Dance Recital

Today my dance studio had our annual dance recital. I don’t know if any one of you have been through a dance recital, so let me tell you this: it is almost ALWAYS a hectic experience.

The day started relatively smoothly; I arrived on time, my hair and makeup were perfection, and all of my costumes and shoes were present and intact! Curtain went up at 1pm, but not without some hectic running around and yelling. I was only in 4 numbers, a small number for me, giving me ample time to watch the scene and also help out. And by help out I mean assist quick changes, do buns, and find shoes and costumes buried at the bottom of girls dance bags. While a few tears were shed here and there and a few shoes misplaced, Act I went on just fine.

The real trouble came with Act II.

To completely understand the chaos, I first must introduce you to my friend Salma. Salma is an absolutely beautiful dancer; she is naturally as flexible as Gumby and can turn like a top. However, she sometimes can be a bit of a hot mess. This was the case today, as half way through intermission she realized she had misplaced one of her costumes. And shortly after we realized that ‘misplaced’ meant at her house.

At my studio, no costume meant no stagetime. You were simply kicked out of the dance. When realizing this, Salma and I looked each other in the eye and grimaced. She can’t be kicked out! I thought. She is my best friend and she has worked so hard this past year, being her last year performing at my studio since she is a senior. We were determined to make it work.

Asking around, we salvaged a black leotard that resembled my costume (though it was purple, the pattern was the same) and a black skirt that we pinned to look like mine. It seemed to work! Luckily, Salma was in the middle of the dance practically the whole time, and the audience didn’t even suspect that it was supposed to be different!

After the dance, Salma and I embraced in a huge hug. We somehow managed to solve the problem! But, we couldn’t celebrate for too long: we still had the rest of the show!

My next and last dance was a ballet piece, a variation from Don Quixote. I was definitely the most nervous for this dance. It combined two dance classes, intermediate and advanced ballet, and on stage was the first time that we would be doing it together. If that isn’t the craziest thing you’ve ever heard I don’t know what is.

So, we all got on stage and the lights went up. The beginning was going well until suddenly I see a hair piece fly on stage from the corner of my eye. Without stopping smiling, my mind began to race. I don’t care what anyone has told you, but if a hair piece of prop falls on stage it is chaos. Suddenly, everyone begins looking at the fallen accessory instead of at the dance. I had to do something.

I finished my fouette double pirouette and picked up the hair piece while running of stage. I somehow managed to wink at the audience in doing so, trying to make it seem like part of the dance. (After the show was over I would hear that I even did it on the music! Shout out to a dancer’s natural musicality I guess haha!).

I suppose the hair piece was somewhat of an omen; the rest of the dance was similarly chaotic. Bodies were crashing into bodies and formations were definitely NOT center. But, I guess we all had fun onstage. Amidst the chaos I could not help but smile; I was dancing on stage to a beautiful song with people I love. Though it was crazy, it was certainly a fun filled few minutes.  I just probably won’t ever watch the video!

So, I guess my recital, despite being hectic, was a pretty fun experience. There is nothing more fun to me than putting on makeup and dancing for hours on end with my friends on stage. Performance is truly a treat, and though today was a little crazy, I would not trade it in for the world.

But for my own piece of mind, I must say: to all the dancers reading this, ALWAYS remember your costumes and ALWAYS pin in your hair pieces!!!

This is the end to this My New Philosophie memoir because I have to go watch the TONY’S!!!!!! OMG!!!!!

No, I Didn’t Know It

I’ve never been too into poetry, but recently I have been reading a lot more poems… and even writing some myself. I thought it would be fun to embark on a “Haiku Series” on My New Philosophie (with a few 14-liners thrown in there) just for fun.

I hope you enjoy this series! Leave requests for new series or posts in the comments below. 🙂

Of Dancing

A rewrite of an essay entitled Of Studies by Francis Bacon:

The purpose for dancing is for creating art, practicing discipline, and for improving one’s health. Dance is an artform in its creative choreography and symbolism; for discipline, in its repetitive routine; and for improving one’s physical and mental health, is in the demanding movement and required stamina. It is true that anyone can dance, yet a true dance lies in its best form when it is practiced by athletic artists who not only execute the movements but attach a true meaning to it. To spend too much time on just the steps is pointless; to practice too diligently strips away its liberal nature; and to simply do it for its fitness robs it of its artistic purpose. These men can learn, and be perfected by practice: for innate skills must still be cultured and trained by multitudes of dancing; and dance itself will begin to mold the subject if they allow themselves to be molded. Many disregard the artform, yet the humble man or woman may use the dance; for they see themselves in it, and let go of their outer worries to delve themselves in the music and the movement. Yet, dance not to escape your worries; nor just for an exercise; but instead to mend your soul as the steps of the dance turn into the steps of connecting your heart and mind. Some dances are to be like paintings on a wall, others similar to holding the paintbrush in your hand, and a few like pouring the paint on the floor and rolling around in it; that is, a few dances are to be simply watched; others learned; and some to be stripped apart until all that is left is the backbone of raw emotion and the music. Learning the choreography makes for an intelligent man; listening to the music an attentive man; and performing the art itself a cultured, enlightened man. And thus, if one were to perform little, he need not regard any deeper artistic meaning; if he listens little, he need not seek the liberality and beauty of music: and if he learns little, he need not knowledge to make sense of what is around him and what it takes to be an artist. The many styles of dance challenge the inner artist: contemporary makes one grounded, ballet makes one balanced (metaphorically and literally), improvisation makes one courageous, tap makes one rhythmic, hip hop makes one simply have fun, and all the styles in between helps one continue to grow as an artist. Nay, to a depressed and lonely heart, many remedies follow suit. Yet dance has proved to be a prevalent part of culture since the dawn of time, and for that reason let it be medicine to the weak. So if a man’s courage be wavering, let them improv to the point of embarrassment; for alone on the dancefloor, they must face their emotions as they try to turn it into something pleasing not only to the eye, but to the heart. If they feel distanced from themselves and their desires, let them dance sporadically to their favorite song; for in it they will find themselves again. So, naturally, every defect may find its cure in the dance, as the movement and the music inspires the heart.

 

MM 3/27

Yet another Monday here on My Philosophie! As we’re approaching the end of March, it’s clear to see that spring is just around the corner! (at least here in Los Angeles). To celebrate, I piled together some songs for the perfect spring morning. Songs that make me smile and set a good tone for the day ahead.

White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
New Slang – The Shins
Strawberry Swing – Coldplay
Bloom – The Paper Kites
Chateau Lobby #4 – Father John Misty
Exactly Nothing – Real Estate
Better Together – Jack Johnson
Queen of California – John Mayer
Shirtsleeves – Ed Sheeran
Real Love Baby – Father John Misty
Salad Days – Mac Demarco
Flower  – Cody Simpson
Old Pine – Ben Howard
Ragged Wood – Fleet Foxes
Johnny’s Garden – Stephen Stills
Paint – The Paper Kites
Brand New Key – Melanie
Better Man – Leon Bridges
Fall – Ed Sheeran
You and I Both – Jason Mraz
Do You Remember – Jack Johnson
Song 6 – George Ezra
True Affection – Father John Misty
Kiss the Grass – The Paper Kites

I hope you all enjoy the playlist! Don’t forget to follow me on instagram (@sophie.v.world) and on spotify (@mynewphilosophie).

Leave requests and ideas in the comments below! 🙂

MM 3/13

Lately, it’s been a little foggy and chilly were I live. Total bummer since spring is supposed to be right a round the corner (which of course means summer is on the horizon).

Attempting to pull myself out of this cold-weather funk, I put together a few of my favorite summertime songs. I like to call this my Beach Babe playlist, but essentially it is a combination of Surf Rock and pop-rock songs that make me think of warm weather fun:)

Amber – 311
Time Bomb – Iration
Walk Away – Ballyhoo!
Snow (Hey Oh) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Falling – Iration
Slow Down – Three Legged Fox
What I Got – Sublime
Certain Romance – Arctic Monkeys
Take It or Leave It – Sublime
Maybe I’m Sorry – Three Legged Fox
One Way Track – Iration
Girl Next Door – The Holdup
Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mardy Bum – Arctic Monkeys
Santeria – Sublime
Better Off Running – Cris Cab
Red Red Wine – Edit – UB40
Say I’m Wrong – Ballyhoo!
Island in the Sun – Weezer

 

I hope you enjoy this playlist and it gets you excited for summer or any tropical vacations approaching! Don’t forget to leave requests in the comments and follow the playlist on my spotify!

@mynewphilosophie

20 Dance Bag Essentials

I’ve always said that a dancer’s accomplice is their dance bag. Like seriously, I bring that thing with me everywhere.

Throughout my dance career, I have always kept a few things in my dance bag that have been my saving graces in desperate times. My dance bag is a crucial part of my dancing career, and I wanted to share my dance bag essentials with all of you!

  1. Your dance shoes
    • this one’s a given
  2. One full water bottle
    • always always always stay hydrated
  3. One empty water bottle
    • I always like to have an extra one in my bag that’s empty (so it doesn’t add weight) in case someone forgets theirs or I forget to bring one
  4. A small first aid kit and/or band-aids
    • always good to be safe and protect yourself
  5. ICY HOT
    • again, another given 😉
  6. A small kit of hair supplies (hair brush, bobby pins, hair net, hair ties, and a small thing of hairspray)
    • you never know when you’ll need to do a quick bun!
  7. A pen and paper
    • in case you need to take notes or write something down
  8. A binder
    • I call this my emergency binder, and in it I keep a few head-shots, resumes, monologues, and sheet music. You never know if someone asks for your info after a professional class or you forget something on a spontaneous audition
  9. Hand sanitizer
    • germs are gross
  10. An extra outfit of dance clothes
    • i.e. leggings and a sports bra
  11. A black leotard and tights
    • again, you never know
  12. A few dollars
  13. Necessary toiletries (lip stick, chapstick, tampons, deodorant, etc.)
  14. Headphones
  15. EMERGENCY SNACKS
    • a must
    • i.e. bars, almonds, etc. (nothing perishable)
  16. Advil
    • in case you hurt yourself or have a head-ache
  17. A stretchy band
    • good for if you have time to stretch before/after class
  18. A phone charger
  19. A nail file/clippers
    1. OMG this is a must!! A totally necessity if you do pointe. I can’t tell how many times I’ve needed to chop of my toe nails before pointe class so my feet don’t die.
  20. A pair of socks

Music Mondays 3/6

The 80s. What a time to be alive. A time of epic movies, epic hair, spandex, and above all, great music.

Like Totally 80s!!

Come on Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners
Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
Just What I Needed – The Cars
Mirror in the Bathroom – The English Beat
1979 – The Smashing Pumpkins
Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode
Don’t You Want Me – The Human League
Always Something There to Remind Me – Naked Eyes
Voices Carry – ‘Til Tuesday
Let’s Go – The Cars
Head Over Heels – Tears for Fears
Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
Beds Are Burning – Midnight Oil
Under the Milky Way – The Church
True – Spandau Ballet
Shiny Happy People – R.E.M.
West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
Life in a Northern Town – The Dream Academy
Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel
Nevver Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
Jack & Diane – John Mellencamp
Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

follow this playlist on my spotify account: @mynewphilosophie

Check back every Monday for new playlists! Request in the comments below your favorite song from this Music Monday and what you want to hear next week!

My Favorite Pre-Dance Snack

Going to dance (or any workout) on an empty stomach? This is my favorite thing to whip up quickly and take in the car: a peanut-butter banana smoothie!

Ingredients:

  • 1 peeled banana
  • I cup of ice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • One large spoonful of peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • optional: one scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a blender and combine until smooth.

This smoothie is super easy and SUPER DELICIOUS! It has so much protein that will rev you up before dance, but it is still light enough to the point where it doesn’t give you that weird stomach ache while working out (I think you all know what I mean). If you try it, please tell me in the comments below. Enjoy! 🙂


photograph:

http://justins.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/justins-vanilla-almond-butter-banana-smoothie-recipe.png

recipe inspiration:

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/peanut-butter-banana-smoothie-recipe/

Music Mondays 2/27

“I’m into indie music. I think indie is going to bring back the spirit in music. There was a time when it was all about accommodating the music business, the music was getting tasteless, but the spirit is back.” – Yoko Ono

Indie music. The new wave of alternative? A combination of folk and rock? Independent music? Who really knows. These are some of my favorite “indie” songs – a combination of rock, folk, alternative, uplifting songs that never fail to make me smile. Perfect for an early morning drive or an afternoon wind down, this is Essential Indie.

  1. Katie Queen of Tennessee – The Apache Relay
  2. Bloom – the paper kites
  3. Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel
  4. Never Know – Jack Johnson
  5. XO – John Mayer
  6. Featherstone – Paper Kites
  7. Turn Turn Turn – The Byrds
  8. Cold Coffee – Ed Sheeran
  9. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills, and Nash
  10. Real Love Baby – Father John Misty
  11. Young Folks – Peter Bjorn and John
  12. Blowin in the wind – Bob Dylan
  13. My Number – Foals
  14. Born & Raised – John Mayer
  15. Cherry Wine – Hozier
  16. Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub
  17. Towers – Bon Iver
  18. Wonderwall – Oasis
  19. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnificent
  20. Box of Rain – The Grateful Dead

Follow the playlist on my Spotify account: mynewphilosophie

List some of your favorite Indie songs in the comments below, or what type of music you would like to see next on Music Monday! 🙂