Funky Friday – HipHop Minus the Swag

You know how when you claim to have been dancing HipHop since you were seven, people assume you are really good at it? Well, there came a time where I started to believe that I was good at it myself too…

Jazz Hands!

Jazz Hands!

I always stood at the front left. In performances I was placed centre stage. Mothers walked up to me and complimented my skills. Little kids stared in awe. These few affirmations led me to believe a career in dance could be quite probable. My dream of dancing for Michael Jackson constantly grew. When that was no longer possible I imagined myself the owner of a world-renowned dance company..

Dance

Dance

When I left for New York, I left knowing I was at my best. Nothing could stop me – not even pure contemporary lessons and no more hiphop. I would return just as much a star!

developé with a plié

developé with a plié

I hadn’t danced hiphop since before my departure, in July.

My perception of my talents shattered this past Monday.

IMG_0591Yes, I might have mastered the hiphop style of that specific choreographer; but that’s also the only style I know. On Monday I attempted to try a new style, a new teacher, a new studio. Full of spunk, believing in myself, knowing I’m actually not bad, I entered the room in my Sarah Lawrence Tank and cute polka dot pants.

Never did it dawn on me that I actually might suck at other kinds of hiphop… 

The warm up was fine, full of basic movements I was already familiar with: There was the wave, isolations, second position pliés – the works. I was feeling good, confident, myself. Contemporary and jazz are all great and all, but hiphop was the only dance I ever really felt comfortable in and it was amazing to finally be back at it…until we got to the choreography, aka my predestined meltdown.

DANCE!

DANCE!

Some would say, it’s a new teacher, so I need to get used to his way of teaching before I can really get in to it. Agreed, that is important. But in this case specifically, I don’t think my movement mess-ups were due to the choreographer merely being a new acquaintance. No, I think my mishaps were more along the lines of “I have lost my swag, my coolness, my inner gangster, my hiphop-y-ness”… it wasn’t a good day.

I realised, by never ever testing the waters elsewhere, I had just plunged head first into a battle I could not win. 13 Years of only one hiphop style is a biggie. You don’t mess with that. And I did. Oops.

Back stretch..

Back stretch..

This never occurred to me while learning ballet, dancing jazz or rolling around in modern. There I always seemed to come to terms with the fact that “I was better at hiphop, I’m only here to have fun and not be amazing, I have more experience in hiphop etc etc”. I also always went to different teachers and somehow managed to cope. Knowing my “true calling” was actually more urban-based helped me keep my head up when I was stuck doing one pirouette in ballet while the rest was twirling 3. Monday changed everything. Monday told me that maybe I should rethink things…

I found myself suddenly feeling better in jazz.

Is a more classical path my actual calling after all? Maybe. But I will give myself one more chance and will brave the hiphop class once more, only this time I’m making sure to “swag myself out” in baggy pants, Adidas trainers and a gold chain necklace… superficial hiphop style might help me out a little 😉

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Salted Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Oatmeal

You guys…

Remember that one time I went totally crazy and put avocado in to my smoothie? Well…

Photo on 24-01-14 at 15.39

Oops I did it again… only this time I put it into Oatmeal!

Photo on 24-01-14 at 15.52 #2I got the inspiration for this rad oatmeal from none other than the Oatmeal Artist herself. Her version is baked, but that didn’t stop me from using similar ingredients and cooking them in a pot!

Photo on 24-01-14 at 15.51I’ve always loved the combination of nut butter and raspberry. I’ve also always loved chocolate and raspberry. Did you know that when you combine cocoa with almond butter it tastes sort of like a brownie? And then you throw some raspberry jam in there and you get an oatmeal so spectacular that it reminds you of these brownies I made a few years ago for Valentine’s day…

Speaking of which, I might just have to make those again this year and eat the whole pan myself while watching Bridget Jones (#foreveralone)

Photo on 24-01-14 at 15.39 #3Anyhoo, these oats were great! I ate them before going to Barre à Terre and Jazz. That’s right, I went back to dance! It’s been a month since I’ve danced, and a few months since I’ve gone to my favourite studio, but the old me is back! I’ve gone to dance a couple of times since last Friday and am hooked again… sadly however, I’ve been neglecting the gym…

Stay tuned for this weeks Funky Friday where I will be giving a recap 🙂

Salted Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Oatmeal 

(serves 1, inspired by the Oatmeal Artist)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 cup water or milk (or half/half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup to sweeten, if necessary
  1. Bring the milk with vanilla extract to a boil and then add in the oats
  2. Once the milk has settled slightly stir in the almond butter, avocado and cocoa powder
  3. Cook until oatmeal has reached a creamy consistency
  4. Add in the raspberry jam
  5. Enjoy!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

 

TOP 13 POSTS OF 2013

It’s the last Tuesday of 2013. This past year has gone by so quickly, and so much has happened in this short period of time. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers for supporting me and my blog. I really appreciate that there is SOMEONE out there reading this little bit of pink and sparkly web space 🙂

This post is a summary of all of your favourite blog posts. I was quite happy to see a mixture of all the things I enjoy writing about 🙂 My readers and I seem to have a lot in common, which is what writing and following a blog is all about! So here it is, the top 13 posts of 2013:

You all loved my very first manicure Monday post. I loved that one too – it was one of my closest friend’s wedding and the theme of “what nail polish would a bride wear” was great inspiration for a first blog post.

A close second was my post about Jazz Dance. It was a fun post to write as I looked back to what I expected Jazz dance to be like and compared it to the real thing – keyword: JAZZ HANDS

I was really excited about seeing this post among the top three. This was one of my favourite pre-dance snacks and I’m happy you guys liked it as much as I did! Let’s give a round of applause for cookie-dough oats everybody! 🙂

You guys were also very interested in reading about my life in New York, despite the frequency of my posts slowly decreasing. I wrote here about how college life, at the beginning, took a massive toll on my writing and time-management capabilities, and how I was coping by frequently using face masks to relax 🙂

You guys didn’t just want to know about New York though. Zurich was luckily also a point of interest, especially when I wrote about one of our bigger outdoor parties here, the Zürifäscht. 

Yet another post about SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE among the top 13! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about it more than I enjoyed actually living it 😉 Here I also highlighted some of my favourite mascaras, which I also mentioned here!

I was very pleased to see two more dance posts among the reader’s favourites. I really hope to spend more time writing about dance in the New Year, as my writing has become slightly more concentrated on beauty products lately. How about making “more dance” a New Year’s resolution, eh? 🙂 I definitely want to expand on my “Funky Friday” posts!

This post was a great experience. I started going back to Ballet, and was discovered by a really nice fellow dance blogger who suggested doing a link-up about “what’s in our ballet bags”. Wonderful!

This is one of my favourite breakfast smoothies. Despite its name, it’s also super healthy!

Yaaaaay you guys also liked learning some Swiss German! I guess I must also resolve to write a few more of these, huh 😉

Oh, and funny enough, you also seemed to enjoy my attempt to attract more men to my pink and sparkly blog. I wonder what the gender distribution on this post was like 🙂

Top post number 13 was when I wrote about my yoga experience.

Seeing all the posts you enjoyed, I feel much more reassured about the mix of topics I include on this blog. Sure, my blog was originally going to be about dance and makeup, but then life got in the way, and this blog became a great outlet to talk about things beyond pirouettes and lip gloss. Especially now that I am more interested in finding out about how muscles work and how to push my fitness to the next level, I haven’t been attending as many dance classes anymore. I do however plan on getting back into dance, now that I am back in Zurich, and look forward to seeing how better fitness might influence my dancing. Also, I hope to become more vegan in 2014, and would really like to share that experience with you guys!

Thank you again for all your love and support!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

FroYo and Frappé

Yaaaaay for Wednesday, frequently known as my Jazz intense day.

Today, despite the summer vacation, classes are still in session! My number one favorite school – never closed, except for next week’s exception because they are moving location – is organising daily workshops, with my favorites this week being Jazz and Ballet, while the number one ballet school here is offering quite a few classes throughout the vacation as well..I’m in heaven 🙂

I haven’t been to dance for over a week now, but with three of my favorite people flying back home yesterday 😦 , my daily routine returned back to normal, and up until this weekend it should stay that way!
Why not after that, you ask? Well, Friday will be the last day of my 3 month internship .. after that I will try to find time for dance, but more importantly I have to start packing for college! Yikes! Time flies…

Lunch today was very special; I found some really tasty, plain frozen yoghurt in Zürich and enjoyed every last bit of it for my midday meal 🙂

IMG_0034

IMG_0032

Not exactly the healthiest choice – given that I was planning on going to dance today – and don’t even get me started on whether it was balanced or not. So I added something green..that’s always good and healthy, right?

IMG_0030

Spinach, Apple, Lemon Juice and Ginger.

IMG_0035

Smoothie + FroYo + Berries = ate some of the colors of the rainbow 🙂

IMG_0033

This was just too good! (Restaurant review coming soon 🙂 )

After leaving the office a little later than I had hoped, I couldn’t make it to the jazz workshop. No biggie, because there was also a ballet lesson I could look forward to. On my way there, I enjoyed some fresh fruit for an extra vitamin boost and some yoghurt covered almonds.

The class was taught by a former student of the afore-mentioned ballet school. After completing her studies there, she joined a ballet company in Russia and began travelling the world. I really enjoyed her class and was mesmerized by how beautiful and elegant each and every move was..even if it was just an exercise! A great start back into my routine! 🙂

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

P.S Did you get that Frappé in the title is a word-play on my ballet lesson, and not something to eat? 🙂

Beginning of the End

Youuuuu guuuuuuuuuuuys! This is my last week of dance class before the schools close for the summer! As of next week I get to attend some awesome workshops instead though! Woopwooooop!

IMG_0607
I am really starting to feel a wave of nostalgia coming on; tomorrow is my very last hiphop class with my performance group! I’ve been dancing at that studio for 8 years, joining the performers a mere 3 years after starting out. They’ve been like family to me and my experience there has drastically helped improve my choreography skills. I was allowed to teach a lesson for practice, learned a lot about stage presence by performing and picked up on urban dance skills that, in retrospect, definitely formed my passion for jazz and modern. What’s more, if it hadn’t been for them, I would’ve never pulled my dissertation performance together; they were my dancers, my performers, my number 1 critics (I will write extensively about that when the time is right 😉 )

My performance crew...! Going to miss them soo much!

My performance crew…! Going to miss them soo much!

As tradition has it, a leaving dancer must bring in a baked good to help ease the pain of losing a fellow friend. 🙂 I’ve been wracking my brain for ideas all day, and have decided to buy something delicious to take with me, as my baking skills often fail me, although I luuuuurv to bake (I don’t get much more practice than the annual Christmas cookie bake-a-thons, but hopefully that will soon change!). More about tomorrows class on Thursday..

A massive VEGAN chocolate chip cookie just before going in to the oven..

A massive VEGAN chocolate chip cookie just before going in to the oven..

Today was also my last regular class at my other dance school before the workshops start, as on Friday I am going to a very special concert and will not be able to go to barre à terre and jazz! So today, I was extra jazzed for a double jazz power session! 😉 The classes were both amazing, teaching incredible choreographies and offering me great advice for the future. It was a great way to end the dance semester!

Jazz Hands!

Jazz Hands!

Last night I prepared a delicious portion of Creamy Earl Grey Oats for sustainable energy. Yumm! I think I might have overdosed on the chia this time though..oh and I forgot the vanilla! Oh well..I used some maple syrup instead 😉 I have to say, they were absodoodally scrumptious and extremely filling!

look at them oats!

look at them oats!

So that’s all for now folks! Will be back tomorrow with more nostalgia and a new recipe! Also, stay tuned if you want to learn some Swiss german!

With love and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Jazz Hands and Fan Kicks, a.k.a Wednesday Dance Class

In my last post, I shared with you my afternoon power snack (also a delicious breakfast, by the way..). Although the recipe does deserve its 15 minutes of fame, my day yesterday did not revolve around that little cup of creamy oats. To tell you the truth, the cookie dough oatmeal I was raving about was merely the back-bone needed, in order to do something even better.

It's sooooo good, that I'm giving you another picture ;)

It’s sooooo good, that I’m giving you another picture 😉

Being a snack, it was fueling me up for much-needed unlimited energy and strength. With a schedule like mine, a little mid-afternoon power boost can really come in handy, when energy stores from breakfast and lunch are long depleted, and dinner is still a long haul away. So by the time 5 o’ clock rolled round, I was really looking forward to the dessert-like bowl of joy, while being even more pumped for what I was eating the oats for…My two hour session of… Jazz Class!

This was technically hip hop..but I am excited for basically any kind of dance ;)

This was technically hip hop..

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of jazz? Is it the music perhaps? Smoky bars with saxophone players and vocalists with voices full of soul? Or do you think of the dance, with its kicks, turns, leaps and walks?

Louis Armstong, source: Wikipedia

Louis Armstrong, source: Wikipedia

Yup..those are the things normal people think of, when you hear the word jazz. But as it has been proven all too many times, I am not normal…

hehehe ;) maybe that explains why I'm not normal?...source: google

hehehe 😉 maybe that explains why I’m not normal?…source: google

So you want to know what I first thought of at the mention of Jazz? You’re going to find it very amusing..

This contributes to my lack of normalcy too... source: google

This contributes to my lack of normalcy too…
source: google

Even more amusing when you find out, I was expecting it to be taught in my first class..

yup...that's what I had to do.. source: google

yup…that’s what I had to do..
source: google

Hysterical even, when – to this day – I have yet to witness a single choreography with it..

in this case, without a certain dance step...source: google

in this case, without a certain dance step…source: google

Can’t take the suspense any longer?

Fine..I’ll fill you in on my little secret….The first things that would come to my mind at the mention of Jazz were…

source: google

source: google

Jazz Hands! Bearly (hehehe) amused? There’s more… I also thought of..

Jack McFarland, source: google

Jack McFarland, source: google

“Just Jack “ In hysterics yet? Yup..I thought so.. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the talents of Jack McFarland – played by Sean Hayes – you absolutely muuuuuuuuust watch my all-time favorite show, WIll & Grace. Believe me, when I say, you are missing out 🙂 )

Will and Grace! Source: google

Will and Grace! Source: google

When I walked in to my very first Jazz class some many months ago, I was expecting it to be very “old school”. Very…jazzy, possibly even slightly sassy , and definitely Jack McFarlandy..! Needless to say, I left the studio half-heartedly. Not a single jazz-hand in sight..instead, I found myself step, piqué and chainé-ing to a lyrically based Paolo Nutini song. Nevertheless, I persevered, deciding to stick it out, even though it would mean learning this – more moderny – jazz dance style. It took some getting used to, but I have finally come to terms with the slightly different, non jazz-handy movements..

source: google

source: google

That being said, every teacher still ends up developing their own style and favorite ways to express themselves. In the end, it really comes down to the individual giving the class. Some choreographers might be more classically trained, and put a lot of emphasis on ballet-inspired movement, while others might live up to the Jack McFarland standards I have always enjoyed and wanted to learn. Thus, I try to vary the classes I go to (although, I admit to going to my favorite classes out of habit, and not vary too often) because that will definitely ensure the best all-round training and prepare me for almost anything. Take yesterday, for example; a jazz double session with two different teachers. I started off at my favorite teacher’s class, working on proper technique and perfect movement, moving only to slow-ish, mellow, singer/song-writer music (think Nora Jones meets James Morrison meets the Passenger…). Then, it was time for the choreography, consisting of mainly turns, pliés and other moves similar to the warm-up, where we could apply all that we had just worked on extensively.

Combré

Combré

The next class, on the other hand, couldn’t have been any more different. With up-beat music keeping us on our toes, we also started off the lesson working on basic technique (which is a very common way to warm up for class), only to be challenged even more by the fast paced choreography. By mixing classic moves with new styles, our teacher created a dance that was not only fun to learn, but also intriguing to watch! A choreography like that relies more on the power of using classical movement as a base for cooler, different looking steps…not so much on doing the basics perfectly!

Source: google

Source: google

So, the moral of the story is: Keep an open mind when going to a new class. Don’t let your expectations ruin the experience! You can profit from all the different styles there are out there, but only if you are willing to let yourself be taught…:) Tomorrow I will introduce you to my HipHop class; but until then.. With attitude and nail polish (is it catching on yet?)..Anoushé xoxo