03 Jan

2017

Gee, I didn’t really update in the fall did I? The fall was good personally and professionally, but I guess no time to blog!

Well, here’s my review of 2016 as a whole:

And here’s what I’m looking forward to this year:

Just realizing there’s not much about dance/my professional life on there. I do want to make a new solo, probably for myself, not really sure what I want to do with it yet, but there you have it.

I will also be choreographing for FWAFA’s middle school musical (Honk) as well as some corps de ballet sections for Company II in our ballet, Paquita and I will direct the dance department’s High School and Middle School Spring Dance Concert.

I continue to be involved with FurtherDance Fort Worth, though I have passed my presidential position onto my good friend, Frieda Austin.  I know she’ll be amazing, and we are excited to continue offering weekly, affordable classes to FW and North Texas dance professionals and hopefully begin some new projects.

A lot is planned for 2017, but a lot is open, and that is exciting!

04 Aug

Summer Review Round-Up

July was a big month for me. 3 different performances, 5 shows, 2 dances created, and lots of new dance friends made.

There were also 5 different reviews, 4 of which were published online. In the grand scheme of things, I’m still a fairly young, emerging, and maybe it’s even fair to say “inexperienced”* choreographer, so to be reviewed is simultaneously humbling, honoring, and surprising. Each review was very fair and well-written, and again, it’s an honor, though it’s definitely tinged with anxiety.

First, imPULSE dance project’s performance of My Beating Heart. Having danced in 3 works on this program, I was thrilled with the reviews that showed the strengths in the company’s performance and my choreography (“Flatango”) was well-received overall.

Theater Jones Review by Margaret Putnam

There was another review by Manny Mendoza for the Dallas Morning News, but it was only produced in their print version and is available online to subscribers, so unfortunately I’m unable to link to it.

Wanderlust Dance Project was the following weekend, also reviewed by both Mendoza and Putnam. Wanderlust featured a dozen dances and almost as many choreographers.

The DMN review combined thoughts on Wanderlust as well as a performance that same weekend of Made in a Day by Muscle Memory Dance Theater. I was  disappointed that our dates overlapped since I would have liked to either participate in or at least enjoy the performance myself. The concept was to make a dance in just 12 hours which sounds like a long time but is not.  Anyway, due to the density of all that needed to be reviewed (Easily each show could have been its own long-form story) my work does not make it into the mentions in this review, but it’s still a nice slice of what happened that weekend.

Theater Jones Review of Wanderlust by Margaret Putnam

And last, I was fortunate to be able to present my work, “Flatango” at a performance produced by Big Rig Dance Collective. I love the work that Big Rig does, their spirit of collaboration and community. It was awesome to be able to present my work for a second time. And this time I had to dance in it, yikes!

Also very fun, having someone review the dance after seeing it a second time. So thank you again to Theater Jones and Margaret Putnam for providing a way for others to experience my work without seeing it themselves.

*(It feels wrong to call myself inexperienced that since I actively choreograph in a variety of ways throughout the year and have been experimenting with dance creation since I was 16 years old, almost half my life. Still I have never created something for a company that I myself did not dance in, been commissioned to create work outside of an application process, etc., et. al. And the alternative is to call myself experienced. I don’t know, am I?  When did this become a journal entry?)

08 Jul

YES AND – Take a Break

Thank you for reading my thoughts this morning. Thank you for caring. And you guys are being so diligent about staying informed and reading and reaching out, I believe that’s so important.
 
YES AND-
 
You might need a break- here are some funny, joyful, uplifting things that consistently make me laugh and raise my spirit (sorry, some of them are from my own instagram because I’m kind of funny sometimes and my dogs are really cute)
 
the Pawnee Rangers episode of parks & rec (available on Netflix)
(and yes I love this clip but the whole episode is HILARIOUS)
 
 
 
And also just the whole #Hamilton soundtrack but especially The Story of Tonight 
 
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend- IT’S ON NETFLIX NOW! This song from the show is super funny
 
This video of Titus and Kimmie (from the Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt- ALSO ON NETFLIX!)
This video and the entire #CarefreeBlackKids2k16

Running Man Challenge- Police and Emergency Service Workers Edition!

The best opener to an awards show ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Also created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton.
This thing created by Lin-Manuel and This American Life.
While we’re at it- just Lin’s whole twitter feed. #yayhamlet
This video that I’ve been watching FOR YEARS
I will add more later… or put them in the comments!!!
08 Jul

I wish it didn’t, but it does; I wish it wasn’t, but it was

Hi Friends,

I posted this to my Facebook this morning at 5:30AM Central Time and wanted to post it more permanently here.

Thank you for reading.

I go to bed early on Thursday nights- I teach a class in like half an hour.

but now I’m up. and heartbroken. And mad. and just needing to say that 2 things can be true at once. Actually a lot of things can be true at once.

It’s true that police do amazing, crazy, difficult work. It’s true that their work is honorable. It’s true that they protect us. It’s true that they serve us. It’s true that they are truly great men and women who risk their lives every day. I cannot say how grateful I am to these men and women who do this job that I could never, ever do.

Yes and-

It’s true that people have been killed by police officers in horrible, terrible, despicable ways. Particularly Philando Castile and Alton Sterling this week. And we don’t need to research those men (though I have) and their backgrounds to know those were awful killings. And not the only ones. I do not stay silent on this. I believe this.

Both those things are true.

It’s true that this was a peaceful protest. By people who want change. People who deserve change. People who have been through things that I could not even fathom, I have so much privilege. I want change for those people.

Yes and-

It’s true that a shooter (shooters? Forgive me, I’ve been up for 20 minutes and just read the “highlights”) hijacked that peace out of hate that they feel is justified. Hate is not justified. Hate breeds hate. Hate kills. ALL types of hate kill ALL types of people. They have done something horrible, terrible, and despicable. I do not stand with them. They are wrong. Wrong in their thoughts, wrong in their actions.

Both those things are true.

It’s true that while I am against racism and white supremacy… I benefit from it. I have. And yes, I’ve worked hard, and my parents and grandparents worked hard, and I’ve gotten to where I am because of my merits. But I have had an easy life. And my race, the color of my skin has a part in that. I wish it didn’t, but it does. Our country, our country that is so great, was built up on the lie of white supremacy. I wish it wasn’t, but it was. YES AND our country was built on truths, ideals and values – equality, freedom, justice.

These events this week don’t show those values. But those values are true.

All those things are true. More than one thing can be true at once. You can mourn these police officers (whose names I will post once they are released) and Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I am mourning all of them.

Blessed are those who mourn.
Blessed are the meek. (ah, can we please be meek!)
Blessed are the peacemakers.

we need peace. and not “put your head down, get over it, everything’s not so bad” kind of peace. Real peace that comes from understanding that God loves and values all life. And if you don’t believe in God, then the understanding that all human life is valuable.

I want better. Better for my country. Better for my DFW community. Better for my friends.

15 Jun

(Late) Spring Update and Onto Summer!

I can no longer be trusted to blog. Sorry, Mom!

So here’s what happened in the SPRING! (Though it is officially in triple digit degrees in Texas it is still spring… so I’m only kind of late, and wait I don’t have to explain myself to you!)

FurtherDance Fort Worth held classes every Friday night (save 2 weeks off) from January 8 – June 3 and I had the privilege of attending many, dancing with friends new and old, and even teaching a class!

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At FWAFA, we presented Napoli in late April. I had so much fun choreographing the Act II Tarantella on Dance Company II.

I completed all of my teaching certification tests, my first year as a “Teacher of Record” and all my coursework and I’m now a certified teacher in Texas!

Texas Dance Conservatory completed its first year and first recital. All the students did great, and I was especially proud of my classes, who really showed off their technique and skills!

I have completed work on my new dance for imPULSE dance project, Flatango. It’s about flamingoes, which is just my life right now. Like, of course I’m going to make a dance about flamingoes because WHY NOT?  Not everything has to be serious or artsy or meaningful all the time. Anyway, this dance will be performed at imPULSE’s summer series at the Addison Theater Center, and it will ALSO be performed at the performance at Big Rig Dance Collective’s Summer Co-Op. Both performances are in July.

Also in July I will be creating, rehearsing, and presenting a new work as a selected local choreographer for the Wanderlust Dance Project. I was thrilled to be chosen, and all the dancers that auditioned were amazing, and I’m so excited about my cast and the potential to make something really awesome.  Now I just have to, you know, create mind-blowing movement or whatever…

In more personal stuff my brother graduated from TCU in May, we took our podcast on hiatus (tweet at us if you can’t get enough…) and he also moved away and got married. So I’m once again the only Texan in my family which is lame but worth it since now I have a sister-in-law!

What’s Next?

FurtherDance is still movin’ and groovin’, with an August master class series and the return of our weekly $10 classes after Labor Day.

I will be teaching at FWAFA full time next year, teaching 2 high school dance classes and all the Middle School dance classes. I will also teach a ballet and contemporary class for Texas Dance Conservatory and will continue to direct Company II.

Perhaps I’ll update you in late summer??? Who knows….

 

12 Apr

30 years

I don’t spend much time blogging any more, but I always want to write something on my birthday… So, things I learned or practices I adopted in my 20s(and maybe before):

Be kind

work hard

usually people are just trying their best. Assume that.

you can unfollow people on fb and still be their friend (on fb and off)

it’s good to do things by yourself

if you want to do things with other people, be the one to plan it

if you want to do things with other people then say “YES!” when they ask you, even if you’re not sure you will like what they want to do or it isn’t “your thing”

It’s ok to take a rest day and decide that you need to be alone 

sometimes people ask you for things even when they know you’ll say “no.” and you should totally not feel guilted into saying anything but “no.”

Apply for the thing.

Mr. Clean magic erasers work so well, as do the Target off brand version and a combination of vinegar and water (for carpet and rugs)

Laying out your clothes for the week (or at least the day) feels lame but is really helpful

Dogs are awesome

most animals are awesome

Try.

If the book/tv show/movie/et al is no longer interesting… stop reading/watching/listening. 

If it’s not working turn it off and on again.  Still not working? Unplug it and plug it back in.

If you’re day isn’t working, decide to start over. Take a nap, a coffee break or a shower and pretend that anything prior to that happened yesterday.

Before you buy a clothing item or accessory, think of 3 things you can pair it with in your closet.  If you can’t do that then don’t buy it.

When you buy something for yourself, get rid of something else (give it away, donate, throw it out)

You can give advice but people don’t have to take it.  Also, you can receive advice but not actually follow it.  IT’S ALLOWED.

x begets x and y begets y… so if you want more of something you have to do more of that thing.  Like if I want to dance and be better at dancing I need to dance more. This seems obvious but sometimes I pretend that Netflix begets productivity and that is very wrong.

One day a month go on your phone/computer camera roll and organize/back up your photos.

Never leave anything in the computer recycling bin, empty it or put it somewhere if you think you’ll need it again (er, you probably won’t though)

A completed to do list is just the best thing ever.

Dressing monochromatically is so chic and will never go out of style

paper planners > ical

Iphones are kind of great

when you’re not sure how to proceed, try to do the most loving thing

20 Jan

Winter Update


Photo from class with Susan Douglas Roberts, as a part of FurtherDance’s Winter Master Class Series.

Seasonal Blog Post!

So, what’s going on…

Successful first semester teaching dance at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts and Texas Dance Conservatory!

I have been directing a FWAFA student dance company, Company II, and we had our first performance of the academic year in December 2015.

I performed and choreographed once again with imPULSE dance project, and our 2nd annual performance of Snow was reviewed by a respected DFW dance critic.

My coursework for my teacher’s certification is complete. Now I must complete my first year successfully, teach for my observer 2 more times, and pass my PPR exam.

Watching tv and talking about it with my brother on our podcast, First & Final.

Launching FurtherDance Fort Worth’s 2016 Winter Master Class Series (still going on, join us!) and our new program FurtherDance Fridays (weekly class for $10!!!).

Survived my first FWAFA Faculty Talent show!  Choreographed and performed, en pointe no less! Such a fun experience with my co-workers 🙂

And what’s coming up?

Take class with me!
I’m teaching Tuesdays midday at Smart Barre Bluebonnet and an express class on your Friday lunch breaks in February, and 6AM Fridays at Smart Barre Camp Bowie. And every Sunday in February I’m teaching adult intermediate ballet at Texas Ballet Theater School.

Dance with me!
Pretty much every Friday night I’ll be dancing with FurtherDance at Arlington Heights High School’s dance studio!  We have some master classes left in our series and in February we’ll start classes for just $10 taught be Fort Worth dance artists and educators.

See me dance and see my choreography!
All FWAFA dance companies (including the one I direct, Company II) are performing in the spring ballet, Napoli, April 29 and 30, 2016.

I will be performing with imPULSE dance project and choreographing a new work for our summer show in July. In addition, imPULSE will be performing works at a few local dance festivals and performances with local college dance programs.

I’ll be back here to update you in the Spring!

24 Aug

Fall Update

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photo credit – Lacy de la Garza
Gee, I’m doing great at this whole keeping up with the blog thing… Once a season will have to do for now!

I gave you my update on my plans for the summer, and the summer was FULL of teaching, and patios, and barre classes, and trying to take class, and dog days, rompers and jumpsuits and making way too much choreography. But all the programs turned out great, and the choreography was presented, and the rompers were worn.

Oh, and we had another successful performance at imPULSE dance project!

And now Fall. I realize that actual fall is not for another month. And Texas fall doesn’t actually begin for 2-3 months. But for me summer is over, and here’s what’s next.

Dance Faculty – Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts and Texas Dance Conservatory

My new job!  If you follow me on social media, you’ve already read the update, but the short version is that in the spring I was approached to interview for a dance faculty position at FWAFA. This was a unique position in that it called for normal teaching hours, as well as hours teaching for their new after school dance conservatory program.  Taking this position has meant that I’ve had to leave or cut back at many other jobs, which is of course bittersweet, but the opportunity to train dancers in a great environment that is so close to home is extremely exciting to me. This position also allows me to complete my Texas teacher’s certificate and choreograph.

Smart Barre – Open Level Barre Classes!

I’m still teaching 3 classes/week and the occasional fill in at my favorite workout studio in Fort Worth! Check out their website to find out when I’m teaching.

Other stuff I’m still doing that’s sort of in the works and I don’t have much specific stuff to share, but I’m going to share anyway:

imPULSE dance project – holiday performance of Snow
directing one of the student dance companies at FWAFA
top secret project with my brother
new projects with FurtherDance Fort Worth
going to TCU football games
wearing jumpsuits
trying the new Pumpkin Spice lattes that supposedly will have real pumpkin in them now

Bring on Fall!

 

01 Jun

Summer Update

summer updateThis summer I will be teaching at several different studios and programs in Fort Worth, performing in Addison, and taking class and getting together with dancers all across the Metroplex. If you’re down for that, then read on to find out how we can dance and move together this summer!

June 1-12* – Texas Ballet Theater Adult Ballet Classes

Wednesdays – Beginner/Intermediate Ballet, 9:30-10:45
Fridays – Beginner Ballet, 9:30-10:45

Both classes tend to be a range of levels and ages, but all are welcome.  If you are brand new to ballet I’d recommend joining me for the Friday class to start, or going to the Absolute Beginner classes on Saturdays at 1PM. If ballet is old hat for you, know that I tend to teach to the level of the individuals in the clas, but for the morning classes I give a longer barre and offer minimal jumping. Morning classes don’t fit in your schedule? TBT has a ton of classes in the evenings Monday through Thursday beginning June 8, and they also offer a ballet boot camp the first week in June. Learn more about classes and rates here.

*Morning classes will resume in late July.

Tuesday evenings in June and July, starting June 9

Modern/Contemporary Class, 7:15-8:15 Texas Ballet Theater Studios

If ballet barre sounds boring to you, I hope you’ll join me for modern/contemporary class on Tuesday nights.  We’ll start with a warm up, move across the floor, and then finish with a movement combination. If you used to dance but haven’t taken class in a while this would be a great way to jump back in! Learn more about classes and rates here.

Open Level Barre, Smart Barre Express, Smart Stretch & Restore, and Smart Cardio – Smart Barre

I’ll continue my normal barre schedule all through the summer at the Camp Bowie, Bluebonnet, and Cityview studios but this summer I’ll also start teaching express (a 30 minute version of our open level class), Smart Stretch & Restore (a 25 minute stretch and relaxation class), and Smart Cardio (a 55 minute, high intensity class using many exercises found in our open level classes but at a faster pace and with emphasis on a cardiovascular workout). I’m excited to teach new things, and I hope to see you at the barre! Find out studio schedules and when I’m teaching. 

Select Dates, June and July, FurtherDance on the move

If you’re an advanced, experienced, or professional dancer over the age of 18 in the Metroplex, we’d love to have you join us for our class series, FurtherDance on the move. FurtherDance Fort Worth is the organization I co-lead, and we desire to see more opportunities for dancers in DFW, part of that is offering affordable classes from great teachers. We are still developing this series (I’ll post when we finalize all details), but right now we have classes scheduled in June with Elizabeth Gillaspy (ballet professor at TCU and noted choreographer) and Anna Marie Ewert-Pittman (director of Ewert & Company). Find out more!

Four Seasons: recomposed – imPULSE dance project, July 25 and 26, 2015

I’m performing with imPULSE dance project at the Addison Theatre Centre this summer! I’m excited to premiere a new work by our director, Asia Waters, based on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I’m also premiering some new choreography, danced to pieces, a dance based on the fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Find out more here!

Two great companies are offering dance experiences (classes, performances, improv jams, etc.) In July and August. I’m hoping to participate with these two groups for at least part of their offerings. Keep an eye on Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth for their July series of performances and jams at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth. In August you can join Big Rig Dance Collective for their Co-Op weekend of dance. I love that these companies have such a big desire to #dancelocal!

Wow, that’s a lot of dance!  And I’m also honored to teach modern classes at the Texas Ballet Theater School’s junior and senior summer intensives!

I hope you get some chances to dance this summer! Maybe I’ll see you in class?