Friday, July 25, 2014

Don't You Dare Say You're OLD

Someone please tell me when it became the norm for women in their twenties to go around saying they are old.  I've been in the presence of two lovely, super competent twenty-somethings this week, and they have both made comments about their age around me.  

I got to feeling a little stabby.

Dance-wise, when I was 25, I was on top of the world.  I was in New York, dancing in a fantastic company, where we were all about the same age and were immersed in our art.  Although I wasn't as thrilled with myself as I should have been, my body felt and looked great, both as a dancer and as a regular person.  In class, I never had the chance to feel old because just about everyone in class was my age, give or take a few years.  

Even when I was around teenage dancers, whether they were taking class with me or were my students, I didn't feel old. Sure, I had several years on them, but what was wrong with that? I was happy to be older, because that meant I was a professional adult, instead of a kid at the threshold of her career.  

When my body felt tight or was injured, I didn’t think it was because I was ready to collect my Social Security.  It was because I was either teaching too much, had been working improperly, or that my body had been the victim of punishing choreography.  

Never did I think I was ancient.

Until now. Seventeen years later.

Save most of the people I take class from, I am now nearly the oldest person in any class I take.  I get my ass to class with the regularity of Halley's Comet, even though my teaching forces me to demonstrate some challenging movement. Plus I've delivered two babies via C-section.  You could put a cowboy hat through the hole in my abs, which also means my pelvic placement is worth a barrel of Monopoly money.  

I’m the Notorious O.L.D. (Oldest Leaping Dancer).

I’m not ashamed of it -- I’ve earned the right to think of myself as old, or at least older. I brazenly tell my students that “I’m O.L.D.” when I mark something or feel like I've been on a forced march after doing a combination full out.  Deep down, however, I’m 99% sure that if I started going to class more often or got back into a Pilates regimen, I'd be killing it, especially because my dance mind is light years smarter than it was when I was 25.  

Is this age thing because our culture is so obsessed with youth that 20 is the new 40?

Maybe, but I think it's more than that.

Saying you are old is an easy breezy excuse.  Getting old is inevitable -- who can blame you for that?  The alternative is acknowledging that you have other priorities or are just plain lazy (Dude, I could NOT stop binge-watching Scandal!); you aren't working properly ("It’s like my technique is a bus and I keep missing it!”); or maybe that your body isn't really that suited for dance ("I've seen steel girders with more flexibility!").

Ouch!  You'll settle for old, won't you?

Dance is one of those professions where it is easy to feel long in the tooth.  With the Internet’s love affair with extreme training, we are constantly treated to ten year olds who perform like prima ballerinas.  Flashy tricks abound, while artistry and the clean technique of the mature dancer often seem like undervalued relics of a bygone era.  Feeling past one’s prime is relative, with everyone staring enviously down the line at the younger bodies.

Still, no matter how genuine the feeling is, saying you feel old in front of someone older than you is like going to an Overeater's Anonymous meeting in tears because you pigged out on wine and Skinny Pop every night and can't button your size 2 skinny jeans.  

It's just obnoxious.

Please, people. Go commiserate with folks your own age. They’ll give you the understanding you need, instead of a nasty comment.

Or a punch in the mouth.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Ultimate FROZEN Giveaway

Frozen toys giveaway

Are your kids obsessed with Frozen too? Our kids are all about them, but the toys are next to impossible to find. Luckily, Stephanie from Binkies and Briefcases just so happened to be at Target at the exact same time that they were restocking the shelves and she scored an entire lot of toys from Disney's Frozen. Yes, she even found an Elsa doll! Now she's teaming with a group of bloggers to give them away. That's $120 worth of toys, and we're giving them all to one lucky winner.

  elsa doll and frozen toys

What better way to cool off in July than with some Frozen treats?

One Grand Prize winner will receive:

One Color Change Elsa Doll

One Color Change Anna Doll

One set of toddler Anna and Elsa dolls


And one Magical Lights Palace play set


This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, ages 18 and up. No purchase necessary to win. Binkies and Briefcases is responsible for prize shipment. One winner will be notified via email and receive a prize package via US Mail. In the event the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.  Enter using the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Big Fish is Casting a New Family Reality Show!

Reality TV is something everyone watches and thinks, "Does the world really need another show about lunch ladies who race chipmunks?!  When the heck are they going to make a show about ME?"

Well, parents, finally someone listened!  Big Fish Entertainment, the television production company behind DC Cupcakes and Black Ink, is interviewing families for a brand new series!

The producers at Big Fish are casting their net all over the U.S. for couples with young children or a new baby who are angling for a home upgrade.  

The ideal family for this project NEEDS to move.  

They feel squeezed into their current space, like someone stuffed into tight pants after an enormous meal.  

Now, not only does this couple hunger for a bigger home, but they want to move closer to family, because being near helpful grandparents, aunts and uncles is a godsend.  

But to which spouse's old stomping ground?  

Big Fish would love to meet couples hashing it out over each partner's hometown, weighing out the good, bad and the ugly, trying to find the balance that would be the sweet spot.  

If this sounds like you and your spouse, Big Fish wants to hear from you today! 

Contact Victoria Ritz at and be sure to include:

  1. your name
  2. contact information (email and phone)
  3. pictures of you and your spouse
  4. a brief description of where you live now and where you want to live soon  

If interested, Big Fish will set up a 45-minute Skype interview with you and your spouse! 

And if a kid-induced home upgrade isn't in your near-future plans, but perfectly describes a friend, neighbor, family member, or co-worker, be sure to let them know!

Have fun and good luck!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

10 Ways You Know You're A Veteran Jazz Teacher

You look at yourself doing hip isolations and feel slightly inappropriate.  

When you know the dances the kids are doing these days your students seem genuinely surprised.

You marvel at how they can twerk with energy and passion -- as though their very lives depended on it-- but look like propped up cadavers in modern, ballet and sometimes even jazz class.  

As soon as there's any kind of delay when you're setting up something on the computer, some student rushes over to help because there’s NO WAY someone of your advanced age knows what to do with 21st century technology.

You HATE 90% of current pop music and think it's nasty and just bad. How about some nice, clean Madonna? 

You think about demonstrating switch leaps -- your specialty back in the day -- but fear leaving the studio on a stretcher.

Every now and then, you have a wee bit more empathy for that teacher of yours who showed up for class perfectly lucid but reeking of the sauce.  

Your Come to Jesus chats with your class begin with "You kids today…"

You have to give students nicknames because there's no way in hell you can keep Brittany, Brenna, Britannia and Brianna straight while giving rapid fire corrections.  

When you make a reference to a famous dancer of your day, or anything of your day, the students have no idea what you're talking about.  Who the hell is Barry Snikov anyway? 

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