Choreographers Carnival in Chicago!


I had the best time in the Windy City checking out Carnival,  Donnette and her business partner Andrea’s showcase event they produce in conjunction with Carey Ysais and Paulette Azizian from LA!!!  It’s always great to hang with Donnette and Andrea!  Besides being good friends and so much fun, I always learn something from their events and take so much more away than what I’ve contributed (although if I had been thinking, I would have snagged a copy of the program for which I was given the great responsibility of setting up….well, a lot of copying and pasting, but still….)  🙂  And I also would have snapped a photo or seven!!!!  But I forgot or didn’t have time or maybe it was a little bit of both.

There were so many awesome acts on the stage that night ranging from hip hop to contemporary to musical theater-ish to burlesque.  So much talent in Chicago!!!  And they’re all so nice and humble and midwest-y, so of course I love that.  One of the highlights of the whole experience for me was meeting Kate Jablonski.  Google her this minute if you’re not familiar.  I was all, “Oh-my-gosh-it’s-so-good-to-meet-you-I’m-a-huge-fan!”  And if that didn’t thoroughly frighten her I’m sure my telling of the story of Fallon and I lying on the dance studio floor of All About Dance by Katye in KCMO for a good 25 minutes watching all the Kate Jablonski videos we could find instead of choreographing most certainly did.  (“I love how you teach class in soccer shorts!”  Yeah, I said that.  That was probably the lowest point.)  Here’s some photos of Andrea and Donnette hosting:

don&and2 don&and1

Here’s Donnette’s new top she wore that night.  We went shopping at Akira Chicago on Michigan Avenue.  I think.  I just feel really cool saying that.  Shopping on Michigan Avenue.  Hair flip.  🙂
























My favorite conversation from that shopping trip that took place between us in adjoining fitting rooms:

Me (trying on a halter top, one piece, wide legged black jumpsuit thing):  Oh good God, I look like I’m guest starring on The Love Boat.

Donnette, laughing:  Oh my God, the Love Boat!  Are you getting it?

Me:  Of course!

And here’s a fun little tidbit.  Carnival was just featured in the May-June 2013 issue of Dance Spirit, and the Chicago event got a special little shout-out!  Very cool!  Click on the link below to read the article.

Dance Spirit Carnival Feature

I also got to hang out with a competition judging friend, Kari Wisowaty, who’s starting a dance education, training and consulting company called Spark Advising.  Her website is under construction, so I will share a link when it’s all up and running!  Great seeing her!

And talk about a small world!  I met this fabulous little dancer and studio owner from Chicago named Pia Hamilton.  We were just chit chatting and to make a long story short, she has family in KC and her cousins go to my church, and went to the school where I was a teacher!  So odd and so cool to be having that conversation in the middle of Joe’s Bar on Weed Street in Chicago!  And even funnier and cooler is Pia’s first post after I became Facebook friends with her:  I’m going to be dancing in The Lion King on Broadway!!!  It’s a crazy world.  Did I snap a photo?  No.

And no trip to Chicago would be complete without seeing Mishra, our very own health and wellness guru!!!!  And of course I didn’t take a photo of the epic Donnette-Melanie-Mishra reunion because I was too busy eating pizza.  Her new home is great, her business is on a great trajectory, and everything seems to be going really well in her world!  She is so good at what she does.  I got to witness her getting someone’s life in order with a total of three questions (I should have written them down, but I was too stunned at what was taking place during this impromptu counseling session happening right before my very eyes.  And there was a pizza in front of me, so….I was busy….and content.)  I was so impressed by what I was seeing, I said, “That was fabulous.  Fix me, fix me!  What’s wrong with me?”  She said, “Nothing.”  It’s a disappointing end to the story, but my point is that she would definitely be the person I would enlist if I felt I needed to get healthier physically, mentally or spiritually.    Click on the Nutrisults logo below for her website.




It was a reeeeeeeaaaaaalllllly good trip and I’m already missing Chicago and the awesome people in it.  Much love and lots and lots of fan kicks,


P.S.  I apologize if you can’t get the Love Boat theme song out of your head.  “Love!  Exciting and new.  Come aboard!  We’re expecting yoooooouuuuu….”