There was a time when I was 8 or 9 years old when DPAC when to visit our sister studio in LA, Dellos Performing Arts. I met Sean Lew on Instagram for the first time. He is a year older than me and one of the best male dancers in the world. Sean and I were also both privately trained by Mr. Marco Cruz for years. Over time, I ran into Sean a lot at The Pulse on Tour and other conventions. We also often got calls for the same auditions and worked together from time to time, including The Voice. He and I are also teammates on #immaBEAST with Will Adams.
The dance industry is mostly competitive and cutthroat. But, there are a few enlightened kids that understand that is wrong. Sean is one of those. When I would travel by myself to train at conventions, I was alone and surrounded by kids that were there with their studios. Very few kids would go out of their way to make friends. Everywhere I have ever seen Sean, he has always been my friend and looked after me. I don’t have an older brother, but I imagine that if I did, he would be a lot like Sean.
There was a time a few years ago when Sean started choreographing his own solos. People had their opinion about Sean, some believing that he was too big for his britches. They were so wrong. Sean was born to dance and born to be a choreographer. His work is so good that he gave up competition after winning everything. As you will see from the video – his work is epic.
Today, Sean dropped one of the most amazing videos. Sean choreographed this trio with Bill Will Simmons and Josh Price. The three of them are easily in the top 10 dancers in America today and all #immaBEAST team members. These boys are the greatest and this video is sooooo good.
Watch this video and remember, “sharing is caring!” Share it on your social media so the world can see how talented these guys are!
The immaBEAST dancers supported me in the creation of this special dance for my YouTube page. The choreography was created by immaBEAUTY, Janelle Ginestra. @willdaBEAST was not involved in this project, but it is important to acknowledge that none of this stuff would not happen without his vision for supporting and creating opportunities for dancers. Thank you Will!
We are doing a really cool thing to launch the video. Each day between now and Halloween, a different instagram announcement will be dropped.
Thanks to @directorbrazil for all of his hard work producing these videos, and thanks to you for all of the support too.
Check it out
If you missed the first posts in this series, go back to the beginning.
The next week, we moved from Burbank down to Long Beach for Dancer Palooza. That is a weeklong intensive that, in my opinion, has the best collection of contemporary teachers you can find anywhere. I took classes from Mandy Moore, Mia Michaels, Sonya Tayeh, Teddy Forance, Stacey Tookey, Travis Wall, Dee Caspary, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Andrew Winghart, and others. http://www.dancerpalooza.com/thecollective
Girls – dance aside – if you have not been to the expo at Dancer Palooza, you have not lived. It is the most number of booths that I have ever seen – its huge!
I did a haul vide with my loot! Check it out
Our #immaBEAST team also was invited to dance in the Showcase. We were rehearsing during Mini Muse and during Dancer Palooza, so after taking classes every day for two weeks, I also had rehearsals at night. I have never been in better shape in my life – 12 pack abs!
Liz Imperio and her new Fiancé came to the showcase. I love her and the support she gives me as a dancer, a friend and a coach. If you do not know Liz, try your best to meet her. She has a program called Breaking Barriers (http://breakingbarriers.dance/) that has been super helpful at helping me set my goals in life and as a professional dancer. Her coaching, advice, and heartfelt support she gives to dancers makes her a very special person. I can’t wait to get on tour with Hollywood Vibe where she is the creative director. #secondMom
Just to keep the flow going, the next week was the #BuildaBEAST Experience. What a switch from a week of contemporary to a week of hip hop. As an #immaBEAST and #lilBEAST, we were able to help work the event and dance. The entire week was filled with the best hip hop training I have ever had. I was surrounded by the best dancers from all over the world (like 22 countries or something insane like that) and across America. #immaBEAST is so much more than a crew. It’s a dance family like no other. The BuildaBEAST experience finished up with the auditions for #immaBEAST. The competition was so fierce and everyone worked so hard. I have no idea how Willdabeast narrowed down the hundreds of auditions to the team we have now (about 70 strong). The good news is that I was able to dance hard enough keep my spot on the team. I learned that there are no free rides in life. Just because I danced on the team last year was no indicator that I would be on the team this year.
Here is my Solo from the event – it was epic
PS – AirBoard was a sponsor at BuildaBEAST and I got one! Hurray. Super fun #christmaslist for you.
If you are keeping track of the weeks, by this point I have not been home at all since school let out in June, amounting to six straight weeks of being on the road! I should pause here and thank my parents for making this all possible for me. With two weeks left before school started, I stopped dancing 12 hours a day and was limited to #sparkkids rehearsals, auditons, #LASparks games, and rehearsals for the #immaBeAST season three video. We still were driving back and forth to LA multiple times each week and staying a few nights in LA each week, but I did actually get to sleep a few nights in my own bed and see my friends at home.
BuildaBEAST Season 3 Video
If you missed the first posts in this series, go back to the beginning.
Next up is the Summer Series Finale – Summer Ends, School Begins, and Big Announcement
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to do this collaboration video with one of my friends, #lilBEAST team members, and favorite dancers, Ms. Taylor Hatala. Choreography for the video was none other than #immaBEAST team member Antoine Troupe. Of course, the video was produced and directed by my friend and life coach, @directorBrazil. The concept was focused around a Valentines Day release using the hit Meghan Trainor song, Dear Future Husband.
I hope you like it.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Valentine’s Day is not a romantic Hallmark card for 11-year-old Taylor Hatala and 12-year-old Sparkles Lund. Too young to date and too soon to have found love, these two young professional dancers worked with renowned freestyle and hip-hop choreographer Antoine Troupe to produce a Valentine’s Day video to Meghan Trainor’s song, “Dear Future Husband,” being released February 14 on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER6O55iAPZk).
“When you are our age, boys are just friends,” says Edmonton-born Taylor Hatala. Hatala is commuting to Los Angeles and working part-time as her burgeoning career develops. As testament to Hatala’s talent, her YouTube videos to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgfF_c6uPaU) and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pfloxVMJGw), have been seen more than 30 million times, garnering appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and RyanSeacrest.com, among others. Troupe, Hatala and Sparkles Lund became friends dancing on the immaBEAST hip-hop crew, under director Will ‘WilldaBeast’ Adams.
According to Troupe, the concept for the video was born during the filming of the immaBEAST routine for the Choreographers Carnival Anniversary show this past January.
“Although dance is my life,” says Troupe, “I am driven by the impact that dance has on developing healthy, active, and confident kids.” Troupe selected the piece that he claims was ready made for Sparkles and Taylor.
“Meghan Trainor’s work is perfectly kid-style,” says Sparkles Lund, who recently released a video last week to Trainor’s hit “Lips Are Movin” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hA5VLVq7dc). “What girl doesn’t want a future husband that brings flowers, open doors, and wants to be her one and only?” Lund asks.
Sparkles Lund began her professional career in dance at age 10. Her recent work includes a three-city tour for Macy’s Glamorama and an appearance on the finale of ABC-TV’s Dancing With The Stars, performing to “Hard Knock Life” from the new Annie movie.
“Working with superstars like Taylor Hatala and Antoine Troupe is a blessing,” confesses Lund. “It’s so exciting to see Taylor’s career skyrocket, and I am so happy that Antoine was able to work with Prince to choreograph his latest video ‘Breakfast Can Wait.'”
YouTube is fast becoming the path to rapid stardom for many of today’s young performers, circumventing the previous paths that were largely limited through New York and Los Angeles.
Lund, who lives in Arroyo Grande, locate on California’s Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, and Hatala, who lives in Edmonton, Canada, are adopting the strategy started by Willdabeast by creating their own YouTube channels to self-publish their work. Willdabeast is teaching young dancers that YouTube is a place where you can make a mark and punch up your career. His YouTube page has more than 735,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views. Hatala’s YouTube channel is at http://bit.ly/taylorhatala and Sparkles Lund YouTube channel is at https://www.youtube.com/user/sparkleslund.
About the Video
Dancers: Sparkles Lund & Taylor Hatala
Choreography – Antoine Troupe
Director – Brazil Siqueira
Music – Meghan Trainor, “Dear Future Husband”
Don’t get me wrong – dancing in Super Bowl XLIX with Katy Perry would be absolutely amazing. The halftime show set list was perfect and included a surprise performance by wrapper Missy Elliott with choreography by Tricia Miranda. Katy is among my favorite artists and the ability to work with her on the biggest stage in the world would be beyond my dreams. The good news is that I had a shot at an audition video. Better news is that four kids I dance with on team #lilBEAST with Willdabeast Adams booked the job!
Today’s Super Bowl half time show featured Kaycee Rice, Gabe de Guzman, Will Simmons, and Charlize Glass! I feel so blessed to be able to work and dance with so many talented kids! My friend and fellow #lilBEAST, Soni Bringas was on TV last night staring in the the primer of Lifetime’s new show, Beautiful and Twisted opposite Rob Lowe, Pez Vega (Spanglish), and Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown, Sex in the City). #lilBEAST Nation taking over!
I was not able to go to the audition for Katy Perry. At the time, the audition call did not mention Missy (Surprise Guest!) I had already committed to travel to Pittsburgh to work with Liz Imperio and the Hollywood Vibe team. It was my first time representing Hollywood Vibe and it would not have made a very good first impression if I bailed on them. But turning lemons into lemonade, I was able record and send in a video audition. My agent, Shayna Brouillard of Clear Talent Group told me it would be a long shot, and she was right. I did not book the job or get a call back. But I still had fun shooting the video!
I was so excited to see my friends during the Super Bowl halftime show. They killed it. (Trivia – XLIX is the number 49. Next year, in MMXV or 2015 the letter for the Superbowl will be L).
In other news – my YouTube channel went over 200,000 views this week and my subscribers hit 700. Still a long way to go to hit my goals, but hey – a girl has to celebrate milestones. Right? Here is the audition video I sent in.
I am a member of the Paulding Sports Association. We help the sports teams when they have games by operating the concessions, selling tickets, and working the scoreboard. Today was my team’s first day and it was really fun. Our girls’ volleyball team played another local school and that gave me a chance to see a girl that I have not seen in over a year.
When I knew her before, it was hard to be her friend. She was a combination of shy and a little annoying. Today, she was awesome. She was super friendly and really excited to see me. I was excited to see her too, and happy that she had changed.
It reminded me that people change. I was thinking of another friend that I have who seems to swing between a person I want to be around and a person that I do not want to be around.
I guess that we know that everyone changes. This is a good thing to remember. Oddly a song called Body Language by Kid Ink is playing right now and it says “don’t judge a book by its cover.” When it comes to people, they change covers – not only physically, but also in the way they act. Someone who is annoying today can be super nice the next time you see them. Someone who is super nice can also be super annoying the next time you see them.
My dad and I talked about this today in the car on the way to dance. He taught me the word continuity. It is related to the word continuous, which means consistent. In life, we need to recognize that people are not always consistent. Things happen to people in their life that impact their behavior. Sometimes the things that happen affect people for a day or two. Sometimes they impact a person for a long time.
I guess the solution for me is to try to have continuity in the way I treat others, but recognize that they will change from time to time. When they are annoying, I will lay low. When they are cool, I will look forward to hanging out with them.
When I left off on my last post, I talked about how much fun Hollywood Vibe was. In this post, I will talk about how exciting The Pulse Las Vegas and my first performance with #lilBEASTS was!
We left for Las Vegas on a hot summer’s Thursday and got there at about 3 ish. It was probably 103 degrees outside. I felt like I was going to pass out. Once we got into our room, we went straight to the pool to find some of my dance friends Jordyn Jones, her brother Skylar, and Sean Lew. We probably swam for about 2 hours and then Jordyn and I decided to go shopping. There was a very large mall across from our hotel, called Miracle Mile because it’s a mile long. We went there for roughly 2 or 3 hours and then had to go to rehearsal for #lilBEASTS.
The next day, I went to the pool again with Jordyn and we stayed for about 2 hours. At 2:00 p.m. that day I had my first day of classes at Camp Pulse. Those ended at 5:30 and then I had an acting class with the one and only Lane Napper. It was so much fun! We did a few improv exercises and practiced saying a little bit about ourselves on the spot.
The following day, I had classes starting at 9:00, and they ended at 2:00. At 3:00, I had another #lilBEASTS rehearsal before our first performance. After that rehearsal, we all felt very prepared to perform.
We were the 10th number so we all got to watch the dances before us. They were amazing! So amazing, that the time went by really fast because they were so good. The dancers at Pulse are some of the best of the industry. Many of them are professional dancers and they know how to perform for an audience. I enjoyed the show a lot.
I was really excited when it was our turn to perform because this was the first time we performed live as a team. The audience loved us. We even won an award to bring our crew to the Open Call competitions in 2015. Can’t wait to perform more with my fellow #lilbeasts and work more with Will, our director!
If you missed the first post in this series, go back and look at http://sparkleslund.com/2014/07/23/dance-craziness-pt-1/
I’m so sorry I haven’t written in a while, I’ve just been really busy with all of the events that I have been participating in for the past few weeks. There’s so many of things going on that I’ve decided to break this into two or maybe even three posts! I am just going with the flow depending on how much of this I get done today. The things I’ll be talking about in these two or three posts are Hollywood Vibe Nationals, The Pulse Las Vegas, #lilBEASTS video, and Macy’s Glamorama. That’s a lot right? I guess I’ll start with Hollywood Vibe Nationals, so that I go in time order.
This crazy week all started on Thursday, June 26, with my first scholarship dance rehearsal. We learned this dance over a video sent to us in an email. Unfortunately, my video wouldn’t play, so it was very stressful for me once I got to rehearsal. I had to learn every single piece of the choreography on the spot that day.
The next day was our first day of classes, taught by Hollywood Vibe’s superstar faculty. We learned all styles in these classes for four days. Also, during those three days I had competition. After the first day of classes, I performed my trio entitled Whipped Into Shape and my solo, Bees Knees, which was competing for Dancer of the Year. After the second day of classes, I had all of my small groups with the rest of the juniors. We were lucky enough to win 1st Place in the lyrical category and Best Costume with our gorgeous lyrical dance, Tears of an Angel. After the third day of classes, I had both of my large groups, Feels Good and MJ Tribute. Both got Platinum but didn’t place. After the fourth day of classes, it was finally time to for the Final Night Gala. This was where the National Dancer of the Year for each age group was announced and I got to perform the scholarship dance and the Dancer of the Year finalist piece that we had been working on for the past week choreographed by Liz Imperio. Both of the dances felt great and then it was time to announce Dancer of the Year, and Vibe Company, which means you get to assist the teachers and perform with the faculty. They started with Vibe Company, and I got it! So did my good friends Juju, Trevor, Tyler W., and Jordan. We were all super excited but we were eager to find out who won Dancer of the Year. They started announcing the juniors, it was no one I knew. Then they moved on to intermediate. Unfortunately, I did not win but that’s okay I’ll just keep trying and maybe I’ll get it next year! They moved onto the teens I did not know the female winner, but Trevor won for male! Everyone was so excited that they didn’t even pay attention to anything that happened after that.
I had a bunch of fun at Hollywood Vibe and can’t wait for next year!
In the middle of Hollywood Vibe, I had to drive to Los Angeles for #lilBEASTS rehearsal. Which leads to the next post…….The Pulse Las Vegas and #lilBEASTS Showcase Performance.
Here is Part 2 of the series http://sparkleslund.com/2014/07/28/dance-craziness-pt-2/
In this video I introduce one of my best friends, Mocha. We have known each other since preschool (like 3 years old) and our families are friends too.
It’s a girls’ world in this video – clothes (Outfits of the Day), nails (how to glitter your French Gels), and of course – a bit about dance. Mocha and I have also danced together forever. We are about to go to Nationals for dance – lots of rehearsals and lots of nervous excitement! Both of us are up for Dancer of the Year! Wish us luck.
Be sure to watch to end to get convention tips that you may not already know.
There is a cameo from Austin – dog extraordinaire. Follow him on Instagram at TheAustinBubbles_ – he only has 28 followers – so help a doggie out!
If you want to see my first ever vLog, check out this post
If you don’t know what a vlog is, it is a video blog. To switch it up a little bit, I decided to do a vlog instead of a regular blog post. Hope you enjoy!
In this video I introduce one of my best friends, Juju. We have known each other since I started competition dancing at age 9, and our families are friends too. She is also a professional dancer and books a lot of work (#proudfriend, #loveher!). Follow her on instagram at http://instagram.com/jjjjjuju (5 js).
In this vlog, we talk about favorite movies – outfit of the day – and a story about the scariest thing that happened (think HOUSE ON FIRE). Not to spoil the ending, but it is not what you think and it is really funny.
Note to remember – Stay Calm……..sometimes your breath can go a long way to save the day.
You might think that it’s a little strange for an eleven-year-old to be shopping at lululemon, and most other people think so too. That is exactly how I found out about Ivivva.
I went to New York last Summer for many different things including dance, family time, and just plain old fun! While we were there, my mom and I decided to go do some shopping! We went to a few of my favorite stores including Abercrombie, Pacsun, and Tilly’s, and then we came across lululemon. Many of my friends have told me about the store and so we decided to go in. Their merchandise was cute and so I tried on two pairs of athletic shorts and a sports bra. The sports bra fit fine, but the shorts were a little bit too big. My mom asked one of the women working there if they made any of the shorts in smaller sizes and then she said, “We actually recently created a full kids line called ivivva. It would probably fit your daughter much better than lulu would.” My mom said, “Thank you!” with a big smile on her face and we searched for the closest Ivivva on Google Maps. It turned out it was only about 5 blocks away!
We went into the store with open minds and happy faces and started looking around. Almost instantly we found a bunch of stuff that we were interested in so I entered the fitting room. Everything fit great! The sizes are very true and all the employees are super nice. They are all either dancers, yoga teachers, or ice skaters, so they know about the athletic body. They were also very helpful with finding the products that are for the specific sport you play. The store is divided into parts based on sizes, so it is very easy to find the one you need. I hope you will go there someday to see for yourself!
If you’re reading my blog, you’re probably a dancer. And since this store only has about 10 locations. They probably don’t have a store in your hometown. But fortunately, they have a great website that has all the same merchandise that they sell in their stores. Click the link below to see it!
We left off where from my first post – Mr. Marco is Back Pt 1 Mr. Marco picked me to be in the opening number for a Michael Jackson tribute show. Remember that? Well, that same night, Ms. J informed us that our first rehearsals would start on April 1st and April 2nd. I was super pumped and hungry for learning new material.
At our first rehearsal, we mainly focused on learning all of the sections and blocking. For non-performers, that means putting everyone in spots. I really liked all the different part because not one was similar to the one before. We got really close to being finished in that rehearsal, so we didn’t have much to do the next day but run it and clean. By the end of the day, I felt that it was definitely a time well spent working on it and making it as close to flawless as possible. You know what they say, practice makes perfect!
If you enjoyed reading this, please subscribe to my blog if you aren’t already and if you already are thanks for being great fans!
Those of you who know who Marco Cruz is (mostly my dance friends) know that he has been gone from DPAC for a while teaching at KAR, a popular convention/competition. I have missed him a lot because he was one of my favorite teachers at DPAC! Fortunately though, he recently visited us twice and that is what I will be telling you about today.
Mr. Marco choreographed my first ever solo, Whatcha Want. I won every competition with that solo so you could see why I love him. I also enjoy his amazing teaching styles and challenging combos.
Last week, Ms J. told us that there was going to be an audition for the opening number that we are performing at a Michael Jackson Tribute show in LA. Afterward, she told us that Mr. Marco was choreographing it. I was upper excited but I also knew that I needed to bring my A Game because he’s very tough. The audition started on Thursday during the two hours when it’s usually Hip Hop 2-3 and Hip Hop 4-5. Marco walked in with his trusty assistant, Taylor and they started the combo right away. I had visited Marco a few weeks before that so I already knew the beginning of the piece but he also added many other things so I don’t think I had much of an advantage at all. After we did the dance he split us up into four groups. We ran the combo a few times in those groups and then he started putting us into different groups based on what he thought would look good together. He did this for a while, taking people out and putting people in. Finally, after he did this for about 20 minutes, he started picking the people that were going to be in the actual piece. He started with choosing the older girls. Then he got to the younger ones like me. He called out about five people and then he paused. I was a little bit upset because I thought he was done and I didn’t get picked, but right after that he turned to me and said, “You’re in.” I was super excited because it was very unexpected!
Click here to see the second post in this sears – Mr. Marco is Back Part 2
Last weekend, I went to SOL Dance Convention. It was very fun and very easy to get to because it was in Santa Maria which locals know is roughly 25 minutes away from where I live! The studio had a great weekend and I will tell you all about it below!
It all started on Friday, the 21st. Unlike most convention/competitions, all of the competition dances(that means solos, duo/trios, and group dances) were on the same day! And on top of that, the awards weren’t until 6:00 p. m. on Sunday! My first dance was my solo, Krazy n’ a Box. After that, it was my trio, and then all of my group dances which I don’t remember the order of. That night my best friend Camille a.k.a Mocha slept over at my house. We planned out our outfits for the next day as well as what we were going to do with our hair and what accessories we were going to put in it. On Saturday morning, we got up, showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, and then left for our first day of convention classes. Unfortunately, on our way there, the GPS on my dad’s phone wasn’t working so we got there a little bit late. My dad was extremely angry with Siri.
Our first class of the day was Bollywood with Jesus (pronounced hay seuss). For those who don’t know what that is, it is a dance style that originated from the movie Bollywood which was filmed in Mumbai, India. Our second class was Salsa with Jonathan, it was fun to have this because it is not a common convention class. After that was one of my favorite classes, Music Video. It was the kind of dance that you would usually see in a music video, so, it is not that hard but extremely fun! Those were all of our classes for the first day which was really unusual because at most convention/competitions there is an average of 6 classes per day.
On Sunday we started a little bit earlier than Saturday, but I’m not sure why. We had the same classes but instead of Music Video as our last class we had Character with Suzy. For those who know what musical theatre is, it’s like that. It is a dance that tells a story and the song is normally from a Broadway musical. The dance we did with her was from the musical West Side Story. After that class, we learned our audition dance. I liked most of the dance and the song, although the dance could have been a little less weird. There was a lot of strange hand movements and some weird floor work. We rolled around on the ground for most of the dance. Now that I think about it, I really only liked the song. We had roughly 20 minutes to practice the dance and then we started auditioning. I was in the first group, but I wasn’t my choice they just picked random people. We did the dance once, then switched lines and did it again. I didn’t feel very good about it because the judges were only watching one girl and it was not myself.
About an hour after that, it was time for the awards. They started with announcing the awards for the competition on Friday. All of the dances I was in got first place except for my solo. I was really proud of my team members but I was a little bit upset that my solo didn’t place. I got over it quickly though. Then it was time for the scholarships, they started with partial scholarships, then went on to full scholarships and finally they announced the STAR Performer of the Weekend, it was awarded to one of my dear friends, Carina Avila! I was so proud of her, and surprisingly didn’t feel bad at all! I felt great about the whole weekend and was also tired as heck by the end of it. Although, whenever I feel that way I know that I kicked some serious booty.
Last week I had an audition for the girl group Fifth Harmony, but I’m not allowed to say what project it was for. I didn’t feel the best about it, but yesterday I found out that I made it t0 the callback!I went to that today and that’s the story I am about to tell.
This morning, we left at exactly 11:40 A. M. for Hollywood. It was a very stressful and long drive due to traffic. I hate traffic. We got there right on time for sign in. After that, they told us what group we were in. I was in group 4. It took about 30 minutes for my group which was a long time in my opinion. But after I went I felt great! I didn’t mess up once and the judges were looking at me a lot. I made it through that round, but then they put us in different groups and I got cut. They said that they would have kept me but they wanted taller girls. It was not a very good day to be short.
Even if I didn’t get picked, it was still a fun experience and I got to see a lot of my friends.
If you are one of my many active Instagram followers, then you already know that in the past week I have met Zendaya and Vanessa Hudgens! But I thought I would reiterate for those who aren’t. Both of these people are inspirations for me because they both are triple threats and that’s what I aspire to be.
I met Zendaya at Camp Pulse (which I won two scholarships at but that’s for another time). The emcee announced that, “Camp Pulse has a special surprise for all of us!” and she walked in with Rosero, a part of the Camp Pulse faculty. I was extremely thrilled to meet her because I am a big fan of the show Shake it Up that she starred in and she is an amazing dancer!
I met Vanessa Hudgens at a nail salon in North Hollywood called Modern Pamper. I had just finished a long day of auditions with my friend Juju and we wanted to do something relaxing and fun so we went to get our nails done! We spent most of the car ride deciding what design to get because we heard that you could get any nail art you wanted. That being so, we had to choose something exciting. We decided on a blue color with zig-zags.
Anyway, back to the point. We were starting to get our nails done and Vanessa Hudgens just walked in and started hanging out in the nail salon! It sounded like she came to meet her sister because she was with another girl that looked almost exactly like her. After we were done, we asked her if we could have a picture with her. She was very friendly and kindly said yes. It was a great experience meeting her because I have always been a huge High School Musical fan for what feels like forever. Thanks for reading:)
The night before going to Hollywood Connection I was very nervous and I had a hard time getting to sleep. In 2012 I was selected as their Icon Dancer of the Year and I assisted the teachers at a number of conventions last year. Hollywood Connection was my first competition in 2011, the first time I did a solo in 2012, and so many other firsts for me as a dancer. Bill Bohl also gave me my start as a professional dancer by representing me through Movement Talent Agency. Moreover, the teachers at Hollywood Connection have helped me grow as a dancer – Brooklyn Jai, Chonique Sneed, Jason Kalish, Lindsley Allen, Mitchel Federan, Robert Schultz, and Bonnie Story. I love them all and I feel so much support from them. They teach a lot more than dance.
This year I moved up in age groups to Guest Stars – Teens age 11 to 13. It is like starting all over again. In Irvine, CA you compete against many of the best dancers in the Los Angles area from the top studios and there are lots of professional dancers. INTIMIDATING! The 13 year olds are so good.
DPAC decided only to bring solos to this competition and convention. I have three solos this year – Jazz, Hip Hop, and Contemporary. I decided to perform Krazy n’ a Box, my Hip Hop solo choreographed by Brooklyn Jai, and Cosmic Love choreographed by Mitchel Federan. This is the first time they have seen me compete with their solos. I did my best. I am so thrilled to have scored Platinum for both dances and second overall in each category. Out of the 103 acts, there were about 10 platinums (DPAC got 4) and my friend Danielle Esposito got the only Titanium. Her choreographer is Jill Clark who also choreographed my jazz dance, Bees Knees (think Gatsby). At the wrap party, I was awarded Icon runner up for the event and qualified to compete for Icon of the Year – which is their version of National Champion for the 11 to 13 year old age group. I also was invited to participate in a music video directed by Bonnie Story( High School Musical). I was featured in last year’s video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_YDm_TpoW4
I am super happy for all of the DPAC dancers. We all faced super tough competition but we took the top dancer award in Open and Contemporary for my age group. That was pretty exciting. So happy for Allie Gilson who crushed the Open category and Trevor Quezada who won contemporary.
Last night I performed in a show with Jay Pugh of RUN DMC at the Celebrity Centre on the Church of Scientology campus in LA. They asked me to perform Krazy n’ a Box and a group piece called Tears of an Angel. DPAC brought the house down! It was fun.
So sad that my Grandma Stella and Aunt Shelia (yes, its spelled that way) had to go back home today. I miss them already. Looking forward to Pulse next weekend in Santa Clara! I am entering two solos into the preliminary showcase hoping to get selected to the Showcase. Wish me luck!
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One of the great things about Dellos Performing Arts Center (DPAC) is the opportunity to be friends and dance with so many amazingly talented kids. One of my besties is Juliana Keller (aka Juju). She works really hard and is one of the top dancers at our studio. I learn so much from watching her. She is awesome.
Juju and her family have also been working on developing a career in the entertainment industry. Doing commercials, acting, dancing, singing, and that sort of stuff helps us offset the costs of our dance training. Auditions are always better when you get hired! I am so happy for Juju who is the absolute STAR of this video for My Little Pony. She plays the role of Applejack – sporting the hat and rocking out on the guitar.
I have known Juju ever since I started dancing at DPAC. She has always been really nice to me and we have learned so much from each other. I’m really proud of her booking this commercial. She always looks like she’s having so much fun when she’s dancing, and I’m pretty sure that she actually is! I love you Juju!
Please watch this video and share it with your friends.
This year in dance I have been working on 4 small groups, 1 large group production, 1 trio and three solos. Our first competition of the year is coming up this weekend in Santa Clara. The title of the competition is LADM (LA Dance Magic). It is not only a competition but also a convention which means that we get to learn from their fabulous faculty and assistants.
Small Group #1: Numb,
choreographed by Katie Scofield, style: contemporary, dancers: Maya Spriggs, Larkin Paddock, Mariah Urbano, Taylor Costa, Camille Cattaneo, Claire Grzincic, Trinity Terassas, and me
Small Group #2: Proud Mary,
choreographed by Tahirih Ellison, style: jazz, dancers: Juliana Keller, Trinity Terassas, Camille Cattaneo, Taylor Costa, Larkin Paddock, and me
Small Group #3: Tears of an Angel,
choreographed by Keara Blake, style: lyrical, dancers: Ashlie Andrade, Anna Devereaux, Trinity Terassas, Camille Cattaneo, Juliana Keller, Taylor Costa, Maya Spriggs, and me
Small Group #4: Rags or Riches,
choreographed by Jillian Clark and Jordan Neil, style: hip-hop, dancers: Mariah Urbano, Sidney Domingues, Trinity Terassas, Levi Spriggs, Camille Cattaneo, and me
Large Group Production: Feels Good,
Trio: Whipped Into Shape,
choreographed by Keara Blake, style: musical theatre, dancers: Camille Cattaneo, Juliana Keller, and me
Solo #1: Krazi n’ a Box, choreographed by Brooklyn Jai, style: hip-hop
Solo #2: Bees’ Knees, choreographed by Jillian Clark, style: jazz
Solo #3: Cosmic Love, choreographed by Mitchel Federan, style: contemporary
All of these dances I love for different reasons. For example, Tears of an Angel I like because of the technique in it, and Numb I like because of its unique style. I hope you enjoyed me telling you about all of the dances that I am in this year!!!
If you want to see when and where DPAC will be performing – look on my calendar page here.
Unfortunately, over Winter Break I was extremely sick. I had a fever of 104, an awful headache, and I was really congested. But luckily, it was only for the first week. The second week was soooooo fun! I went kayaking, saw three movies in theaters (Anchorman 2, Saving Mr. Banks, and Catching Fire), and of course…. Opened presents!
You know how I said I opened presents? Well, I didn’t actually do that on Christmas day. I felt fine on Christmas Eve when we went to church, I even felt okay when we were eating delicious lobster tails for Christmas Eve dinner! After dinner, we opened one gift (family tradition) and I received Christmas pajamas. I heard that a lot of families get their Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.
That night, I went to bed thinking about all of the presents I was going to get. Tragically, I got an awful stomach ache in the middle of the night. I got up, and went to sleep with my parents. On Christmas morning, I was so sick I couldn’t walk. My dad gave me a piggy back ride to the living room to see all of my presents, but all the festive colors made me puke. Back to bed I went. I felt so bad I didn’t even care about missing Christmas! My parents were cool about it. We decided that the whole family would delay Christmas until I felt better. The good news is, I was well enough to open my presents the very next day.
I thought it was awful that I had to miss Christmas, but what I took away from it was the true meaning of Christmas. Being with your family and celebrating the holiday is the greatest gift of all, no matter what day it is.
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.
Ok, so Halloween is coming up soon, and I can’t decide what I want to be. I’m either going to be a noodle, an alien diva, or a cute version of the mad hatter. I am writing this blog post for you to help me decide.
I’m leaning towards the noodle idea because my friend, Alyssa and I are trying to make it a partnered costume to make it look like we’re Cup Noodles. She would be the cup and I would be the noodles! Doesn’t that sound hilarious?
The next option would be the alien diva. The vision I had was I would get one of those alien morph suits but wear it with really outrageous heels and what look like a designer purse. Again, if you like any of these leave a comment of which one you want me to wear.
The third choice is the mad hatter which is really cute but not very creative. This idea is really if the other two don’t work out. Okay! I’ve given you my ideas, but now its voting time people! Get typing!!!
Saving someone’s life is a pretty big deal, and my friend Sam Waterman did that last year.
Sam Waterman has been in my class at school until this year. He goes to a different school now. We used to carpool to school all the time.
Last year he saved a elderly woman’s life in his neighborhood. He was doing his job as a dog walker when he heard the old woman yelling for help. Sam went into the lady’s house and found her on the floor. She had fallen and could not get up. I heard that she was stuck on the floor for more than a day before Sam came along. If he hadn’t found her it could have been fatal. Can you imagine lying there for a day with no food or water?
Sam’s grandmother, Ariel let us know about Sam getting the award. They are having a ceremony this Thursday, September 26th at 9 a.m. The ceremony is going to be at the Honor Farm Building, 880 Kansas Street, San Luis Obispo. I don’t know if I can go or not because of school, but I sure hope that I can.
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.
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.
- 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….
My friend Mocha Cattaneo stayed over last night. We woke up at 8 this morning and began working on some choreo for a dance. Our dads (both) and my mom helped by filming the dance. We ran it 4 or 5 times from different angles.
Then my dad loaded them onto my computer and Mocha and I picked cuts from the 4 takes into one video. It took over 3 hours to put this together – great learning experience. Now Mocha and I can edit our own videos. We plan on putting together a company called Spocha TV. This is our first production. If you like it – please post to your social media pages so we can get traffic and fans!