I am NOT a Star Spinner

… but my hubby is!
You may be thinking that I’ve completely lost my marbles but I’ll explain…
First, take a minute and humor me. Picture the coolest job in the world. One where you can not only show off your skills but have a blast at the same time. One where you work with amazingly talented people and you receive support and praise from your peers. Pretty great huh? Now slowly come back to reality… making the transition from fantasy to normal too fast could cause a sudden stroke of depression.
That amazingly cool job you just thought of, basically that’s Z’s new job. Before I tell you SPECIFICALLY what it is, take a look at this.

Did you see the guy at about 0:53 in the very center with the tan vest? That’s my hubs auditioning in New York!
Yes, ladies and gents, Z is currently one of 3 actors taking on the roll of ‘Star Spinner’ in the Georgia Aquarium’s new live-action show, Dolphin Tales
Although you saw some guys dancing and singing in the above video, it doesn’t really give you a real idea of who Star Spinner is. 
Allow me to enlighten you, and introduce you to.
{drum roll please}


photos from H2WHOAH blog. 
photo from MSN
photo from Online Athens

Hopefully you noticed that these aren’t actually of Z but of a fellow actor. None the less, they hopefully give you a better idea of the character he gets to play. He is a fabled story teller who becomes friends with dolphins and spins their stories into the stars, therefore creating DOLPHIN TALES!
Are you impressed or laughing?  Don’t worry… I’m usually both. 
Before I go any further allow me to remind you that this is, indeed, a KID-focused show. Not that it isn’t enjoyable for all ages, but lets be honest, when a company who is known for it’s work with Disney takes on a show for the Georgia Aquarium, you can bet they created it with kids in mind above all others. But I digress. 
You might be asking yourself what an average day in the life of a Star Spinner entails. Oh, nothing much. Just singing some tunes while dolphins fly and flip through the air and thousands of eager guests stare in awe. No biggie… {Do you hate him a little right now? I do}
Dolphin Tales had it’s grand opening this past Saturday to a PACKED house. The stage is epic, the show is spectacular, the dolphins are sensational and the production value is out of this world.At only 30 minutes in length  I have no doubt this one will quickly become an aquarium guest favorite. 

photo from USA Today. 

I was fortunate enough to see it opening night and attend a fantastic after party. Just one of the many perks of being a Star Spinner’s wife. I’ll let you contain your jealousy before moving on…

Everything under control? Good. Because I’m about to blow your mind a little more with how ridiculously cool this job is. 
According to the hubs, the backstage area is basically a dolphin playground where they frolic, play and interact with one another outside of “rehearsal” time. There are a total of 11 dolphins with 5 performing at a time. Z said that it’s really surreal to be in the middle of it all because while he rehearses the show the dolphins will come right up to his feet during their “free time” and try to get his attention by making that charming clicking noise or splashing his feet with water. I would be so tempted to jump right in and join playtime but obviously that’s a BIG no no and the PROFESSIONAL trainers are the only ones allowed in the pool. Oh, and as a side note, Z quickly learned that you don’t call the ‘pool’ a ‘tank’. Ever. He also learned that the dolphins don’t do ‘tricks’ they do ‘behaviors’. 

photo from ABC News

Never in a million years did I think that something like this would fall into our laps but alas, it has. Z will be star-spinning for the next year and I’ll be a proud wife sitting in the audience for as many performances as I can. *Fun fact… in terms of the dolphins, every show is different from the last because if you repeat the BEHAVIOR patterns the dolphins will get bored and not want to perform. Aren’t God’s creatures brilliant?!*
Okay so enough about how awesome my hubby’s job is and onto a little shameless advertising. 

photo from MSNBC.com

While it definitely has it’s share of Broadway CHEESE, it’s really quite entertaining and as I said before, great for all ages. There are some pretty intense special effects {lightening, wind, thunder, etc} so parents of tiny children should know that going in. As I looked around the audience on Sunday, everyone was in awe. 
I’m not sure exactly when, probably around the time the first dolphin came out for a speedy circular pass, but I became a kid again sitting in that theater. I caught myself blurting out things like “OH MY GOD” and “WOW” when one of the trainers zipped past me, standing on the backs of two dolphins like show horses and again when, out of nowhere, another trainer and dolphin sky-rocketed out of the water, grabbed some WICKED AIR and gracefully splashed back in the pool. YEAH… epic! With every flipper wave and giant splash I know the stupid grin on my face got bigger and bigger.  Z wasn’t performing that night so he was able to watch with me. Of course, having seen it performed a half a dozen times and being in the show himself, I’m sure the novelty had worn off a bit. I did catch him looking at me and my stupid grin a number of times just to see if I was enjoying myself. And I was. 
There isn’t a bad seat in the house and the first few rows are actually marked with water drops to show they are in the “splash zone”. It’s not a “let’s try and splash these poor dry people” type of show but there is an awful lot of water moving around in that tank pool. 
Really and truly if you live in Georgia it’s a show worth seeing. If you DON’T live in Georgia but are looking for a fun place to take the kids this summer, the GA Aquarium is it. Once you wear your feet out seeing all the exhibits, pop a squat at Dolphin Tales for a fantastic end to your day.
That’s enough for me and my shameless plug. 

Until next time…
What other shows or events take you right back to your childhood or are guaranteed to slap a stupid grin across your face?

My Secret Desire To Be In The Circus But Not Really Because Trailer Life Blows Chunks!

It’s official. My Cirque Du Soleil cherry has been popped! WAHOOO!

On Saturday Z and I went on a circus adventure filled with crickets, butterflies, blooming flowers and silly clowns. Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO is currently at Atlantic Station and Z’s parents were kind enough to get us tickets for our anniversary. While I love Cirque and have seen MANY a Cirque show on video {Kooza, La Nouba, Alegria, Dralion, Saltimbanco, Quidam, Verekai}, I had never seen a show live.
Sad right? I mean my entire in-law family is made up of clowns, jugglers and mimes!
So anyway… I’d been dying to see a show live and finally got the chance!
I did my research about the show and knew that {based on the description from the website} OVO is “an immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects”.

Just watching it again gives me chills!

Z and I were super excited to see the show and I about peed my pants when, as we approached Atlantic Station and the end of the Cirque traffic, this slowly came into view:

Really I was being such a child… pointing and saying things like “OH MY GOSH…THERE IT IS…I’M SO EXCITED… AHHHHHHH”
We were able to snap this pic outside the tent before they started seating… you can barely see it glowing in the background. Clearly I’m still cheesin’ like a little kid at this point!
It was super dark in there so we couldn’t really see anything until the show started but as soon as you walked through the doors {aka tent flaps} it smelled like grass and dew. It was so awesome. I asked Z if that was normal and he said no… that OVO had gone the extra mile to really get your senses stimulated. Later on in the show a GIANT flower flew in from the top of the tent and bloomed. About 5 seconds after it was in full bloom you got a big whiff of flowers. It was the coolest thing ever to feel like you were bug-sized experiencing things on their level. 
The clowns had me cracking up and every single act was more brilliant than the last. A silk number took my breath away while the trapeze, slack rope and trampoline acts had me picking my jaw up off the floor. My lovely little told me not to be surprised if I was overwhelmed by the numerous things going on at once but I stayed fairly focused on the main act. Although I would notice crickets or beetles scurry by the back part of the stage while the main performers kept me drooling.  
Everything was so amazing {have I used that word enough in this post yet?}, it’s pretty much impossible to pick a favorite act. I will say that they were smart to put an AMAZING {ha} trampoline act at the very end of the show… a perfect way to finish, if you ask me!
All I can say is I am thrilled to have finally seen a show and I can’t wait for the next one. 
SO, any Cirque fans out there in blogger world?
Until next time…

How To Deal With Wannabe Dancer Tweens Without Killing Them Or Locking Them In A Closet

Pardon me for the following explosion of frustrated sarcasm and pent up anger. As an additional disclaimer, I really do love kids… just not… well… you’ll see what I mean.
As you {hopefully} know, I am a dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was 6 and teaching/choreographing for the last 7-or so years. It’s one of my greatest passions and something that I can’t imagine my life without. It’s up there with my husband, family and chocolate! {yeah… serious business}
I’ll delve into the blissfully wonderful performance aspect of dance a little later… this post, however, is about a not so pleasant experience involving dance… annoying, bratty students.

 Like I said before, I’ve had about 7 years of teaching experience, mostly for dancers that are my own age or slightly younger. Most of the people I have taught are also passionate and enthusiastic about dance, not doing it because mom and dad think they should have an extra curricular activity to keep them busy. I have taught younger students {ages 8-15} before but it was for a theater camp where the level of difficulty was close to ZERO and the moves were more like Glee than SYTYCD. Never the less, I understand what it takes to manage classes with a variety of ages and skill levels. I also know how to gain the attention of the little snot-wads that find joy in being the class clown. At least I thought I did…

I recently started teaching at a new studio in an attempt to bring myself a little extra money and some added happiness to the crap-hole that is my work life. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of happiness outside of work but I’ve been wanted to do something for others that I even slightly enjoyed… so I decided to take this teaching job. I expected to be greeted by eager and passionate young students who were taking class to show their love for the art and expand their dance technique. Instead, what I got was a bunch of bratty, snobby, rude, inconsiderate and undisciplined little heathens. Seriously, I have never experienced this type of behavior from young girls. When I was their age I knew that dance classes were meant for learning and not talking, but these girls apparently think dance classes are a time to catch up with friends. Literally this was the dialogue between myself and one particularly rude little creep:

Me: Come on girls, quite down. You’re being way too chatty today.
Little Creep {imagine this spoken in a tweeny valley girl tone}: Well, um we’re like in middle school, and our teachers, like, don’t let us talk during class. So, like, we have to talk here instead.
Me {WHAT THE FRACK!?!?}: Well this is MY class and you will, LIKE, keep your mouth shut when I tell you to.

The little creeps eyes widened at the sheer terror of what I had just said to her. {How dare I raise my voice} This interaction took place in front of the whole class so I assumed they would all begin to understand how serious I was. At least I would have understood had my teacher said anything remotely close to what I did. NOPE… wrong again. They kept at it. Talking over me, over their classmates, while dancing {nothing burns me more than students who talk WHILE they are dancing} and constantly telling me how they didn’t like my choreography and thought I should do something “more like this” {demonstrates idiotic dance move that proves they have no talent}. Eventually I had to implement a three strike rule. “If I have to stop class to tell you to be quiet, you get a strike. Three strikes within one class and you’re out of the class for the day. Multiple days being sent out and I talk to your parents and take you out of the show.” Again their eyes grew to the size of saucers with pure shock, but they still wouldn’t shut up. The problem with my three strike rule is that if the whole class is talking I can’t exactly kick them all out… no matter how much I wish I could. But then I would need to ensure that I bring a bottle of Sailor Jerry’s with me to class every day in case the occasion presents itself and I don’t think my teaching skills would improve with the addition of liquor. Maybe I’ll try it out one day just to see.
I could go on and on AND ON about the tiny mutants that terrorize my classes everyday but instead I will leave you with one of the more recent and THRILLING stories.
My classes are an hour long each, the first starting at 5:30. I have one student who is always talking, never dancing full out, and always doing things wrong. We’ll call her Eunice. Eunice is in my second class of the day but tends to get there fairly early {I guess mom and dad want her out of their hair as much as I do}. While still teaching my first class I see her pop her head into the back window {because she always thinks she’s late for her class… not the brightest crayon in the box}. Mind you, this was about 15 minutes before her class started. When my first class ended I walked out of the room to call in my 2nd group and noticed she was sitting in the waiting room reading a costume magazine from the office {Eunice also likes to tell me what costumes I should order… every day… because she’s so smart}. Brace yourself… this will get ugly.

Me: Come on Eunice, class is starting.
Eunice: Hold on a second.
Me {Oh NO she di-n’t!!!}: No, NOW!  {Eunice takes her time putting the book down and I realize she’s also holding a tub of… wait for it… cotton candy. The most hyper girl in class is eating a bucket of spun sugar. AWESOME, I can’t wait. She walks up to me and offers me some. *idiot*}
Me: You are never allowed to eat candy before my class again and if I see you with it out during class, {which she’s been known to do} you will NOT be allowed back in, do you understand me?
Eunice: Yes. I’ll be right in I just have to change.
AHHHHHHHHHH….SHE WAS STILL IN HER SCHOOL CLOTHES. I was so caught up in her lack of respect and the damn cotton candy that I didn’t notice she hadn’t changed for class yet. Let me remind you that she had been at the studio for 15 minutes already.
Me: Why aren’t you changed and WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS WHOLE TIME?
Eunice: I was sitting out here.
Me: Why didn’t you change in the 15 minutes you’ve been waiting. {at this point there was steam shooting from my ears}
Eunice: Because I was waiting on you.
Me *suppressing inner thoughts of throwing her through the window and conjuring up an evil eye that could make The Cullen family pee their pants*: The next time you come to my class eating and inappropriately dressed you will not set foot inside. Now go change… HURRY.

Oh, I had my eyes on her the whole class and she certainly did watch her mouth. You ready for the kicker? The nitwit had the nerve to come up to me after class asking if I wanted to by flower buds for her school’s fund raiser…
BWAHAHAHA… NO you undeserving hellion. I have ZERO desire to assist you in earning pointless prizes which will most likely come in the form of some sugary substance that you will no doubt bring to my class making you even more annoying than you are now!!! What an idiot.
Seriously do tweens really behave this way now?
Sorry for the novel, and thank you for sticking with me through the whole thing.  I invite you to share your own terrorizing tween stories or submit any advice {violent or not, both are welcome} on how to handle these little twerps.
Now I’m tense… thanks Eunice.

Until next time…

Happy Birthday Hubby!!!

Today is my sweet sweet husband’s birthday! Pause for a moment of song…
Happy Birthday To You
Happy Birthday To You
Happy Birthday Dear Hubby
Happy Birthday To YOU!
24… what an old man!  As you already know, Z’s birthday present was already given to him, a candy apple green 2009 Kawasaki Versys! MMM… just saying the name stirs up the feeling of the wind on my face as we ride down the road, under the protection of a stylish helmet of course! We’re still figuring out how we will “celebrate” the big day but I have a feeling it will most likely involve some kind of road trip this weekend! Anyway, in honor of my sweet boy’s 24th birthday I thought I would list off 24 things that I love about him!
  1. He can ALWAYS make me smile, no matter how upset I am.
  2. He joins in when I start to quote Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter… what can I say, we’re a bunch of nerds!
  3. His eyes STILL make me go weak in the knees.
  4. He is one of the most talented people I know…
  5. He has the same sense of humor as me: goofy and off-beat.
  6. He taught HIMSELF how to play guitar, like I said, talent.
  7. He can make a mean gin and tonic… just how I like it.
  8. He compliments me every day, even when I’m feeling like the ugly duckling.
  9. He is my biggest fan… in everything I do.
  10. His seafood allergy fits in perfectly with the fact that I don’t like/eat seafood! Except for calamari… we both devour that stuff!
  11. He puts peanut butter and syrup on his pancakes and french toast.
  12. He shares my taste in art (dance, music, theater, you name it!).
  13. He taught me how to shoot a gun and a bow and arrow. Yeah, we’re pretty hard core.
  14. He taught me how to love… I mean really love!
  15. He’s great with kids.
  16. He lets me vent whenever I need to for as long as I need to.
  17. His hair rivals that of McDreamy!
  18. He took me to my FIRST Renaissance Festival which I instantly fell in love with.
  19. He’ll go with me to see Twilight… and make fun of it with me later.
  20. He sings to me.
  21. He loves my cooking. 😉
  22. He makes me want to be a better person, and I’m already better just by knowing him.
  23. He will be a wonderful father one day.
  24. He is my best friend.
There are SO many reasons to celebrate this day… and I only listed 24.
Happy Birthday baby… I love you!