Transition Notice

Instead of a Throwback Thursday this week, I’m writing a little update on what I’ve been doing. Hint: a lot! After my birthday vaca to NYC to see and all-Balanchine program at New York City Ballet (review still to come!), I immediately started my new gig as editor at SeeChicagoDance.com. The next week I accepted a new job as Marketing Associate at The Joffrey Ballet – seriously, it kind of just fell in my lap and I couldn’t say no. Everything can change in a minute. For me, it really did.

After six years at Modern Luxury, I’m now officially at Joffrey, learning the ropes, and looking forward to The Nutcracker season. I hear it’s busy! And after nearly two years writing the dance column for Windy City Times, I will be leaving. November will be my last column, but it is going to the very capable hands of Miss Lauren Warnecke of Art Intercepts.

What does this mean for RB? Well, I’m still hoping to post dancer interviews/profiles, Where Are They Now segments and the occasional preview, time willing. Reviews will be minimal. I will still have a sassy presence on social media. As always, it will be a work in progress.

Behind Barres: Special Offer

I am a dancer from the beginning. At two years old, I walk across our kitchen floor in Rock Island on my pointes. At ten, I read every ballet book I can get my hands on, and my ballet teacher is the most important person in my life besides my mom and dad. At thirteen, I spend every day after school at ballet class, picturing princesses, swans, and tutus. At sixteen, I am accepted to the School of Ballet New York, and by now I know I am going to be a professional.

That is the opening chapter of Girl In Motion, a ballet-based series by Miriam Wenger-Landis. Her book, as well as Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice and The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie Dubois complete the new book bundle Behind Barres, a trio package of YA dance novels, now available online. All three books have been on the Amazon Best Seller list and the authors, who started up a friendship via email, were looking for ways to cross promote and thought bundling the first books in each series was a good way to do it.

I read Landis’ Girl In Motion, which follows young Anna to the School of Ballet New York (SAB anyone?) and the drama of getting her first professional job. Landis was a professional dancer and knows her stuff. The book is well-written and fun with little bits only ballerinas will truly appreciate. Brice’s book is the first in the Dani Spevak Mystery Series and follows its heroine to a performing arts boarding school where someone is trying to sabotage the reality t.v. show filming at the school. She and her friends set out to find out who and why. The novel brings together the authors love of Nancy Drew, dancing and her obsession with Dancing With the Stars. DuBois, who is also getting her PhD in Biochemistry, has written numerous books with Queen Bee focusing on interracial relationships as the first book in her Dancing Dream series.

These are a great gifts for a dance student, young dance lover or a fun fall read for a dancer, former dancer or teacher. Now through Sept. 28, you can get all three full-length novels in the bundle for $0.99. Ninety nine cents! On Sept. 29 the price goes up to $9.99. You can download for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and from Amazon UK.

Happy Anniversary to RB!

Last week – September 24th to be exact – Rogue Ballerina turned 3! While there are ups and downs to having a one-person-pony-show dance blog (up: getting to see tons of kick-ass dance, down: burn out, making very little $ – read 0.00), and while I honestly consider scrapping the whole thing about once a week (sometimes daily), I’m still having a helluva good time doing it. I get to meet amazing artists one-on-one (even if it’s via phone) and discuss what they love passionately. I’ve been exposed to genres and styles I never would have come across in my normal “post-dancer/civilian” life and my knowledge base and tastes have evolved exponentially (I am now a full-fledged Forsythe fan!).

Going over some of the posts from the last year, my belief that Chicago is a world-class city for dance has only grown. From the big dogs like Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Joffrey Ballet, to small start-ups like Leopold Group and Elements Contemporary Ballet and everything in between, the Windy City has myriad opportunities to see great dance and a ceaseless artistic creativity that is unmatched.

Someone recently told me they appreciated my enthusiasm. While I’m certain some find it annoying, it was greatly appreciated. I see myself more as a cheerleader for all dance in Chicago as opposed to a critic (although I sure do have my opinions).

On the writing front in the past year, I took over the monthly dance column at Windy City Times, covered the sixth annual Chicago Dancing Festival as one of the official bloggers for the second year in a row and had the pleasure of writing Hubbard Street’s Robyn Mineko Williams’ transition notice for Dance Magazine, as well as my usual gigs as a culture writer for Front Desk Chicago and CS Magazine. Other noteworthy events – and there are way too many to list here – include interviewing Twyla Tharp (terrifying!), singing “Happy Birthday” to Ann Reinking and seeing Batsheva Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Dance Company on the final leg of The Legacy Tour and the American Ballet Theatre (live) and the Paris Opera Ballet perform Giselle live (via simulcast).

Goals for the upcoming year include officially meeting fellow dance lover Mayor Rahm Emanuel (instead of just smiling and nodding in passing at events – an interview would be stellar!) and moving forward with a book project (or two) near and dear to my heart and possibly throwing some advertising up on this mug.

Thanks to everyone who reads RB!

Feeling the love,

Vicki