Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The OJ Pre-Dance Protein Smoothie!

      I promised more posts, didn't I? This is my all-time favorite smoothie to make at home (if I had the option, I'd be at Jamba Juice everyday) and it's the perfect snack before dance!
      I'm going to preface this by saying that the reason I'm not using any fresh fruit right now is because I'm allergic to things like srawberries, rasberries, etc. So this is the easiest smoothie for me to make, especially when I'm in a hurry. I do eat lots of other fresh fruits, just not necessarily in my smoothies.
      My parents used to make this smoothie for me when I was really young with a lot of honey and ice, so it was more milkshake than smoothie. I've always loved the flavor, so a while ago I started to play with the ingredients to see if I couldn't make it a little bit more suitable as a healthy snack.

   You'll need to begin by making sure you have all of the ingredients. Most of these are things you would have around your house anyway. For this smoothie you're going to need orange juice concentrate(I use he kind with added vitamin C), plain or vanilla yogurt(I usually use greek, but we were out), milk, any kind of powdered supplement or superfood(mine is from Whole Foods), and honey to taste.

   I like to start with about a cup of yogurt, though right here I'm using a little less. I don't really measure anything in this smoothie.

   Then add a couple big spoonfuls(about 2 tablespoons?) of orange juice concentrate and around a 1/4 cup of milk.

   Last but not least, one or two heaping spoonfuls of your supplement of choice, and honey to sweeten if desired.

  I'm using the Cuisinart Smart-Stick to mix up my smoothie, but you can add ice and use a normal blender or food processor if you have one. (We do have a real blender, but I'm lazy and the stick is easier to clean.) This should make about 12 ounces of smoothie, but feel free to add or subtract from that size.
The supplement and lighting discolor it a little, but I promise it's orange.

    Especially if you're using Greek yogurt, this smoothie has a ton of protein, along with enough carbs to get you through a good class. It also tastes great when you add fresh or frozen pineapple. :)
I hope you enjoyed this post, there's a lot more to come, and let me know what you think of the smoothie!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Fun Photo Shoot Tips! And a new series.

Hello again! I actually have a real post this week. I know, shocker, right? I loved my time at Ballet West Academy's summer intensive. The summer weather was gorgeous and the scenery was beautiful. But I'm happy to be back.

 About halfway through the summer, my friends and I decided to have a full blown photo shoot, and the results were amazing. Honestly, it's incredible what an iPhone camera can do. So I'll share a few pictures with you all today! If you want to see more cool pics, Check out my Instagram account.

Tip #1: Location
Find the most interesting, cool, scenic place around and shoot there, if possible. If not, go second best. Try to pick a place that has interesting lines that won't distract from the ones you plan on making.

My friends and I chose a really neat bridge in the area for one location. 

 Tip #2: Lighting
Lighting is key to any picture. We've all seen what happens when the flash goes off and turns a great family photo into a roomful of red-eyed weirdos. That said, if it's too dark, the picture won't work either. We decided to take pictures outdoors, so we really just used sunlight. In my experience, sunset or early morning are the best times to take pictures.
Tip #3: What to Wear
Wear something simple that you feel great in. Your most flattering leo with some black tights. A cute wrap skirt. Printed leggings. Just make sure that whatever you wear stands out from your background!

 Tip #4: Candid Camera
I am not usually a photogenic person when I'm trying to be. This picture thing only works for me when it's natural. So don't turn off the camera while no one's posing. Sometimes the best photos are spontaneous.
Totally candid. I promise.

    So I promised you all a new series, and it's one that I've been working on for a while, so don't worry about a lack of posts coming up. I'm calling it my Back-to-Dance Series, and it will include some dancewear tips, quick pre-dance snacks, and my daily school/dance routine. I might try to squeeze in a video at some point, but for now I would plan on checking back here every week for more new posts! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Goals

     Hey guys! So here's an actual post, maybe with something you want to read. I've been working really hard to get my finals at school done early so I could leave for my summer intensive. Well, now I'm here, so I have time to fill you guys in.
     I have no idea what to think so far, I just got here and I haven't started taking classes yet, but what better time to decide what I want to get out of them? So here are my summer goals thus far, most pretty reachable, some a little more difficult. Enjoy!

Summer Goals:
                      1) Flat froggy (turnout stretch)
                      2) Improve left oversplits, start on middle
                      3) Consistent triple pirrouettes on right side, consistent doubles on the left
                      4) Improve extensions at least 20 degrees, especially left front
                      5) Improve ankle flexibility!
                      6) Learn as much as I can from everyone here!
Hopefully I will be back soon with more info, but for now that's all I have time for! Hope you enjoy! Don't forget to comment down below and let me know what your summer plans are!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spring Fever and Recital Prep

       Oh my goodness, I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. Terribly sorry about that.  I will most likely not be posting any more videos because the process takes forever, I'll be gone all summer without editing software, and right now things are so busy that I probably shouldn't even be doing this.
       In happier news, school is almost done for me, which means that i can stop worrying about grades (for a few months, anyways) and start focusing on dance full-time. I leave in 23-24 days, and I could not be more excited. Actually, I don't even know if you could call it spring fever anymore, since it's so close to summer.
The gorgeous Christina Ricucci, taken by David Hoffman (Sharkcookie).
      Things have been getting crazy up here. This is my busiest time of year, between recital prep, finals, AP tests, an SAT, extra rehearsals, and summer intensive preparation. We only have 1 more week before our 10th Anniversary Recital, and my teachers are going nuts preparing us for it. I have Pointe shoes on twice as long as I normally do, and it's definitely taking its toll (and making me regret the classes I missed at the beginning of the year...). My favorite things in the world right now are my Ouch Pouches, my water bottle, my Bloch booties, and my trash bag shorts, perfect for keeping warm when I'm not needed to rehearse.

Good luck to all of you with your own shows coming up, be sure to let me know what you're up to in the comments below!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Video! What's in my Dance Bag + Product Review!

Hey guys, sorry this took so long! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified immediately when I upload a new video. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Performing: Handling Curve-Balls

    I don't know about you guys, but to me, the only thing that totally makes up for the hours of stressful rehearsals and frustrating classes is performing. I love being onstage. Sure it can be scary and nerve-wracking, but when I really start dancing, it feels like everything is moving in slow motion. I have all the time in the world. I can express any and all emotions. When I really get into it, there is nothing in the world that feels better.
Me, onstage performing Sugar Plum in our Nutcracker.

    That's not to say I don't need to work on my stage presence. Believe me, I do. But I definitely feel like I've improved it in the last 6 months, mostly because I've gotten much more comfortable with being onstage. Part of this is because I'm a member of my studio's ballet and jazz/contemporary companies and we perform all the time, and part of it is because I've gotten used to performing in...well...less than ideal circumstances.
     Just this past Friday, for example, we performed at a summer camp fair that was being held in a
gymnasium. Gym floors are slippery. It was incredibly hard to jump or turn without slipping or landing awkwardly to keep your feet underneath you. In addition, I was performing my Sugar Plum variation (for like the 800th time) to the uncut version of the track, meaning there were about 45 seconds of music in the middle where there was no set choreography. As this had happened twice before, I was prepared to improv and knew exactly what to do, so there was no visible pause in the movement. The first time it happened, I nearly jumped out of my skin, but this time I didn't let it throw me off. I have come to understand that while preparation is best, nothing ever really works exactly the way it's supposed to in showbiz, so you have to always stay on top of things.
The Val Jacobs dance bag, mother of all dance bags.

      As someone who is extremely Type A (especially when it comes to dance), my biggest coping mechanism is my dance bag. It's huge. My parents always make fun of me for carrying absolutely everything with me to dance, but that is how I make sure that I'm prepared for whatever is thrown at me. If anyone needs Advil or an extra pair of shoes, I've got it covered. Sprain an ankle? I've got a brace and some Icey-Hot. In addition to extra tights, toe pads, bobby pins, hairspray, tic-tacs, a brush, a roller, therabands, snacks, and toe-nail clippers. All of which have come in handy at some point.
Our adorable snowflakes, preparing to go onstage.

     My second method is to forget everything before I go onstage. Run over everything in the dressing-room, get it into my muscle memory, warm-up, shake it out, forget it all, and perform. I try to do this while onstage, too, not just in preparation. If I make a mistake, I catch up, forget about it, and move on. You can't let an error in one number ruin the rest of them. You can't let it affect the rest of your performance.
Performing Waltz of the Flowers for the American Girl Store.
So I plan on putting some new videos and stuff up soon, sorry it took so long to get this posted. Let me know in the comments how you guys prepare for performances and what you favorite things about performing are! I love to hear from you.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy International Tutu Day! (+ video)

Happy International Tutu Day everyone! Hope you're celebrating somehow. I celebrated by spending my morning watching dance videos on You Tube. Although, come to think of it, I mostly just watched this one video over and over. Ballet Babble shared this video on Facebook about a month or so ago, and it quickly became one of my favorites. It's a pretty simple video featuring Polina Semionova and some great music, great technique, and great artistry. The main reason I love this video is probably because she looks like she's having so much fun. Hope you enjoy!
P.S. - More posts coming your way soon!