Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Ballet Magnificat Company Member

Today I thought I would give you a sneak peak into the life of a professional dancer, my life! Being a company member of America's biggest and premier christian ballet company, Ballet Magnificat is truly a dream! If you have never heard of this company before, you need to check us out! My job combines my greatest passions of music, ballet, travel, people, and most of all Jesus. It is a great honor to get to do what I do, and yet I find I still must be intentional in being thankful for it and not taking it for granted, but I suppose that is with any occupation. Have you thanked God for your job today?

What My Work Day Looks Like : 

5:00AM  This is the time I got up this morning. Upon waking up one of the first things I like to do is spend time with God. I like to read my bible, pray, maybe work on the bible study book that my fellow company members and I are going through; I love doing these things in the morning before the world wakes up because it is very peaceful and easier for me to think and focus. I might have slept in another hour, but this morning I had plans to go for a walk with a friend before work, so I chose to start my day earlier as to still go through with my accustomed morning regimen. Today I got all ready and dressed for ballet before seeing my friend and decided I would do my fancy ballet bun at the dance studio instead of at home, which I occasionally do in order to save some time. After walking with my friend, I then ate some raisin bran cereal for breakfast, packed my snacks for the day and headed to work!

9:30AM  Our day at the Ballet Magnificat studios begins with a devotion time. All

A "doing our hair" selfie, before class ^_^
company members, and trainees join together for a time of worship and dedication to our Lord. Honestly what we do during this time looks different every day. Sometimes we'll sing, sometimes we'll share stories, sometimes we'll pray (actually we always pray!) 
After devotions the company members and trainees split up and have some time to all get ready for our daily ballet technique class. After doing my hair, I do some stretching. I often do some of the exercises I mention here to prepare my muscles for class.

10:30AM  We have class for an hour and 45 minutes. I sweat a TON, because I work REALLY hard... and also because we keep the studios at 78 degrees Fahrenheit!

12:15PM  We have anywhere from thirty minutes to a fifteen minute lunch break. I snacked on my peanut butter cracker sandwiches, some celery, and a tangerine. Yum!

12:45PM  For the rest of the day we spend out time rehearsing. I love rehearsing. Today we rehearsed The Arrival and Deliver Us. After we are done practicing our dances, we sit down and have a little pow wow where our rehearsal director so generously gives out corrections and critiques, being either collective or to specific individuals, about how we can further improve our performance. Sometimes we have to go back and retry or fix steps and formations. I like to write all my corrections down so I can remember them. Good thing I didn't get too many today!

3:15PM  We got done with rehearsal a little early today so I decided to use my time to do some work in the product room. Aside from dancing, you will find that the company members at Ballet Magnificat attend to a number of other different responsibilities that their other talents and giftings cater to such as working with the props, building sets, or with the costume department. I am one of the members in charge of managing sales merchandise and fundraising. I guess I must be good at folding T-shirts and that is what I did with the rest of my extra time, along with bagging them. ^_^

4:00PM  After my dance day is done, if I am not working from 4 to 6 with this housekeeping business I work for as a side job, I will go to the library for a couple hours to study spanish, do bible study, or like today, write blog entries.

7:00PM  When I return home from a full work day, I am ready for dinner. If I haven't already prepared my dinners in advanced on Sunday, I just eat whatever I can find or make fast. Today after coming home from the library, I just made myself some chicken quesadillas and spent the rest of my evening hanging out with my awesome housemates. 

10:00PM  I actually start preparing for bed by nine. As a matter of fact I have an alarm clock set to go off at nine to alert me that it is time to start getting ready for bed, since it is SO easy for me to get carried off and away with some project that I could be working on into the wee hours of the night, if I let myself. This year I am truly trying, with all my effort to manage my time better and make sleep a higher priority in my life since I have come to learn just how important it really is! Before bed, I shower and if there is time, I do a wind-down activity such as some stretching or reading. At ten o'clock I like to I hit the lights, give thanks to God for my day, and ask Him for a peaceful night of rest. I like to listen to music to help me slip off into dream land. And God willing, I will wake up the next day refreshed and ready to do it all over again where my reality will be sweeter than my dreams.

Be sure to check out: A Day in the Life of a Ballet Magnificat Trainee

Do you have a topic idea or suggestion of something I should write about? 
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Leave a comment below!

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Monday, January 25, 2016

An Aspiring Ballet Magnificat Ballerina

This week is going to be a big week at the Ballet Magnificat Studios! Twenty to thirty young dancers from all around the country will be coming to participate in a two day audition that we hold, in hopes of being chosen to join the Ballet Magnificat trainee program for 2017, in which only a handful will actually be selected. *The Trainee Program is a one to four-year program with a mission and ministry focus. It is specifically structured for students age 17-24 who desire to achieve their fullest potential as a professional dancer. The Program includes significant discipleship content aimed at the serious Christian artist. Class curriculum includes Ballet technique, Pointe, Modern, Conditioning, Variations, Teacher Training, and Trainee Company Rehearsals.

It seems like just yesterday that I was in their shoes, when in reality was really 6 years ago. Most of the dancers that audition for the trainee program here, already know very much about Ballet Magnificat, have most likely seen us perform, and have probably attended our summer dance camp intensive a time or two, or more. I was not like those applicants 6 years ago but instead, I only knew what I knew about Ballet Magnificat by what I found off their website and YouTube which back then, was NOT very much. I was jumping into a whole new world of dance and didn't even consider dance a possibility as something that could be used to worship our Lord, and NOW because of the Lord, it's what I love, and am now doing for a living. Each year with guidance from God, a handful of trainees are promoted into the company like I was. And for the rest, God has a perfect plan for them too!

The audition process for a dancer is not usually the most fun, and having to deal with the mystery of the future can be nerve wrecking for any human being. But take heart.

  • Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
  • Jeremieh 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

...Also, If you are coming to audition for the Ballet Magnificat Trainee Program, never fear because it is the MOST FUN audition you could EVER take! Many dancers audition for the trainee program with hopes of eventually joining the company. Besides the general populace of auditionees that are already familiar with Ballet Magnificat and the world of using dance for ministry, I got to wondering about the other applicants that may be like how I was: CLUELESS!

Christian ballet companies and trainee programs have numerous differences from their secular counterparts; consider the Ballet Magnificat mission statement for one thing. We are all about Jesus.

Today I thought it would be a cool idea to give you an inside look into the life of a trainee at Ballet Magnificat featuring my very own awesome housemate, Miranda! And be sure to check out the second installment: A Day in the Life of a Company Member featuring yours truly, ME :)

    A Day in the Life of a Ballet                   Magnificat Trainee           

7:00AM "This is the time I get up. Right now I am trying to read through the bible so I will usually lie in bed until 7:30 and then I will start reading my bible until about 8:15. After that I go and get dressed, put my hair up and makeup on. I then get my lunch together and then I make breakfast and eat it! For breakfast I usually make eggs and oatmeal to eat. When it is time to leave for the studio, I usually carpool with my housemate."

9:30AM "This is the time that we all have devotions at Ballet Magnificat. It will either be corporate; all together, or we will split up into groups. Today we focused on discussing our upcoming trip to Mexico." After devotions we have some time to all get ready for ballet class. Occasionally I may have to go do some work with the costumes during this time since I help on the costume team, but usually at this time we are getting ready for class. I do a lot of rolling out [to prepare for class]. I use a racket ball or foam roller."

10:30AM "We have class for an hour and 45 minutes. In general, depending on the teacher the classes can be very technical and make us work very hard. Other times the classes are basically a good warm up, getting you ready for the day. I prefer those classes!

12:15PM "We have anywhere from thirty minutes to a fifteen minute lunch break."

12:45PM "For example, at this time today we had rehearsal and we worked straight through until the end of the day, with a short fifteen minute break."

2:10PM "Depending on the day; other days at 2:10 we will have a [secondary] class like pointe or bible study." 

3:30PM "The day at the studio usually ends at this time but like today, I'll stay after at the studio to work on costumes, but that doesn't always happen."

5:00PM "Today, Monday and on Tuesdays I then have to go to work after dance at five. I teach little kids how to dance! But after that I finally get to go home! And I eat, and I take a shower, and I usually watch a little bit of TV."

10:30PM "And then I crash ranging anywhere between 10:30 to 12."

Ballet Magnificat website.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

So Far So Yummy!

We are more than half way through the first month of the year and things are appearing bright! Even though there has already been some bumps in the road this January for me, I feel like i have been coasting through the weeks with great ease, contentment and CONSISTENCY!(The kind of consistency I mentioned about wanting to attain weeks ago in an earlier BLOG POST) Yay! I know that it is still early in the game but I believe it is important to celebrate accomplishments and good progress, no matter how big or small. And I must not discount the fact that it is my Father in heaven who is responsible for every delight, good thing, and satisfying achievement that I have had this month so far. "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." Psalm 145:16. He has been my rock, my firm and strong anchor, and my source of sustainment.

One of my goals this year has been to cook more. Last year I made it my goal to make at least one pinterest recipe a month and then challenged myself to creatively use all the left over ingredients to make other things. It went pretty well and was a great way to break me in and get me experimenting with ingredients I have never used before like ginger, garlic, flax seeds etc. I am a TOTAL novice. :P This year I have stepped it up, cooking fanciness twice a week! So far so good! Prior to my recent efforts to start cooking, I have always had excuses for not cooking like:

"by the time I get home, I am famished and not patient enough to make food!" 
      "...maybe i am just lazy"
                                                                  "it's too expensive"                   

"I takes to long to prepare meals and I end up being in the kitchen all evening!"

"I eat half the ingredients before I even get done"

"I have no idea what i am doing"   

"to many dishes get dirtied and then they need to be washed..."

But I am coming to believe that it is so worth it! Nothing beats a good tasting meal, and with the more experience I am gaining in the kitchen, I am getting better and faster at making stuff! I also have found it useful to get my friends involved, making the cooking process more fun! Why haven't I thought of that sooner?! Not only is simply the company of friends in the kitchen appreciated, but also I have been learning so much from them! Lord knows I have a lot to learn. A couple of days ago I got together with a good friend and she taught me how to use a mincer! And how to cook pasta...the "right way"! ^_^ We had so much fun and this is what we made:

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo


  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 8-ounces fettuccine pasta, cooked (All we had on hand was spaghetti so we used that instead)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (now that I know how to use a mincer ^_^ )
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup plain, nonfat Kefir (this was a new ingredient for me!)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • basil ribbons, for garnish


  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  4. Stir in flour; stir until combined.
  5. Slowly whisk in chicken broth.
  6. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens; remove from heat.
  7. Stir in Parmesan cheese; stir until melted.
  8. Whisk in Kefir; whisk until combined.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Sauce will continue to thicken as it stands. If sauce is too thick, add a little Kefir.
  11. Pour sauce over cooked fettuccine; mix until combined.
  12. Transfer to plates and top with previously prepared chicken strips.
  13. Garnish with basil ribbons and serve!

Buen Porvecho!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Greatest Gift

What did YOU get for Christmas? I was asked,
"What was your favorite Christmas Present this year?"
 So here you go!

Well, I got a new smartphone. Everybody loves their technology! I am proud to say it is an Android phone. I love the all the google apps it comes with. It has a great camera, great audio, and 32GB, loads of storage space for me! It is fun, I play with it every day and it simply just makes life easier! Besides my new updated HTC One® M9 mobile phone that I got over break, My other favorite gift that I got from Santa was: 

My parents are so good to me! But now silliness and materialism aside, It is time for:


“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me or use the contact me form over in the sidebar to shoot me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!
Meet Jen Thorne:

Be Blessed.

Happy Tuesday!
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

God's Hall of Fame

"Now if we are His children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with Him."
~Romans 8:17

God’s Hall of Fame

by Walt Huntley

Your name may not appear down here
In this world’s Hall of Fame,
In fact you may be so unknown
That no one knows your name;
The Oscars and the praise of men
May never come your way,
But don’t forget God has rewards
That he’ll hand out someday.

This Hall of Fame is only good
As long as time shall be;
But keep in mind, God’s Hall of Fame
Is for eternity;
To have your name inscribed up there
Is greater more by far
Than all the fame and all the praise
Of ev’ry man-made star.

This crowd on earth they soon forget
When you’re not up at the top,
They’ll cheer like mad until you fall
And then their praise will stop;
Not God, He never does forget,
And in His Hall of Fame,
By just believing on His Son,
Forever – there’s your name.

I tell you, friend, I wouldn’t trade
My name, however small,
That’s written there beyond the stars
In that celestial Hall,
For all the famous names on earth,
Or glory that they share;
I’d rather be an unknown here,
And have my name up there.

I Hope you enjoyed reading that gem of a poem that I found while surfing online this weekend.
Are you a Child of God? If you are not sure click here.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

5 Ways to Alleviate and Prevent Sore Muscles

It's Friday! It has been a great week! PTL (praise the Lord)! We made it through our first full week of ballet classes and rehearsals for 2016 here at Ballet Magnificat, and man am I sore! Did you know soreness is a result of microscopic tears in the muscles! It sounds more dramatic than it really is. As uncomfortable as soreness is, I don't really mind it because at least I know I have muscles. ^_^ With sore muscles it is easier for me to find correct ballet body placement, and at the end of the week being sore just makes me feel so accomplished. Not to be misleading; at the end of a good, hardworking dance week sometimes all I want to do is NOTHING because I ache so much! Unfortunately, doing nothing is an option my life does not permit. Ain't nobody got time for that. Dancers and athletes, I would like to share with you my favorite 5 out of the many ways in which you can prevent, manage, and alleviate your soreness.

#1 Drink lots of water. Make sure you have a nice sized, cute water bottle and drink water all the time! Before, during, and after exercise! This will help increase the oxygen your muscles need giving them stamina and helping them in the recovery process. I think the rule of thumb to ward off dehydration is to drink 6 to 8oz glasses of water daily. I love drinking water out of my pink champagne swell bottle!

#2 Eat bananas. When exercising, our bodies tend to lose vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes. There are plenty of natural foods, products, and supplements out there that can aid in renourishing our bodies. Consider the banana! According to Chiquita Banana, on average a banana contains 422 mg of potassium. So make sure to eat up for yourself a heaping helping of nutritious fruit, and while you're at it,  some vegetables too! I need to get better at this one. Bananas in particular are known to assist in preventing muscle cramps. So be reminded the next time you wake up in the middle of the night due to those horrendous charlie horses that you get from practicing petit allegro in your sleep, YOU NEED BANANAS!

#3 Ice baths/ icing muscles. Athletes of all statures are known for reaping the benefits from the practice of bathing in ice. Ice baths reduce inflammation and are thought to constrict blood vessels and flush waste products like lactic acid out of your body, sited by Both Lebron James- Professional Basketball Player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Usain Bolt- Fastest Person Ever, Jamaican Sprinter and World Record Holder for the 100m and 200m, avowal via twitter, of taking ice baths, not to mention some of my fellow dance company members as well. As for me, I am just NOT into it. But I am an advocate for icing, only just smaller muscles groups at one time using moldable ice packs or a bucket of ice water. At the end of a day filled with intense activity, I am often found to be icing a given area for typically 10-15mins.
Check out the following helpful link about icing: 8 ice bath dos and donts

#4 Keep stretching and moving through it. As I so often remark, resting vs. being active is a fine balance. Always listen to what your body tells you that it needs, but when it comes to having sore muscles you should know: light activity can help ease soreness just as well as a massage, according to a new study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and I have experienced this personally for myself as well. In keeping active you will increasing blood flow and prevent your body from growing stiff. Personally, I like to "walk it out".  After a grueling day of dance, I make some time for strolling around the neighborhood and finish it off with some light stretching. I love that walking also has psychological benefits too.

#5 My foam roller. I LOVE my foam roller. Once only used by professional athletes and therapists, foam rollers are now becoming more mainstream. The concept of rolling out my muscles using a foam roller was introduced to me by my first Pilates teacher. To the effect of a deep-tissue massage, rolling out your muscles with this handy tool will loosen them up, prevent soreness, as well as treating already sore muscles. So if you have one, roll out both before and after exercising. Foam rollers are great because you can message almost any muscles with them; from you back to your butt, legs to your feet, they make for a great investment! is a great place to purchase foam rollers and other physical therapy type contraptions.

Thank God it's Friday! have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Testimony Tuesday!

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39

This weeks testimony features David Wood. Wikipedia sites: David wood is an American evangelical missionary and philosophy lecturer. He is currently head of the Acts 17 Apologetics Ministry. He has degrees in philosophy and biology, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in the philosophy of religion at an academic institution in the State of New York. He is also a member of the Society of Christian Philosophers. This testimony is a bit on the intense side of things, but hey sometimes life is just intense. Besides the transformation is just so radically beautiful, so let's start extreme:

The extreme is not beyond our God.
Be Blessed.

Happy Tuesday!
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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Soaring Forward

Christmas vacation has come to a close. My time in PA has been enjoyable, relaxing, and refreshing but now it is time to go home where oil changes and house bills await me. Today is a travel day for me. I am currently in flight on the second leg of my trip, from Charlotte North Carolina heading towards Jackson Mississippi and as I sit here in unoptional stillness, I find myself reflecting on WHAT WAS and WHAT WILL BE.

WHAT WAS: Right now as I am in limbo in the sky, I come to realize that my Christmas break was also quite productive. Over the past three weeks I started this blog, ^_^ I finished reading the book of Ezekiel, I started up my Spanish language course again, I got to see lots of friends and family, and I got to pull out my paints! It had been so long since I put my hand to the brush, but I am so glad I did. Being creative is really an outlet for me. Everybody needs some sort of outlet or escape from life's responsibilities and for me that is doing crafty things. I used to think dance was that for me, and I do so love dancing, but being that it is now my career, it does not have the same effect anymore. Find what you love doing, and what makes you free, and make sure you find time to do it! It's important! Below is a sneak peak into what all I had been working on all throughout break. Lately I have been really into making greeting cards, check it out!

They will be for sale in my Shop! But honestly, I feel like I've gotten a little rusty when it comes to being creative and a little inhibited when it comes to using my imagination, for whatever reason. I would love to actually write a blog entry about that in the future. What do you think causes creative road blocks and the deterioration of the imagination?

That blog entry on uninhibited creativity and imagination can be found HERE!

WHAT WILL BE: Even though things will be starting back up this coming week I hope to preserve whatever creativity and inspiration I've rekindled over break and keep up the crafting in my down time, making it more of a priority because I enjoy it so much. I am sad to be leaving my family behind me, but duties call. AND...I can't wait to go grocery shopping when I get home! It's one of my most favorite things to do (when I have money). I found the perfect recipe to make for dinners this week and hopefully I'll keep you posted with how it turns out later in the week. I have much anticipation in seeing my housemates, ballet friends, and Timothy (the outdoor neighborhood cat). And I'm looking forward to getting back into routine, and dusting off that dance bag!

Last year wasn't a bad year, by any means! But one thing about this coming year 2016; I am determined for my attitude to be even better which will then reshape my circumstances, God willing. That when I reflect on the days of my life or when somebody asks me how I am doing, instead of responding in a burnt out defeated manner, I will be able to respond enthusiastically with a joyful, positive content response because I have renewed hopes and motivations set on what really matters.

With 50 minutes left of my flight, I believe I will now go formulate a to do list and then finish reading my book "The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan.

Thanks for reading friends,
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How to Stay in Shape During a Really Long Break

My Fellow Dancers, this one is for you. I have been off for break for a total of three weeks and the amount of physical activity I have had falls short of acceptable to say the least. My holiday breaks and the amount of physical activity I have during them tend to vary from year to year, simply based off of what other things are going on during the break. This year I have no good excuse, except to say that I have had an EXTREMELY relaxing and refreshing vacation which, not to be misleading, is also very important. But let's get real, I have one week left and need to get my act together.

Dancers are very diverse in what ways they prefer to maintain strength and stay in shape over breaks. After all, every body is different! Some of my friends prefer to give themselves class everyday, other maybe only two days. Some of them like to do a daily 10 minute ab series to hold them over. Have you ever heard of cross training? The internet defines cross training as training in two or more sports in order to improve fitness and performance, especially in the main sport. Cross training is great for dancers and practical for over long breaks. Some of my friends in the company are gym rats. Personally I hate the gym. I hate the thought of paying for something that I can do for free at my house, though I am acutely aware of my ignorance and closed-mindedness. ^_^

I really advocate Pilates. I've been learned in Pilates ever since I've been learned in ballet and they are very complimentary. Pilates is great for creating long lean strong muscles as well as enhancing flexibility, which might I not forget to add, is also very important to maintain over long breaks. Overall, no matter what method you choose to use in order to maintain your physique, whether you are a dancer reading this or a "normal person"; what I want to convince you of the most, is to listen to your body. It will tell you how much or how little, of what you need. Also as I forementioned, sometimes you might just benefit simply from rest!

Below I  share with you the systematic routine of exercises that I enjoy doing over my breaks to help keep myself in shape. A fusion of Pilates and some other things, I typically would do these every other day or so over the course of my whole break, though this time I have only just begun on this past Monday. Oh well. Here's to feeling sore and accomplished. Be sure to check out the very interesting video I found and posted at the end of this entry about maintaining flexibility. Happy exercising!

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#1- 100 Crunches

#2- 20 Side Crunches

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#3- 30 Bicycles twists

Actually, I alternate tugging my one knee into my chest with head lifted and other leg straight about 10 times without the twist, first. 

Then I do the bicycle twist 15 times alternating slow

Then 15 times alternating fast.

#4 - 40 Triceps Dips

Like the picture.

If I am up to it, I'll insert a set of regular push-ups here too!

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#5- Single Leg Circles

A Pilates Move. I do 5 inward circles with the right leg, then the left.

Returning back to the right leg, do 5 more circles going outward this time, then left.

Isolating the hips. The bigger the circles, the more strength it takes.

#6- Hamstring Tugs

A Pilates Move. First with relaxed head and neck. I pull one straight leg above my head, holding and stretching for about 6 mins. each leg

Then alternating legs, head lifted, I tug one straight leg toward my head than the other 10 times slow, 10 times fast. than 10 times fast with no hands or arms, just slicing legs through air.

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#7- Double Leg Lifts 

A Pilates Move. (1st Picture) 7 reps. Do not let the feet touch the ground. If I am up for a challenge I will also throw in a set of Pilates teasers (2nd picture)

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#8- Numerous Leg Exercises 

-40 inner thigh leg lifts, each leg

-20 clams, each leg, great for butt!

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 -10 outer leg lifts. fast up, slow down. each leg.

The higher the leg is lifted, the more strength it takes.
-10 leg lifts back, on stomach. I like to think these are good for arabesques.

#9 -Numerous  Stretches

  Ballerinas you know what to do! Various ballet stretches for about minutes. that's about two songs on my iPod.

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#10- The Planks

 I usually do the regular front plank with bent arms, and the both the side planks, each for a minute. Feel the Burn!

To finish off...

Image Source
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I usually do whatever else my body needs; sometimes some releves, or stretches or whatever. I love doing my Theraband exercises. A Theraband is a long strip of rubbery elastic, that through resistance, is used to conduct different strength building exercises for your body. Dancers love them! I often use them for my feet and weak ankles (my left one which I have sprained twice in the past) though Therabands are not exclusive to just that. If you don't have one, I'll tell ya, they are worth the investment!

 Doing all of this at leisure pace, it usually takes me about an hour to and hour and a half. I better finish up this entry and great right to it!
What do you like to do to stay in shape?

SIDE NOTE: Sometimes I feel superficial talking about all these exercises and body workouts, but honestly it's expected of me, for my career, and for the excellency of our craft. But regardless of that, let us be reminded that whether we are dancers or "normal" people, pursuing a healthy life style and taking care of our bodies which includes healthy eating habits and exercise is glorifying to God. As believers these things should become inherent.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
  • Romans 12:1  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
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    Friday, January 1, 2016

    Countdown to Midnight

    How long does it take to write a good blog entry??? 

    The new year is steadily approaching. Desiring to post one last time before the new year, the clock ticking, I've decided to time myself to see how long it generally takes me to write a good post. Mind you, I am formulating this amongst family members and majorly multitasking. An entry birthed out of procrastination, I hope to finish before the clock strikes 12, the race is on!!

    How was your last day of the year? The highlight of my day was being visited by a long time friend of mine who I've known since my days at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, my first pre-professional ballet school. I hadn't seen this friend in nearly a decade but we had such a sweet time catching up and seemed to have picked up right were we left off. We went to a local pizza parlor and talked for three hours! It was great to rehash old memories and share with each other all the new and recent developments of our lives. Sharing my life with her was refreshing and renewed in me a heart of gratefulness to God for all that He has done in me over the past years. God orchestrates for each of us, an intricate arrangement of hardships, lessons, and blessings that culminate into beautiful masterpieces of life.

    And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. ~Romans 8:28 (AMP) 

    For 2016 I do have some resolutions, might I say goals. CONSISTENCY is what most of them revolve around and is something I have been really trying to chase after. Because of being in a touring ballet company with all our constant changing, always traveling, unpredictable lifestyle and schedules, consistency is a hard thing to obtain. But I know there are some things I can adjust, and some changes I can make to achieve the consistency I seek, for the benefit of my health. This year I want to pursue consistency in blogging :) in my quiet times with the Lord, getting the right hrs of sleep each night, taking my vitamins, which will hopefully produce consistency in my dancing as well as consistency in keeping a budget, which will produced better grocery shopping, which will produce better cooking, which will produce the ultimate goal of eating consistently better. You all can hold me accountable! Do you have any "goals" for 2016?

    The thing is, I know I'm going to fail. I'm human. Lord knows I am a complete failure at life without him. But for every time I do fail at being consistent in 2016 I will take heart, for my failure only serves as a reminder of:

      • Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever
      • James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
      • 2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
    2. That we have a GOOD, FORGIVING, and GRACIOUS God.
    • Romans 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
    • Lamentations 3:21-25  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hopeBecause of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
    In my family, on New Years Eve after the big family dinner is eaten, and the salsa dancing is through, we close out the day by changing into our comfy clothes, turning on the TV and watching the celebrations of Times Square in New York City which is what we are doing NOW. The ball is going to drop in 10 minutes! How are you spending the last 10 minutes of 2016? Have a blessed and Happy New Year!

    Got to go!! Until next time! 

    2016 Let's Persevere! 

    I'll walk through the fire
    With my head lifted high
    And my spirit revived in Your story
    And I'll look to the cross
    As my failure is lost
    In the light of Your glorious grace.

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