Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Dance Recital

I have not been that nervous in years...

I mentioned in past blog posts my love of dancing and how I used to make up tons of dances and dance around EVERYWHERE. But its been years since I did any of that in front of people. About 18 years I believe. I always had that nervous excitement before a performance, but never pure terror. Just excitement to show everyone what I could do. The product of hours of practice and sometimes pain (any idea how much your toes and the arch of your feet hurt after hours of dancing? or how your ankles and calf muscles feel like they are ready to explode?) But this past Saturday, that "nervous excitement" was more pure terror. Saturday morning I woke up excited to go to rehearsal and step on stage again. I sat through the usual guidelines of a recital and last minute schedules and watched each number practice on the stage. I went backstage to stretch and practice a couple of steps of our jazz dance to Shut Up & Drive. 4 months of learning choreography and a solid week of practice at the studio every night the week of the recital (I actually loved being in a studio every night practicing!), I felt good about my dance. And then I stepped up on that stage with my 4 fellow dancers and my stomach dropped. My feet wouldn't turn, the floor had no slickness for my jazz shoes to effortlessly turn as I had on that SAME floor in the studio just the day before. In fact, I had to change jazz shoes that week because it was TOO slick and my turns were out of control, but today oh no-the floor had no slickness, it was like turning in mud.  I stepped off the back of the stage once (giving me a mini heart attack) and had to do a leap off the side almost into the curtain. I missed several steps and felt paralyzed by the bright lights. That was a feeling I don't ever remember having before. I may not have always nailed my past dance routines perfectly but I got as close as possible. This was terrible. I wanted to cry at how much I messed up. WHY was I doing this?!?!

I went home and practice some more, over and over. I tried to relax and get ready, putting on my sparkly costume and tights with my lovely stage makeup. I tried to remind myself that "A bad rehearsal means a good performance!" I KNEW the steps, and I knew I could do it.  My stomach was in knots as I arrived back at the venue and counted down the dances in front of me. I lined up with my group again and that terror gripped me again. But also, that excitement was finally there. It was a tiny flame but it was there and with a deep breath I walked up the steps and took my place on the stage waiting for Rihanna to start her engine! I didn't fall off the stage, my shoes seemed to find the slick spots to make the turns and I made to the second to last 8 count before I missed one step but I quickly got my place back and managed to hit the final pose on the exact right spot. It was over and I had done it. Conquered my fear and got on that stage and gave a decent performance. And watching the video of the performance I realized I made every count right on and didn't miss anything except that one step. I am actually very proud of how well I did for not dancing for so many years (besides Zumba or dancing with my girlfriends at a club).

That exhilaration of performing is still in my soul. I love dance so much, and I've missed it these past several years. I'm so happy I have found a place to dance in my little town and can't wait to continue this fall. I had so much support and encouragement from my friends and family and without that support I don't know if I could have made it. But I did. And I loved every single terrifying second of it and can't wait to be in the studio again this fall.  I even got some beautiful roses afterwards from 2 friends! This summer I need to get back into yoga, continue to stretch and condition to be even better this fall. The love of dance is still there and is ready to grow again. I have a goal and I'm working towards it with every day in the studio, every moment I stretch and every exercise I do to strengthen my body to leap and turn. You are never too old to reach for a new dream or stir up an old one. I'm proud of my dedication to reach my dream later in life. I will keep working towards being a better dancer and teaching dance one day.

Post dance with my biggest fan! you can see a bit of my sparkly costume peeking out

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The new house...

I can't believe it's finally happened. Sweet Princess and I (and kitty) have a house!!! We have a huge yard, a big beautiful back deck, and a lovely front porch with a porch swing. Wood floors, tons of windows and that 'old house' smell. Its just amazing, and suits us just right from every room. The calming teal room is ideal for the Princess and the soft gray of my room is soothing and peaceful. Laying in my bed looking out one of the many windows into my backyard is going to be a huge help for falling asleep. Curling up on my sofa with my front door open as the cool breeze comes through the screen door has already become a favorite past time, and how I spent many hours my first day home. The floors creak softly and the chirping of the birds is carried on the breeze coming through one of several windows. The house is surrounded by trees and shade with enough sunlight to put a container of tea out to brew. I can't wait to fill the yard with the sounds of 4 and 5 year olds squealing and playing happily. Even better is the fact 2 friends live within walking distance!

The front porch swing has become the designated spot for Princess to grab a book or her tablet and relax and swing. She can't wait to find lizards and snails hidden among the many trees, bushes and flowers alongside the house. And her favorite thing right now is checking the mail! Although this morning she was truly mesmerized by the birds and squirrels playing in the yard, and even said she's never seen the birds so close. I have a feeling our yard will be put to very good use! I'm already imagining sitting on the back deck with my friends with a glass of wine as the sunsets watching little girls chasing bugs through the yard. And summer days with popsicles, watermelon, and suntanned kids playing with water balloons and in the sprinklers. (I'm very focused on this summer fun as you can tell!)

First time checking the mail!

Its a simple, small, charming old home that holds many memories of the laughter that came before us. I'm looking forward to filling it with more laughter and friends. I can't wait to have a 'housewarming' party and have all our friends come join us for a cold drink and great times. My wish was always to have a house that was open to friends coming by to visit just because. And we finally have it.

Its a little strange to get used to the quiet and no neighbors stomping above us (and the darkness! Holy cow its dark in there at night!!), but I'm sure as soon as its all put together (its close thanks to my mom and grandmother!) and cozy it will be comfortable fast! I can't believe how quickly my life is falling into a very happy and content rhythm. So many things are falling perfectly into place. I don't think I've ever been as happy as I am now with the town, our home, my beautiful little girl who is growing so fast and the amazing and supportive friends I'm surrounded by. I could not be any happier with my life.

Home Sweet Home

Monday, May 19, 2014

The new cheer season!

Well the new season of cheer has started! We had tryouts a couple of weeks ago and my little Sparkler has moved UP to become a Firecracker! She has moved from Tiny Show to Mini Show which means nothing much except age. But to her its very exciting because she feels like she is a 'big girl'. And the best part is her "cheer sis" K is one of the helpers for this season and I know with her mentoring the Firecrackers that Princess will grow even more.

I can't stress enough how happy I am I found this amazing gym. We have made several very good friends, we have had another friend join the team with us. Princess has started to grow in her skills. We have started a tumbling class and she is getting very close to that back walkover and the perfect cartwheel. It helps so much to have a friend in the class with her, as well as a great coach who she just adores. And I admit, I love sitting up there watching all the amazing athletes at our gym. We have some truly dedicated coaches and kids who have a very obvious passion for what they do on that mat.

Being there watching the coaches and dance instructor has sparked my desire to dance again. Which prompted me to enroll in an adult dance class that has been fantastic and that I'm actually participating in the recital for this weekend! Yep - me, jazz shoes, a sparkly dress and tights. Not to be missed of course. Anyway. This gym has truly become a blessing for my little family as its brought me great new friends, and  re-ignited my own passions of dance and working with kids. Watching the coaches and seeing the determination of the athletes, even in the little tiny team has made me realize how much I miss being involved in something like that. I'd love to coach,  choreograph, organize etc. Its made me miss the dream I had to have my own studio and be the one making the costume choices, and choosing the music, choreographing the dance, picking the competitions etc. Oh how I used to dream about doing all of that. Can it still happen? Perhaps someday. For now I'm focusing on our upcoming season that has some great competitions (yay for the BEACH!), making more new friends and just loving our new found sport that we can both enjoy (supposedly there will be a parent team and of COURSE I want to try out for it!!). I absolutely love being a cheer mom. Its something I'm not sure I ever really thought I would get to do, but I'm loving being a team mom, getting to know the new parents, getting to be a part of a family that backs each team up and supports our gym like they do. Its something so fun to be a part of and not at all dramatic like you see on some of the TV shows.

Some people question why I choose cheer for my child (although she still does dance and soccer as well). Because if you know anything about the sport and the people who do it (all star is completely different from sideline) you know the amount of time, determination, dedication, and heart it takes to perfect these routines for your 2:30 on the mat. The pain of pushing through your tumbling, being dropped in a stunt, being so tired but knowing you need to keep going until you hit it perfect every time. It teaches you focus, pride, team work, and passion. These young athletes are so dedicated, so proud, so supportive. Its an incredible environment to be in and to watch a child grow up in. I hope that Princess becomes passionate, if not about cheer then something else. Something she will learn being with these kids. Her cheer family. Along side these dedicated kids at our beloved gym. If you don't know, you should take a look inside. Its spectacular to see. And I'm thrilled that we are a part of it. BleedBlue.

Tryouts! 2014-2015 Season

Professional Photos by B.Photography

Professional Photos by B.Photography