Update and nutcracker program pictures. 

I feel like there has been potential for at least three posts since my last and it hasn’t even been a week. Yet now that I’m here with my keys to the keyboard, I feel like I don’t have words to give.

Good thing is we had program pictures yesterday! And a picture is worth a thousand words, right? So that’s something.

Monday’s class went rather well, including Mrs. Alex ending by saying, “That class was on fleek.” I told her I was quoting her on that. hehe

(also, let it be known that my spellcheck is trying to correct “fleek.” hehehe)

Wednesday was pretty rough. It started out decently enough, but by the time I got to Adult Ballet, it was as though my muscles felt this weird exhaustive pain-ish-sensation and I couldn’t do things I know I’m capable of doing. It was beyond frustrating.Ms. Munro kept correcting me, ironically on things I’ve been and need to continue to work on and not on the things I was screwing up because of whatever my body was doing. But my brain was distracted by my body acting weird so I couldn’t seem to think about the things I needed to. It was rouuuuugh. Then, to top it off, my achilles has been hurting quite a bit. So much so, that by the time rehearsals came around on Saturday, I could hardly get through barre, let alone trying to rehearse on pointe. I felt like a failure. I hate it. It makes me so mad. And there’s not much I can offer before I may or may not get diagnosed. But even so, is it just an excuse? Ugggggh. 

Anyway.

I’m struggling in Snow, but my friend Katerina is going to help tutor me, which means a lot. I wasn’t here last week, so this past weekend was rough trying to catch up in a shorter rehearsal time. Flowers went better, so that was nice. This Saturday is auditions for Snow White; our spring show. So, I’m a bit nervous. But, I mean, I can only do what I can do.

The reality of my age is beginning to hit me, as well as the reality that I’m not okay. Something has to be wrong with me. I’m actually in a lighter work load season or whatever and actually more sick than I usually am. It’s frustrating and confusing and exhausting. Instead of being upset about it, I’m trying to soak in every moment I have. Next year will already be substantially different, simply because so many people are graduating. But that’s okay. Who knows what next year will bring? Thinking back on years, they all seem to be the same, but I know so much changes every year, and tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Anyway, on to the pictures.

Welp. These uploaded backwards. So… we begin with the dabbing Rat Queen and Nutcracker! (They had me fill in for pictures. Not near hard core enough to really be this role.) 

I love my friends 

True life 

This one is my favorite. Hands down. 

Right before I was told to stop messing with it 😂

We’re related. Not really. But really. 

Saw this one and smiled 

I love my people. All these people. And some not shown. I love them. Yesterday was wonderful. These costumes are fabulous. Happy clam. 

Skipped class. 

I skipped class tonight. 

It makes my heart so sad to not dance, and makes my muscles hurt since I did pointe for the first time in a while during rehearsal yesterday. The struggle. 

This week I mad a doctors appointment to try and figure out what’s making me so sick. I think part of what is making me feel so puny today is the packed weekend I had. We spent all (literally all) of Saturday at the Circuit of the Americas where Formula 1 was going on followed by Taylor Swift in concert. (The real reason I was there.) I was incredible beyond words and I met so many amazing people. Definitely a time for the books. 

It was about a 3.5 hour drive from me so I stayed with a friend who lived about 50 minutes away. I drove straight from there to rehearsal yesterday and didn’t get home until 9:30 last night. 

Apparently it was a bit too much for my body to handle. Yesterday was rough during rehearsal. I felt the most nauseated I’ve ever felt, which is saying something. But I powered through. More stubborn than anything. I hate missing rehearsals and I already had to miss Snow rehearsal on Saturday. 

I really feel I am over exerting myself, but I don’t really feel like I have a choice. I work because I need money. I dance for my sanity. I teach dance for both reasons above. So want options do I really have? 

I’ve been talking with my cousin who has also struggled with health issues and we’re both going in for various testing and stuff to try and get everything pin pointed. I’m nervous that doctors won’t believe me. I’m afraid that I’ll still “appear” too healthy to be taken seriously. It’s hard having people close to you not believe you that you feel so crappy or the time, or seem annoyed that you’re complaining again, or pass it off that you’re just lazy and trying to get out of something when it’s none of those things at all. There’s a guilt that sinks in that you can’t be better, a guilt for bringing them difficulty in having to deal with you. So you push through and try to be as normal as possible as much as you can so they won’t be inconvenienced. 

But does that even help at all? Or does it just make things worse? Does it do any good? Does it help your heart knowing that they aren’t upset or does it just make you less believeable because to them you seem fine? 

My cousin made a good point. Those that are well most of the time don’t know what it’s like to be sick most of the time. And having a diagnosis would help them to know that this is real, and help me know that I’m not crazy. But I’m also afraid that I won’t have what we’re testing for, putting me right back to where I started. 

But what if the diagnosis is nothing you can do anything for? Does that do any good? I’ve already gotten some skeptical eye brow raises to a few I’ve trusted with the possibility of what I’m facing. The emotions that come with all this can be overwhelming. And exhausting. 

So here I am, laying in bed, catching up on greys anatomy because even being productive is exhausting, trying not to be overwhelmed at everything I could be accomplishing with this skipped dance class. Also trying not to guilt trip myself about it all. 

Tomorrow is another day. Wednesday is a class I will take. If I don’t take care of myself, there will soon be no me to even have here to be productive or not. 

Such is life. 

Maybe one day it won’t be like this, but right now it is. So I just have to make the most of it. 

I find myself filled with overwhelming gratitude at the friends that have reached out to me to offer tips and help with all this health stuff. 

This weekend, be it exhausting and all, was good for my soul. I’m grateful. 

Hurt again. 

This last week was full of ballet things. Not just classes and teaching, but also our fundraiser and a full weekend of rehearsals. 

Due to the fundraiser, I subbed a few classes one of our principals teaches. In the first class, I had them stretching in the beginning. With their feet flexed out in front of them, reaching over, one of the girls noticed my heels come off the ground (hyperextention) and she asked “do your feet do that because your thighs are so big?”

It took everything in me not to laugh at how blunt she was in her question. Granted her normal teacher is a tiny little muscular thing, even though her feet also come off the ground. 

I’m so used to teaching 5 year olds that believe you can do anything that the boldness of this 9-year-old took me off guard. It was also interesting to see the different personalities in the class. The ones who think they’re big stuff and the ones who are eager to be there (and complete naturals that could show up half the girls I dance with. My mind was blown.) 

The classes went well, though, and I had my girls at the end of the day. They did so well, I was incredibly proud. Especially considering how difficult the week before was. I think I’m finally figuring out what works with the dynamics of each class. And it’s great. I love these kids. 

Saturday we had rehearsal for Snow. It was Or second rehearsal, and we were able to get a little farther, which I was grateful for considering I won’t be there this Saturday. We changed a part from last year that everyone liked, and it involves pique turns. Which is fine, I like pique turns, but if I’m rushed and don’t fully think them through I’m prone to bend my knee. I’m in the front for this part so it’s crucial that I do it correctly. I almost got to do these crossing jetes, which I was pretty excited about. I still have so much to work on with my jetes, but they have improved and if felt good to know they were good enough to do this bit. It got changed though, which is okay. At least I was considered. And Ms Munro even apologized for having to change it to where I didn’t do it. But I understand, that’s how this all goes. So many things factor into choreography, it’s about finding the fit with all the different components. I’m still excited for snow, but it is a bit difficult, mainly in how fast it is. I have some things to really work on, including this fast roll thing on the floor. I actually managed to hurt my hamstring doing it in rehearsal. I tried to push through, but it got so bad I ended up having to sit out. I think I’ve been irritating it for a while leading up to this, and the roll thing just pushed it past it’s limit it’s right under where my back had been hurting on my short leg side, so I’m doing all I can to make it okay and trying to figure out the roll so I can do it properly and hopefully avoid this. 

Yesterday we had our first flower rehearsal. I think Lilac is my favorite role I’ve done. Which may seem silly, but i just love it. The way it all flows together, how it’ll look with the new romantic tutus, getting to interact with the other two sets of flowers. I dunno how to explain it, but I love it. I get to dance by my friend Hannah, who I split center with, which makes me happy. And there’s even a part where we’re in two straight lines and Hannah and I are in the front, which never happens. I’m so pumped. I think this role plays more to my strengths, too, which probably adds to why I love it. It just makes sense in my head. 

I didn’t do pointe yesterday, which made me sad, and I won’t do it in class tonight, but I’m hoping taking a step back and then being gone for snow this weekend will help my hip. I see the chiropractor Thursday, as well. Not sure what else can be done for me other than I’m just falling apart. I need to get back to my family practitioner, but I’m afraid I’ll have to go through a bunch of testing to rule things out and I can’t afford it. But something’s gotta give, man. 

Still, I’m excited for this season. I’m hopeful that things will work out. And one of the new teachers, Emily, has offered to help me out with pointe stuff I need to work on, so I’m really excited for that. And hopeful. More hopeful. More solid hope. You get the point 😂

My Instagram page for this blog has passed 1,000 followers, which blows my mind. It’s weird because there’s been a shift here the last two weeks where I’ve seen consistent traffic from these new people I don’t know. Before it would be just in waves when a picture or video would take off, usually because a lot of people were laughing at me. But now it’s shifted to where people are staying and people are telling me how encouraged they are by me. I mean, I guess there aren’t many dancers my age that look like I do that have started from scratch as an adult. There are some, and they’re out there, and I’m friends with many of them, but I’m realizing how truly unique we are. 

And I love it. 

So I’m hosting a giveaway on my Instagram that I’m excited about. Details will be up with the post announcing this blogs publication. Hehe 

Little things. 

Not many big, spectacular things have been happening that are particularly note-worthy, but there have been little things all around that honestly just make me smile. 

Things I have now that I know I won’t have much longer, especially next year once everyone has graduated and left me 😭 (okay, not everyone, but a huge chunk of people, and even some that have been with me since the beginning of this whole ordeal.)

I’m trying to soak in every good thing I have while I have it, even if it’s surrounded by some not-so-good things. Make the most of these days and recognize them for the gift they are. 

It’s the boring, mundane, common days that we can so easily overlook, but are the things we look back on teary eyed. It’s these things that are so easily here today and gone tomorrow. These are my golden years, and I want to enjoy them for what they are so I can look back and say I never wasted a second. 

Saturday was an extremely beautiful day, leading to a good chunk of us early birds sitting outside and basking in the slight breeze. A welcome change from the lingering summer temperatures. The laziness of the day continued when we first arrived in the studio, literally laying on the floor by the little block windows, basking in the morning sun like a group of kittens. Moments like those are my favorite. (Obviously as soon as people started showing up we started stretching and getting ready for barre, laziness only lingering so long before plies kicked it out.) 

It’s moments like arriving early to my class and getting to see bits of the class before me. Seeing these girls work so hard and improve right in front of your eyes. seeing them conquer things that are difficult for me with ease, partially because they don’t yet know to be afraid. 

It’s moments like when a friend who graduated walks in the door of the studio, there for the holiday and taking class with you again, making the world feel a little more right and hearing all their stories from the college life. 

It’s helping the newer girls with the faster combination and having a flashback to when you were the one needing help and the girl in the pointe shoes made it look so easy and wanting to be like her some day, only to realize that some day was now. And I’m not the best in the world by far, but to them I was possibility. How cool is that? I never want to forget how that feels or why I do what I do. 

Also Mrs Alex said my pirouettes looked good so that’s exciting, even though I couldn’t land it in fourth like we were supposed to, hahaha. 

So anyway. Yay ballet! 

Power of One. 

Yesterday I got to see a friend I haven’t seen in 12 years. 

12 years. 

I was 14 when I met her. Just put that into perspective there. 

Anyway, she came into town and was able to pop over to where I was for a conference and hang out for half an hour. Not near enough time to catch up on everything, but more than we’ve had in a very long time. 

It was so great to hear where life has taken her. We met in speech and debate class, being the two Christians in a very perverted environment (still an environment with many great and wonderful people regardless) so even though I only had her a year, she still watched out for me and made sure I made the transition from private/Christian school into the belly of the public school world alright. 

Her class had many talented people in it, and twelve years later she’s the one with the theater career. Which is kinda funny, considering she’s not the one we really would have hands down known for sure she would be this successful. Always talented, for sure, but like. The ones we thought were shoe ins aren’t in the industry. We both kind of laughed about this. (It makes me even more proud of her, honestly.) 

She began ballet and tap classes in January and has loved getting into them! I, of course, loved hearing that she was getting into dance and loving it so much. She told me yesterday that I was a real inspiration into her taking the plunge. 

Me? An inspiration to her? 

Like, shouldn’t it be the opposite way around? 

I’m just a little ol’ nobody chasing a “pointless” dream because it’s my life and I can. It’ll never be my career or anything more than fun, really, and some see it as a waste of time. (That’s another blog post for another day.) but she’s telling me that little ol’ me is inspiring her, who has the impressive resume and talent and has made a career of what she loves. 

I still can’t seem to find words to accurately describe what it meant to me to hear her say that. Like. How cool is that? 

Yesterday I posted a picture I took after class Wednesday. It’s a little rough, but I posted it anyway because it wasn’t rough enough to hide away. This is all a progress anyway, we strive for perfection but will never attain it. It was met with largely positive feedback from my friends and even some strangers, but then I started noticing the influx of “likes” it was getting. This meant the inevitable. 

Hateful comments. 

The first one wasn’t so much hate as it was sort of a dig on themselves. It made me laugh, nonetheless. Then I started getting those comments where it was people tagging their friends, either in the picture I posted or my last video (from about a month ago.) I posted a picture today of the picture yesterday with a side by side of a “fail” picture, just for kicks. That’s when I got my first real hate comment. 

“She is big and fat.”

I could just block these. Or delete them. Or ignore them. Instead, I choose to respond. Because the internet isn’t just this fast thing run by robots. Instagram accounts are of real people (mostly, you know what I mean.) with real lives who can see and read the comments you leave. Even in another language, they can translate it and see what you’re saying. So I commented on how I can see what she’s saying. And how she probably didn’t realize that I have health issues that hinder me from losing weight, or how I used to be anorexic which essentially threw me into these health issues. I made reference to her description that says “always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.” By saying that unicorns don’t leave hate like that, unicorns are kind and all this other stuff. 

I didn’t let it get to me, though. Thankfully the internet wasn’t as advanced when I was younger as it is now. Back then it may have eaten at me, or fueled the fire, but now I realize theirs more to life than trying to fill the opinions of strangers, and even so there’s only so much of my life I can control. There’s only so much I can do about my size. And that’s okay. I can only be the best version of myself. Anything more than that is unrealistic and exhausting. 

To that one negetive comment, I’ve had at least five positive and extremely encouraging ones, including this one from a new friend. 


I’d be lying if I said this didn’t make me smile like a fool by myself and heart to feel warm. 

This is what it’s about. Working hard, doing our best, being real and true to ourselves. Kindness is free. And really, what better way to greet the world? 

Think of your worst day you’ve had. How hard it was, how much you cried, how you contemplated giving up. Now think of how it could have been improved upon if you just had someone there. Someone to remind you of your value, of how much you have to offer the world. Someone to encourage you to give it one more try. That it’s okay to cry and be sad, as long as you don’t stay there too long. If we could be that to someone, why wouldn’t we? If we can bring encouragement, why would we hold that back? I know I’m not the first person to start ballet as an adult, and I won’t be the last. I know that it’s a struggle some days, but now that I’m past the brunt of that the beginning brings, why would I not encourage other people that fighting for what your heart longs for is worth it? 

We have two newer girls in our adult ballet class, and seeing the light in their eyes as they asked me about getting en pointe and what to work on inspires me. To them, I was goals, I was possibility. I may never be a professional dancer, on a stage for hundred, inspiring people to be like me, but on Wednesday I was the inspiration for those two, showing them it’s possible, showing them it’s not too late, showing them dreams aren’t pointless. 

And honestly, when my life flashes before my eyes right before I die, things like this will be counted amongst some of my greatest achievements. 

World Ballet Day 

Today marks perhaps the fondest day in all current ballet dancers hearts, the day we celebrate ballet around the world. 

(Hence the name. Obvi.)

I won’t get to watch as much today as I have the past years, which makes me sad, but it’s okay. 

The first year they did this, I streamed it on YouTube and kept up in the comments section, talking about the variation they were working on, which dancer was which, complimenting leotard styles, and even having some ballet greats pop in and talk with us. It was pretty great! 

But the greatest of all for me was the forming of #teampotato when we decided that, in comparison, we were no more than dancing potatoes. (I tweeted it and Misha liked it. So that’s cool.) 

The second year, I happened upon many of the original #teampotato members, and we inducted a few new ones, brainstorming ideas of having some sort of meet up and all taking a class together. 

This year, I happened to be woken up at 4am local time, but remembered the date and turned on the livestream. At the same time, one of the original members messaged me from Australia, and we made our own little chat since it’s streaming differently this year. I just sat back and really took in the moment and how cool this day is and the friends I’ve met, and kept, since the inaugural year. How cool is it that I have real friends in Australia and Singapore and France and Holland and Finland and Estonia and so many other places, some exclusively due to world ballet day, and some since I made my blog public. 

They have become some of my greatest friends, truly. It’s cool to see the support we genuinely have for each other in our endeavors on different parts of the planet, and how we really aren’t all that different even though our countries aren’t the same. It’s something I deeply treasure. (So, thank you, my lovely dears you!) 

My streaming is limited currently, but that’s okay. Because I know right now someone is in ballet class, someone is rehearsing, and today that tons of people are tuning in to a stream of it, hearts full and inspired. 

I stepped outside this morning to this 


And realized while this is what I saw, this was also going on similtaneously 


(Royal ballet) 

How cool is that? 

With everything as difficult as it’s been lately, even as recent as last night, it’s nice to have a sort of jump start to remind you why you fight for this. To make you feel in your heart what it is that makes you pull on those tights and shoes and go out there and work to be better. 

I know I’ll never be anything close to these people I see today, not physically at least. But I can learn and glean and get as close as physically possible. To do that, for me, is to have success. To never give up, even when it’s hard and overwhelming. 

I had a dear friend here at home remind me last night that this is a privilege. To remember the days even this was still a dream. I may be blinded by the difficulties and complications, but this is all so much more than that. This is about something deep in my soul that doesn’t rest until I try again; until I give it everything I have. 

I think of my life, of the last five years. I see the girl in class last night who began the same journey I began that day, I see where it’s brought me and the potential she has. I think of how vastly different my life would be without dance. I mean, would I even have friends? What would I do with my life? 

I look through all of this and I smile. 

I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. 
Keep working. Keep striving. Keep inspiring. Whether you’re an adult beginner, or a principal at a well known company. Keep being true to yourself. 

Costume fittings 

The Nutcracker cast list is out, and thus begins the greatness of another season. 

Yesterday we had our costume fittings for the roles I’m cast in. (Which is where I discovered the fact of my last post.) I got to see some of my friends I haven’t seen in months since I’m not able to take the level VI this year, as well as other dance friends, and was finally able to meet a couple of new friends. 

I had the fitting for Lilac first, which I had heard we were getting new costumes for this role. This is kind of a big deal, since we haven’t had new costumes for the flowers in decades. And understandably so. The old costumes were platter tutus, like the roses. 


They were beautiful and intricate, but had seen a lot of use over the years. I had heard they were wanting to start updating the flowers costumes, but didn’t know if or when it would happen. It’s pretty cool looking on your costumes and seeing the history of who has worn it before you. But getting to be the first name in the costume is pretty cool, too. Knowing it was made to your measurements is incredible. 

This fitting had a bigger time allotment, being that it was still in two pieces and needed to be pinned together so it could be finished in time. 

(Missing two of my babies in that picture)
Mrs Jane even made new flower sashes, which are absolutely incredible and so gorgeous. 

I really like it because I feel like it brings more distinction to the separate flowers. Petit fleurs are in dance dressses, lilacs are now in romantic tutus, and the roses are in platter tutus. Plus, it makes more sense that the petit fleurs and lilacs be more closely related since they dance together more. 

When we did Wizard of Oz my first year here, they made new costumes for the poppies and emeralds. I wasn’t all that good en pointe and wasn’t in the roles, so I sat back and watched as all my friends got to wear these brand new beautiful costumes. As Mrs Jane fitted me, I felt redeemed. That all my hard work and patience paid off. I was glad that I saw it as inspiration to keep working hard rather than getting upset about it. That would have been so pointless. There’s no way I could have successfully danced those roles. But now that I’ve had some more time and more work, I get to dance the role I’ve always wanted to have. Silly as it sounds, being that it’s “just” Lilac. But my adult ballet friends that have gone before me all made it to the level of lilac, and thus it became a sort of goal. To be like them. To work hard and keep improving. And I’ve made it. I’ve done it. 

We had snow fittings shortly after, which have these gorgeous costumes that have been used over the years. 


They’ve always been some of my favorite, being a huge history buff. I absolutely love the fabric used in these, and have looked forward to getting to dance this role, even though it’s a bit difficult. But I’m ready for the challenge. 

Rehearsals will start up soon. I’ve missed being surrounded by my dance friends every weekend. Though invariably things change every year, making it a new dynamic each season. And though I’ll never be able to replace the greatness that was my first two seasons with this company, I’m excited to have a third. This year is the last year for many of our top dancers. It’ll be interesting navigating next year with such a new variation of talent and levels and all. 

I’m gonna enjoy this year, start to finish. Making the most of it and soaking in everything I can while I have it.