Sunday, February 24, 2013

BK has some serious talent!

I love a good talent show. No surprise there. So You Think You Can Dance. The Voice. America's Next Top Model. I love seeing young people work hard and doing something they have a real passion for. I myself, am a talent show veteran. In middle school, I always looked forward to spring, when I would inevitably perform a dance to a Michael or Janet Jackson song, choreographed by my sister. I became known as "that girl who can moonwalk." Talent shows taught me how to be professional, how to captivate an audience, and was a way to define myself apart from "back-brace girl."

All that said, I love seeing these kids perform in the All Stars Talent Show, and I love being a judge! It's cool being on the other side of things. This was my second time judging the show. I feel like no matter how many times I may be involved, I will never quit being in awe of these kids. The creativity, effort, and professionalism they bring to the stage inspires me. We don't censor our performers, so their rap lyrics and dance moves are their truest form of self expression. And to top it all off, it feels great being surrounded by such a positive and supportive audience. The community is gathered together creating one giant performance of appreciation.

Yesterday's winners were a rap duo. I likened them to Jay-Z and Drake. They were my top scorers because of their energy and confidence. They looked and acted like pros up there. Hopefully they will invest their $500 winnings in themselves, and I'll see them on the Grammy's some day soon!

Here are some photos from yesterday's show! If you want to learn more about The All Stars Project or even become a volunteer, check out their website.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'm on a Boat! Love and the Caribbean

With a sun kissed glow on my face and about five extra pounds on my hips, I write this post, post wedding cruise/vacation extravaganza.

I had the amazing privilege of witnessing one of my oldest friends marry the man of her dreams on the ship where they first met.

Sarah and I grew up dancing together in a competition dance troupe. We met back when she couldn't tap dance and I couldn't stop lip syncing to all the music. If you had told seven year old me that 17years later, I would be at her wedding on a ship, I would have called you a liar and said boys are gross. Thankfully, we stayed close throughout the years, boys became less gross, and I was able to be a part of this special day.

Sarah and Tom met on a Celebrity Cruise ship. She was contracted as their aerial performer, and he was an officer. A safety demonstration brought the two together, and after four and a half years, long distance contracts couldn't break them apart. The happy couple decided to make it official, and where else should the ceremony take place but on a cruise.
In front of family, friends, curious onlookers and staff, the captain married his former employees on the steps of the grand staircase.

The ceremony was beautiful and not strictly aesthetically. As soon as Sarah started down those marble steps, a sort of laugh-cry began and carried on throughout the vows. This, of course, made tears well up in my eyes as well. This is a couple that is truly made for each other. There is a sense of ease and joy that constantly radiates between them. Their playful energy is balanced perfectly with passionate stolen looks. They are two good people who found someone they want to be great for. How could I not choke up?

I've been to a few weddings, but this one in particular really got me thinking. My good friends know that it has never been a real goal of mine to get married. Of course, I love the idea of being in love, but my priorities have always been on my career. Gearing up for the Miss NY USA pageant, I would constantly say, "Who needs a man when you can have a crown!" My sense of independence can be sickening at times. But this view definitely is a way of hiding my fear. Fear of commitment. Of rejection. Of failure.
And that's no way to approach things, especially matters as vulnerable as love.

Being around Sarah and Tom has really made me change my perspective on relationships. I would love to find the kind of love they share. I appreciate what it has done for my old dance friend, and I look forward to what it can do for me.
That being said, let the parade of marriage proposals roll in! Just kidding...unless there's a really nice ring...or a pair of shoes.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fitness Gala!

So I apologize, but this is going to be a short one. I am waiting to board my flight for vacation!

Today I had the privilege of attending an amazing Fitness Gala, hosted by my sponsor Dasha Libin from Kettlebell Kickboxing and the talented Megan Hilty.

This event was to support the Joyful Heart Foundation, which helps women who have been affected by domestic, sexual, or childhood abuse.

Today, we had around 200 women gathered together to celebrate fitness, empowerment, and beauty. As a pageant girl, this was entirely up my alley. With crown on and kettle bell in hand, I squatted, stretched, and sweat for women everywhere. I was honored to be a part of such an inspiring day.