Oh, Happy Day!!!

Hey everybody,

I’m back just as I promised, sooner rather than later.  I need to catch everybody up on what I’ve been doing over the last month or so.  Between going to my cousin’s college graduation from nursing school and my other cousin’s high school graduation, I managed to survive my first year of middle school.  School’s out and sixth grade is officially over!  Oh yeah!  It wasn’t such a bad year after all.  I was challenged by the honors classes and Pre-Algebra.  I managed to get used to using a locker, go to seven classes a day, learn to play the clarinet, and navigate the mean girls and lunchroom drama!  I’m rather proud of myself.  At the end of the year awards assembly, I got two awards – one was for Best Western Hemispheres Geography Student (I had a class average of over 100%) and the other was for Best Peak Student (Peak is the gifted class).  Also, I made straight A’s this last quarter.  Usually, I make all A’s and a B.  And whenever I make an A in Pre-Algebra, I end up making a B in Science or I make an A in Science and a B in Pre-Algebra.  This time, it’s all A’s.  Woo!  Hoo!

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Now for dance, I have some big news!  But first, let’s talk about my first dance recital at my new studio.  I think I’m going to stop calling it my new studio now that I’ve been there for an entire year.  Anyhow, it was a great recital, so much less stressful and frantic.  It was actually calm and kind of relaxed.  It was low key.  My mom didn’t have to buy a bunch of expensive costumes that I wear a couple of times and then hang in my closet for years.  They actually have a costume room that the teachers choose costumes from for their different class dances.  We didn’t have to wear all the heavy stage makeup and false eyelashes either.  I’ve been dancing for seven years now.  The first year or two I was just starting out, so I only had a few dances in the year-end recital.  Then when I joined my previous studio’s Company and started doing competition dances, I ended up in more and more dances at the year-end recital.  Last year I had eleven!  This year, I had two!  Big difference!  Also, the recital was an hour and a half total.  Last year, we had two recitals that lasted two hours each and we didn’t even do the exact same dances in each performance.  If you wanted to see every dance, you had to attend both recitals.  Again, big difference!

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Recital Flowers

But, on to my big news!  I got my pointe shoes!  Yay!  That was my goal in moving from a recreational/competition studio to a ballet technique focused studio.  I wanted to improve my technique, strength, flexibility, and to achieve my goal of going on pointe.  Yesterday, my mom took me to the dancewear store to be fitted for pointe shoes.  Well, it was quite an ordeal!  We were there for over an hour and tried on fifteen pairs of shoes.  I have super narrow feet, tapered toes, and a super skinny heel.  Oh, and my right foot is just a bit longer than my left!  At one point the lady who was fitting me suggested to my mom that we buy two different pairs of shoes in two different sizes!  Pointe shoes are quite expensive and my mom was not happy about that!  The shape of your feet has everything to do with being fitted for pointe shoes and it is super important to get a good fit.  If you get shoes that don’t fit properly, then you can damage your feet – break toes, break an ankle – and it could threaten your ability to dance on pointe permanently.  Well, after trying on all those pairs of shoes, the lady who was helping us called another store in the town that my mom went to college in.  It’s about 45 minutes and 40 miles away.  We actually had to go to that store to get my shoes.  The lady there was a Russian ballerina with 25 years of experience.  She was very helpful and knew just by looking at my feet exactly which brand of shoe would work for my type of foot (Aleksandra).  I had the perfect fit after I tried on the second pair.  I am super anxious to get to work learning to dance on pointe.

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Finally, I wanted to share some more exciting news about what I’ve been doing lately.  On Instagram I follow an organization called Brown Girls Do Ballet.  They have a website at http://browngirlsdoballet.com/.  The mission of Brown Girls Do Ballet is to help increase participation of underrepresented minority populations in ballet programs through organizing and arranging ballet performances and providing resources and scholarships to assist young girls in their ballet development and training.

According to the website:
Brown Girls Do Ballet began in 2013 as a personal photography project by TaKiyah Wallace. Mrs. Wallace wanted to highlight underrepresented Hispanic, African ancestored, Asian, East Indian, and Native American girls enrolled in Ballet programs across the state of Texas. Initially, photographic casting calls were opened to girls ages 3 to 18 enrolled in ballet in Dallas, Houston, and, Austin, Texas.

Soon, the parents and ballerinas alike were overwhelmed with excitement to finally have a spotlight on people of color in the world of ballet. However, something else happened. The casting call information was spread outside of the initial target area.

As countless inquiries rolled in from all over the United States, Mrs. Wallace’s photography project was transformed into something larger. Every inquiry captured a shared passion beyond imagination and a greater purpose was unearthed. The project was then redefined as a movement in performing arts and its website set to become the premier information source for ballerinas of color.

Well, I saw on Instagram that Brown Girls Do Ballet was coming to my city to do a photo shoot, and of course, you know who signed up.  So, the week before school was out, on a Sunday afternoon, TaKiyah Wallace, came to town and my parents brought me to the botanical gardens downtown where we took pictures for her website and Instagram.  There were other girls there getting their pictures taken as well – one from Kansas and another was from Texas.  It was great fun!  I am waiting for her to post the pictures she took to Instagram and her website.  Stay tuned and if you love dance or the arts in general, please support Brown Girls Do Ballet.

2015 OKC Ballet

This is my dance picture from this year.  I am in Division 3 and we wear uniforms at this school, so the color of the Division 3 leotards is Royal Blue.

In this year’s recital, I performed in a ballet dance called “Festa” to the music of La Travia by Giuseppe Verdita Act II – Libiamo ne’lieti calici (Brindisi), composed  by Giuseppe Verdi.

I also performed in a jazz dance called “Rumours” to the song “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You.”  It’s actually a song by Adele, but our version was sung by the cast of Glee.

2015 Liebster Award

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Hi everybody,

I know, I know……………long time, no blog.  I’ve been pretty busy for a twelve year old.  Last month I only found the time to write two blogs, and I have a lot to tell you.  I promise I’ll do better.  May was a busy and exciting month for me.  In my next blog post, I’ll tell you about the end of the school year and my first end-of-year dance recital at my “new” studio (which I guess isn’t new anymore), and a bunch of other things.  But first, I want to tell you about the Liebster Award.  This award was created to help “Discover New Blogs.” The Liebster Award is a way to give lesser known bloggers a boost and to help them gain readership.  I was nominated by a nice lady who writes a really cool blog called “Life in the Front Seat.” I am supposed to answer the following questions and post them to my blog.

  1. How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what is it about?
    “What Ainsley Likes” is the name of my blog. Obviously, my name is Ainsley and my blog is dedicated to all of the things I like.  I use it as a way to express myself, to talk about the things I do on a regular basis, to talk about the things that I am thinking and what I care about, and to explore and discover interesting things in life.
  1. Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
    My blogging inspiration comes from all of the things in my life. I gather inspiration and ideas from school, dance, friends, family and everyday life.  I love clothes.  I love holidays.  I love to read.  And I really like reading the news on the Internet, so I try to discover something interesting about those things and post them to my blog.
  1. Can you give 11 random facts about yourself? 
    I love to dance.I love fashion.
    My mom calls me a clothes horse!
    I’m an awesome reader. I can read up to two books a week depending on what else I have going on.
    I love arts and crafts.
    I have a very close knit family.
    I have a dog named Ziggy.
    I started playing the clarinet this year. Still not sure if I like it yet.
    My favorite color is pink.
    I like to play Trivia Crack on my I-phone.
    I like to try new things at least once.
    I have a large doll collection, especially American Girl Dolls.
  1. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2014?
    I danced in a professional ballet production for the first time, The Nutcracker. I had a small part, but it was very exciting to dance with professional ballet dancers.
  1. What is it you love most about blogging?
    Blogging gives me a way to express myself. I love to write.  And what better way than to write about everyday things.  I also have started getting into cooking (simple things, of course).  I craft too.  My blog gives me a way to share what I like to do.  I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet other people and make new friends from blogging.
  1. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
    The first thing I would wish for is MORE WISHES!
    Then I would wish for world peace. I do not like to see people suffer.
    Of course, who wouldn’t want a million dollars? So, I’d wish for M – O – N – E – Y!!
  1. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
    I would like to visit France. According to Forbes Magazine, France has some of the most beautiful cities in the world.  They are also known for their awesome clothes, especially Paris.
  1. What are you currently watching or reading?
    I read a lot of books. There’s a library around the corner from my house so it’s very convenient for me to get books.  I’m currently reading Little Women.  I have two shows I like to watch…The Voice, which just ended, and Dance Moms, of course.
  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
    I love living in the United States. I hope to one day be able to live in New York City and be a famous ballerina like Misty Copeland.
  1. What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
    I go in my room or find a quiet place and read. Sometimes I like to take a long bath, but after about an hour, my brother always yells from the hallway, “Your spa day is over, Ainsley!  Get out of the bathroom!”
  1. Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?
    In 20 years, I hope to be in the middle of a dance career! When I am finished dancing, I will go to college and study dance performance and sports medicine or nutrition so that I can go back and help dancers with their health, including physical problems, injuries, and managing their bodies and their weight.

I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Award.  Thank you to Adrianne for nominating me for this award.  It is an honor that she likes my blog. You should check out her blog. “Life in the Front Seat.”

Enough about me… let’s talk about this Liebster Award.  The rest of this Liebster fun involves nominating other bloggers and their blogs.

I’d like to nominate
John Hansen, Julia Byers,  and Kira Budge at “Teens Can Write, Too
Chandelle at “seed & feather
Ava at “OMG! All the Cool Girls: Girls, Tween, Teen Fashion Blog

Here’s what you need to do if you accept the nomination.  You’ll need to answer the eleven questions listed below in an upcoming post.  Be sure to comment here and let me know that you’ve posted.  I’d love to read it!  In your post, please link back to me (linking to this post would probably be most helpful to trace the Liebster trail).

You’ll also need to nominate bloggers for the award in your post.  Your main criteria is that the blog needs to have less than 200 followers on your social media platform of choice and that you need to love that blog!  Just be sure that you notify them of their nominations and that they have the link to your post so they’ll know what this Liebster Award is all about.

Here are your questions:

  1. How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what is it about?
  2. Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
  3. Can you give 11 random facts about yourself?
  4. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2014?
  5. What is it you love most about blogging?
  6. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
  7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
  8. What are you currently watching or reading?
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  10. What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
  11. Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?