Tuesday, August 18, 2009


As you may know from my previous post, I have been "privileged" to an elaborate amount of down time over the past year. To keep my sanity, I have picked up a few new hobbies. One, in particular, has served as an exploratory stress reliever: painting.

Even as a small child, I have loved art. I used to draw and color on a regular basis, but I had never attempted to partake in the painting manner until now. I had always thought about delving into it, but for some reason, there was always something else magnetizing my attention. I did, however, catch my fair share of Bob Ross!

Still to this day, I am not exactly certain why, but for some oddly strange reason, I LOVE Bob Ross. I have tried to watch other painting shows, but none have held my interest quite like Mr. Ross. It is especially strange because I am not even a fan of that type of painting. Go figure.

Personally, I have always leaned a little more toward the modern/abstract facets of art. From performance art to visual art, I love unique, emotional, and complex styles. For instance, to name a few of my top favorite choreographers, Mia Michaels, Justin Giles, Tere Mathern, and Minh Tran have proven inspirational to me. While I am somewhat less familiar with painters than I am with choreographers, I have recently found myself interested in a few contemporary artists including Thomas Downing, Gregory Edwards, and Mark Bradford. I am not sure what it is about certain artists that capture my heart over other artists, but when that connection is made, it is truly magical. That, however deserves its own length of attention, and I have now veered away from my original point.

The paintings you see here are my own work. I have arranged them in order of creation, and I think that I am really starting to find my modus operandi. The one immediately above is a piece of work that I painted for one of my great friends, Lyndy Mae! She is a beautiful dancer, and I felt that this creation parallels her brilliance. The painting to the right is my most recent work, and I created it for my sister, Barbra. She expressed to me her interest in stars, eyes, and random shapes then asked me if I would paint something for her. This is what I came up with!!

Anyway, I think this is a hobby I will likely pursue for years to come. I have found it to be a tad time consuming but enjoyably relaxing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Thought That Weighs Me
below, i have attatched educational links to "peroneal tendonitis" & "talor dome lesions"

I know that my last post was also about school, but with the semester a mere six days away, it is the thing that is most consuming my mind. I am completely torn. A part of me is so unbelievably excited to start choreographing and moving again since I have been out of commission for bit. A second part of me, however, is extremely apprehensive: will my ankle hold up? will I be able carry out my thesis and create a memorable piece? will I survive??

You see, last spring, I endured an excruciatingly painful ankle injury. I had been struggling with Peroneal Tendonitis throughout the semester, but with ACDFA (American College Dance Festival) and Orchesis nearing, there was no time for rest. Eventually, my tendon snapped, and I found myself in a situation where I was not only unable to dance, but I wasn’t even able to walk. I was on crutches for about two weeks, but the pain is something I am still working through which is especially concerning to me.

Because my tendon tore in mid air, I had no support upon landing, and I immediately collapsed to the stage beneath me. An MRI showed that the pressure caused me to have Talor Dome Leisons. Apparently, it is a pain that I will be able to live with but one that will never completely heal without surgery. I am not prepared to let someone cut open my feet, so I opted for natural methods which have included: LOTS OF PRAYER, physical therapy, Glucosamine, Chondroitin with MSM, and lots of rest.

In keeping with this decision, I did not take any dance classes last semester - that's right, I have not even stepped foot in a dance studio in over ten months! As much as I have hated not dancing and feeling a little left behind, I do think that this time off has been exactly what my body was in desperate need of. My ankle seems to be healing nicely, and I have not been feeling any of the intense pain in a quite some time. On the other hand, the time off has set me back a bit and I will now be graduating a semester later – that is, of course, considering I do not encounter any more unexpected derailing along the way.

In order to make up for the technique classes I have missed due to my injury, I now have to double up on both Modern and Ballet for the next three semesters. This is possibly the thing that is fueling my nerves the most. I am very out-of-shape, and I have not had a rigorous dance schedule since before my injury; I am praying for God’s strength and loving mercies to pull me through the semester as well as the rest of my time at Weber.

As this is my forth year, I will be working on my Senior Thesis: Creative Synthesis in Dance. It is a capstone thesis project somewhat similar to that of a Master's Program. Thankfully, there are six of us that will be embarking upon this journey. While we each have our own projects to manage, it is still comforting to know that my friends are experiencing the same sense of emotions. Our thesis projects consist of selecting a committee, holding periodic meetings with our committee as well as with the production staff, formulating a thesis, writing a formal prospectus, auditioning and selecting dancers to perform and help feed in the brainstorming as we create a five to fifteen (or so) minute dance piece that will explore our thesis and be shown in fall Orchesis concert, keeping a detailed journal of the experience, creating a hard copy/paper style portfolio and a video montage of our work thus far at Weber, and writing a formal, Chicago-Turban style fifteen page synopsis of our experience throughout the creative process – what worked, what didn’t work, how we felt, what changed, what we have learned… why we should graduate. We will then present all of these works to our committees in an oral defense at the end of the semester where we will be graded. I am a tad nerved that I may not be able to successfully accomplish my thesis while maintaining my other classes.

Again, I find myself taking 18 credit hours – crazy, I know, but it must be done. There are certain classes in my major that are only offered every other year at best, so when they come around, I have to jump on them. One of those select courses is Dance Kinesiology. I need that class, and it is happening this semester; therefore, I could not let it pass without registering for this difficult yet exciting class. I am also registered for Human biology, Physics 1010, American Sign Language 2010, Rehearsal and Performance 4910, Dance for the Camera, Modern I, Modern II/III, Ballet I, Ballet II/III, and of course, Creative Synthesis in Dance. Whaaaaa~~~ Perhaps I will survive the stress with high flying colors, or perhaps I will find myself in the crazy wing in a tight white jacket with several little belts around it. Either way, this semester is coming whether I like it or not, and at much quicker pace than I would prefer…

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ahh, I can't believe what time it is!!

Here it is, 3:00 in the morning, and I am still awake. School will soon be here, and because of my irregular summer sleep patterns, I am afraid that my first month back will be nothing short of torture.

Perhaps this would be a good time to acknowledge that I am preparing to enter my fourth year of college at Weber State University. I am working toward my bachelors degree in dance performance with a minor in fashion merchandising. People often ask, "what are you going to do with that?" It is one of my most hated questions as I have learned over these past few years that people are quick to belittle the things in which they do not understand. People seem to shirk it off as a wasted effort like I am some how throwing away my informative years for an unrealistic childhood dream. The truth of the matter; however, is that God decides my future, and I am where I am, doing what I do, because I love it so much. No, it is not a guarantee that I will ever be hired on with a company (which is something that I would love to do while I am still young enough and my body able), but there are so many other facets of the dance world that make my possibilities endless. Furthermore, I feel that I must point out this simple fact: dancers work there bums off ~ literally ;)

People have a tendency to think that because I am studying something that I love that it is not hard work. That could not be further from the truth. Imagine this: You wake up around 6:30 in the morning so that you might make it to your first class at 7:30 (you would have scheduled it for another time, but since the dance department offers their courses at set specific times, you had to fit it in where you had the availability). From there you rush across campus to make it to your first technique class at 10:00 (it could be modern or ballet depending on what day of the week you are on). It is an hour and a half class that meets three days a week in which you only receive one credit hour.

Once completed, you will have thirty minutes of unscheduled time - "lunch?" you might think, but sadly, there is no time. You now have to make it to the other dance studio in another building and get warmed up for your first rehearsal of the day. For the next two hours - that is right, rehearsals are two hours two days a week, and again, you only receive one credit hour for ALL of your rehearsals. You mean, you auditioned for and were cast in 3 dances for the concert?? Too bad. You still only get one credit hour - for the next two hours you will be working your creativity to explore organic movement, your mind to discuss the philosophical process of an art form, and your body to push yourself physically until you are aching in places you were not even aware you had.

At last, the clock strikes the end of the long awaited second hour, and you stop for a moment to think, "I am done. I made it." Not so fast. You have another rehearsal to attend. Have fun. Your second rehearsal of the day draws to an end, and you have a momentary hour of rest. Of course, you could relax, ice injuries, eat something... If you do, on the other hand, that 15 page English paper, three page dance critique, never ending Nutrition diet analysis homework, and five pages of foreign language assignments will all be waiting for you later that night. PS, you have tests in three of your eleven classes coming up in less than a week.

Your "free-time" hour productively finishes, and you are refreshed enough for another round of technique - jazz. This is another one of the dance departments famous "one credit hour awarded for three to twelve hours per week of class time" courses, but it is one of your funnest classes with one of your favorite teachers; so, despite your physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation, you will make it through.

It is now 5:00 PM. You started at 6:30 this morning, but you are still not to the end of your day. You have another one of your "regular" classes to attend now. It is a three credit hour course which gets you out of the classroom at 6:50 PM. Perfect. You have just enough time to make it up to the gym for your third and final rehearsal of the day. Awe, you are thoroughly drained by this dreadful hour of your day, but it is a rehearsal. Therefore, you must cast your tiredness aside and give it your all. Just think, in two hours it will be 9:00 PM, and you will beon your way home to soak in a hot bath filled with Epsom Salt. It is there that you will find the time to study and reflect on your day.

You finish your bath, and now, you must write your papers. No worries, you will be in bed before 2:00 AM - I promise ;) Besides, if you are not, you can, at least, be thankful that this was your easy day, and you still get to look forward to "Hell Week!" For those of you who do not know, "Hell Week," is what us dancer refer to as the week immediately preceding our three to five day concert (depending upon which theater it is being held), "Orchesis." This concert happens twice a year - once in the Spring, and once in the Fall.

As you can now somewhat see, there is no such thing as "free-time" to a dancer. It is a lot of really difficult work followed by more work, and as a major it is even more difficult. To pursue that matter further, it is something that not everyone is cut out for, and if you do not TRULY love dance, you will not be able to see it through to the end.


I have never really been a blogger, but I've decided to give it a try. I guess we will see how it goes...