Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Ballet Birthday

performing Little Swans in 'Swan Lake' at an intensive on my 14th birthday (me on far right)

Today was my 19th birthday. Not only do birthdays make me feel like life is passing all too quickly before my eyes, but they make me think back to how I spent my past birthdays. I’ve had a lot of laughs over the years, but there isn’t a single birthday I can remember that hasn’t revolved around dancing.

The earliest birthdays I have concrete memories of are around age 8 or 9, when I would have my close group of friends over (which remained the same set of people for years) for a sleepover. Maybe “normal” kids play silly games or watch movies at their parties, but growing up under the dance reign of my family‘s studio, my parties were quite different. We would MAKE movies! I remember assigning each of my friends to a different dance in our remake of “A Chorus Line.” In another one, we all did a dance and lip sync to our favorite singers (I admit: many a Spice Girl theme…). Though not musical in nature, another of our birthday films that stands out in memory is “Who Killed the Rabbi?” at my make believe Bat Mitzvah on my 13th birthday (don’t ask hahaha)!

As the years passed, however, I started attending ballet intensives for increasing amounts of time over the summer and was almost always away for my birthday. My first summer away was for two weeks at a performing camp in upstate Vermont, beginning on the Monday of my birthday. Not only was I thrilled with the immediate independence I had by turning 12 years old away from my parents, but I was so happy with the surprise party my counselor, roommates, and new friends of 24 hours had thrown me! I still remember the moment when they locked me in my room to set up the common room with balloons.

I spent one more birthday at that camp before attending a different camp a year later: one where I would soon spend 2 full years of my life. My two summers here were perhaps the most fun I had because I made 3 really close friends who remain pen-pals to this day. For my birthday during both summers they completely surprised me by cleaning and decorating my room with streamers and confetti. Also, the year I turned 14 I got a later curfew for “coming of age” and so we went to get ice cream late (8pm?) just because we could. Another summer I remember staying up until midnight on the 30th with my roommates just so they could sing to me when it officially turned 12:01am on my birthday.

More importantly, during these years (as well as all birthdays since) I was always dancing. We would have a regular full day of classes and rehearsals at whatever camp I was at, and most of the time I was too shy or quiet to tell the teachers of my birthday. I would treat these ballet days like any other day of work, and only celebrate later back at the dorms. Even though other dancers had their birthdays during the intensive and got to wear special leotards or have the class sing to them, I always seemed to remain quiet during ballet. Even my birthday couldn’t disrupt the work.

Unfortunately (or, maybe fortunately?) this remains true years later, today, on my 19th birthday. I spent the day working at ballet, even though I did not attend an intensive (for the first time in 13 yrs) this year. Though the little kids at the ballet camp I’m working at sang “Happy Birthday” 3 times and I received several homemade presents and cards, it was still work. Yesterday in open class they sang to me as well, an unexpected surprise. But later this afternoon, for reasons unknown even to me, I decided to take the open ballet class that I don‘t particularly enjoy anymore. Maybe I felt it was tradition that I dance on my birthday, or maybe I just felt like I shouldn’t take a day off.
Either way, it was work. Dancing, and being in the dance world in general, has become work rather than play - even on a birthday. It’s interesting to see that on a day of celebration I still feel the annoyances, frustrations, and pains of ballet - and at the same time, there’s nothing better I can imagine doing on my birthday than dancing. It is the element that has remained a constant throughout the years.
a birthday before the ballet days

Sunday, July 29, 2007


A teacher who danced as a Principal with NYCB once had me demonstrate a combination at barre and then told the class, “Taylor is a good role-model for you to watch for musicality. It’s one of her gifts.” Another teacher from the Bolshoi Ballet years earlier told a class, “Taylor is the most musical student I’ve met.” Even earlier than that, a teacher said she could really see the music in my body. If it seems like I’m bragging, I’m not. Each of these teachers are the same ones who have (on multiple occasions) rejected or ignored me based on physical limitations.

More recently, a better teacher said to me something along the lines of, “You know, as dancers we all have our gifts. I never had any gifts…and you’re the same way!" While perhaps this comment should have made me cry, it actually made me laugh and reconsider what it means to be “gifted” or “talented.” (This teacher is quite different from the others. Instead of pitying my awful, flat feet and then moving on, she helps me to improve and work with what I have.)

In a world of beauty, perfection, and art, the words “talented” and gifted” are tossed around as often as the ladies in tutus. As common as these adjectives are, they seem (to some) to be the highest of compliments paid to a dancer. As long as you are “talented” you are likely to make it in this business. But what constitutes such a gift? What is this thing called talent? We know it if we see it, but is there a way to truly describe it?

I believe that, because our bodies are our sole tool in this discipline, that our physicality is often confused with our talent. So many dancers are blessed with the typical ballet body: long limbs, arched feet, 180 degree turnout, and never-ending flexibility. These physical gifts of hyperextension, rotation, and proportions, determine our facility as dancers.

The School of American Ballet, which boasts a student body of the epitome of this aesthetic, describes these virtues in its admission requirements. “The School is selective in admitting new students and renewing their enrollment from year to year. Applicants must be young enough to derive the maximum benefit from their training, enjoy excellent health and have an anatomical structure suited to the demands of classical dance: a well-proportioned, flexible, coordinated body, legs that easily adopt the turned-out condition, and a high instep. They must also possess musical aptitude and a natural gift for movement (SAB website).”

Most of these factors are truly limited by what we are given at birth. True, our muscles and bones are not completely formed until the adolescent years and can be molded accordingly until a certain age, but by and large our physical structure is predetermined. If, then, a student is born with these golden gifts, does that automatically suggest that they possess talent?

I think this question is greatly misconstrued in the ballet world. I have heard about and experienced many an audition where literally all they do is take a look at you and decide whether to keep you or not. As a performance art there is a necessity for some judgment of the outside, but there tends to be an automatic assumption that if you do not have the perfect legs and feet then you lack “talent” and the ability to dance well in general.

Besides the perfect arabesque line or sandwich-tight fifth position, there are other “gifts” that may more appropriately be considered “talent” because they do not rely exclusively on body type. What would a ballerina be without balance, coordination, stamina, strength, poise, presence, athleticism, ballon (the French term for the ability to bounce like ball, necessary for petite allegro), fluidity, and musicality?

Perhaps SAB and the rest of the ballet world summarize these factors in the end of that admissions description: “a natural gift for movement.” Why, then, do they go overlooked if not accompanied by the presiding physical factors? Why are they ignored until the body itself is approved of? Isn’t there something to dancing “from the inside, out”?

I think that talent should be considered more than just the perfect facility for movement. I believe it is movement itself: the ability to communicate with a body (whatever it may look like), the ability to truly show the music, the ability to manipulate time and space to create art.
There are so many people with talent that go unseen due to physical “flaws”, while there are many more (without this raw talent) taking an easy ride to perfection thanks to their gifted bodies. I’m not saying it’s necessarily easier for a good body to become a ballerina, because we all have things we need to develop and work through. It is, however, a different challenge for those of us constantly struggling with ourselves, working twice as hard to look half as good.

And not only do we have these physical limitations that we must gradually come to accept and work with, but we are almost stereotyped in the ballet world’s mind as being less than satisfactory. Though to a different degree, it is like society’s prejudice against African Americans: no matter what’s inside, all people base their ideas from is what is presented on the outside. Ballet is prejudiced against the turned-in and the flat-footed: no matter what talent sparkles inside, all people (teachers, choreographers, fellow students) base their ideas from is what is given on the outside.

I understand this is a performing art form and a certain aesthetic is required for success, but don’t you think that those of us who are less than perfect should be given a fair shot? We may not be “gifted” in terms of our bodies, but we might have talent: something that can be grown and shaped if nurtured. Talent itself is a gift, one that should be treasured just as much as turnout.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Love New York

This post was actually a creative assignment I just completed for my summer course called “Writing New York.” Basically we were to write a story or poem addressing the city, but I ended up writing about my love/hate relationship with the New York DANCE world in particular. While reading PLEASE keep in mind that it is creatively enhanced and is only BASED on truth. It is very much exaggerated, especially when it comes to the “hate” part, done so only for the contrasting effect.

If it matters, I got an A on the paper.

the fountain in Lincoln Center - Metropolitan Opera House in background
I love you, New York. You are the source and breeding ground of all my dreams. You are the hope that got me threw some tough times; the opportunity that shined at an arms reach; the community for which I longed. Your bright lights waved at me with every visit and I knew some day I would be welcomed to call you home. Your tall buildings would look down on me, protecting me from the harms above. Your traffic lights would switch to green for go and I’d be on my way to someplace new every moment.

I love you, New York. Born in a small town of nothingness I always knew I’d have to look elsewhere to seek what I wanted: a life, happy and successful. We would visit you occasionally for a weekend in the summer, and honestly, it was love at first sight. I could see not much more past the striped walls of our hotel room and the scuffed leather of a cab, but I felt so alive as I had never felt before.

I suppose it was the movement. Even just glaring out from the 30th floor of the Marriot Marquis I could see the river of people below, the tops of heads like a school of fish trying to stick together yet still somehow apart. There was no sign of stopping. It was constant motion without a moment to catch a freeze frame with my CVS brand disposable camera. You couldn’t see their faces, but I knew they were all happy.

The lights from Broadway would tickle at our window. I’d watch the flashes repeatedly as I tried to fall asleep with my eyes open. I didn’t want to miss a thing. “10:15” the red numbers on the bedside clock would read, and I couldn’t believe my parents and I were already in bed attempting to block out the world in a calm sleep. I never slept a wink when we visited you.

I love you, New York. Years later I moved to a boarding school in Philadelphia. In the spring we would hop on the Greyhound and come to your thrilling land for day. Oh, it was such an escape! I could not have loved the traffic preceding the Lincoln Tunnel more: it forced us to sit there, with a screaming baby in the seat in front and a homeless guy drinking from a paper bag in the seat behind, and stare at that jagged skyline that is Manhattan. I would play Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” on my uncharged iPod and had learned to time it just perfectly so the big finish would sing right as the Empire State Building came into view.

It was perfect. Port Authority Bus Station was the golden gateway to fun, fame, and freedom. My heart would throb as I rode the escalator bringing me up to 8th Avenue. The bums on the corner could be my best friends. The trash on the sidewalk could be diamonds. I was in New York, and life was all good.

I love you, New York. I would visit Broadway and Lincoln Center with stars in my eyes. The music resonated inside me, flowing like the stream of people in Times Square. It never stopped. Curtain calls were just the beginning. I would never admit it, but every time the red or gold velvet closed for the last time of the evening and the orchestra packed up my eyes would turn to puddles, evaporating only when we hit the dark sun of 42nd Street.

The ballet was my favorite, even though I didn’t see one in the city until much later. The decadence of tutus and twirls singed my mind. I was so eager to perform, and even though I had yet to enter any of the theaters in Lincoln Center, I knew what that block at West 66th Street stood for: Passion. Pride. Perfection.

To my left was New York State Theater, to my right, Avery Fisher Hall. Straight ahead was The Metropolitan Opera House, its looming windows making it appear as a place of worship. I stood there by the fountain, with a penny in my hand (not much more than I had in my pocket at all) and closed my eyes. I did not make a wish. I had been making the same wish with every penny or shooting star my entire life and I knew this one had to be different. I promised myself that I would be here someday. That I would dance here someday. That I would be on one of these stages someday. It just had to happen.

I tossed my penny and watched it waver side to side before clunking to the bottom. There were hundreds of other pennies down there, some shiny and new, some grimy and barely copper anymore. But mine sat on top of them all in that sparkling water. The fountain was fresh, clean, and bubbling with energy, just like my New York.

I hate you, New York. You are the murderer and burial ground of all my dreams. You are the disillusionment that kept me pushing; the frustration that poked at my heart; the isolation for which I longed. Your bright lights blinded me with unfulfilled faith. Your tall buildings looked down on me, thousands of eyes threatening me through washed windows. Your traffic lights switched to yellow and suddenly everything was unclear.

I hate you, New York. I came here with dreams as direct and laid out as the grid plan of your streets. Uptown, around the corner, continue a few blocks and there you are, simple as that. I knew what I wanted and I knew you could give it to me. You held at your core the juice of my fervor. So shiny from the outside, but with one bite, so sour.

Oh sure, you gave me a glimpse at what could be. I’d roam your streets with not a care in the world. I’d go out for a walk and just simply discover: what makes you crunch, what makes you roll. What can I do here? Everything, and nothing. And I loved that. But you took it all away in a New York minute.

I hate you, New York.

I suppose it was the movement. You can’t hold on to a single moment here. Everything changes, even the good. You gave me a peek into the life I had always wanted and without telling me you moved it further away. That is the worst kind of sin: temptation. You teased me into thinking I could have it.

The lights from Broadway now ticker at my window. I watch the flashes repeatedly as I try to fall asleep with my eyes open. I’m not missing a thing, but I’m missing everything. “10:15” the red numbers on the bedside clock read, and I can’t believe I have so much irrelevant work to do that I’ll never get to savor a calm sleep until perhaps tomorrow evening, when I’ll run the risk of the same routine. The city that never sleeps, in it’s worst sense.

I hate you, New York. I visit Broadway and Lincoln Center with defeat in my eyes. The music resonates inside me, flowing like a funeral march at my own grave. It never stops. Curtain calls are now the ending. Every time I do get to be on a stage, any stage, I fear it is my last chance. You have stolen my hope.

I never admit it, but every time the red or gold velvet closes for the last time of the evening and the orchestra packs up my eyes turn to inward fountains, overflowing, fresh, clean, and bubbling with energy. Just like my New York.

I hate you, New York. With this fountain, I’m just another penny in your pocket. My face, like Lincoln’s, is squished between trash, lint, and sweat from work undone and unappreciated. I look up to you, drowning in your ripples.

I am not making a wish. I have been making the same wish with every penny my entire life in this city and I know this one has to be different. I promise myself that I will love you again someday. That I will dance with you in joy someday. That I will be at the stage of satisfaction someday. It just has to happen.

I hate you, New York. But I am so in love.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Routine in the Empty Studio

me (on right) in the big studio - the city as my landscape background of art
One of the most restful parts of my summer, as pathetic as it might seem, comes every Sunday morning before ballet class. Because of the special extended weekend classes we get to be in the oversized studio, which incorporates two of the facility’s largest rooms into a single vast space, with mirrors on one wall, barres on two others, and an incredible view of the city as the background.

Since class is so early (well, it seems quite early for a Sunday - even though it actually starts at 1pm!) Sundays are the only days when I have nothing to do right before class. It is my one chance each week to allow for a proper stretch and warm-up time before hopping straight into plies. I always try to get there so I have a good hour to get organized and such, but seeing as, for whatever reason, I tend to move slower on Sunday mornings, I usually get to the studio around 12:20pm.

After swiping my card and waiting too long for the elevator, staring at crowds of baby ballerinas or teenage hip-hoppers, I finally get upstairs to the room by 12:25. Once I glimpse the studio I know all is well. Empty, with the tinted sunlight shed from the see-through blinds, it is rather chilly and quiet. I immediately drop my bag in its usual spot near the front and hurry to get a barre.

Though there is nobody in sight, I rush to drag the portable barre from the corner to my spot in the center as if the whole class was clamoring to beat me to my place. It’s funny how, as dancers, we become attached to our habitual place at the barre - the place of our internal work, the angle from which we always see ourselves in the mirror, the fixation that remains constant each morning, as welcoming (or unwelcoming) as that first cup of coffee. It is our personal space and our home base that we become so possessive of. Even though no one challenges me, I find myself at the urge to protect my place.

Once I leave my flip-flop there to mark my territory safe from invisible dancers I go back to get my bag. Overflowing with pointe shoes, Tiger Balm, and warm ups, it spills across the floor beneath the cool silver barre. It’s the same every week: change into sweatpants. Empty the pointe shoes and decide which to wear. Replace toe pads in appropriate shoes. Lather the Achilles tendon in anti-inflammatories. Pop an Advil if it’s been a bad week. Set out skirt and flat shoes for the start of barre. Then return everything else to the side.

After all is settled I can relax. By this point it’s about 12:30. I take a deep breath, encouraging myself to begin my necessary stretching, strengthening, and joint-cracking ritual. Both hips are popped (in several directions), as are the metatarsals and the back. I am fully aware of the risks of “cracking” myself so often, but I truly feel like I’m in a stiff costume of armor unless I free up the bones. The percussion of my vertebrae clicking into place is the only sound besides the whizzing air conditioner above. I hardy notice either.

With a renewed freedom about my body I spread wide into a split face down to hug the floor. Though I’ve been all the way down to the ground in my center split for years, I still feel a twinge the first time I do it every day, and Sundays seem to be the most tight.

I breathe in the emptiness of the room and close my eyes, savoring the quiet. To be alone in that great space is liberating. In the confines of Manhattan’s steel valleys it seems impossible to find just a single square foot of personal space. Even in lovely Central Park, with manmade nature abounding, there are constantly crowds of people - always moving. But here in the studio, I am truly alone.

I always feel so lucky to have a brief time to myself in this incredible facility. If I was warmed up and fully awake I would love to break out into some long lost choreography that simmers inside me, never with an opportunity to surface. But by the time my pre-class routine gets me to my feet to stretch my calves I hear the beeping of the elevator in the hallway. Other dancers come in and glance around before entering, as if afraid to disturb my silence. I smile at them. 12:40 on the dot, as always, and they begin their routine.

I think we're all in awe of the studio even with its familiarity. It's like a blank canvas waiting to be danced across with color. Of course one color is never enough for a masterpiece. I can see the buildings of midtown almost at arms length. The clouds are close enough to tickle with my breath. So open and free - yet so enclosed, encompassed, and veiled by the city outside. The juxtaposition of the vastness enveloped in the shadows of buildings is so ironic. Perhaps it’s like art itself: solitary and free, yet overpowered by the capitalist crowds.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adult Classes for the Summer

me in adult pointe class

Recently - actually, not so recently… - I’ve been taking open adult classes around the city and with one teacher in particular. I decided that instead of going to a ballet intensive for the 13th year in a row (6 of them away from home) that this summer both my body and my mind needed a bit of a break. There were other things that needed to get done as well, so I decided to remain here in the city and take classes at my leisure.

The day a few weeks back when all my friends near and far left for their dorms full of competitive bunheads I admit that I second guessed myself. I honestly can’t remember a summer without a strict schedule of plies and tendus. But this regret lasted only a minute - I am fully happy with my decision to take a break, which, it turns out, is not a break at all!

The main factor in this decision was because by the end of the spring season I was truly exhausted. An overload school schedule, internships, and performances all took thier toll. Physically my body was killing me and while I was taking excessive classes I stopped improving because I was too tired. I was having back pain through our rehearsal period and ended up finishing my final year of “ballet school” with bad Achilles tendon pain. On top of that I was truly fed up with the bunhead ballet world - the cattiness, the rejection, the ignorance, and the general outlook of it as a whole. Knowing that somehow I still want to be a part of this world and will be rejoining it in the fall, I knew I needed a brief change: I needed to get back to the stage where I actually looked forward to class, where my bad feet didn‘t ruin my life, where I can just dance for me.

I am thrilled to say that I found all that quite quickly in the classes I’ve been taking. And, as an added plus, I’ve met many new dance friends that are not in it for the competition or the self-destruction. They dance for the sake of dancing: to move, to be free, to embody music, and to have fun. Isn’t that why most of us began dancing in the first place?

To go back to these roots at my age seemed naïve at first, but as I watched some of the others in those classes I found myself to be as inspired - if not, more - than when I watch the professionals in the big companies! Some of these adult students are far past the retirement age. Some are busy business folks. Some are stay at home mothers bringing their babies to class each morning. Despite their age or occupation, they all share a passion for dance, and that is what I appreciate about all of them.

They become so involved and dedicated, just as much as the pre-professional students I’ve always been surrounded by. They work very seriously and take each combination with the concentration of a brain surgeon. They are determined (some even a bit overly so!) to get this ballet business under control.

Many are eager to go on pointe and do so successfully. At first glance with my bunions and blistered perception I wonder why on earth they would want so badly to wear those painful shoes. I spend hours a day in them and cannot wait to get them off, and here they are begging the teacher for more time on their toes. But it hit me when I read a quote in the New York Times from this teacher that said, “They have the dream in their hearts of the little ballerina girl.” It really is a certain internal passion that cannot be explained which brings us all to ballet. And with these people, as jaded New Yorkers as they may be, this passion is in its purest form.

Something that surprised me most was the number of men in these classes. As ballet students we are trained to consider male dancers as gold and, in turn, many of them think of themselves that way because they know they are in high demand. It is completely different with these adults. There is a far larger percentage of men in these classes compared to any children’s class. And even some of THEM go on pointe! I respect their courage, determination, and dedication for facing certain ridiculous stereotypes and physical factors that prevent most men from this.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of all this to a trained dancer is that these adults do pas de deux work! Regularly they meet to learn the technique of working together and to practice traditional and more contemporary choreography. They treat these classes just as seriously as the professionals treat a rehearsal - they work together to fix problems, make adjustments, and keep trying. Their persistence and devotion pays off, even if they don’t know it.

Sometimes I think people wonder if I’m losing my technique by taking adult classes and simply slacking off by not maintaining a strict dance schedule over the summer. The opposite is true: I really cannot wait to get to class every day, a feeling I haven’t experienced in quite a while, and I’m dancing just as much as I was during the year (minus the painful rehearsals). And in terms of technique I believe that this summer is the most beneficial one I’ve had yet because I can work how I want to work with a teacher whom I enjoy and who treats me like an adult. I know myself and my body now and I am able to train myself with a freedom that is impossible to have in a pre-professional school setting. I admit some of those adults give me strange looks when I’m in the back of the studio repeatedly correcting my pirouettes, but just as many surprise me by coming over to compliment me (and though I usually disagree with them, it’s a welcomed change compared to the dehumanizing glares and half compliments forced by teachers in many pre-professional classes…).

Although these adults are not working for ballet careers they have something special - a genuine desire to dance, with no inhibitions or limitations. I can only hope that as I grow older I will continue to find that unyielding passion - whether I have a career in dance or not.

I wanted to end with this great anonymous quote I once read but can’t seem to find it. Here’s one pretty similar to it:

Beginning dancer: Knows nothing.
Intermediate dancer: Knows everything, too good to dance with beginners.
Hotshot dancer: Too good to dance with anyone.
Advanced dancer: Dances everything, especially with beginners

Saturday, July 14, 2007

ABT's Romeo & Juliet

I spent quite some time (which I have less and less of nowadays) trying to decide what to write my first post on because I have a lot of things I want to say. Even though I’m a few weeks behind I’m going to do it on Alessandra Ferri’s farewell performance because that had a huge impact on me.

I was lucky enough to be cast as a super in ABT’s full run of Romeo & Juliet at the Met this season. I got to be a bridesmaid in Act II, walking on half way through the village scene and basically standing as an extra in the background. THAT was an experience unto itself: first of all, there is no better view of that incredible company or that beautiful ballet than being right there in the action. But that theater - the wings, the house, the orchestra - when I first stepped out during our brief onstage rehearsal the Friday before I swear my heart stopped. I know it sounds cliché. I live for translating those kinds of moments into words, but it just cannot be done with this one - it was indescribable. Unreal. I’ve been on big stages before, but there is nothing like the Met. And in performance, even though I was only an extra, it was so amazing. There is something comforting and yet mysterious in knowing that nobody is looking at you, and yet EVERYONE can see you.

Anyway, Alessandra Ferri was obviously the highlight of the last performance. Her dancing itself, partnered by Roberto Bolle (side note: my boss at my recent internship was his publicist!), was, as always, impeccable. But what struck me more than her generous artistry and technique was the buzz backstage amongst the company. I was just a fly on the wall trying to stay out of the way of costume changes and tossed props, but being backstage that night was something special. During the balcony pas de deux the wings were more crowded than the subway at rush hour, but during every other evening’s performance there were just one or two stray dancers watching.

I was crushed half kneeling between the crowd in the second wing on stage right. At points, as the couple moved across the depth of the stage, we couldn’t see them dancing, just their shadows from the spotlight or simply the other dark faces and sprawled bodies in the wings opposite us. But it was the sense of support and camaraderie - the passion and the pleasure - that everyone backstage felt that night, from us mere supers to the principal dancers delivering bouquets of flowers at the final curtain calls.

As I watched from deep behind the crowd in the stage left wings as Ms. Ferri took her final bow (multiple times - I was amazed how repeatedly they made her go out there!) and I saw the entire company watching from behind and the flashes of cameras and flowers coming from the house, I remembered how much I wanted to be her. The prima ballerina with ABT.
I actually gave up hoping to dance with such a big company a long time ago when (persistently) I was reminded of my lack of turnout or arched feet. But watching her bid farewell I found something new in my hopes: Instead of seeking that unattainable perfection, I want to have that sense of appreciation, respect, pride, support, encouragement, community, and joy when I dance. I think that’s what I’m now in search of.

(me on far left) Bridesmaids in ABT's Romeo & Juliet @ the Met

Alessandra Ferri's final curtain call at the Met with ABT company members in the background

New Blog

So I'm starting a new blog. We'll see if I can remain consistent with posts seeing as usually I get a week or two into this and then get too busy to keep up with it. Anyway I really want to do this.

Basically instead of simply complaining about my frustrations day in and day out I'm going to keep this blog for my rants/raves/reviews/ramblings about dance. I have a lot of stuff going on and a lot of ideas that are difficult to explain in normal conversation - so perhaps this will be a sufficient outlet.

Happy reading :)