... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh, and P.S...

It snowed all over Colorado today except Fort Collins!!! Down where my grandma lives, just south of Denver, they got, oh, 8-10 inches. Parts of Colorado Springs got a foot. The interstate from here north to Wyoming was closed because of ice - um, hello, that's just east of town!! It went around us, completely - hmph! (*pouting*) This is mutiny!

Buzz, buzz, buzz

That's me, a busy little bee today.

I started my day attending church with some friends. Haven't done that for awhile. My soul and heart need some TLC right now, so it was good.

I drove over to the UCA to practice my pedagogy lesson that I'm supposed to teach tomorrow, but the studios were locked. I was getting hungry anyway, so I drove home and ate lunch instead. My stomach never lets me down.

Then I took care of some domestic duties while lunch digested - groceries, laundry and dishes.

While waiting on laundry to dry, I sat down and knocked out a draft of my modern final paper. I'll revise and finish that tomorrow night.

Practiced my pedagogy lesson in my room.

Ate a snack and caught the Broncos' halftime report - they were up against the NY Jets 27-14 (they ended up winning 34-17).

More Pedagogy practice and then I typed up the lesson to turn in to my teacher. That freakin' took forever, ugh.

Got hungry again, so I practiced more Pedagogy in the kitchen while I cooked and ate. Ahh, multitasking!

Then the fun began - I got in touch with my inner arts-and-crafts-kid and starting making my mask. I love art projects! I didn't finish, but I will tomorrow night. It looks pretty sweet, methinks. Half is now covered in ivy leaves and tomorrow I'll cover the other half in twigs and other dead foliage I find outside (the theme is the duality of nature, or the opposite seasons of summer and winter - yay for abstract art!). Watched/listened to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King while I played with hot glue and plastic ivy leaves.

After Frodo saved Middle Earth and returned to the Shire, I talked with my best friend on the phone for over an hour. And now here I am, posting this rambling blog and winding down for the evening. I think I'll do some bedtime yoga and journaling before I go to sleep.

My week of laziness has come to an end, *sigh*. Time to return to my crammed schedule of work, senior concert week, end-of-the-semester projects, and finals. Giddy up...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting things done

I've been busy all day taking care of things on the to-do list. I sent out a couple emails. Bought a mask and supplies for my mask/duet project. Spent three hours at the Wild Boar (my current fave coffee shop) working on my Choreography journal. I just took a yoga/meditation break, and now back to work. Items remaining on today's list: write a blog post (check!), revise my mask sketch, find a song for the duet, and maybe write a little more on my Modern paper. We'll see what I get through by bedtime...

Friday, November 28, 2008


Terrible things are happening right now in India. My heart goes out to the people who have lost loved ones in the attacks, people who are injured, the people still being held hostage... this is no good, people, no good.

I just saw coverage on CNN that a young rabbi and his wife were recently killed, orphaning their toddler son (who escaped to safety with the help of a nanny, thank goodness). From what I understand, the attacks are being specifically directed at the Jewish community. No matter what the terrorists' agenda is, no matter how much they "justify" their actions, it's all wrong. These attacks are against humanity and all that is good. I am truly saddened by how human beings treat other human beings.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Merci, gracias, danke, grazie...

I had Thanksgiving dinner at my dad's house today with him and my two brothers. It was just the four of us, which was just right. I wasn't really in the mood for a big dinner with lots of people. The food was great and it was nice to spend quality time with my family. We had some really good heart-to-heart discussions, which we haven't had in a long time.

Today was bittersweet, though. Life has thrown me another curve ball that I'm trying to figure out how to swing at. And to be quite honest, my heart just isn't into the holidays. I broke down at dinner, much to my dismay because I didn't want to be the rain on the parade. But my dad and brothers were so great - they surrounded me in one big embrace and just let me cry. It felt so good to be supported because some days I am so tired and I don't feel like I can support myself anymore.

I considered making a list of things I'm grateful for for today's post. The list would contain the typical things - my family, friends, dance, my job, a roof over my head, my health - all of which I truly am grateful, but that general list felt trite. That list would have made me feel like I was just going through the motions but not really feeling it in my heart. I wanted something real, something specific. My family's honest love and support is what did it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dream On

This is one of my all-time favorite songs. iTunes doesn't have the original 1973 recording, so I will have to find an alternative (good ol' fashioned CD, perhaps?).

It's one of my life anthems, if you will, and someday I'd like to choreograph something to it. Enjoy...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What day is it??

Thanks to being on Fall Break, I'm in a total time warp. This morning I was convinced that today is Wednesday, and yesterday I thought it was Saturday.

I have a ton of school work to do this week - two projects, a paper, and a journal - all due when I return next week. Have I started any of these yet? Nope. I panicked about that this morning, thanks to thinking it was Wednesday - "Omigod, it's Wednesday and I haven't started working on anything!!" So, when I get home from work this afternoon, it's go time.

Having papers and projects to do over over break is not ideal and negates the idea of a break, but I'm totally fine with it this year because it means I will have less to worry about come Finals Week. A couple of the things mentioned above were moved from finals week to next week by my teachers, and I was very happy about it. This means I should be done with finals before noon on Tuesday of that week - totally worth it!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oopsy daisy

I forgot to post something yesterday! I was going to last night when I got home from hip hop, but got distracted and forgot. Oh well.

Hip hop was a little different than usual last night. My teacher, D, was out of town promoting a friend's hip hop documentary. The original sub teacher he had lined up was unavailable (L from the Bronx), so instead, we had a capoeirista come from Canto do Galo, one of the Capoeira schools in Denver.

I HEART capoeira. I wish to the dance gods that a school existed in Fort Collins, but no such luck. I would most definitely train if one did.

Lately I've been thinking ahead to next semester's Studio Night concert, the student-produced dance concert we put on each semester. I've been thinking about choreographing a piece that involves capoeira and African movement. This would be rather challenging, and when I think about it, I get overwhelmed because I'm thinking so big (in typical Jessi fashion). While I know some capoeira, my "training" is only the itty bitty tip of the iceberg. And I would never want to disrespect the art by pretending I know more about it than I really do. I will have to keep thinking on this, and talk to D about it, see what he thinks.

In the meantime, maybe I could make it down to Denver some Saturday for Canto do Galo's free intro class. Another opportunity to learn just a little bit more never hurts.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Short & sweet

It's just an ordinary day, nothing much to report. I slept in, I'm cleaning up the apartment, hopefully I will get some work hours in, and then dinner at my mom's tonight. Just taking care of me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

At last


The week has been long and hard. I feel beat up and very tired. Now all I have to do is make it through this afternoon, and then I can do what I've really wanted to do all week: sleep for days and days...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A little dance, a little not

I know this blog is to share my adventures as a dance major, but some days I don't have anything new to say. Let's see, what can I come up with?

Modern went great today, although my poor feet and knees are still consistently getting beat up. Long gone are the days of pretty feet, ya'll. Doing a pedicure is pointless - the paint gets chipped and rubbed off, my toenails often crack and break... The most I ever do is keep the nails short and lotion my feet up so they don't crack and split, which has happened and hurts quite a bit. Lovely image, yes? :P Choreography was a little tough, only because Professor C wanted us to do all sorts of improv, but none of us had the energy or creative juices. We're all tired and ready for break! One more day - I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

The weather outside is cold and wintry. Surprisingly, I love it! I'm not usually a cold weather fan, but people change moods, I guess. Itty bitty snowflakes keep falling, and I keep begging the clouds to just release them all on us! I want to go up to the mountains and go snowshoeing or sledding or something, then come home for something warm in my tummy... which brings me to the fact that the cold puts me in the mood to cook like crazy. I would totally love to make a batch of my winter minestrone, but I don't have the groceries or the funds to do it right now. Payday tomorrow, whew!

The weather also puts me in the holiday spirit... kinda hard to catch the spirit when it's 75 degrees out there, like it was yesterday. It's November and I live in Colorado, for pete's sake. Today I've wanted to cook, bake, listen to holiday music, go Christmas shopping, the whole bit. I should calm down - Thanksgiving first, Jessi.

I'm at work, so I guess I should get back to it. Ciao for now...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A little ahead of myself here

It's never good when you think it's Friday when it's only Wednesday... holy shmoley, I've had the Friday feeling all day today: after class, when I left work, on my home from rehearsal... no bueno.

But the day is over now, thank goodness. It's been a long one and I'm pooped. Last night wasn't so great for sleep - couldn't fall asleep, and when I finally did I had bad dreams all night, the whole bit. I'm hoping the sleep gods have mercy on me tonight. I've appeased them with sacrifices, so I have hope... nighty nite!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A little TLC

You know, I've been struggling lately with motivation and confidence in my dancing. It started about a month ago. I'm not really sure why or how, but I've been experiencing some serious self-doubt.

In a couple weeks, the three seniors who are graduating this semester will have their senior dance concert (the equivalent of a senior thesis or project). I'm dancing in one of the ensembles, and tonight we had a tech rehearsal for the dance faculty.

After the group I'm dancing with finished, one of my friends who had been watching said, "Jezzebel" (his nickname for me), "I just love watching you dance." It was so sweet and unexpected, I got all flustered! I thanked him and sat down really quickly - I think I was blushing because everyone else was sitting around and heard it. When they all had gone to get ready for their ensemble, I gave him a hug, thanked him, and told him how his compliment made my heart grow just a little bit bigger. It's the little things...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dance = joy

Today I watched students in the "Understanding Dance" class perform their big semester choreography project. The class is for non-dance majors (although some dance majors do take it). It was so much fun to watch what they created. Some students were very timid and others completely hammed it up, but either way all of us dance majors who watched cheered them on and hopefully encouraged them to just have fun. I think they all did a great job!

Their professor, Mr. T, said something that I strongly believe to be true: no matter an individual's skill level or "expertise" with dance, dance touches something within us that brings us unadulterated joy. And this joy is universal, bridging gender, race, culture, sexes, generations, etc.

I experience this joy when I'm doing hip hop, swing, and African. I feel it from time to time in modern, but ballet hasn't yet touched this part of me. A big contributing factor is the music - if there is a drumbeat or some kind of hard-hitting rhythmic percussion, it moves me from within. It's like the music is my heartbeat and I can't help but move.

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, summed it up well: "Get up offa that thing - dance and you'll feel better!"

Sunday, November 16, 2008


For some people, Sundays are church days. (Disclaimer to any non-Christian-tradition readers out there: I realize there are religions that observe the sabbath on different days, in different ways. This is from my Christian perspective background, so please bear with me.) I grew up attending church on Sunday mornings myself, but things have since changed for various reasons. I won't discuss my religious and spiritual evolution over the years - that's a long blog in and of itself - but I want to comment on what church means to me now.

I've come to believe church to be a place where an individual seeks and attains spiritual fulfillment. For some that may be a traditional church building with pews and a pulpit. For others it can mean a walk along the beach, sitting atop a mountain or simply just taking a walk. My church? Hip hop on Sunday nights.


Yes, hip hop. I've been attending Sunday evening hip hop classes in Denver for a little over 2 years now, and each and every time has been church for me. It purges bad moods, bad attitudes, and anything else I may be harboring. It's cathartic. It fills up my well. I can leave for Denver in a bad mood, not wanting to make the drive down there, but each and every time I come home in high spirits.

I didn't make it down today. Darn school deadlines...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My day off

Saturdays are my designated day off from dancing and physical activity. My body needs rest and time to repair so it can keep going strong week to week. I might do some light stretching, but not much beyond that.

My Saturdays typically entail working a few hours, tackling some schoolwork if I'm motivated and disciplined (which isn't often, actually), and hanging out (which does happen often).

This weekend is quieter than normal, which is nice for a change. Most the time my schedule is jam-packed. I'm so busy throughout the week that I think I have all this time over the weekend, so I fill my schedule with all sorts of to-do's, so it just ends up like my week! And this includes social activities. I tend to forget to allot downtime for myself. Saying yes to everything is a hard habit to break, and it doesn't help that I'm such a busy-body-social-butterfly type. If I don't have much going on, I tend to feel guilty about it, thinking "Oh my god, I shouldn't just sit here and relax, there are things to do!!" It tends to be a recipe for burnout. I guess I just need to learn to allow myself downtime sans guilt. It's a learning process, that's for sure.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Little gifts

Today I was given a little gift in the form of normal ballet class being cancelled for a floor barre day, which just means a special stretch day. It was exactly what I needed.

Funny how God/the universe/fill-in-your-higher-power-here just knows what you need, and if you ask, there's a darn good chance you'll get it. I haven't had the best week. Really, I haven't had the best past couple of weeks, thanks to a li'l personal matter. I'm definitely not my usual happy, spunky self these days. Today was no exception. As I was driving to ballet, trying to keep it together so I didn't show up to class with puffy, red eyes, I sent up a little prayer to please just help me make it through the next couple of hours without a glitch. I needed ballet to take it easy on me today.

I got there, started gearing up in my tights and leotard when I overheard something wonderful: "Today is a stretch day. Professor Ballet said so yesterday." Really?? Music to my ears and relief for my body and mind! Stretching felt so good. It was meditative, and I can honestly say I felt a teensy bit better as I drove back to work. At least the knot in my stomach is gone for now, and no overwhelming urge to start sobbing.

Oh, and my knee started bothering me yesterday, too, which has me worried. So the stretch day gift was two-fold for Long Legs here. Thank you!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just checking in...

Man, I am a bad, bad blogger... I read other people's blogs daily, and if my regulars don't post daily, I get impatient waiting for their next installment. I'm such a blogging hypocrite! (Okay, so this makes it seem like I'm bonafide spazzing out about this, but really, I'm just being dramatic in true Jessi fashion).

It's not like I don't have anything to say or talk about. Blog-worthy things happen everyday in my li'l dance world... classes, rehearsals, choreography, projects, professors who are really starting to tick me off. But for some reason, I just don't sit down at my computer and write it down. Isn't this blog supposed to be a chronicle of my adventures as a dance major??

Well, it's NaBloPoMo, a.k.a. National Blog Posting Month. While November is almost half over and I've missed 12 days worth of posting, I will join up in the spirit of my blog - better late than never!

Here's to my attempt to post something everyday for the rest of the month! Wheeeeeeeee!