So I know that I’ve been beyond slack in terms of blogging lately (uhhm.. 3 months!) but sometimes life just gets that little bit too hectic and the fun stuff (this bad boy) has to get pushed to the wayside. But! I’m back! Back from a month-long stint in the UK where I ventured to Italy, China and Bali, and back to my beloved keyboard 🙂 As its been a fair whack of time, I decided to bridge the gap with picking out my favourite 5 moments over the festive season (excluding Christmas and New Years obviously!). You probably wouldn’t call this a particularly informative blog post but what it lacks in information and opinion it makes up for in sunny, happy pictures 🙂 Enjoy!
Watching Misty Copeland live in The Sleeping Beauty
This night was a definite favourite, I’m a bit of a Misty Copeland fan and to be lucky enough to watch her live was a dreeaaaam! Her poise, strength and finesse was amazing. If any of you ever get the opportunity to go watch this girl then make. it. happen! It’s not very often that you get to watch a Prima Ballerina. She stole the show and my heart <3
My Cousin got married!
My youngest cousin Shannon from Launceston, Tasmania got married to the beautiful Loretta on December 2nd, 2017. So happy for them and so glad I was there to witness it! Unfortunately I don’t have many piccies from this night so these will just have to do..
Became Australian Professional Ballroom Champions for the 2nd Year!
Steve and I celebrated 12 years together in Bali
It’s not very often that Steve and I get to fly somewhere and have it not be for a competition so on the way home from the UK we stopped over in Bali for a few nights to relax and celebrate our anniversary. We stayed in Seminyak at the Villa Seminyak Estate and Spa and got a villa with our own private pool. It was such a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life and one I think we both needed! The service at our hotel was beyond amazing but my favourite part would have to be the Spa. That Spa was just the cherry on an already delicious Bali cake. Anyone in the Seminyak area, be sure to hit up the Seminyak Estate Spa (it’s Asia’s number 1 Luxury Boutique Spa) because you will not regret it!
I lobbed my hair off!
Yeah.. I always seem to do this. I make a pact with myself that I am going to grow my hair SUPER long. Like Rapunzel long. Then when it actually gets there I am that jack of it that I resent it and want to cut it all off. This has probably happened roughly 3 times in my lifetime and every time I do it, I’m bloody glad. Having long hair may seem like all that and a bag of potato chips but trust me doing it for comps, washing it everyday after swimming in Bali, or just dealing with the intense heat it creates is not fun. So if you’re considering the lob, bob or pixie and are feeling a little cautious, remember this.. It’s hair, it grows back! New Year, new hair I say 😉
Howdy friends! So, I’ve just recently gotten home from a two-week stint in Asia competing, practicing and teaching and once again I’m trying to recalibrate my ‘home groove’. I don’t know about you guys but I definitely find that it takes me a few days to truly settle in to wherever I am and whatever I’m doing and let me tell you, living as an ever-travelling, competing ballroom dancer, that can make life pretty tough at times! Luckily though, no matter where in the world I am, I can always rely on certain things to help a sister out and today I thought I’d share those things with you 🙂
This is only a relatively new thing in my life and was really brought to my attention while I was aboard the NCL Epic Cruise ship. The constant reminder of “washy, washy – happy, happy” songs and hand sanitising stations made me become a total germaphobe! I had never really thought about germs so much up until that point and then all of a sudden I was questioning EVERYTHING! Especially the poor old breakfast buffet. In my defence though I was also hearing some pretty horrific buffet stories from friends aboard the ship too which obviously didn’t help either! Nevertheless, it changed me and after washy, washy-ing 200 times a day (I kid, I kid… or do I?) for a whole week, hand sanitiser is now a part of my life. Thinking about it now though it kind of makes sense considering my constant state of travel and the fact that my job entails me holding people’s hands! What’s even better about this new obsession is that you can buy the sanitisers in such cutie patootie packaging!! I’m such a child when it comes to things like this; give me something pink and cute and I’m bloody sold so for me it’s a double win! I found these Gudetama hand sanitisers in Hong Kong and they are so dang cute with their little detachable loop bands making it easy for you to bang it on your bag and they smell like peachy goodness. The little pink guy on my backpack was a gift from a student so I’m not sure where it’s from 🙁 but still.. BEST STUDENT EVER AWARD!
Travel sickness tablets:
Yep, I’m one of those people. One of the one’s quietly winding down the window in the back of a car on a -2 degree day, one of the one’s getting all woozy when the plane is doing a million circles before landing into Heathrow, one of the one’s who should have travel sickness tablets on them at all times. You never know when that sickness is going to strike so I have learnt that it’s better to be prepared than to suffer in sick silence. I’m talking the proper stuff by the way, none of this ginger tablet crap that does absolutely nothing. A brand I often buy is Kwells and honestly I’ve been taking them for so long that the mere thought of them makes me want to gag, but boy do they work! One trip I was feeling confident and I decided to see if all my travel hours had paid off and given me some sort of immunity to travel sickness so I bought some of these pressure band things. Big mistake that was.. half way through the flight turbulence struck and the old pressure bands weren’t doing much other than putting large indentations in between my wrist bones. So, never again! I always travel with them and they come in so handy, especially considering they are quite small so if you have to (wouldn’t recommend it though) you can swallow them (don’t do it) without water (just don’t!).
Travel sized perfume:
As I’ve mentioned before here, I’m slightly obsessed with perfume. So it’s kind of no brainer that this would be on my list but when I’m travelling I find it much easier to opt for something more suited to my handbag size so I have access to it whenever I need a refresh. Smelling good is always appreciated and in my field of dance where it’s literally body on body, I think its super important (*cough, cough* men take note!) that you have the respect to not smell like an old wash cloth 🙂 I have a few different options I love to keep in my bag at different times. One being this small Elizabeth and James roll on that I bought at Sephora, it wasn’t too expensive, smells beautiful and is small enough that you can pop a bit of fragrance on in a hurry and chuck it back in your bag without it weighing your bag down or taking up too much space. Another option I like is to use the little tester perfumes you sometimes receive when buying or trying a new perfume. I always make sure to put them in a small pocket in my bag though so they can’t roll around and leak perfume everywhere! Finally, something I’m using at the moment which I also received as a welcome home gift from a student (I know, my students rock!) is this travel sized Chanel No.5 bottle which came with two refills! I think its perfect for the hand bag because it is small and sleek and the wind up, wind down feature means you don’t have to worry about lids falling off and leakage. Also, the two refills give me a little confidence to wear No5 everyday.. yes please!!
My face and skin undergoes constant change depending on my surroundings. I know how I’m feeling or how my body’s doing just from looking at my face. Dark circles, puffy eyes, dry lips, pimples – I get the works and sometimes if I really don’t take care of myself I get them all at once. HOT. I still haven’t found the cure for puffiness under the eyes (if anyone out there knows of any product they can recommend I’m all for it!) but I do know that there is something about Asia that makes it really bad. I don’t think its the food as I tried for a few days to eat super clean; veg, fruit, green juice, nuts and rice and I still woke up with severely puffy eyes and soreness. I think it may have something to do with the aircon in the hotel rooms but I’m not sure. All I know is that its the bane of my existence while Im there. Anyway I digress! Luckily, I can throw my skin a bone via the help of different face masks. I’ve tried all sorts of face masks in the past but one that I’m loving at the moment and that I found really helps to ‘wake’ my face up is the GlamGlow YouthMud mask. I bought this on my cruise as I’d heard so much about Glam Glow and decided to give it a go #poet. Now bearing in mind I have sensitive skin, the first time I tried this bad boy, I had to wash it off within 20 seconds. It was burning like hell! But after doing a bit of research online I read that it may cause a tingling feeling so I drank some cement and gave it another go. Burny Burn Town once again! But this time I persisted and it did pass and it was even followed with a pleasant cooling sensation which was highly appreciated in my case. it goes on as a thick ‘mud’ and after about 5 minutes dries to being rock hard giving you what I can only describe as all over botox face. You can leave it on for up to 15 minutes and when you rinse it off your skin will feel baby bum smooth. I feel like it really de-puffs my face as well and leaving my skin in the perfect pre-makeup state. I simply follow with my usual moisturiser and then I can apply my makeup straight away with out the fear of it slipping and sliding all over the joint. Definitely recommend it to anyone who, like me, wakes up looking like they were involved in a mild car accident overnight.
So there are some of my secrets, what are yours!? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Today is my 1 year Vegan-niversary 🙂 Cheers to you, tummy! How time flies!! I have to admit it hasn’t all been sunshine, rainbows and butterflies (especially in the beginning!) but it has definitely been my calling in terms of mental and physical health and clarity. So to celebrate I decided to write a little blog post on some of the memorable moments that have happened over the past year including everything from the good, the bad and the ugly! So why not start with the ugly, shall we!?
The first week of hell…
When I first started this lifestyle I decided to write a bit of a food journal and boy am I glad I did this looking back at it now! The diary entries are priceless and it’s pretty clear to see that I was feeling like death in those initial few days. The general consensus of each day being – I HAVE A HEADACHE, MY STOMACH HATES ME, KILL ME. Really my body was just going through a detox from a lifetime of eating crap but even knowing this didn’t make it any easier! Here’s a look at my struggle through Day 3..
Thursday 28th April 2016 – Day 3 Vegan
Woke up with a headache AGAIN.
Made a smoothie for brekkie at 10am
Have had chronic upset stomach all morning.
Midday- STILL HAVE HEADACHE. Time to drink a gallon of water to see if that helps.
Tried to eat some fruit (peach, apple + banana) and a cucumber around 2pm but still have headache.
Had a coffee at 4pm.. still have headache.
Made an early dinner of baked sweet potato wedges with homemade tomato soup – headache finally gone! YAY.
Bloated as all hell today, hoping to wake up to a non-bloated, flat tummy tomorrow morning.
HA HA even reading it back again, it still makes me laugh. I can’t actually remember how horrid I felt but from the sound of this bad boy I was not too chipper. These feelings definitely started to clear after day 6 or 7 and I remember how amazing I started to feel once that initial phase was over! No more bloated-ness, no more brain fog and no more HEADACHE. Maybe this was going to be something I really enjoy!?
Revealing the new Vegan diet…
It sounds pretty strange but I was actually really nervous about telling people of my new vegan ways haha. I knew that people would ask questions (they did, and still do!) and I wanted to be able to answer them truthfully and knowledgeably without sounding too preachy or making anyone question their own food choices. Truth is, I still find it tricky sometimes because there is always the odd wangchong out there that gets off on making me feel like I’m missing out or telling me that I am totally batshit crazy but I’ve just come to be able to blow it off now and realise that maybe they have their own insecurities that has nothing to do with my choices. Food is a pretty crazy topic!! My close family has been so supportive (always worrying more about what I can eat before themselves!) and so many of my friends have actually been open enough to suggest going to Vegan restaurants and giving it a go too! So for that I am extremely grateful and feel so lucky to have such supportive, understanding and non-judgemental people in my life 🙂 You too Seewah 😉
Making new discoveries.
The other day I was discussing why I transitioned to Vegan-ism with someone and it really made me realise how many doors it opened for me. Whilst most people would feel like they were giving a lot up (this person I was talking to included), I was never a great lover of meat anyway (I only really ate chicken and fish) and dairy upset my stomach so for me I felt like it wasn’t that hard to just go into it all guns blazing. Little did I know it would then lead me to try SO MANY other new and exciting things ranging from skincare, haircare, beauty products to things like Veganaise and Vegan Cheese! I used to turn my nose up at Tofu, now I crave it! Beans? no thanks.. nowadays they are a staple! It’s forced me to try new recipes and think of different ways of creating meals which has been so much fun 🙂 A few weeks ago Steve and I made Vegan Lasagne and it was AMAZiNG… I never thought something like that would be possible to eat when first starting out on this diet but these days it seems anything is possible! Vegan chicken schnitzels anyone?
So for now I’m going to keep on keeping on with this whole Vegan thing. Steve has become a bit more of a flexi-Vegan, eating Vegan at home but doesn’t mind going for something Vegetarian or Pescatarian when we go out which is totally cool too. I think that people should just do whatever makes them feel best and hey, if you are craving fish.. then maybe your body needs some dang fish! My body however hasn’t craved anything over the past year so that’s why I’ve found it so easy to stick to what I’m doing, not even straying once! I’ve had a few mishaps though which have obviously been when eating out; I’ve been given a focaccia full of cheese one time even after telling the lady I wanted no cheese or dairy in it because I was Vegan.. man I was HANGRY that day (my family can vouch for that!), generally my Asian students have a tough time understanding what Veganism is and always seem to be trying to force feed me Cheesecake and giving me rice balls that contain “no meat” only to bite into it and find a whole heap of red meat and egg inside.. hah! Oh the joys, but luckily I have done a pretty good job at avoiding these obstacles and sticking to my guns 🙂 I haven’t had to give up the things I love in life; coffee, ice-cream (sorbet), pizza and bread and using these new vegan products have improved my skin and hair dramatically so no complaints here!
I think I’ve saved a lot of little animal friends this past year too and as Steve said to me this morning, “Your stomach must be so green it’s growing trees in there.” He he.. #yeahboiii.
I love dancing, it’s my life and it’s who I am. I will never regret my decision of dedicating my life to dance but sometimes it is easy to lose direction, inspiration and motivation (I am human guys hehe!) As an artist it’s so important to feel inspired or “switched on” so that the performances we give can be something to be remembered, but what do we do if we simply just don’t feel like doing it? I’ve been in that boat more than once believe me and what I’ve found is that it’s important to firstly figure out why you feel this way and then to try to find solutions to get that fire burning again! Oh and for those of you dance junkies out there that never tire of dancing or anything to do with it (my boyfriend/dance partner included) then this may not really apply to you!! You lucky things 😉
First off, figuring out why you don’t want to put your dance shoes on. Ask yourself am I tired? I don’t mean “Oh I had a late night last night” tired, I mean like yeah I’ve done 6 comps in the last two months or I can’t remember the last time I had a day off. Sometimes the monotony of going into the studio or dancing competitions can be just as tiring mentally as it is physically. If I don’t take one full day off in at least a fortnight then I know I will start to resent the studio. This then leads to blurry practices with no real plan or path. It’s all too easy to go into auto pilot and just dance around with no purpose. Of course it isn’t always feasible to take time off but at least I am aware of it and I try my best! The older and more advanced you get in sport/art (whatever you want to call it!! haha) the more it becomes a mental game rather than something physical. Thats why it’s so important to distinguish between the two.
If you are just tired physically, take a day off, go get a coffee instead. You’re not going to forget everything and it will probably do you more good than going in there slogging away at something you have no desire for. However if it’s more than that and you are a full-time dancer feeling mentally weak then maybe you need to look at scheduling in some PROPER time off. After 11 months of non-stop training and competitions I took a solid week off the other week and I can’t even explain how good for my dancing it was. I came back feeling refreshed and ready to work on improving myself whereas the week before it I felt stale and exhausted. If taking time away from the floor doesn’t work or isn’t the right answer then maybe some visual inspiration is the key..
These days we are so lucky to have the magnificent internet to help us with our dancing woes. You can go on YouTube and find lectures, new routines, lessons on timing, floorshows.. you name it, it’s on there! So, something that works for me on those days before I head into practice, is to watch some dance related videos on the tube as I feel it really gets me inspired to get in there and get working! Some of my favourite ladies to watch are Anne Gleave, Loraine Barry, Charlotte Jorgensen, Alessandra Bucciarelli and Alessia Betti, but there are literally videos of anyone on there! Heck, there’s some embarrassing one’s of me on there too!! So people, if your favourite dancer cant inspire you, nothing can. So get watching!
Another option is to go and watch a live performance. One of our major teachers in the U.K used to always stress to Steve and I that we need to go and watch the Ballet. Not only to see the beauty of their lines in the flesh but also to find inspiration in what they do and bring that into our own performance. Alas, I haven’t been to an abundance of shows but I have been to the ballet a few times and have watched a couple of musicals and circus shows too. It’s a great way of making you appreciate other forms of art and can really give you a new lease on your own style. Ballroom is heavily based around ballet in my eyes so I just love watching the way they move what looks to be so effortlessly, but the dancer in me knows it takes great strength and dedication. Something else I found helpful was to take some lessons in ballet or another dance form. I did ballet for roughly a year or so and it was so interesting to try to find the correlations between the two styles. I loved learning a different form of dance and it was so much fun to try to bring some of the things I had learnt in those lessons into my ballroom practice (TRY being the optimistic word hehe).
The other day Steve and I went to watch the Russian Ballet perform Swan Lake in a theatre close to home. IT WAS AMAZING!! It’s the first time I have ever been lucky enough to watch classical ballet and it was just so breathtaking. Of course there were a few standout performers in there and that’s what I love about dancing is that everyone is so different. It’s all about finding that special something that you love to look at and then letting that inspire you to create your own interpretation/feeling. It definitely had me itching to get back in the studio to improve myself so maybe it might work for you too!?
Lastly, if none of these things work then maybe it’s best to look toward your next goal.. whether it’s a competition, medal day or a floorshow. We start our training leading up to any major comp about a month or so beforehand and I love the feeling of the build up to a big competition. It gives me a clear sight as to what I’m working toward and I can see a finish line. That way I know all this hard work is actually for something too! The body definitely starts to wake up and get excited about the task rather than just slogging away thinking it’s the everyday grind. So try to think of whatever is your next biggie and see that as your major driver everytime you can’t be bothered. Something super important for me is making sure that I am physically fit enough for the comp so that I can show my best dancing. This is why we turn up the heat on our stamina practices a month before the comp and not simply a week before! But horses for courses guys, what works for me might not necessarily be the best option for you so it’s all about being instintive and listening to your body 😉
So if you’re feeling a little blah don’t worry! Because we have all been there 🙂 Maybe give some of these ideas a go and see if they can bring your sparkle back! What are some things you like to do to find motivation/inspiration? Leave me some love below xxx
I’m a bit of an avid YouTube watcher.. #guilty. In my spare time I love getting on my laptop, coffee in hand and browsing through some of my favourite YouTube channels. I watch a variety of things on there.. whether its related to beauty, makeup, dancing or even Veganism. But today I wanted to talk about some of my fave Beauty bloggers! The greatest thing about YouTube is that it satisfies our inquisitive sides giving us a look into tips, trick and trends from people who dedicate their lives to these subjects and their channels. I just love how it’s so easy to just go on there, search for almost anything and at the click of your fingers you have a mass of videos related to that topic. Don’t get me wrong though, I do still love me my blogs and magazines, those badgirls are always great to come back to after I’m sick of listening to someone ramble and clicking my way through the time bar to get the point! So I like to mix it up between actual reading and viewing 🙂 Sometimes, watching how different people apply makeup and change their face can be so relaxing.. but also, inspiring!
First up I want to mention my all time favourite – Lisa Eldridge. You may have heard me mention Lisa before but if you haven’t she is a famous professional makeup artist to the stars that has a channel to show us how she works her magic! She plays with faces like Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington-Whitely to name a few, so woman knows what she’s doing! She has an obsession with makeup, not just of today but stemming back to how makeup came about and all the trends through the decades. I love not only her stunning English accent but the way she creates such bright and fresh makeup looks. She has quite a minimalistic approach to makeup but the finished products look so damn flawless I just don’t know how she does it! I always find her channel helpful because not only does she talk about what works for her but she does tutorials related to other skin types and tones too. These days it’s all about the Kardashian/Jenner inspired look which is difficult for me being a pale redhead.. I aint ever going to be able to rock that! So this is another reason why I love Lisa because she seems to be very much about old school glam and making each and every person discover what their own “look” is and then playing on that. Because she has spent a bit of time working around the world she also knows a lot about different makeup cultures which I also find so interesting! I love the way the Japanese do makeup and have a bit of an obsession with asian products and it seems that is something that Lisa enjoys too. She used to work for an asian brand so she knows quite a bit about how they like to do makeup and what they find beautiful and I might be crazy but I really find this sort of thing super interesting 🙂
Someone a little younger on the Tube is me old mate Carli Bybel. Just joking, I don’t know her from a bar of soap but she talks to me on there as if we are mates so sometimes it’s confusing. Also when I say younger, I don’t mean young as she is actually the same age as me.. (26 for all of you playing out there). I often find myself watching her videos just to ogle at her beauty! This gal has some god given looks, let me tell you. But also, she is really great to watch because she knows how to get that glam look going. Whats even better is that she is Vegan so she often suggests vegan and cruelty free products that she has tried and loved/hated. Quick side note – I am trying to use some more vegan products on my face and have been loving the brands Cover FX and Tarte cosmetics. Both brands are vegan and cruelty free and can be shopped in Sephora stores near you! Carli is one of the people I was referring to that easily start to ramble but that is mainly in her VLOG’s so if you are into that then that’s cool but some of the makeup looks she creates really are beautiful. Not only does she talk about makeup but she also mentions new products and things that she has been loving. All that girly stuff we love!
A channel that I’ve recently come by that doesn’t have an abundance of videos but what is on there is absolute GOLD is Miss Fame. Some of you may have heard of Miss Fame before? She is a drag queen that became popular on the tv show RuPaul’s Drag Race and let me tell you this queen is farking fierce. She actually just got signed to IMG models in America, being the first ever drag queen to be signed at a high-end agency sooo yeah she = HOT. She does makeup that makes me want to be a drag queen, I’m not joking! A new dream of mine is to one day have Miss Fame do my makeup because this shit is off the chain. Dance competition makeup can sometimes rival drag makeup so I love watching a few queens on YouTube (Jeffree Star is also amazing) to learn some of the tricks of the trade. So if you are a dancer or you just love that heavy-duty OTT makeup style complete from glueing your eyebrows down to rocking a wig then this channel is for you! It is literally the best makeup I’ve ever seen, the other day I showed Steve one of the transformations and let me just say, profanities were shouted haha! Miss Fame makes me want to do makeup better and more often and I just love how much they know about how to change the face and make things appear differently. It’s all about that contour baby! Definitely worth a look at!!
Ok, one more worth a mention is Desi Perkins. This girl is tooooo cool. I actually came about her via one of my besties Rach Macintosh (also has a YouTube channel Rachel Macintosh! Go check her out and SUBSCRIBE!!) as Rachel did a makeup look on her channel inspired by Desi which was just so beautiful. So naturally I was like who is this Desi girl and let me see this gorgeous orange-y makeup first hand! Yeah, she didn’t disappoint. She always creates such a flawless base, her eyebrows are 2 small perfect dreamboats and the way she blends colours is just melt-worthy. The way she creates her videos are so amazing too.. the quality of the picture and something about the way she cuts the videos are just super professional. I think her vids may actually be the best on YouTube.. big call right there! She is latina so obviously her and I don’t have many similarities but she has experience on dealing with under eye creasing (the bane of my existence) and I she and I share a love for all things coral-ly. She is always up-to-date with new products and whats hot so if you want to keep in the loop, Desi is your gal. Everything she does is so immaculate and beautiful, ranging from the colours she chooses to the finish she gets. I think the picture says it all really!!
So I think that’s all I’ll mention today guys otherwise I might be here all bloody day. Who knew I had such an obsession!? Surprised myself even!! What are some of your favourite YouTube channels? Comment below 🙂 and please don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this old blogging blog if you want updates on my babble first hand.
I decided to bang a little blog post together filled with some fun facts you may not know about me and some FAQ’s. These are questions I get asked all the time so I thought why not share them! I hope you enjoy and in the process get to know me a bit better too! Happy reading!
nicknames: Rach, Rachie, Wachelle, Rachie-bop
favourite style of music: jazzzzzz
worst habit: plucking my hair, procrastinating
favourite foods: sushi, peanut butter, vegemite and avocado on toast
favourite drink: coffeeeee! Long Black or Soy Latte
natural hair colour: strawberry blonde
random facts: I’ve never broken a bone, I don’t have any fillings
siblings: one younger brother
favourite TV series: Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, FRIENDS, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad
pet hates: flying, getting hangry, shit-talkers!
favourite fragrance: Insolence by Guerlian
cats or dogs: dogs definitely!! Although I’m slightly allergic to both 🙁
Where are you originally from? I was raised in Mandurah, a small-ish town near Perth in Western Australia and moved to Sydney 8 years ago
How old were you when you started dancing? I started Ballet lessons at the age of 3, then moved on to some Jazz around 4/5 then tried Ballroom at the age of 6. I’ve been dancing ever since!
How did you meet Steve? Steve is also from Mandurah and we grew up in the same dance school and lived only 5 minutes down the road from one another! We started dancing together in 2003 and by 2005 had realised there was more to us than just good friends 🙂
What is your favourite part about Ballroom Dancing? The make-up and the dresses of course! ha ha I kid.. bit of a personal joke that one. I love how I get to push myself to new unexplored boundaries everyday and use it as a way of expressing my feelings and emotions. Also, whilst I hate flying I feel so lucky to be able to travel to different countries and take in new cultures at the same time as learning off the world’s best ballroom teachers.
Do you ever feel unmotivated/uninspired? If so, what do you do to pull yourself together and get to dance practice? This one made me laugh, ALL THE TIME! I dance basically everyday, whether its teaching or my own practice it still takes its toll on the body and can become super draining. I’m no dance junkie, I’m more of an emotional dancer.. when I feel like dancing I will dance! Some days it is harder than others but the thing with Ballroom is that there is another person involved and we are a team so I have to take that persons wants into account as well as my own. Sometimes Steve and I both don’t feel like dancing but we put on the old dance shoes and hit the d-floor anyway, but if it really isn’t working after 5 minutes we call it and leave. At times its better to go outside and have a coffee and refresh the brain rather than slogging away at something that you will eventually start to resent. It’s no good being a burnt-out resentful dancer!! This is why we try to take every Sunday off, no teaching, no dancing! For those times when I know I should be dancing but am struggling with motivation I try to look toward the next major competition or floor show and think of how I want my performance to be.. that usually kicks my butt into gear 🙂
Who is your biggest inspiration? This may sound super corny but I have to say Steve. He is the backbone of our dance partnership and pushes and motivates me everyday. He has so much belief in not only me but our partnership that its contagious! Without him there would have been so many times where I might have walked away from the dance scene but he has helped me realise why I chose this life and why, through all the hard times, I need to keep going!
What would be your dream job? I have to say I am pretty lucky to be able to do what I love and not be tied down to a 9-5 job but if I was involved in a totally different career I would love to work for some sort of Women’s magazine
What’s your dream holiday? Hmm my dream holiday would involve travelling to any place where its hot and I don’t have 20 suitcases filled with competition stuff.Somewhere I’ve always wanted to go is the Bora Bora. Those villas + beautiful blue water + sunshine = dream come true. Of all the places and times I’ve travelled can you believe I haven’t been somewhere warm for a relaxing vacation! Craziness I know.
What are 3 key beauty products in your handbag? Lipstick (a lot of them), L’occitane hand moisturiser, Vaseline (for when my lips are dry!)
What are some of your favourite blogs? Oooh, I love Cupcakes and Cashmere and have been following that blog for many years now, more recently I’ve been loving Pink Peonies, and an all time favourite would have to be Zotheysay by Zoe Foster Blake (Funny comedian man Hamish Blake’s wife for those of you playing out there)
So I hope this answered a few lurking questions you may have had! But if you have moooore questions, then feel free to pop them into the comments below 🙂
There is always controversy surrounding the topic of whether Ballroom Dancing is classified as an art or a sport. Speaking as a full-time Professional Ballroom dancer myself and having danced for 20 years now, I prefer to pop us in the art category but I can totally understand why the argument arises. What we do is seriously demanding stuff, two bodies dancing together for a total of 10 minutes with no stopping. Add 2 and a half-inch heels into the equation and you can see this is no walk in the park. By now you are probably thinking “where is she going with this and how on earth does this relate to Veganism?” but I’m getting there ok! Athletes need a large amount of fuel to be able to compete at maximum performance level, but dancer’s need to have a certain aesthetic ‘dancer’ look as well. I have always struggled with this balance. Not enough fuel, too lethargic to dance to maximum.. enough fuel, but receive complaints of having to lose weight (nasty stuff I know, but it’s unfortunately true). So, what’s a gal to bloody do!?! This is where my title comes in 🙂
Now, please don’t think I wrote this post to come across all preachy and demanding. I simply decided to write it to share some of my own experiences in the hopes that maybe they help you too! I’m no nutritionist so please bare that in mind, but I have done a lot of research on this topic through good old google, some books and watching a few docos. Also, some people have recently been asking me about it so I thought I should just tackle it head on and write a blog post. Steve and I have been eating a plant-based diet now since late April 2016 and I don’t see us going back! We decided to give it a go leading up to one of the biggest comps of our lives, which was in the UK in May. A little risky as who knows what could have happened but luckily I’m pretty sure it was one of the best decisions we have ever made!
We were training like bosses leading up to the competition, doing 4 rounds twice a week (’rounds’ means 5 dances, full tracks of music, no stopping which = ABSOLUTE DANCER DEATH) and I just felt so knackered all the time and couldn’t even notice a change in my body either. This was discouraging to say the least considering I felt like the dancing equivalent of a hamster on a spin wheel. Then one night I watched Cowspiracy and something clicked. I then started researching plant-based diets and decided that I wanted to give it a go. My decision was purely based on the fact that these people were eating roughly 3000 calories a day and looked amazing but also said they felt great too. Also, I am always up for trying something new and if it’s not for me well.. no harm done!
I noticed a change pretty much immediately in terms of my energy levels and alertness. Coming from my previous diet of a lot of protein, good fats, minimal carbs and minimal food in general this was probably an obvious one but I still wasn’t 100% sure on what I should and shouldn’t eat. This became a little bit of a work in progress for both Steve and I as we tried new things but something that really helped us track our intakes and progress was cronometer.com. Here we could enter the foods we were eating and see how we were going with all our vitamins and macro intakes. What I was surprised by was how we were covering all bases with this new way of eating.. it also gave me somewhat of a cheeky response when people said to me “but where do you get your protein!?” The only vitamin that was lacking was Vitamin B12 which us humans get from animal products. When I researched this though, it seems most people are deficient in this vitamin and so we simply bought a supplement which we take twice weekly 🙂
Some things were hard to give up (yoghurt 🙁 I’ll miss you!) but it also made other options that the old me would have never gone near ( HELLO BREAD AND PASTA!) totally accessible. We also found a few vegan alternatives for the things we missed like sorbet for icecream, vegan cheese, veganaise for mayonnaise, falafel burgers and plant-based protein powders. We are currently using PRANA ON protein powder and it’s delish! The other thing I did discover though is how good I felt eating a diet based on fruits, vegetables and grains. These days I eat around 2,500-3,000 calories a day and I feel leaner, stronger, more alert and I have so much more energy. I no longer get to 3pm craving a chocolate bar pick-me-up and I’m not starving for crap food at 11pm like I was before. My skin has improved and I’ve lost around 5 kgs!
As you can see, I could write all day about how happy this lifestyle has made me but I know that everybody is different so you have to do your own research on what works best for you and play around with a little trial and error. Anyone that really knows me, knows I have gone through waaaaay too many silly fad diets because of the pressure I’ve had put on me which have all had short term effects and little reward. That’s why I’m so passionate about this and I don’t feel like it’s another ‘diet’ as I’m not really giving up anything if I vouch for how much better I feel 🙂 Plus I’m sure I’ve made some little animals out there very happy #DOUBLEWIN.
If you’re interested in hearing any more about what food I eat etc. please, oh please leave me a comment below!