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Travel

Summer Has Started With a Roar

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The last day of school was Friday, June 9th. We celebrated the graduation of seniors from A.G. High School that I have danced with my whole life. It is astonishing to see them move on to the next chapter of their lives. As for me, it was a 6 a.m. departure to Los Angeles for a……long…..one day music video shoot for Dylan Diamond. We were on location for most of the day on location of “Pimp My Ride,” at West Coast Customs – will share when the video comes out. It was great to work with so many immaBEAST dancers. Our small group was Jordyn Jones, Natalie Bebko , Phoenix, and Jason Hancock. It was fun to meet celebrity YouTuber Logan Paul.

After driving home on Sunday, I returned to LA again on Monday for immaBEAST company class with Cat Cogliandro. It was transformative. I cried a lot. THANK YOU! After a busy school year, I needed that therapeutic release. I was so stoked by her combination of movement and message that I took her class again at Millennium on Wednesday – ahhhhhh – so good.

I am falling in love with Ventura Boulevard – the amazing restaurants and my favorite shops. Last night after immaBEAST class I was able to reconnect with my good friend Kennadi Boese and her mom for dinner at Granville. The angel hair pasta with chicken is soooooo good. It really hit the spot. Of course, YogurtLand near Laurel Canyon is the best way to finish a long day. I absolutely love where I live and all of my friends in AG, but it is especially wonderful to have more friends and my special places in Los Angeles.

For the first time, I will be presenting my original choreography at Hollywood Vibe Nationals competing for Teen Dancer of the Year. It’s the next step on my journey as a dancer to gain skills and confidence creating choreography and collaborating with so many amazing people who influence me. Through the process of finding your own style, you realize that you are a product of the great dancers and teachers that you work with. Dance is truly a craft that is passed from generation to generation. Thank you to all of my mentors, especially Brooke Lipton, Heidi Asefvaziri, and Janelle Ginestra. You are all goddesses and you shine a light on my path.

Sorry School of Rock. I would have been great to work with you today. Wish it would have worked out. Many thanks to MSA for the effort. But when one door closes, another opens –

Hat By Burton on MelroseThis month is Pride month in Los Angeles. Instagram worked with luxury designer Paul Smith to convert their famous pink wall into a rainbow to celebrate Pride. It made a perfect backdrop for my monthly Capezio photo shoot, and I found the most fantastic hat at the Burton store.

I will be on location at DancerPalooza this summer as a spokesperson for Capezio. I will be webcasting live interviews with the world’s greatest dancers – can’t wait! Be sure to follow Capezio’s channels on Instagram and Facebook if you want to see what that is all about. I will be around their booth whenever possible.

Summer 1 – LA Sparks and Trip To New York

By | Dance, Friends, Travel | 6 Comments

I am really sorry for not blogging in so long. My website was pretty messed up and I had a crazy summer. Now things are back to normal (well sort of) and I am back in school like most 12-year-old kids. The rest of my schedule is anything but normal, but it’s good to be home. Here is a recap of the summer. This will be series of posts that I’ll publish every couple of days as time permits, so hang in there and subscribe to get notified when Summer 2 is released – titled Hollywood Vibe Nationals, Drama and Team Larkles.

In the middle of June, I went with my school drama group to NYC. This was the beginning of a travel schedule that took me away all summer. We had an amazing experience. I have been to New York City once a year with my parents, so I know my way around Midtown and Times Square and have done all of the tourist-y stuff. I can tell you that it is way more fun to travel with your friends. (Sorry Mom and Dad!) We had a blast. I am releasing a video in the next few weeks that shows what we did. I lost the footage but just found it. Be sure and subscribe, or watch my YouTube channel. My favorite part of the trip was attending Broadway shows. At sometime in my life I hope to dance on Broadway (Hint Hint Chelsea Blake from MSA and Nelson Diaz from BTB Management). I also loved visiting the set of Saturday Night Live. I love comedy television and it would be amazing to be on that show! #goals. I guess the point of the trip was to dream big, and I am on it.

All summer long I have been dancing for the LA Sparks women’s professional basketball team as part of the LA Sparkids. The team just made the playoffs, so the season continues. The ability to work with choreographers like Brandee Evans and Jenna Frechette has been exceptional. And, who would not want to be on the court at the Staples Center! It is a legendary place for sports (aka home of the Lakers) and entertainment (Taylor Swift set a record for sold out shows this year). They are picky about posting video of our routines, so I do not have much beyond a few short clips on Instagram that shows the work. I made so many new friends on the #sparkids team and was able to work with a lot of the #sparkids that just made it to the #immaBEAST team too. I’m so excited that Im going to get to spend more time with them!

Be sure to subscribe if you want to hear the rest of the summer story. Next up is the Hollywood Vibe Nationals Drama and the introduction of the ongoing dream team – Team Larkles!

Click Here to read post 2 in the series now 

Hollywood Vibe Pittsburgh

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Hollywood Vibe PittsburghThis weekend I will be attending Hollywood Vibe Pittsburgh. I am especially excited because it will be my fist city as a company member. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and would like to especially say thanks to Chris and Anne Smith, as well as creative director, Liz Imperio. I am looking forward to working with the entire Hollywood Vibe faculty, such as Caitlin Kinney, Kevin Maher, Allison Holker, Mark Kanemura, Kent Boyd, Kayla Kalbfleisch, Ryan Lohoff, David Moore, and Adrian Lee.

Being a Hollywood Vibe company member (full list of company members here) means taking on more responsibility, both as a dancer and as a person. If you know anything about Liz Imperio, creative director of Hollywood Vibe, you would know that Breaking Barriers is the most important thing in her life. Breaking Barriers is Liz’s new program that helps dancers accomplish greatness in their lives. Liz has helped me develop the confidence to push my self as a dancer. All of us on Hollywood Vibe Company have the responsibility to strive for our own success, but more importantly the success of the dancers attending the convention.

If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I toured with Hollywood Connection as their Dancer of the Year. It gave me a chance to dance all over the country and meet dancers from a bunch of cities. Many of those dancers are some of my best friends today at auditions, and I’m sure will be friends of mine forever. Also, many of the Hollywood Connection faculty that have helped me with my training, are those I met at Hollywood Connection. People like Bonnie Story, Laura King Lindsley Allen, Brooklyn Jai, Chonique Sneed, Gigi Torres and Robert Schultz continue to have an amazing impact and influence on my dance and my life. I look forward to creating these relationships with the Hollywood Vibe faculty, as well as my fellow company members.

I’m not sure which other Hollywood Vibe company members are going to Pittsburgh, other than one of my best friends, Juliana Keller. Juju and I attend school together, as well as train at Dellos Performing Arts Center. She is an inspiration to me as a dancer, a person and an actor. I hope to become just as close with all the rest of the Hollywood Vibe Company. See you there! Leave a comment below if you’re going to Pittsburgh or any other Hollywood Vibe city this year.

Willdabeast Solo Fun

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Solos are the second part of the new dances that I am learning for this year’s dance season. We already learned our group dances. I am doing fewer group dances than last year because of auditions, #lilBEAST rehearsals, and hopefully……jobs! I could not resist teen lyrical with choreography by Tahirih Ellison; teen large open with choreography by Katie Schofield; junior hip-hop with choreography by Re’Sean Pates (Glee); and teen large jazz, also by Re’Sean Pates. I am super excited about the trio I am doing with dancers Juliana Keller and Taylor Costa with choreography by Keara Blake.

On Wednesday, I learned a brand new solo with one of my favorite choreographers, Will “Willdabeast” Adams. Just so you understand how I manage school, dance and auditions, here is the story of my day.

First, I traveled to Harloe, a local elementary school to dance for a program called Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is a drug and alcohol abuse prevention program. Our studio performs at many elementary schools to show how many great things you can do instead of drugs, like dance! Unfortunately, I only got to do the first school because I had to go to LA for an audition. On the way there, I did all of my homework during the three-hour drive.

Once we got to LA, I had an audition for a secret project that I can’t tell you about. I made it through the first round, but then got cut. I only book about one out of every ten auditions, so I don’t really get upset about not being picked. One of my friends Simone got picked, maybe some others too – so I am happy for them. Besides, I was so excited to work with WilldaBeast on a new solo!

Once the audition was over, my mom drove me to Nappytabs, which is a rentable studio as well as a very popular clothing store. When I entered the room, Will got started on my solo right away, with his assistant Deanna Jenkins. Deanna taught me the first section of it, which was really hype and fun, and I absolutely loved it! It took me a while to get the choreography though, because it was very fast. After I learned that section, Will taught me another section that was slower and calm, but still really challenging and fun to learn. We worked together for about an hour and a half and have most of it done. I need to go back next week to finish and clean it.

The sweet ending to my day was that my dad flew into LA from Chicago for a meeting and was staying in Beverly Hills at the amazing Montage hotel. This place is so nice that they bring a special bed for our dog Austin. Even food and water bowls. Not to be left out, they bring me chocolate and other fun kids stuff. My dad was traveling all week, so it was a great surprise to meet up with him. The only tough part was that we had to get up at 4 am to get home in time for me to get to school.

In other exciting news this week, I launched the trailer to my new YouTube channel. Take a look and subscribe http://youtu.be/POVkGPOWvbg! I will be publishing a new video every week or so. Next week (or sooner), I will be launching my new website – it is almost done! The new site will replace this one.

be Happy

Science Camp

By | Friends, School, Travel | No Comments

Red Tailed HawkLast Wednesday, I left for Rancho El Chorro, also known as 6th grade camp, or Science Camp. Those of you who live in California, you know that this is a big deal for 6th graders. For those who aren’t, I will explain. In sixth grade, you get a big trip, normally close to the end of the year, and it is called Science Camp. Today, I will be telling you about everything I did during those action-packed three days.

Day 1

On Wednesday, we arrived at roughly 11:00 a.m. We got to eat lunch, and then one of the naturalists (camp counselors) old us to go unpack our bags in the cabins. Our cabin had four bunk beds (8 beds), but we only had five people so we got to choose if we wanted the top or bottom bunk. I chose the bottom because it was easier to get up if I had to go to the bathroom. After we unpacked, we started what the naturalists called the Welcome Walk. It was basically where they took us around the whole campus and showed us where everything was. My favorite part about that was when we go to go inside the Science Lab and look at a bunch of interesting animals. Later that day, we had dinner. In order to enter the lunchroom, we had to answer questions about the things we learned that day. I thought this was really cool. I sort of wish that we did this at regular school to enter the cafeteria. After dinner, we had our night hike. It was very cool because we got to see a lot of wildlife that you can’t usually see during the day. We also did an activity with Wintergreen LifeSavers. We partnered up and then the naturalist gave each of us one LifeSaver. We put it in our mouth while keeping it wide and started chewing it. You could see little sparks! It was so cool! The naturalist said that it was a chemical reaction created by the artificial flavoring in the mints and your saliva. We finished off the night by a nice poem read to us by the naturalist who took us on the night hike. I slept not so well but it was okay.

Day 2

In the morning, we had a delicious breakfast of eggs and potatoes and then got started on our first hike of the day. It was probably the longest hike we did as well as the most tiring because it was a hill hike. I liked it, except when I got to the top of the mountain and ran out of water. It just went downhill from there, literally. After the hill hike we had lunch and then free time for about 30-45 minutes. That was also the time slot we had for showering. The showers weren’t too bad, three people had to go in at one time.

In the evening after dinner, we had a group campfire. Other schools from around California were there too, so we were able to meet other kids. We sang a bunch of fun campfire songs including some that you may know like the “SCAT” song and “Baby Shark”. I slept very nicely that night because I was so tired from the day’s activities.

Day 3

The next day was unfortunately our last, but we did get to do lots of cool things to close out the week. For example, we got to visit the raptor room which is where the naturalists keep all of their large predator birds (“raptors” in science words). We got to see an injured red-tailed hawk up close with a bird handler. It was beautiful, but also very sad because the bird could not fly. After that, we had our closing ceremony.

Throughout the whole week, we had name tags on with our real name as well as our “nature name” that we could make up. My nature name was starfish. Sparkles may have worked as a nature name given the stars in the sky, but I like starfish too. Every time we finished a hike we would get a bead on it and at the closing ceremony we got one last bead that had a leaf on it, it was very cool. Next, we had to pack up our bags and head home. I had so much fun and I hope you enjoyed hearing about it.

Did you go to science camp when you were a kid? Comment below.

LADM Was a Success

By | Competition, Convention, Dance, Friends, Travel | 3 Comments

As some of you may know, last weekend I went to DPAC’s first competition of the year, LADM! Our whole studio had so much fun and everyone did amazing! Speaking of amazing, how about I tell you the awards that the Junior Company and I received this weekend.

Numb(small group) – 1st Place Platinum

Proud Mary(small group) – 2nd Place Platinum

Tears of an Angel(small group) – 1st Place Platinum and 1st Overall High Score

Rags or Riches(small group) –  1st Place Platinum

Whipped Into Shape(trio) – 1st Place Platinum

Feels Good(production) – 2nd Place Platinum

Krazi n’ a Box(solo) – 2nd Place Platinum

Bee’s Knees(solo) – 1st Place Platinum

It was really exciting to get all of these awards, but my favorite part of it was the rush that it gave me. It’s like that for me at every convention/competition. In my opinion, it’s not about the award itself, its about how you earned the award, and how hard you worked to achieve the goal.

Another thing that at LADM is we were competing against another local studio that we have had a rivalry with for years. We tried to keep things friendly, and it stayed like that for the most part but there were still some people who shook things up a little. Ummm, that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Thanks for reading!!! <3images

Camp Pulse Dallas

By | Convention, Dance, Friends, Travel | 7 Comments

This weekend I will be traveling to Dallas, Texas for a dance convention called Camp Pulse. I will be spending the weekend with amazing choreographers like Lane Napper, Rosero McCoy, and many more. One of them that I mentioned: Lane, actually starred on the Nickelodeon hit show Victorious playing the role of the school’s guidance counselor. Rosero does all the choreography for the Disney show, Shake It Up!

I will arrive in Dallas today, but the convention starts Friday, October 25(a.k.a. tomorrow) and I will be performing my Jazz solo, Gatsby. After that, I have an acting class with Lane Napper! Sounds cool, right? Then, I have a master class with the amazing Wildabeast. He is one of the leading Hip Hop choreographers in LA. He also has his junior crew called Lil’ Beasts. I would probably be a part of it if I lived in Hollywood.

The following day, I will start the convention classes. Those start at 9:30 and end at nighttime because we have something called the Pajama Jam. It is where we get to dance and play games in our favorite PJ’s. I am wearing furry pajama pants with colorful smiley faces on them and a teal colored shirt.

On Sunday, I do basically the same thing except there is a wrap party at 3:00 where they hand out scholarships to the dancers that they think worked the hardest and deserve it the most (fingers crossed). The truth is, all the dancers are excellent, there are just some that stand out more than others.

I am really looking forward to seeing my dear friends Charlize Glass and Sean Lew. I first met Sean when he danced at my dance studio’s sister studio, Dellos Walnut. I met Charlize at another Pulse and we became fast friends. Well, that’s a preview of my weekend. The captain just announced that we are descending into the Dallas Ft. Worth airport and need to shut down all electronic equipment for landing. Wish me luck. If you want updates throughout the weekend, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – my handle is sparkleslund on all of them.

The New Season

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I am very excited for the new season of dance competition! There are a bunch of new dancers coming in that have made the studio more lively and fun. I am very grateful for the five group dances that I have been chosen for.

Group Dances:

I really wanted to focus on more small group numbers this year to improve that area of my dancing. I think that I have everyone right in each dance, but I am going from memory and we have only rehearsed once, so I could have missed some people or included some people by accident….SORRY! Love ya!

  • Jr. Small Lyrical – Tears of an Angel
    • Choreography by Keara Blake
    • Dancers – JuJu, Ashley, Anna, Maya, Mocha, Taylor, and me.
  • Jr. Small Jazz – Proud Mary
    • Choreography by Tahirih Ellison
    • Dancers – Larkin, JuJu, Trinity, Mocha, me
  • Jr. Small Hip Hop – (no name yet)
    • Choreography by Jillian Clark and Jordan Neil
    • Dancers – Sidney, Mocha, Trinity, Mariah, Levi (Jr), and me
  • Jr. Small Open – Numb
    • Choreography by Katie Scofield
    • Dancers – Mariah, Mocha, Trinity, Anna, Clair, Larkin, Maya and me.
  • Hip Hop Production – (no name yet)
    • Choreography by Dylan Tarrant, Jillian Clark, and Re’Sean Pates
    • Dancers – Everyone.

My first year in competition, I only did group dances. My second year, I did one solo that qualified for national champion; so I had to have another solo for regular competition. Last year, I did the same thing. This year, I have three solos ready to go, and may add a fourth if I can get the three clean enough.

Solos

  • Jazz – The Bees Knees
    • Choreography by Jillian Clark
  • Hip Hop – Krazi ‘n a Box
    • Choreography by Brooklyn Jai
  • Lyrical – Titanium
    • Choreography by Mitchel Federan and Keara Blake (cleaner)
  • Surprise – TBD if I can master the three above

My parents and I tried to lay out the schedule through February to see what competitons we will be attending. Our studio does three required competitions, two optional competitions and one national finals. To be in the dance company, it is also required that you attend  competition rehearsals one weekend every month. As a result, there are only a few more open weekends that I have available for attending other conventions and competitions on my own. I also have the chaos of auditions and jobs to juggle along with school. I am not sure if these dates will all work out, but I have published the schedule that we have planned through February. Click on the Dance Calendar in the top menu bar to see where we will be. I hope to see you somewhere! Until Next time….

Toodaloooooooo!!!!

Sparkles.

The Big Trip for Sparkles Lund

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Ok, so my big trip started at a green screen studio in Burbank. I was there getting ready to film Just Dance Kids 3 which is just what it sounds like: a dance video game for kids! But sadly, later I got sick on my way to La Quinta Resort & Club for Easter Vacation. After a night of vomiting for twelve hours, I luckily felt a lot better in the morning. It was even enough that my mom and I decided to go to breakfast, and then go swimming.

A few hours later, our whole family went shopping. I didn’t have a very fun experience because there weren’t many children’s’ stores. The next day was pretty much the same except we went to a different mall. Next on our trip, we headed back to LA because my agency set up audition class with award-winning choreographer, Marguerite Derricks! After the class, we headed home and thought about everything we did. It really was a great trip.

New York City Vacation

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High Tea At the PlazaI left for New York City in early January. I went with my friend Camille and her mom (my teacher last year in third grade). I also went with my parents. We took a flight from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles then a different plane from Los Angeles to New York.

We flew into JFK airport. JFK stands for John F. Kennedy – a US president who was shot (pew – pewed). We arrived at 2 a.m. A driver picked up up in a Suburban and took us into the city through Queens.

Our hotel was the Omni Berkshire Palace on 52nd and 5th Ave. We had a really nice room. It had one room with a pull out couch and a TV. The other room had two queen beds and another TV. Camille and I both received kids backpacks from the hotel full of kids toys and licorice. The adults received a cheese plate and fruit. We ate some of the cheese plate and went to bed.

On our first day in New York City, we walked to FAO Schwartz and stared in awe at the interesting inner tube sculpture.

Then we walked around 5th
Avenue and saw all of the high fashion design stores. I passed Trump tower and said “Wow! Look at those guards out front.” Ms Rowlands suggested that we go inside, and we did.

We went up 6 sets of escalators to get to the garden, which was not very interesting, but there was a great view from up so high.

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at a nice cafe that had a buffet and I had pasta, meatballs, and mango.

When we got back to the hotel, we all changed and put on fancy clothes to go to my parents party at the rLounge in Times Square.

The rLounge had a great view of Times Square. We could see where the ball drops each year on New Year’s eve.

We did not stay at the party long because we had a big day ahead of us. We did stay long enough to have hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

We spent the day at MOMA – also called the Modern Museum of Art. My favorite thing about MOMA was how we had the headsets so we could listen to the tour of the museum. I really liked Starry Night by Vincent Van Gough

Thursday night at 8:30 PM we saw the musical “The Lion King” on Broadway. It was amazing! My favorite character was the guy who played teenage Simba. There was a really cool part where part of the cast had lit up pieces of Simba’s father they did a dance with the pieces, then at the end of the dance they put the pieces together and made his father.

Friday was highlighted by a visit to the top of the Empire State Building. The view was awesome, but the weather was cold and windy. At one point, it snowed, and for a girl from California, that is really cold but I liked it because it was different.

By the way – we had a bagel for brunch that was was very good, and even met a real NYFD fireman.