Honest Scrap Award

I received this exciting “Honest Scrap” blog award from another Becca, author of Finding Flapjack blog. We Beccas seem to flock together, whether for moral support or just because we’re that cool, I’m not sure. Anyway, the rules of this award are as follows: I am to write 10 honest facts about myself, and then award it to other bloggers who I think deserve the reward. I have a feeling this will be harder than I expect; to tell things are deathly honest about me. Most of us, let’s be honest, try to embellish our lives just a little to make ourselves sound more interesting or put together to other people. Or we down play our stories out of fear embarrassment or others’ disinterest. Luckily I am used to embarrassment so I don’t think I will have a problem with this. So here goes…

  1. I raised a dairy heifer each year, for four or five years in a row and showed them in the county 4-H fair. I can’t remember how many heifers exactly; it was so long ago. Although I did win Champion Showman one year, and showed in New Mexico State Fair one year. I also raised and showed rabbits, New Zealand Whites were my breed of specialty. They look like the tradition Easter bunny: white fur with pink eyes.
  2. I started drinking coffee at age 12 to try to impress my Dad, who can guzzle gallons of the black liquid with only sugar. Somehow, I still ended up being rather tall for a girl, 5 foot 7 inches. Dad was pleased when I took at job at Starbucks – that meant free pounds of coffee occasionally for him.
  3. I played piano but didn’t practice very much so I eventually quit. The only reason my mom put me in piano lessons was because a ballet mistress I had when I was young told her I was very talented, but lacked musicality. “She hears the music differently,” is what I remember her telling mom. Piano lessons had one purpose: to teach me to count the music so I could dance to it.
  4. I went through mild stages of depression as a young aspiring dancer, when I did not live up to my expectations. I was very hard on myself, and didn’t learn to let out my frustration except through crying. I eventually learned to vent my frustrations and thoughts into writing a journals when I was 12 or 13, and I have kept one ever since. My writing style has changed dramatically and much for the better as I’ve matured.
  5. I carry a notebook or journal with me everywhere I go, and only in the last year decided to consolidate into two journals from the several different ones I would keep at a time previously: personal and Bible study notes/prayers, and arts criticism for the exhibitions and performances I see.
  6. I don’t like to eat meat. I can only recall a few times when I had a very good piece of meat that I enjoyed, and that was usually home-raised meat (beef, lamb, pork, turkey or duck), or bites out of someone’s hamburger when it smelled too good to be true. I get fed meat when I go home to visit my family in New Mexico, which is pretty much the only time I eat it. Upon coming to England, I decided to give up meat for good and call myself a vegetarian. It really was no sacrifice for me. Now, if I had to give up sweets, on the other hand…
  7. One of my favorite stuffed animals was a cow in an 18th century style pink dress. Her name was Ms. Moo. Ms Moo’s bell around her neck would apparently tinkle in the middle of the night while she slept on my bed with me, and it would wake my Dad up from all the way down the end of the hall. I never heard it.
  8. I have been in one movie: a Disney feature film called The Gameplan, with the Rock Johnson. I had no idea who the Rock was until I met him on set, and he and his Samoan cousin body double were both the friendliest celebrities you’d ever meet. He would sit down and chat with us Boston Ballet kids when he wasn’t on camera flashing that big smile of his or memorizing his lines. I regret not getting a picture with him. That’s probably the closest to fame I’ll ever get.
  9. I have really bad vision. It’s horrendous! I like to tell people when I spend the night at their house that I can’t find the bathroom without my glasses or contacts. Currently my prescription is -5.75, and that’s an improvement from two years ago! Thanks, Mom, for my hereditary eyesight. J
  10. Last one! I will preserve a little of my pride, I think, and go with this: My relationship with the Lord is the most important thing in my life. In the last few months, He has been teaching me and revealing to me how I can begin to let go of my self-consciousness and worship Him in honesty and freedom. My favorite way to do that is through singing (although somewhat badly, but pleasing to my Lord’s ears) and dancing – what comes most naturally to me.

Now for the fun part: I get to do this to several others. Don’t ignore this award if I give it to you; take it as an honor and an opportunity to share some insightful truths about yourself. We need more open people in this world. Don’t take it as one of those annoying chain letters we all used to receive when email was still in its early stages, because it’s not. Here we are, my nominees:

Becca Bluett Dunkin’s blog: http://findingflapjack.blogspot.com/

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Turning Point: Writing about Dance

Writing about Dance:

If you know me, you know dance is what I’m passionate about. I don’t speak “ballerina” to people walking down the street any more, because my time has passed training and dancing as a professional… but it’s still there.

I was supposed to go to an open ballet class tonight. Supposed to, I say, because I had hoped to revitalize my dancing in England. But my body’s not that of a skinny ballerina any more, and I feel uncomfortable just thinking about ballet any more – although I feel at home when  I get into class. I find difficult to go to a dance class these days because I have not yet decided that dance can be a pastime for me now – I don’t think it ever can be, and I don’t want it to. I am making an effort to take some contemporary dance classes and branch out while I’m here, but those are extra-curricular to my studies, and job if I get one – and it costs money. I want nothing more than to get fit to perform professionally again, but that takes more commitment and time than I am willing to invest right now. It is exhausting, both mentally and physically, but it is so rewarding.

I know I will envy the dancers onstage tomorrow night when I go to see NBT’s As Time Goes By at the Grand opera House. I am reviewing it for Leeds University student newspaper. Lucky me. I was thrilled when I got the task – I have been intending to get my stuff into print journalism for some time now. This is the second best thing that could happen to me right now – it is my second most desirable career, to write about dance. At least I can do now as a student; my prospects of getting to write about dance for a career look about as bleak as they did to dance for a career.

To be an arts writer I have to step outside the role of the artist or dancer, and be the observer, the interlocutor,  step outside my attachment and comment on it as an art form. Or do I? How far can my experience make me a better writer about dance performances? Perhaps I can use my passion to my edification, rather than spite. I get the job of turning the beauty I once experienced into beauty in the form of words, for reader to experience it. My job is to convince them there is a world of riches waiting for them to experience as the audience themselves.

With all that said, I will be devoting more of my free time to updating my performing arts critique blog, VistaMuse (link to it on my blogroll).  If you fancy, check it out in a couple of days. I have a lot of catch-up work to do to it.

All the best, Becca

PS be looking for my reviews in print and on-line Leeds University Paper (links under UK and beyond)