"It's what I've always wanted to do, to show the laughter, the fun, the joy of dance." ~Martha Graham

Friday, October 26, 2012

First rehearsal...

So now we can talk about my first rehearsal.

But first, we have to rewind back a little more... For weeks, I have been searching for some sort of song that my dancers could be friends to and fight to at the same time. After hours of pandora, itunes, and youtube, I finally came up with the perfect song at 11:00 pm the night before my rehearsal. And now, you all get to hear it!

(not my video, I give full credit to the owner of this video)

I am definitely going to edit the song, so that I don't have to choreograph for 4 1\2 minutes.

So after coming up with four counts of 8 at 12:00 am, I was ready for rehearsal. I had my first rehearsal on Saturday from 4:30-6:00. I got there about 4:20, and a bunch of my dancers were already there and ready to go. We actually practiced our company numbers for 10 minutes until all my dancers were ready. Finally 4:30 hit, and I sat everybody down in a circle and we talked about the piece and the concept. I played the music for them (everybody loved it!), and then I told everybody the parts they were going to do.

I told everybody that I wanted to keep my two main girls for a little while and that everybody else could go hang out and do whatever. I taught my two main girls my little phrase, and they did a great job! I love watching my own choreography being performed by someone else. It feels very fulfilling.

Then after they were comfortable with the choreography, I got everybody back in, and we experimented on some partnering things. Nothing huge, just some lifting and a linked circle. I think it looks great.

So that's about it, we have a two week break. Next week we are going to TAD (be on the lookout for a post about that!), and the week after that we are dancing at a festival for company. That's good though, it gives me plenty of time to makeup new choreography!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

And it continues...

 My piece is very complicated. I want to do something creative, yet relatable. All the pieces MUST have a concept, and here is my concept:

The basic idea plays off of the expression "less is more", in the form that it is better to have one really great friend who cares a lot about you than it is to have a bunch of friends who don't truly care much for you.

But how I'm portraying it is complicated. It's hard enough to say, much less type out. Imagine this, I have the lighting done so that there is a vertical line going right down the center of the stage. I have a girl come out on stage left (we'll call her person A) and a person come out on stage right (person B). They both do a little combination staying on their own sides of the stage (having nothing to do with eachother). Then person A has one friend come out and dance with her while person B has four friends come out a dance with her. Later in the dance, person B's friends start ganging up on her and eventually leave her, while person A and her friend stay together happily. In the end, person B is left all alone on her side of the stage while person A still has her friend.

So that's the concept. Did that make any sense? Oh well, I hope so....

The next post will talk about my rehearsal.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Let the Choreography Begin...

First off, I'd like to apologize for having the lamest post titles ever.

So like I said in my last post, I have been given the INCREDIBLE opportunity to choreograph a dance to be in our upcoming concert! Well, I had my first rehearsal on Saturday, and it was amazing!

We had our Student Piece auditions two weeks ago. We had about 16 people come to the audition, plus girls who couldn't make the audition and our fellow choreographers to choose from. That was a total of about 25 incredibly talented girls!

The auditions were a lot of fun, the way they are set up, is one girl is in charge of doing warmup and some across the floor. Then we get a chance to have them do a couple things at our own request, such as a combination, improvising, etc. I asked the girls to get in pairs and dance in a way to show how much they love there partner, then I told the girls to dance in a way to pretend like they hate eachother. They all really enjoyed it, and were very good! I also had the girls improvise across the floor and do whatever big movements they wanted.

Well, after the auditions, the other choreographers and I got together and we chose our dancers. It was very hard, because we added up all the spots in each of our pieces together, and came out to a total of 19. 25 girls wanting to be a piece, 19 spots available. The good news was that there are two girls who are choreographing a hiphop piece together, and using everybody, but I still felt bad that not everybody got picked for a modern dance.

But anyway, I picked my dancers and claimed by time slot at the studio, and then I went home an sent the e-mail to my girls....

The rest of the story coming soon!

Friday, September 28, 2012

I have Officially Moved Into My Dance Studio...

... Well, not literally. But I kind of feel like that. I'm pretty much there all afternoon and evening on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Then on Saturdays I have classes and rehearsals all morning.

I am so sorry that I haven't been posting lately! I have just been really busy!!! My days pretty much go like this, school, get ready for dance, take class (or help teach), do more school inbetween classes, take more classes, go home, finish school. Let's just say, I only eat dinner with my family three days a week, and the rest of the time it's at dance. But not matter how exhausting it gets, I love what I do, and I could never give it up.

So here's what's going on!

  • Remember how every year the older girls get to choreograph dances for the younger girls to be in at dance concert? (if you don't the link is right here!)... ....Well, this year I GET TO CHOREOGRAPH A DANCE! Yes, I get to choreograph a dance to be performed by other dancers on a proffessional stage in our dance concert. Lights, Costumes, it's all there!

  • We are working away on our Company numbers. Our Michael Buble jazz number is finished and AWESOME! We performed that one at the mall not to long ago, and it's pretty awesome. Our ballet number is really close. We actually might finish at rehearsal tomorrow. And by the way, I did end up getting the part in the battle scene. Our sticks are HUGE and I'm kind of afraid that I might knock someone out with mine... Also, we have been working on our pointe number which is so cute! It's kind of hard, but I know I can do it.

  • We are leaving for the Tennessee Association of Dance conference in 3 weeks! I'm so excited! That is the conference that we go to for a weekend in October. The senior company piles into a van, we drive up, stay in hotels for the weekend. And then all day Saturday we take master classes. Sunday morning is more master classes with a performance at the end. There is a scholarship audition to receive a $500 summer study scholarship that I will be auditioning for. I don't think this is the year that I'll receive a scholarship, but it will be great practice. We will perform our Michael Buble dance, and not to mention take some fabulous classes.

I'll do some of this...
And this...
A little of this...
And even some of this!!!!
P.S. These are not my photos, and I give full credit to the owners.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Company is here!

I have been highly anticipating the start of Company, and we have already finished our first week! Our schedule is kind of weird, but we had rehearsals Monday, Tuesday, Thursday this week. And then next week we have rehearsal Monday and Tuesday. Then the next couple following weeks is Tuesdays and Thursdays. All our rehearsals are 2 and a half hours long.

So anyway, here's what we did this week:

Monday:  We had barre warm-up and then we worked on our ballet piece. It's actually based off of the movie "The Village". The Music we are using is really cool, and the choreography is very intricate with lots of floor work. Here's the music so you can hear it:

This is the first song.
Then we use this song when the battle scene starts.

We haven't started the battle scene yet, and not everybody gets to be in the battle scene. Only 10 of us, I'm hoping I'll be in it, but I'm not really sure.
Tuesday: We did a jazz warm up while the ballet teacher finished up with the Junior Company. Then the ballet teacher came back and we did more work on ballet.

Thursday: We did a jazz warmup, plus some stuff across the floor. Then my jazz teacher said she'd pick people for the small group jazz. And... I GOT PICKED!!! I'm so excited to get the oppertunity to be in this number with all the really good dancers! I'm actually the youngest, and lowest leveled girl who was picked for the number, so I feel very honored. We are doing the number to the song "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble. You probably already know this song, but in case you aren't, here's a video.

So anyway, we got a good chunk done. We are probably about halfway already!!!! Good thing to, my teacher is wanting us to be able to perform in at a fair on August 25, which is in 3 weeks! So anyway, yeah... that's what's going on! Stay tuned for a new post soon!

P.S. I do not own those videos, and I give full credit to the owners.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy National Dance Day!

Today is a special day. National Dance Day. Dance is everything to me, it does everything for me. It relaxes me. It expresses me. It helps me deal with things. I teaches me dedication. It provides my friends. It brings me closer to God. It does everything for me.

Here are 10 things I've learned from living in the dance world:

1. If you aren't dedicated, you'll never get anywhere.

2. Real friends will support you in whatever you are dedicated to.

3. You are going to have to deal with some awful and mean people, but you grow from them...

4. And you'll get to deal with some absolutely amazing people, which will help you grow as well...

5. You can learn amazing things from the littlest dancers.

6. You should always take EVERY opportunity to practice your craft, even if you aren't sure it will make a difference. You never know what you might learn.

7. Taking a short break as soon as you start to feel an injury the teeniest bit could save your dance career.

8. If something happens, and you lose your dance career, there are so many other things that you can still do. All things happen for a reason.

9. Nothing about being a dancer is easy...

10. ...But if you stick to it, it will pay off in abundant ways.

P.S. Sammy is having a give away on her blog! Check it out: http://sammysleuth.blogspot.com/p/3rd-birthday-giveaway.html

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Summer Recap, Part 1

Oh my, I have been enjoying my summer to much. That's pretty amazing, considering the fact that I haven't done much! Here's the summer recap:

My summer pretty much started when Recital ended. I did a two week dance intensive at a Ballet School that is about an hour from my home.

As soon as that ended, I started taking summer classes in the same school in the 6 week session. I go four days a week, two hours per class.

On Tuesdays, I leave ballet before pointe class so that I can drive 45 minutes back to my normal Dance Studio to assist a Pre-School class.

On Thursdays, as soon as Ballet is over, we head down to my normal studio so I can take Jazz. Taking Jazz during the summer is a lot of fun! There are only 3 levels for Jazz during the summer; Beginner (Jazz 1-2), Intermediate (Jazz 3-4), and Advanced (Jazz 5-6).  I'm in Advanced Jazz, which has been a lot of fun, because of the broad range of ages. We have girls who are going into Jazz for the first time, girls who are repeating Jazz 5, girls who are going into Jazz 6 (like me), girls who are repeating Jazz 6, and some girls who have graduated from highschool who are getting in some last minute practice before they leave for college. It has been so much fun, because they are small classes (usually only 1 of each age). We also have been doing lot of fun combinations in classes. Every week we've done something new. We have done every style of Jazz, from Call Me Maybe, to Le Jazz Hot, to Beauty in the Breakdown. I mean, that's covering Pop Jazz, Musical Theater Jazz, and Lyrical Jazz all in three weeks. We've also done some Contemporary, and I think maybe Hip Hop (which I missed).

I have one more week of Ballet, Jazz, and Creative Movement, and then... COMPANY!!!! We start learning or company pieces, and I am very excited about it. Here are the rumors\clues that I have picked up on:

Ballet: It's kind of a contemporaryish piece that's very dark and creepy. We are some sort of warriors, WITH STICKS. I am so pumped about this piece.

Jazz: We are doing two pieces actually, a Large group, and a small group.
Large Group: I have no idea, I don't think the teacher knows what she wants to do yet.
Small Group: It's a remake of something that has been done before, and it's to a Michael Buble song. I am not sure how many girls will get to be in this one, but I really hope I will, because I love Lyrical Jazz.

Modern: I know nothing about the concept of the piece, but I do know that the director isn't choreographing it this year. The other modern teacher is, and she does really beautiful choreography.

So that's my summer of dance stuff, I will tell you about a few of the fun things I've done that aren't dance related. Soon. I promise.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm Back Home

 I apologize for the lack of posts the last couple of weeks. We had recital, and then all of a sudden, time slipped away from me. Recital was amazing. That's pretty much all that I have to say about it. I think I danced well, we all had a great time, I made some new friends. Doesn't get much better.  If you are wondering which girl in the picture is me, I'm the one in the upper left corner who's hairpiece doesn't match most of the other girls.

Anyways, two days after recital, I started Summer Intensive at a ballet school about an hour away. I went 6 hours a day,  5 days a week, for 2 weeks. That just finished, and now the rest of my summer looks like this:

I go to the ballet school 2 hours a day on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Then on Tuesdays I drive from Ballet School back to my normal studio to assist Creative Movement. Then after ballet school on Thursdays I drive back to my normal studio to take Jazz. I have that schedule for the next 6 weeks. Then, the next week, we have our week-long Company Repetoire Camp, to start learning our Company numbers. Then we have company rehearsal twice a week for the next like 3 weeks. Then we get a one week break, then classes start again in the fall.

Well, I got to come back to my studio to assist Creative Movement for the first time since before recital. I missed my studio terribly while I was at intensive at the ballet school. I walked inside my studio's building, and sat down, and the director came over to me and said "Jasmine, would you mind grabbing a broom and sweeping the studio for me?" and my immediate thought was "Yep, I'm back home!" I love my studio, the teachers, the students, everything really.

I saw a quote on a plate once that said "Friends are the Family we choose ourselves." And for me, my whole studio is the family I chose myself. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Bad Dress Rehearsal Makes a Great Performance...

^If that's true, we will have a stellar performance tonight! In case you didn't get it from that last sentence, dress rehearsal really stank. At least, some of the dances did... So here's what happened.

We had Jazz first, and our teacher was pretty dissapointed with us, I hope that I do better tonight. It's so dark, and you literally can't see ANYTHING during that dance. I just felt all the wobbly and off...

Tap was about as bad as it gets. Our teacher wasn't there, we NEEDED her there. It's just not really possible for us to be able to block this 20+ person dance on our own. We were all so concerned about our blocking that the rythymns were totally off...

Pointe was pretty good I think. I thought it was good, and our teacher said it was good. The spacing is pretty easy, and I thought that I did the choreography very nicely.

Ballet was also good, I stumbled a little bit on a part where we are in tendu derriere and then we fondue and bring our leg into a parallel passe and extend it back out into an arabesque, right out of a double pirouette. Nothing difficult really...

The Duet was nice, but I don't have much to say about it.

Lastly, was modern. I thought we did awesome. We were on the music, and all together, and just awesome in general. :)

As it was dress rehearsal, I'm going to show you pictures of some of the costumes used in the show:

Creative Movement Ages 3-5

Tap Intro 2
More Mice!

Creative Movement Ages 6-7
Announcing the ball

Hugarian Princesses

Ballet 1
Royal Procession

Cinderella's Stepmother

Ballet 5
Girls at the Ball

Cinderella's Rags

Modern 1&4
Bippity Boppity Boo

Creative Drama

Tap Intro 1

Tap 1

Creative Movement Ages 5-6
Fairy God Mother's Little Helpers

Modern 2
Flower Girls at the Wedding

Ballet 2
Spanish Princesses

Those are just a few of the many costumes used in our show!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 12

Wow. I can't believe that today is the LAST day to practice! We have our show TOMORROW!

So yesterday, we just took our cast picture. That means full makeup and hair with costume. I bet the pictures came out pretty cute though. :) It was really fun. We were all trying to get the entire cast in the picture, and there are a lot of people. I mean, there's Cinderella, Prince Charming, King, Queen, Stepsisters, Stepmother, Duke, Jester, Deer, Bluebird, two mice, Fairy God Mother, and 6 princesses. That's 20 people. We were all having a little to much fun posing, and when we got to the actual pictures, it was easy to give a natural smile because we were all laughing. :)

Well today is what I believe is the craziest part of the show. DRESS REHEARSAL. For those of you who don't know what dress rehearsal is, it's when everything goes wrong right before the show! I love dress rehearsal though, because you have your costume, the stage, the music, EVERYTHING. But there's no audience, so it's a chance to dance your heart out without being afraid of failure. It really is a wonderful thing. Then after you finish your dance, the teachers come get mad at you and your class for what you did wrong... it's all part of the business.

Now that I've finally gotten my mom to understand how our driving schedule works, I think we're set.  See, we were trying to figure out how to make it as easy as possible for my family, and my neighbor\best friend's family (We'll call the mom Mrs. S). They have 3 kids who dance. They are ages 5 (A), 8 (M), and 13 (Audrey). So basically, Mrs. S is taking me and A to rehearsal at 2:30 because I have to be there for Creative Movement, and so does she. Then my mom is picking M and Audrey up at taking them to rehearsal at 4:00, because my mom needs to be there at 4:00 (she's working quick changes). And then my friend's mom is taking A home as soon as she's done. And then my mom is taking me, Audrey, and M home at the end of the rehearsal. WOW, crazy.

So anywho, I'll let you know how that goes....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 11

Wow! I can't believe that I just have today and tomorrow to rehearse! I guess I should probably practice a lot... I feel pretty ready, which is great, cause I was a nervous wreck a week ago. :)

Yesterday's rehearsal went really well! We all received a little decoration that needs to be tacked onto our costume, and that took a long time, because the person who made them was given the wrong number for one of the classes, and so we had to get the director to come figure out what to do. So that just took a while. We ended up running a little bit over, but that didn't really matter to much. For some reason, when I started dancing that dance, I just all of a sudden felt and extra burst joy. Which is funny, because it wasn't that different from doing it at run throughs. I was just REALLY happy! I hope I feel the same way in the show. After we finished, my ballet teacher said that it was flawless! That's pretty much the best compliment to get from the teacher.

Like I said earlier, we got a little decoration to tack onto our costume, and I had to adjust my costume a little bit, so I will show you what I did. By the way, I have been tacking\adjusting all my costumes by myself since 6th grade. I think EVERYONE ages 12 and up should do all there own sewing. Costumes, straps, flowers, pointe shoe ribbons, ballet slipper elastics, etc. I know girls who are 18 and got there mom's to sew there costumes. I think that is unacceptable... Just my opinion.

This is what my costume looked like before doing anything to it. I apologize for the bad lighting. I took these pictures at 9:00 last night, and my house has bad lighting to begin with.

At the costume run-through, we were all showing a little bit to much cleavage. So the director asked us to tack our straps down so our dresses would stay up while we dance. Basically, all we did was shorten the straps, but you don't want to cut them, so we folded them over and sewed it down.

Next I had to tack the decoration on. It was a piece of tulle with a fabric leaf in the middle. So I had to tack it down in the middle of the dress, and then again at the top of each sleeve.

Here's what it looks like. The thing above the dress is our hair piece.

And here's a picture of it on. Sorry for the writing on the mirror, and the messy room. I always write my schedule on my mirror, and now you know what a dancer's bedroom looks like before recital. You can see my laundry basket that holds all my costumes, my makeup boxes, water bottle, and a pile of dance clothes behind me.

So anyway, today is pretty easy. Today is blocked out for picture day, and I never take recital pictures. However, they always like to take a lead cast picture, so I just have to show up at my studio in costume at 6:00, take my the picture, and then I can leave! So yeah, pretty easy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 10

Yes! I'm finally gonna get to go back to dance stuff! That three day weekend was a little to long for me... Anyway, yesterday I did go to Joann's. I got some new cupcake decorating tools, I got some new icing bags, cupcake icing tips, cupcake liners, edible glitter gel, and edible shimmer dust. Needless to say, I made cupcakes yesterday. I also washed the car for my mom and made $10. Good thing to, because I need some new mascara and blush for recital. I'd also like to get some spin pins so I don't have to worry about my bun falling out.

Today I have a ballet rehearsal. Basically what we are doing, is we are putting all the seasons parts together. You already know that my class is Fall, but there is also a class for spring, a class for summer, and a class for winter. So we are just going to practice that whole section together. I don't think it will be to difficult. However it's a lot of the crazy younger kids. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE THEM TO DEATH! They are the coolest 10-12 year olds I've ever met. But it might be a little bit of a loud rehearsal. We are also receiving a hair piece, and a little decoration to be tacked onto our costume since they are just plain camisole dresses. I'm not really big on the new decorations, but I can just take it off after the show. Which is exactly what I'll do. ;)

I'll be sure to report back about the rehearsal tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 9

Happy Memorial day guys! Today OFFICIALLY marks the week of recital! I can't believe I only have 3 days of stuff to do before the show!

So what am I up to today? Well, it's my last quiet day before the end of the show! I feel like I should be doing something super exciting today, but I'm not. My dad is at Dunkin Donuts buying donuts for breakfast. My favorite kinds are powdered sugar and chocolate with vanilla glaze.

I will probably see if any of my friends want to hang out, but they are probably all busy. All my friends like to be doing things with there families, but my family never likes to do anything together. We are always so busy with school, dance, boy scouts, church, work, etc. that when a Holiday comes, my parents are just to tired to do anything.

Anyway, I think I might be going to Joann's (yay!), to buy some cupcake decorating supplies. I LOVE decorating cupcakes, and I need some new supplies. Joann's has all Wilton Food Craft items on 25% off today only!

Tomorrow I actually have a dance rehearsal to tell you about, so stay tuned for another post. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 8

So I already told you about what I did yesterday. And what about today? Well, I went to church, and by the way Highschool at church is AWESOME!!!! I like it much better than middle school already. Although I'm kind of sad, because there is this really fun event that they are doing where we spend a day on a house boat, and we go tubing, water skiing, and cliff jumping. Sadly I can't go because I have one dance intensive that day. I'm not SUPER excited about this intensive. I think it's gonna be really boring. It's more something I'm doing because I am dedicated, and if I want to make it into the proffesional world, than I need to spend this day doing 5 hours of Vagonava ballet. I'm not classically trained in Vagonava, I'm trained in the RAD method, which is kind of the opposite. So anyway, I would rather jump off a cliff then go to the intensive that day but sometimes you have to make sacrifices... I would still rather jump off a cliff with all my friends.

I also took my little brother to the park and we bought cherry slushies, and then we came back home. Also after I finish this post, I'm gonna make chocolate Chip Cookies. :)

As I promised yesterday, I will teach you how to steam your tutus. Here's the ever so complex picture tutorial:

Step 1: This is what your tutu looks like when you receive it...

Step 2: This is what it looks like when you take it out of the bag

Step 3: To steam it, hang it up in your bathroom, and take a super hot shower.

Step 4: This is what your tutu will look like after your shower.

Step 5: When you steamed the wrinkles out of your tutu, you also steamed out the poof, so hang it upside down until you are ready to wear it.