Saturday, December 7, 2019

“Balance” is for the Birds...

Hello Friends! I'm back! Please excuse the dust and cobwebs that have accumulated here while I've been gone. I have truly dropped the ball with posting regularly for you all, and while I have really been desiring to just hop on here and post something, I have just been SO busy! I can't tell you how many times I've "written" this blog post in my brain, but simply wasn't able to find the time to sit down in front of a computer and get it published. And now, so much has happened since we last met together, I don't even know where to start with sharing it all. 

... I never imagined that this new season of life would be as busy as it is, but I guess that is my fault. My transition from Mississippi to Pennsylvania- from a life of touring and performing professionally as a ballet dancer with Ballet Magnificat, to now doing life as a ballet teacher, has been going rather smoothly. But where I was expecting for my workload to be lightened this season, I am now realizing it isn't going to happen, at least not until the school year that I'm locked into is over. Upon arriving in Lancaster PA this past August, I hit the ground running with my various teaching jobs, which luckily, were opportunities lined up for me prior to me even moving. Within only weeks of being back in Lancaster, I was able to land myself into this affordable and adorable little loft apartment of mine, which I still need to share pictures of with you!
I absolutely LOVE my jobs at Silver Spring Dance Conservatory and the Cavod Academy of the Arts. I teach five days a week in the evenings and alternate every other day at each school. I have fallen in love with ALL of my students and can only hope they feel the same way about me! On top of all the teaching I do in the evenings, I have acquired a morning job too, to help ends meet, a prayer request answered from a previous blog post. Thank you to all those of you that joined me in prayer over the matter! I am proud to share, in the mornings I am the front desk receptionist for the Inn at Kitchen Kettle Village and cross-train in housekeeping, a most ideal morning job offering the exact hours I was praying for and conveniently located not far from where I live! And working there is SO FUN! I am so pleased with things! Life is good, and God truly has supplied all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil.4:19)

If you are local or just passing through, Kitchen Kettle Village is a must-stop tourist attraction, self described as "showcasing all that Lancaster County has to offer — homemade baked goods, jams and relishes, good food with unexpected touches and charming one-of-a-kind overnight lodging in a picturesque countryside. Also famous for our unique shopping experience, featuring 40 distinct merchants offering everything from locally-made art, pottery and PA Dutch quilts to name-brand favorites like Brighton, PANDORA Jewelry, UGG and Minnetonka moccasins. Spend the day and/or night. With plenty of things to do in the Village and around PA Dutch County, Kitchen Kettle make it easy to plan a great trip to Lancaster, PA."




One prayer request that has not yet been met is my desire to find balance- balance in my working vs. resting, pouring out vs. making time for being filled... but as of late I've been starting to believe that this is a prayer request not meant to be met. After listening to this sermon by Church of the City New York, I've been convinced that the idea of balance in life is simply an unattainable social construct, and that seeking after balance in our day is NOT as crucial as just seeking the Lord and what his will is for our day, and then following through. BUT, maybe it would be helpful for you to know what I was defining balance as. To me, a perfectly balanced life would be perfectly predictable, consistent, manageable, controlled days where work is complimented perfectly by an equivalent amount of rest. I've come to realize that just isn't realistic. That is just not how life works. And when I think about it, it certainly would not be an accurate description of the life of Jesus, which is the life we all model our own after, isn't it? 
My problem is that I am a workaholic, and changing locations from one state to another is not going to change that. Balance is not the answer either. I can and should be more strategic with how I spend my time and more intentional with scheduling margins and periods of rest into my days and weeks (I could prepare a whole spiel on what I'm learning about why rest is so important but that is a topic for another day), but ultimately, I'm learning that, going about my day, I simply need to be more yielding to the Holy Spirit, and then whatever the state-of-being is that I am seeking, will come. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
 ~ Matthew 11:28-30


Give the sermon a listen! I would love to know what you think about this? Feel free to let us know in the comment section down below because I know fellow readers and I would love to know your thoughts! Let's start discussion! 


With that being said, Anywho anyhow, 😏 I have no regrets making the move! I surprisingly don't miss dancing professionally much at all. Teaching ballet keeps me enough in the realm of physical activity, music, and creating, it helps with the transition. Not to mention, after more than an exhausting decade of striving to be good enough in dance (so worth it but...), I am ready to pass the baton. No longer a "missionary/starving artist", I have never been more financially independent and not rich but stable, in all my life, not that money is everything, but I am enjoying it- this blessing from the Lord. I have also been attending Crossway Church of Millersville which I am excited to become a member of. I enjoy their scripture based teaching, and hospitable welcoming atmosphere. 


Looking back on this past semester, I know I have lots to thank the Lord for. I have so much room for growth as a ballet teacher but I know that will come with time. I am really looking forward to the opportunities coming up next semester, such as choreographing and master class teaching which I know will only help with the growing process. Though this Occupied Optimist has kept rather busy these past couple of months with my other jobs, my sewing business has managed to stay afloat! Despite the busy schedule, I feel like I have a better handle on things now. I hope to give a bit more attention to Lilly's Creations again, and blogging! I have so many good recipes I've been wanting to share with you since I have more time to cook now as well as fun stories, and things God has been teaching me that I want to share with you so stay tuned! 
  

If you're new to my blog welcome!!!
And if you're not, well then welcome back!!!
Thank you for stopping by my blog today and sticking around to
 reach the end of this post! Let me know down below what you enjoyed about it
and what you would like to hear more about! Things are just getting 
restarted/revamped around here! Make sure to stick around.
The fun has just begun!

  
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Monday, September 2, 2019

Websites for Improving Your Ballet Technique

Here is another ballet post for my fellow dancers out there! Would you leave me a comment to let me know you are there? Let me know what you think about these resources and if you know of any others!



 
The school year has begun and I am so excited to start teaching ballet! The realities of having retired my career in professional dance have hardly set in, at least not in the way I was expecting. I had been dancing for so long, so intensely, striving for my own perfection, that I thought to come to a halt so abruptly would be stifling...but hardly! I am just so excited for what is to come my way this next season with teaching! I guess my mind is just so occupied with all the new things. I wonder if melancholy emotions will set in later. Who knows. All I know is that I'm beyond thrilled to transition out of a career that requires so much self-focus, and am ready to pour into the next generation of dancers! I am eager to encourage and build them up with solid ballet education and hope to spark their passion for it. I suppose whether one is a student or teacher, we all have goals and achievements we desire to reach this year. Today in this blog post, I want to share with you some of my favorite free online resources for dance students and teachers alike, resources that might just help bring us all a little closer to reaching our dreams this year. How lucky our generation is in this day and age to have such easy access to so much valuable and enriching information! Enjoy these resources!

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#1 ABalletEduation.com



Started by a fellow CPYB alumni of mine, one of my favorite things about David King's wonderful resource, A Ballet Education, is the comprehensive directories it provides featuring the top ballet schools around the country and world that are very helpful to students and parents. This website also offers an informative magazine one can subscribe to in order to access stories and articles relevant to all ballet students and ballet enthusiasts of our day. But if we are talking free, this website also has a wonderful blog with a plethora of amazing articles that expound on how to master and correctly execute certain ballet steps, as well as other articles that address proper ballet placement and alignment.  Dispersed throughout the articles are sketched-out pieces of artwork done by the talented David King, often of fashionable ballerinas paired with his analyses.


#2 LazyDancerTips.com



Don't you just love the humor in the title of this website, Lazydancertips.com? I love how this website established by Alessia (who knows her stuff) promotes ballet as a fun healthy way of life for the trained dancer but also for the average joes out there too.  She is right to advertise that ballet has so many benefits for anyone brave enough to explore it, and I love how her knowledge and education are made so accessible through her website with the online classes and programs offered that you can sign up for. Though the classes are not free, you can find workout plans that are, as well as an excellent blog with lots of fun and helpful articles on how to improve your dancing. Look for Lazydancertips on Youtube too!

#3 Inform.com


I absolutely love this website! In this day and age with people being all the more visual, this website offers a database full of helpful video clips of experienced dancers demonstrating steps and reputable instructors sharing their methods for teaching them. Among the categories are Corrections, Combinations, and Insights.
  
#4 Youtube.com

I think we all know how helpful YouTube can be for learning just about anything. Below I will share some of my favorite YouTube channels to follow. If you are a dancer and are unfamiliar with these channels, I highly recommend you subscribe pronto!



looking for "insights into the ballet world and how to improve at dance as well as beauty and lifestyle tips?" Check out Kathryn's Channel where her goal is "to help dancers improve and achieve their dreams as well as open up the ballet world to non dancers." 


Check out Twin Talks, Former professional ballet dancer turned Mindset & Transition Coach, helping dancers overcome the difficulties of life as a dancer with a mindset that fuels their best work.



Former professional ballet dance Claudia Dean's Channel. Your Specialist in Private Ballet Coaching and Lifestyle videos.


Ballerinas By Night is an education and support community for adult ballet dancers. We are working to raise awareness about adults who are beginning or continuing their dance education, while providing information that can help class work be more successful.
























 


That's all folks!
I hope you get a chance to check some of these out!
Dancers, let me know if you find these kinds of posts helpful.
Thanks for stopping by! 


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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Making Lancaster County Home

Wow! I don't think I have ever swiped my plastic so much in one month, as I have this past August! Moving from one state to another sure is an expensive business, especially when moving to Pennsylvania! There is a fee for everything in Pennsylvania! After spending lots of money getting my car and drivers license squared away, getting background checks done for all my new teaching jobs, and buying the everyday household items needed to furnish my studio apartment with, I am finally beginning to feel settled. I feel like up until now, I have been so occupied with running around to and fro, like a crazy person, trying to get everything accomplished before the school year starts where I will then finally officially start teaching on staff year-round with Silver Springs Dance Conservatory, and Cavod Academy of the Arts. I've been such a busy girl lately, and now I'm a broke one too! I have nothing left in my pockets but lint! I won't be leaving my home anymore this month, not for anything!!! Unless it is to leave to make more money somewhere. You can giggle because I am exaggerating (but only a little ☺) Times get tight sometimes, but I am happy.


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"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content WHATEVER the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through CHRIST who gives me strength."

- Philippians 4:11-13

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It is good to be back blogging! Right now I am at the Barnes and Noble in town at the Red Rose Commons. It is not quite the same as the quaint Willie Morris Library on Jacksonian Plaza that I used to blog at all the time when I lived in Jackson MS. I guess I will have to find a new quaint place to blog at. I will have to check out the library here not far from where I live and let ya know how it is! I hope you like my "Weekend Whatevers" because here are 10 more for ya!


 1. I kinda wanna see this movie. ☺
2. Have you guys seen the new Ballet Magnificat website!? If not go check it out! It's updated and looks great!

3. I am so obssessed right now with Ben Platt's song Grow As We Go and it's video.
4. When things are tight, the first things I cut from my grocery list are the nonessentials such as chewing gum. I really miss this right now. haha. Take my word for it! This gum is the best tasting chewing gum you will ever taste in your whole life. It's like mint, but sweeter! It is hard to find but I can always count on Walmart to have it stocked. And did you check out the link? Amazon has it for less then 3 dollars! Who buys gum off Amazon?
5. Something else I am really missing right now is this. I am thankful for iheart radio that keeps me connected to "Hallellujah FM", my favorite radio station based in Jackson MS.

6. Has anyone ever heard of a "Noodle Board"? I had no idea what they were until I came across the concept on pinterest. Now I want one for my apartment! Especially this one on Etsy!

7. I love getting room sprays from Bath and Body Works. I went there the other day to get one for my new place and ended up trying a new one called Crisp Morning Air. It smells like a man, more than I initally thought. Not bad. If you like that sort of thing go check this out. I think I will get another scent next time.

8. This has yet to be publicized, but dear readers, I want you to be the first to get a load of this end-of-summer sale happening at LCDancewear for a limited time, while supplies lasts! All Shirt Skirts ordered in Tie-Dye are going on sale 30% off up until the last day of summer, September 22nd, so I'd get a jump on it if I were you! 
9. For anyone out there that loves to travel just as much as me, and loves saving a buck or two or lots more, you have to get this app I've just discovered! As described by google, "Hopper predicts flight prices with 95% accuracy up to 1 year in advance. No ads, no spam, no stress — just accurate predictions and the easiest way to book and save."

10. Lastly, I would like to leave you with this AMAZING note worthy quote I heard in church by David Dickson, “I have taken all my good deeds and all my bad deeds, and cast them … in a heap before the Lord, and fled from both, and betaken myself to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in him I have sweet peace!”
💛

...Like I said things are finally starting to slow down a little for me...
before they pick up again I suppose. I only have one more week before I start 
teaching with Cavod and I am so excited about it! Most things have fallen into 
place quite well, though I am still trying to find a third job,
possibly a hotel front desk agent?! That is what I'm praying for anyway. 
I think I would be good at it and would meet lots of interesting people!
I guess we'll see!

I hope you liked those "Weekend Whatevers"!
Let me know what you think about this kind of blog format and if you think
I should continue to do them! Keep a lookout for my apartment tour post 
which will be going up soon!

Comment, follow, subscribe, to keep up with my adventures,
and let me know what you want to here about next!
Thanks for stopping by!

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