Star Dance Tour – Ohio Star Ball!

Update: Teacher and partner made it into the semifinal round of the Open Pro Smooth event. They WON the audience wildcard vote, so they were still able to perform their show dance! Unfortunately, they just missed winning the final audience vote. Let’s rally and kick it up a notch for the grand finale of the Star Dance Tour at City Lights Open in January 2017!

Hello my lovely readers!

Before I start seriously packing for my cross-country road trip, I wanted to let you know that Teacher and his pro partner will be competing at Ohio Star Ball this Saturday, November 19, and we can watch it livestreamed!

For those who aren’t aware, Ohio Star Ball is a HUGE ballroom competition. For pro-am students, it hosts the final event for the Best of the Best Dancesport Challenge. For Teacher, it is the latest stop on the Star Dance Tour.

I’ll be on the road on Saturday, but should make it to my first hotel in time to watch Teacher dance. If not, you can bet I’ll be sitting at a rest stop livestreaming on my phone! As usual, you can watch the livestream here. Teacher has told me their first round is around 8:30pm EST, but if you want to catch other events happening on the same night, the session starts at 7pm EST according to Ohio Star Ball’s website. If I learn of any schedule changes, I will update this post.

Don’t forget to stick around to vote!  You’ll be able to vote on the livestream website (just refresh the page if the poll doesn’t appear when the MC at the competition announces that it’s time). As usual, there will be a “wildcard” vote and then a final vote. The wildcard vote is for dancing couples in the semifinal round who do not make it to the final round. Whoever gets the most wildcard votes will still get to perform their show dance.

Once the show dances are over, there will be another chance to vote. Just like on Dancing with the Stars, winning the audience vote helps the couples advance in the tour. Teacher and his partner have won the popular vote at EVERY competition they’ve danced at for the Star Dance Tour. That should tell you something about their show dancing abilities (and how awesome their fans are). I happen to know, and I’ll share with you, that they are planning on performing a new show dance at Ohio. So if you’re thinking you’ve already seen their dance and don’t need to watch it again, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Please join me to watch the livestream on Saturday night. Watch for Kris Suakjian and Briana Haft on the polls when they open, and vote, vote, vote! Also, as usual, I’ll be hanging out on Facebook, so please stop by and say hi!

Ok, time to pack! Happy dancing everyone!


Life Isn’t Fair – Based on a True Story

I was prepared when the phone rang this time. Teacher asked how I was and I said “I’m not sure…because you’re calling…”

Teacher was calling to inform me of the surgery necessary to repair the fractures in his wrist. So much for a clean break.

Surgery meant a longer recovery time. So for the second time, a goal has been crossed out and the future shifted back into obscurity.

There will be no Best of the Best at Ohio Star Ball for this dancer.

I initially wrote this post right after Teacher called me that second time. But I wanted to hold off on sharing it until after my first post-surgery lesson with him. Because the title is 100% true – life isn’t fair. But it is still worth pursuing.

In the middle of processing the second dream lost, I couldn’t articulate why anyone should bother if it all could be taken away without cause. So I waited until I had some time to process and then reconnected with Teacher and started working toward new plans for my ballroom future. I thought getting back into the swing of things would help inspire the words I would need to encourage and motivate you despite the random smackdowns life would give you.

It didn’t.

I still feel like life is just totally unfair and I’m still struggling to keep myself motivated.

But screw it, here is what I wrote anyway.

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How to Cope with Loss – Part 4: Dare to Dream?

Read the whole How to Cope with Loss series here.

Just a quick note before I hit the sack.

I had another lesson with Teacher today, my second standing of the week. We worked more on silver waltz and went back into silver Viennese. Afterwards, we talked a little about Ohio Star Ball and what kind of events I should enter. I’m still hesitant to let myself say yes, we’re going! But nonetheless, I found myself happy to talk about what levels we would do in the single dance events and what level to enter in the scholarships/multi-dance events and what my goals were as far as placements and performance. It was easy for my mind to run down that path and start imagining how fun and exciting (and nerve-wracking) it will be!

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Journey to Splits – Halfway There

July is about halfway over and so is the Journey to Splits challenge. For about two weeks now, I’ve been doing the five foundation stretches plus the stretch of the day, holding each one for a minute (per side, if applicable). And if you follow me on Instagram, you know my dogs have become my biggest fans/supporters. Nothing like having your face licked while you’re trying to pull your leg toward your head! I thought I would share my observations/learnings on this 30-day journey so far.

My boys are always there to cheer me on!

My boys are always there to cheer me on!

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What Does the Girl Do When She Can’t Dance?

I’m in the second week of “can’t afford group classes or practice time” month and doing my best to stay busy so I don’t get hit with some major withdrawal symptoms. I’m usually at the studio three or four nights during the week for class and practice! So having only one night on the books kinda sucks. I’m anticipating July to be the same deal, not even sure I’ll manage the one class a week. We’ll cross that lousy bridge when we come to it. All for Florida and Ohio, that’s what I remind myself.  So what does the Girl do when she can’t get her dance fix? I’ve come up with a list.

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Cutting Back to Move Forward or Why I Love Group Class

Can you believe it’s June already? The year is almost halfway over! A new month always means one thing: new bills to pay. After paying rent, a utility bill, and a credit card bill all at once, I thought I better take another look at my projected budget for the next few months. I have two budgets: a general one of income and expenses, so I know I’m living within my means, and a projected one, so I can see more precisely where I’ll be financially at certain times in the next few months, like when rent is due or when I need to write a check for comp entry fees. I can also better time bill paying with paychecks. It’s all very carefully planned so I can continue following these crazy ballroom dreams of mine.

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Psst! I Launched My Patreon Page…

I considered staying quiet about this, but I knew that was silly and what was the point of launching a fundraising page if no one knew about it.

Check it out: Support the Girl

The idea of is old school – be a patron of the arts. Support your favorite artist and their creations. Instead of a one-time contribution to support a specific project, patrons make ongoing monetary pledges. The creators (that’s me in this case) do what they do best – create! They share their creations and special rewards with their patrons. I thought “I have something to share with the world, let’s give this a try!”

Nothing is changing with Everything stays the same, free for all. But if I’m going to continue on this journey in the directions I want to go (advance in smooth, start competing in rhythm, write a book!), I’m going to need some help. I’m working on expanding my services and am always reevaluating my budget to see where I can cut costs. is one more avenue I’m exploring to help fund this adventure.

So there you have it. I’m no good at asking for this kind of help, so I’ll let my Patreon page speak for itself. Please spread the word and keep working toward your own dreams!

P.S. – Stay tuned for a post about working up the nerve to dare to ask the world to part with their hard-earned money to support my journey. Oh boy, the demons are having a field day! But screw ’em, I managed to launch the site anyway!


In any endeavor, setting goals is important! Sharing your goals with other people can help motivate you and keep you accountable for putting in the effort to achieve those goals. So I’ve decided to keep a list of my ballroom goals on the More About the Girl page. The 2015 goals are already posted. Check them out and let me know if there are any other ballroom dancers out there with the same goals! Let’s kick ass in 2015!