Delete. Dye. Decision.

Never in my wildest, well maybe not my wildest, but never did I think I’d be pampering myself at a hair salon on 5th Ave. or that I’d have 2 self designed tattoos on my body, or that I could have been removed from someone’s life (and removed them from mine) like an outdated document, or that I’d find myself surviving alone and actually being ok… being more then ok at times.

This post has been turning over and over in my head for about a month, but I wasn’t at a place where I could put the thoughts into words for it’s content. I believe, more or less, that I am at the place now… or at least closer to it.

DELETE

A little while back, I was having a pretty rough patch, on a personal level.  It felt like everywhere I went something rememinded me of a different time, a different place, and all that has changed over the past few months.  I was sad and angry and frustrated and couldn’t really put my finger on “why”… which made me more upset about it all.  I admit I’m not good at letting things go and moving on… especially if it’s not my decision to do so.
And that, I realized was part of what was making me upset:  How easily some people can remove another from their lives entirely.  Seemingly as easy as hitting the “Delete” key on your computer, dragging an icon to the “trash bin”, clicking “un-friend”, “unfollow”, and “remove”.

Of course this opened my eyes (and I hope you all noticed) to the fact that each of those descriptions refers to the way of removing unwated files or accounts from your computer or social media arenas. But I am not a digital file to be discarded or “replaced” by the newest changes. When I’m treated like that, I feel pretty awful and a huge part of my wants to fight back. Nor am I a computer or something that has no real memory… “I wish that I could wake up with amnesia” is a very true statement. Cause that may be the only was I can DELETE events of my past from my present life.

This whole thought process also led me to realize how much our lives are entwined with our social media outlets. The fact that being “unfriended” from someones Facebook account, at one point threw me into a crying fit, as though that were really really the worst the worst thing that had happened to me, was kind of ridiculous. Half the people I’m “friends” with on Facebook or “Follow” on Instagram I don’t even know! now that’s pretty ridiculous. But in my opinion, not as ridiculous as thinking that my removing all images, appearances, and reminders of someone will ever remove them from your memory or a part of your life.

DYE

No, not die… like “drop dead”, but dye as in a colored dye, an ink, dying something. (This is particularly relevant to me today).
As you all should know, I have 2 tattoos. One on my right ankle, that’s 4 years old this month. And one on my left forearm that’s 5 month old today, to be exact. Each time I get a tattoo, I have gotten a different reaction. When I got my first tat, some people got flat out mad, others got concerned that I was becoming some strange tattooed rebel. Getting my second tat, because of the timing I think, make people saw it as a “F**k (insert my ex’s name here)” tattoo. Which was certainly not the case… or was it?

Starting a few months ago, I began dying my hair… and I’m not talking a few highlights to embellish my blond… I’m talking full on color change. I went RED. And I love it! It gives me a whole different look and almost a different personality at times.

This seems to be my way of dealing… maybe I don’t go through like a tornado and remove every track of you, but I’ll change myself. Becoming another side of me that hasn’t come to the surface in a long time, if ever. I’m tempted to say I’m obsessed with both. For someone who never thought they’d get a tattoo, and after my first had no desire for another, I have ideas for several more. Will I get them? Maybe. Anytime soon? Probably not… but I’ll think about it as I’m laying in bed or folding towels at work. As for the hair- that’s sticking around for a while. This is the second time I’ve done it in this color pallet. Sure, it’s expensive and then I have to keep it nice, but if I’m not with anyone, who am I going to pamper if not myself?

DECISION

This was not the word I originally had in my list. If came about tonight, while I was writing and I think it’s better then “Dilemma” that I had at first.
I feel like I’m faced with a decision to make, not so much facing a dilemma.

A few weeks ago I was a mess. I was exhausted all the time. I was sour and easily irritated. I didn’t mean to be and I was not able to pin point one thing that had triggered these feelings. And it was getting bad- things at work were starting to slip, I wasn’t eating right, and relationships were being pushed. I knew I didn’t want to feel as I did, but I felt like because I didn’t know why, I really couldn’t do anything about it. Just give it some time and hope thing changed, for the better.
It wasn’t until earlier this week that it was brought to my attention that I seemed happier, more energetic, and looked a lot better. This hit me, and I realized I wasn’t forcing anything. I actually felt… feel… good! I feel happy and am enjoying what I’m doing. I’m taking time for myself and not feeling guilty about it. I’m enjoying the time I have with friends and co-workers instead of dwelling to much on the past and the people I miss. Sure, maybe I still beat myself up a little for hurting someone and not being able to change my ways soon enough. But I hope I’m making decisions that will make me happy and in that, show that I’m not a horrible person.

Is it a decision to be happy? Yes. I believe it is, same as it’s a decision to change ones hair color, or have our skin injected with ink, or to go through months of photographs removing only certain ones. Maybe not always a conscious decisions like some of the other examples, but a decision none the less. As I’ve come to find, the decisions that lead to making one person happy will not always make others feel the same way. We do so many things as a way of self preservation.

What do I want you to “get” fro this post, I honestly don’t even know. I wrote it as a place to put these thoughts that have come together in my mind. Perhaps, if you’ve been in a similar situation, you can relate. Let me know.

Like, share, comment, the usual.

lovealways, Christiane

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[She] “Sometimes has to Cry” (On the Bathroom Floor)

This is usually where I tend to find myself when I’ve come to the edge and without stoping gone right over and then I’m very much stuck. It’s not often, but 3 very distinct life changing times come to mind any time I find myself back there on the cold hard tile.

Most recently… today actually… avoiding eye contact, I slumped into the bathroom at work and crumpled onto the floor. I knew I was feeling overwhelmed at work and that I’d let some things slide, but I didn’t realize just how bad it was till I had a meeting with my boss. The meeting wasn’t all bad and I love my job and my boss- don’t get me wrong- but I realized how much I’ve been holding back… holding in… and that it was starting to negatively affect my work ability and performance.
I felt so embarrassed for bursting into tears then slinking around the studio because my face was red and blotchy and my eyes bloodshot. But I didn’t realize how much I needed to cry.
After the breakup and move, I felt like I was cried out… I don’t think I’ve cried sense then, till today. I was tired of being emotional and teary-eyed everywhere I went… But given the right time and place, a good cry can actually be a good stress release and allow you time to clear your head and be ready to come back to the situation with better perspective. At least that’s what I’ve found.

Over the years I’ve learned that it’s hard for me to show weakness, fear, and insecurity. I’d say it’s something I work with regularly… and just when I think I’ve made improvements, I find myself drying at work and posting about it on FaceBook– maybe one of the most un-adult ways to handle a situation… and I remember I’m not as strong, brave, and stable as I want to be or as others think I should be. This has cost me relationships and trust, but it’s also pushed me in better directions.
It may be embarrassing, but I’ve learned something every time and come out somehow better in the end, and I hope that by sharing, I inspire someone else to face what it is that they struggle with and come out stronger on the other side.

The first time I can remember I was in 10th grade… in dance class. I had just decided I was going to be a dance major and was placed in a more advanced class. We had a guest teacher that day- a DSA grad come back from college to teach us a special master class. I tried, oh boy did I try, but about 20 minutes in we were going across the floor and I couldn’t, for the lit of my, keep up! I was used to not always getting the movement combinations in class- Marci and Dean can vouch for that!- but I’d give it all I had and look fierce while doing it regardless… but this class got me. I’ve never run out in the middle of a class except for that day– we were gonna go across again faster and I couldn’t– I bolted. Out the door I ran trying to get away before the tears and self doubt poured out.
I found myself on the floor of the girls bathroom at DSA, in a black leo and tights, crying. Questioning why I had ever thought I was meant to be a dancer and how in the world I was gonna walk back into that studio. A classmate, a senior, came in after me. She let me cry… She told me it was fine, that it was hard for her too and that I was going great. I pulled myself together, we went back in, and she went across one last time with me, helping me through the combination.
I realized then, that I had a family and support system in the dance world and that it was ok to not get every across the floor every time. I promised myself then that I wouldn’t leave a class like that again, but that I would take a breath and go across that one last time, not worrying if I got it or not. I went on to get my college degree in dance performance and I haven’t left another class yet.

The second time was very early the morning of my fathers memorial service, 3 years ago this month, after his 10 month battle with cancer. Now, of course this wasn’t the first time I’d cried during that time, but it was the first time I felt like I cried with nothing holding my back and didn’t know when it would stop. I wasn’t worried about my looks and presentation, or having to communicate with anyone, or having to take care of anyone, or having to run errands… It was just me and the dark pre-sunrise day, and my college apartment bathroom floor.
It came out of no where and I found myself willing to let it run it’s course. I felt scared and alone and worried… confused and mad and very much small and alone. There alone on the floor I yelled, I laughed, I sat in silence, and I cried (of course). I don’t know how long I was there and I don’t really remember going back to bed… But I did, cause when I really woke up that day I felt clean. I knew I needed to be calm and collected for the service… but I know I left a lot on the floor at Avery Glen Apt. 127.

The third time was a few months ago, when my significant other ended our relationship. I couldn’t even pretend to hold it together, I was so in shock and upset. I’ve never had my knees literally buckle under me, but there I was, in the dark on another (much smaller, this is NYC after all) bathroom floor, sobbing my eyes out as a wave of emotions and worry flooded me. Was this real? Why couldn’t we talk about this? What was I doing to do? Where was I supposed to go?
I couldn’t really stay in the bathroom all that long (as between 5 of us roommates we had one bathroom) so the crying continued in the bedroom late into the night, but again I was scarred and wondering what I was thinking getting into this again and hating myself for not being better to someone I said I cared about.

I don’t really have a good way to end this post. So I’ll quote a song that I love and that some people were playing in the subway last night as I was waiting for the train home from work. For the video– check out my Instagram http://instagram.com/p/t6jXyYG4NH/

I pray you’ll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise,
in times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer,
when we lose our way
Lead us to a place,
guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

love always, christiane

Sharing is Scary Part 2: “Solo” in Progress

Happy Friday fabulous readers!

As promised, I’m continuing to work on and share dance performance and choreography. In this post I’m featuring the first rehearsal footage of a brand new piece I’m working on. This solo, untitled to date, is being performed by yours truly at the moment. I have always feared sharing a piece when is it still very much in progress, because things will change, be added or taken away, and people don’t always take well to seeing mistakes. However, I want to keep working on this piece and I feel like I will be more motivated if I have an audience to share it with. This is also helping me overcome my reservations and hesitations of sharing my original work.  (the link is at the bottom of the post… in hopes that you will read the post then watch the piece!)

 

With this piece being in progress, I thought I would talk a little about the many aspects and pieces that come together to begin work on a piece of choreography, at least as it applies to me. Each dancer and choreographer has their own process and method of working, so do not define the “choreographers way” as what I’m about to talk about… this is just my way.

 

MUSIC

Music is an important, but not totally crucial aspect for dance performance. Many pieces are done with and without music, sometimes the dancers know the track before getting onstage, other times it may be a game of chance. Some choreographers prefer not to use music with lyrics, not wanting the movement or the audience’s perception of the movement to be affected by the preexisting tone of the music.

Personally, I like to choreograph with my music already chosen. I don’t mind pieces with lyrics, but I’ll usually look for one that will compliment the style, movement and “story” of my dance. Often, when I hear a piece of music, I can already start to see the movement come to life in my head… this is how I know it’s something I want to work with. However, it’s not always the first piece of music that ends up fitting for a piece of dance. For this solo, I had chosen a very different piece of music, one that was very personal to me, and would fir well with the track for “Shaded Blue”… but at this time I was not motivated as I should be, to choreograph to it.   The piece I ended up choosing, “Elements” by Lindsay Stirling (check out her site and music!), found me. It came on a co-workers Pandora Radio station on day and I was hooked.  I could feel the creative juices starting to flow and I wanted to start creating right there in the middle of work… I know this was a piece I had to work with.

 

MOVEMENT

I like to create and set movement that is comfortable in my body. If I’m working on a piece for myself, or without a particular performer in mind, I will create using movement that highlight my strengths and show my body the way I want. On the other hand, if I’m setting movement on a particular dancer(s) or working with someone specific in mind, I will choreograph to highlight their strengths, while staying true to my form and style. For example, the opening solo to “Shaded Blue” which was specifically designed for Emily! I’m not at all adverse to making choreographic adjustments in the future, to make any piece a better fit for the dancer.

I have a tendency to pull from the variety of styles 

 

STRUCTURE, FORM, FUTURE

Some choreographers have a piece already mostly set, either in theirs heads or on paper, then the rehearsal process is just getting that out onto actual dancers. Others prefer to create as they go… maybe having definite points or movements that will happen as a given time, but the rest come together like a puzzle as they work. I am a little of both I think, depending on the piece. “Shaded Blue” was 90% written out on paper before I ever set foot in the studio with it and dancers. While changes and adjustments were made throughout the process, most of it is as I originally set. This new solo, on the other hand, is very much coming together each time I get in the studio to work.  While I have some ideas for the overall look and direction of the piece, I don’t always know what’s coming next… so much of my rehearsal time, right now, is playing and seeing what comes out.  The rehearsal process will be for another post… Yay, something to look forward too!!

In my head, this piece is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” (premiered in the last Sharing is Scary post). watch it again! While “Shaded Blue” was more so movement for movement’s sake, this solo is a little more aggressive and the character is troubled. There is more tension on the stage and she is always looking off to something else… something just off stage… something she can’t have. The movement is more angular and sharp and I actually love the silhouette look I got in the studio! The music adds to the driving element, while being light and easy to listen to… and believe me, I listen to it a LOT!  the first week of working on this piece, I listened to the track every day on my 45 minute train commute, just to get it in my body and lear the music, phrasing, and character.  

When this piece will be finished… performed… with or without “Shaded Blue” is beyond me.  Right now I’m working on it so I can keep creating and to have something special to share with you all!  I would LOVE to reset Blue with this piece when it’s done… but I also don’t want to rush myself so I truly create something I’m proud of and enjoy.  (“Shaded Blue” is by far my favorite piece of Modern/Contemporary dance I’ve done… so this new one has a big sister to live up to)!!

And on that note… I should fork over the link to the new piece and let y’all see it for yourselves!  Here it is “Solo” 2014.  Please feel free to share, like, comment, etc!!  I love your feedback and support!  

 

Love always,  Christiane 

 

Sharing is Scary: Part 1 “Shaded Blue”

As some of you probably know and others may not, I’m a dancer.  I’ve been dancing sense age 4 and have built up quite an impressive resume over the years.  I love performing, being on stage, directing, choreographing, etc.  However, I’ve always had a hard time sharing my work while it’s in progress… or really sharing my work any other way but live.  I’ve decided that is something I want to work on- to overcome.  While I think dance, and most live performing arts are better live I know there is a huge outlet for it via video, online, etc.  I’ve decided, that to overcome this fear and to get my work seen by a few more eyes, I will work on releasing various performances, pieces, and clips of work here on the blog!

 I’m starting with a piece I did a few years ago that is truly one of my favorites and one that I would love to put on the stage again.  “Shaded Blue” was choreographed in 2012 at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA as an assignment for my Choreo. 2 class.  The semester before in Choreo. 1, I set a piece about my father and our struggle with his cancer and the aftermath of losing him.  That work, “Holding On/ Chasing Dreams” was an emotionally charged piece that above anything else was a way for me to express what I had been through.  After working on a piece so deep and personal, I wanted to create a piece that was just movement for the heck of it!  Phrases that felt really good in the dancers bodies and didn’t tell a deeper story.  Something that moved and was happy and beautiful, creative and flowing.  I actually wrote out all the choreography on an airplane.  I could just see the piece in my head, I didn’t need to feel it in my body, I already knew what was coming next.  This quartet is set to an original piece of music by Kyle Lacy, titled “Iceberg Shade of Blue”.  In a way, we collaborated on creating the perfect track for the final performance, editing sound levels, length, vocals, etc. It was exciting to create a new dance to a new piece of music, I was able to pull inspiration from the raw music and share the work of another artist.  The performers are all friends and fellow dance majors from Agnes.  Setting this work on them was fun and in many ways, easy, because we could all communicate and just play in the early stages of choreography to create some movement that was personal and individualized for each dancer.

And now I have to share!!   Click here, here, or HERE to see the Promo short for “Shaded Blue”.  This is a 1 minute clip that should spark your interest and make you want to see the whole dance…  Then you can click This, that, or the other for the full length video!!!   I hope you enjoy 🙂   (yes- everything in orange is a hyperlilnk to my youtube channel and the indicated performance video.  You have plenty of options on where to click…. and hopefully you will watch more then once!)

I was constantly inspired and loved working on this piece of choreography.  But I know it does not stand alone.  I have begun work on a new solo which is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” and may be one of three in total!  Exciting things are happening and I plan to keep sharing, so keep an eye out for more “Sharing is Scary” entries that will contain snippets of new work and progress as well as (hopefully) thoughts and insight on my process.  

Please do continue to read, share, follow, like, and comment!

love always,  Christiane

And if you read this far, you get a bonus- here is a special release 15 second clip of the new solo http://instagram.com/p/sEIFF2m4EL/

Enjoy and know there is more to come!

Start of the trail- how I fell into running

Over the past year and a half, running has become my escape, my physical challenge, and my joy. If this blog is about a “fit” chick living in NYC, I thought I should start adding in the fit part. Today, I wanted to share with you my story of I found and started running and what’s it’s done- is doing- for me.

I’ve always been a fit active person… But I wasn’t always a runner. Sure, in elementary school PE classes I could sprint with the best of them, topping all the girls in my age brackets. And at the gym I could go for ever on the elliptical… But put me on the track and tell me to run a mile- ya right- THAT’S not happening!
Of all the physical activities I enjoyed- running was the one thing that always have me a Charlie horse in my leg and made me winded within 10 minutes. No matter what I tried- better shoes, better form, better breath technique- nothing worked.

That’s not to say I didn’t try. My father was an avid runner all my life and at age 10, all I wanted to do was run in the Atlanta Peachtree Roadrace with him, which we did- July 4th 2001. And after that I hung up my running shoes.

It wasn’t until years later- February of 2013, my senior year of college- to be exact, that I gave running another try.
I was in the Agnes gym on the elliptical and just not feeling anything. Frustrated with my body and stressed with my life, I stepped off the elliptical and onto the neighboring treadmill. 15 minutes I told myself- you will power walk for 5, jog for 5, then cool down for 5. Just dipping my toes in here, not gonna overdo it or anything.
So I did my 15 minutes and didn’t feel that bad. I decided for the next few days I would increase the time in the middle that I spent jogging, until I could actually go for 20-30 minutes. That’s when it began.

I quickly realized that if I was really gonna do this, I needed actual running shoes. That’s when I found Big Peach Running Co. in Decatur… Literally changed my life. BPR does one on one shoe fittings to find what shoe brand and style will support ones foot and ankle best. Even though I was not an avid runner already, I didn’t feel out if place walking into Big Peach. The staff was amazing, welcoming and helpful. I also found out that they hosted free group runs twice a week, and I promised myself I’d go… Just as soon as I felt confident running 3 miles.

So it began. I was in the gym at least 4 times a week, adding time to my treadmill time. One day, one of those teasingly warm Southern winter days, I decided it was just to beautiful outside to be running inside. So I took myself and my still new shoes out and took off. Mostly sticking to the roads around campus… By the end of it I knew I was ready to join group runs, I felt great! Totally out of breath, but great.

Check back in a few weeks, and I’m going to group run every Tuesday and Thursday at 7PM! I even made friends with several of the girls in my time bracket and we kept each other going every week. It was amazing how fun, encouraging, and welcoming the running community can be and bring all different people together.

And… Well, that’s where it all started, I had become a runner- doing anywhere from 3-7 miles every other day. However, running in Atlanta and running in New York City proved to be very different beasts. I’ll save that for another post, as I hope this is one of a series of health and fitness posts from me!!

So get out and go for a run! Then follow, share, like, and comment!!

May you enjoy every mile ahead.

Love always, Christiane