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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Workin' 9-to-5

This coming Monday I rejoin the corporate workforce! Hoorah!

There are many reasons why I'm excited, ranging from the superficial - office fashion, holla! - to the down and dirty - there's a big debt monster that's about to receive a one-two punch from this dancer. The past three months have not been easy, financially or emotionally, but I'm very happy that all of my hours at the library and infinite resume editing is finally moving me forward!

My new job is in the financial sector. Over the course of my job search (and still even now) people asked me why I don't "teach dance or something". Well, most teaching jobs are part time. With part time hours comes part time pay. I have big girl bills, therefore I need a big girl job. That's my reality.

Oh, and there's that benefits thing. My RA doesn't mess around (remember this post?).

I want this, too. I am more than ready to close the chapter of being a struggling college student. I'm ready to put on my big girl knickers, add to my mad professional skills and take care of business.

This doesn't mean I can't or won't continue to dance, choreograph and teach while holding a full time job. Quite the contrary. I've done it before and I can do it again.

And! I am giddy that I will be able to afford to take class once again in my near future. Dance classes aren't cheap, y'all. While doing ballet barre in my apartment is by no means a waste of time or effort, I need to get into a studio. I need a marley floor. I need a real barre (chairs and kitchen counters only work so well). I need big mirrors. I need to get back into dance shape. And gosh darn it, I need my people.

These people.

Lots to do this weekend to get ready, including plan my first-day outfit. Very important, people, very important.

Up next: Hungry Dancer returns! And goes international.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday? No thanks

Yesterday was a lovely Thanksgiving, probably one of the best I've ever had. This was slightly surprising, as I expected to be homesick and sad not to be spending it with my family for the first time ever. But I wasn't. Yes, of course I would have loved to see my family and I do miss them, but Thanksgiving was perfect because it was relaxed and chill. It was quite nice to just do and be. In that rare space of peace, I was able to genuinely reflect on what I'm grateful for.

Today we got up at 10 o'clock. I made pumpkin pancakes topped with cranberry sauce. We watched some Food Network shows. I finally showered and dressed around noon. We talked with Hubs' family for awhile, ate some lunch and then walked to our neighborhood coffee shop, where we are now. We'll head home, gnosh on leftovers for dinner and continue to relax into the evening.

But wait, no shopping??

I don't do Black Friday. At least not in the wake-up-and-go-shop-at-3am sense (scoring deals online seems to be the safe, sensible alternative, imo). Not only do I find it completely unappealing to wake up at an ungodly hour to obtain sweet deals on the latest must-have gadgets, but I also hate the mentality behind the madness that BF has become. I just can't get on board with the out-of-control materialism that BF has bred in our society. Um, hello America? Literally stampeding over each other and even threatening to shoot fellow shoppers over iPads and iPods?? Total lamesauce. I don't want to be a part of that.

Okay, okay. I know that's the extreme-case scenario. I know (I hope) that most people are able to buy their dirt-cheap plasma TVs without imposing bodily harm on those around them. And c'mon, I'm not above the thrill of snagging shiney, pretty things on the cheap. I just take issue with how blown out of proportion BF has become... I remember years ago it was "stores open at 7am"... then "6am"... and earlier and earlier until encroaching into Thanksgiving evening itself. Let's find a little balance folks.

Alright, off my soapbox. If you're a loyal BF shopper, shop away my friend. It's just not for me. I'd rather kick it with loved ones and take care of me with some much-needed R&R. If I am in the market to shop for something, I'll do it online. Or wait for another day. If I'm not busy spending time with my peeps. Or taking a nap.

Like I said, this has been, and continues to be, one of the most satisfying holidays I've ever had. Let's see if I can maintain this through the New Year...

Happy Weekend!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Throwback Tuesday: Swing out!

"Throwback Thursday" has a much nicer ring to it, but seeing as I'll be feeding my Hungry Dancer beast with turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberries galore this coming Thursday, I had to move it up a couple of days. Please forgive the the alliteration fail.

Long before my days of the 'tard and tights, I was a retro gal! My dancing days started with Lindy Hop and Charleston, getting down to the tunes of Louis Prima, Lionel Hampton and Count Basie. That music still is and probably will forever be my all-time favorite.

A friend posted these pics on FB yesterday and a wave of nostalgia crashed over me. Such amazing memories! This group was my dance troupe, The Jumpin' JiveCats, based in Fort Collins, Colorado. We taught swing dance lessons and workshops and we were hired for all kinds of gigs. We danced our little hearts out, sharing the love of the Lindy Hop with anyone and everyone.

Occasionally we branched out... This was our Moulin Rouge New Year's Eve event. Still one of my faves!
And in action...

Nowadays, many of us are scattered all over the country, living all kinds of lives. Some of us are still dancing, some of us not as much anymore... but I know each one of us still holds a special place in our hearts for Lindy, our first love!

Dedicated to all the 'Cats, past and present - I love you guys!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Yes, even Batman needs MS Office

What a week, y'all! I was blessed with two job interviews (woot!!), both of which I felt went rather well. Such a good feeling after three months of searching, fretting and doubting.

The stress that accompanied the wonderful interviews kicked my butt! Just like before I go onstage, I am one Nervous Nellie before a performance. It took me a full 24 hours, complete with napping, comfort food and bubble bath therapy, to fully decompress and return all systems to normal.

I do have some positive news on the job front, but you're going to have to wait for the full reveal. I want all the details on lock down first before I dish.


No surprise, of course, I'm already daydreaming about a little wardrobe revamp shopping spree, as this spending freeze will soon be thawed. Nothing crazy - we still have a budget and debt to knock out, after all. But that's whyRoss and T.J. Maxx were invented, am I right?!

I might drag Hubs out window shopping this weekend to plan my spree strategy. He's a good sport, though, I'm sure he'll play along... I have my ways :)

What's on your weekend agenda? Cooking? Shopping? Napping? I support all three!

Happy weekend!


Friday, November 9, 2012

PSA: Dating a Dancer

What a week, huh?? The week has been full and my weekend is not much of an exception with my first official dance event in the 'Burgh happening tomorrow. I get to don a leotard once again! This is bittersweet enthusiasm, ladies and gents. Wearing a 'tard for the first time after a sabbatical is always a little traumatizing (well, hello there double butt!).

In honor of dancers and all our quirky charms, I give to you a little glimpse of life with a dancer. While it's specifically referring to dating a dancer, it applies to being friends with a dancer, too, as my former roommate confirmed. My lovely blogging friend Dancing Branflakes posted this on her Facebook wall this morning and it's just too great not to share!

No, I don't want to talk about Black Swan. Ever.

My husband confirmed the entire list, btw.

For all you singles out there secretly hoping to date a dancer, consider this your PSA. You're welcome. But don't be afraid, we're perfectly lovable. After all, Hubs did put a ring on it :)

Happy Friday & Weekend!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mind games

Last week, while lunging, planking and squatting (and not too happy about it), I had an epiphany. Now, I'm one of those weirdo people who gets really jazzed by a hard workout, one that simply kicks my butt. I don't feel it's worth my time otherwise. Another confession? I really love the gym.

So if I love the gym so much and love getting schooled, then why the above stated unhappiness? I felt weak and more fatigued than usual and I really don't like feeling that way. Frankly, that's lamesauce in my book. My epiphany: I am not in shape and this is not okay. If I'm to call myself a dancer and an athlete, I need to act like one. Which means getting my sweat on even when I don't feel like it.

Therein lies the true battle. We all know how this goes. Whether elite athlete or recreational gym rat, each one of us has a bag of excuses which we reach into when faced with the choice to exercise or not. The truth? Not one of those excuses are legit*. It's our own brain playing tricks.

So how do we beat ourselves at our own mind games? Throw some game right back! It doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some tried and true tricks I use on myself.
  • Pack your workout bag and carry it along with your briefcase or backpack. When it's t-minus an hour until gym time and your excuses begin to surface, tell yourself you didn't carry around that extra bag all day for nothing.
  • Make a gym date with a friend. You don't want to be that person who stands up your friend, do you? The power of accountability is amazing!
  • Sign up for a race or any other kind competition. Setting a tangible goal (and paying registration fees!) is solid motivation.
  • Take pics of yourself in your underwear. Yes, completely awkward and will make you squirm. But worth it! This is one of the best motivators to don't think, DO. (But keep it classy, folks. Those pics are just for you, not the interwebs at large.)

Images via Pinterest

What are your fool-proof tricks to getting yourself to that class, on that trail or popping in that workout video? Dish! I have a feeling we all could use a few more defenses in our arsenal.

Happy Tuesday!


*Disclaimer: being ill or injured are legit reasons to pause. I am not encouraging exercise while on the sidelines. Be smart. Always check with your doctor if uncertain!