Yes you read that right. Booty rolls. Hair whips. Crop tops. High heels.
I made a goal with the new year to take at least two classes a week that are completely out of my comfort zone. I’m pretty comfortable in a hip hop class but ask me to be girly or whip my hair and I shrivel like a raisin.
Not saying that the only classes out here are sassy and girly, there are many styles, but if I am going to start auditioning I should learn to get comfortable in any setting. Since I am indeed a girl, being girly may be something I should be comfortable with, don’t you think?
Scary right? But I think it’s kinda fun. Who knows if I am making a fool of myself in those classes as a little white girl but I’m going for it. Thankfully, I’m still an individual and can make choices about what I allow myself to do. So no, I’m not saying because I live here I have to be whipping my hair all the time but I do need to push myself.
Jumping into a contemporary, jazz, and some hip hop classes I usually can hold my own but i’ve taken some classes lately that have really put me out of my box….I branched out and took class from a teacher I wasn’t familiar with and everyone around me was equally amazing. I secretly just wanted to sit in the back and watch. The level of talent out here is insane!
What’s that quote about living outside your comfort zone? if you know it please do share because it needs to be my motto!
1. There are no laws. Ok maybe not that dramatic but in the handbook it says to follow the flow of traffic at all times. Welp… if the flow of traffic is going 80 then you betta keep up!
2. Merging is a near death experience. Motorcycles are allowed to drive in between lanes and come flying up behind you at any moment. Imagine trying to merge and some motorcycle comes zipping up in your exact merge spot!
3. Everyone believes they are more important than you. They’ve got somewhere to be and of course they need to get there faster than you.
4. Find an audiobook or soothing meditation music. If your going to be sitting in your car for at least an hour at a time you might as well make it useful. It’s the perfect time for choreo music search and some car-ography.
5. Cops will stop you for talking on the cell phone but didn’t seem to notice the land rover next to me flying by at at least 85. goodness even I know that’s over the speed limit.
6. When a really expensive car drives by I secretly hope for a celeb citing. It has yet to happen…
7. We now measure distance in time rather than miles.
8. A great pair of shades is required. Thank you Target.
9. Somehow I am always amazed that there is traffic at 6 am. Why is everybody up?! A drive to the airport for an 8 am flight is impossible!
10. I’m getting used to this LA commute just like I got used to the Minnesota winter. Its a love hate relationship. A necessary evil if you will. If it means great class or new adventures i’ll take it!
Photography by Chantel Marie
I am so excited to share my new website with all of you! I’m mostly excited to have a space that I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts, ideas, and sometimes even my moves! My first blog, “A Spoonful of Freckles”, started out as health and fitness related blog and over the last few years it has evolved into so much more. To be honest, I almost felt hypocritical always posting about health when I had my days of eating donuts and didn’t feel all that healthy. It almost made me crazier to be so health focused 24/7. I needed some balance. So that’s what you’ll see here. Balance. And hopefully a lot of honesty. This is a space that I can speak about my life as a professional dancer, wife, and all that comes with that. Of course you will still find me ranting about health since it is something I am passionate about, but you’ll get puppy pictures, marriage adventures, and travel all mixed in! We moved to LA to chase our dreams and I am so excited to document the adventures ahead.
We are soaking up our White Christmas and all that Utah has to offer this time of year. Mine and Carson’s families are both in Utah and its been non stop family time so far. Not that we mind of course! What a blessing to have so many fantastic people in our lives to spend the holidays with! Did you notice we are matching?! We didn’t even realize it till after we took the photo:) We must live together or something. Wink Wink. I’m going to keep this short to get back to the family fun so Happy Holidays from the James Gang! We’ll see you in the New Year!
Maracana Soccer Stadium
Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)
Favela’s (considered the ghetto of Rio)
Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao De Acucar)
The first salad I saw in days. Brazilians don’t eat to many of those Check out that humidity hair?! #nailedit
Botanical Gardens of Rio
Rio was beautiful! Full of tourist sites mixed with the local culture of Brazil. The stark contrast of the favela’s and the well kept tourist sites was so different than anything I’ve ever seen. Driving through those I almost felt unsafe and experienced a small piece of culture shock. It reminded me to count my blessings for the environment I grew up in. We experienced Rio like real americans complete with Chloe’s purse being stolen, major sunburns, and local (not so great) food. Thankfully Carson and Seth speak fluent Portuguese or we really would’ve stuck out like sore thumbs. We rented a car shortly after arriving and driving in Rio was an experience in itself. Although it was crazy and slightly dangerous I am so glad we did. We saw most of the city and had the freedom to explore as we pleased. We spent our last day at Arpoador Beach before we headed cross country to visit where Carson and Seth served their LDS missions. Stay tuned for Part 2!
We don’t have any access to Internet or wireless here in Brazil unless we are at the hotel in the evenings. I will say it has been the best thing to not have my phone on me for the larger part of the day. Real conversations are required at meals, laughing in the car as we navigate rio, and genuine connections and memories are being made between friends.
I wish I could live this way constantly and maybe this will inspire change in our lives at home. I am taking it all in and not missing a single thing by staring at my phone the whole day. The world moves on and it’s ok to miss out on what’s happening. Time to experience my life in the now.
So we covered Crossfit in my last post and today let’s discuss cardio. Dancers spend a lot of time in the studio and you may think we are burning calories like crazy. Yes we are but its more of an anaerobic workout than aerobic and it’s the same affect as running for an hour. As a dancer I hate running. It hurts my joints and I get super bored, but I know dancers who love it. If you are a runner I suggest keeping it to 30-45 min sessions a couple times a week with some intervals to boost your metabolism. I’m not a certified trainer so take my advice as you like it, but this has worked me! I also love intervals on the elliptical! Saves my joints and I find I can get a good aerobic workout with intervals, resistance, and incline. Some awesome workout ideas on a previous post of mine about cardio ideas!
I recently fell in love with SoulCycle. It’s a trendy spin studio that kicks your butt! The environment is empowering and the workout I get is amazing! The only downside is, I develop muscle quickly in my legs and again I was finding I was loosing flexibility and only strengthening the large muscle groups and neglecting the smaller ones dancers require. That’s when you listen to your body and maybe just spin twice a week supplemented with yoga or pilates. We’ll talk about how much I love those last two later!
It’s so important to find what works for you!! Everyone’s body types are different and what works for me may not work for you. I do suggest to my fellow dancers to take good care of your bodies (especially as we age) and train to support your dancing!
That’s my two cents! Happy cardio!
We are taking a vacation! It’s well overdue and Carson is taking me to Brazil to visit where he served his LDS Mission! It’s been 5 years since he’s been home and we are pumped this all worked out to go visit! Carson is glowing with excitement and I can’t wait for the beach!