week. It’s the part that I didn’t do as most of the people I’ve covered, so I’m sure I just look like an idiot. But oh well. The other girls are helpful in giving cues and telling me things I need to fix after, so that’s nice. Especially to not be told as its happening where it throws me off, but to tell me after when my head is more clear. 

I remembered more of hunts woman than I thought I would. Of course I had the help of the other girls. We still have a bit more to learn in that scene, but everything else is done. 

This rehearsal hit me hard physically. I think I’m slightly dehydrated and the fact I kept getting sick earlier didn’t help. 

I found pictures earlier this week from 7 years ago of the one time I went to New York City for like, six hours. My sister had flown up to help me drive back to Texas from Delaware and we decided to take a small detour to New Jersey to see a friends of hers (and now a friend of mine) and she offered to take us to the City. She has a friend who is on Broadway and we met up with him and he showed us around. It was pretty cool. He was a great, super chill, hilarious guy. Casually telling us about his auditions he had coming up for a show on cbs and other tv stations and Broadway shows. He stopped for the ice cream truck and was happy as a five year old on Christmas morning. The city was beautiful and I hardly knew anything about photography then. 

I decided to look up our City friend, though he had long unfriended me on Facebook. (Can’t really blame him. He doesn’t really know me and, let’s be real, you can google the guy.) 

He’s had a few solid roles, but mostly he has understudied. Then I saw he had a girl friend, who is currently the understudy of a big name show that’s on right now. And it was still enough to impress my Broadway nerd friends, that I was shown around the city by this girls boyfriend. 

And I realized. 

They’re mainly covers themselves. Does that make them any less amazing or talented? Not at all. Are they still a vital part of the show, even if they are just “ensemble”? Absolutely. Can they still say, “look, Ma, I’m on Broadway!” Of course. 

I scrolled through their pictures and saw how happy they were, even being “just” covers. I also saw how there were occasions that they got to do the role. There were also stories of crazy changes last minute throwing them into something they never knew and had to know in no time at all and they were successful with it. 

And today I looked out at all the younger dancers and moms. They didn’t see me as “just a cover” or whatever. They saw me as the character I happened to be bringing to life at that time. 

And that made me feel really good. 

I can’t let myself get worked up over what may or may not be the opinions of peers. I can only do the best I can to be my best version of myself. To be kind and get done what I need to. To be responsible. There’s no sense getting upset about one thing when you’re supposed to have your mind focusing on something else. Like Mrs Hooper says, stiff upper lip and you can let yourself feel it later. Stay “on.” Do your best. Stay focused and do what’s required of you. 

I have a quote I’ve heard before written in my dads handwriting above my bed.  

I found it while moving and kept it. I respect my dad so much, and knowing this was something that caught his attention, I knew I should pay attention too. 

And I thought of it today as I finished act II of swans and went into act III, which is my act with the least amount of effort. 

I need to do what I can, with what I have, where I am.

The rest will follow. Life has a funny way or working things out. And no matter what happens I decide how these days are lived. I decide what attitude I have towards it. 

It’s really nice having people behind me, encouraging me, and supporting me. No matter what happens, that’s something I can be proud of. 


Week Off.

This weekend was an interesting one as far as rehearsals go. 

We had our first 8 hour rehearsal on Saturday, mostly for swans, but the other bit being for Act III. We had I think three or four girls out for rehearsal, which really wasn’t bad considering it was the first day of spring break for most of the school kids. The girls that were gone the week before were almost all there, so they were able to learn what was missed and we were also able to finish swans altogether. 

The girl who has missed almost all of the rehearsals wasn’t there again (she was the almost from the sentence before this) and Ms Munro switched me with the girl who was covering her. Neither of us had ever done the role we were now assigned to, so we gave each other a crash course and did the best we could. I made a hot mess of myself the first run through, trying to figure out where she was in order, but thankfully the girls near were very helpful and I was better the second run through. My ankle is still a bit tender, and I wish I knew what to do to help it, but I made it through rehearsal alright, just stayed off pointe for the day since I knew we’d have this week off of classes. 

All in all rehearsal went well. If they expect to teach the girl whose always missing everything she doesn’t know, I don’t know how they’ll do it because it is a lot to learn. I tried going over what the girl I had been covering for two weeks before rehearsal and hardly got halfway through. Even then, she was very confused. It’s more than just doing some moves. It’s the beat of the movement, it’s the accent, it’s the head placement, it’s the arm specifications, it’s the specific blocking of the movement. It’s all these things and more, not to mention working with the other girls around you. How do you expect to be part of a corps if you’re not there to know how the rest of the corps moves? 

That whole situation is out of my hands, so I try not to think about it too much. 

For Act III, I’m a Court Lady. We have these giant hoop skirts that don’t allow much movement, so it’s more of a mime sort of role. We stand there and look pretty and give expression. So that rehearsal was fine. Actually, I found the hardest part to be the standing. Since my right leg is longer, just standing there hurts my right side. It’s easier when we’re moving because the weight is typically on one leg or the other. 

Sunday we got more progress on Act I, where I am a Hunts Woman. This is the role I was given that has some sort of dancing in it. It’s not complex, though simple things are what I seem to mess up the most. There are just a ton of people involved in the Act, since it has all the villagers in it as well. I wrote down as much as I could of the blocking and choreography, so hopefully I remember it all come this next Sunday. I get gotten after more for this role than I do in swans, and I get gotten after in swans. Haha! 

We haven’t had classes this week since most of the schools are on break, and I took advantage of the last two days to not dance. 

Which sucked. 

And was hard. 

And I should probably take the rest of the week, but my body is angry for doing nothing. My back started hurting, and my stomach has been getting sick. Not to mention how sore my muscles all are. I’m dog sitting today, so I decided to do a bit of my own barre, just to do something. Also to sort of ease my ankle back into movement, since Sunday I have to go full out again. The dog decided this was prime time to mosey around, walking–and then stalling–between my legs so I couldn’t move, then parking it right by my face when I was doing crunches. 

Usually I hate crunches, but they have this rug that I swear is a slice of the fluffiest whatever you’ve ever felt. 

This house also has a really deep bath tub, so I’m finally able to soak my ankle. I’m hoping it helps, though I don’t really know what soaking actually does. But whatever. I’ll go with the professional recommendation. 

Here’s a time lapse of the barre I did. Please excuse the beginning. I don’t have iMovie on my phone yet and it won’t let me download it without wifi. Haha, the struggle. 

  And for kicks, here’s a terrible quality picture of Annabelle, the dog I’m watching. She’s a hoot. And currently snoring 😀

Ugly Ducklings.

As I’ve mentioned before, the other covers and I decided to form a squad to help us get through the fact that we’re all a bit disappointed to not be swans. We’re getting shirts made, and I told them we’d have a sleepover at my house all together.  

We had picked tonight as the Ugly Duckling night, but a few girls couldn’t stay over so we decided to see a movie that way whoever couldn’t stay over could still be a part. Turns out no one could stay over, so the movie was a great idea, haha! We also invited Ileana and Emerson, as our voted and elected mascots. When we planned the Ugly Duckling day, it felt weird not having them a part of it. They’ve been nothing but supportive and inclusive to us the whole time, they never make us feel lesser. They’re our friends. We’re proud of them and they’re proud of us. 

Emerson was able to meet me at the studio to ride with me, but before that she helped me with the baby class I usually assist with. Mia, whose the teacher, had to sub the class in the other studio so I taught ours tonight. It was so helpful having Emerson as one of the more rambunctious kids was there. Overall it went well, and we had a great time. They’re such a hilarious group, and really help remind you of why you love to dance. To them, you’re the greatest dancer in the world. And they’ll tell you. (Especially when they want to be the line leader, haha!)

Turns out Isabel couldn’t make it, but the rest of us could. We saw Zootopia, which I had seen previews for but wasn’t really sure what the story line was. I knew it had animals, and sloths, and would be a safe bet for the younger girls as well as one the losers would enjoy. 

Turns out, it was the perfect Ugly Duckling movie. 

It was all about being told you’ll never be able to be what you dream, but that if you work hard and never give up it will be worth it. 

We got into the theater a bit late, due to the long popcorn line, so finding six seats together was difficult. We found three and we’re gonna split us up three and three, but then a nice couple moved over to make four and we fit 6 of us in the four chairs–quite comfortably I might add. Perks of being dancers I guess, haha!

Overall we had such a fun time. I was so glad we were all able to have this time together. These girls are what make Swan Lake for me, and I can never express how much I appreciate them. 

We also ran into a few other people from the studio, which was fun. 

Life has been crazy and stressful and hectic, but tonight had me smiling til my face hurt. For no real reason other than being around these girls makes me so happy. I found myself still smiling when I was half way home. (Ya know, 20 minutes after I left them.) 

We didn’t get together and complain about the injustice. It wasn’t weird having the two swan “mascots” among us. It was just a fun time with our friends. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express how much tonight meant to me. 

These girls are what it’s about. Doing what you love, with who you love, simply because you love it. Supporting each other no matter the outcome. These are my cheerleaders, my support system. I have others as well, but these have a truly special place in my heart since we have been together since I came to this studio. I’ve watched them grow as dancers and as people (and, let’s face it, they’re getting  taller too) and I’m so proud of what I see. 

They make this whole experience worth it. 

(Thanks, girls. I love you so much.) 

My ducks 🙂 

Skipping class. 

I did something to my ankle in class on Monday. It doesn’t seem to be too major–landed a jump wrong or something. Maybe that mixed with overuse–and didn’t start hurting until I got home. It hasn’t let up so I skipped class yesterday to rest it. 

As I sat there with my leg iced and elevated, I put on the vinyl I got in Austin of the entire ballet of Don Quiote. 

Once that finished, I had another vinyl of a collection of works by a composer that included Nutcracker music, as well as Sleeping Beauty. 

I sat there, listening to it all, snap chatting my relations. Because I am trash. 😂

My ankle feels the same today, so I’m debating sitting out class again. I want to go, especially considering next week the studio is closed for spring break, but I don’t want to screw myself over by not resting my ankle. We have a long rehearsal Saturday, and I want to be up to par for that. The struggle. 

The mailman came by through the terrible rain we have right now (my favorite kind!) and delivered this 

I got it on eBay from these wonderful people. And now all I want to do is go home and put it on. 

Because I am ballet trash. Haha! 

But really it makes me feel better. It’s odd, because this ballet has been so painful for me, but feeling so deeply makes it almost easier to handle. Which makes no sense except that it does. At least I know I’m still alive, that I’m human, that I still feel and haven’t become numb to the world or to the thing I love to do the most. So while putting on the music may be painful, it is a kind of pain I want to feel.