Experiment With Life

Photo: Kirsten Miccoli Makeup: Loni Hale Styling: Kelly McKaig

Photo: Kirsten Miccoli
Makeup: Loni Hale
Styling: Kelly McKaig

“Don’t be too timid or squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


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: 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 🙂

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

What I Miss Most

I first left home when I was 13. At a young age, I was set on becoming a professional ballet dancer and wanted to do anything in order to achieve that dream. I was really attached to my family and they were all shocked when I decided to move away. (confession: I was also afraid of the dark and would not sleep in a room alone) Well, off I went. I spent three years at The Walnut Hill School for the arts in Natick, MA.  After Walnut Hill, I returned home to dance in NYC for a few years before moving to Chicago. Now, I am spending this year partially in NY, partially in Salt Lake City with Ballet West, and some time in LA with The Barak Ballet.

The whole time I am away, it is my family that I miss the most. Time differences and busy schedules have proven difficult to be able to communicate as much as I would like.  I am so fortunate to have a large, loving, supportive, honest, and caring family and being away from them all is hard. It becomes most apparent after returning home. I notice every little change that occurs during my absence. For example, how my nephews grow at what appears to be hyper speed. I feel like I am missing so much. I would love to settle closer to home however traveling so much has allowed me to develop my true nature and the person I am.  I have discovered how independent I am and how much I crave adventure, meeting new people, absorbing my surroundings, and learning new things.

I look forward to this coming Friday when I get to see my family again and share love, stories,  and photos from our time apart 🙂


Facing Myself

Yesterday, I had to film myself doing some center work after ballet class so I could send it to a choreographer. Honestly, I was terrified. As dancers, we are so overly critical of ourselves and it is often hard to watch. I know some people who won’t watch any video footage of them dancing. In this case, I had no choice. It had to be done. So after class last night, I swallowed my pride and began to film some of my work.

Luckily, I had a great support system helping me. A good friend of mine came to help take over filming duties and a wonderful, inspiring teacher helped with coaching me. Before beginning, my teacher talked to me about how I need to know that I am capable of anything and how nothing can stop me from dancing.

She said, “It is time to forget about being so technical and just dance. You are a gorgeous ballerina and woman and you need to believe it. No matter what anyone else tells you, you have to believe in yourself and rise above it because the second you let other’s words or actions get to you, you will shut down. You can’t shut down. Now is your time to shine and dance.”

This really got to me. It’s true. We often worry so much about what others think about us, say to us, or act towards us that it causes us to shut down, but this can’t happen. What matters is that we all fulfill our potential each and every day. So with that bit of inspiration, I began to dance. We filmed adagio, pirouettes, petit allegro, and grand allegro. We took multiple takes of each combination to make sure I had a few options to choose from later on.

When I got home later that night, I uploaded the videos onto my computer and began to watch them. I have to admit, I cringed a bit, but it wasn’t so bad. It was interesting to watch the different takes and how with each correction I received, my dancing got stronger and freer. Watching myself also allowed me to see exactly what my teachers and coaches are always telling me. I saw when I need to  plié, use more épaulement, use more power, hold my turnout, point my feet, and much more. After going through all of the footage, I chose the best takes and sent them on their way.

Through this experience I learned that sometimes we just need to do the things that scare us. Face reality. Now that I have watched this footage, I can go into class later today and apply what needs to be fixed in my dancing. I faced a fear and can now grow from it 🙂