Ham. It’s just ham.

Emotions are interesting. For me, it has been quite the journey to unlock, control, and accept them. As a teenager, I was always so focused on my goals that I saw showing my emotions as a sign of weakness.

When I joined my first ballet company, one of my coworkers thought I was a cold and emotionless bun-head because I was so quiet, rarely showed feelings, and focused everything on my skills. Then came our tour to Spain…Spain has a lot of ham. One day, we were trying to find a place to eat while most shops and cafes were closed for siesta. The one place open nearby was only serving ham sandwiches. It had been about 3+ years since I ate ham, but a girl’s got to eat, so I gave it a try and it didn’t seem so bad. Flash forward 2 hours after taking the train to Barcelona. When we arrived, my stomach began to cause me a lot of pain. It was so bad that I could barely stand up and yes, I began to cry in the middle of crowded downtown Barcelona. This was the first time that coworker saw me cry and till this day she claims it is the moment she realized I was a real human with a soul. (We’ve been best friends ever since)

I am much more open with my emotions these days. Yesterday, in the middle of yoga, I had a complete meltdown. I went into the hot room as I usually did ready and hydrated for class, but as soon as we hit the floor, I was flooded with emotions. Emotions I could not handle. My heart hurt, the heat was annoying me, and my muscles were so fatigued they began jittering. What was going on? I was thinking, hold it together, finish your practice, you’ll be fine. My body had another plan though and released the floodgates. I felt so emotional that I couldn’t physically do the postures and had to sit some out. The teacher asked if I was ok and of course I replied yes, but I wasn’t and have no clue why. Maybe I was just being a girl, and letting go some of the stuff in my heart? Maybe it was my emotions from the night before finally letting themselves out? Maybe it was because I didn’t get the same sleep I usually do? All I know is I let it happen. I laid there and cried and took deep breaths and let the feelings run their course. Then I rejoined the class for the final few postures. Guess what, I felt so much better after! I think it was just stuff that needed to come out.

My emotions often come out at odd times, like the ham incident. I mean really? I cried over ham? haha Sometimes it is hard to decipher when to show your emotions and when to hold them in and be tough. People may judge you or you may feel vulnerable. However, I believe it is perfectly fine to show how you feel, when you feel it. It will only allow you to go through life more truthfully and open ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Kaia and I. Thanks to that ham sandwich for bringing me this best friend :)

Kaia and I. Thanks to that ham sandwich for bringing out my emotions and giving me this best friend ๐Ÿ™‚

 

“Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do”

Have you ever gotten the feeling that people tell you “no” for things ย you believe 100% that you are capable of? If you have, you understand how frustrating it may be. I always say to myself “Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do”. It helps me to move past the negativity and continue on my dreams and new ideas. ย After all, no one has the right to put an end to other’s ideas and dreams.

This saying always reminds me of one of my favorite characters from LOST, John Locke. Throughout the series, we learn that throughout his entire life, he was faced with people telling him no. We watched as he grew angry and frustrated. However, in the end, his true colors shined through and John turned out to be one of the most intelligent, caring, whole-hearted individuals on the island. He is admirable and every time I am faced with negativity and people who try to tell me no, I think of him. ย We are all capable of everything we set our minds to.

So I encourage you to:ย Keep focused. Keep positive. Keep working hard. NEVER give up. The results will be encouraging. Anything and Everything is possible.

Here is a short clip of John telling off those who try to shut him down. ๐Ÿ™‚

My performances as Cinderella in Tarrytown, NY on 12/15/2013

Many more updates and posts will be coming shortly, but I wanted to let everyone know I will be performing in Tarrytown, NY this coming weekend in Breaking Ground Dance Center’s production of Cinderella! The performances are this Sunday 12/15/2013 at 2:00pm and 5:30pm at Tarrytown Music Hall. Tickets can be purchased here:ย http://www.tarrytownmusichall.org/

This production has been a challenge for me and I have loved every second. I have 5 challenging variations and 3 pas de deux throughout the show. I’ve also had a great time working with Nate Hunt who will be dancing the role of my prince ๐Ÿ™‚

It is a milestone for me as it is my first performance in the NY area since 2009! I am thrilled to be back performing on the east coast and hope to see many friends and family at the shows!

Cinderella

Cinderella 12/15/2013 2&5:30pm Tarrytown Music Hall

Two Days till showtime!

In just two days, The Barak Ballet will present L.A. Moves. I am so honored to be a part of this performance and perform Lux Aeterna choreographed by Melissa Barak.

We have been working very hard the past few weeks getting performance ready. For me, the biggest difficulty with this piece was letting go and almost trying to make lines not so classical. I came right from Sleeping Beauty with Ballet West where I had to make sure every step I took was a classical line. Now I need to try and forget a bit about the technique and bring more of my soul and feeling into the dancing. In Lux Aeterna, I am representing someone who is facing death and I need to show resistance, fear, struggle, and finally give in. It has felt satisfying to be dancing more free and emotionally connected to the dance and am really looking forward to the the performance on Thursday. It is a bit stressful that all this work is for just one performance but I am sure that pressure will actually work in our favor and help us perform our best.

The performance is on Thursday October 24, 2013, 8pm at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. It consists of ย four unique pieces danced by beautiful, dedicated artists. Hope to see you there!

Here are a few links about the performance:

http://barakballet.org/

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-melissa-barak-ballet-20131020,0,5280714.story

http://blogs.laweekly.com/arts/2013/10/melissa_barak_ballet.php

Hello Chicago! Wonderful to see you again!

Hello Chicago! Wonderful to see you again!

Here is a link for the blog I wrote for the Auditorium Theatre. Within it, I talk about returning to the stage that I have called home for the last couple years of my life. I am back in Chicago and this time performing with Ballet West. It has made me nostalgic to be in a place where I made so many memories. I am really looking forward to having another career milestone on that stage. Opening night of Sleeping Beauty is tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™‚