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

Friday, May 31, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 12

Today's the day. It is show day. It is the day when all the work comes together. Nervous? A little, Excited? Definitely.
We had our dress rehearsal last night. It went surprisingly smoothly. First we had creative movement rehearsal. The preschoolers and kindergarteners are both doing a spoonful of sugar. The kindergarteners have the first verse and are robins, and the preschoolers have the second verse and are bumblebees. This year, the teacher who is normally responsible for Creative Movement is responsible for the entire show. So she decided to put the responsibility on me to be in charge of getting the girls onstage. YIKES! I'm hoping I won't mess anything up...
Then we had rehearsal for everyone else. I made all my quick changes (a very good start for the show). All my dances went relatively well. We didn't get through the end of the show, because 9:00 hit before we were done. We still have a lead cast rehearsal this afternoon before the show, so we'll finish during that.
The only concern I have is pointe. The stage is really slippery, and they didn't put the rosin box out for us on the side of the stage. I felt a little bit nervous while I danced, and when we did the pique turn manege, I lost a bit of control. We have balanc├ęs that travel forward right out of it, so it's easy to get back in control. But still. Slippery stages are scary.
So tonight we have rehearsal at 3:30, dinner break at 5:00, call time at 6:00, and Showtime at 7:00. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 11

I can't believe how quickly time is flying! It's crazy! It is really hard to believe that tomorrow is dress rehearsal, and I don't believe that the show is the day after.
But anywho, we had our very last modern class today. Last week was supposed to be the last class, except my teacher really wanted to have another class. So we did. My teacher for modern this year is so awesome. I have had many teachers in the past 11 years, and she is by far one of my favorites. She is just an amazing person, and made this year amazing. She loves to dance so much, and you can tell. She is so passionate about dancing AND teaching. She is full of happiness and joy, and gives her all  to us every week for an hour and a half.
Learning from her made me love to dance even more than ever. I really didn't think that was possible. It has changed all my opinions and plans for dance. I realized that I just didn't get the rush in ballet that I get in modern, even though I really like the technical aspect and dancing on pointe. She made me love modern. She was the one that really made me want to go into Contemporary Ballet as my focus. On top of that, she showed me a new way to look at dance. I now understand that there is a bigger picture to dance. Dance is more than learning technique, it is more than just performing onstage every night. It is art. It is expression. It is freedom. That is only a little bit of what I learned this year.
Next year she is moving away to go to the next chapter of her life at grad school. I am really sad to see her go, I've been crying like all day. However, she has changed all of us, left a mark on me, and I will carry a piece of her with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you Joy.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 10

No worries. Tyler didn't actually hack my blog. I just invited him to guest post for me.
So today, was back to rehearsing. We had our last run through, in full costume none the less, for the year. I think it went well. Some other people were stressed out, and I felt kind of weird about some of the parts. Overall, it was actually pretty good. Good thing to, because the show is in 3 days! EEK!
I love the ending to the show. You see, it really has meaning to it, unlike other shows where something good happens to the main character or whatever. In this show, it very nicely highlights how the Banks are a broken family, and Mary Poppins comes to mend them together. Then Mary Poppins leaves to go help another family. I wish the original movie did that better. I get slightly emotional during the run throughs when I watch the last scene. Kind of lame, I know.
Anyway, then I got to go home for a couple hours, but had to turn right around and head back to the studio for a ballet rehearsal. We did rehearsal to practice the carousel scene with all the classes together. We have Ballet 4, 4x, and 5 doing different sections of the song, and we have to make sure that it all runs smoothly. The rehearsal went very well. From my point of view, there were no concerns. Here's a picture of our costume.

So that was today, as for tomorrow, we are having an extra modern class. There will be a lot to tell about it tomorrow, so please check back tomorrow for day 11!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 9

Hi my name is Tyler, I'm 11 years old, and I am Jasmine's brother. I am hacking her blog for Day 9 of "The 12 Days of Recital". I am also the author of the blog Renegades and Mega Force. I'm also a dancer, though unlike my sister I do hip hop, and I'm way better at it than she is. This year since we're doing Mary Poppins, and I'm a chimney sweep. Our costumes are white t-shirts, black suspenders, ripped jeans, and black shoes. Here's the music we're dancing to.

I like this dance because of how cool it is. We have a sweeper prop, then throw them on the ground, and get in groups of three. Then we do a really cool dance. Then we grab our sweepers again and we do choreography with the sweepers, and do cool twirly thingys holding them. Then there are sirens in the music, and we run off. I get to be in the front line, because I'm the only one who is over 5' tall. I think I'm a pretty awesome dancer, and so does Jasmine.
P.S. Please check out my blog, and check back for Jasmine to do Day 10 tomorrow. Oh, and don't tell her that I hacked her blog.

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 8

Whoops! Sorry I didn't get this post done yesterday. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen, but it didn't.
It was obviously Sunday, so I didn't have a whole lot to do. I went to church, and I volunteered with the preschoolers. Normally I work with the 5 year olds, but they needed someone to help out with the 2 year olds, so I got moved. The 2's were pretty good to though. Very cute of course. Then I went to youth group for second service. We talked about not being so self-centered, and reaching out to people. Then they told us about some summer stuff. We are going to play a high school youth group game of Assassins. So basically for the entire summer, I have to carry around a water gun and sticky notes everywhere I go.
Then I came home and was lazy. But then my mom suggested that we watch this documentary called "Pina". It was about a modern dancer\choreographer. There were a lot of really great pieces in the movie. They did one with dirt, where they were literally rolling and dancing on a stage that was covered with an inch of dirt. Then there was another one where there was a giant rock that they used as a prop\set, and it was raining ON THE STAGE. It was super cool, and all the pieces were choreographically very thought provoking. If you really love dance, I definitely recommend that you watch it.
Of course, while watching it, I stretched. That was about it, I was really lazy. It was a really boring day. And since it's Memorial Day today, it shall be another lazy day.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 7

Last class today! Yes, it's true, my last class for the entire year, ballet 5, happened this morning. So like every year, I will give you my attendance count.
I missed 0 Pointe Classes
I missed 0 Tap Classes
I missed 0 Jazz Classes
I missed 0 Modern Classes
I missed 0 Ballet Classes
Which means for the first time EVER, I had perfect attendance the entire year. I am quite proud of myself, you see I keep testing myself to see if I have what it takes to be a professional dancer. I was just testing myself on dedication by trying to make perfect attendance. Now I can check it off.
Anyway, we were missing a lot of people today because literally everybody was graduating today. I'm going to be so sad when all our older girls leave. They are the most amazing people, and I have learned so much from them. They all treat the lower classes so well, and never act all sophisticated and high over the rest of us because they are seniors. They have been such a blessing to me and all of the girls in our company, and we will miss them dearly.
Apart from a small class, ballet was good. We did barre, adagio in the center, and then went into our dance. Our dance (the carousel) is really pretty. It is definitely one of my favorites in the show. We ended up getting done early, because our dance was looking so nice, that we didn't need anymore rehearsal time.
Then I practiced my fouettes en pointe. One of my new year's resolutions is 8 fouettes en pointe. I did 4 today, and they felt really good, so hopefully I will make my goal by the end of the year!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for day 8!

Friday, May 24, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 6

Wow! Day 6, halfway through, AND we have exactly 1 week till the show!
So today is my last Jazz class of the year. My teacher said that since we are doing so well on our dance, that we might do a fun combination instead of work on the dance. I think that would be awesome, because with so much intense work on the show, we could use a little bit of a break from rehearsing. I'm also hoping (like during every Jazz class) for a long turn combination. I love the challenge of fouettes and turns in second. You can always do more and throw in a multiple turn or two.
Then I am subbing for another girl's class that she assists again tonight. I'm doing her Ballet 2 class. I love doing the Ballet 2 class. The teacher for that class is awesome. She is a senior in high school this year and a phenomenal dancer and teacher. I always learn from her when I assist in her class, and on top of that, the kids are great.
Finally, I have my last class with my precious Tap 2 girls. You may remember that last year, I had them in Tap 1, and I have gotten the privilege to work with them again this year. Assisting tap is a lot of fun, because it is a lot of one-on-one work. I spend a lot of time taking girls aside and helping them figure out a step or combination that they are having trouble with, or sometimes teach them a harder version if they are doing a really great job. They have worked so hard this year, and I am so proud of how far they have come. They are such hard workers. They are the kind of kid who will go home and practice until they get the step. It is so inspiring to watch kids who are able to focus and put everything they have into dance at such a young age. I know it always makes me work harder. 
So that's about all I have to say for today, but I will be sure to post again tomorrow after I take my LAST DANCE CLASS FOR THE YEAR!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 5

Hey guys! Sorry I this didn't get posted till late... I got busy cleaning my room..
So today's schedule was school and chores until about 2:00 when I got ready for dance. Then around 3:30, I left with to go to Walmart. I had to pick up a T-shirt for one of my costumes, candy and cards for my Tap 2 kiddos, and more candy for my dance "little sister". In our companies at dance, the Senior Company draws names of the Junior Company girls to be our "sister" and we exchange gifts at Christmas, and cards and candy at performances as well as just watch out for them and answer questions and such.
So after Walmart I headed to the studio to help out with my Creative Movement kids. On Thursdays I have the Kindergarteners and they are such sweethearts. I love those little ladies so much, and it's been such an honor to teach them. I'm crossing fingers that I will get assigned to the first grade class next year so that I can have them again. :)
Then I ate dinner and talked to a friend of mine. We were designing an extremely fancy basement that we would build underneath the dance studio so that we could live there. I'm pretty sure it had somewhere near 40 different floors, including a ball pit, Disney World, Smoothie King, Indoor Skydiving, and Forever 21... LOL
Then I subbed my friends hiphop class that she assists, I'm not a hiphop dancer. But it's okay, because it's for ages 6-8, so I can handle it. Those kids are really cute to, they are cheerleaders cheering for the horse race in the recital.
Finally I had my ballet class, and it was very good. Our ballet teacher was gone today, so the same teacher that subbed for us on Monday subbed again today. That was awesome though, because I really like that teacher.
So that's about it for tonight, check back tomorrow for Day 6!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 4

Another day closer... Goodness! It's getting to close!
So yesterday, I had two little rehearsals, and one long rehearsal. It started with taking a visit to the Youth Acting class. They have a little scene where they are townspeople talking to Bert. They are around 6-10 and they have to use British accents when they talk. Very cute. During there scene, I have to run through and chase Jane and Michael around. So anyway, I got to come visit their class to practice with them.
After I went to acting, I went back to the waiting area to find out that one of the girls' mom had brought fruit and ice cream to celebrate the last week. Food is truly the love language of the dancers in our company.
After enjoying some ice cream, we went into Jazz 5 to practice our dance with them. We have the same song, but come in and dance on different parts. At the end we all come together and finish the dance. Pretty simple.
After Jazz was Modern rehearsal. We are combined with Modern 3 (I'm modern 4) for this dance, so a few weeks ago, we started only working on the dance in Modern 3. On Wednesdays for Modern 4, we have regular class.
Our dance for Modern is AMAZING. We are doing Temper Temper from the musical "Mary Poppins" and we are wearing our oh-so-fierce purple unitards that we wore for our ballet number in our dance concert.
Our teacher did such an amazing job with our choreography, and everyone loves the dance. When you love a dance, you put everything you have into it which makes it great. I'm pretty sure that this dance will be the highlight of the show.
Now for today's schedule. Today is a really easy day. The only thing I have is modern class this afternoon. That's it! Since today is so empty, I will do a lot of tacking and adjusting costumes, and maybe a little bit of extra stretching\conditioning. Like I said, pretty low key day today.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Day 5!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 3

Exactly one year ago today, one of the absolute most difficult situations I have ever been in happened. If you don't remember, you can go back and read days 3-5 of last year's "12 Days of Recital". I definitely left out some parts in that post, but it was for sure something that I took a really long time to get over. It was in tap class though, and my teacher just stuck me in a super difficult situation that wasn't necessary. This past year, things have gotten a lot better, and she has come to like me much more. Now I see her as a really great teacher and such a fun person. Last night, during our last tap class, she told us that she wasn't going to teach again next year. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Even I cried. I was kind of confused though. This teacher hurt me so much yet I was still so sad to let her go.
And then it hit me. The end of this story, is that I had to go back for another rehearsal. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I considered taking myself out of that piece, and dropping out of tap altogether. But I didn't. I went back for the next rehearsal. I went back for the next year. I now know that day showed me that I have the perseverance and guts to do anything. Lately I have been doubting whether or not I have the skills, like dedication and perseverance to be a professional dancer someday. That class, though it was so tough, has tremendously impacted my life. I can now say I'm glad that it happened.
So on a completely different note, I had my last pointe class. This year for pointe, we changed teachers during the second semester. Well, I don't know where our normal teacher was last night, but my teacher from the first semester came and subbed! I was so excited to see her, because she was an incredible teacher. I learned so much from her. Last year, I got thrown into her advanced pointe class because they needed to fill the class. She got me from barely able to do a pique turn, to solid double pirouettes in 6 months. She really was a blessing, and I was so glad to have her come back and sub. It was a really great last class to look back and see how much progress I've made over the last year.
So that was my eventful night last night, today's schedule involves me going to the little kid's acting class to practice the part I do with them. And then my Jazz 6 class has to go to the Jazz 5 class to practice our dance together. Finally, we have our final rehearsal for our modern piece.
Be sure to check back for day 4 tomorrow!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 2

Hey guys! Thanks for coming back another day! So we are down to 11 days left, and I'm super excited! Today's schedule is a pretty simple day. This morning I got up and went to the dance studio around 10:30  to practice my dances and some turns. Then at 11:30 I helped teach Creative Movement. I came home around 12:30 and I ate lunch and did some school. It is 1:20 right now, and after I finish this blog post, I will do stretching, and work on my feet. At 3:00 I have to go back to dance for pointe class at 3:30. When pointe class is done at 5:00 I have a 2 hour break to eat and hang out with friends. Then I have tap class at 7:00 and I will get home around 8:30.
So I had my last day with my little babies in Creative Movement today. They are all sweet kids, whom I will miss tremendously. Before class got done, I said something like "You know girls,  today is our last class", and one of the girls replied with "I'm going to miss you! I loved you as a teacher!" My heart melted... So in honor of these children, here is a word about them.
Lucy, I will miss your pretty pointed feet
Grace, I will miss hearing all of your stories
Chloe, I will miss your elaborate list of butterfly colors
Anna, I will miss your near-perfect leaps
Lilly, I will miss your random impulses to act like a frog.
Elizabeth, I will miss when you pronounce "trois" (the French word for three) "twelf"
Eva, I will miss your giggles every time we say "Bras Bas"
Katherine, I will miss when you yell "Sharp, Sharp, Melt"
Check back tomorrow for day 3!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 1

Hello Everyone! Goodness, it has been a long time since I have posted! Life is very busy, and sometimes, you've got no time to post. But anyhow, I decided that I definitely wanted to come back and do "The 12 Days of Recital" again. I love going back and reading about last year's journey. Many great moments and one of the hardest moments in the years that I have danced happened during recital, and I love having the documentation of what was happening and how I felt about it all. I can also see all the ways I have grown and improved.

So here we go! The 12 Days of Recital: 2013. This year we are doing "Mary Poppins". Our show is put together from a combination of the movie and the Broadway musical. For my lead role I play Constable Jones. I don't really get to dance as the Constable, but I get lots of crossings and I get to run across the stage and chase Jane and Michael with a stick. For Jazz we are doing the overture like we did last year, but our dance is to a Jazzy version of the Chim Chimney song. For Modern we are the Temper Temper scene from the musical. For Ballet we are the Carousel. For Tap we are the horse race, and for Pointe we are nanny angels. You are probably wondering what "Nanny Angels" are, and honestly I'm not even sure.. I guess in the beginning of the movie where Mary Poppins starts out on a cloud, it is like Nanny Heaven, and there are other Nannies who live in Nanny Heaven. So at the end of the show, we are the other Nannies in Nanny Heaven who welcome Mary Poppins back. I don't really understand...
Anyway, yesterday was a very busy day. We had a normal ballet class in the morning from 9:00-11:00. After that we had auditions for our Companies. Everyone gets in, but we have to audition for placement. I'm already in the Senior Company, so even though I haven't gotten my letter yet, I already know that I'm in Senior company.
After auditions we got a little break, so I stayed at the studio and hung out with one of my friends while two of our other friends ran to get lunch for all of us. In the meantime, we got three of our little friends (who are around 8-9 years old) together and we had fun creating different shapes where me and my friend would be the base and create a pose, and then the three little ones would come climb on us and pose and create a really cool shape. It was quite fun.
Next we ate... my salad was really yummy.
Then we from 2:00-4:30 we had our third lead cast run through of year. That is when the lead cast basically performs the entire show straight through to practice our parts, work out kinks, and get and idea of how the show will flow. We did the entire show with costumes facing away from the mirror, so it was a little stressful, and definitely chaotic. The good new is that I think it went rather well.
After the run through I went home and immediately turned around for a babysitting job. 8 kids, 3 1\2 hours,  1 room. Hey, I gotta pay for the expenses somehow!
So that was my day yesterday, today I'm chilling at home, but I will stretch and condition for a little while after I finish this post, and then I might swim laps for an extra cardio workout with my dad. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Day 2!