Gaining Some Support and Followers

This has been a tough journey trying to please as many people as I can through my blogging. I have tried my best to be as open and friendly with my writing style as possible so that it welcomes more people in, but I see that it is not always successful.

I never thought blogging was a huge deal because I never really knew anyone who had a blog. This has been a really great disadvantage towards me because I could not start out with atleast a small following of just my friends. I had to start from scratch, not knowing anything about blogging, completely blind.

I decided to try and start small and choose the specific group of dancing females that I could really connect to first. I knew that it would be easier for me to relate to all of them because being a dancer myself a lot of us have some of the same thoughts and ideas. We are very visual people so I wanted to make my blog as visually appealing as possible without going over the top.

I don’t think I have really connected to a large group of people yet but I do have some followers and that is a great start. I just need to build from here.

My Comments!

Student Blogs:

http://jaclynhemphill.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/balinese-women-in-arts/#comment-8

http://feministpopmania.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/mr-mom-stepping-in-the-shoes-of-a-housewife/

http://seeherinthemovies.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/143/

http://womenwithgod.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/the-need-to-be-loved/

http://confidenceboostforladies.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/now-time-to-put-my-face-on/

http://marti410.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/a-wee-bit-too-peachy/

http://lynae93.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/hello-world/

Professional Blogs:

http://www.texturedlife.org/2010/06/purpose-of-fiction.html

http://www.simonegrant.com/blog/2011/11/17/quick-thoughts-on-good-on-paper/

http://www.dietgirl.org/dietgirl/2011/10/ego-doms.html#comments

http://geekgirlfriends.com/?p=1827&cpage=1#comment-235949

The Choices We Make

So I may not be the best writer or blogger in the world but I have done my best over these last couple of months to really try out maintaining my own BLOG! Since my blog obviously pertains to women dancers I decided to really try and connect and draw in that particular audience by posting stuff that we are interested in.

A few weeks ago I changed the theme of my background of my blog from a design with really bright colors and extravagant shapes to the simple dark elegant background that I have currently. I felt that my blog had matured as I kept making posts so that when readers go to my blog that is what they first see, simple elegant maturity. This blog isn’t silly, though I do joke around sometimes; I really want the messages to get through to my readers. I want you all to think critically about the advice and facts that I am telling you so that you may apply it to your own lives.

As you may notice, I write my posts with a very communicative tone. I want all those reading to feel welcomed in rather than just peeking in from the outside window. It’s very important that my readers feel like I am addressing each and every one of you all individually. Though I only have about five followers right now (sad day) I want to do my best to try and connect to you all.

It’s been pretty difficult maintaining a blog and figuring out posts to try and keep you all interested. I have tried making my titles eye catching so that maybe you might just be interested in reading further. I have also included a couple of pictures and videos because I, like most dancers, am a very visual person. I like to be able to see and relate something for myself so it helps when I have those certain cues.

Women dancers are so used to fighting against each other in competition that we forget that we are all fighting the same battles. I started out this blog just to entertain young women dancers but I have developed my purpose rather into connecting us all together with common thoughts and views on different topics. This is a place where dancers can forget about the catty completion and just express themselves.

It’s Current!

Alrighty readers I have something special for you today! Here is a New York Times news article by Gia Kourlas titled “Looking at Intimacy, for Bodies and Minds,” and for all of you who don’t want to follow this post just because you don’t feel like it or whatever your reason may be I have so kindly copied it below. Enjoy!

Looking at Intimacy, for Bodies and Minds

 Desire, as the choreographer Gesel Mason knows, is only one part of sex. Another may be guilt. Or insecurity. Or shame. But what’s wrong with being an independent spirit and sleeping with whomever you want? In “Women, Sex, & Desire: Sometimes You Feel Like a Ho, Sometimes You Don’t,” which opened at the Joyce SoHo on Thursday evening, Ms. Mason explores sexual behavior using two extremes — the whore and the prude — as a starting point. 

The work, Ms. Mason said, is both a performance and a discussion about the joys and frustrations of being a sexual creature. (The creative process included focus groups exploring topics brought up in “Women, Sex & Desire.”)

But while the piece centers on women, the issues this production raises — not including the preshow workshop and the post-performance discussion — are universal. If there was a point, it may have something to do with how sexual behavior defies rigid categories. Forgive me for not being sure: It was a long night of sharing feelings. At the same time, it all seemed fairly obvious.

Ms. Mason is an engaging presence, but her meandering, getting-to-know-you exercises and chatty line of questioning were oppressive. She enforced a communal vibe from the start. Since, as Ms. Mason said, the topic had to do with intimacy, she began the show by asking us to introduce ourselves to our neighbors. Next we were asked to make eye contact with someone else in the room: “Just take a moment,” she said, “to see someone.” (Place the emphasis on the word “see” to get the full picture.)

The final demand? Making physical contact with that person. Admittedly, the sight of strangers hugging one another almost made me lose my mind. Mostly, this was an eager crowd; one flaw of the work is how it relies too heavily on an audience that knows what’s expected of it.

In between the live discussions and video interviews with women about sex, there are passages of dancing. Kayla Hamilton offers a frenzied solo, during which she pulls an apple out of her ample bosom, takes a bite and throws it into the crowd.

Ms. Mason, blindfolded and naked, seems to lose her inhibitions when the humiliation of being observed is removed. Ching-I Chang performs a lazy striptease with the help of a banana and Prince’s “Darling Nikki.” And Courtney Cooke appears as Cinderella, showing that appearances aren’t everything.

Despite the sex talk and, of course, the apple, there was little bite to this show, which made me pine for Ann Liv Young and her alter ego, Sherry, who knows how to play off of strangers — while talking about feelings — and get somewhere profound.

Ms. Mason wanted a safe environment where people could expose their vulnerability, but it turned into polite therapy, making this evening feel more like a Lifetime special about female empowerment than like anything resembling a work of art.

And there you go! I would have really enjoyed going to a show like this, but that may be just because I am a dancer and can easily relate to that sort of situation. I watched the trailer that I have posted for you all, and just from that little taste of the show I saw a lot of art, not just in the dancing, but also in the way the show was focused around the women being active and aware of their sexuality.  I have to disagree with Kourlas when she says that she felt the evening was more “like a Lifetime special about female empowerment than like anything resembling a work of art” because the way I see dance is if the message is gotten across to your audience and there is a connection between the performer and observer then the artist has accomplished their goal and it is a successful work of art.

I don’t mean to bag on Kourlas, but I’m pretty sure she is just clueless to a dancer’s artistic frame of mind and comfort zone. She obviously felt uncomfortable with the tasks that Ms. Mason asked them to do with their neighbors.  They had to introduce themselves, make eye contact, and then make physical contact. Dancers are used to this kind of activity because we do it every day of our lives. For example we meet our partner that we are dancing with and five minutes later we are required to dance with them as if you were in love for years. We live for that freedom to express ourselves in any emotion and to make that connection with others. I know that my comfort zone is not too big especially around other dancers who are willing to open up just as much. Kourlas sees it as a flaw that the work relied on an audience that knew what was expected of it, but I see it is if you go in knowing what is expected then you can open up and explore your mind that much more without having to worry about surprises. As a woman and as a dancer it is great to explore your emotions with others around you without having to worry about judgment or scrutinizing.

Let me know what you guys think!

 

Check it Out!

http://healthylivesforwomen.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/69/

I just happen to stumble upon this blog post written by healthylivesforwomen titled Confidence. It talks about how to better improve your self-confidence and how to be truly healthy you have to have confidence within yourself. It’s really easy for women to get self conscious because of all the factors and standards that we have to live up to each and every day, but just because everyone else is saying degrading things to you, or behind your back, doesn’t mean you should let them get to you to the point where you start believing what they are saying. This post from healthylivesforwomen is so relevant to dancers because, as I have said before, to survive as a professional you need to be your own biggest fan because you will have so many more failures than you will have chances at succeeding.

Dancer’s confidence levels need to be through the roof! We already have enough people surrounding us trying to pull us down by saying that we aren’t good enough because it is such a competitive intense career path to choose. In the Confidence blog post there were 63 ways to build self –confidence included. If women looked at these and thought about them constantly throughout the day then they wouldn’t have time to get down on themselves.

I encourage all you dancers out there to make your own kind of confidence building list that pertains to you and your dance career. You can say things like I am a very strong dancer, or my flexibility has improved greatly. This won’t just improve your confidence but it will also make you a better dancer by knowing your strengths and working on your weaknesses. Love yourself and that will show your self-confidence to others and in return they will love you.

Where Performing Stops and Family Begins

We all have to make decisions in our lives. Some may be simple and some incredibly difficult. For a professional dancer the decision to continue dancing during that prime age when you’re on top or to slow down and start a family can be extremely difficult. We have to accept the fact that if we stop dancing let’s say at age 26 to start having kids that our bodies will never be the same again and if we wanted to come back to dance then we would have to train our bodies all over again to get back into shape, and that’s only after one pregnancy. Dancers who want more than one kid have to repeat the process over and over again.

Even though I am still pretty young and don’t plan on having kids anytime soon, it’s something that I need to keep on the back burner. Of course my life will fall out the way it is supposed to, but it’s going to be a hard decision to have to stop dancing. Many of my dance teachers growing up didn’t even have kids until their late thirties because they were still performing. I don’t know if I can wait that long because I have always wanted a big family just like the one I grew up in so I would probably have to start popping out the babes pretty early. Oh well I will cross that bridge when the time comes! For now I will dance on! Hopefully I will not be so consumed with my dancing so I can at least find a husband first.

Alright here comes the sad news. Dancers and choreographers have a 43% divorce rate (http://www.newser.com/story/101851/the-10-jobs-with-the-highest-divorce-rates.html) . Dancers are such individualistic people that most of the time they get divorced because they are off with their company touring or dancing  constantly, and the all the other dancers just don’t get married in the first place because they can’t find someone or don’t have time to find someone who is willing to live and support this lifestyle.

So dancers, if you find the right guy willing to stay with you through the prime of your dance career he is a keeper. That relationship is worth moving onto the next step in your life, still as an individual, but in a partnership. Dancer’s bodies usually don’t last in the professional world past their early forties anyways so it’s always good to have a plan on what your next step in life will be.

Standout Star!

Well my readers, I have told you so much about the life of a female dancer so now I think it’s time to bring in an example. Katie Gossen is a beautiful eighteen year old dancer major at Chapman University, and she is one of my closest friends. She loves dancing with a passion but she has also had her struggles in her dance career.

Katie started dancing when she was three years old and has not stopped since. Like many, Katie’s mother is the one who first got her involved in dancing, but unlike a lot of those “dance moms” out there Katie’s mom stayed far away from the studio and all the drama. This really influenced how Katie viewed dancing because she had no pressure to continue against her own will. She simply continued because she knew it was what she was born to do. Katie has had her struggles and ailments that have held her back but has been strong to work through them.

Being concerned about her weight, Katie feels like she can’t fully dance to her maximum capability. She has been dealing with this problem since her freshman year in high school and she has been struggling with it since then. Knowing Katie, I see her as a beautiful, energetic, humorous, self-confident young woman. I personally love the way she looks and like I said in my last post, dancers come in many different shapes and sizes and the dance world needs them all! Though if Katie is unhappy with her own image she has a right to alter how she looks because that is her choice.

Katie will continue dancing through college and eventually become a professional. I can’t wait to see her excel and grow throughout the years in both her dancing and self-awareness. She is a perfect example of how much a dancer is supposed to love dancing in order to be successful at it. It takes strength, smarts, and strategy… Katie Gossen has them all.