Friday, October 30, 2009

“All a girl really wants is for one guy to prove to her that they are not all the same.”

Hello. Sorry I have been far away. I am having one of those no-good-very-bad weeks mixed along with 10 hour rehearsal days and it has left me 100% unable to function come 11 pm.

First of all, thanks for all your love and support during this week. Shushu had to lend me clothes, buy me margaritas and hug my sorry self too many times this week. I would also like to thank catering for making the most delicious bread pudding. It really keeps me going from the hours of 1-6 pm. Yum.

I would like to YELL at the top of my lungs at timezones, small airports + lack of direct flights from wherever I am to my home town. It should not take 16 hours to fly to your hometown. It is just so unfair. I can get to Hong Kong faster. Rockettes have a 3 day weekend this week while the show is loaded up here in PA and trucked to Canada for our opening week. Most of the girls will be spending 12 hours on the bus and a few days off in hotel rooms but not me. I am getting out. Going somewhere. Getting away from my blues. I wanted so badly to go home and see my mommy but thanks to annoying airports and flight times I can't make it in time. I can actually make it to LA and back faster. Light bulb.

One of my greatest flaws + greatest attributes is that I 100% do not think before I act. I say, do and feel whatever is in my mind and just do it. This gets me in trouble most of the time, sometimes makes me look like a complete bitch, and also tends to annoy others. Some of the time this habit creates the best memories ever. I never think wizely, should I do this? I just do it. Usually I end up thinking about it later, sometimes with regret and sometimes with bliss. No matter what happens I am so glad that I am a jumper. Life is so short. You never know when your bottom will fall out and you will find yourself crawling instead of skipping. Skip while you can. I do.

I say, just go for it. Jump headfirst fearlessly into everything. I have read all the books on the rules, and the way you should act and the things you should say. Those things never work. You know what works? Being awesome. Being yourself. Being honest. Putting as much energy into yourself as you do every other aspect of your life. Leaning on your friends when you need them + being leaned on sometimes too. If you need to cry, let it be wide mouth open sobs in front of everyone, stop hiding in the bathroom. If you need to laugh, make sure it is the biggest belly laugh you can muster. Who cares if people look at you, they are only looking because they are jealous they were not in on the joke (which if told by me would be pretty funny, or so I think.)

I don't know what we are. I don't know what you think. I know that your face makes me happy and I need to have your arms around me because right now, life has got me crawling. You make me happy. That is all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Ten amazing things about my mom:

1-Since I can remember she has told me that I am the best and the prettiest.
2-She taught Hobo how to watch baseball.
3-She is really good at picking out perfect cards and sending them my way.
4-She is so hot that all the boys at the pools in Vegas hit on her.
5-She is completely selfless.
6-She has kick ass scene hair.
7-She loves the Buddha. My dad calls her Buddha babe.
8-Mom always rocks a sensible heel.
9-She has always supported me 30065% in everything I do. Even the things that turned out to be total fall on my face mistakes.
10-She loves to read and taught me how.
11-She constantly reminds me that "tomorrow" has only ONE "M" in it. Thanks mom!

*Be sweet to your family. You only have one. There are a million things that might seem like they are more important, but they are not.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Keeping my eyes on the road this time around.

It is my day off. I refuse to get out of bed for the rest of the afternoon. Sometimes I do not need to talk.

I want to thank Martin Sexton for making a song that perfectly describes what I am thinking this very minute.
I want to thank Stacey for creating such a perfect piece of dance.
I want a star-trek transporter so he can come snuggle with me.

Now I'm tired and I'm scared and wide open
To the rest of my life
And I almost had it all
I'm sick and tired but I'm hoping
That a cure will be found
Cause I can't stop thinking bout you

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Is that a giant flower headband or are you just happy to see me?

It has been one of those crazy days where everything goes wrong and somehow it is made into a movie montage with a counting crows song playing behind it. Showed up for work, did giant kicks coming out of bus, giant wave of water came and flooded the entire arena, got sent away, found fun store and tried on boas, went back to work and at dinner lit my shirt on fire at catering on a candle by accident...I cannot make this stuff up. Chaos seems to find me wherever I go.

Been working hard on the book each night this week. Just re-read some and saw this...

"I felt like I had just won the gold medal at the Olympics of life. Keltie Colleen! Undefeated champion of reinvention!"

I cannot wait for you all to read it. I cannot wait for it to become a movie so I can have you all over to my house for a pj and popcorn party...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Decided to stick with what I am good at. Just to clarify:

Things I am good at:
-drinking diet coke
-doing giant kicks while coming out door of big red bus
-designing kick ass dancegear
-writing rad memoir/inspirational coming of age in NYC tale
-standing in heels for 9 hours and not complaining
-biting my nails
-eating trailmix in bed while icing feet

Things I am bad at:
-drinking water
-anything to do with dating
-remembering birthdays
-knowing when to stop working
-remembering my umbrella

In between my 10 hours of rehearsals I managed to get alot of work done. The new fall designs are killer. Finally got Steve to post the new cuffs on the for you all. (go get one! we only made a few!) Did a full Shelley's dance company rope warm-up (my body needed it!), mailed out a tons of cuffs and letters to all my favorite people. Decided that I need to focus on work right now. My hopeless romantic over reactor lover of sweet music and quotes about love side is pretty bummed about this. I was told that I seem to invite only toxic people into my life. Actually they said " human bio hazardous waste". I do not agree. I just seem to always get myself into impossible situations. Then I waste so much energy on making these impossible things possible. After the kind of day I had, all my extra energy needs to go into myself and my jacked up body. My body aches so bad right now, it is in my best interest to keep my heart locked up so that it never has to ache too. I wish they made anti-inflammatories for your heart, I would buy them in bulk.

The Lady Danger's have sore feet.

Remember all those movies where the backstage was filled with flowers, vanities, giant powder brushes, girls in silk robes sitting plush chairs? Forget all that. This is what life behind the scenes of the biggest tour of the fall looks like. After 10 hours in heel taps (I HATE HEEL TAPS!) We hop over to the training room which is inside a smelly hockey players locker room and submerge ourselves ( I was lazy last night and only did feet) in 40 degree ice baths. I like that somewhere in this photo are two crutches just in case! I spent a bunch of time on those last year and I have high hopes that I will never have to again!

Sadly last night we lost one of our Rockette sisters to a terrible case of Achilles Tendonitis. She has been such a trouper and has worked through her pain for so long and finally hit the breaking point. I am so sad to see her go but I am glad that she won't have to suffer any longer. This is proof of just how difficult this show is. It is also a reminder that at anytime your dreams can come smashing down. You never ever know when the bottom is going to drop out of your life, dream, heart or situation. Expect the best but always be prepared for the worst. I know for me, the 10 hours I spend in tech today will be absent of complaints. We are so lucky to be doing what we love. I tend to take for granted my ability to walk, jump, skip, dance and losing a sister has reconfirmed my feeling that I am the number one luckiest human being alive.

This is what I will be doing all day. Cannot wait.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Meanwhile back in the dance world...

My agent Anastasia Miller is the I met her many years ago when she took over at Bloc NYC when I was their client, when she moved to Clear Talent Group I followed her. The reasons are numerous.
1)She always pushes for me.
2)I am on her top 5 list of girls to call
3)She believes in me as an artist and as a person
4)She can out drink me
5)She is a dog lover
6)She appeared in My DVD "From Agents to Auditions" for free just because she loves me.

The secret to a great dance career is a great agent. Hands down, you cannot make it without one. This lady does everything for me. Finds the auditions, sends me, deals with money, contracts, deals, dates and places. She makes it easy and stress free to just show up and do what I am good at and leave all the things I am bad at (see above) to her. More than that though, she is a friend. A beautiful one.

This is a great interview with her from Gendance and super informative and helpful to those looking for break into this crazy world. Enjoy!

She’s the rep with the hottest rep. And if she reps you, consider yourself lucky. Take the lead from this gifted gal who’s behind some of the biggest talent, including Beyonce’s dancers and videos. The stars hire her, but gendance thinks she’s a star herself. Kudos to Anastasia Miller, Director of Dance and Choreography at Clear Talent Group NY, for her passion and dedication. Get inspired - her success is as sweet as she is.

Anastasia Miller:
Tell us about your dance background and traveling the world with Starpower.
I grew up as a gymnast who transitioned into dance. Gary Pate (owner of Starpower) taught me from the beginning. He was like a dad to us and still looks out for me to this day. I now judge for Starpower Nationals and also conduct agency seminars with his convention “Wild”.

What was your most memorable performance?
Wow…that’s tough. I’d have to say performing in Brisbane, Australia. We represented the USA for World Expo 1988. (I totally just aged myself.) But, I got to meet Bart Connors, my fav male gymnast in those days. I was star struck for sure.

You work with lots of hip hop mavens that our readers would be star struck by. We heard hip hop’s your favorite style. Why’s that?
Growing up outside Washington, DC pretty much determined what I liked. The music scene back then was so cool. R&B/Hip Hop was the way of life… especially as a dancer.

If you could change one thing about the dance world, what would it be?
Dance is so hot right now. There’s not much to complain about. Our industry is growing more and more every year. If I had to change one thing, I would want dancers to get noticed as more than just “background” talent. The athleticism and training that go in to being a dancer is difficult. I think the world is finally seeing that, so keep up with the change!

How did you become an agent?
I always wanted to be an agent… even while I was getting my business degree in college. I moved to LA right after graduation with hopes of “meeting the right people” to break into the biz. I was hired first by bloc Talent Agency. I worked with bloc for about eight years in LA and also in NY. I’m now Director of Choreography & Dance at Clear Talent Group NY. I can’t express how amazing it is to work with top talent on both coasts. I’m such a proud mama!

How did you get to the top?
Well, first, thank you for saying “I’m at the Top”! (Haha). I still can’t believe it’s been nine years. Time definitely flies. I think having strong relationships and KEEPING those relationships are key to longevity as an agent. I’m a people person for sure… supporting your clients and also your casting directors/producers/choreographers is what keeps the jobs rolling in. Also, never stop reaching out and developing new connections. You always want to be involved as much as possible. It keeps you fresh in everyone’s mind.

What’s the best part about representing big name talent, like Beyonce’s dancers?
I love representing those “big name” dancers. That’s what we strive for right?! I couldn’t be more proud and happy for those dancers and their success.

What kind of person do you love to represent?
I look for someone who’s not only extremely talented, but more importantly, professional, respectful of others, and who has a good reputation. Too often you hear about a dancer who isn’t hired again because of the way they acted on a job. That type of personality doesn’t represent the dancer or our company well. When we have open call auditions, I watch dancers from the moment they sign in at the front desk till the moment they walk out our door. Your attitude says everything… it can make you or break you.

What’s your best advice for performers?
Basically, know your business. Research the people who are moving up in the world and the companies they work for. Networking is very important in our industry. Taking class isn’t enough… you need to be involved and be aware of the business. Knowledge is everything, but more importantly, you’ll fall in love with dance and your community all over again when you reach out and become an educated performer.

Besides dance, you love…

Peanut butter, ice cream (preferably together), Madonna, Summer Fridays at our office (ha!), and my wittle doggie Oliver. Thanks so much gendance!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The boy who cried "SORRY"

I don't like to lead a life filled with hate or resentment but I am feeling a little overwhelmed with the bad stuff today. I am thinking about the words "I am sorry".

This is a phrase that is overused in our daily lives. We bump into people on the street, fall on them on the subway, bump their carts in the store and we are sorry. We forget someones birthday, forget someones name or forget to email back right away and we are sorry. We miss a payment, miss a flight or miss an appointment and once again we are sorry.

We make promises we don't keep.
We forget to call back.
We lie.

And all of these things can be fixed with a simple "I'm sorry". The kicker is that most of the time, this lame explanation comes without any growth or substance from the guilty party. It is simply a way to get out out of being the bad guy. The sad thing is that a mistake is supposed to be something we learn from. We are all human, we are all going to make both big and small mistakes, but to me "I'm sorry" means, I DID NOT realize at the time that this would hurt/upset/cause stress for you and I regret that it happened and I will do my best to not do this thing again. It makes me seriously bummed when I see people making the same mistakes over and over again in life and expecting me to always accept their apology. "Sorry" was never ment to be your trip past go to collect 200 bucks and start the circle again. It is supposed to be starting point for a change in behavior.

This week I heard a song that made me want to puke. It is funny because we were just speaking about NYC and how great it is, and my old building and my old hangouts that he seems to frequent now, laughing, being silly and being friends. It felt great. I felt great. Hanging with all my bests here on tour and having them gush over the awesomeness that is holding my hand these days. Everything is exactly where is needs to be. Then I hear this song, and I cannot help but feel like I have been made the biggest fool of yet again. It is bad enough to make a fool of me, expect that a simple "I'm sorry" will fix it...but hearing a peppy, upbeat pop song about something that caused me huge amount of pain is a little disheartening. I don't think I like being a muse anymore.

I am a accepting enough person to write and say
"So, The other girl? not my favorite song ;/"
to which I get a
"oh yea. I'm sorry"

You're sorry? Well that's wonderful, but I don't want apologies. I feel like I have been pretty cool throughout all of this. Other girls would have burned your house down. When "I'm sorry" is a staple of your vocabulary is becomes useless. I want a change in behavior, a change in your character, and I know that is impossible to ask of you because I know you too well. This is who you are, this is how you are, and I'm not supposed to try and change that. I'm accepting you as YOU, and moving on.

I guess the lesson here is to be impeccable with your word and if that word is "SORRY" then make sure that you fix your mistakes. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Always.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rhythmically advanced.

Please forgive me for my lack of entries. It's been a busy little time here in rehearsal. I have often found myself waking up cuddling with my laptop having fallen asleep writing the night before. Between designing for my fall collection with Sugar + Bruno, finishing my book, cheering along my labelmate Chelsie on Dancing with the Stars every Monday and Tuesday, Dancing 6 hours a day, skyping with Hobo, knitting myself a dance sleeve, mailing out cuffs, drinking tea and getting very distracted this weekend with wonderfulness I have really been a bore. I am having a blast and every once and a while it is a great thing to just shut off the interwebs and actually live. Try it. It is delicious!

Tonight is my last night in Myrtle Turtle and tomorrow the cast flies to Hershey, PA to begin our grueling 10 hour tech days. It will be weeks before I see the sun again (sigh). I wanted to share this little video I made for my cast and give you an inside look into what it is like for me everyday. As bad as the bad days are, the good ones outshine them in every way. Note: I like sleeping. Alot. I don't get dolled up for rehearsals. I really should have thought about this prior to filming but if I have to leave at 9 am I like to sleep until 8:45 or 8:55. Sleep matters. I learned this when this weekend I stayed up till 5 am to make an airport drop off and only got 3 hours of sleep + followed that up with 7 hours of rehearsal. It was totally worth it at the time, but the next day during the never ending kick lines I really wished I was a little less snuggles and a little more sleeper.

Sometimes in life we do not get to choose our families. When you spend as much time out on the road as I do, my casts fill in for best friends, families and support. Through this amazing job I have made some of my best friends, year after year we meet up, and the situations surrounding us change, someone always gets married, someone always gets engaged, someone always chops all their hair off, but the love between us is always there. It has been an amazing time for me, because seeing all these beauties who supported me and loved me and went out of their way, from across the country to take good care of me in my dark moments of the year makes me realize what really matters in life. Driving in the car to rehearsals sharing the flip side with them and basking in the glow of my extreme happiness is not so bad either...

My friend Kesha once said to me, "How you spend your days, is of course, how you spend your life." I really believe that. Life is not ment to be saved for a rainy day, it is happening right now, right in front of you. This show doesn't start the night we open (novemeber 9th!) it started the day we all put on our tappity-taps and started kicking.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I choose love.

TOKYOtheCOMPANY: "You know what's funny...everyone likes to tell you how terrible of a person you are...but wouldn't that make them terrible too? Thoughts..."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here I am and here we go again.

Thia year in Rockettes our dance captains like to use the word " situation". They say things like "we have a bent arm situation" or "it is a hover over your number situation".

I write you with some ultimate butterflies in my belly. I find myself in a "jump headfirst off a cliff into life situation". As you might have noticed, this seems to be a running theme in my life. I refuse to be held down by "what ifs" and "that can never work" and instead play the "I will just jump in headfirst, swim around for a while, and if I get eaten by sharks then so be it". There are pieces of my heart that have been thoroughly munched by the bad guys, but I cannot seem to let myself live in a closet of fear and cautions. I have way too much faith in the universe.

My favorite used-to-be-neighbour friend Greggy said to me this to me today:

"I am just over protective of you. You seem to get super smitten and then have these horror stories to go along with it. I want a background check,a credit check, blood work and a psychoanalysis. I support you either way but you are beautiful and smart and funny and it gets old hearing about guys treating you badly."

I am so lucky to have such amazing friends in my life to keep me grounded. Unfortunately for them, I live far away from the ground in a fantasy world filled with endless doughnuts, romantic comedy movies, the "once" soundtrack and beautiful plans filled with beautiful people who instead of falling apart fall in love. This is what I want and I will keep on jumping until I get it.

I had to audition to be a Rockette THREE times before I got this job. That means they saw over 2700 girls before they found little me who fits nice and snug at the end of the line stage right. Someone out there in director land was looking for someone just like me. I believe this in my dance life and I believe it even more so in my heart. Dates are like auditions, sometimes you get a callback and sometimes you just have to try again next year. But if it is your dream job you are ALWAYS hoping for that callback. I know I am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No it doesn't hurt unless I walk.

You don't have to call
to make sure I'm up
cause i'm still wide awake
cause i'm still lost in shock
I know your concerned
I know your just sick
and I know you'd feel better
if I were over it

Today was breakdown day. I woke up with a serious case of the grumpies. I had been feeling it come on for some time, and at some point between getting 6000 notes and feeling like the most terrible dancer ever in the morning and making stupid mistakes somewhere in the afternoon I found myself in tears in front of my entire cast-crying and cursing god and santa.

The strongest disappointments happen when we set such high expectations for ourselves. If I was okay with being a floater in life and in dance I would not have a reason to get so upset. I expect so much out of myself and my body and when people (whose job it i to point out my flaws) find alot of them, I have a very hard time accepting that. I really feel like I am the worst dancer ever today. I realize I am far away from being the best dancer in the room at any time, but I like to think that I can hold my own with the middle of the pack. I may have been forced to realize that this is just not the case.

I think today had something to do with the fact that I had a terrible sleep last night. I had a serious case of the crazy pain legs and kept waking up with pain and ache that I could not calm down. I laid and stared at the ceiling for a very long time. In the wee hours of the morning I had three great conversations with three important people, one of them being myself.

First of all, a lesson was taught to me yet again, about disappointment. This is something I constantly set myself up for. People who disappoint you in life will most likely just continue to do smarter than me and realize that back at disappointment number one. I like to think that people change, the people grow and that somehow I am sorry means I still love you when in fact it means, please do not hate me as much as I hate myself. My problem stems from never hating anyone, or anything. He likes to tell me he believes in happy endings but I think what we all need to realize is that, life is not something that it thrown at us, it is something we create. We control our own destiny. If you want a happy ending it is yours to hold. You just have to be willing to work a bit for it. People are afraid of happy endings because most of us are too sad and unsure of ourselves inside that we do not even believe that we deserve to have one. The difference between us is that, I know I deserve one. I think that some people instead of growing and creating a wonderful light in life seem to wallow in sadness and messiness. It is like, a comfortable home of disfunction. Although I can be quite dis functional at times, I choose want more from myself and others each day. Some days, like today can set me back but they can never break my spirit.

Secondly, I stayed awake to hear the words "my trip revolves around you". For someone who never seems to make it up to first place with anyone, this seems so exciting for me. I am constantly amazed with the things that people choose to create in their lives. I am humbled that while I am complaining of blisters and Santa Claus. He is telling me stories about this woman who chose to go blind so that her children could have eye surgery instead of her and that they got people to set up a paypal account and raised 13,000 YESTERDAY. For someone who sang Jingle Bells for the better part of yesterday I am reminded of how big the world is and how amazing some of the people are in it. Everyone should check out what the good and (good looking) people at are doing. Amazing.

Finally, I had a great conversation with myself. I have been expecting so much from myself and not really checking in to make sure that I still breathing. I am. I have had alot of clarity come my way in the past few weeks. I have been digesting alot of reasons, rules and reactions. I am still learning to just go with the flow. I tend to push so hard that I push past most of the world's delights. Say it with me, everything is exactly where it needs to be.

(Stacey Tookey did this on SYTYCDC this week. So amazing. Love the song as well.)

Monday, October 12, 2009


Sunday, October 11, 2009

I've run out of complicated theories now I'm taking back my words and I'm preparing for the breakdown

(I found this video of my friend Ben Susak by accident online, it terrible quality and I think it makes it even better. I think Ben is so brilliant, he moves like honey.)

Time travel is not an option. But if it was I think it would be an interesting experiment to take two people and drop them a year later and see what would happen. The cycle of life allows us to exist inside of very special times and places with a cast of characters, we then create memories, both good and bad. What would happen if you took those same two people and dropped them together now? Would they fit together like they once did? Could they have changed so much that neither one even recognizes the other one? It all seemed so perfect then, but looking back, it was because it was then. I cannot ever go back, so I choose to move forward. Reinvent.

I don't miss you now. I miss you then.

Friday, October 9, 2009

>> The first thing Keltie said to me was “I love your name! I’m adding it to the list of names of the future children I’m not going to have.” As we both laughed at the comment I realized, I’m really going to like this girl.

What made you start dancing?
“I became a dancer when my mom took me to my very first dance class in a big red barn in the crazy small town I’m from. We got to run around and beat on drums, and I felt like I had found my calling. It was a place where I could just act crazy and be myself. And I always wanted to stay in dance. My mom would ask me if I wanted to play soccer or cheerleading or something, but I just wanted to dance.”

You said that you had found your calling because you could be yourself, but what still keeps that love for dance alive? What makes you keep doing it day after day even when it’s hard?
“[It was] around the time I was a teenager and I realized that it was a career option. I just love the energy that surrounds the stage and I love doing something different everyday. I’ve really always loved attention. I’m kind of socially awkward [laughs]. I have a hard time actually functioning properly in public and speaking to people and looking them in they eyes. I always felt like I could express myself through dancing, whether that is excitement or sadness. I feel more comfortable in a dance studio than anywhere else. I just wanted it to make it my life where that’s all I had to do. I didn’t want it to my hobby, but my focus.”

They’re not lying when they say it’s tough to make it in New York. How was your road to becoming a Rockette?
“It was really intense. I moved to New York with nothing. I took a bus from my hometown with no money. And I always remembered walking past Radio City and the Rockettes would be on posters in their signature outfits. We call them our ‘reds’. It’s the quintessential rocket costume. But I remember feeling so overwhelmed and wanting to be that girl on the poster so badly. Some people want to be Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, but I never obsessed over people like that. But, then again, I never obsessed over anyone like that girl on the Rockette poster. Then, I took classes and was auditioning and the Rockette audition came up. There were 650 girls lined up. It was the scariest audition I’ve ever done. They took 100 girls in the audition hall at a time. I got cut right away. I left, but went back the next year and auditioned again. I made it to the middle and was cut. Finally, in the 3rd year I got all the way through. When they called and said I got the job, I was home in Canada with my mom and we just sat there and cried. It was the realization of a dream. A lot of people in show biz get to do these amazing things with their talents but are so focused on other future aspects of it—how much money they’ll make or where they’ll party next weekend. They don’t focus on the moment they’re in, but I was in that moment.”

You wrapped up Peep Show not too long ago, can you contrast being a Vegas Showgirl to a New York City dancer?

“Well, there’s a huge difference, obviously Las Vegas isn’t New York. For me, Peep Show was a great experience. It’s a very sexy, sassy kind of show and it was great while it was happening. Especially because I never really expected it to happen, it wasn’t a goal of mine. It just came up. And I’m glad I did it, but I’m glad it’s over. I want to live in New York. I just belong here. I never belonged in Las Vegas, it was always just me struggling against myself as a person because it was the most un-me I’ve ever been. I’m not a very good showgirl [laughs]. But I do like the glitter. I’m a little too nerdy to be the hot girl on stage.”

In your cover story for Dance Spirit Magazine you were quoted as saying, “I realized I could either be the half naked ‘hot girl’ in the music video, or I could focus on making better decisions. It’s OK not to be famous if you have to go about it the wrong way.” In regards to that quote, how do you pick and choose career opportunities that are offered to you?

“When I was younger I did everything without thinking about the consequences. I know myself and I know I’m really just the nerdy girl, so it felt like an alter ego. I’m not the girl in the spandex dress at the club, so it’s fun to play that sometimes. As I got older, I really had to take a look at life and what I wanted to do and cater to that. As pretty girls in the dance industry there are so many opportunities to go to that side of the scantily clad and sex symbol. Then, you’re constantly around people who are like that. And then you’re on TMZ in a sex tape. And for me, I think I might have been more successful had I gone that route, but I’m not interested in being infamous or famous. I realized I was being a role model to young girls and dancers and I was honest with my struggles of picking jobs. I wanted the girls to realize that at a point, people could just start to see you as a sex object. You have to be smart, recognize that and pick jobs that are more wholesome. I did that and now I have stages of my career I can look back on and be proud to share with my dad and brother. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t be sexy. I loved doing Peep Show, because it was sexy. You have to realize that anything you do at that time can be taken out of context. It doesn’t matter what director you have. People can see a picture of you in a revealing costume on the internet, and it doesn’t matter what you were doing when you took the picture—if it was joking around or right before you went on stage—they’ll judge you.”

You were one of the dancers to teach at the Sugar and Bruno Dance Camp, how was that? How do you come up with your dance choreography?
“It was amazing! When I make up choreography I dance around my bedroom and do what feels good on my body. I’m a lover of music and if something drives me or it feels like it’s the right song to do, the choreography sort of just comes to me. You know, I’m really nervous teaching because you’re putting a piece of yourself out there and you can tell if your students love it or are waiting for the class to be over. Luckily people loved my work, but it’s not about ego. I teach them how to be professional and I push them to jump first fearlessly into their dancing. I tell them I won’t judge them and the only person that can judge you is yourself. I want them to open up their minds, heart and soul and leave their heart on the floor. People really respond to that. I’m excited because we’re doing it bigger and better next year.”

According to your blog, you had a pretty rough break-up with ex-Panic! At The Disco member Ryan Ross, do you channel that kind of emotion into your dancing?
“First of all, he was not the first person to break my heart. I’m an adult and I’ve been through the ringer and I’ve had major heartbreaks before. I think what is so sad about artists is we tend to be more driven, creative and motivated when our hearts are broken. And I was really sad for a while. Ryan was my best friend for a long time and I loved him.” She pauses. “More than I loved myself, maybe that was my problem. And I still do. And I was honest and open with people that I was sad then I chose to pick myself up off the floor and love myself again.
Through art, studio, clothes, websites, kicking back into my career full force, making new goals—I had a choice whether I wanted to be sad and a pathetic mess forever or I could be sad and then pick myself up, move on and focus on myself for once. That’s what I did and that’s what most people do when their hearts are broken.”

You just danced at the VMA’s with Taylor Swift. Is there a difference in what’s going through your mind when you’re on stage for Peep or the Rockette’s, as opposed to the VMA’s where your peers and other well-known talented people are in the audience?

“It’s a different kind of excitement. Being at Fashion Rocks or the VMA’s, it’s always so exciting because you rehearse and rehearse and rehearse and there’s one take. Music videos or movies there are a million takes, and they take the best one. But with a live award show, all your energy and everything you’ve been working towards is pent up for a two-minute performance. It’s this big high; my drug is that moment. The energy is incredible. MTV had them close down 6th Ave and thousands of people were in the stands chanting [Taylor Swift’s] name. Being a Rockette feels safer because I’m surrounded by twenty of my best friends and other strong women. It’s harder, but an incredible rush of excitement. For me, being a rocket is the highlight and everything is underneath that. But anytime I can get paid to be a dancer it’s wonderful.”
Now the obligatory question, Kanye or Team Taylor?
“Team Manners, actually. Please and thanks you’s are important.”

You’re a very busy and successful woman. Along with the Sugar and Bruno clothing line and Vegas shows and the VMA’s, you’re also in the process of writing a book? How’s that going?

“I stayed up until 4:30AM this morning working on it, actually. I’m a total book nerd. My mom is an English major and I’ve been reading three books a week since I started reading. I guess you could call me an obsessive reader. I love the written word and I love memoirs. I’ve read every memoir that I can pick up. I’m the girl that goes into Barnes and Noble and can’t pick a book because I’ve read everything. I love reading and I love writing. I’m a terrible writer, though, because I write the way that I speak. It’s without grammar and punctuation, but I figure there’s someone who can help me with that at some point.”

Can you give us a topic preview?

“ The idea to write my book came from Pattie Boyd (author of Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Me), and Suze Rotolo (author of A Freewheelin’ Time). I read them at a time when the internet was cruel to me and I sought a lot of solace in these books because these people were going through the same things I was. Suze Rotolo says, “quite a herd goes with trickle down fame.” She talked about how she was never famous, Bob [Dylan] was. I was feeling this same kind of emotion.
I’ve walked through my life in a cinematic way. I hear soundtracks in my head when I walk through New York City, you know? And I got this idea to write a book when I was blogging and I kept these really intense journal entries. On the cusp of my last breakup I was a Rockette and I had three rockstar boyfriends and three bad breakups, everything was happening in three’s. I got this idea for a ‘seasons of love’ story. Here I was, this eco-friendly, Canadian girl and guy number one was a rock and roll, Motley Crue type. Boy number two was a devout Christian rock star and number three was this emo rocker who was skinnier than me. And every year in between that there is a season of Rockette’s. Well, I had finished with the Rockette’s and three crazy love lives and I was at rock bottom. I realized that obviously this isn’t working. So, I decided to write about it. It’s just a collection of heartbreak and crazy hilarious stories. I don’t know if it will be a memoir story, but I’ll change the names.
I think that there’s a lull of realistic women authors. There are memoirs for guys of them being awkward growing up, but there’s a void for girls. People read what I’m writing online and now there’s this awesome way for me to express how I’m feeling. I don’t know how the book will ultimately turn out, but it’s almost finished, and my goal is to shop around and have it published. I might even have to publish myself.
Hollywood and the media make coming of age this really awesome thing. You grow up and your awkward and all of a sudden Freddie Prince Jr. gives you an awesome haircut and lipgloss and you can fall in love and everything’s perfect. But it’s not that way. Growing up is hard and wonderful and upsetting and I think I just want to tell stories because us girls need to stick together. You shouldn’t have to feel lost when you’re fifteen, thirty-four or forty-five years old and you don’t’ know what you’re doing. It’s okay.”

Tell us about your “fearless heart” motto.
“I have always had this mantra ‘Courage, Passion, Hard work.’ I’ve used this since I was in high school. And the ‘fearless heart’ motto came about when I started doing workshops for Peep Show. I had my heart ripped to shreds and I had been afraid of myself at that point. Even though I had all these success and a wonderful group of friends and family behind me, I had a hard time getting out of bed. I was afraid of the future, so afraid of the future. I just kind of began thinking and writing and prodding over this idea of having a fearless hear and jumping into your work and love fearlessly. No matter what’s happened in the past, whether I’m heart broken or cut from auditions, none of that matters or exists in the day that we live in. It was about jumping in headfirst and not worrying about people’s opinions. Don’t hold yourself back and then think about how great your day could have been if you didn’t hold back. That’s where the motto came from. I ended up having the word ‘fearless’ tattooed on my finger. And when I started designing clothes for the Sugar and Bruno line and I was like, ‘I should make it a t-shirt!’”

Out of all the dance performances you’ve done since you were a kid, which is the most memorable?
“One was when I got to choreograph the John Legend Green Light video. It was the first time someone had trusted me with a huge artist and I was able to be creative. That was amazing and such a high because John loved it.
As far as performances go, I guess the very first year I was a Rockette. That was phenomenal. I loved dancing for the Knicks at [Madison Square] Garden because there would be fifty thousand people there. It was so exciting. But really, I don’t know about most memorable. I feel like everything’s tied. I’m still constantly in awe of my life. My favorite kind of dancing is when I’m in class in front of a few friends on a Saturday night. When you can take a class, hang out and work through yourself and your emotions in that class, it’s the best thing. Also, any opening night is amazing, but, as you can probably tell, I could pick out twenty-five things that have been great. I’m just really lucky and a hard worker. In New York, we’re just moving so fast at all times. It’s very rare that I take the time to sit and look back. I’m living it while it’s happening, I’m blogging it and then it's gone.”

The dark place.

There will come a day that even the girl with the highest hopes will have the sudden urge to sit down in the middle of rehearsals, cry and wait for her mommy to come get her to take her home, wrap her up in a snuggie and make her soup.
I am having that day.

In Rockette-land we call it going to the "dark place". It is really easy to find, take a bunch of really hard work, unachievable levels of expected perfection, exhaustion, 10, 390 different marks and depths on a stage, an impossible track in the longest number known to dance and mix it with a girl who is a perfectionist, is a slightly above average dancer dancing beside wickedly above average dancers, and is very unsure of anything related to how she got and kept this job anyway...

While I find my way out of today's dark place with a hot shower and mug of tea I am thinking about just how powerful our minds are. I feel about this topic the way I feel when I see things of discovery channel about their being a bunch of other milky ways out there in space. I feel like...WELL, That just can't be right. But it is. The mind is our single most powerful weapon. I could feel it today as the "dark" started trickling in to my mind, the self-doubt and the feeling like I would never be able to do anything correctly, by the end of the day had turned my body into a machine that believed my mind. I was a mess and dancing inside the worst version of myself.

I am the queen of determination. When I put my mind to something. I make it happen. I think the trick to is realize that this works both ways. You can will yourself to being strong, fearless and powerful. At the same time, if you are not careful the ugly beasts of self-doubt and fear jump in and take over. I think from now on I need to focus on spending some time warming up my soul each morning at rehearsal in addition to my body.

I said to an old friend of mine who encountered a year of massive mess-up's that it is always a new day for it to be day one. The beauty in the sunrise is that each morning we get to wake up and get a fresh start. The only person who can decide what your day will be like is you. Sometimes, life sucks. It can be hard, heartbreaking and frustrating. We have the choice within ourselves to choose how we meet those challenges. We can go to the "dark place" or we can choose to stay positive. I don't always make the right choice, but lucky for me tomorrow is day one.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


"When the strong were too weak to hurt the weak, the weak had to be strong enough to leave."
-The Unbearable lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Breaking point.

Today I could use a whole lot more this.

and a whole lot less this.

Breaking points are called breaking points because you feel like you might break. It is so much easier to just do whatever you want then what you are told, in dance and in life. Sigh.

Monday, October 5, 2009

my heart isn't black + blue anymore.

How do you find the strength in your heart to not only forgive people in life but to also be big enough to not carry a backpac of hate around on your back? I have to do 300 kicks a show people. All that hate can get heavy.

Sometimes I do not know what to say. On here. In life. Or in response to text messages. I could write a book on what I would love to say, what I might actually calculate myself to say, but the difference between what my heart would say and what my head would say is so huge that it wouldn't even make sense. I am going to let my good pal Christina Perri just sing it for me instead. Love her.

If your asking if I'm over love. Your a fool to believe you gave me some.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

the moon was so beautiful the ocean held up a mirror.

When you get down, the only place you can go is up.

Took an amazing walk on the beach last night. Stood with my feet in the waves bawling my eyes out looking at the moon with my vision blurred by the tears running down my face. I don't even know what I was crying about. I was just overwhelmed with emotion. From every aspect. I just kept saying in my head that it is exhausting to act happy all the time and sometimes you just have to let yourself be blue. I talked to the universe and asked why it was giving me such a hard time right now, and it said back to me that it wasn't. That I was just focusing on the things I didn't have instead of the things I do.

I think that sometimes tears are like a shower for your heart. Ugly dirty stuff builds up around your heart and every once and a while it is good to have a cry, clean it up and start fresh...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Your options: Love me or leave me alone.

And the things you can't remember tell the things you can't forget
That history puts a saint in every dream.
(Oh Mr. Waits. When I listen to your music my soul is reborn. )

I am the queen of band aids. I thought about this as I taped up almost every crevice of my feet this morning before rehearsal. I dance around on these contained disasters of limbs all day. I come home, make dinner, review, all with the white tape covering what I can clearly feel is underneath it but have no desire to actually deal with. Then late at night before bed I spent time peeling away the layers until I can see the pain just as much as I feel it. There I am infected, gross, dirty, used, callused, torn and beat the hell up.

I do the same thing each day lately. I wake up look at my calender and prepare for a good day. When my car girls ask me how I am I say "wonderful". I choose not to chat about the negative in the car ride to work, instead happily drink my tea and read the news. I make it a point to say a loud chipper hello to every member of staff when I walk into work. I smile. I giggle. I find ways to joke and make the day brighter for anyone that stands next to me. I try hard to compliment my friends when they dance brilliantly. At lunch I tell stories. I act like a fool. When people say things about events of last year on tour I make jokes, as if, none of it ever hurt me. I make jokes about being terrible at boys. I put things in the category of "I never really cared". I choose the tunes that we have our daily ice bath sing-a-longs to...

Then I come home, lay on my bed and when I stare up at the ceiling my head can only wrap itself around how I have allowed so many amazing things to turn sour. I can only remember the perfections of others. I can only see the imperfections in me. I strip away my layers of protection, just like my tape, and I am left with the open sore that is my heart. It fucking hurts. It hurts for everything. The world, your world and my world. It hurts for the things I never said, the things I should have said. It hurts for the ones I let get away and the ones I never let get close to me. It hurts for the person I want so badly to become and how exhausted I am of giving myself daily pep talks. It hurts from pumping life force into this body that does not know how to take a break. It hurts for the lies I have told and the lies I have accepted. It hurts for the way it all turned out, and the way I wish it would have turned out and the way it might have turned out if I just learned to relax. It hurts from having the power to inspire everyone but myself to live better and be nicer to themselves. It aches for the universe to give me what is next...I have a restlessness that I cannot seem to control.

Maybe it is time to take all the tape off, take a day off and lick my wounds instead of just covering them up? Seems to me that the easiest solution is never the answer.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

sometimes, words are not needed.