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Follow Your Dreams…No Matter When July 9, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Arts/Theater, Following Your Dreams, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I remember when a guy I was sort-of dating first introduced me as “she used to be a dancer”. It’s a good thing he didn’t see my face, because I think it was a mix of shock and complete anger. Yes, this is no longer my career. Yes, I now have expanded my resume. Yes, it’s not what my business cards say. But I, in every way, shape and form am still a dancer! It’s a part of my being, my personality, who I am and how I think. Still, I had to face the reality, it was hard to call me that, when I wasn’t spending 10am-8pm in a dance studio anymore.

Remember when you were seven years old and asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? One week it was a veterinarian, the next it was a fireman, then a gymnast who would go out he Olympics and also a mommy or a daddy, or a horse farmer, or a purple rainbow catcher, or a pineapple trader. Well, your dreams in your twenties are just like that, but more along the lines of wanting to make good money, have a great apartment, like your job, have a comforting relationship, make awesome friends, have a stellar career, and so forth. The enchilada, the whole damn enchilada. Then, once you start getting all these things, something really unexpected happens, and you realize how unhappy you are. At twenty-three nothing seems grander than a fancy apartment with your significant other and a dog, but sometimes what we do to get those things means giving up something else. Sometimes, the things we give up are the most important.

turned-cants-into-cans-dreams-into-plansIf you’re lucky enough your career and passion are one in the same, but for many of us, that’s not that case and we have to make the time and effort to follow our dreams. I always thought that going back to dancing seemed futile later in life. After getting a degree, building a professional name for myself, creating a relationship and making money. It felt like it would only be a hobby and not a focus, but slowly, I began to feel dull, lifeless, like I was missing a huge part of myself. I felt like someone had grabbed my very arm off my body and run away with it. I realized that I had been working so hard at life, I had forgotten what was truly important, being happy. There are going to be a lot of years in your life you can’t be truly happy and truly successful, and sacrifice is important, but once you are on the right trajectory, and you are starting to achieve normalcy again, it’s important to feel like you again. If you were always a marathon runner, pick a 5K to train for; if you used to teach acting too little kids, volunteer at a day camp for a couple of weeks. Getting back into the swing can be hard, overwhelming, and time-consuming; it can actually be scary, when you aren’t sure of the outcome or even know if you’re still capable of doing whatever it is you do, but once you put on that dance shoe, or take that photograph, or cook that first desert, it’s like you feel like you’re home.

The career of a dancer starts at about seventeen, and by twenty-seven you’re already considered old. Had I known at seventeen what I know now, perhaps I would have made some different choices, but you can’t regret the mistakes or decisions you made because they lead you to where you are today. You would not be going back to what you love, had you never left it. For many, discovering what they love happens in their twenties, a simple art class or team building retreat can open up new worlds for people. Now is the time, before kids, before mortgages, before there’s another college to pay for, to get into a habit of following your dreams too. Be realistic, you’re never going to be an NBA player, but there are plenty of leagues and teams out there looking for a good shot!

“She turned her can’ts into cans, and her dreams in plans.” What I’ve learned, which I wish I had known at ten, and sixteen, and twenty, and twenty-two was that the most important thing in life is to have dreams. They may not bubble to the surface in the exact way you thought, but the more you learn about life, the more ways you find to make them work. The only person who can do that is you, so never let go of your dreams, and never let anyone take them away from you. In whatever form they may come, they are yours, and yours to concur.

Following Your Dreams May 1, 2012

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Arts/Theater, Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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What is the point of everything we’re doing? Where are we going? Why did I pick this apartment? Why am I taking this class? Do I even like my job? Where am I headed with this relationship? When will I finally feel stable? When will I finally feel secure? Is it ever going to get easier? Questions we’ve all asked ourselves time and time again, questions we sometimes think we find the answer to, only to realize 6 months later that we’re unhappy again. Is it really a vicious never-ending cycle?….

No.

No. Period. Life is like a new recipe, you try it out a few times and it always tastes sorta-kinda like it’s supposed to and then the third or eighth or twentieth time you make you say to yourself “Hey! I got it right!” and you do a dance around your kitchen with a spatula in the air (don’t pretend you don’t, we see you, and we’re applauding your sick moves!). However, life isn’t just one recipe, it’s a 20 course dinner party and you’ve got to take each recipe one step at a time, even if it feels like you’ll never be able to make that soufflé rise, you’ve got to keep trying.

Now in my mid-twenties things have begun to take shape for me, but not only me, those around me as well. Getting older may seem daunting but it can also be inspirational. The last two years I’ve seen friends get engaged, married, have babies and build lives. However, some of the most monumental things I’ve witness are where people are able to go in their lives, achieving the things they always dreamed of. Someone who picked up her life in New York and moved to Palm Springs, starting over, from scratch and happier than ever; My roommate’s lifelong ambition of being a New Yorker coming true as each month passes by; Another friend moving in with her fiancé and starting her own business; friends who bought their first house, finally able to have backyard barbeques. Even the launch of DLIH is a lifelong dream. So you see, it’s all possible, you’ve just got to put the effort into the right places and work a bit of self magic to make it all come together. No one is about to tell you it’s going to be easy, but the reward is worth the labor.
Life isn’t always about paving away at your own dreams though; it’s about helping others reach theirs. Karma is one of the strongest tools you’ve got in your belt and by not using it, the only person you’re hurting is you. For all of us, there comes a time and a place when it’s all about you, your goals, your dreams, your achievements and when that day comes you’ll want all the support and backing you can get. Following your dreams isn’t easy, it’s scary, it’s really exhausting and tough so when someone else is racing to get to there, be there. What you give you in life you will get back to make your own goals come to reality.

So here are two dream chasers that are making it happen and they need your help!

Dave Delaney – my very own, personal, professional, charming bartender is building his own road as an actor/director. His latest Off Broadway project Kings River, has been months in the making and finally setting stage at the end of May (Yes, I said off-broadway…as in 52nd street Manhattan!). Countless hours have gone into directing this play, but also making it from scratch. DLIH asks that you support the arts and support those making a name for themselves by coming to one of the many shows in the two-week run of Kings River. With beer and wine in the mix, how could you go wrong?! A grade A play for affordable prices! You’re Karma will thank you 🙂 Learn more about Dave and Kings River on their website. DLIH will be representing with friends in tow! Come out, have a great night and support a wonderful director in the making!

How many of you have ever been to a library? A bookstore?…Kindle? Well, writing a book is no easy task, much less publishing one! Few people can make to the level of getting their written word out for the masses…and not just by cyberspace. Miss Taylor Cast, known for her witty and direct commentary on Miss Taylor Cast as well as co-founder and contributor to the Urban Dater, has made it to her book publishing debut…or almost, anyway. She’s at her last hurdle and needs your help! Please visit her kickstarter page to help make her dream come true, she’s done the work, she just needs an extra push. All you have to do is donate a buck! Make I Made All the Mistakes a hardcover phenominon!

So…what are yours dreams in life???

Spend the Weekend with DLIH: August 20th – August 21st August 20, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Arts/Theater, Food/Dining, Weekend with DLIH.
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It’s Friday, time to kick up our skirts and leave those briefcases to collect some weekend dust! What’s hot in heels this weekend? Follow the cool treasure map of DLIH suggestions below for a weekend Doing Laundry in Heels style! (You might just spot SK in the flesh if you’re lucky!)

Saturday, August 20th:

Mean Red Productions presents the 5th annual PARKED at the South Street Seaport! This 30+ food truck meet-up also includes a beer garden, cooking demos, a playground for kids, bands and DJ’s and more! Spend Saturday afternoon dancing among the food trucks and festivities! Find more details here!

Still going on is the International Fringe Festival! Check out the multi-arts extravaganza that is FringeNYC, showcases plays, exhibitions, shows and other artistic endveours around the city. Catch more performances until August 28th, including Salamander Stew, featuring an SK friend!

Sunday, August 21st:

Rare Salon in downtown Manhattan is breaking barriers this month and offering an amazing, and beautiful, deal! Every third Sunday during Ramadan, Rare will open it’s door to Hijabi women to come and get a treatment of anything they desire in the privacy and comfort of the salon. Understanding the rich culture and special needs of these women, Rare wants to make this experience special and fun, they believe all women deserve to have beautiful hair! Visit their Facebook for more details or to make an appointment.

…and always remember, it’s not what you do (this weekend), it’s how you do it! Keep it classy!

Have an event coming up you’d like to see on Spend the Weekend with DLIH! Email sofia@doinglaundryinheels.com with details.

Spend the Weekend with DLIH: Aug. 6th – Aug. 7th August 5, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Arts/Theater, Causes, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, Review, Sports, Weekend with DLIH.
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It’s Friday, time to kick up our skirts and leave those briefcases to collect some weekend dust! What’s hot in heels this weekend? Follow the cool treasure map of DLIH suggestions below for a weekend Doing Laundry in Heels style! (You might just spot SK in the flesh if you’re lucky!)

Saturday, August 6th:

It’s not too late to check out the 4th Annual Latin Choreographers Festival! Performances take place at the Baruch Performing Arts Center and there’s still time to catch the last show of these talented choreographers, dancers and artists! Check out their website to find out more and get your tickets right now!…RIGHT NOW!

Imagine old school bookcases, a sexy martini paired with some odds and ends chairs and end tables from a yard sale, some candles and the smell of cinnamon and spice and you’ve got Freemans in the East Village! Recently visited and rated by SK herself, the hidden NY gem is a great Saturday night dinner spot. Prices are New York style but the foods worth it! It tends to be packed but the upstairs lounge serves the full menu so ditch the 45 minute wait and head up to the second floor. If you’re up for some special drinks be sure to visit Frank at the bar! He’s not only a great bartender but will make your night!

Sunday, August 7th:

You’ve seen the ads in the subway, well it’s time! The Runyon 5K walk/run at Yankee Stadium! This relay for the fight against cancer is one of the most unique fundraising events of it’s kind, the course is Yankee Stadium’s stairs, ramps, halls and fields and the cause is cancer research! Even though registration is now closed, if you’re not doing anything head on up there and support the great runners! See what all the hype is about so you can be prepared for next years registration!

…and always remember, it’s not what you do (this weekend), it’s how you do it! Keep it classy!

Have an event coming up you’d like to see on Spend the Weekend with DLIH! Email sofia@doinglaundryinheels.com with details.

Spend the Weekend with DLIH! May 14th – May 15th May 13, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Arts/Theater, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, Weekend with DLIH.
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It’s Friday, time to kick up our skirts and leave those briefcases to collect some weekend dust! What’s hot in heels this weekend? Follow the cool treasure map of DLIH suggestions below for a weekend Doing Laundry in Heels style! (You might just spot SK in the flesh if you’re lucky!)

Saturday, May 14th:

Feel free to sleep in because the Artists and Fleas flea market is open 10am-7pm every Saturday and Sunday. This is a one stop shop for designers, art and vintage odds and ends. Located in a warehouse in Williamsburg, it’s conveniently located near the Bedford Ave. stop on the L, first stop in Brooklyn.  This Saturday’s reason for yummy perfection is”artist and flea”(and DLIH person favorite) Sweet- NYC, owned and operated by Christie Alexander. Stop by and get some yummy bites! Visit Sweet-NYC on facebook for more details.

Sunday, May 15th:

The annual Crafts on Columbus is open and ready to go for another weekend of fine and interesting crafts. This 4 block long shopping features jewelry, paintings, pottery, clothes, photography, bags and much more! Find K.Diresta Design near 79th St. for some of the classiest, finest jewelry you’ve ever seen! Well-made and beautifully crafted by the talented Kathleen Diresta, anyone can wear her creations! They’re simply, elegant and fit every physique. She also does custom orders (…DLIH would know!). Visit kdirestadesign.com for photos of her jewelry and more information. Crafts on Columbus is open from 10am to 6pm beginning at 77th st and Columbus both Saturday and Sunday.

Ever watch a music video and think “Hey…I want to dance like that!” Long time friend and DLIH supporter David Guggino (dancer/choreographer) can make you move like they do in the movies! Reebok Sports Club on 67th and Columbus are hosting the The Breakdown: Hip-Hop Basics May 15th 2:30pm-4:30pm. The class will breakdown all the different elements of hip-hop to give you a real foundation and understanding, not to mention it’ll be a fun time to dance your ass off! Registration for both Reebok members and non-members IS required. Contact asrodriguez@reeboksportsclubny.com for more information or to register.

….and always remember, it’s not what you do (this weekend), it’s how you do it! Keep it classy!

Have an event coming up you’d like to see on Spend the Weekend with DLIH! Email sofia@doinglaundryinheels.com with details. 

Black Swan: Through The Heart of a Dancer March 11, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Arts/Theater, Causes, Review.
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“We’re going to have to sit here for a few minutes.” I said to my friend as I didn’t move from my oversize, movie theater chair, nearly weeping. He hugged me and said “Do you feel like you’ve missed an opportunity?”, having heard me utter “I know her, I know her, I know him!” all through the 108 minute film, but that wasn’t why I was frozen with hot tears rolling down my cheeks. For the first time, someone had actually cared about the world I had lived in so long, a world I don’t think I ever truly left. While many, especially dancers, have nothing but ridicule to offer about Black Swan, I have only compliment. A round of applause for Aronofsky and his portrayal of the ballet world.

When I first heard about Natalie Portman doing a ballet movie I was 100% skeptical. Let’s look at past “ballet” movies – Center Stage, Save the Last Dance, Step Up, none of which clearly or realistically depict ballet or the dance world correctly. Why would this, super-star, famous director flick be any different? Slowly but surely, the icicles on my nose melted away as I began to remember how much Natalie loved ballet (my father taught her a few years back.) Somewhere inside of me, I felt like she wouldn’t settle for another blockbuster hit that showcased bloody toes as the climax of ballerina problems.

I can feel a thousand bun wearing eyes burning through the words I write…so let me begin by explaining a few points to you. As artists we learn to dive beneath the surface, we grow-up too fast, we feel more than we’d often like and, due to that, are more emotional or closed off than the average individual. We know what faking looks like, we know what faking feels like, we know how to fake it and we know how to silence the house and bring tears to their eyes. Few make it, and I’m sorry to be harsh but yes, FEW make it. There are many companies and many ways to be a dancer but if you’ve never danced in a full-time, large scale ballet company, you can’t judge this movie with pure understanding. I’ve never worked in a hair salon, I’m not about to berate Tabitha’s Salon Takeover.  I however, grew up in a large company, worked in a few and made a conscious, difficult choice to leave so yes, I have some leverage in my opinions here. Lastly, this is a movie, this is not a documentary or politically charged film, this barely graces “indie”. In theater, we often use the term “educated audience” and “un-educated audience.” When we step onto the stage we know that opera houses will expect perfect lines, effortless jumps, character, esthetics, proper form but walking onto the stage of a small theater in Nebraska we know they’re going to want something totally different, they don’t know what a panche or a tendu are. So dancers, you can’t blame Aronofsvky for the over-exageration, the common people want pizzaz and blood.

Now that you’ve made it this far I know I’ve got your attention….so let me begin by explaining why this film broke my heart in all the right ways. Being a dancer is the hardest, toughest, sickest, most volatile, strenuous, beautiful, holy, amazing thing I have ever done. I know how to love something more than life itself, I know how to be so close to God I forget I’m on earth.  Black Swan is not about a psycho ballerina who kills herself in an effort to escape the confines of her oppressed life nor is it about some sheltered adult-child unsure of her sexuality. Those are the ingrediants to the million dollar movie recipie and nothing more. Black Swan is about a challenge in life, a challenge to choose a love over anything else and understand that with that love, with that great thing, you’re going to lose a lot…but you’re gaining a lot too. It’s about testing yourself, pushing your own limits and reaching a freedom, for a moment, for a balance, for one, single pirouette. These moments are few and fleeting, terrifying but worth everything.  If you didn’t like how Natalie depicted an anxious, confused, young ballerina with an eating disorder you are totally entitled to those thoughts. To all of us who have been there, who have wanted to be a swan, we know many of those traits are not unreal….tell me you have not looked in the mirror, after starring at yourself day after day for hours for weeks and thought “I’m too fat.”, tell me you’ve never ordered a salad instead of a burger because tomorrow was costume fitting day. NO, not every dancer has an eating disorder, I never had one but can I say I’ve always had a healthy relationship with food? With my weight? With the development of my muscles, the way my leotard looked, how my shoes made my arch look, which bun style made my eyes look bigger and my cheeks look smaller? It’s part of the job, you’re in the spotlight and you know it and whether you want to admit it or not the Arts are FULL of politics, especially nowadays. In a Utopia it would be art for art, but it’s not my friends so don’t tell me no one has ever gotten prima ballerina by sleeping with the director, they have and they will continue to.

I was touched that someone who knows nothing of ballet or the dance world could find this, could understand it, could use superficial psycho, sexual refernces to bring everything that I know, that I still hold in my heart to the public. The idea that “if you just work hard you can make it!” doesn’t exist in our world, you really do die for your art. You die for your art in order to live for it. That is why I have nothing bad to say about Black Swan, I never expected it to be an accurate decpition of a ballet dancer in New York, a documentation of a SAB student but I, also, didn’t expect it to delve into a world I didn’t think anyone else could understand.

SK – Photo: N. Alovert