Friday, December 31, 2010

Get Sexy in 2011!

Hey lovies! As the year comes to a close its time to reflect on all the wonderful accomplishments we've made and hard times we've gone through. Keep in mind that everything that happened good or bad this year can either be taken with you into the new year or left in the past. The same goes for your fitness and nutrition and in this post I'll give you some pointers on how to set yourself up for success this coming year. So whether your looking to get back on track, starting from scratch, or just maintaining your already fabulous fitness routine then this is for you!
1. Don't set yourself up for failure: If you make a ridiculous New Years resolution or fitness goal like "I'm going to have the body of a Victoria's Secret model in 2 months" then you've already lost. Be realistic with yourself and set a reasonable goal.
2. Try something new: Maybe its time you try that Zumba class you've been hearing about or maybe sign up for a race! Try anything new and you will be motivated to stay on track.
3. Pictures: Images are really motivating! Take a shot of yourself from your body at its worst and best then hang it up somewhere you will see everyday (fridge, treadmill, bedroom). Seeing those images will be a constant reminder for you to stay in shape! (I do it every year!)
4. Get the word diet out of your head!: Too many people say i'm going on a diet for the new year. News flash a diet is temporary and doesn't work. Think of it as a lifestyle change, the word diet is just too negative!
5. Write it down: Buy yourself a journal or join an online fitness community where you can track down your caloric intake and work outs. Seeing what your eating and what your burning is key to weight loss!
6. Make an everyday goal: Make a small goal that you will follow everyday or week and stick with it FOREVER! Heres some ideas: have an apple everyday, only drink coffee once a day, always get veggies on your pizza, have diet soda no more than twice a week. The possibilities are endless and the more simple the goal the easier it is to stick with it. These small changes can and will have a significant impact on your health and figure!
Need more inspiration and tips? Check-out Shape magazines list of the best celebrity slim downs of 2010!
Have a happy and safe holiday! Take control of your life this year, be strong, and stay positive. Wishing you the best for the new year! x0
PS: Stay tuned for the launch of my website in early 2011!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the season for overeating

Hey loves! As the holiday season is well under way I decided it was an important time to reconnect with you all. I hope you are all just as excited as I am about the wonderful holidays but I want to make sure you truly enjoy all the fun with zero guilt! The holidays are a fun time to share quality time with loved ones, family, and friends and unfortunately "'tis the season for overeating"! Did you know that during the holidays the average American packs on an extra five pounds! Personally I'm not one to deprive myself during the holiday festivities but just like you I don't want to pack on ANY pounds either. After consulting several different magazines and online sources I put together this list of simple ways to save your waist line without any deprivation. Try one, four, or all of them for a truly happy and skinny holiday season. Have fun x0

1. EAT! Many people starve themselves the entire day until the party in order to "save calories" for the huge dinner. Big mistake, by the time you eat your body is in starvation mode and will over eat. Eat your normal breakfast and lunch which will lead you to eating a normal dinner too.

2. DRINK WATER! Right before you head out consume a glass of water and continue to drink water throughout the night to keep the calorie count down. 

3. IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT, DON'T EAT IT! Don't eat anything just because it's there or because you feel pressure to eat everything presented to you. 

4. CHEW GUM! Chewing on a piece of gum will keep you out of trouble by keeping your  mouth occupied throughout the event.

5. EAT BEFORE YOU GO! Have something fiber filled like an apple before you head out the door, it will moderate your appetite. 

6. STAY AWAY! Don't sit close to the snacks, buffet table, or dessert trays. If you have to walk away from your current engagement to get a bite you'll think twice. 

7. WATCH THE BOOZE! I hope we all know how calorie packed alcohol is and if you over do it your less likely to care about your food choices. 

8. SNUG CLOTHING! If your too busy holding in you tummy to look great in that outfit food will be the last thing on your wondering mind. 

9. BRING A DISH! Find a wonderful healthy holiday recipe, make it, and bring it to the party. The party host will love your contribution and you now have a healthy meal on your plate. 

10. SKIP THE TOPPINGS! Stay away from extra cheese, dressing, nuts, gravy's, or anything else in that family. The meals are delicious without it and they are calorie demons. 


Thursday, October 21, 2010

“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Every now and then we all need a little "pick me up", something that ignites a spark within us and inspires us to keep pushing and striving towards our goals. You can find inspiration anywhere, a song, quote, performance, or a book. No matter how old you are or how far along you are in your career its important to get and stay inspired.
     For one of my dance education courses we were assigned to read an article which truly brought about some inspiration and hope. A young eleven year old girl named Amiya who is in love with dance wanted to find a way to teach under privileged children. She thought of a clever idea to teach dance classes out of a bus that would travel around and give free lessons. Amiya told her mother and even made sketches of what she wanted the bus to look like but she knew it was just a dream. Her grandfather was so supportive of Amiya that one day he surprised her with a real life "dance bus". It was an old school bus painted in pink with ballet barres instead of seats. Her grandfather is the bus driver and they travel around to schools in her area where they pick up children for free classes. She can fit up to 12 students at a time and offers 30 minute classes in hip hop, tap, and ballet. She calls her students her "rising stars" and has found this bus to be a great success.  
      I found this story to be completely amazing and moving. What a brilliant young girl she is for coming up with this idea and for offering her time like this. She inspires young kids to dance and inspires the rest of us to keep hope alive and follow our dreams. Anything is possible. Don't ever give up <3
Take a look at the fabulous "dance bus" below. Enjoy :) 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birthday Baby!

Hey twinkle toes the month of October has been crazy busy and lots of fun. Last weekend I turned 22 and had a night out in NYC and then spent some time gambling in Atlantic City. Thought I'd leave you a few fun photos. x0

Monday, October 4, 2010

3rd Avenue Festival

Yesterday I spent the day performing on the streets of Bay Ridge for its 38th Annual 3rd Avenue Festival. After weeks of intense last minute rehearsals the girls of Beyond Dance and I put on a great show for the Brooklyn community. I have been performing at this event since I was a little girl and it's always one of my favorite performances of the year. Theres nothing like dancing on a stage in the middle of the street. It was a chilly day here in New York but tons of fun. I even got to take a shot at pole dancing in the street! Heres some pics below and a link of the performance put together by some of the senior company girls of Beyond Dance. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Look great, get fit :)

Hello fabulous friends! So you've finally got your butt to join the gym and have been going on a regular basis and OMG have you lost some weight? Great. But seriously, what are you wearing? Most gym's require "fitness attire" but are they really enforcing it? I don't think so. At my hometown gym I think I have seen it all, from flips flops and jeans, to business attire and baggy old t-shirts. News flash everyone they make fitness gear for a reason! So maybe your not completely ridiculous and actually wear some type of sweat pant, a tank top, and sneakers but is that really fitness attire? Do you feel good in what your wearing? Just because your breaking a sweat does not mean you can't look good doing it. If your wear frumpy clothes to the gym you will feel frumpy and will have a frumpy work out. Lets start off by wearing some form fitting clothing that accentuates your favorite features. Now skip the cotton, do you really like walking around with sweat puddles on your clothes? Gross. If you buy actual fitness attire most are made with sweat absorbing material so you don't feel the need to ring your tank after spin class. Now all you have to do is wear a sports bra, pull your hair back, and throw on the proper sneaker for your workout. Taadaa! You now look like a hot fitness chick :) Are you wondering wear to get this snazzy gear I speak of? Victoria's Secret carries a great fitness line with all different styles and colors to choose from. On a budget? Target also carries plenty of Champion fitness gear for ladies. Take a peak at some of my favorite items from both of those stores and get shopping!

Victoria's Secret
Doutzen Kroes Sweaty in Victoria’s Secret VSX Workout ClothesDoutzen Kroes Sweaty in Victoria’s Secret VSX Workout Clothes


Monday, September 6, 2010

The wonderful world of PROPS

Lets talk props! Throughout my years dancing and competing I've witness and been part of several routine where props have been involved. Many times choreographers use props in their routines to create a scene or setting. Other times props are directly involved as a piece of choreography and sometimes it's a mixed of both. Routines are sometimes created around the use of the prop and other times it is just there for "decoration". I've seen routines in which props were used brilliantly and others which potentially ruined the choreography. Dance competitions are normally very fond of props from pictures frames to full out scenery. Most competitions require the props to be used for X amount of time throughout the dance which can be a challenge to the choreographer. Choreographers may use props in an abstract way or make it's purpose very obvious. Using props can sometimes be very difficult but when used correctly it can be magical. I believe in order to create a successful piece of art the prop must be used creatively. Take a look at these videos below of some of my favorite prop enhanced routines. Enjoy, put on your favorite song, grab the nearest item and get creative :)

Lost - Choreography by Just Plain Dancing

Calling You SYTYCD season 2  - Choreography by Mia Michaels

Love Lockdown SYTYCD season 5 - Choreography by Tabitha & Napoleon

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cardio Diva


     In a world obsessed with body image and a country suffering from obesity it's no secret that diet and exercise are becoming more mainstream. We've got women aspiring to have Kim Kardashian curves, arms like Michelle Obama, and the slimness of Heidi Klum. Whatever your "inspiration" might be I can almost guarantee that being a "Cardio diva" will leave you and your ego unsatisfied.
    So you ask, what is a "cardio diva"? Whether your hitting the gym everyday, twice a week, or once a year I'm sure you've seen one before. Heck, you might even be a cardio diva yourself! You walk into the gym to the right on the elliptical machine shes wearing a full face of make up, a push up bra, and the latest issue of "Glamour" magazine is in front of her face. It's been a steady 45 minutes, she's blasting "Don't Cha" by The Pussycat Dolls, her gym bag is a Coach wrislet, and shes wearing the latest design of Victoria's secret "Pink" boyfriend sweats. After an hour of low intensity cardio, she does a set on the "thigh" machines, 50 crunches, and shes out of sight. Oh c'mon don't tell me you haven't seen her before! We all have and it's ok if that describes you because at least your cute butt is at the gym and not catching the latest episode of Tyra!
    Now you probably think I'm just being a little ridiculous and I am. I'm proud of these chicks for looking so great and working their tails off but I have a better method to your better body. Don't get me wrong cardio is GREAT it burns fat off and enhances your stamina but its more about quality rather than quantity. You also don't want whats left of you to flab so you need some strength training in your routine. You are NOT going to get "bulky" or "big" we're women, your going to get TONED!
    Heres what you do, try a more intense form of cardio for a shorter period of time. My favorite is spinning! Spin for 40 minutes and not only will you burn 400 calories but you'll gain strength and incredible stamina. The treadmill and stair master are great too! Whatever form of cardio you choose (fine you can stay on the elliptical) make sure to add resistance. Do intervals, 2 minutes of super hard resistance and 3 minutes recovery. Do some weight training two to three days a week using nothing less than 10 pound free weights. Do various exercises which target different muscles in your body followed by some ab work.You can browse the internet for some great routines or pick up a copy of "Women's Health" magazine. Finally, put on some proper fitness attire, ditch the magazine, and take off your make up (your pores are begging you!). Now you can blast "don't cha" because girl you're fierce and everyone wishes they looked as good as you! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Recipe for success

I'm back twinkle toes! As promised I would be back before the summer here in New York came to an end and here I am with some updates and good news. After my college graduation which kicked off my summer I decided to take a break from my dance blog to really sort out my life and figure out where I would take my next few steps. Besides taking class all summer I've been exploring ways in which I can get myself involved in other aspects of this dance world I reside in. Sometimes as dancers we forget there is so much more to dance than just taking class every chance we get. During my journey this summer I stumbled upon this quote by Michael Jackson which helped encouraged my quest to be more involved in the dance industry.
"...Work like there's no tomorrow. Train. Strive. Really train and cultivate your talent to the highest degree. Be the best at what you do. Get to know more about your field than anybody alive..."
Michael Jackson was not only a remarkably talented individual but he was intelligent about his work. He knew everything there was to know about singing and dancing from the techniques to the finances. He simply knew it all and to watch him work was not only astonishing but inspiring. No one knew their own talent like Michael did which is why his work remains legendary.
After reading this quote and watching "This is it" I was reassured that talent and technique is simply not enough. In order to accelerate my gift to the next level I must learn all there is to know about it. And what better way to learn than to be actively involved. I worked all summer and discovered these stellar ways to begin my learning journey this fall. First I will be interning for "The pulse on tour" dance conventions where I will be involved in the preparation for their 2010/2011 tour and work on-site at the actual convention. This will provide me with the in's and out's of creating a successful dance event and i'll get to take class in the process. Next I will begin my masters degree in dance education at Rutgers University. Learning how teach others will teach me! Finally I will use my years of training and education to teach children's ballet, tap, and jazz at a studio in my area. Of course I will also continue taking class and challenging myself and now I will have the knowledge to support my craft. And that to me is definitely a recipe for success ! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Under Construction !

Hey twinkle toes! How have you all been? I know its been a while since I've added a new post but don't worry a new one is coming shortly ! My blog is currently under construction and will be back soon with an all new look :) I'm working on a few new things this summer and I can't wait to share all the good news and awesome experiences i've had with you. I am really excited for you to see the new make over <3 Stay focused and positive this summer ! x0

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Observing Dance

Sometimes as dancers we get so caught up in our own classes and performances that we never get the chance to see other people perform even though it's something any artist should do. It's important to go see shows being performed by other studios, companies, or schools to see what other people are doing. Many times seeing or experiencing other dance works will spark some new creativity or motivation in a dancer or choreographer. It's also important to keep yourself current with what is going on in the dance world. This past weekend I went to see a performance by the "Hip Hop Dance Conservatory" which was called "My ghetto pop life". I learned a lot from going to see this show just about the school in general and their methods and techniques. I also got to witness some really great dancing in the process. It is evident that the boot camp style training at this school has paid off for these dancers because the technique that these dancers posses is outstanding. There were some technical difficulties through out the show which were distracting and seemed unprofessional otherwise I really enjoyed the performance. Each piece of the performance showcased different dancers in different styles of hip hop and brought hip hop dance to a different level. There was one dancer in particular who kept my attention throughout the show. She was a young female with amazing technique in popping, locking, and waving. I found that she was the best female hip hop dancer I have ever came across to date. It was great to see a woman as a principal dancer in a hip hop company because hip hop dance often caters to males. The performance opened up my eyes to different styles of hip hop and introduced me to incredible dancers. I found this performance extremely motivating and I would recommend any dancer to see this schools summer showcase and any other performances they come across. I encourage you all to youtube "HDC NY" and "Raphela Riemer" and get inspired !

Thursday, April 15, 2010

After Burn

As I mentioned in previous posts I love to work out! I usually work out 5 to 6 days out of the week and lately I've got into this habit of working out twice a day for 3 of those days. Most people would just think I'm crazy or a workout addict (not ruling out that idea haha) but there really is a method to my madness. I purchased "Making the cut" by Jillian Michaels which is a 30 day fitness and diet plan to the "strongest,sexiest you". Although I don't follow the fitness or diet plan from this book just yet I found some exercise tips and concepts that seemed really great and adapted them to my general routine. Michaels has a section in this book titled "Twice a day" which is where I got the original idea of working out twice a day. Michaels explains that "after burn" plays a major role in the amount of calories you burn. After burn is the amount of calories your body burns post working out. After working out your body works over time to get back to "pre-work out" conditions. When you work out twice a day your body goes through this process twice and your after burn is now doubled. Is this going to make a HUGE impact on how many pounds that will be shed overall? No but its just an extra little push and when your trying to get into top physical shape every little extra counts. So if your looking to be in ridiculous shape give it a try ! Just spilt up your weight lifting and cardio session and your good to go! This concept is not for everyone but I just thought I'd give you the 411 about "gyming it" twice a day. Interested in learning more about this or getting into great shape? Check the book out for yourself because this woman obviously knows what shes talking about !

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Different Directions

Twinkle toes, my life has been so fun, crazy, and busy but I did not forget about you! I have had a crazy filled week of rehearsals and I'm excited to tell you about it. I've previously mentioned my recent project working with a hip-hop dance crew and it has been going great. We have been putting together some awesome dance routines and this week we did something completely new. The founder of our crew is primarily a hip hop and breaking instructor but with his last routine he stepped completely out of the box. He put together a contemporary piece to "Walking on air" by Kerli and it is really awesome. I find it so important for people to continue breaking through barriers and coming out of their comfort zone because the results are magical. I'm posting the video for all of you to see the piece and I'm writing about this not only because I love the routine but because I want to remind all artist out there to travel in different directions. Break away from your "norm" and try something different. Challenging yourself will help you grow in all aspects of your art. Check the video and get inspired to try something new! Love you !

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Young talent

So, once again I was going through a bunch of videos on Youtube because the talent and creativity is endless. I came across this video of a young girl doing a phenomenal jazz solo and was instantly blown away by her talent. Her turns, jumps, flexibility, and personality were very strong. I then read the information on the video and found out that this whole package deal was only 10 years old! My immediate reaction was "Wow, this girl is amazing" then I started to dig a little deeper and I have some mixed emotions about it. First of all she is obviously a natural but even with natural talent it takes years for a dancer to develop this kind of technique which means this 10 year old must spend 90% of her time training. I also feel like her innocence has been taken from her. Theres nothing 10 years old about this girl and sometimes I enjoy watching talented little girls who have room to grow. With that said I'm still amazed by this little girl and wish her all the best. Check her out for yourself :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cardio Barre

Most of my dance training is done at Beyond Dance in Brooklyn, New York and every year we have a guest choreographer come in and put together a routine for our company groups. This year like last year we are working with Stephanie Madden, a former traveling rockette. Along with putting together a great piece yesterday she introduced us to a new way to workout through dance its called "Cardio Barre". This was the first time I heard about this and because I'm obsessed with working out the second I heard cardio I knew I'd love this. Basically this consist of different aerobic and dance movements using the ballet barre. All the moves are done at a fast non-stop pace with numerous repetition. I have to say that this was one hell of a workout. I've been into fitness for 2 years and have taken all kinds of classes and this was definitely intense and I woke up pretty sore. I think all dancers should give this workout a try and I think anyone looking to change up their routine should try this as well. Training in cardio barre is not mainstream yet however they do sell DVD's online! I know I'm definitely going to hunt for a local cardio barre class and when I master the technique I will put together a class for all my locals to try ! If you want information on classes or dvds feel free to contact me through any of my websites :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not So Quick Fixes

It's time for me to steer you into a different direction today. As a dancer health and fitness are a huge portion of my daily life and play a big role in different aspects of any dance life. To be a successful dancer you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your body at its full performance potential. And lets be honest here IMAGE is extremely important for a dancer. Most auditions first cut is done by "type casting" which means if you don't look the part your instantly cut. This leads many dancers to think they need to be 90 lbs to make it but in reality you just need to be in YOUR OWN best shape. So from time to time you'll find some health and fitness posts on my blog because I want to encourage dancers like myself to get healthy and feel confident in their own skin. Today I'm presenting an article from health news which discusses the latest fad diets and why they don't work. I tried plenty of fad diets throughout my life and they don't work so go on, read and learn twinkle toes! Great Post on That's Fit

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pop on Pointe

So as I'm browsing youtube for new music and some choreographic ideas I found endless amounts of choreography to all different Lady Gaga songs. I stumbled upon this great live performance of Gaga singing "speechless" at The Moca event while several classically trained dancers perform a pas de duex. Although the choreography isn't the most technically challenging the dancers are stepping out of the box by dancing on a thin runway and using pop music to a classical style of dance. I'm amazed and glad to see boundaries being broken. Heres the video so you can make your own judgement of Pop on pointe.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fresh new start !

Well twinkle toes ! As I've promised I'm here to give you the "in" on my life as a dancer. Finally its March and I am in the game again stronger than before. After suffering back and neck injuries this winter I have been on "bed rest" for months (Thumbs down) but now I am fully recovered and ready to tackle this little thing I call a dance life. Recently I've proved I have what it takes to make it in this buisness and was asked to be a part of an all new dance crew. A former instructor of mine has put together this hot hip hop crew and we will be taking over the tri-state area in no time. After enjoying a lovely afternoon this Sunday our crew meet for the first time for a short meeting & then got start to work. Heres a clip of our first rehersal as "Brooklyn's finest" :)