Spring and Being Busy

In these mid-winter early spring months where everyone is stressed and busy, it can be easy want to lose track of time, procrastinate, get lazy, or just watch Netflix all day. I find that this season is always that most busy for me and this year has been no exception. This is not a bad thing at all, and I like to be busy. However, I find myself at the slower times of the day just appreciating being able to sit down for a minute! This time of year can be very stressful and it is easy to get overwhelmed by everything that is stacking up. You may think that being so busy means that you have to spend the precious few hours to yourself doing as little as possible, but I have found that is actually easier for me to handle everything that I have to do, by doing more things. This doesn’t mean adding more obligations on my plate. It means finding time to do things that I enjoy that help me stay positive, organized, and relieve my stress.

One thing that I really enjoy doing to calm me down is to swim. I have always loved swimming and I have found a gym near enough that I can get to the pool at least once a week. I find that having that time to myself to swim also gives me time to organize all of my thoughts. I can think about the things I need to get done and how I’m going to them, and I can figure out how I can solve the problems I am facing that day or that week. There may be another type of exercise that you enjoy like running, yoga, or biking. They can all be good to for you mentally as well as physically, and sometimes getting in extra movement helps you to find energy in your dancing.

Clearly, I spend some of my free time making tiaras and hairpieces. But I also do needle felting, sewings, knitting, and painting. Making things is a great way to relax and it can be very satisfying. There are so many new things you can do or try. If you don’t already know how to do a craft, check online for classes or stores near you. Many times there are places that offer beginners workshops or classes, and sometimes if you are in a craft store, they will teach you how to it right there. This is a great time of year to get into something new, even if you just try it once. It doesn’t have to be stressful and you don’t have to commit to anything. Knitting is a great activity to start. It’s not too hard, you can take it with you anywhere, and it’s useful! Leg-warmers are an easy first knitting project that you can use for dance when you are done! Just try something and see if you like it.

 

There are also lots of great activities that you can do around your city. You could sign up for a cooking class or volunteer at a animal shelter. Whatever fits your interest and brings you happiness is what you should be doing. That could also just be spending time with a friend. It is very easy to say you don’t have time to see somebody and end up being alone all day. But you might feel more relaxed if you woke up a little earlier to get coffee with a friend and took thirty minutes to stop by somebody’s house on your way home. You would be surprised at how adding more to your life can actually make it feel balanced and will help you to concentrate on the during the importnat times of day. 

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me walking in the park, in rehearsal, and at one of my favorite museums. All during the busy spring months!

Souvenirs

I am back in New York from Europe. It was a long trip and lots of with lots of rushing around. I took class at so many amazing schools and was able to meet a lot of great teachers. It was such a great experience and I am so excited for what I will do in the coming months. While traveling around, I love picking up new products and things that I have never tried. Sometimes I find great things that I now cannot live without. Here are a few of many new favorite item that I purchased up while traveling!

Trind Nail Polish

I have very brittle nails and I am always struggling to keep them strong. I found this brand that is based in the Netherlands and I love the nail hardening formula.

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Doppel Herz Aktiv

This drink formula was great for me when I felt a cold coming on. I constantly get sore throats so I need to drink something warm first thing in the morning. Usually it’s tea but I got this vitamin drink to help keep my immune system up. It contains almost 400% of your daily vitamin C as well as B2, Niacin, and Zinc. I bought the honey and sage flavor but there are a few others available.

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Teekanne Teas

I need to start stocking up on this tea! I love it all the delicious flavors like Marzipan and my friend brought me a Lemon Tea cake flavor. Luckily, you can get some of them on amazon.

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Felxium Gel

This is a cooling anti-inflammatory cream. I always pick up some Voltaren while traveling in Europe, but I also got some of this at the pharmacie when I was experiencing some knee pain.

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Fun Ethic – Creme du Jour 20 ans peche

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a skin care junkie. I am always looking for a good cream, mask, or cleanser. I found this product at a moderately priced cosmetic store. The cold dry weather was really rough on my skin so I needed a good cream. I really liked this natural brand and the light cream isn’t too oily because it’s made for younger skin types.

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I would love to know of any must have products you pick up while traveling. Please share them with me in the comments!

 

 

Zurich

What a beautiful city Zurich is! There are so many lovely shops and buildings. All of them you can travel to by tram which is easy and fun. I was only in Zurich for a short time but I loved how relaxing the city feels. However, Zurich is very expensive! In fact, it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. A small cup of coffee is around 5 Swiss Francs and a casual lunch will be around 25 Francs. If you ever visit there, budget your money well because there are so many interesting things to do and see.

It has been several weeks since I started traveling for auditions. Now is the time that I am missing my regular classes. I have met several other dancers who are struggling with the same feelings. It is hard to be away from your daily classes because you feel like you are getting “worse,” but you know at the same time that you have to go and audition in order to have a chance to do anything. I have been lucky enough to find open open classes in every city I have been to, if not every day, than a few days a week. I also took the opportunity to use some gyms to keep in good physical shape. It can be frustrating, dull, and lonely if you are alone. Try to remember that everyone is in the same boat so you might as well make some friends because you will be seeing them from city to city!

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Hello from Vienna!

This is just to say that when traveling and auditioning anything can happen. I had been looking forward to going to Vienna for weeks. I had done everything to best prepare myself. I was packed and ready with everything all set to go.The night before my flight, I came down with a very bad stomach flu! Nobody likes to be sick, but being sick days before an audition and hours before a flight is a pretty big nuisance. After contemplating whether to stay or go, I managed to drag myself onto the plane and get to Vienna, and I am so happy that I did.

What a beautiful city Vienna is! I was lucky enough to audition at such a beautiful opera house and to explore the city a little bit afterwards. I visited a museum of Imperial dishes and apartments as well a historical overview of the Imperial family and the Empress Elizabeth! While staying for a few days I needed to find a place to take class. This was a little difficult but I found a dance school that offered a few open classes per week and gym that offered a day pass for 10€. I visited a beautiful shop of traditional Austrian and Bavarian clothing called Loden-Plankl. I loved looking at the attention to detail in all the coats, dresses, hats, and socks. This store is definitely worth a visit as it’s just as interesting as any museum!

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Links:

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Auditions Here We Come!

As the winter holidays come to a close, we dancers are entering that most anticipated season of the year… audition season. This is when young dancers in search of spots at summer programs line up out the door at the big ballet schools while older dancers set out to major cities in search of a job. This year, I am doing the latter. Last audition season I had the privilege to go to a few auditions outside New York. I made the trek to Germany, Norway and Canada by plane and by train. Not only was auditioning a great experience, I loved seeing the different cities.

I am certainly not an expert on what to do in auditions or before them. I am still learning through trial and error of what works the best for me. So, I can’t really give any expert tips other than show up early, organized, clean looking and calm. However, I can give some tips about how to travel long distances and still have the ability to dance once you have arrived!

  1. Get an aisle seat! On the bus, train, or plane, having an aisle seat is really best. This way you can get up and move around, go to the restroom, or walk the aisles as often as you like. This will help keep you from getting too stiff.
  2. Exercise before you leave! If I have a flight at 1 PM, I’ll make sure I wake up extra early to get to the gym. If you can’t do that, take a walk around the block or do some light exercises in your room. They best thing is a tough workout. I like to make myself pretty tired before getting on the airplane. It keeps up my circulation and also helps me from getting too restless during a flight.
  3. Bring some extra essentials! A change of clothes, a travel toothbrush, face wipes and lotion/chapstick are a few things that if you suddenly don’t have can start a meltdown. Think of the things that you definitely have to use in 24 hours to keep yourself comfortable. It is good to be prepared.
  4. Don’t forget something to amuse yourself. Don’t always assume the plane will have good movies, or that the wifi will work. Take something with you like a magazine or (my new favorite) an adult coloring book!
  5. Fight jet lag! If you are going somewhere that there is a time change, I find it works best for me to take a nap when I arrive at my destination. I don’t like to sleep more than an hour because it will spoil my sleep for the night. Melatonin pills work well for some people also.
  6. Take a good hot shower and stretch afterwards. If you are staying somewhere with a pool, than definitely do some swimming!
  7. Try to relax as best you can! Traveling can be stressful, but it should be fun. Good luck and have a safe trip!                                                    

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    Me in Norway