Alvin Ailey Ballet Class in NYC!

Alvin Ailey was a dance choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. He is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in concert dance.

Growing up, my mother took dance class with Alvin Ailey. Here is a picture of her in NYC.

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater offers numerous dance classes and workshops for those who may not have any dance experience but want to give these classes a try!

I grew up dancing ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance. So dancing is in my blood! Haha! I’ve been wanting to take a class here at the theater so I finally signed up for the Absolute Beginner Ballet Class.

My dance instructor was Anna Lederfeind, originally from Belgium and is a very prestigious ballet instructor. I enjoyed her teaching our class because she was very personable but she also was very stern and made sure every single person was doing every ballet move correctly.

What’s even more awesome is that we had a pianist playing the piano as we were doing our ballet moves! It was pretty awesome! Made me feel like I was in those ballet classes that you see in movies or on tv!

If you enjoy dancing, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater also offers dance and fitness classes that include Afro-Carribean, Ballet, Capoeira, Contemporary, Dance Fitness/Cardio, Hip Hop Street Styles, Horton, Jazz Theater Dance, Pilates Stretch/Core, Salsa, Samba, Tap, West African Dance, and Yoga!

Christmas Weekend With My Family!

I’m so excited that my parents and sister were able to come to NYC to spend Christmas with me! We surely had an eventful week! Here’s all what we did!

THURSDAY – DECEMBER 21

We had dinner at this amazing Asian hibachi restaurant called Edos Steakhouse located in Pelham, NY. My family really enjoyed the food and the fun show that the chef gave when making our food! We had so much food that we had an extra serving of food to take home!

FRIDAY – DECEMBER 22

I took my family to do a little shopping on Central Park Ave in Yonkers. The shopping center had a variety of stores like Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall’s Shoe Shop, and Best Buy To name a few.

My colleague told me about this creole based restaurant called The Bayou Restaurant where they have meals that are traditionally served in Louisiana! The atomesphere was pretty cool! It looked just like we were eating at a restaurant down in Louisiana with all the cultural decorations all around us! I was so excited because I always wanted to visit Louisiana so by coming here I get a little taste of it lol!

For our appetizer, I ordered Swamp and Turf which were bbq ribs with grilled alligator! Yes I said alligator! Alligator taste similar to chicken but is a lot more tender. I enjoyed it! My dad and I ordered Fried Catfish Po’Boy which is a fried catfish sandwich that comes with sweet potato chips and coleslaw. I also ordered hush puppies (my favorite!)

My sister and husband ordered Louisiana Yard Bird which was chicken in a gravy sauce and my mom ordered a cheeseburger and a side of mac and cheese. Everything tasted amazing! And I will be revisiting that restaurant very soon!

SATURDAY – DECEMBER 23

We went to an Alvin Ailey Dance Show at the City Center in Manhattan.

Alvin Ailey was a choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. He is known for popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African American participation in 20th century concert dance (dance performed for an audience that is choreographed to set music).

My mom is a dancer and has been since her teenage years. After high school, she actually auditioned and was accepted into the Ailey School and she was in the program for 2 years. So she received dance training directly from Alvin Ailey himself! She even performed at the Apollo Theater in the early 80’s to “The Beautiful One’s” by Prince. Her crew came in 2nd place! How cool is that!

The picture below is of my mom on ballet pointe when she was about 19 years old in NYC!

The Alvin Ailey performance at the City Center was amazing! When I was younger, my mom showed me the videotapes of Ailey’s classic performances like “Revelations” so to be able to see it all live was an amazing experience!

After the showing, we went to my moms old performing arts high school called Julia Richman/ Talent Unlimited Performing Arts School! And turns out that my husband’s uncle went to the same school as well! Small world isn’t it!

Later for dinner, my mother in law had a gathering at her place filled with great food, games, laughs, and fun!

SUNDAY – DECEMBER 24

My uncle took us all to their old neighborhood in East River in Manhattan where my mom and her 4 brothers grew up. My mom hasn’t been there in years so she was happy to see her old neighborhood and talk about the memories she had. She said that the movie “The Wiz” was filmed very close to their neighborhood so in between takes, the actors in the film such as Diana Ross would come to say hi and talk to the people in my mom’s neighborhood. That’s so awesome!

Later that night we had Christmas Eve dinner at my husband’s aunts house in upstate NY which was a great time! The food was delicious as always and we played a few games as well!

MONDAY – DECEMBER 25

Christmas is finally here! We had Christmas dinner with my moms side of the family at my uncles house in Brooklyn. We normally don’t get together for holidays because everyone’s family is usually doing their own thing. I haven’t seen a lot of these family members in a long time so it was very nice that everyone came out and spent time together! It was a great time for sure! I’m sure we’ll all be able to have more family gatherings like this in the future!

My parents and sister went back home this morning! I was sad to see them go but I’m so glad they came out to spend time with all of us here! They are already planning to come back very soon since they had such a great time! I’m looking forward to it!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday as much as I did! 😊

What do you LOVE?

What do you LOVE to do?

Do you do it often? 

I LOVE to dance! I love learning different types of dances. For example I love dancing bachata, merengue, and salsa that I’ve learned from my husband’s family! It’s so fun to me!

Whenever I’m invited to an event like a birthday party,wedding, etc, you can bet that I’ll be on that dance floor! Haha! 

When I listen to music, sometimes I find myself choreographing dance moves to the song too lol!

My mom is a dancer and at sometimes would perform while she was pregnant with me! So dancing is in my genes! I also took ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance classes growing up! 

Dancing definitely brings me joy!

What do you love to do?

What Makes You Feel ALIVE??!  (Personal Blog) 

I asked myself the other day, what really makes me happy? Then I thought I feel alive when I’m happy so what makes me feel ALIVE??!

MUSIC

This is a big one for me! My mother is a dancer and has even danced when she was pregnant with me! So she was constantly listening to songs while rehearsing choreography.


And all throughout my childhood, I grew up with my parents playing music around the house almost ALL the time!

And now I can’t go one day without listening to music!

I’ve been working on improving my coping methods when it comes to rough situations that I go through. And to get me out of a “funk” I’ll turn on my favorite tunes and dance around to uplift my mood and it actually works!

DANCE

My uncle has never called me by my real name, he always calls me “Boogie” because when I was younger, I was always dancing around! I guess I can blame that on mom because dancing is in my genes!

I took ballet, tap, and jazz classes growing up! I remember doing a tap routine to the song “Cruella Deville.” I had the whole outfit: the black and white wig, the red silk rob and black dress with stockings and my cute little tap shoes! I wish I had a picture so I can show you guys but it’s somewhere in my parents house miles away from where I am now! (If I end up finding the pic, then I’ll post it!)

I also was a praise dancer in my church that I attended growing up. My mother was the dance leader so she strives for excellence with the choreography and we were constantly rehearsing our dance routines!


*Above: My mom praise dancing! 

Nowadays, almost every time I hear a song that I really like, I’m choreographing a dance routine in my head! And at home, I’m performing that dance routine in front of the mirror! Haha! I don’t care how silly I look, it makes me happy!

FAMILY

Growing up, I moved around from being born in Manhattan, NY (Mount Sinai Hospital) and moving to Rota, Spain –> Virginia Beach, VA –> Chesapeake, VA –> Manama, Bahrain (Middle East) –> and back to Virgina Beach.

So I was never around my extended relatives for very long. We would visit them during the summers and holidays.

I have a little sister who is 8 years younger than I so we couldn’t have the same fun as I did with my cousins who were older or closer to my age.  I absolutely loved hanging out with my cousins! When we get together, we are so silly with each other and I can let loose and be my true self! They were pretty much like my siblings too!

During college, my dad was still in the military at the time. So him, my mom, and sister were living overseas in Naples, Italy for about 2 years. During my summer breaks, I would stay with my aunt and uncle (my relatives live about 2 hours from my campus). They were like my second parents and I was around my cousins all the time since I was staying with them. We did everything together.

We had our disagreements, laughed so hard until we cried, and got in trouble together! With all that, we had the opportunity to bond a lot more than when I was growing up!

Now that I’ve migrated 400 miles away to NYC, it’s very difficult to spend time with my family. Everybody has their own life so sometimes it’s challenging for us to visit each other. We try our best to see each other when we can!


FRIENDS

Being that I moved around a lot, my friend circle was forever changing which was a tough experience for me as a growing teenager. There a very few friends that have kept in contact with me all these years through all of these different places I’ve lived. But I’m so glad for them because I take my friendships seriously. I’m probably the most loyal friend you will ever meet!


I had a little crew while I was in college! There are 5 of us in our crew and through those 4 years, we all grew up as young women and our friendships grew stronger! We went through many crazy and non crazy situations together and we had the best of fun too! It sucks because I live in NYC, two live in Maryland, one in Philly, and one in the Cayman Islands. So we’re all spread out but every time we spend time together, I feel that much more alive!


Above: 5 girl college crew! (plus spouses and cousin) at our friend’s wedding last spring! L to R: Husband, Me-1, 2-Krys, 3-Rocki, 4-Maggie, Kim, 5-Yaya, and Nat.

FOOD

I had to include a little category for food because I absolutely LOVE eating! I mean who doesn’t?! HAHA! I enjoy eating foods from all types of cuisines! My favorite cuisines are Comfort/Soul, Italian, Indian, and Spanish food! Food is so complex that it has so many different flavors that combine into one! Food makes my soul smile and my stomach happy! =)

I hope you enjoyed hearing about the things that make me feel alive! 

What makes you feel ALIVE??!