What I learned at LEAD and What it means to be Fearless!


Since I started this blog I have gone through moments where I am not sure what I want to say or share. Do I even have anything to share? And then something hits me…. a moment, a thought, something stirs inside that needs out. I woke up at 2:00 am spinning. Really that is how this came to be Kelli’s Twirl. I have always had moments where my head spins faster than my body and mind can react. If only.. If only, I had the time, energy, strength and the mind to accomplish all my twirl. The thing is when I have the energy I GO and that is what I have learned this year. Stay consistent and push when I can… This weekend I am traveling for dance. I have had lots of exciting things happen that push my mind to dreaming of all the things I want to do accomplish and give to this world. I laid in bed until 4:00am and now I am in the hotel lobby listening to African tribal music, waiting for the Starbucks across the way to open. Writing to all of you…. Sharing my twirl….

In my professional life I am as lucky as they come. I have had a path that has led me to find my true passion of working with women and men across the country to help them build their businesses and reach goals they never thought they could. When you join a business like Beautycounter there are many things you know you will receive. An income, training, education, a chance to share a mission and be an advocate, and often finding an amazing group of friends. The thing you don’t know you will receive is a look inward and amazing personal development. You grow in ways you never knew or thought you would. A business like this pushes you out of your comfort zone and I always say if you are uncomfortable you are doing something right! A couple weeks ago we had our conference in Phoenix, Arizona. This year we focused on our leadership levels and wanted to help them push to become stronger leaders. Leading is hard, especially when you are unsure you want to be a leader, or what that evens means.

The conference was amazing. Congrats to my good friends Lauren Beck, Candice Sylvia and the production company Mills James ( and so many more) People left lifted, motivated and with lots of momentum. And so did I….. Not just in my work but in my personal life as well. So I wanted to share SOME of the things I learned at conference.

The theme this year was Fearless. I had never really thought of the power of that word until now. What does it mean to be fearless? Really I think we are all fearless every single day… It is fearless to wake up and go out into this world, to drive a car, to speak up in a meeting, to present something you worked hard on. It is fearless to have a baby, to be a parent, to send your child to school. It is fearless to go on the date, to say yes, to grow and love someone, and even fearless to let go. It is fearless to speak your truth, to be authentic, to be who you are really meant to be with all the light and dark that is attached to that. It is fearless to try a new dance class, a teacher, to choreograph, to share your soul and art, to step on to a stage. Really when are we not fearless? The mind is such a powerful thing, and it speaks to us always. (unless that’s just mine… and I have to say my voices are a little loud, or at least they were last night.) Yes our mind fills us with doubt. It makes us question what is right, what is wrong, if we can do something, how the world will receive the real us. Truly being fearless is pushing past the voice in your head and knowing in your soul, you should, you can and it is your truth to be you.

Last year I got the opportunity to work with Life and Business Coach Aaron King. One of the things we talked about was doing something I was scared of once a month. I did – I went on dates I didn’t want to go on, I jumped from an airplane. I tried new things. I did learn a lot about myself in those moments of doing something out of my comfort zone. Sure I learned …. I could be afraid, do it, survive and grow. I think at the time I was checking the box. Trying something new, being scared, box checked. What I failed to see in those moments was to go after the being scared and uncomfortable as many times a day as possible. Why not? Who freaking cares? Will the hot guy at the grocery store remember or care I asked him out? Will anyone remember if I go in the middle of the hip hop circle and bust it out. ( ok yes bad example for me:)) Do it, go after it, be fearless, be scared, but just be you and go after the big things!

When that voice of self doubt trickles in like every five seconds……………….. Or at 2:00 am. Speak louder, go for a run, call a great friend, send a message, listen to a podcast, read a book, listen to your power song, write, share, be scared and dance anyway.

You know if you aren’t scared of your dreams they probably aren’t big enough… Love Kelli

You Say -March Playlist

All the words and thoughts we can’t find tied up in notes. Here are some of my favorites songs for March. This month has been filled with emotions like the spring weather, sun, rain, wind and brighter days. Use these for ballet, contemporary class, stretch on your own or even for the first warm day where you find your windows down.

Heres to Spring… LOVE K

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/march/pl.u-JPAZEkZIDWJ2Pka

Some favorites with lyrics….

  • Say Something acoustic – Madilyn Bailey
  • Consequences (Orchestra) -Camila Cabello
  • You Say ( piano/ Vocal) Lauren Daigle
  • Just A Little Bit of Your Heart – Ariana Grand
  • In My Head – Peter Manos
  • Say Goodbye – Ryland James
  • Fire – Sara Bareillis
  • Bury a Friend – Billie Eilish
  • Cologne – Haux
  • You & I – John Legend
  • Bruises – Lewis Capaldi


Some piano for across the floor or an ending reverence.

  • Let It GO – Disney Peaceful Piano
  • Mary Poppins Medley – Jim Brickman
  • Blue Bird – Alexis Ffench
  • Skyscrapers – Alexis Ffench
  • Book of Days from Far and Away- The Ultimate Movie Music Collection
  • Love theme from Romeo and Juliet – Cincinnati Pops Ochestra
  • Rolling in the Deep – Piano Guys
  • Lord of the Rings – Piano Guys 2

The Month of Luck – March Barre

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. – Great Expectations

Hello March – The month of the unexpected, in all things, weather, what spring holds, what this year is turning out to be. It is that transition month from cold hibernation -plotting and planning to putting lots of things in motion. It’s also competition, convention and audition season. All the hard work you have put in in ballet, it is time to use. March is the month of luck, but all those things I just mentioned do not need luck. You will do well because you worked hard, were driven, focused and had the mindset to push just a little bit harder. Remember the work you have put in as you begin to perform, continue to push yourself in endurance, strength and flexibility. March is the time to bloom…..

Merde – Kelli

Tendu Pliés - Tendu Pliés Track 1
Tendu Front 1,2,3,4 slide close Plié  5,6, close 7,8
Tendu Front Plié, 1,2,3,4  Front ron de jambe side plié 5,6, close 7,8
En Croix 
 
Pliés - Grand Plié Track 2
Demi plié 1,2,3 - 2,2,3 Demi plié 3,2,3 -4,2,3  Grand plié 5.2.3- 6,2,3, 7,2,3-8,2,3
port de bras 1,2,3-2,2,3-3,2,3-4,2,3-5,2,3-6,2,3 Tendu to second 7,2,3 -8,2,3
1st -2nd -4th and fifth - port de bras arms
 
Tendu - Tendus Battement Track 3
Tendu and 1 and 2 
Pull in coupé extend 3 and 4 
Tendu 5 close 6 
pique 7 and 8 en croix
 
Dégagé- Petit Battement Track 9
Front, front 1 and 2 
pique, pique close- 3 and 4
Pique front and side and back Close - 5,6,7, and 8
Reverse all
2 each direction 
8 to side and close 
 
Frappé- Frappés Battement Track 6
Front, Side, Back, Side - 1, 2, 3, and 4 
Double front and 5  Double side and 6 Double Back and 7 Double Side and 8
Reverse 
Petit battements -1,2,3,4 around ankles and at the knee 5,6,7,8
 
Relevés - Sautés Center I Track 15
First 16 
Second 16 
Coupe Right 16
Couple Left 16
 
Ronds de Jambe - Track 4 
Plié front 1,2,3 
side  2,2,3 and back- 3,2,3
Circle two times 4,2,3-5,2,3
Grand Ronde Jambe en l àir- 6,2,3 7,2,3- 8,2,3
Reverse all 
Circle front no fondu 1,2,3  side 2,2,3  back slow 3,2,3
4 circles 4.2.3-5,2,3-6,2,3,7,2,3, 8,2,3 
Front développé1,23-2,2,3-3,2,3 back développé 4,2,3-5,2,3-6,2,3hold and back 7,2,3 8
 
Développés - Track 8
Front 1,2,3-2,2,3-3,2,3-4,2,3-5,2,3-6,2,3-7,2,3-8
 En Croix
Second time foutee to the barre
Relevé down, relevé and down 
Grab foot stretch front, side and back  slide split 
Other side
 
Leg Lifts - Strength Training - Track 11
Tendu Front and lift 8x
En Croix
 
Grand Battements - Track 14
Front 
Back 
Side and Side 
Repeat 
 
 
Tendus in center - Track 13
Croisé Devant Tendu 2x front 1,2,3,4
2x Back 5,6,7,8
Écarté side side 1,2,3,4 turn front 5,6,7,8
Face the front 
Tendu Al Quatriéme 4x back 1,2,3,4
Tendu Al Quatriéme 4X front 5,6,7,8
Reverse all facing corner 3
 
Sautés in Center - Sautés II Track 16
Jump first, first, first, coupe 1,2,3,4
Jump first, first, first, coupe left 5,6,7,8
Jump Second beat change 1 and 2
Jump Second beat change 3 and 4 
Sou Sou plie repeat 5 and 6 hold 7 and 8
 
Pique turns - Sautés Center IV Track 22
Pique, pique, pique double 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Tombé pas de bourrée double turn 1,2,3,4 double is on 5,6,7,8
 
Grand Allegro - Grand Sauté Track 21 
Arabasque hop, Coupe hop
Waltz turn, Waltz turn inside turn down 
Arabasque chassé to corner 4 tour jeté 
Chassé leap 
 
Reverence - Track 23 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Five things I learned this weekend…..

Sunday evening, and getting home from an amazing weekend at the Tremaine convention in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been going since high school, which is amazing but also makes me feel very old. Looking at glass half full I should take joy in the fact that I am still in the dance space. I LOVE supporting up and comers who are KiCKING some Tail ….

Here are the five things I was reminded of at Tremaine this weekend!

  1. Be Confident – WOW as an observer – confidence is everything! Dancers who showed up and owned the room had a huge advantage over the kids who were trying to decide if they were good enough. It is a game changer. I wish you all felt it, owned it and let go of all doubt! It will be the thing that makes or breaks you!
  2. Be Yourself – Derrick Schrader’s class was my favorite. I am sure if you take from me this will not be the last we talk about him! OBSESSED…. I have said a million times “Just because it is in style, doesn’t mean I should be wearing it! ” Derrick’s class demonstrated just that. Dance your strengths, don’t worry about your weaknesses. The amazing guy who killed that combination was not technical, he wasn’t flexible, he didn’t have amazing turns but he owned the combination, he made me watch him, he commanded my attention, I am still thinking about him! He didn’t question himself, he didn’t try to be something he wasn’t, he owned the dancer he was. Find yourself, know yourself, know your strengths so well it is easy to dance as the person and dancer you are meant to be.
  3. Be True to the Choreographer – I talk about how everything in life, work and dance is a healthy balance. As much as I want you to very much be yourself and own your space, you also need to very quickly have an understanding of the choreographer. Their style, their mind, the ins and outs of the musicality and what they are looking for. Now the tricky part is knowing all of this, becoming this, dancing this while still being TRUE to who you are. Teachers want you to make their visions come alive. You have to understand what they are after. Listen to everything they say, watch for the detail, every move glance and breath. Become what they are looking for while still being you.
  4. Be Humble -Dance competition and conventions give such a competitive edge. It is actually something I thrive off of and I think made me a better dancer. Some people get anxious and cave to the pressure and some develop from it. These moments give a time to spotlight people, acknowledge people and reward people. Does this mean if you were not highlighted you suck. NO – It actually means there are a 200 people in the room and you were not killing it enough to grab their attention. But what if you did get picked! YAY – YES have your moment of celebration quietly – in your mind! LOL Be Humble. There is a time to celebrate, with your family and friends but make sure you are not gloating and celebrating in front of the people that just got their hearts, dreams and futures crushed. Be KIND and respectful. People remember how you act and treat them in that moment. The person that got cut could be a future judge, choreographer or director on a future job! You never know and it just is the right thing to do!
  5. Take care of yourself – You know I don’t even want to type this bullet. You also are aware if you know me that I need to drink more water. That being said as a dancer your body is your instrument. Dancers are rough on their bodies. Water, healthy food, sleep, massages, stretching are key to keeping your body moving. Our bodies know more than we do and when it is done- it will STOP. Something will happen that makes you rest, makes you drink water, and makes you eat. As a dancer timing and your body are everything. Do not get yourself in place where your body decides for you and ruins an audition a performance or a minute of dance. Take care of yourself by sleeping, eating and staying hydrated not only on a weekend like this but always!

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your world, for watching you live and breathe dance. Please share what you learned this weekend by adding a comment!….. LOVE ALWAYS K

What a Feeling….. February Playlist

Music is my love language. I feed off of it, it lifts me, it sits with me in sorrow and it’s one of my very favorite gifts to give someone. Back in the day a mix tape from a friend or a boyfriend gave me all the smiles. Playlists are those current mixtapes and here is mine to you for February.

When I started this post my first thought was to skip the instrumental piano and just keep it to songs I know people will love. But I started thinking of my favorites and no good Kelli playlist would be without some amazing movie soundtracks. Music moves you in those movies, and the composers behind those great scenes are genius. So I hope that you listen, you appreciate and your heart gets twisted into knots…

Love with all the Listens… Happy Valentines Day K

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/what-a-feeling-february-playlist/pl.u-V9D7m8pCB1PM7Dm

Music with Lyrics

  • Flash Dance – Yael Naim
  • Fools – Lauren Aquilina
  • Heart of Blue -Shannon Saunders
  • Yellow – Emmit Fenn
  • Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
  • Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michaelson
  • Rivers – Altman Brown
  • Take Me Home – Jack Savoretti
  • Fall At Your Feet -Saint Raymond
  • Let Her Go – Jasmine Thompson

Instrumental Some of my very Favorites!

  • Dreams and The Music Box – Klaus Badelt – Leap soundtrack
  • Look Closely – Hans Zimmerman Rubert Gregson-Williams – Winters Tale soundtrack
  • Main Titles – David Snell, John Lenehan & Orchestra – Cider House Rules
  • Cora – Randy Eldelman – Last of the Mohicans
  • The Kiss – Trevor Jones – Last of the Mohicans
  • That Next Place – Thomas Newman – Meet Joe Black

For the Love…… Ballet Barre for February

This month has been taken over by frigid weather, dark wintery skies and short days. If you ask anyone I teach they will share with you that I love a hot classroom. It gives your muscles the warmth to stretch, move and you the ability to push your body to its limits. I also love the feeling of sweat trickling down the bottom of my back, it feels like hard work. So as we survive these next couple months of cold snowy weather let’s warm up from the inside out, in all ways. Sometimes finding warmth from the inside out on a cold winter night is the best thing you can do for your soul. Take the fire inside of you, the passion and let us push ourselves, until the sweat trickles and our hearts find warmth.

With LOVE K

New Music for Ballet – Caleb Fawcett 2009

Ballet Barre 

Grand Pliés – Pliés both sides Track one
Facing the barre 
Demi plié1,2,3- 2,2,3
Demi plié 3,2,3-4,2,3
Grand plié – 5,2,3-6,2,3-7,2,3 -8
Stretch cambre back right arm – 1,2,3-2,2,3-3,2,3,-4,2,3
Relevé– 5,2,3 – 6,2,3 – tendu second 7,2,3,8
Repeat in second facing the barre – cambre right and left 
Repeat in Fourth Cambre is in lunge wide fourth 
Repeat in Fifth Grand port de bras sous sus
 
Tendus– Tendus with Port de Bras Track four 
Tendu from first 
Front 1 close 2  lift flex 3 and 4 stretch 5,close 6 tendu 2x 7 and 8 
En qua 
 
Tendu facing the barre – Tendu both sides Track 5
Facing the barre 
Tendu close first 2x – 1 and 2
Tendu fifth 3, 4 
Pas De Bourrée 5,6,7,8 right then left (right all then left all)
Sauté in first 2 x – 1,2
Jump hit coupe 3 and 4 
Pas de bourrée right - 5 and 6 and 7 and 8( right all then left all)
Left hand on the barre below is done 2x
Tendu front 2x 
Back 2x
Side 2x (2x all)
End releve in passé-plié, relevé, plié, relevé, hold in retire

Dégagé - Track 11 
Front and front pique point - 1,2 ,3 and 4
Front brush back brush front and close -5,6,7,and 8
Back and and back pique point -1,2,3, and 4
Side side side -5,6,7,and 8
All 2x
 
Frappe – Frappe 2T Track 25
Strike front  - 1,2 
coupe front bk front -3,and 4
Strike side- 5 and 6 
coupe bk front bk – 7and 8
Strike bk -1,2 
coupe bk side front 3 and 4 
Double front -and 5, 6
Double side hold, and 7 and 8
Reverse the whole combination 
 
Stretch in center 

Cloche – Cloche 3T Track 23
Brush front and back – 1, 2 
Brush front and carry side – 2,4 
Double ron de jambe en l àir – 5,6,7,
Lift and close and 8
Reverse back 

Ron de jambe – Ron De Jambe (3T) great exercise to move to center in coming weeks Track 17
Front développé big – 1,2,3,4,5,6
Side développé big side – 1,2,3,4,5,6
Back développé back – 1,2,3,4,5,6
4 circles 1,2,3,4 hold 5 and 6 
Reverse all 
Front Grand Ron De Jambe en l àir 
Circle all the way around 2x Second time hold arabesque in behind 
Attitude – plié, relevé, plié, relevé balance and hold
 
Ron De Jambe en l àir – Ron de jambe en lair 3T Track 18
Front carry side single en l àir en dehor - 1,2,3,4
Back carry side single en dedan – 5,6,7,8
Side double extend  en dehor and hold close – 1,2,3,4 
Side double extend en dedan and hold close -5,6,7,8
Attitude front brush back -1,2,3,4
Brush front carry side single and close -5,6,7,8
 
Grand Battement – Track 22
Brush front -1,2
Brush back -3,4
Brush side- 2x- 5,6,7,8
2x 
 
Petit Allegro -Track 40
1 sauté jump- 1
Jump coupe left back-2
Jump coupe right front -3
Brush back assemblé bk- and 4
Glissade jeté pas de bourrée 5,6,7,8
Jeté jeté jeté hop- 1,2,3 and 4 
Jeté jeté jeté hop – 5,6,7 and 8 
Reverse all 
 
Pirouettes – Pirouettes 3T- Track 34
Tendu front and close  - 1, 2
Side and fourth double close – 3, 4 ,5,6
Sous Sus to corner one – 7 and 8
Croise Devant to fourth inside turn en dedan – 1,2,3,4
Tambay pas de bourrée to corner 2 = 5 and 6 
Double close and finish front – 7 and 8
Reverse

Grand Allegro – Track 44
Glissade assemblé– and 1 and 2 
Pas de chat – and 3 
Pas de bourrée – and 4 
Double turn- 5,6
Arabesque  - 7 and 8 
 run run and leap – 1,2,3,4
 
 
 

Stretch Yourself To New Heights…..


Early on you learn the importance of the stretch, before you go into class or perform. Taking those moments at the beginning to warm up, wake up your muscles so you can bend and move with ease. There are always the dancers that don’t take the time needed and they end up with pulled muscles, torn ligaments and a special seat on the side to watch class for 6 weeks. You would think that would be enough to learn why we stretch, push ourselves to become more flexible. Stretching pushes your limits, its uncomfortable and even feels painful at times. The only way to grow is to stretch, and the only way to know you are stretching is to reach those moments of discomfort. 

I had the same job with one company for 13 years. Talk about a place of comfort. You know what is expected, know where you play well, know what you can and can’t get away with. You even lose sight of what your true strengths and weaknesses are. I didn’t really want to leave my job for all those reasons. I had small children and learning a new role, a new brand, a new work force sounded overwhelming and hard. What if after all that work, I was actually happy in my cozy comfort zone? For a million reasons it was time for me to look at moving companies. I started interviewing, talk about stretching, I had to get out of my comfort zone on calls, interviews in person and it quickly taught me a few things. When you interview and do things that feel hard you also feel accomplished. It gives you value, and confidence. You learn to speak or even see yourself and it reminds you of what you bring to the table. You remember your weaknesses and how you need to push yourself. I did move into new roles, new companies and have never been happier. What if I had never been willing to make those stretches?

A couple year ago I found myself in a ballet rut. I taught dance for years and never claimed to be a prima, it was more of a side love passion. A few situations made what I had to offer feel questioned. My teaching started to feel hard and cumbersome. Instead of walking into my very favorite place and sharing my light, my ballerina vibe, I felt awful and thought maybe someone else would have more to offer. It was such a huge love, and my heart felt a little broken. It had always been my safe spot. I started taking class again, and I remembered why I loved ballet so much. I was reminded that I actually did know what I was talking about. I took class anytime I traveled in LA, New York, at Joffrey in Chicago and BalletMet in Columbus and it stretched me. I stretched myself as a student, a dancer, a teacher and a choreographer. What if I had given in, given up? What if I had not chosen to move past how I was feeling, my comfort zone and not taken class? I could have very well given up my greatest love. 

Each of those moments have taken me to a place where I felt unsure and those are the moments I found Kelli. I found what I have and where I fit.

I have never stretched more as a, mom, employee, leader or dancer as I have in the past year. I made myself a promise to always take the interview, regardless how happy I am. To take the class even if it’s too hard or I’m feeling too old, to jump in on the project or go on the date.  It will push you, stretch you and give you confidence, it will make you more, it will make you stronger or it may just help you find who you always were and the parts of you – you may have forgotten.

When someone tells me they are doing something uncomfortable, I always say good! I wouldn’t want you to be in a place of normal, or easy, or routine. Stretch yourself to grow beyond your limits. Be more then yesterday, or the day before or even today. If you want to leap and soar with ease, if you want to spin for days without losing a moment of focus you have to stretch yourself. 

Stretch in every direction and grow to be the person you are destined to be in and out of the dance classroom… Love ya so much K

January Playlist -The Beginning of Anything you want…..


Music gives me all the feels. I imagine most dancers feel that way. It’s a huge part of who I am, it makes me work harder, run faster, love more, and leap higher. Songs identify certain times in my life, certain people, the happy, sad, the good and the bad. I am always chasing new songs that “move me”. I must say I found some good ones. A few that made tears sneak out and trickle down my cheeks. You know thats a sure sign it will be on repeat, and if I teach you played loudly in a hot, dark winter classroom.

I hope you took on the last blog post, reflected on 2018 and put some “on pointe” goals in place for 2019.

These songs are a gift from me to you always! LOVE K

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/january-twirl-playlist/pl.u-38oWXL4IPgqMm4V

Music with Lyrics for a warm up, stretch, across the floor, center barre or contemporary.

  • Cologne- Haux
  • My Love -Ria Mae
  • In My dreams- Ruth B
  • Cloud 9 -Frances
  • No Matter -France
  • Landslide- Robyn Cherwell (CURRENT FAV)
  • Yours – Ella Henderson
  • Everything I need – Skylar Grey
  • Early Morning Light -Sarah Jarosz
  • Tightrope – Sara Barellis
  • Revelation -Troye Sivan and Jonsi
  • Unchained Melody – Boyce Avenue (can be used for the Unchained Melody adagio in January Ballet Barre post. I love teaching it to piano and then giving them a chance to do the combination to music with lyrics.)

Instrumental Piano – For stretching and across the floor.

  • Ocean Eyes – The Theorist
  • You are the Reason – The Theorist
  • She Used to be Mine – Piano Dreamers
  • Let You Go- Piano Dreamers
  • Love Me Now – The Theorist
  • In My Blood/ Swan Lake – Piano Guys
  • Shape of You – The Theorist
  • Peter and the Wolfe OP 67
  • The Seasons OP 37 – Julie Barcarolle

A Look Back and Leaping Ahead….

Ready, set go into a new year! January is a time where people reflect about the year behind them, and begin planning what they want 2019 to look like. It is no different as a dancer or a dance teacher. You should take some time this month to look at how far you have come and what you need to do to improve.

Taking a look back…. Often we are so busy pushing ourselves to the next level that we forget to look back at how far we have come. I do this myself in life. Did I accomplish the things I wanted, was I organized, did I give my ballet students enough, was I strict enough, am I the best parent I can be, daughter, sister and friend? When you take some time to really sit back and look, you become aware of the mountains you have moved. Life is constantly throwing obstacles in our way, this is what makes us grow. So take a moment to look back at all that you accomplished as a dancer/dance teacher this year. Write it in a journal, diary, special notebook or even keep it in the notes of your phone. When you are having a down moment look back at it, this will help remind you of how far you have come and how much potential you have.

Kelli wins for 2018 – a little inspiration

  • Started taking more classes as a teacher to learn and grow.
  • Took class at Balletmet – Columbus Ohio
  • The Edge – Los Angeles
  • Broadway Dance Center – New York City
  • Joffrey – Chicago
  • Met the Art and Marketing Director of Joffrey and got a personal tour. exchanged info.
  • Mentored by Elaine Spielberg from Balletmet over dance barre work
  • Created a Ballet pedagogy with the help of Elaine Spielberg.
  • Got to know Michael Cussamano, taking class and assisting him. And we are friends now….
  • Totally out of my comfort zone took class with Mia Michaels at 42..
  • Took a million yoga classes, and a few pilates classes
  • I loved my dances last year and love my song choices for this year.
  • Changing up barre work more often and students are getting much better at picking up barre quickly and easily.
  • More creativity in my barre work
  • Feel organized
  • Great support staff to my busy life and work travel
  • This dance Twirl blog
  • Lots of big ideas
  • Saw Hamilton, Waitress, Book of Mormon, Little Mermaid, Dear Evan Hansen, several BalletMet performances, Pink and the Edge scholarship performance. (All give context and inspiration)

It actually is fun to go through the process of all your wins, and you will always have more than you thought you did. Ask your teachers, what wins they think you had in 2018. They might have seen something in you, you didn’t see yourself. Also ask them what they believe you can improve on and where you should focus. Talking to your teachers will show you care, you want more and your intentions for 2019.

Leaping ahead….. Now that we have taken a look at 2018 it is time to look forward, time to MOVE ahead. I think it is best to break this down so you can think of the different elements of dance. Look at each and write down what you really want to work on in these areas. If possible include dates. If you have a time frame you want to get a specific movement, trick or stretch it will push you harder and give you a real goal to work for.

  • Flexibility –what can you improve and how will you do this?
  • Strength- where are you at and how will you build strength and endurance – Cross training
  • Musicality – Timing and the ability to count different types of music
  • Emotion/ performance – Not only using your face but your entire body, expression and performing. This is in class and on stage.
  • Tap – What steps, combos and timing should you work on?
  • Jazz- Leaps, turns and all aspects of jazz what can you improve?
  • Ballet- Timing, barrework, center, vocabulary, dancing the barre.
  • Hip Hop- popping, style, ability to let go ( not a hip hop dancer..)
  • Tumbling – what tricks do you want to have for this year
  • Acrobatic Arts – what level are you at and how will you increase your flexibility and control.
  • Choreography – Are you picking it up and retaining it?
  • Focus – What is your mindset in each class?
  • Body – This is NOT about weight! How do you feel about your body, where you are at, do you feel good and are you taking care of yourself. Nutrition matters, your body is your instrument.
  • Energy level- Do you have energy, how can you increase your energy to get things done in the classroom and out!
  • Inspiration – It is important to network, learn, grow and read about dance. Not just on social media. Go to a performance, a broadway show, read a book, find things that will inspire you in the classroom.

Now you have set goals for things you want to improve this year. Share this with your support system, parents, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend and your teachers. It is hard to attain big goals without the support of people around you. Share your vision and let everyone know what you will be working for in the next year.

How do you keep these goals in the forefront of your mind? Here are some fun ideas so you do not lose site of all the dreaming, plotting and planning you have done.

  • Write all your goals in a journal or an important notebook
  • Email it to your teachers- they want to know and will help you reach your goals.
  • Make a vision board. I am all about an old school poster board with pictures and inspirational words and quotes. This is something you can hang in your room, in your closet. You can also make a digital version. Save several pins on Pinterest about dance and goals you want to work for. These pictures should be pictures that inspire you. Post it on social, save it as a screen saver on your phone, iPad or laptop. Get creative and have fun with this!
  • Look back at this often… before you go to dance, before you go to bed. These goals do not have to be set in stone, they may change during the year, as you have different experiences, teachers and dances. This is a living, breathing document.
  • Share them with me!!! This may sound silly but I am all in on hearing your goals, helping hold you accountable and cheering you on! All heart and soul send them to… mcvaykelli@gmail.com


Dance Teacher Side Note

Share these ideas with your students. Help them find their wins and plan out what they want to work for in 2019. It will help you teach them, support them and choreograph for each of them. You want dancers that are focused and are intentional as they walk into the classroom. They may need direction, support and guidance to put this in motion. Also do this for yourself as a teacher. Sometimes we are so focused on growing and mentoring our students we forget to stop breathe and take a look at ourselves, how far we have come and where we want to be.

Stop reading we have lots to do… Lots of dreaming, reflecting, writing, planning, sharing, and dancing. So get busy, do it all with heart, focus, drive and perseverance. There are a million people to support you, even some standing in the wings you think aren’t watching, but they are…. they see you and so do I….. I am here always- even if it is behind a computer screen sitting on my bed. You got this and you have 2019….. SO LETS GO!!!!! Love K


Unchained Melody- January Barre

Welcome 2019! 

This is your year and mine to become exactly what we wish to be. It will require lots of heart, hustle and focus. To start things off right, here is barre for January. I used some of my old favorites that you and your class are sure to love. With an adagio to Unchained Melody piano version. My hope for you this year, is you know your worth in and out of the dance classroom. That you shine in all things and never think twice about what you bring to the stage and this world.

Let the dancing begin…

 January Ballet BarreMusic – Hollywood Hits for Ballet Class Volume 1

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/unchained-melody-january-barre/pl.u-mJy81KEuzBlVgdp


Barre


Plié- Track 2
Romeo and Juliet: Kissing You

Demi plié – 1,2,3,4,5,6
Demi plié- 2,2,3,4,5,6 ( port de bra arm up to high fifth)
Gran plié  -3,2,3,4,5,6 – 4,2,3,4,5,6
Relevé – 5,2,3,4,5,6
Cambre forward -6,2,3,4,5,6
Cambre back -7,2,3,4,5,6
tendu to second cambre in and out 
repeat in fourth cambre back
and fiftth gran porte de bra 
 
Tendu from fiftth – Track 3
Lord of the Rings: Concerning the Hobbit

Tendu close slow -1,2,3,4
Tendu close-5,6
Tendu close -7,8
Tendu plié -1,2,3,4
Tendu pull in run up to passé and point -5,6,7,8
En croix
Tag end 
Tendu front -side-back-side passé lift hold 
 
Degage/Jete from fifth – Track 6
Harry Potter: Professor Umbridge

Dégagé front- 1
Degage front -2
Pas de cheval- 3,4
Pas de cheval- 5,6
Brush through to arabasque back – and 7,8
Repeat all back
Tag – 
Degage side 4x to fifth- 1,2,3,4
Degage First, First, First to fifth -5,6,7,8
Repeat all this 2 times 
Balance in coupe 
 
Frappé- Track 11
Ghost Busters
 
Front strike -1
Front strike-2
Double side double side -3 and 4
Strike front-5
Side-and 6
Back- and 7
Side – and 8
En Croix – Repeat all Side – Back Side 
 
Stretch –Track 17 
Inception
 
Stretch on own for the first half of song
Then left hand on barre 
Grab foot stretch front 
Carry Side
Carry Back
Grab with both hands Hold
Slide into split
Repeat Left 
 
Rond de jambe – Track 10
La La Land
 
Rond de jambe fondu front side back-1,2,3- 2,2,3,- 3,2,3 -4,2,3
2 circle in plié -5,2,3,-6,2,3
2 circles brush to front quick -7,2,3 –
brush to back arabesque.-8,2,3
Repeat reverse all 
Grand porte de bra 
Leg side rond de jambe en làir en dehor single single double and close
 
Developpé – Track 9
Twighlight Bella’s lullabye 

Up to passé extend front and close -1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Up to passé extend side and close-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Up to passé extend back and close-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Up to passé extend to second- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Foutte to the barre Attitude -1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8


Batmas in demi pointe  – Track 22 
Pirate of the Caribbean

Front batma -1,2
Front batma -3,4
Front plié in coupé -5,6
Relevé batma close-7 and 8
En Croix

Tendu in center – Track 24
Star Wars: Cantina Band
Facing Corner 1 Tendu front front- 1,2 3,4
Tendu Back – 5,6
Tendu side- 7,8
Tendu side side side side -1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
A la quatriéme devant
Reverse begin facing corner 3

Adagio – Piano by Candlelight – Track 39
Unchained Melody
Facing Corner 1 in fifth position – hold 8 counts
Arms flow inverted to high fifth- 1,2,3,4
Then flow down to middle fifth open to second – 5,6,7,8
Gran plié down and up -1,2,3,4
Tendu right front left arm in high fifth -5,6,
Ron de jambe right arm up -7,8
Brush through first position to fourth double turn end de don left -1,2,3,4
Land pointed back with left cambre stretch lunge to fourth arms flow down to low fifth- 5,6,7,8
Stand left toe pointed back and arms V arched back stretch – reach and reach and close fifth -1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Carry arms to high fifth run leg up to passé extend devoloppe front -12,3,4
Carry to second double rond de jambe en lair lift to high devoloppe to second hold till the last note lift and close fifth- 5,6,7,8
Lift back left from fifth devolppe to back arabesque stretch right arm forward to — arabesque -1,2,3,4,5,
Lift to attitude arms in high fifth and lift – lift ( push those counts and breathe the music)- 6,7,8
Balance left – 1,2 soutenue -3,4 to the right out fourth 5,6,7,8 double pirouette en de her -1,2,3,4
Land in fourth double pirouette en dedan arms in high fifth 5,6,7,8
Balance right left chain -1,2,3,4 right step left lunge forward reach left arm forward -5,6,7,8
walk around yourself finish in fifth facing corner 3 -1,2,3,4
arms in open high fifth down -5,6,7,8 Inside turn 1,2,3,4 relevé -5,6,7,8 reverse all



Grand Allegro- Track 28 
Skyfall

Tombe pas de bourre to fourth double turn
Arabesque hop balance
Arabesque right step left point right facing corner 1
Down inside turn chaines
Tombe pas de bourre Leap Leap

Reverence – Track 30
Dances with Wolves

On your own… Lead your students through a beautiful goodbye


May 2019 be filled with heart, soul and grace. And may every melody you hear become a chained connection to your movements…. XXX Kelli