Posts Tagged ‘Dance’
March 4, 2014
Hello everyone! Today I am coming to you still on a complete high from an incredible weekend home in Orlando, Florida.
While I am not physically down south, I feel like I am still so surrounded by friends, family, and an amazing group of sisters I met dancing four seasons with the Orlando Magic. Over the weekend, twenty five years worth of Magic Dancers reunited for a special halftime performance and I will be sure to share that experience with you!
First, I wanted to highlight the start of my trip and include my favorite moments of the weekend off the court.
Since Scott already had his own traveling plans last weekend, my short trip home was officially deemed a girls weekend when my friend and teammate, Alex, flew down with me!
Alex is born and raised in Michigan, so I was anxious to show her as much of Orlando as I possibly could in two days. We were so excited to get down there and enjoy the warm weather!
After a flight delay, a baggage fiasco, and a ridiculously long line for a rental car, we finally arrived in my hometown of Longwood around 8 p.m Friday night. We drove directly home to my parents house, only stopping for a quick sunset picture of our neighborhood beach.
(So many memories of fun boating weekends here!)
I made sure to spend my first night at home and enjoyed a relaxing night in with my parents, my sister and her family, and a couple of close family friends.
I really miss being able to just drive thirty minutes or so to see them, and felt so grateful they were able to spend the night home with me.
Barre54 and Brunch in Winter Park
Saturday morning started bright and early with a pre-planned barre class at my old studio in Winter Park. I always say “barre this and barre that” up here, and I was so happy we fit in a trip to my old stomping grounds to show Alex the place I used to teach group fitness.
I really do miss that sunny studio!
Just as I expected, Amanda did a great job challenging us in class (welcome back, barre shake and burn!) and we all left feeling great. Okay, we also felt more than a little sore too.
Amanda had to stay at the studio to continue teaching, so Alex, Missy (<- a life-long friend I just found out is expecting! Remember her Bachelorette cruise? Where does the time go?!) and I walked a quick ten minutes over to Park Avenue, one of my favorite shopping districts in Orlando.
One thing I truly miss about living in Florida is the ability to go for a walk or run outside year-round. Coming down from temperatures in the negative lows and high of teens this week, walking in a tank top and needing sunglasses on our way over felt like such a treat!
Past the garden, we found our destination of Briar Patch to meet another friend for brunch.
Around 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning it was packed to the rim, but very much worth the wait!
Alex and I split our meals and I made sure to include a couple of Southern staples like fried green tomatoes and grits.
I’m still dreaming about those blueberry fiber pancakes in the middle.
Briar Patch is also known for their desserts and ice cream parlor that I never have room for. One of these days I have to get a slice of their gigantic specialty cakes!
As brunch came to a close, I said goodbye to Missy and also to Suzanne and her adorable baby girl, Joy.
I wish I had more time to see everyone.
Next on the agenda was a group rehearsal for the halftime performance we would be dancing the next day. Before going to the fitness center, we stopped over to a friend’s condo to see a few of my old teammates and bask in the sun!
I had never been so thankful for a sunny Saturday afternoon in my entire life.
Alex dropped me off at rehearsal soon after and met up with a local friend of hers while I practiced and reunited with a lot of awesome familiar faces.
I spent the majority of my time during the 2007-2011 NBA seasons practicing and performing with these women and felt absolutely elated for the opportunity to catch up with with all of them.
Saturday was a great turn out and we were all looking forward to the performance the next day!
Dinner on Church Street
After a full day of in and outside activity, it was more than time for Alex and I to shower and get ready for a reunion outing that night. Before hitting up the night spot, we grabbed dinner at one of Scott and I’s favorite tapas bars in the city: Civeche.
We ordered a variety of popular dishes (including these amazing patatas bravas, or seasoned potatoes) and also shared a pitcher of red wine sangria.
It was so much fun to see familiar faces pop in and out the entire evening!
Post-dinner, we walked right next door to Don Jefe’s and had a blast dancing and reminiscing well into the early morning.
Today I have a handful of errands to run, laundry to catch up on, and dances to review before tonight’s practice at home in Michigan.
Also, if you get a chance, could you please take a second and vote for Alex in the AKD Sports Model Search? We both appreciate any and all of your support. Always. Thank you!
Stay tuned for Part II of the Orlando Magic Dancer Reunion Trip coming up!
February 27, 2014
Hey everyone! How is your day going? I am in a state of confusion on where the heck mine went.
Today is a very exciting one for me! You see, tomorrow I am leaving for Florida to take part in the Orlando Magic Dancers 25th Anniversary Reunion! That’s right… warm, sunny Florida where it is currently in the 60s. That’s slightly warmer than the 9 degrees surrounding me here.
I have spent my entire day preparing for the weekend. And when I say “preparing” I really mean getting a spray tan (yup… I already scrubbed off last week’s for a fresh coat) and reminiscing over old dancing days through pictures. Whoops.
(P.S. I also might be the only one currently this tan color up here.)
Since 10 a.m. I have done nothing but search for pictures online, make collages, and organize them into folders on the computer. Okay, attempt to organize them. I swear I will get them all settled and up one of these days!
And then there were these guys, just laying there luring me in for a quick few minutes of snuggling.
I have a feeling they all get the sense that I will be leaving them for a few days because the suitcase and piles of clothes are out. Last night, Roadie brought out his extra sad eyes when he saw Scott doing the same thing!
I mean, who has the kind of will power to just walk by that? Nobody.
Subway Footlong for the Win
On the way home from my appointment and errands this morning, I stopped into Subway to get an egg white breakfast sandwich. Somewhere between the front door and the ordering line, I decided on lunch instead. I ended up ordering my go-to turkey on wheat footlong loaded with veggies to enjoy half then for breakfast and half later.
It’s later right?
Excuse me while I devour this real quick. And we’re back!
I should be doing so much more with my time, and as soon as I publish this post I swear I’ll get to it. But, since it is Throwback (<- apparently an official “thing” now) Thursday and there is a reunion approaching, it only seems right to share a collection of some of my favorite Orlando Magic Dancer memories. Get ready for ‘em!
Orlando Magic Dancer Throwbacks
I could fill this post with countless stories and giggles, but for time’s sake I am just going to stick with the pictures accompanied by brief captioning.
I remember the exact feeling I had making the team for my 2007-08 Rookie Season. I felt on top of the world and had the utmost confidence.
Right away, I said yes to an opportunity to travel the world and formed a close bond with a group of women I would now call my sisters.
I dressed up as a zombie and performed in my own costume on Halloween!
I got to belay from the ceiling during the NBA Finals (!!!) and dunk basketballs on-court and all over the globe!
I was chosen to perform overseas a handful of times including trips to China (twice!), Indonesia, and Italy!
My first year was “the best.” But then again, I said that after the closing of every single season. I went into my first veteran season knowing I was in for a great year in 2008.
I put my heart and soul into this job, and got to dunk more basketballs and travel with the team to watch the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland and NBA Finals in L.A.!
I sat on the sidelines while my dad took the court over with the 3D Dancing Dads!
Yes, those are our “real” dads out there. The grey hair on the far right belongs to me! Check out one of their
hilarious fun routines!
Over the course of four seasons, I met so many great women and souls I still stay connected with to this day. I went through four(ish) different hair colors and styles and feel so grateful to be able to reconnect and relive all of it in just a couple of days.
While searching Google for at least an hour (don’t you hate when that happens? Sucks you right in!) I found the mother load. I remember one of our die hard Magic Fans named Jose who came to every single home game, documenting it all every time!
From intros and basketball plays to timeout routines and sidelines, he somehow captured it all. And did it very well!
While aimlessly searching for photos to share with you, I found all of his albums for every single game, starting in 2005. Can you imagine how many photos he has gone through and edited?
I thought it was great at the time, but never realized how appreciative I would be of this super fan today. He even created Magic Dancer albums, and organized them by each game, complete with captions.
I am so, so thankful I now have a place to find the photos he so lovingly took the time to take, edit, and upload for all of those years.
All of the following photos are from his albums. Thank you so much, Jose!
I finished my fourth season dancing for the Orlando Magic in 2011. I had every intention on trying out for one “final” season that summer, but there were other plans God had in store for Scott and I.
You all know the rest of the story. We moved up to Michigan for Scott’s job opportunity with the Detroit Pistons, and I am now close to finishing my second season dancing for them! I feel very fortunate and blessed to say I have danced in the NBA for six years and will always remember my twenties filled with these precious dancing memories.
Today, it is incredibly hard to stay focused on everything I need to get done to enjoy the weekend away! I keep finding more pictures, messaging friends, and can hardly contain my excitement to start the festivities already. Sadly, I must.
I know I will have many stories to share about the weekend when I return home Monday. I am looking forward to a very magical weekend and can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Thank you for sharing these memories with me. See you bright and early tomorrow morning with this week’s Friday Favorites!
January 30, 2014
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Under Armour.
I love the idea of tracking my workouts and taking note of where my performance levels are at. In fact, I think the the concept is genius and totally underrated.
I found that out after using a performance monitor for three separate and completely different types of workouts yesterday.
Before you think I’m a crazy fitness fiend, know I’m not. I am just a fitness enthusiast and a professional dancer who sometimes has workouts incorporated into practices. Pair that with the occasional fitness review and there you have my insanely high activity days.
I try my best to keep track of my workouts and effort levels. I’m not always one hundred percent on top of it, but I usually have a ball park sense of how hard I worked, and – in turn – if I can indulge in that extra cookie or two for dessert without it totally defeating the purpose.
I am not usually a calorie counter, but I found it very comforting to know my stats at the end of my extremely active day yesterday.
Included in my package was the performance monitor module, chest strap, and instructions to download the free mobile app. Not part of this campaign is the Armour39 display watch I am absolutely swooning over!
• Mobile App: FREE
App is compatible with iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 4, and iPad mini.
This tracks your heart rate, calories, intensity, and WILLpower stats.
• Performance Monitor Module + Chest Strap: $99.99
The sweatproof (not waterproof) stay-put chest strap stores your information and syncs it with the Armour39 app or watch in real time.
• Display Watch: $199.99 (<- want!)
An alternative display to the mobile app that lets you take the same technology on the go.
So… how is this performance monitor different from all of the others?
The Armour 39 system is designed for any type of athlete and any sport. The setup is easy and takes just about fifteen minutes, including a ten minute fitness assessment to get the most accurate read on your workouts.
WILLPower. Simply put, the system awards you and your level of booty kickin’ on your workout a number (0.0 to 10.0).
Knowing I had an active day ahead of me, I took advantage of it to really test this tracking system out.
First, I put the module in the chest strap, fitted it to my body, and downloaded the mobile app.
If I had access to a treadmill I would have also completed the ten minute assessment test to get the most accurate readings. I still plan on doing it, but created my profile in the mean time.
Second, I put the heart rate monitor to the test with a quick at-home cardio kickboxing session. The workout is supposed to include fifteen more minutes of arm and core work, but I decided to cut it early knowing I had a lot to save my body for later that night.
Here are my stats from workout #1: Cardio Kickboxing
Unlike most monitors that average heart rate data, this one captures every moment and heart beat of your workout. I liked that. I also appreciated being able to see exactly when I was working the hardest.
I took the strap off for a few hours and put it back on right when I arrived at our practice facility. We had been warned that a workout would take place during practice and I was curious to see exactly how difficult it would be.
I started tracking our workout from the moment we started warming up. From there we did a series of suicide sprints, Indian runs (where you form a single line and rotate sprinting from back to front), lunges, planks, jump squats, arm, and core exercises. It wasn’t exactly easy.
Here are my stats for workout #2: Boot Camp (Practice)
I wasn’t sure if the system was going to work throughout the entire thing, since I wasn’t going to be holding my phone or have it near me. Luckily, the Bluetooth connection has my back and records workout data even when I’m out of range.
During all of that “empty time” on the heart rate and intensity screen shots, we were sprinting. Had I have been in range, I’m sure those charts would look a lot more lively.
Regardless, I was pretty impressed with the WILLpower level of 7.36 for the 1 hour 18 minute workout.
Just when I wanted to tucker out, we had a dance practice to get through! I have always been curious to see how many calories we burn cleaning, setting, and running dances during practices. After I let my teammates in on what I was doing, a lot of them were just as excited to see the results.
Because of the included workout, this specific practice only lasted an hour and a half compared to the normal three to four hour rehearsals.
Here are my stats for workout #3: Dance Practice
I was happy to see that I was in range for 95% of it. That one little segment that went uncharted must have been when I walked over to the bathroom.
Finally, the results were in! Close to 600 calories, a WILLpower level of 6.53 and an impressive heart rate max out at 181. Looking at the intensity chart (right screen shot), I can tell exactly when I had to run our dances the hardest too. It’s a neat thing to see!
I don’t always like fancy gadgets attached to me during my workouts, but when I do I see a lot of Armour39 in my future.
I have to admit, though, that I am not always a fan of chest straps for heart rate monitors. In the past, I have had trouble with consistent readings due to my petite body frame. Even at the tightest adjustment, the one I had been using still moves around on me, which tends to lose my heart rate measurements for some of the workout time.
Although this one seems thicker, I liked that the chest strap came with an extender that allows more tightening and loosening ranges.
Unlike a lot of performance monitors out there, I also liked how this one lets me see my effort levels and fitness stats at any given time during the workout. Half way through, I can pop in and see exactly what my WILLpower or calorie burn is at.
Overall, the system is very easy to understand and operate. I am interested to see how well the watch tracks the workout compared to the mobile app.
I like the Bluetooth capabilities of the mobile app, but think I would prefer to track the results on my watch and save my phone battery. But, for what it’s worth, it didn’t even seem to drain my battery that much either.
An overall win for this performance monitor!
December 16, 2013
Hello, hello long lost friends!
How was your weekend? As much as I wanted to check in and share mine with you earlier, it just wasn’t in the cards until riiiiiight now. So here we are! And certainly not too late to cover it and add a little marvelous to this Monday (<- blogger link up!) right?
Friday was a busy and cold one. Same with Saturday and Sunday, actually.
Those of you who caught Friday’s Favorites already know our heater was giving us issues over the weekend. Eventually the unit stopped working all together and for a solid three days our house was miserably freezing. We had two different companies quote us on the repairs, and since we rent our condo we had to wait for our landlord to make a decision on how he wanted to go about fixing it.
(Funny story, he now lives in Florida which is where we are from. Talk about a crazy switcharoo!) It was a pricy fix, so we tried to understand and patiently wait it out but mannnn… it was SO freaking cold. Even so, I tried to soak in the winter beauty outside. Enjoy the slew of snowy pictures!
I so was excited for Friday’s game. We had a duel halftime performance with our junior dance team, the Mob Squad AND a halftime performance with Flo Rida! Yup… Flo Rida. He was awesome and I can’t wait to see the official video release of it!
For now, you can see our performance here if you’re at all interested. I just love him.
We had a team outing after the game and ended up celebrating early into the morning Saturday. After a decent sleep, Scott and I woke up in several layers with our teeth shattering. With temperatures in the twenties and a continuous snowfall outside, we were a bit worried on how we were going to warm up. While waiting for heat, I took Roadie on his morning walk and couldn’t help but stop and admire the snow.
As someone from the south, a fresh blanket of fluffy white snow is such a cool thing to see. I guess I would have appreciated it more, however, if I had someplace warm to come back to and thaw out. Once inside, I kept both of our coats on, made breakfast and spent the rest of the afternoon bundled up with our pets.
I felt so bad that there was nothing I could do besides warm them up with body heat. So that’s what we did!
(That may be the most pathetic face I’ve ever seen, Roadie.)
Scott got home from a work event later that afternoon and we spent the next few hours shopping for Christmas presents. While there, I enjoyed a shrimp pesto wrap and organic black bean soup from Mac ‘n Cheez.
After shopping, we went to pick up my car from the night before. I could have driven it home after our outing, but I didn’t want to chance it with how bad the snowy roads are, especially in the dark.
This might seem a little dramatic, but I would literally pay someone a salary to drive me around at any time in the snow during the wintertime. I don’t really have that kind of disposable income, but hey, I would figure it out.
With a little sedan with rear wheel drive, I am absolutely terrified to drive when it’s snowy and icy out. I turn the music off, put my phone in the back seat, and seriously have to talk myself up and calm myself down the entire time. I never realized how much I took driving down south for granted!
I know this picture is blurry, but it’s pretty accurate to what driving in snow is like for those of you who haven’t experienced it.
A big scary disaster.
We ended up staying in the rest of the night, super grateful that the heat was temporarily fixed by bedtime. Before cuddling up, I knocked out wrapping a handful of Christmas presents with Aspen. She loooves
laying on and getting in the way of everything helping her momma out!
Roadie, on the other hand, kept himself occupied by tearing the new toy we brought home for him in a matter of minutes. I swear, he’s more intense than he looks!
Sunday started the same way Saturday did: a morning walk outside with Roadie and a berry-topped breakfast.
This time, I had to hurry to get out the door for church (in on-court practice clothes, no less).
I brought my game stuff with me and spent my time between the service and my call time finishing up some Secret Santa shopping. My team has been exchanging gifts over the past few weeks and last night we found out who had who! I made a last minute run to Target, which of course turned into a stop at their in-store Starbucks.
(Yes, that is a VENTI Skinny Peppermint Mocha with my spinach and feta egg white wrap. Needed it!)
Before the game I was surprised with everything I needed: socks and healthy snacks. My secret shopper seriously killed it.
The game was an intense one. We performed two new routines and went into overtime! Although we didn’t win, everyone still had a blast.
Photo credit: Brian Sevald Photography
Straight after, we had a team holiday party to get to in Royal Oak. Here, all the entertainment teams gathered to celebrate the holidays and the group of us gathered to reveal our Secret Santas. Each person stood in the center to act out the person they had been shopping for. It was hilarious!
I didn’t get a chance to photograph much (like the amazing pizza, giant cookies, and cocktails I enjoyed. Whoops!), but I did manage to sneak in a few photos of some loves.
Secret’s out… Alex was my sneaky Santa!
It was a great night and wrap up to another busy game week!
Hope you all are off to a great start to yours…
Do you have anything exciting going on?
Any fun themed holiday parties to attend?
Shopping to get done?
Yup… me too! See ya tomorrow!