Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Change is Inevitable. Progress is Optional."

Hello blog world! It’s only been forever. My last post was so long ago. So much has happened and changed for me since my last post last summer. Last summer, I was able to release two dance concept videos, Wonder and Fancy. (See the links listed below). I was also able to be a part of a lot of performances and events. I was able to perform the choreography from my friends Vive, Nicole, James, and Gwen. All of the links are also listed below. These videos and performances were such a great time with talented dancers and friends. One of the performances was in the United Nations Headquarters, which was a cool experience to see the inside of the UN, where so much history has happened. I received the opportunity to teach for Epic Motion’s company classes. I taught an aggressive sass piece to Sleazy by Ke$ha. I also got to teach for Outburst’s 718 Workshop series. I taught a contemporary piece to Under - AOSOON.

In the fall, I began working as a front desk manager at BDC full time. I enrolled in an On Camera Technique class, and found out that I really enjoyed tv/film acting more than I expected to. I began searching for small opportunities in acting as well as dance opportunities. I performed with the American Tap Dance Foundation at an event called Career Transitions for Dancers’ Annual Gala. I performed with Vive again in his concept video, A Williamsburg Story. I also received the opportunity to teach for Each One Teach One’s workshop series in the Bronx. I taught a piece to Higher - Jhene Aiko. I was able to find sporadic sub opportunities to pull in extra money. I moved into my current apartment with my friend Kaily, and I love where I’m at right now. I was able to find coverage for work, and got to go home and spend Thanksgiving with my family. It was a great break from the fast-paced city life and slow down and relax. In December, Project D hosted Prelude EC in New Jersey. It was a blast to see the community all in the same place. Little did I know at the time, but that was my last performance with PD. Due to my schedule and finances, I took a break from PD. I miss them a lot, but luckily, they have pushed themselves so hard this season and have been more successful than they have been in a long time and I could not be more proud of them.

To bring in the new year, I got the opportunity to see the ball drop in Times Square live after a hotel pregame party. It was so much fun to be in the middle of everything and was a great way to start off my year right. I almost did not go that night due to feeling sick that morning, but I didn’t know the next time I will get that opportunity in my life, so I fought through and went anyways. Unfortunately for me, that was not just a small cold I felt that morning. I had Bronchitis that turned into Bronchial Spasms. Since it became a lung problem, the doctors put me on a lot of antibiotics, steroids, and an inhaler, which I have never in my life had to use before. January was a long month without dance, working out, or socializing for basically the entire time. On the last day of January, I was able to take my first class of 2015. I took ballet and hip-hop. It was a great day of dance, even though my cough was still aggressive and persistent.

Frogshops by 2sdays brought me into teach a workshop. I taught a contemporary piece to Kiss Me - Ed Sheeran. I have gotten a lot of small opportunities here and there to teach closed workshops, sub for friends, and choreograph small events. I am still fighting for every little opportunity I can get to share, teach, and perform any time I can. My biggest struggle at the moment is trying to decide what I want to pursue. I need to be versatile in my training. Check. But trying to decide exactly what my long term goals for my dance career are. Not Check. I go back and forth every day about what I want to pursue. Broadway? Hip-Hop? Contemporary? I love so many different styles of dance it kills me to try to decide exactly what I want from this dance life. My schedule is a little hectic with a lot of work hours at the moment, but it allows me to train at one of the best dance studios in the world, so I am very thankful for that. Sorry again that it has been so long since I have posted. I will try to keep up with this blog more, for myself and for anyone who is interested in reading. Thank you for reading!! :)

My Video Presentations:

Amy Connerley | Wonder - Naughty Boy ft. Emeli Sandé  

Amy Connerley | Fancy - Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

My Class Footage:

Amy Connerley | Kiss Me - Ed Sheeran

Amy Connerley Oct2014 @jheneaiko

Under | Amy Connerley | 718 Workshop Series  

EPIC Motion Company Class | Amy Connerley | "Sleazy" by Kesha


Project D - Prelude EC 2014 [OFFICIAL FRONTROW]

Leikeli47 - They Got Hate (Choreography by Gwen Potter)

Vivake Khamsingsavath | "Sing" by Ed Sheeran

Little Dragon- Shuffle a Dream (Choreography by Gwen Potter)  

On the Block by James Alonzo White  

Coffee Drip | Nicole Calabrese Choreography

"Haunted" Beyonce Choreography by Vivake Khamsingsavath
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"Change is Inevitable. Progress is Optional." - Tony Robbins

Friday, June 13, 2014

Recovery Makes You Stronger

As much as I said I would blog on here regularly, that seems to be harder than it sounds.  I apologize for anyone reading this, or trying to, consistently.  Let's see, since the end of March a lot has happened.  I did mention a knee injury in that post.  After finding out that it was not a stress fracture and it was Patella Femoral Syndrome, I was very relieved.  I was mainly relieved because I was able to do some dancing during my recovery and physical therapy.  My physical therapy was supposed to be done a few weeks ago, but then the day before my final appointment, I got too excited about feeling better and being ready to attack my dance classes and auditions full out, that I ended up pulling a muscle.  I was in an advanced theater class and apparently when you don't wear your character heels in months, you should ease back into dancing in them.  My heel started getting worn down to the point of a huge cut and although it hurt a lot during the class, I said, "I'll be fine. I will at least finish the class."  However, by the time I finally looked at my heel and saw how bad it was and took off my shoes, it was too late.  I had strained my Adductor Magnus.  I could barely walk the next day to physical therapy.  I wasn't able to dance at all for a whole week, which was so difficult considering I was finally better the previous week and was so excited.  Luckily, it wasn't too bad, and by the following week of rest, my leg was better again.  Today, was finally my last physical therapy appointment!!!  Now, I just have to remember to listen to my body when I feel pain and stop dancing so I don't make things worse.  Throughout the entire physical therapy experience, I learned so much about anatomy, alignment, technique, and so much more.

I was able to go to Prelude DMV and compete with Project D in April.  We placed 2nd in the competition.  I also got to see so many people that I have missed so much.  That trip was no where near long enough.  Epic Motion was preparing for our showcase.  The showcase was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed the pieces I was in, and being able to perform that much in one show was a blast.  I took a musical theater audition prep class.  I learned a lot from this class.  The person I took it from has so many Broadway credentials it is ridiculous and I am thankful for that opportunity.  The videos of all of these events are up, so I will put the links below.  I did a project with my friend Vive, so check that out. haha I got the opportunity to work with Derek Mitchell and the NBA for a flash mob event.  Getting to combine basketball with dance was a blast since basketball is my favorite sport.  I also put up an old video from when I went to Utah to teach with the KODACHROME and More Than Dance group last year.

While I was injured, I tried my very best to stay positive but it was not easy all the time.  I don't know if people understand all I do is dance, so when I am injured, that's not only taking away my classes, it takes away my preparation for my future and the entire reason I live in New York at all.  It was very hard to stay upbeat, but it is over for the most part now.  I still have to do my physical therapy to make sure I keep up the progress I have made with my muscles and alignment.  However, I am much more appreciative when I can dance full out now.  I also tried to work on other things, whether it was voice, acting, choreographing, planning, youtube, marketing, or opportunity hunting.  Stay positive guys.  I believe in you. :)

Project D @ Prelude DMV 2014 [2nd Place]

Epic Motion Spring Showcase 2014 Playlist
I'm in:
1) "Rush Hour"
4) "Cafe Blues"
7) "Workplace Woes"
11) "Lights Out"
13) "The Demons Within"
15) "Stay"
16) "Impact, Aftermath, Recovery"
17) "Brand New"

"Fashion" - Choreography by Vivake Khamsingsavath

NBA Playoffs Five City Flashmob

Candy Rain Choreography | Amy Connerley & Chris Munar

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

You have to have lows to appreciate the highs.

Wow. I guess it can be assumed that a lot has happened since I haven’t written on here in a couple of months.  The last few weeks has been so up and down.  As of right now, I have a knee injury that has really put a damper on my plans for auditioning and training.  Audition season is here and now for musicals and cruises, and I can not afford to not be at my best.  I am currently in the process of figuring out what is wrong with my knee and I got an MRI today.  I had no idea how hard it is to lay completely still for what feels like forever.  It was so harddd!  haha But hopefully when the results come back tomorrow we can figure out what the problem is and try to fix it as soon and efficiently as possible.  I have been trying very hard to stay off my knee as much as I can, but it is really difficult for me.  Patience is a virtue right?  I made a list of things I can work on without hurting my leg, and I am trying to stay positive through this obstacle.  

At the beginning of March I competed at Elements with Project D.  It was a lot of fun and I just love that group of people so much.  Although we didn't place, we had a great performance and there is something about that performance that I can’t describe but I haven’t felt in a long time.  Project D also showcased at So You Think You Can Sayaw and Flash Dance Competition.  I had plans for my next couple of videos to come out within the past couple of months, but due to scheduling, my injury, and struggles with space and funds, they have not come together yet, but I will make them happen very soon.  

I have had the opportunity to do a little more teaching recently, which makes me very happy.  I was able to teach a House of Movement community class, and a private class for Epic Motion.  I had a great time with both classes and am so thankful for everyone who came out to take class.  I have also begun doing some background acting to get some extra money and also just learn about how the television and film industry works.  So far I have had a great experience with that too and learned a lot.  There are so many opportunities to take and paths to choose in New York City, that I am having a hard time to figure out exactly where to invest my time and money to get me where I want to be. So many obstacles to overcome lately. Hopefully it is true when people say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Until Next time friends. :)

Project D | Elements XIV

Sayaw 2014 - Project D

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Will Be The Year

Today is the first day of 2014.  I have huge goals and aspirations for this year.  I have been saying for months that 2014 will be my year, and hopefully with hard work and determination, that will be the case.  I have been reflecting a lot on this past year and trying to also be more clear with myself about what I want out of 2014.  How can I really turn this into a career?  How can I improve everyday and keep growing as a dancer, choreographer, artist, person?  I was reading an article the other day about not setting goals, but setting systems to make those goals come true, and it really spoke to me.  One of the problems with goals the article pointed out is that people can feel like a failure if they don’t complete it and stay on track perfectly.  That is something I can definitely relate to.  I am going to try to enjoy the process of working hard, getting in shape, training in classes, auditioning, and all the other components of what I am doing.  I know what I want.  Well, to a degree, I don’t know exactly what path in dance I want to do, but I digress.  I know I want to dance professionally.  This year I will fight to make that happen.

In December, I auditioned and got accepted into the Establish Your Empire experience NY/Jersey Vol. 4 with the incredible Gigi Torres.  She is such an amazing artist, teacher, and person, and I feel so blessed that I got to work with her and get to know her over the week long experience.  It was an intense program and I learned a lot.  We performed her piece at Prelude EC 2013.  Guess who hosted Prelude EC 2013… Project D Dance Company.  So I was a liaison for a team that day, I performed with Gigi’s EYE experience, Project D, and Project D’s fambam set (Project D and Defined Movement, our junior team). So needless to say, that day was a little stressful, but also so much fun. The following Friday, Epic Motion Dance Company hosted a benefit showcase for a Philippines relief fund. We had 7 groups from the NY dance community perform and it was such a great time with a great group of people, all for a great cause. How could that be better? We performed Stay, the same piece from WOD Boston and NJ. The link is in my last blog post if you want to see it!

I also went to Iowa for a week and a half over Christmas time.  It was a nice break from reality and just gave me time to refocus and really reflect on what I want.  While I was there, I got new headshots, started working on my reel, worked on my resume, designed my business card, and just tried to make sure that when I hit the dance industry world, my complete package represents me in a fantastic way.  Hopefully this year becomes everything I want it to be, and I become everything I want to be.  As always, the links below are the pieces I talked about in this post. Thank youuu! :) Goodbye 2013.  2014. It’s time. Let’s do this.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Team Performances

Oops.  I missed November on here completely.  Maybe I should make a schedule of when I should post on here to be more consistent.  We’ll see.  Happy late Thanksgiving!!  What have I been doing recently.  I have been working on choreography a lot.  Trying out different styles and musicality.  I feel like I am growing in that sense.  I also really want to get more into the freestyle community here.  I love freestyling for fun so much, but I am trying to get my confidence up so I can use that skill in a cypher or audition situation.  I was able to go to Movement Lifestyle theTour in Washington DC in October.  It was an amazing weekend, filled with seeing dance family from everywhere.  All my worlds colliding, and it was amazing being in that positive and supportive environment.  The choreographers were talented and passionate.  However, I should have made more of an effort to talk to them when I was there.  That is something I will work on next time in that situation.  I also did not perform as well as I know I could have in groups. I don't know if it was because I knew everyone there and so I was thinking about trying to make people proud of me or because I was in DC not NY, or what, but that is a problem and I am addressing it and trying to improve. Overall though, I am starting to feel more comfortable at Broadway Dance Center and in classes around in the community.  Which I definitely think is helping me relax in classes and really focus on growing instead feeling so intimidated by everyone.  I am meeting people everyday and you already know I LOVE that. haha I am trying to take in this whole experience and learn from everyone I can.  I also have some video projects in the works and hopefully some other things as well.  I feel like I say this every time, but I will stop saying it when it is no longer true. Which might be never. haha But thank you to every single person who has given me a comment, like, message, share, anything and everything that supports what I am trying to do.  It means SOOO much to me, and it is honestly such motivation to keep working hard.  Thank you.

I was able to perform with Epic Motion Dance Company at World of Dance Boston 2013 and World of Dance New Jersey 2013.  The piece we performed was not a typical piece for WOD.  It had a contemporary feel, along with an emotional story.  Performing this piece was such a rush just to really enjoy the movement and express myself on stage.  The choreographers for that piece Kris and Shoey, are both such amazing artists and I hope I get to work with them again.  I pulled a muscle in my left leg, and although I had to perform with it being injured at WOD NJ, it has fully recovered at this point. I also got to perform with Project D Dance Company for the first time at Reign or Shine VII.  Although Project D is a huge group, I feel very close with them, and when they say they are about family and community, it is true.  What an amazing group of people that I am very blessed to call them my friends and my new dance family.  

I am so happy that I was able to contribute and be a choreographer for the 5 Pointz community tribute video project set up by my good friend Kaily.  Choreographing partner pieces has become easier now that I have done it more, so that's good since I have been loving partner work recently. haha 5 Pointz was an amazing place where graffiti artists from all over the world have come over the years to express themselves and actually seeing it was overwhelming.  Unfortunately, 5 Pointz since then has been painted over completely white which has been hard for the entire hip-hop community.  Days before this landmark was destroyed, we were luckily able to film the piece just in time.  I had a blast working with everyone on this project and am thankful for all the dancers’ hard work in my piece, and all of the pieces.  Thank you guys!!!  If you are interested, I will list the links below to all of the pieces I have talked about here.  

Epic Motion | "Stay" | World of Dance Boston 2013

Epic Motion | "Stay" | World of Dance New Jersey 2013

Reign or Shine VII | Project D

Dance for 5 Pointz

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Staying Focused

Oh my goodness, my last post was so inspired.  hahaha Hello people!  I haven’t been as perfectly motivated as my previous post shows.  However, it is still a big improvement from before I wrote that.  But I am not done.  Hopefully by checking in with my blog, and keeping things like my previous post in mind, will keep me focused on what I want.  I have been working out consistently as well as taking a lot more classes.  I finished up with my internship, so that was the last not dance related thing in my life.  The weirdest part of all of this, I still just want to dance everyday.  I am trying to keep a realistic outlook on everything in my life as well.  What I mean by that is if I start resenting dance, or finding myself not wanting to dance, I will re-evaluate my life and my choices.  However, for the time being, I still can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.  I am also very thankful for my new dance families up here in New York and New Jersey.  I look forward to my rehearsals with them, and honestly hate missing a practice or an event.  I truly can not describe how much it means to me to have gotten so close with a lot of people in my groups so quickly.  I don’t think they have any idea how much they mean to me.  Going from having pretty much no one up here, to having different groups of amazing people is indescribable.  I just like people!  I’m a people person. haha  So if any of you guys are reading this, thank you. But that's not all, I also have my KODACHROME and Blank Canvas family. Whattt?! I am the luckiest person in the world. I miss all of them and can not wait to see them very soon!!! ;)

Anyways, recently I have been trying to focus on my fashion more than just my dancing.  Fashion and my appearance is such a huge part in this world, that I need to step my game up.  I also have been working a lot on choreography and concepts for videos and projects.  I absolutely love the process that goes into creating a video and trying to tell a story through my pieces.  It can definitely have its stresses as well, but overall, I love it.  The response I got from my most recent video was unbelievable.  The support I felt and the joy that it seemed to bring people was… I don’t even know how to describe it.  Just amazing.  Anyone who supports me in any way, is such a motivator for me.  I just want to make you all proud and maybe even inspire a person or two.  The link to my video is below!!  Check it out and if you like it share it! This journey is still just beginning, and I want to really take in the entire experience.

Amy Connerley | No Faith In Brooklyn

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Mind Set

I have been lying.  I have been lying to myself and everyone around me.  What I said in my last post, and what I say to so many people who ask me, "if you're not working right now, what are you doing?" is a lie.  I tell people, I am just focusing on getting in shape and dancing as much as I can.  That, my friends, was a lie.  I was not dancing as much as I could.  Although I am on my two crews, and I take sporadic classes here and there, it was no where near the amounts that it should be if I actually want to make this a career.  I don't even use the classes that I work study at BDC for half the time.  That means, I am literally, working for free, and not even utilizing what I am doing.  How many opportunities may I have missed due to my lack of motivation.  Staying home all day, sending out cover letters and resumes to get some random part time job is not moving me forward.  I took my first ballet class in months today.  It wasn't horrible, but I definitely could feel my lack of practice.   

The last week has been so up and down in my personal life, and something today just hit me.  This weekend, I got to dance from some amazing choreographers and people from California and it was just very inspiring.  Where I am at right now, is not moving forward.  It is a very lazy attempt of success, just waiting for the "right" opportunity to come up for me.  Well that is changing right now.  I have discussed it with my family, and I will not be getting a part time job, (if I do, it will be very part time, and very flexible) and I will not be applying for any more internships or office positions.  Paying for all the expenses to live in NY and go for my dream, without really giving it everything I have is pointless.  For the next 5 months, I will be focused on preparing the the spring and for my dance career.  I will be working out daily, not most days, daily, as well as taking a minimum of 6 classes at BDC every week, going to my rehearsals, teaching for the volunteer organization I am working with, and doing sporadic auditions as well.  I am going to be organized, and I am going to eat healthy all the time.  I just found the motivation I had when I graduated early and lost a lot of weight, and I am not letting it go this time.  Anyone reading this, you are more than welcome, to check in and remind me of this post and make sure I am staying on task.  To be successful, you have to be the best you can be.  I have not been aiming for that.  That is over.  It is a new day, and it starts right now.  Until next time friends.