Anniversary Celebrations with Our Favorite Wizards

Posted on: May 17, 2016


May 7th was our five year wedding anniversary and it really snuck up on us. Time has flown by, but our lives have changed so much since we said “I do”.  The hubs surprised me with tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. It’s basically in our backyard and we were dying to go!


Hogsmede is adorable. I felt like I was stepping into the movie. SO WELL DONE! We experienced Olivander’s wand shop and the many little wizards running around with new wands. I love that we love amusement parks. Well to be honest we are mostly Disney fans but Universal did a pretty good job with Harry Potter. Especially the main attraction at the castle. The queue itself was a t0ur of the Hogwarts Castle through Dumbledores office, Defense Against The Dark Arts Class, moving photographs, and so much attention to detail! It didn’t feel like we were waiting at all. The ride is the best part of the whole park. Its a mix of 3D graphics and real life roller coaster feel! I’ve never ridden anything like it! It did make Carson super sick. Poor guy.


I know I said the ride was the best part, but the Butterbeer came in a close second. It’s a magical butterscotch/root beer concoction that’d I would go back for! We had a blast. The rest of Universal Studios is what it is but Harry Potter was definitely worth a visit! I have so much fun running around with Carson and these are memories I will cherish forever! I’m so excited for the next year and many more ahead for us!



Taking Control of My Health

Posted on: May 15, 2016


It has been quite awhile since you’ve heard from me, and I thought it was about time you did! I’ve shared a little bit over the years about some of my health issues, mainly a lot of deficiencies, and what I’ve been doing to try and heal my body! I struggle with leaky gut, iron and multiple vitamin deficiencies, and super low blood sugar. I went through a 6 month holistic treatment plan a few years back in utah with Red River Wellness and we discovered a ton about my body. I am fortunate that my body is still very functional because I do understand things could be much worse! I was done with feeling tired all the time, depressed, and struggling with weight gain. The plan worked well and we took a lot of time with special dieting, supplements, and blood tests to get most of the issues resolved.  But a year later I had my blood checked again and it was dangerously close to the same as before my treatments.

Honestly I was at a loss.  I was so sick of eating the same type of food daily, swallowing a bunch of vitamins, and dealing with fatigue. As a dancer I was really sick of dealing with the yo-yoing of my weight and you can imagine the stress I put on myself to loose it. My body just couldn’t regulate itself well enough to function properly. Granted I am not perfect. I eat sugar (too much of it) and other processed foods that I really should stay away from, but overall I take pretty good care of myself and I shouldn’t have been feeling this badly.  I knew something was missing.

January of this year rolled around and I decided (like everyone else) to participate in a 30 detox challenge.  I reached out to a friend who is a certified nutritionist, health coach, personal trainer, and phenomenal dancer for her Transform 30 program. I thought it was just another “whole 30” type of a plan.  Turns out it was better and easier in my opinion. 30 days of no dairy or gluten. I’m intolerant to both so that’s something I could do! She also introduced me to Juice Plus. I was skeptical at first because I was already swallowing way too many vitamins and here is what I learned.

Juice Plus+ is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Juice Plus+ helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day. Not a multivitamin, medicine, treatment or cure for any disease, Juice Plus+ is made from quality ingredients carefully monitored from farm to capsule to provide natural nutrients your body needs to be at its best.

I was up for the 30 day challenge and to give the capsules a shot. Two weeks in I could already feel the difference. No longer did I have to take a break in my pilates class and my energy levels were great! I definitely don’t eat 30 different fruits and vegetables a day and that’s really what I needed.  My body was craving the nutrients it wasn’t getting and i’m feeling so much better. Of course its no substitute for clean eating but it helps me bridge the gap :) I also love how my skin glows and my weight is finally at a normal spot :) Isn’t it crazy how when we feed our bodies right they just work?!

I hesitated sharing my story because I can’t count the countless products people throw at my face. But I felt selfish in keeping the knowledge I now have to myself.  I want to help the next generation of dancers take care of their bodies the way I didn’t. This generation of athletes is training harder than ever and they need the nutrition to support it. I want to be a voice of health and body love, not stress and weight management.

If you have any questions comment below! I’d be happy to share my experiences!



SYTYCD for kids?

Posted on: February 9, 2016

SYTYCD - Judges and Cat web

Have you seen the news? Fox has renewed So You Think You Can Dance for another season. The only twist is you have to be between the ages of 8-13 to audition. I’ll repeat that. 8-13 years of age everyone.

While its exciting for that group of kids its disgusting to me as a professional.  The importance of “fame” is valued too greatly in the dance world. These kids look to a reality show for their inspiration and career aspirations. What happened to buying a ticket to the ballet, or the latest professional company that is rolling through town? Daily training full of success and failures. Blood sweat and tears. Not a makeup team telling you which camera to play to.

This isn’t to discount the talent of any dancer that has previously been on the show. I myself auditioned and had a great experience. I know many past contestants and they are fabulous professionals. That’s just it though, they are professionals. I can’t imagine the pressure and mental stress these little dancers will face with the america telling them if they are good enough. It’s worrisome.

Overall, I miss the good ol days without youtube, instagram, and reality tv.  The days of hard work, kickin your butt in class, supporting your friends, and creating true art. What happened to all that? I miss art and it’s our jobs to create it without the pay off of “fame”.




My Daily Go To Smoothie

Posted on: January 25, 2016


A little recipe for you today! I recently discovered Juice Plus and my life is changed! We can talk more about that later (send me a message if you’d like) but I wanted to share a super EASY and quick smoothie recipe I use daily!



Coconut Water ( I use Zico)

Two cubes of frozen Spinach (blend spinach with a bit of water and then freeze it in an ice tray! super easy)

Half of a frozen Banana

Handful of frozen berries (I used blueberries)

1 scoop of Juice Plus Complete (or any plant based protein)

Any additions you want! I like to add a little almond butter but anything like flax or chia seeds is great too!

Combine ingredients above in order they are listed and blend to enjoy! I use a little magic bullet and it works great for me!  No need to spend a fortune on a Vitamix to get a good smoothie taste.

Happy Blending!



What Am I Afraid Of?

Posted on: January 4, 2016

Jesse by 2015-09-23 (15)Ever wonder why the blog goes silent for awhile? I’ll tell you. I don’t have much to say on those days and I don’t want to fill your feed with froo froo posts just to say I’m posting often. I’ve repeated over and over again how I want this space to honest, real, and a peek into a dancers life, so let’s  keep it there for today. Here comes another deep dancer post…don’t complain I didn’t warn you :)

Did you catch that? I just tried to get you to skip this post because I am afraid.  Not afraid of the boogie monster or zombies, although I probably should be, I’m afraid of failure.  You may be wondering why I chose to be a dancer then? Failure is more common than success and I didn’t step into this career blind about it. I knew I would get cut at 100 auditions before booking one, or fail in class multiple times.

This doesn’t scare me.  I’m not afraid of messing up in class, getting cut at an audition, or falling on stage.  I’m simply afraid of disappointing others. Why should I care about others? I shouldn’t.

I had a teacher tell me just the other day that I’ve got to figure out how to let go. “Screw perfect” she said. I get that and I am always preaching to my students the same principle. Perfect is boring.  How the heck do I let go? Is it just that easy? I’ll take any and all available tips!

Apparently not for me. I like to be in control. Control of my schedule, control of my job, and control of my body. Well its 2016 and it’s time for a change.

Have you ever heard the story of Icarus? To sum it up Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus’s father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings or the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun, whereupon the wax in his wings melted and he fell into the sea.

The first time I heard this story I was only told half. I believed the story to only contain a warning of being too confident and flying too close to the sun.  It recently came to my attention I had not heard the entire story.  Icarus is also warned of flying too low. Has anyone ever warned you of flying too low? Probably not and I’ll tell you why.  It’s easy for the media, society, and culture to warn us of getting over confident and flying to high. They’d like us to fly to low. Flying to low keeps us from gaining wings to fly at our highest. I had the opportunity to sit an listen to Seth Godin a few months back and he shared another analogy I loved. We gain nothing from standing on the edge of a cliff. But if we run and jump we either fly or find our wings on the way down.

I spent 2015 standing on the edge afraid of failure and I refuse to spend 2016 the same way. Although I may crash a burn, an artist never holds back. I’m going to brave and I invite you to do the same.

Happy New year friends!



lululemon leadership conference 2015

Posted on: October 29, 2015


To say that my life was changed is an understatement.  I can’t even describe the feelings I had during conference.  I was honored to be one of the 17 worldwide educators selected to attend and I walked in without any expectations.


Let’s start with my travel day.  My ticket was booked through Alaska Airlines but the flight was actually on an American Airlines plane. I was shuffled between both desks at the LAX (which is a nightmare to begin with) causing me to miss the hour check in mark for an international flight. I waited in the American Airlines 20 min line to rebook my flight only to be told I had to march back to Alaska to be rebooked.  So I ran back to Alaska. Waited in that line only to be told I had to call the travel agency that booked the flight through lululemon.  I was greeted by the sweetest women there and she informed that they couldn’t rebook me, it had to be the agent at the airport. By that point I am in full on tears and back in the Alaska line. An Alaska agent finally gives me some answers but for confusing reasons couldn’t book me and directed me to the Alaska airlines reservation hotline.  After being disconnected 3 times, I finally got on a flight to Seattle. Tear stained face and all I as so grateful to be on that plane. The next flight out of Seattle to Vancouver wasn’t till 11:10 pm and I was due to land in Seattle at 2:30 pm meaning I would be in that airport all day. God was looking out for me because I sat next to the NICEST people on the plane and I landed the last standby seat on an earlier flight to Vancouver. The good news is that I finally made it and the bad news is my bag didn’t!!! Another round of phone calls and I finally got my bag by 2 am that night. Rough start to say the least.


Day one began with meditation lead by Laurent, our super cool CEO, and all things lululemon related. The room was full of 987 of lululemon’s store managers, Regional/Area leaders, Corporate leadership, and the 17 educators. The 17 of us were asked to stand and the room erupted with applause and appreciation. Tears filled my eyes witnessing us all standing together and the love in the room.  lululemon firmly believes that the educator is the most important role in the company and it was unreal to stand there as a representative at conference.


Day 1 continued to get better as we learned more about our Senior Leadership, the year in review, and whats next for the company. #joblove and #jobpride.  Countless dance parties, sweaty Kundalini yoga, and the November project, bonded the members of conference together and the connections I made with lemons from all over was priceless!


I got up close and personal with the lululemon’s new core values and dug a little deeper to find mine.  I sat a table and ate with the Women’s design/ merchandising team and marveled at their jobs. Day two I met my #girlcrush and chatted with her about her role and my goals to follow in her footsteps. I listened intently to Seth Godin and i’ve decided to live full cheetah in all aspects of my life. In-Q made me cry with his powerful poetry and his passion for his art which reaffirmed my love and passion for mine.  I create my future and no artist waits for the right time to make great art. Tracy Hutton reminded me to choose happiness and that #happinessisnowhere. Hari Om.


Day three I marveled at all the international opportunities and the growth overseas. I marveled at the passion and clear vision that the Senior leaders have for lululemon. I marveled at the possibilities to elevate the world and what we are up to to do just that.  Susan Conrad challenged us to let go of anti-visions we create for ourselves and others.  Reminded us to forgive ourselves and I proclaimed my goals in front of the entire team of store managers and leadership for USA. I am thankful I experienced it all with Jen (my amazing store manager) who supported me the entire way. We laughed, cried, danced and sang.  Both changed forever.  Great leaders develop great people and she does just that.


Vancouver and all it’s beauty stole my heart and I wouldn’t be surprised If I am back very soon. Mountains, beaches, a beautiful city, and lululemon. What more do I need? :)


We toured the Head Office (store support center) and I had job envy the entire time. Meeting those responsible for the product I love was exciting and I asked way to many questions. In the basement, there is a space that’s just for innovation and creativity called the white space and I was lucky enough to tour it. Again #jobenvy. I died when we toured the design area filled with fabrics, colors swatches, and upcoming designs. You could call me a little product obsessed.


The final wrap up Bonfire may have been my favorite.  The entire conference room was transformed into a large bonfire scene and it was an epic party complete with the CEO participating in Dance Dance Revolution. Just picture 987 lululemon folk ready to have a good time. Oh..and I can’t forget the mini smore’s!


IMG_5297I don’t even know how to wrap it all up. I wish I could relive this experience over and over again.  It’s my goal to let it live in my daily life. I came home inspired and changed. Changed to do better, be better, and stop apologizing for who I am. To be happy and that I am the master of my happiness. I matter and what I do matters. I will not say sorry for my art. I create my future.



Dreaming of Fall

Posted on: October 12, 2015


Fall is no where in California. It was dreamy, drizzling, and foggy in Vancouver but with my busy work schedule I enjoyed it from my hotel window.  I was hoping San Fran would give us a taste of crisp air but It didn’t. Luckily we enjoyed the heat and got our sweat on climbing up and down the rolling streets.


These Durango Moccasin boots are dying to be worn and I’m dying to wear them through a pile of crispy leaves. I complained about cold in Minnesota but I’ll take it now! Its 82 degrees in the middle of October here! It’s going to be Christmas before I get a chance!



1. Moccasins. 2. Scarf (similar). 3. Sweater. 4. Jeans. 5. Watch. 6.Lipstick




Posted on: September 6, 2015




Can’t wait to see what my next box holds! Have you ordered yours yet? Remember you have a free month to try it out using my code jessieannjamesxoxo at Rocksbox!



RocksBox Shine Insider

Posted on: August 27, 2015


Did you ladies know you can get the latest, totally customized to your style, jewelry right to your door?
Well you can and I’m giving you an exclusive chance to try it for 1 month free!

Rocksbox is a membership-based jewelry styling service. Straight to your door access to a personalized rotating closet of designer jewelry, sent in sets of three at a time.

Here are a few things you should know…

Rocksbox sets are curated for you based on your style profile.
You can keep and wear your Rocksbox pieces for as long as you like.
You can return your set anytime, as often as you like, and we’ll send out a new set of three right away. How cool is that?!
You pay the same membership fee regardless of how often you exchange your box.
When you’re ready to refresh your box, send back all the pieces you don’t wish to purchase.
If you love a piece, keep it when you return your box and you’ll be billed at the Insiders’ Price shown on your packing list.
You can find a lot more answers on the FAQ page.

I’ve teamed up with the ladies over at Rocksbox and you can get your own personalized box for FREE your first month using the code jessieannjamesxoxo at checkout! My first box is on its way and I am so excited to give it a try. I am not usually the one to go jewelry shopping so I am looking forward to it on my door step.  Check back soon for how I style my box!



What You Get When You Hire a Choreographer

Posted on: August 20, 2015

What exactly are you paying for when hiring a guest choreographer? Well, I’m here to tell you and give you a small peek behind the curtain!  As a free lance choreographer and teacher I spend most of my time traveling to studios nationwide. A studio normally reaches out to the choreographer of choice and communicates how much and what type of work they are looking for.  Solos, duos, trios, small groups, large groups and sometimes even production numbers.  It’s then determined what style is needed for the competition season. I usually choreograph Jazz, lyrical, or contemporary pieces, but mostly contemporary!

11781720_10207057776899981_2440039941958660770_nDates are set and flights are booked. Now what? Well I spend hours pouring over music waiting for something to inspire me.  I can’t create without a song that speaks to me and shows me exactly how the piece should go.  I am a big believer in each piece having a specific intention and story. Once the song is selected and the studio approves, I usually have to cut it to meet the under 3 min requirement.  I edit all of my music since it is sometimes stressful sending it out to someone else.  That usually takes a bit of time and dedication at my computer to make it sound how I want it to.

I then spend time brainstorming concepts and ideas.  Sometimes that entails props, costume design, staging etc. Every choreographers process is different but I can’t create much more than a chorus unless I am in the studio with the dancers.  I need to feel the energy in the space and get and idea of what they can and can’t do. I won’t be the one on stage so it should feel good on their bodies, not mine.  Most parents and studio directors only see the in studio process but there is so much more that happens behind the scenes.

I love what I do and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  It can be a long and hard process with months of traveling but creating art fuels my soul and I consider myself extremely lucky to call this my job.




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