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 πŸ™‚

 

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 πŸ™‚

 

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St. Patrick’s Day and Memories

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

This day always brings so many great memories to mind.

In case you don’t know, I was a competitive Irish Step Dancer growing up. I absolutely loved Irish Dancing. It was athletic, competition, hard work, and celebrated my heritage. Since our heels weren’t allowed to go down when we jumped, I eventually had to choose between continuing with Irish Dancing or focussing mainly on ballet. I chose ballet and am very glad I did, but sometimes I miss putting on my wig and costume, getting on stage and doing a jig πŸ™‚

Me in my costume at a feis

Me in my costume at a feis

Other memories St.Patrick’s day brings me are those of my grandfather James (Poppy) Hickey. I always looked up to him a great deal. He was incredibly intelligent, and seemed to know about and the answer to nearly anything you asked him. And who could forget his humor. He didn’t speak all too much but when he did, it was certainly meaningful and significant or bound to laugh you into tears. I loved him so much and in honor of him on this St.Patrick’s Day, enjoy one of his favorite Irish songs πŸ™‚

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

I woke up today and for some reason I had this song stuck in my head. I could not stop singing that line “Have I told you lately that I love you” and then it really got me thinking. I began thinking of all the people I love. My parents, sister, brother, nephews, grandparents, the rest of my family, friends near and far, loves. I was wondering when the last time it was that I told them I loved them. I try to show my love everyday but as far as saying it, I think it could come out a bit more often. Β So I made a pact to say it. If I love someone, on any level of the word, I should start telling them more often.

Then, as I thought more and more about this phrase of the song, I thought “Wait a second! What about me?!” Do I love myself? Is it ok to love myself? Is there a way to fully love yourself without being narcissistic? I’m writing today to tell you that it is possible and needed. It is very much ok to love yourself. Most of us spend days upon days trying to impress others and please others and trying to make others love us, when really what is probably most important is loving ourselves first.

Every day both at ballet class and yoga, I am forced to look at myself in the mirror. In ballet, the mirror is a means to fix lines, movement qualities, and aid in placement. However, in yoga it is there to face yourself and begin accepting who you are. To become comfortable with who you are and then if there is something you would like to change, to be able to see yourself changing but because you want to, not because others want you to change or because that change will make someone else happy. I have been practicing for quite some time now and am just beginning to see it. I am accepting who I am and honestly, beginning to love it. Flaws we see in ourselves are just our bodies and minds being unique and we all need to love ourselves for them. When you begin to feel comfortable with who you are this amazing sense of freedom encompasses you.

I do believe that we can only begin loving others once we have a strong grasp on who we are and once we love the person we are. Because once that freedom in yourself is obtained you can begin to spread it to loved ones. Otherwise, if we are not yet in love with ourselves, we are only seeking it in others to feel accepted, not to actually love the person.

So I challenge you all. Spend a few minutes just looking at yourself in the mirror. Look in your eyes, look at our face, your body, you hair. Observe, absorb, critique, compliment and then end by saying “I love you”. Β Try it everyday until you begin to truly understand you and accept who you are. It may sound easy, but trust me, things will surprise you. Then, once you’ve got a handle on loving yourself, go out in the world and spread your love to others πŸ™‚

Now enjoy this tune:Β http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ4NAZPi2js

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:Β 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 πŸ™‚

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

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. Β 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. Β 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. Β 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, Β and photos from our time apart πŸ™‚

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/daily-prompt-home/

Technology, I need you

I recently came across a daily prompt asking, “What’s the one luxury you can’t live without?”

Well, I tend to travel and move a lot and I made many friends and have loved ones all over the world, so my answer today would have to be technology and the internet. I simply cannot live without it. My family and friends mean a lot to me and I feel it is extremely important to remain connected and in contact with them quite often. Throughout my life I have lived in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinios, and now Utah. I have also spent long amounts of time touring around the US and Europe with the ballet companies I have danced with. While I am away, I use the internet to talk with the people I love and to also stay up to date on news, weather, and events. I also use the internet as a tool to share my experiences with everyone I know. I really value the ability to go on Skype and talk with my family, and friends. Often times, when people travel, they lose contact with so many people in their lives. However, when I care for someone, I never want to lose contact with them and I use the internet and technology as a tool for keeping my connections alive.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/daily-prompt-luxury/