Monday, January 13, 2014

Long Time, No Talk....my adventures throughout the past year and welcoming 2014!

  Yes, I know, I know, it's been 10 months since my last post. Life has preoccupied time. But I'm back to fill you in on the adventures of my post-grad life and what has been going on with my aspirations this past year.
  But first, let's back up to last May...Graduation!  Man, what an amazing, exciting, emotional weekend! After being given the honor of receiving the President's Award for Academic Excellence in the School of Arts and Humanities, the Dance Dept Nu Delta Alpha Academic Excellence Award, and the Etoile Leadership Award, I was so thankful for all the people you supported me through the past 4 years and beyond and proud of the (sometimes insanely stressful ) hard work I had committed to my undergrad career. As I walked across the stage at the Bayfront Convention Center, I had numerous flashbacks: back to move-in day freshman year, back to that crazy party with my friends sophomore year, back to the all-night organic chem study session junior year, and my first legal night to The Stone that senior year. I'm  not going to lie, there were moments I had to hold back tears of joy! After receiving two diplomas to represent the culmination of my double major work for the past four years (I was the first, graduate to receive their diplomas!), I smiled for dozens of pictures with my friends and for the first time in four years of tiresome work, I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the last 12 hours I had with my friends; a 12 hours I will always treasure.



The next day was move-out day, or should I say "Goodbye-to-life-as-we know-it day."  The house we lived in for two years was packed up, our textbooks were sold, and friends went their separate ways, friends that became family over the years. But unfortunately, we had to hug, and hug again, and say goodbye and drive away. Drive away from my home-away-from-home, The Hurst!

  Weeks later, I started my 6 week job as a Residential Counselor for the Boston Ballet Summer Program.  It was an amazing experience and I absolutely loved living in Boston again.  I went to my first Red Sox game, went for daily runs along the Charles River, and even got to take class again in the beautiful Boston Ballet studios.

   Well if you didn't already know, I got the job with Columbus Dance Theatre and in August moved into my apartment (after months of trying to find one!) It was a big step for me.  Despite the disapproval of my parents and family for moving so far away under such conditions, I tried to be positive. I packed up my life and with help from my boyfriend and father, I am still settled here in Columbus.  Believe it or not, the season is already almost half over.  It has thus far been an amazing experience and I have loved the dancing.  I'm so thankful for being given the opportunities to fulfill my dream as a professional dancer.

  Now I know you are all wondering, what about Medical School?!? After putting that part of my dream on hold and giving myself the year to dance, as well as study for the MCAT again, I will be taking my MCAT (for the final time, I promise!) on March 22.  I will hopefully be applying again starting in May and next year hopefully interviewing at schools.  Trying to move closer and closer to my dream :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

An Amazing Spring Break. Back to the Hurst for the Last 10 Weeks Ever!

  My Spring Break experience dancing with the Mercyhurst Choir in Orlando and Tampa, FL was amazing.  Being in the warm weather of 80 degrees and higher each day for a week was such a tease for summer weather.  I met some really fun people on the trip and we even got a standing ovation at the church we performed.  What's even better, I got to experience Disneyworld at the Magic Kingdom for the very first time! It was incredible! I could not believe how much was there and how magical it all seemed.  I even got to meet some famous characters :)




 
   But now that we are back in 30 degree weather here in Erie, it is now time for my final 10 weeks of college in Spring Term.  My other senior friends and I are working on completing our bucket list of different things we have yet to do in Erie and Mercyhurst for the past 4 years.  It is definitely going to be a fun couple weeks!
    As for the future and auditioning, I auditioned for Columbus Dance Theatre last week and was one of two girls who made it all the way to the end of the audition! I really enjoyed the audition and even got to learn a little bit of their repertoire which was great.  I would love to be able to dance for them in their company.  Right now I'm still playing the waiting game and hope to hear from them in around a week.  Cross you fingers for me that I might have a job!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Successful Interview

     This weekend I had my interview for the RA position for the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program.  As an alum of the program myself, I was familiar with the studio and administrators.  It felt great to be back in Boston, which is definitely one of my favorite cities.  I interviewed with the program director and came out of the session feeling very confident.  The program would offer me an intense job for about 5 weeks of my summer with the opportunity to live (for free!) in Boston during that time.  They wanted to check with my references as well as have a personal interview with me so I will hopefully hear about the decision soon.
     Boston has always been a place I wanted to live and now after being back there, I'm really going to consider moving there and finding some dance work down there after graduation, that is if I don't get any other company jobs worthwhile elsewhere. Then who knows, maybe I'll end up at Med School in Boston too! I just love the city atmosphere and the lifestyle there.  Truthfully, if I would have loved to have gone to college there.  Unfortunately, there we no schools there that offered the academics as well as dance like I had wanted.  I hope I at least will get the chance to experience living in Boston again this summer and who knows, that might just be the city meant for me!
 My dad and I at Fanuel Hall

      My parents and I at a celebratory dinner at Legal Seafood :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dancing in Florida during Spring Break!

    7 Days more and I will be traveling down to the Orlando/Tampa area in Florida to perform with the Liturgical Dance Ensemble for Spring Break!  Five dancers (including myself) are traveling with about ten choir singers to perform in a number of Liturgical Performances in churches all around the area in Florida.  We have been rehearsing for about two weeks now and this weekend we will be learning our last dance, along with cleaning some of the other choreography.  This gives us a total of 4 dances we will be performing.
    While down there, we will be staying in this gorgeous villa equipped with 8 bedrooms and 5 baths along with game rooms and two swimming pools.We are also planning on going to Disneyworld! This will be my first time there so it will definitely be an experience. I'm so excited to get to spend some time relaxing, possibly getting a tan and laying by the pool, after the end of my last Winter Term.  Although I will still be working on my Senior Thesis Project, I am looking forward to a much less stressful Spring Break beginning in March.  I will also be auditioning for many more companies in hope to find the best one for myself and hopefully soon will begin looking forward to a new life after graduation.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Save the Last Dance!

This weekend's Raw Edges Performances showcased my last dance performance at Mercyhurst!  The concert was absolutely wonderful with some amazing student and guest artist choreographed pieces that left the audience astounded of the talent fostered in the Mercyhurst Dance Dept.  Although my body was physically exhausted and bruised from all the rehearsal and shows from the weekend,  Raw Edges definitely allowed me to go out with a BANG for my undergraduate dance career.
Photo Credit: Maggie Sullivan
Here you will see the choreography of Jessica Stachelrodt during my last dance on stage at the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

In State of Emergency on Mercyhurst Campus...Erie Festival of Dance proceeds with show

       Mercyhurst Erie campus went into quite a frenzy this past weekend due to water main breaks that left students without running water.  Thursday afternoon, all classes were cancelled through the weekend and students were instructed to evacuate back home or to friend's house nearby because of sanitation and heat issue.  Luckily, our townhouse was not affected more than with low water pressure.  We never lost all water or heat.  With the Erie Festival of Dance set for the D'Angelo Performing Arts Center stage at Mercyhurst, the Erie Dance Consortium had to change the venue to McDowell Intermediate High School here in Erie.  However, this presented a lot of confusion and anxiety for the Mercyhurst students who were planning to perform in the show but were instructed by the administration to evacuate the campus.  Many students were put up in professor's home over the weekend so that they could perform in the shows.  However, SoMar Dance Works had a slight problem with their organization and dancers.  The dance we were supposed to perform called for four of us (me included).  But one dancer had already scheduled her trip home before discovering that the Erie Festival of Dance had in fact not been cancelled, but relocated.  Unfortunately, the one dancer who could not make it was the one dancer who did not have an understudy :/ So throughout the chaos, our directors made the executive decision to let us free for the weekend and they would perform and dance in our place at the show.
        As all shows go on, Erie Festival of Dance was no exception and from the reviews I have read of the performance, it was a success.  But the missed days of rehearsal because of the water problem, the Dance Department is bit nervous about the Raw Edges performances for this weekend.  Extra studio time and rehearsals will undoubtedly be scheduled for this week making "Hell Week" even more stressful.  But with the talented students performing and choreographing, it is sure to be a great show.  In fact, it will be my last show on the Mercyhurst stage because I have decided not to perform in the Spring Dept Concert.  It's very bittersweet but I'm excited to dance in front of my family and friends who are traveling to see me this weekend :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Down, Many More Too Come

Well my first audition is officially over and it went well!  This weekend two friends and I traveled to Northampton, PA to audition for Pennsylvania Classical Ballet.  Along with an hour and half ballet class, we  had to perform a solo variation in front of the the Artistic Directors.  I chose to do the Black Swan variation which was probably one of the more difficult variations performed by the 6 audtionees in our class.  Although they were not handing out contracts this weekend because they wanted to wait until all the audition dates were finished,  I personally thought that I did very well.  They said we should be hearing from them within a month on their decision.  So cross your fingers for me :)  Truthfully, since this audition was only my first one, I am going to hope for the best, but try not to get my hopes up too high just in case.  It would feel great to get offered a contract with them though.  I think the experience was a good confidence booster and preparation for all the other auditions I have lined up.
All my weekends from now until Graduation are officially packed!  Between performances, auditions, and traveling, I will definitely be a very busy girl as I finish my undergraduate career. As I plan my schedule for my last term in college with my advising sessions this week, I'm realizing that I am very prepared to move on with my life from Mercyhurst and show the world what I've got.  Stay tuned for what is to come!