Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dance is Hard: A Reality Check

I sometimes laugh to myself when people make comments how wonderful it must be to have dance as a means of expression. They might say, "Oh how fun you get to dance!"

I laugh because dance is hard.

Sure I get to express myself from time to time, but when you're dancing in a company it's not about you, it's about fulfilling the vision of someone else.

Dance can beat you down a bit. Okay a lot. It's hard to feel your expressive soul when there's people watching and critiquing your every move.

At a recent rehearsal the dancers of the company I'm in were told to "mark" the choreography on the first run of it, meaning don't do it full out but get the feeling of the dance in your body at an easy level. Afterward the director of the company got upset at me for marking it because the person behind me had missed the last few rehearsals and needed someone to follow.

At first I was upset. Why was it I had to take the flak for someone else missing rehearsals? Why wasn't she reprimanded for not knowing the choreography?

Then I got sad. I thought, "I'm a horrible dancer. If I was a good dancer, the director wouldn't pick on me. She didn't call out the other dancers for marking it. Just me. I must be the worst one there. I don't deserve to dance."

It might sound over dramatic, but dance is so cut and dry you kind of have to be. You're either good or you're not. You're either liked by the director or you're a burden. You're either a favorite or you're inadequate.

And then in the middle of rehearsal I felt it. A pain in my hip so intense I fell to the ground. No one saw, so I quietly stood up and tried to keep dancing. As the rehearsal progressed the pain intensified. At one point the director mentioned how we weren't trying hard enough and that we needed to get our legs higher.

It would have been easier to tell her I'd hurt myself and I was trying my best, but a director doesn't want to hear excuses. They don't want to know their dancers are weak or inadequate They just want that leg high and they want you to show you're killing your body to get it there.

Obviously I'm venting. Obviously dance is not always like this. Obviously I'm talking about extreme circumstances.

But dance is hard. The fun weaves in and out of frustration, pain, and raw emotions. It's a complex route to fulfillment and there's a reason why only a handful of dancers are successful. You might ask why we do it. You might as well ask why we breathe. Why we think. Dance is who we are, for better or worse. In sickness and in health. On stage and off stage.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Being Part of a Vision

These images were from years ago and for some reason this post never posted. I only found out because I was doing a Google image search for one of the photos and I couldn't find it. I'm horrified I let that lapse because Susan and I put so much love and passion into this photoshoot. I left the words as is because even though the post is years old, the sentiment is the same.

When Susan Yee has a vision, you're in for a special treat. And when you're part of that vision? Your life suddenly becomes magical.

That's what's neat about being a dancer- you can be part of someone's artistic vision and help facilitate it come to life. It's not just about posing and looking pretty; it's about exploring, playing, and experimenting together. It's a form of choreography, a unique way of getting a glimpse into someone's dreams and mind.

These are more images from our shoot on her blog. I invite you to take a look around and be charmed by her vision.

Happy Wednesday, my dear friends. I hope this one treats you well.
Do a little dance for me, will ya? Thanks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Last Minute Delicious Thanksgiving Pie

When I need a dessert in 20 minutes or less, I make this versatile and delicious cream pie. I was thrilled to discover grocery stores are carrying pumpkin spice pudding (by Jell-O) this year to feed into the pumpkin spice craze of the decade.

To make it more festive, I made a gingersnap crust and topped it with gingersnaps.

1. Whip 1 cup whipping cream with two tablespoons of sugar and a dash of vanilla.
2. Add 1 cup sour cream
3. Stir in 1 3.5 oz packet any flavor pudding.
(I used pumpkin spice)
4. Pour into a graham cracker or ginger snap crust.
(For the crust, I combined 1 1/2 cups of ground ginger snaps, 1/3 cup of white sugar, 6 tbs of melted butter. Bake in a 375F oven for 8 mins. Cool.)
5. Garnish with whipped cream, cookies, chocolate shavings, or whatever suits your fancy.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 6, 2015

My own little England

I adore this forest. It's a short walk from my apartment. I drive by it everyday. I go there to clear my head and search for deers nibbling among trees. I adore that wooden fence. It reminds me of rural England and all the charm of living among nature barely touched and lush farmland constantly nourished by rain.

Speaking of, we're planning a trip to England next year. The hard part? Deciding what time of year to go. I went in July last time but I'm not sure if that's the best time as we could go when it's cheaper. Any suggestions?

Happy Friday!

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Happy Halloween from Baguette and Hubble!

Yes, we bought guinea pigs. That was the big announcement! No apologies for not being pregnant or something because we are entirely thrilled to have these cuties in our lives. I know it's so random and strange (I'm the girl with guinea pigs) but we love them. They are so cute and I finally have something to dress up and show off on social media.

I know these aren't the most artistic photos of our piggies, but we bought them little hats for the holiday and I couldn't wait to show them off before dashing off the rehearsal.

Be prepared. These little champs did really well and I'm thinking flower halos, pirate hats, teddybear ears, and every other way to celebrate random holidays.

Friday, October 30, 2015

It's Coming

Happy Almost Halloween!

I bought this beautiful pumpkin and stuffed it with everything good. And I mean everything. Wild rice, heavy cream, cheese, crisp bacon, and scallions. There's something magical about pumpkins. We carve them, eat them, stuff them, wait for them with Snoopy, and watch them grow into gilded carriages that'll whisk you away to fancy balls.

What separated this pumpkin from the rest was the little curly-q at the end. I didn't even want to buy a pumpkin and I saw that little detail and fell in love. I thought, "Oh my that's a good looking stem." What can I say? I objectify objects.

I hope you all have a festive Halloween.  I hope you eat a lot of candy. I hope you see at least a few little costumes that make you put your hand to your chest and go, "awww!" Most of all, I hope you survive the official beginning of the holiday season. 

Good luck, my peeps!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

You take him to impress him

"This is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to," Mr. B said as soon as we entered my favorite part of Skyline Drive, a strip of gorgeous scenery heading south overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. I've waited an entire year to come back here and I desperately wanted to take Mr. B with me. I have this deep need to impress him, so as soon as he said those words, I was done. I was good. I was smiling and happy in this magical place.