My Dance History

Here’s the song that my solo was to. The dance was only two minutes but the song itself is around five. Enjoy 🙂

Hi everyone! Just a quick note before this post: this piece is something I put together for my honors seminar on movement and dance. So, there might be a couple of quotes and also a works cited at the bottom of this. Haha sorry but plagiarism is no joke! I also have to cite myself to avoid self-plagiarism. What a world! Anyway, we were asked to reflect on our movement history and for this, I focused more on dance. Honestly, if I involved everything, this would be a 400 page novel. I hope you enjoy!

At the age of four, my parents enrolled me in ballet classes at the School of Ballet Nouveau Colorado. It was no surprise that I began ballet classes at a young age considering that my mom also took ballet classes until she was fifteen. Ballet has always been a passion of my mom’s and tennis and volleyball have always been my dad’s passions so there was absolutely bound to be activity in my life. My mom wanted a place for me to be active, make friends, and develop good posture and flexibility, so ballet was the first activity for me to try. I was always on the move as a child and so my mom figured ballet would be the perfect place to become connected with my movement and experiment with the different, more graceful movements associated with ballet.

As a toddler I excelled in my basic, baby ballet classes. My teachers praised me for my long legs and posture and quickly advanced me. I soon found myself working on tendus, battements, and pliés at the barre with the six year olds, which was quite intimidating considering that some of the girls were a foot taller than me. I feel that I was at an advantage because of how my parents raised me. I was a very sheltered and protected child who received a lot of love and care from both of my parents. The love, care, and attention from my parents, all “environmental factors”, contributed to how aware I was of my body as a four year old and helped me pick up ballet and all other activities I participated in easily. The attention and support from my parents allowed me to understand that I was taking ballet classes for fun and to enjoy being a kid over anything that some ballet school or society expected of me. I danced at Ballet Nouveau until I was six and then I wouldn’t dance again for another four years.

When I turned ten, I began taking hip hop classes at a local dance studio. The new loud, different music and quick, sharp movements proved to be much more challenging for me, but I stuck with it. This time around I was much less afraid of the older kids and I used being the youngest to my advantage. When we first began learning dances, I acted as a copycat to the girl standing in front of me. Her movements became my movements and her expressions became my expressions. The hip hop world appeared to be quite different from the culture and background I was accustomed to but it was fresh, exciting, and fun to explore. Like with the girl in my hip hop class, I became a mini replica of the hip hop dancers I watched on the internet, following their every move. This technical approach allowed me to “copy a dance technique that [was] identified and valued as worthwhile for training”  and once I became more confident in my abilities, I added my own expression and personality to my movements. After my first hip hop performance on stage at my studio’s recital, I felt so invigorated and proud. I knew that I wanted to continue dancing. The following dance season, I made the competition hip hop team at my dance studio and loved every second of it. That team went on to win gold and platinum for both of our dances at two of the three competitions we competed at in the spring. I competed with the same hip hop team for another dance season and even added tap to my repertoire.

After those two dance seasons, volleyball and dance overwhelmed my schedule so I was unable to dance with my studio’s competitive teams, but I was able to perform a solo at the recital. As “Dancing Shoes” by DEV played at the recital, I gained more air off of each leap that I performed. My heart pounded to the beat of the music as I looked out past the bright lights to find my parents and sister in the crowd. As my solo came to an end, I could really do nothing but smile. I had truly missed dancing for a year and so having the opportunity to perform a solo I had worked so hard on was incredible. Dance was no longer just a hobby to me, but it had become an art form. Dance had meant something special to me with my past competitive dance seasons but it had become something powerful after my solo. Dance had evolved to become a celebration of experience and progress. Dance could “function as entertainment [or] therapy” for when I felt bored, sad, angry, or even happy. This gave me a deeper appreciation of the sport and art that I had spent hours practicing and dedicating my life too.

The next competitive dance season, I was able to join my studio’s competitive teams again. I had added jazz and lyrical to my list of classes too. In addition to all of these classes and training, I was also taking ballet and technique classes in order to strengthen my muscles and perfect every little movement to appear flawless onstage. One of my most vivid dance memories was from my Thursday night technique class when I had already been in the studio for three hours and was finishing my night. I was exhausted and my teacher had us working on tours en seconde. I was struggling to get the rhythm down and kept losing momentum. All of the other girls in my technique class were executing tours en seconde beautifully and I was not. As I was getting ready to leave the studio that night, my teacher pulled me over and we had a conversation about my struggles. She noticed that I was frustrated and talked with me about my tours en seconde. My teacher told me that I shouldn’t compare myself to the other girls or stress about the situation. She helped me feel much more relaxed and less worried about how I danced in comparison to others. Society often builds us up to compare ourselves to others when looking at flawless people in magazines and on TV and social media, but that is not the real world. Realizing that the only person I need to compare myself to is me was enlightening. This helped me realize that I need to let go of my tensions when dancing and working on new skills. I learned that the mind will “guide the body through the imperfections of the movement” and this idea enabled me to feel more confident in my dancing abilities and allowed me to grow my passion for dance because I was dancing for myself, not for the approval of others.

Unfortunately, that competitive season of dance would be my last. During competitive season, I injured my foot either in ballet or jazz class. I performed all season in pain thinking that the injury was no big deal. My injury was unfortunately no pulled muscle or overworked joint but a bone fracture that eventually wiped out my possibilities of ever going on pointe. (Those of you that have been around know about this one!) It also made dancing competitively at the level I previously danced at practically impossible because of all of the strain and impact my foot and ankle would suffer. So from that point until now, I have danced but not like I once did. I have worked to come back to dance as best I can but even through training, my ankle will never be the same. I’ve learned to accept that “some differences between [physical capabilities] need to be celebrated rather than fought” and I’ve come to appreciate the experiences and opportunities dance gave me while I was still a healthy dancer.

Through dance, my mom was able to live through me and my dad was able to experience a sport he’d never dealt with much. My sister was able to have a friend to dance alongside and I was able to share my passion for dance with my family and friends when they asked me to perform for them at family get-togethers. While I may not be able to dance as well as I used to, I still play tennis and maintain the high level of activity and discipline that dance instilled in me. I still enjoy the sense of rhythm and ability to explore movement as well as the many wonderful cultures dance is associated with. I may no longer be the little Polichinelle I once was or ever become the Clara I could’ve been, but I can still watch both girls on old videos and the internet and love the movement and music and art for what it is.

Horvath, A. (2019). Every Body Has a History. Unpublished manuscript, Colorado State University
Nadel, Myron Howard, and Marc Raymond Strauss. The Dance Experience Insights into History, Culture, and Creativity. Princeton Book Company, 2014.
Schrader, Constance A. A Sense of Dance: Exploring Your Movement Potential. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2005.

When Your Dorm Room Becomes An Aquarium

aquarium and ecosystem of my little shrimps and snails
On the far right, in the last jar, you can see one of my snails saying hello. 🙂 If you look hard enough, you may be able to see a shrimp. They’re very hard to find, mostly because most of them are fairly transparent.

So you might be asking yourself, “Did her dorm room flood?”. The answer to that is no, thank goodness. For my honors ecology class, we were asked to make five small ecosystems. We could do this in what ever way we wanted to using the jars provided. Other than that the only other rules were that the ecosystems are closed, meaning that the jars remain shut, and that we cannot use invertebrates.

For my closed ecosystems, I chose to use cherry shrimp, ghost shrimp, and Japanese algae eater shrimp. I also used zebra nerve snails. For plants, I’m not quite sure what my longer plant is, but I know that the moss I got was java moss, which the shrimp and snails enjoy.

Last weekend, I went home to set up my miniature aquariums and spent a lot of time at PetCo and online, doing a lot of research on all of my little fellas. Ghost shrimp are actually really cool, weird creatures and so are all of the other shrimp and snails I got. The project was due this past Friday and so when I came back up to CSU last weekend, I became a mother to 13 little snails and shrimp together. They were all in their little ecosystems and throughout their time with me, I tried to give them as much light as possible, so that the plants could photosynthesize and provide all of my shrimp and snails with enough oxygen and food.

Unfortunately, my cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp passed away before I even handed in my ecosystems, but that’s ok, I guess that my snails will have more food and nutrients available to them. RIP Cherry and Ghosty Goo (name courtesy of my sister).

The goal of this project is to create ecosystems that are self-sustaining and will support life up until the end of this semester. I’m not totally optimistic about how my ecosystems will do, but the process of making each little aquarium or ecosystem was really fun and insightful. I’m hoping I don’t kill any other shrimp and that I don’t lose any snails in this process either. We’ll see how this goes! Have a good week everyone.

A Bit More About Me

about me

These kinds of posts are always fun for me to write. I wish that there was a way for me to able to get to know all of you, my readers a little better, but I’m not quite sure how! There’s a post I wrote in 2017 sharing a couple of facts about myself, and I feel like there’s a lot you still don’t know, so here’s some more stuff about me that you might wanna know! Check out the link that I’ve attached to read that post too. 🙂

  1. I’m 5′ 8″. When I was younger, I also grew waaaaay too fast. My body had a lot of fun adjusting to that.
  2. I’m a biology major at Colorado State University. I’m in the honors program also and I’m on the pre-dental track.
  3. The Selection by Kiera Cass is my all-time favorite book series ever.
  4. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 17. I was sick the day I went in for my picture also, so it’s a terrifying little card to look at. Haha.
  5. I love boots. My favorite brand currently is Freebird but I also enjoy a good pair of fuzzy, warm UGGs. Ankle boots, combat boots, knee high boots, you name them and I probably have them… I actually want to get a job at Freebird over the summer so I can get discounts on their boots and just be around a super cute store. 🙂
  6. I’m missing a tear duct in my right eye. I can still cry out of my right eye, it just means that it’s constantly teary. So I get the question, “Have you been crying” or “Are you okay?” frequently. Thanks genetics!
  7. I still hate oatmeal. The texture is just not a favorite. I also have a really hard time eating yogurt. It’s just something about the texture as I eat it over time…
  8. I made the Dean’s List my first semester of college. Woohoo!
  9. Holographic things intrigue me a lot. I can thank one of my favorite YouTubers, Simply Nailogical for that.
  10. I’d love to see Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic play in person. I’ve seen them play on TV and they’re just amazing players, but I would just be over the moon if I had the opportunity to actually watch them play. Also, this might totally be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like Serena Williams as a tennis player! Her style just doesn’t impress me. I respect her, but I just don’t like her.

So I hope you enjoyed these ten facts about me. Some of them are pretty random, but they’re kinda fun and silly and I hope you enjoyed them and learned something new on this Sunday haha. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Back To School!

What a wonderful winter break it has been! After five weeks at home, I am headed back to school tomorrow. There are no classes tomorrow, but I do want a little bit of time to get settled back in and get all of my textbooks and materials. And in honor of the big “challenge” going around, here’s me in 2009 and 2019. Ten years does fly by! Anyway, here’s a recap of my first college winter break.

Over break, there are a lot of fun things that my family and I did. For one, we spent another great Christmas with family in New Mexico. This year we went to see the luminarias in my grandpa’s neighborhood and those were really pretty. Spending all of that time with family was just really nice and really fun. I always enjoy catching up with my aunt and uncle and sharing all of my accomplishments with my grandpa. We also had our annual Christmas morning breakfast at my great-aunt’s house and that’s always so much fun. The food is always delicious (ESPECIALLY her cheesy potatoes) and the company is always great.

After Christmas, things winded down and we awaited the new year. My sister and I recreated Bob Ross paintings of his painting, “In the Midst of Winter” and that was really fun. Oil paint is so messy, wow! While we did spend plenty of time recreating his painting, we also spent A LOT of time cleaning up the paint from our kitchen table and ourselves. That stuff is hard to clean up, let me tell ya.

In addition to unleashing our inner artists, my sister and I played plenty of tennis. We hit with our dad which is always a great time and I also had the opportunity to hit with some of the ladies at my club. It was refreshing to play against ladies with different playing styles. They challenged me and helped me adapt to become an even more well-rounded and educated tennis player. I’ve really loved growing with tennis, especially over this break. I really do love the sport! Allyson and I also had the opportunity to attend an open court at Denver Tennis Park, which is a brand new tennis facility right off the University of Denver Campus. We really enjoyed getting to play with other kids and show off our skills.

I also had the opportunity to experiment with some stuff for my modeling. I am truly interested in pursuing modeling, even if I do not take it on as my full-time job. Recently, my sister helped me take a few new pictures and send some of my stuff off to new agencies. I’m excited to see what comes from these opportunities and how I continue to grow as a person from all of this.

My sister and I also dogsat over both of our winter breaks and, oh boy, did that prove to be QUITE the job. Four dogs in one small house can sure make a BIG mess. We did enjoy our time with the four dogs, but oh my goodness, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to step foot in that house again. The male dogs fought frequently and it was a stressful situation to be in a lot of the time my sister and I went over to check on the dogs. Like I said though, we really enjoyed being able to help our neighbors out and I’m glad that all of the dogs are happy and healthy!

And just like that, my winter break was over. Another Christmas and New Year celebration flew by and I now sit here writing this blog about how I go back to school tomorrow. Back to the grind! Have a good week everyone. 🙂

Knowing What’s Real in the Modeling and Acting Industries

modeling

Before I get started on this post, I would like to make it clear that I am not trying to trash any particular agency or group. I am simply sharing my experience and hopefully helping those who are interested in the modeling and acting industries stay away from scams and fakes. There are a lot of great agencies and people out there who will truly help you get what you want and there are also a lot of agencies and people who are completely in it for the money.

If the modeling and/or acting industries are something you are interested in getting into, I HIGHLY recommend doing as much research as you can on the various agencies in your area and in your state or country. I recommend learning about which agencies are legit and which are not. I recommend reading about the strengths of each agency and seeing if they are the best fit for you and what you want. Remember that you SHOULD NEVER be asked to pay to attend an audition or casting if the agency is legit. You should also never have to pay to join an agency. Any contracts signed or deals made should involve no payments on your part.

Onto my story now. I’ve been a part of an agency in Denver for the past couple of years that required me to pay to attend a “modeling” school for 60 hours. That part should have IMMEDIATELY been a red flag to my family and I but we went on with it because the deal seemed very legit. You attend the modeling/acting school every other Saturday until you complete the course and then you get a contract with the agency tied to the school and then you have the opportunity to get local work as a model or actor. This agency also attends an “international” modeling and acting convention which gives aspiring models and actors the opportunity to showcase themselves before casting directors and various agencies from around the world. To this day, I still question the legitimacy of many of the agencies that attend the convention. There are a couple of agencies that attend this particular convention that I know are real but I’m still a bit iffy. And guess what? If you’re selected to be a part of this “elite team” to attend the convention, YOU HAVE TO PAY TO GO. Hmmmmm. Even more fishy now, right?

Ever since that trip in 2016 (I think?) I have been on the hunt for a better agency and I’m working on it, but I have to wait until my contract finishes with this agency. This past year, I dealt with some extremely odd incidents with them. About part way through the year, my mom received an email that they had dropped me. There was no explanation. So my mom called the agency and they explained that my contract had expired and that I was no longer with them. They told me that they would still love to represent me though and see me again in classes. Interestingly enough though, my contract had not expired… We moved on from that and continued with the agency and that brings me to yesterday now.

Yesterday, I attended a pre-casting for our upcoming fashion week at my agency. They were worried about sending too many models to the actual audition so they help a pre-audition. Fair enough. I arrived and walked before the agency director and her secretary and all of the other models in the pre-casting. I have been practicing my walking for months and I know that I’ve been putting the work in, since I competed at Miss Colorado USA last October. After all of the models walked, the director made a decision and I was not selected to attend the actual casting.

That part didn’t bug me. It was the comments after. My director stood before all of the models after the decisions were made and said that she was highly disappointed in some of her previous convention attendees (like myself). She mentioned being embarrassed and then recommended I come back for more classes! I know that I’ve worked hard to have the body I currently do and I know that my runway walk was better than half of the models that were picked to attend the real casting! And while I do want to give credit to some of the girls that walked at that precasting that should walk at a big fashion week event like the one coming up, many of the models there would NEVER be cast for something like that if they were with a legit agency.

I find it extremely frustrating that I allowed myself to get into a situation like this and I hope that those of you reading this who aspire to be actors or actresses or models learn to be careful and not make the same mistakes I have. I feel that somehow, I belong in either the modeling or acting world and I will continue to put my best foot forward and put myself out there. Now though, I know that I will never allow what happened to me to ever happen again. Have a good week.

I’m Addicted to BurgerFi

What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good burger and fries! This weekend, Allyson had a tennis tournament at a new tennis facility in Denver and after her first match, we made a trip to my favorite burger joint in Denver, BurgerFi.

There is just something about burgers containing antibiotic-treated and hormone free meat them so different and SO GOOD. Wow. The double cheeseburger is my personal favorite but their chicken sandwiches are also very yummy, and I have my sister to back me up on this one! Their fries are also to die for, in my opinion and are probably the best fries I’ve ever had in my entire life. Great food, great service, 10/10 recommend.

Haha, and my sister’s tournament still continued today and unfortunately she lost her match. She played well though. And guess where we went for dinner tonight? Based on the title of this post and the entire mood of it, I hope you guessed BurgerFi. I’m honestly very glad that the closest BurgerFi to me is in Denver otherwise, I’m pretty sure I would beg my parents to take me there wayyyyyy too often or I would drive myself there and get what I want. That’s how much I like the food and restaurant overall!

If you’re in the Denver area around the Denver Art Museum looking for a place to eat, BurgerFi is a good place to try. The food may be on the more expensive side of things, but you’re paying for some high quality food so it makes sense. I really think that it’s worth it.

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and Day and started 2019 off on a good note. Have a great week and I’ll see you all next Sunday! 🙂

New Year’s Resolutions and Bob Ross Paintings

resolutions

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I’d like to wish you all a very happy upcoming new year. 2019 is going to be a good one! My sister sure seems to think so considering that she graduates from high school. 🙂 For this upcoming year, there are a couple of resolutions I would like to make for myself. Most of my resolutions revolve around my personal appearance because that’s something that I really haven’t been happy with in the past. I’ve been working out really hard during my time at college and I have seen results losing around 15 lbs, but I know I can work even harder to really strive for the body I want.

My first resolution, as sort of mentioned above revolves around my physical appearance. For those of you who have been around my blog for a long time, you will know that I dealt with foot and ankle injuries for two years and gained a lot of weight as a result of sitting for so long. I went from being a tri-sport, 125 lb girl to 160 lb person who felt unhappy and embarrassed with my appearance. For how active I used to be, I was disappointed with what I had become and I really wanted to change that. I personally feel like I became really unhealthy then, both physically and mentally, and I am still working to improve that.

For this year, I would love to finally be happy with my body. With this in mind, the goal is to be healthy, not to lose weight. I’ve found that if I focus on the numbers, I become discouraged or frustrated and that puts me in a bad place. If I focus more on the various workouts I do and the foods I eat and an overall change to have a healthier lifestyle, I think that the changes I make will become more permanent and better for me mentally and physically. By keeping my mind happy and keeping workouts fun but challenging, I know that I can stick to this resolution.

Another resolution I have is to experiment more with my clothing. I have a lot of really cute clothing that I’ve gathered over the years and I feel like my lack of confidence has prevented me from wearing what I really want to wear. I really like a lot of cute tops and dresses and I’ve never really caught onto all the short shorts and crop top stuff but I feel like my typical leggings and a t-shirt or sweatpants just isn’t what I want to wear all the time. CONFIDENCE is going to be key for 2019. I want to gain the confidence to be the person I know I truly am and wear all of the cute stuff I have!

In addition to these resolutions, I would like to read more books this year. Getting ready for college and then actually starting college left me so so so busy and I feel that I missed out on a lot of reading this past year. I love reading and something that I’ve always enjoyed using as a way to relax. It’s important to step away from the screens and studying and take time to enjoy a good book and I’m going to make that happen this year!

Now some of you might be asking about the title of this post. How do Bob Ross paintings fit into all of this? Well they don’t really fit into the whole idea of resolutions, but my sister and I just got done painting one of Bob Ross’s paintings. We followed one of his episodes and it was SUPER fun but oh boy, oil paint is MESSY! We still had a lot of fun and got some pretty cool paintings out of it. Maybe I’ll share a picture of those paintings when I get a chance. They’re going to need some time to dry and maybe then I’ll post it.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and I wish you all only the best in 2019!

Christmas 2018… Merry Christmas Everyone!

christmas 2018

Christmas 2018 is coming in quick! I tend to leave these posts a bit shorter just because the holidays are always a busy time and this year, my family and I procrastinated BIG TIME. I still have so much shopping to do for my family and our neighbors. AH. It’s fine. Anyway, I would just like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy holidays. I hope that you all enjoy time with family and friends.

Let’s all make sure to remember the reason for the season and remember that this time of year is not about the gifts even though that does make the season much more fun. It’s more important to give during the holidays and make memories with family and friends. Thanks again to all of you for taking time to read my blog and check out my website. I really appreciate you being here and can’t wait to see where this next year takes us all! Once again, I hope your Christmas 2018 is wonderful. Have a great day! 🙂

Done With First Semester!

By now, some of you are probably sick of hearing about my school life and all of the hullabaloo leading up to this past week. Sorry to disappoint you if that’s the case, but I promise, this is the last one of it’s kind for a while! Finals week was rough, but I made it and my wonderful five week break has begun! It’s really crazy to think about how fast this first semester flew by.

It only seems as if I was at Ram Welcome (which is CSU’s big orientation before the first week of school for new students) was yesterday! I feel like was just moving in and honestly, I’ll be moving out of my room before you know it.

This past week I only had two actual finals, which was SUPER DUPER nice. I had a final for my chemistry lecture and for my honors biology lecture. Both were manageable and even though I didn’t get the grade I wanted on my chemistry final, I still made the Dean’s List which I am extremely proud of. 🙂 I studied really hard and worked my butt off this semester to make sure I start college on the right foot and I can see that the hard work I put in paid off. It’s important to start off strong in your first semester of college (I’m talking to all of you high school seniors getting ready to go to college soon)!

And what would finals week be without getting sick. Haha, boy did I get the rough end of it. The week before finals week, I was definitely getting sick and I COULD FEEL IT. My sinuses hurt and I was coughing and feeling cold all the time. I did all I could to not get sick during finals week, but that still didn’t keep the yuck away. Eventually, I got SUPER sick and the night before my biology final was a real fun one. Can you sense the sarcasm? We’ll just say that I spent a lot of time in the bathroom that night, and what really sucks is that I have a communal bathroom and I was also playing the “don’t wake your roommate” game. I spent a lot of time in bed before my biology final that same night and thank goodness I was feeling well enough to trek across campus then. Yikes. The stomach bug is not a nice thing.

It’s been nice to be home the last couple of days and I look forward to the wonderful time I get to spend with family and friends over these next couple of weeks. Cheers to first semester and I can’t wait to see what college holds for me next!

Done With Dead Week

dead week

This past week was ROUGH. Wow. I had a 12 page lab report to write, a 10 page paper to also write, a genetics disease presentation to prepare, and a pile of chemistry homework to complete. On top of that, I have two finals to study for. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with dead week.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, dead week is lovely name given to the week before finals in college. This is typically where final papers, presentations, and speeches occur so it’s awful. On top of this professors are all trying to cram in that last little bit of information to make your brains actually explode.  

As usual, I managed to get sick the week before finals.  I think that’s stress-related and probably also ties into the fact that I’ve been running on very little sleep lately. This all seems so perfect with dead week. Being sick makes me feel like I’m dying sometimes because of all the coughing and sinus pain and throat pain. So much fun, haha. I’m ready for a six-week long break. At this point I know I deserve it and I bet many other of you college students out there can relate. I just need a long break from dining hall food, my dorm, and campus itself. I love my school and all of the people I’ve met but this break will actually save me from going insane. 🙂 Hopefully people can relate to this. 

After my two finals are done, I’m done with my first semester of college! Oh my goodness, that flew by! I’m almost there and so are you college kids out there reading this! Best of luck to you all on finals. You’re all going to do so well! Stay healthy, stay strong, and let’s get this semester done!