No More Mediocre: 5 steps to Heretics & Movements

 

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Greetings WordPress after a long absence! Apologies again but with good reason. My last post referenced a new job/experiment in Arts Management. Let’s just say, what a wonderful experience but blogging wasn’t the only thing I lost while on the job. Sleep, healthy eating, exercise, relationships, inspiration and a few other things went by the wayside. And for what? Not for anyone’s pay and not for anyone’s glory, that’s for sure. This is how our world runs, too much for too little, and it is NO WAY TO LIVE. Are you with me? Read to the bottom…

Non-profit management is no joke. Not glamorous, thankful nor fulfilling. It feels like a lost battle. As much as I LOVE the arts, I can’t do it. I just can’t. Not like that. Without inspiring leaders, relevant product, healthy upward mobility for artists, where is it going? So god bless the developers and managers out there. We desperately need you. I will keep supporting the arts in new ways. But it is TOO hard to make the changes necessary within the old systems. Time for new ones. Anyone else? 

Maybe I’m a Leader after all, as opposed to just a Manager. “Leadership is about creating change you believe in,” Seth Gordon says in his book Tribes, “Heretics are the new leaders, the ones who challenge the status quo, the ones who create movements.” I believe in movement, I believe in health, I believe in helping people be the best they can be. Every time we do that, we’re improving the world. That’s what I felt I was doing when I was on stage as a dancer. And I feel I can do that through moving others.

So, after producing three full length productions alongside my husband for the dance company, we decided enough is enough. Studying in college, pilates, barre and still performing alongside the management job, something had to give. It wasn’t going to be my health, marriage or passion. Certainly not my independence. So what then? The job and the stage had to go. Risky… yes. Smart…I hope so.

Turning attention full time to fitness instructor training, I was able to pass full certification as a Stott Pilates and Total Barre instructor (amongst other things) in the top 96%. I geeked out and gained other specialties (like Women’s Health) plus my husband became a Barre Specialist (he’s in even better shape than while dancing). Et Voila: We’re in love. With changing lives.

I mean if you have the choice for a healthier and happier life, take the leap. And if you don’t agree with the way things are done, do them differently. In a leap of faith, we have started our own business: Fit-Arts. And how are we doing it differently? We’re starting in our apartment. We’re supportive and flexible. We inspire. In a beautiful dedicated space on the Upper West Side, we’re giving individualized exercise based on an artistic aesthetic. Bringing the arts viscerally into people’s lives by giving them the joy of movement and breath.

So here’s to creating movements. “Life’s too short to be mediocre. Defending mediocrity is exhausting. Destroy the status quo and thrive,” Seth Gordon from Tribes again. (I highly recommend this book for anyone who rejects mediocre on principle and knows there is more to life.)

Do you get enough sleep? Do you feel good about yourself, moving your body? Do you have the quality time with family and friends that makes life worth living? Are you inspired by the presence of anything more than ordinary in your life? My guess is no. Because most of my clients say no. Well there is more. Let’s change that. 

SO WHO IS WITH ME?? I want you to do 5 simple things. Right now. 

  1. Hit snooze and take Friday off.
  2. No refined sugar for 30 days (we’re on Day 1, so come for the ride on Instagram)
  3. Work out more than you thought you could (feel free to comment here for tips).
  4. See a live performance or artsy movie you would never normally seek out (comment for recommendations).
  5. Follow and share us on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and our WEBSITE.  We’re not sure exactly where this movement is going, so we want to HEAR YOUR progress, fitness, wellness, life changing ideas. Tag @fitartslife and #wermore in comments.

In any of these ways we will say no to mediocre and live the Fit-Arts Life…Test the limits of your capacity and you will be surprised at just what you can do. Why not now? What are you waiting for? And you won’t believe how productive you become. Seriously.

 

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New Job: Worthy WordPress Arts Project

Greetings Friends,

Happy Spring! First, I must apologize for disappearing from the blogging world these past few months. The reason however, is exciting!! My husband and I have accepted jobs as co-company managers of a small NYC based ballet company, Dances Patrelle (Reinventing Dramatic Dance at http://www.dancespatrelle.org). As we are looking to transition into arts management, this is a perfect opportunity for experience. However, as the only 2 full time employees of the company (besides the artistic director), this job is also no joke. A crash course in every subject you can possibly imagine (development, fundraising, book keeping, event planning, contract negotiations, rehearsal scheduling, and let’s not forget PEACE KEEPING), it is equally rewarding and frustrating. Ah the yin and yang. Fortunately, a career in dance pretty well prepares a person for juggling 10 hats, but we’ll see how this turns out.

On that note, I’ve designed this video for :

Our Upcoming 25th Anniversary Revival of Romeo & Juliet! Talk about inspiration… set to the unparalleled Prokofiev score, this production joins elite artists and gifted students on a unique journey in the spirit of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (the great master of words himself). This footage is from a dP performance in 1993.

To see more about the production, and fun perks for supporters, click the link below! dP is a wonderful company with an amazing director/choreographer who actually cares about his artists. But we need support! EVERY CLICK, SHARE, and $25 DONATION HELPS OUR CAUSE, BLOGGERS UNITE AND SHARE OUR SITE TO SUPPORT THIS ARTS PROJECT!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dances-patrelle-s-romeo-juliet-a-dazzling-25th-anniversary-presentation/x/6620082

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Thoughts From The Barre: Project Performed

Thoughts From The Barre: Project Performed

So bloggers…Snow has fallen, project back in the pointe shoes performed! And here I am in my tiny dressing room, wearing my tiny Snow Queen tutu. My Nutcracker performances swirled onto the Kaye Playhouse stage in New York a couple weeks ago. I must admit I am just now recovered. What an intense relief, immensely cathartic. It was wonderful to be back under the lights with a great group of performers, somehow magical. And these lights were particularly bright. Knock your socks off and knock you right off your leg bright. YES, there were those ever present imperfections, doubts, aches, pains, and why am I doing this when I can’t eat, sleep or stop feeling so keyed up. Let’s face it, I am hardly the world’s most perfect tutu ballerina. But that would make it easy. And is anything easy worth doing anyway? As my favorite trainer Jillian Michaels says, “You have to get uncomfortable, that’s when real change happens.” And I’d like to think I make up for it in artistry and Presence. All in all, it feels worth it for that sense of wonder and accomplishment.

Not to mention, I was surprisingly overwhelmed by pride for my 8 year old angels, who remembered all their choreography AND to smile. They looked at me with such a twinkle in their eyes when they saw me in my tutu, then resolved into giggling hysterics when covered in fog at the beginning of act II. Priceless.

Anyway, just following the path that has presented itself and glad it brought me at least one more opportunity to grow as a performer. Bringing a little joy and beauty into the world this holiday…

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”
Henry David Thoreau quotes

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Thought From The Barre: Let’s Get Tutu It

Thought From The Barre: Let's Get Tutu It

Project Back in the Tutu Is under way:
Well folks, it’s that time. My Snow Queen Tutu has arrived. In case you pondered the absence of my posts, it has been on account of getting in shape for the Nutcracker! That’s right, I’m not just back to dancing, I’m back in the tutu. There is nothing more quintessential for a ballerina and therefore full of expectation. Every flaw is evident in the infamous short skirt. It is both thrilling and chilling. So, I approached a fitting in the illusive tulle with some hesitation. It went better than expected! (Considering I haven’t worn a tutu in over a year and a half.) Although, I still have a ways to go. 4 weeks to get these not naturally tutu hams up to snuff. It is a time consuming affair, ballet class, bikram yoga, searching for pointe shoes, sewing of pointe shoes, exercises for the ankles, turning, turning, turning, and let’s not forget the core strengthening! Needless to say, I can’t quite forgive those who were born with perfect tutu legs, but I’ll give them a run for their money in determination any day. So, here’s to Sugar Plums dancing in my head until December 8th. And probably yours too, as I spotted at least 2 holiday commercials today. It’s that time, so let’s get tutu it!!!!

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Power of the Human Form

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125 mph serves @ Arthur Ashe stadium. Watching a battle between finesse (Gasquet) and power (Ferrer). Which is more important? As a dancer, I used power when I was young and learned finesse when I was not so young…
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Arthur Ashe

Movement on Canvas

A century after its creation, trouble identifying with abstract art is still a common plight. As a venture into the conceptual can be most enlightening, I recently visited MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to expand my horizons. During previous visits to view modern art, I had focused on the most famous works and regrettably glossed over those I did not recognize or respond to immediately. Aiming to search deeper this time, I happened upon three stirring paintings. Unbeknownst to me, they were by a group of Italians known as Futurists, who sought to represent dynamism of movement, speed, and the pace of the modern world. One of them, Gino Severini, was particularly inspired by dancers. Being a dancer myself, I had happily stumbled upon the essence of something very familiar in the unfamiliar. More to follow…

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Mare=Ballerina

Mare=Ballerina

By Gino Severini, Italian Futurist
“According to Severini, the environment is optically determined and hence fluid, and the human figure is merely a part, albeit an inseparable part, of that metamorphic reality.”
http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artwork/3924

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