Last OOTD for the Month of August

When I first saw these shorts I knew I had to have them!  They remind me of our trip to Disney World last summer.

DSCF4372a DSCF4373a

DSCF4377a                                            DSCF4375a

DSCF4390 DSCF4395

Apt. 9® Structured Shirt in New White– Kohl’s
Disney’s Minnie Mouse Collection by LC Lauren Conrad Polka-Dot Soft Shorts in Navy Blue – Kohl’s (Sold Out Online)
Kimchi Blue Elastic Cross-Strap Flat in Nude – Urban Outfitters

Outfit of the Day

Looking swaggy again today!  Preppy with my button down pin-striped shirt and Bermuda shorts, girly with the pops of color (especially the pink), and rocking a super cute outfit for back to school!

DSCF4339b   DSCF4321c

DSCF4333c     DSCF4317c

Apt. 9® Structured Shirt in Pink Stripe– Kohl’s
Apt. 9® Solid Bermuda Shorts in Hypnotic Blue – Kohl’s
Joe’s Jeans Women’s Kitty III Ballet Flat in Crimson Red – Amazon
Merona Mini Backpack in Pink – Target

Back to School and Back to the Grind or Otherwise Checkin’ My Fresh and Gettin’ My Swagger Back!!!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote a blog post.  My vacation was a little short-lived.  A week ago yesterday (last Monday) was the first day of dance class.  This year, I am going to ballet three times a week and jazz class once a week.  Also, new this year is a character class.  I had to buy a special pair of dance shoes and a character skirt for that class.  Character dancing is defined as “a style of ballet deriving inspiration from national or folk dances, or interpreting and representing a particular profession, mode of living, or personality. The movements used tend to be less stylized than in classical ballet, allowing greater individual expression and diversity.”  That’s exactly how my dance teacher described it – as a cross between folk dancing and ballet.  It takes place one night a week after ballet class.  This past Saturday, auditions for The Nutcracker were held!  I was in the audition for ages 11 – 13 year olds, but then me and three other girls in my age division got a call back to attend the audition for ages 14 and up.  I hope that’s a good sign and maybe we landed parts that are usually reserved for the older girls.  But like my mom always says, “manage your expectations and then you won’t be disappointed.”  So, we’ll see what happens!  Either way, I am happy that I got a call back and I felt like I was able to demonstrate more of my technique and what I am capable of as a dancer than in last year’s audition.  Also, Thursday of last week was the first day of school.  Yes, so soon……….summer’s over and school has started!  I can hardly believe it, but I’m in seventh grade this year.  I am not new to middle school anymore, so I’m glad that’s all behind me.  I have harder classes this year:  Pre-AP English, Pre-AP Eastern Hemispheres Geography, and my least favorite, Algebra I.  I’m still in band.  I’ll have to admit, I kind of neglected playing my clarinet this summer.  Now, I have to get used to playing every day again.  Well, I’ve got to get used to it again because it’s back to school and back to the grind!

There is one part of starting school that I love, love, love – shopping for back to school clothes, of course!  I have always gotten my clothes from big department stores like Dillard’s, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Kohl’s.  And if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know that I love shopping from catalogs and less well-known online stores that you won’t find in the mall – like Land’s End, Hanna Andersson, Chasing Fireflies, Garnet Hill Kids, CWD Kids, and Mini Boden.  Well, one of the things that I am begrudgingly coming to terms with is the fact that a lot of these stores with specialty clothing for kids tend to make clothing for girls up to about the age of 12.  And much to my fashion dismay, I’m 12, quickly approaching 13!!!  Just like in the big department stores, the girl’s department stops at sizes 12 to 14 for the most part, sometimes you can find clothes in a size 16.  I’ve been fighting it for a while now, but the tween fashions that I love so much – preppy, girly, and cute – are only located in the girl’s department.  And with a closet full of size 14 and 16 dresses, I have outgrown the girl’s department!!!  I tried the junior’s department at a couple of stores and I was really disappointed.  Where was the preppy attire?  The girly-girl clothes?  All the cute dresses?  The junior’s department was a real drag!  I couldn’t find anything that I really liked.  Nothing that represented my fashion style.  Blue jeans, skinny jeans, ripped jeans, acid washed jeans and graphic t-shirts are just not my style.  And jeggings, forget about it!  I love my leggings, don’t get me wrong.  I live in leggings, but jeggings, they just seem weird to me and we do have a dress code at my school.  Wearing leggings and jeggings with shirts that don’t cover your behind is a no-no and will get you sent home from school.  It would just make me feel uncomfortable anyway.  I like my leggings with dresses – preppy dresses, girly dresses, cute dresses!  And I don’t like my hiney hanging out either!  Junior’s department equal EPIC FAIL!!!  So, what’s a fashionista to do?  Well, after pouting and resisting, and trying unsuccessfully to squeeze into clothes that I am too big to fit into nowadays, and having no luck with junior’s clothes, I decided to do the only thing I could do – as my brother would say I had to “check my fresh,” you know “get my swagger back.”  I had to reassess my fashion sense and change up my style a bit.

So, fashionista girl talked to fashionista mom who had an idea.  Why not shop in the women’s department?  Hmmmm, old people’s clothes, I said?  How am I going to find anything preppy, girly, or cute there?  My mom said it’s also called “Misses,” which still means old, but not too old, just not too young either.  I was not sold.  So, after we found just one dress and one sweater in the junior’s department at J.C. Penney, I decided to give it a try.  And guess what?  We found the rest of my clothes at Kohl’s, in the women’s department!  We were shopping in Kohl’s for two hours, in and out of sections, trying on clothes that were younger looking so I didn’t look like I was going to work in a business suit, instead of to middle school.  Some of the things I liked looked too old for me when I tried them on, so it was hard work finding just the right thing.  But, we found a lot of really cute stuff.  Take a look at my first day of school outfit below.

DSCF4299  DSCF4303  DSCF4304

DSCF4281

   DSCF4262 DSCF4250a

DSCF4308b

by&by Sleeveless Solid Chiffon Halter-Neck Dress with Tribal-Inspired Belt – J.C. Penney

Arizona Long-Sleeve Hooded Cardigan – J.C. Penney

Kimchi Blue Elastic Cross-Strap Flat – Urban Outfitters

Mossimo Supply Company Crossbody Bag – Target (2014)

Guess what everybody?  I got my fashion swagger back!

The History of Ballet

Hello everyone!  Long time, no blog.  I’ve been having a very busy, yet relaxing summer.  It’s almost time to go back to school and for dance classes to start-up again.  Because I am a dancer and talk so much about my love for dance, I decided to write a series of blog posts about the history of different kinds of dance.  For my first post in the series, I am going to start with the form of dance I love the most – ballet!  I started ballet at the age of five and I didn’t much appreciate it in the beginning.  Now, I go to a dance studio where the main focus is ballet technique.  Now I am so much better at it because it’s all that I do.  The history of ballet is as interesting as the art form itself.  The word ballet comes from French and was borrowed into English around the 17th century.  The French word in turn has its origins in Italian balletto, but uses the shortened version of ballo (dance).

Ballet ultimately traces back to Italian ballare, meaning to dance.  According to Wikipedia, ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries and spread from Italy to France.  Catherine de’ Medici and Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx were responsible for presenting the first court ballet ever which applied poetry, dance, music and set design to a storyline.  In the late 17th century Louis XIV founded the Académie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opera), within which emerged the first professional theatrical ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet.  The dominant use of French in the vocabulary of ballet reflects this history.  Theatrical ballet soon became an independent form of art and spread from Europe to other nations.  The Royal Danish Ballet and the Imperial Ballet of the Russian Empire were founded in the 1740s.  In 1907 the Russian ballet moved back to France.

Soon ballet spread around the world with the formation of new companies, including the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, and many others.  In the 20th century, different styles of ballet continued to develop.  The United States choreographer, George Balanchine, developed what is now known as neoclassical ballet.  Subsequent developments have included contemporary ballet and post-structural ballet.  I want to be a ballerina when I grow up.  My favorite ballerina, Misty Copeland, was just named American Ballet Theatre’s first female African-American principal dancer.  I find her to be very inspirational.  Because of her late start in learning how to dance ballet (she was 13) and her race and body type, she is what’s known as an unlikely ballerina.  Keep reading my blog to learn about other forms of dance.
 

This is me in my ballet costume for a group dance I was in during my 5th grade year back in 2013 – 2014.  We danced to Discombobulate.  It is the theme song from the movie, Sherlock Holmes.

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!

good-grades-report-card

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!

DSCF3517

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.

DSCF3528

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.