25 Discoveries in my 25th Year

YAYYYYY BIRTHDAY! I’m a couple of days late, but I just didn’t have time to post this on the actual day! 🎈🎉🎂

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do a ‘___ things I’ve learned in ___ years’ for their birthdays, but I’ve decided to note down 25 discoveries (food, beauty, lifestyle, well-being…) from the last 12 months. Enjoy!

1. ‘It’s Just a Story…’

This is a big one for me, and linked to my post about how Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ helped my anxiety. I go into more detail in the post and explain what the phrase means, but just for a quick insight; I struggle with anxiety on occasion, mainly when dealing with new places/experiences, and applying this phrase to stressful situations has allowed me to cope with my anxiety in a different way. The show is on Netflix and I didn’t imagine when I sat down to watch it that it would make me look at life differently, but this simple phrase when worrying about something… it honestly really helps. 

2. Chocolate Wine

YES it’s a thing, but you can only get it in Sainsbury’s! It’s so delicious and yummy, and it’s VERYYYYYYY easy to drink it as you would a glass of juice (definitely try to pace yourself with this one)! Seriously though, give it a go! (FYI it’s in the port section as it’s classed as a fortified product – Ed and I spent AGES trying to find it in the red wine section to start off with)!

3. It’s okay to say no to work

I hate to let anyone down, as I’m sure we all do. But sometimes, when that comes at the detriment of your physical or mental health, you have to say no. I had a situation at the beginning of the year where I’d taken on too much and it was really taking it’s toll. As much as I hated to do it, I said no to a job. But I’m glad I did, because I really don’t know how I’d have coped for the rest of the school year with such intense commitments. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, do what YOU need to do.

4. How To Drive

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I never had the time to learn when I was at school, so I started learning a year after I moved back to Yorkshire, shortly before my 25th birthday. I was extremely nervous ahead of time because I felt old to be learning…everyone my age already seemed to know how to drive, and all other learners were doing so in their school uniforms! But I had the most amazing teacher, who’s calming voice I still hear in my head, and getting my car in December has opened up so many doors for me! As a freelance dance tutor, it really is one of the best things I’ve done.

5. Twitter’s Amazing Blogging Community

I had no idea until the beginning of summer that there even WAS a blogging community on Twitter! But I’ve met some wonderfully supportive and friendly people, and I love to check out their content and see how they’re getting on. Shout out to my lovely blogger gals 😊

6. Dermalogica Skincare

I included this in a post about clearing up my skin, and I have to repeat it because the Clear Start Toner has made a MASSIVE difference. My skin’s finally cleared up (took long enough mind you) and now I wouldn’t be without it!

7. Mushroom Sauce

This was a discovery from a Google search when I wanted to jazz up a chicken breast. It’s easy and yummy and has made it to my recipe book! This is the recipe I used.

8. The ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Soundtrack

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Yes, I know it came out last year, yes I know I’m late to the party, but I don’t care – this soundtrack is gorgeous. The story sends a really important message, and the actual music itself is incredibly special. If you haven’t listened to it, DO. I listen to this at least once a week.

9. Want activewear? Head to Forever21!

Forever 21 was a favourite in our year group at Bird for fancy sports bras, and I’ve shopped their activewear range on occasion for the last 18 months or so (as well as JD Sports, Sports Direct and other branded stores). Now, I tend to head straight for Forever 21, especially for sports bras and leggings. The high waisted leggings DON’T SLIP DOWN, are very flattering and comfy, and I adore the designs too. Most of the time they have a matching sports bra (and who doesn’t feel like they can take on the world when they’re matchy matchy?!), so I’m absolutely in love with this store for my work clothes 💖

10. Multiple planners are a god send

Of course, I’m referring to my wedding! One planner ain’t enough, there’s just not enough room for all the various notes you scribble, questions for meetings, contact information of suppliers, guest list, playlist ideas, not to mention the more fun bits like colour scheme ideas/inspo, guest predictions and memorable dates… I have two but I’m not gonna lie, I’m tempted to get a third!

11. Being on stage with a significant other is THE MOST FUN!

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Ed and I have done our fair share of shows together over the years, but October 2017 was our first with the upgrade from bezzies to a couple. And it was SO much fun! Shoutout to HSAP, we miss you!

12. How FAB Etsy is

I really had no idea until I started using it last Christmas! I’ve bought so much from there now, it’s my go to for gift ideas and I love browsing all the wedding related stuff to get inspiration too! I’m going to be dedicating a couple of blog posts to my Etsy experience, so keep an eye out!

13. ‘Unforgotten’ (ITV)

The most gripping TV series I’ve watched since Broadchurch series 3. If you haven’t already, get yourself on the ITV Hub and catch up on the last 3 series, because this is such a JUICY drama. And I love murder mysteries so this is right up my street! Ed and I totally binge watched this and cannot WAIT for the next series, because the story lines and performances and just outstanding.

14. How you fuel your body has a massive impact on the way it runs

Potentially an obvious one? We all know that if we spend our lives eating takeaways, we’re going to feel more sluggish and crappy than if we’re eating a more ‘clean’ diet (I put that in inverted commas because I’m not suggesting I eat like a rabbit AT ALL, but now, I’m making everything from scratch so I know exactly what’s in my food). We haven’t necessarily been on a ‘diet’, but recently we’ve re-educated ourselves about what we’re putting into our bodies. Before now, it was very carb heavy – to my mind, active jobs like ours required carbs to fuel us through. Whilst this isn’t necessarily wrong, having spent a lot of my life eating bread and pasta and NOW concentrating on fueling my body with higher portions of protein/veggies/natural snacks – my body feels SO MUCH better for it! I have more energy, I feel less sluggish – and I didn’t realise I was feeling sluggish in the first place! It was a life changing discovery.

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15. Rebuilding burnt bridges lifts a weight you didn’t even know was there

So I recently re-kindled with my old high school bezzie. There’s no need to get into the ‘break up’ or any of that miserable business, because the main thing is, it’s all in the past. It was the one thing that really made me sad when I’d look back at it, or imagined what life might be like were she still one of my gals…but I didn’t realise there was a weight there…not until it was lifted! Lots of love has been happening this year and this just finished it off nicely 😊

16. Continuing to learn at work

Vague, but I genuinely learn more every time I’m in the Studio (whichever Studio that may be)! It really is one of those things where you learn on the job – I know I’m probably a VERY different teacher now to how I was 2 years ago when I’d only just started. I’m very lucky to be able to teach a wide range of students/styles/abilities/locations, and am loving being able to learn from some incredible creatives/collegues.

17. I didn’t know what stress was until we bought a house

I have no idea why I ever thought I was stressed before now. Having experienced the stress and rubbish that goes with buying a house, I will never complain about being stressed again! It’s such an important thing hanging over you for so long, something that you have NO control over… I don’t think we can comprehend until we actually go through it, how intense the entire process is. It’s been a rubbish experience regardless of the stress (I’m not going into it though), and can’t wait till we’re actually moved in! We got the keys a week ago and finally, we had a reason to SMILE about the house – it had been fairly miserable up to that point 😂

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18. I’m actually quite good at cooking!

I started my cooking life 7 years ago when I moved down to London, and it’s safe to say that it’s been a longggggg learning experience – Jacket Potatoes and Chicken Kievs were my go to for the first year or so 😂 As with anything, it just takes practice, but it’s only in the last couple of months that I’ve realised that I can cook up some mean dishes!

19. I’m shocking at baking

Total opposite of the above. I’ll give it a go, especially when I’m making Ed’s birthday cake or my rent’s anniversary cake – but I’m absolutely awful. I cheat and use the Betty Crocker mixes, but I’m still rubbish 😂

20. Flowers in the home make me happy

I don’t know if it’s the freshness or the colour or what – but it lifts my mood 😊

21. Cherry J Rum

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Ed made the discovery in So Bar a few months back, and it’s BEAUTIFUL. You know cherry haribo? Imagine that flavour mixed with coke and ice 😍 You can buy it on Amazon, and if you’re in the mood for that kind of drink, BUY IT!

22. ‘The one’ wedding dress is a thing

I HAVE MY WEDDING DRESS AND I’M UTTERLY IN LOVE WITH IT and I genuinely thought this was just a saying. Until I got mine on in the store. And OMG. It’s a wonderful feeling. I DON’T WANT TO WAIT ANOTHER 8 MONTHS TO WEAR IT THOUGH 😂👰🏻

23. It’s okay to rely on people

I’ve always been very happy with my independence, and by extension, relying on just myself. In the last 12 months I’ve realised it’s okay to share your burden with someone else – it actually helps! Even if it’s literally just talking through a problem, it’s amazing how much better you feel. I’m pretty sure that allowing myself to let down that barrier and be weak on occasion has actually helped my mental health. And I am forever grateful to my wonderful fiance for being absolutely incredible, and knowing me better than I know myself.

24. Want a cheap bouquet? Head to M&S!

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It was a couple of days ago when Ed and I had moved out of the flat that we popped down to M&S to get a nice little tea and some bubbles. At the checkout, one of the ladies who worked there (who was sorting out flowers at the end of the conveyor belt at the time) piped up; ‘Do you want some flowers?’ They were £1.60 for the bouquet down from, can you guess? £16. £16! Which is JUST ridiculous. There were a couple of other bouquets that were starting to brown, so I guess it’ll just be luck of the drawer…but now I know! Go at the end of the day right before closing! You’re welcome 😉

25. Don’t be afraid to cut people out of your life

It’s difficult to cut toxic people out of your life, particularly when you have history with them. You keep them as friends on Facebook or follow each other on Instagram: whether that’s because you haven’t got round to doing a social media cleanse, or whether they meant something to you and you’re not sure if you’re ready to end all communication with them. But life’s too short. I’ve got to an age now where if someone doesn’t add or bring anything to my life, or worse, take away from it, why keep them in it? It feels a bit harsh, but d’you know where I’m coming from? It’s only this year that I’ve found the courage to cut those people from my life. I’ve got a new chapter starting, so this is the perfect time to have a clear out.

And there we go, well done if you made it to the end, I wasn’t expecting it to be as long as that – I guess I got carried away with descriptions 🙈 I hope you enjoyed learning about my discoveries, and maybe learned a thing or two along the way! 

Until next time…

Lynette x

Blogger Recognition Award

So this is exciting! In the middle of all the moving madness and stress last week, I found a spare minute to check my Twitter notifications and realised Mel LaBella had nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award! Which is lovely! I’ve been much less active with my blog and the various social media platforms associated with it because of the chatoic-ness of life/the move. Which is fine, it’s my hobby, but to get this nomination when I’d been a bit quiet was amazing, so thankyou so much chick!

The rules: 

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created

How Life with Lynette started:

When I came back from London two years ago, a lot of people had asked if I was going to start a blog about life as a dance teacher. The thought hadn’t occured to me, but after some thinking, I decided to give it a go. It was only tiny in comparison to what I do now – I was posting once every 2/3 weeks, and only shared it on my work Instagram account and Facebook friends. My posts gradually decreased until the beginning of this year, where I went 6 months with only one post – I just didn’t have time or inspiration to write.

July came around and I decided it was either time to knock it on the head officially, or commit properly. I popped a poll on Instagram, and the outcome was that people would be interested in reading it, to stick with it, and write about whatever I wanted – not just dance. So that’s exactly what I did! And it was actually really nice to find out people would be interested in reading what I have to say!

Here I am, 2 months later, having done quite a bit of research about blogging techniques/engagement tips, written quite a few fresh posts, am actively making an effort to engage on Twitter and Instagram – and am loving it! As I said, the last couple of weeks have been a struggle, and it’ll be another couple of weeks till I’m back into the swing of things: and I’m missing it a bit! Especially the lovely blogger friends I’ve made!

Advice for New Bloggers No. 1:
~ Just Go With the Flow ~

I’ve seen a few bloggers recently panicking about not having a niche, or specific topics to talk about – worrying that they need to have one. You don’t! If you want to have one for yourself, GREAT, but equally, don’t feel like you have to just because a lot of bloggers do. If you want to just write whatever comes to your mind, DO THAT. It’s much more organic, more genuine, and you (as a writer) come across much better to your audience – forced posts lack passion and aren’t as enjoyable to read. And speaking from personal experience, since switching the way my blog works, I enjoy it SO MUCH more. PLUS, I have much more inspiration, because I’m not pressuring or limiting myself to talk about one thing. It’s your blog, niche or not, do what YOU want.

Advice for New Bloggers No. 2
~ Utilise Twitter ~

I’ve said it before, but I had no idea how vast the blogging community was on Twitter. For sharing your posts, reading others, engaging with people, advertising your other blog related social media accounts… It’s SUCH a useful tool. I only started with Twitter as a blogger in mid July and it was such a good decision! My blog traffic has increased massively, and I’ve met some amazing people! There are so many friendly and supportive bloggers out there – as opposed to being competitive as I originally thought! Shout out to the friends I’ve made through blogging 💖

My Nominees:

  1. Sophie’s Choice
  2. Elisha Blogs
  3. Just Sophie
  4. Tasha’s Lifestyle
  5. Ellie Blakeney
  6. My Big Fat Greek Lifestyle/Coffee and Corfu
  7. Bailey Leah
  8. Grand Fash Life
  9. World of Rachel
  10. Rebecca Faye
  11. Scrubs and Swimsuits
  12. Anchored Teapot
  13. Blog About a Latte
  14. Kate’s Beauty Home
  15. Books Nest

I look forward to reading your responses, and I’m hoping to be back into the swing of things soon! Lots of love 💖

Lynette x

Hitting the Reset Button

It’s amazing how calming a walk in nature can be. Ed and I have had very little time to ourselves recently, and even less time together (apart from the general living together things). Any free time I’ve had has been spent thinking about or planning for whatever’s coming up next…classes, workshops, Showcase in October, and trying to be more proactive with blogging…

…which is fine, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times, I love my job and I’m incredibly lucky with everything that’s going on right now…but that doesn’t mean that sometimes it can get on top of me and I feel I need to take a step back. As we all do. I think that switching off is so important (and healthy!), and we should all try and make a conscious effort, if we can, to allow ourselves time to breathe (even if that just means a short walk, cinema trip or bubble bath).

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The other day, Ed and I took ourselves on a walk. The main reason being, we have our engagement shoot coming up and we needed to scout out some locations – which is exciting! But it turned into a two birds one stone situation – it was such a calm and peaceful afternoon, and I hadn’t realised until we were down by the river, how much I needed it. And actually, how much we both needed it, the man is amazing, but has been so busy and hasn’t had a day to himself for too long for so many reasons – and obviously, I want to make sure that he has some proper time off and doesn’t burn out, so I think we (accidentally) planned it just at the right time.

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For anyone needing to switch off, I can’t recommend a walk enough. It was a warm, sunny day, we (miraculously, I’m not sure how though on a Sunday afternoon on Knaresborough’s waterside) avoided the crowds! Crowds would’ve probably made us even more stressed 😂

Obviously we took some pictures, but ignoring our phones, switching off and just being in our own little world for a couple of hours, was so refreshing.

I think that Ed summed it up beautifully as we were walking home – it was the perfect reset button. A chance to take time just with each other, to chat, laugh take stock of what we’ve got and just chill out.

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I’ve always loved walks, even as a kid (the Rents got me and my brother walking boots for the amount of walks we went on, THAT’S how into it we were!), and I really don’t do them enough these days – especially knowing how therapeutic they can be. 

We had a gorgeous afternoon, and if you live in Knaresborough, don’t forget about the amazing things we have on our doorstep… We’re all guilty of doing it (us included!), but we get so caught up with life and adulting that we forget that the river’s a 5 minute walk away, or we could go and stroll around the Castle with a Brymor’s Icecream.

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Can I make an August resolution? 😂 MORE WALKS PLEASE! Because I just can’t get over how much good it did me.

Anyone else got any ‘ultimate chill and reset’ ideas?! Feel free to share!

Lynette x

 

 

Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ Helped My Anxiety

In the last few months/years, you can’t deny that there’s been much more media coverage for mental health. Which is amazing. I would never claim to be an expert, nor would I claim to be a big sufferer (it’s never been bad enough to warrant a trip to the GP), but I do get anxiety, from time to time. I didn’t realise until a year or so ago, that virtually everyone I know has been, or is, affected by anxiety in some way. Which, whilst I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, it’s quite a nice, sobering thought – to know that other people UNDERSTAND how you feel.

I don’t want to go on about it at all, because, full disclosure, I really don’t know an awful lot about it. I just know, that certain situations (or the prospect of certain situations) can really get to me. And this post isn’t going to be an earth shattering, internet breaking look at the way we live our lives, or facts and assumptions about mental health. It’s just something I’ve realised. That I’m going to leave right here.

The other night, Ed and I had just finished watching something on Netflix, and a trailer automatically started playing once the credits had started rolling: it was for Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’. It looked pretty kick ass, so we went straight ahead and popped it on.

Now we all know what Derren Brown does, so I don’t need to give too much away. But he opens the show with quite a poignant suggestion about the way we live our lives – and when I say poignant, I mean (arguably) life altering. Who’d have thought that within a minute of the show starting, Ed and I would have pressed pause, looked at each in awe and had a two minute discussion about what’d just been said. THAT’S the kind of show it is.

Anyway, many wonderful and magical things happen during the show which I won’t spoil, but what I WILL tell you is that half of it has left me with the utmost respect for his brilliance, and the other half believing in magic. It’s at the end of the show when he starts to wrap things up and takes a moment to reflect, that something really hit me – it was quite a light bulb moment.

If you don’t want spoilers, look away now.

He’d said earlier in the show (and came back to it at the end) and I quote:

 

“We tend to dwell on our past and we think that somehow defines who we are. But our pasts are just stories we tell ourselves in the present…

 

…if this were the start of a film and it said ‘Based on a true story’, you would know that the events that were going to happen in that film weren’t real events exactly as they happened…you’d be naturally skeptical…

 

…we forget to apply the same natural skepticism to the most important stories we have, the ones we tell ourselves every day about who we are. We can choose to change those stories.”

 

And THAT has really resonated for me. The wealth of my anxiety comes from
– Having had a bad experience (of something) in the past
– Dwelling on it (and probably making the event worse in my head)
– Allowing that to influence my views on it in the present.
This ultimately leads me to panicking about having to repeat the same activity in the future.

I’ll give you an example.

A few years ago I was on a bus, and felt really ill. I can’t tell you whether the two were mutually exclusive or not, but now, I don’t want to get on a bus. For fear of feeling ill. Because my learned response to that situation (having told myself a certain story for all these years, as Mr Brown said), is that I WILL feel ill again. Daft right? And I know it is. 

I’m much better these days at dealing with little moments of anxiety, therefore feel a bit more confident to attempt to combat them. For example, last summer before I had my car, I got the bus down to Mum and Dad’s. It’s only a 5 minute drive, but that was a big deal for me. And a stepping stone to getting better at it. But a couple of years ago anxiety really did pull on the reigns of living a ‘normal’ life. 

And (going back to ‘Miracle’) something about the way he explained this – the idea of telling ourselves a story – really hit home. It may sound silly, but within that minute or so of explanation, I though ‘Holy s**t, this is so me. Hang on, this is actually going to help’. And now, I feel like I have ‘IT’S JUST A STORY’ ingrained on my cranium. 

I didn’t expect that sitting down to watch a Derren Brown show would make me re-evaluate my life and the way I deal with certain situations – but it did. And don’t I wish I’d watched it a few years ago!

The show is brilliant regardless of the message, and I’m not going to say ‘OMG YOU MUST GO AND WATCH THIS NOW!’…but it really is something special

And I leave you with a gorgeous quote from the start of the show that we loved;

“LIFE SHOULD BE MORE LIKE A PIECE OF MUSIC,
AND YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DANCING.”

 

Lynette x

#DancerProbs Part 1…


There are so many, you can’t put them all into one post. Hence the title, ‘Part 1’… there will be many more to come in the future (‘:

Before I delve in, I’m going to explain what a ‘Dancer Problem’ is. When you take dancing seriously, it becomes a massive part of your life, and even when you’re not in the studio training, you can’t escape it. Sometimes a ‘problem’ is something big that you’re aware that you’re doing. Sometimes it’s something small that you don’t notice you do until someone else brings it up. Here we go. Maybe examples will make more sense…

1. Daydreaming about choreography. It can happen wherever you are, at any time of the day or night – especially when you’re listening to music. Sat on the sofa, chilling in the bath (sometimes literally if it’s that long the water gets cold), walking to work, out shopping, sat in the car… Sometimes you daydream about a piece you’ve been learning and working on in class, sometimes it’s choreographing in your head. I’m pretty sure my eyes must glaze over – but it makes time pass quickly if you’re bored!

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2. Finishing a pirouette on perfect balance and no one seeing it. When you finish a perfect double or triple, facing the front, on balance, holding your position for a couple of seconds – it’s such a feeling of accomplishment, feeling that strength and technique there. It doesn’t always happen, which is why it’s so exciting when it does! I remember back in my college days, if this happened when you were practicing individually, you’d turn around quickly to see if anyone saw. BECAUSE we all understood what an achievement it was, even if someone was stood at the other side of the room, they’d yell at you ‘I SAW THAT!’. And of course, you return the favour too if you see it. It just sucks when it happens and no one sees so you have no proof (‘:

3. You can’t get into jeans without dancing. First thing – doing multiple grande plies to stretch them out. Second thing – doing the highest jumps you can as you yank on the belt loops to pull them up. That’s on the rare occasion you’re actually wearing jeans and not dance wear…

4. Your body is never happy with temperature of the studio. It’s either freezing cold or boiling hot. There’s rarely a happy medium. And at this time of year, with the weather unable to make up it’s mind – it can be too hot one day, and too cold the next!

 

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Bird College 2014, Year 2 Degree 1 Ladies pre-ballet lesson in the ice box

5. Clicking and cracking around ‘muggles’. (In this context, muggles are non-dance folk). You need to click and crack various parts of your body multiple times a day. Those who know you, are used to it. But if you do it around people who don’t expect it, you can get some REALLY funny looks. These vary from confusion to utter disgust (‘:

I’m gonna leave it there for today. Feel free to comment if you’ve experienced some of these, or let me know if there’s some #dancerprobs of your own that you want me to include in my next instalment – ‘#DancerProbs Part 2’!

Until next time…

Lynette x

Hoppy Easter…


So I was under the impression that Easter weekend was gonna be warm. Hottest days of the year so far… I think someone was telling porkies! I’m not a fan of the heat, but I just had an idea in my head of walking down on Waterside without my coat on and grabbing a milkshake. Not needing a brolly and a cuppa (‘:

I’ve never been a big celebrator of Easter, I’m not religious and neither are my family, so it’s never been an important time. Having SAID that, now I’m grown up, I do miss the Easter egg hunts Dad used to plan for me and my brother. The amount of time he must’ve put in to all those cryptic clues each year…it was greatly appreciated, thankyou Daddy Pickering (‘: Pretty sure the best Easter egg I ever got was when Willy Wonka had loads of treats in the shops. Does anyone remember those? I know ‘Nerds’ are still around these days, but there used to be chocolate as well… and the egg I got was green and cube shaped and tasted of white chocolate and raspberry. It was amazing. Cadbury Cream Eggs are overrated 😉 Especially this year, has anyone had them with the new recipe? #disappointed


So, it’s not particularly ‘special’, but I DO happen to have a week off so I’m quite enjoying it this year! You know when you just need a bit of time for yourself and time to breathe? I’ve mentioned it before I’m sure, but it’s very hard with this job to switch off. Now I have proper time off, I can actually have time to chill out without getting distracted!
Having said that, I DID just upload a new video edit to YouTube… but they were from my Easter Workshops last week so I wanted to get it up there for the girls (and mums!) to have a look at. Here it is if you’re curious:

I LOVE a bit of Musical Theatre Jazz so having a full day of it with three different groups was so good! Massive well done to all the girls I saw, we went HARD, it was intense, but you gave me so much energy and enthusiasm. I just wish we’d had more time so we could’ve done a bit more! Watch this space, this won’t be the last 😉

If there’s anything that any of you girls particularly enjoyed, or if there’s something you’d like to give a go next time, just let me know! I already have some ideas of my own, but I aim to please and want to give you the experience you may not otherwise get 🙂
Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend gorgeous people, only a couple weeks till the next Bank Holiday 😉

Lynette x

Dance Mums Appreciation…


It’s Mother’s Day! So it seems fitting to take this opportunity to have a reminisce and a ‘praise the lord’ for our Dance Mums and Studio 3 Red T-Shirt ladies – and to take a moment to appreciate what they do for us:

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~ The amount of time spent ferrying us to and from classes, rehearsals, shows, workshops and events over the years – and all the time spent WAITING in each place for us to start/finish.

~ The aching hands from twisting our hair neatly (and quickly!) into various hairstyles for shows and exams. Sometimes in a matter of seconds at the side of the stage.

~ The tolerance they build up for hearing the same track/tracks over and over again as we practice for an upcoming show/exam/competition.

~ The countless hours spent darning our pointe shoes when we’re young.

~ The expense… it ain’t a cheap hobby! 

~ The shoulder to cry on when you’ve had a bad day/rehearsal and you just need to vent your frustrations. 

~ The full length shows she sits through, just to watch you in one number. 

~ The 500 mile round trips to drive you to summer schools/auditions. IMG_1871.JPG

(A special one for my Mama P) 
~ Being organisation Queen and keeping me in check and on track when I’m in a panic and flapping about a quick change or misplaced shoe.

Despite all that – the fact that we get to spend so much time with our mums is amazing. To all the Mums out there, including my own – we love you. We really do, and we appreciate everything you do for us, even if we don’t tell you all the time. We’re sorry for any time we’ve lost our temper with you on show day, and promise as soon as we’re old enough, we’ll sew our elastic and ribbons on ourselves. We’d be lost without you. And of course, thankyou to all the Dance Dads and Dance Grandparents too! You are EQUALLY as wonderful (but the mums got the bigger shout out coz its their day today). 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!

Lynette x

Performance Peevs…


I love a theatre trip. Who doesn’t. Especially when you’re part of/trained in the industry. But do you know what (and I’m sure I’m not the only one here), but since training, I’ve found that I’m so overly critical of anything I see. It’s rare that I can sit and watch a piece of theatre without ripping it apart, finding fault in the performance. It’s usually only small things, and things I’m sure go unnoticed most of the time. But as a trained dancer, it’s easy to critique if you see someone fall out of a pirouette or if something goes wrong with the set.

Of course, on the flip side, being a performer too, I know it’s rare that a run of a show will go perfectly. We all have off days. And sometimes problems with set and props are unavoidable. My point is, when I was younger, I would leave the theatre in absolute awe. It’s very rare that that happens now. Which is a shame. 

curtains

And nothing can ruin your theatre experience more than annoying audience members. Especially those sat near you. If you go to the theatre, you’re going to watch a piece of art. You should be considerate of a) the other people around you sat watching, and b) (and arguably most importantly), the performers slogging their guts out on the stage. They’ve worked themselves into the ground since they could walk to get to this point, this is their job – show some respect? 

  • Rattling sweets – SHUSH. Eat before or after or in the interval. Are you in the park or on the beach? No. So it’s not the time for a picnic.
  • Phones – either seeing someone use it or hearing it go off. Put it on silent.
    Put it away.
  • Light up earrings (a festive one) – its lovely that you’re feeling the spirit of the season. But it’s not YOU that can see them, everyone else can. So, unless you’re sat on the back row, these constant flashing lights are at eye level of the people behind you and beside you. Kindly save the twinkles for another time.
  • Talking to your neighbour – you’re making a noise, being rude AND blocking my view of the stage. Shhhhhh.
  • Unnecessary clapping – a 10 second musical interlude as the set changes isn’t an invitation to start clapping along. Especially if you’re the only one doing it.
  • Heckling – 2 minutes into ‘The Full Monty’, someone on my row shouted out ‘GET YER KIT OFF’. Although, in this instance, the lady in question may have just been offended by the appalling attempt at the Yorkshire accent. Honestly, if you’re coming to the centre of Leeds, with a Yorkshire show – you have to have the accent absolutely nailed. So I take that one back, Madame, whoever you are. Well done. 

Please. If you’re reading this, don’t be one of these people. Coz (in the words of Liam Neeson). I will find you. And I will kill you.

Lynette x

A Step Back in Time…


It’s funny isn’t it, how a certain sight, sound or smell can instantly transport you back to another time, to a specific memory. Sometimes a memory you didn’t even know existed. 

Over the past couple of years, seeing a programme or film on telly has suddenly taken me back to being a kid – it’s hard to explain the feeling you get, a bit of a warm fuzzy realisation….? Brambly Hedge, Percy the Park Keeper and Camberwick Green, are the main TV programmes I’ve happened across. Wow. Please tell me I’m not the only one to remember these? 

It’s the same with music, especially as a dancer. We hear SO much music over the years, especially if you started training as soon as you learned how to walk. Some songs are obvious ones – songs that you really loved rehearsing and performing to, or associate with a certain person or event. But some music you don’t even think about, it’s only when you hear it years later that it gives you goosebumps.

Last week, it happened massively. I was covering an evening at Studio 3 and had the chance to teach 3 classes of Riverdance. I’ve always loved Irish, my first solo I made up for the Choreography Competition when I was 7 was ‘Cry of the Celts’ from Lord of the Dance. I really missed it (Irish) when I went away to train, but that was 5 1/2 years ago, I guess I got used to not doing it – I’d forgotten until Thursday how much I love it, the style, the music.  

Dancing and teaching those was a weird experience. Total role reversal. But I loved it. Especially when ‘Reel Around the Sun’ came on. Any of you who danced at Studio 3 know that dance. And the intense music in the introduction. The girls in the class even said how much that piece of music gets their heart racing. And it’s true. Yes we love it at the time, but when you hear it years later and still remember all the choreography too…that’s one intense feeling.

I love that feeling of nostalgia. I always have, it just makes me really happy. I’m looking forward/hope for more moments like that 🙂

Lynette x

P.S. It’s Christmas show week this week, if you’re on Instagram, give me an add (lynette_s3dance) for behind the scenes on rehearsals, prep and show day madness – there’s gonna be a lot of drama and festive fun 😉 

I Can Hear the Bells…


So, Tuesday afternoon I get in from a meeting and have a couple of hours to lesson plan before I turn on my heel and head back into town to work. So, motivated head on, I bypass the kitchen (yeh, I know…!) and head straight upstairs. Now, some of you will know, when I’m walking ANYWHERE, I have my earphones in. Fairly loud, not enough to deafen me like we did when we were teens, but you know, loud enough to drown out the world. So I didn’t notice the delicate ‘bips’ of the house alarm going off. 30 seconds later, I’m just about at my room and I hear some kind of alarm thing. Puzzled, look around, take out an earphone… YEP. The burglar alarm is wailing, full blast, for the whole world to hear – I leg it back along the landing, down the stairs, turn back on myself down the hall to get to the alarm box to put in the code. I don’t think I’ve ever run so fast in my life. Apologies to any of my neighbours who were disturbed. Although, having said that, it was 2pm. It’s not like it was 6:30am. Like the last time I did it…

earphones-1

So with alarms in mind, I have to share with you the couple of alarm related incidents that have happened at theatres. These are different theatres and happened years apart. I guess when you spend so much time in and around them, it’s only a matter of time before a bit of drama happens.

Dry Ice
The first fire alarm incident of my career happened at Studio 3’s annual show, Dance Krazy at Harrogate International Centre. I’m pretty sure it was 2006, please correct me if I’m wrong (if anyone can remember that is, we were only in our mid teens)! So we were all ready to go, we were standing by in the wings for the opening number – and the fire alarm goes off. Now, it was quite a while ago so it’s hard to remember in exact detail, but I didn’t think it was real. You know, as you do, how many times have you been somewhere, heard an alarm and looked around for assurance it was an accident? We’d be a nightmare in an actual fire, back at college they would test the alarm weekly so it became fairly normal to hear it over the plinky plonk of the piano as you did your battement glissés.
Anyway, back onto topic. They started evacuating the audience which is when we were told we needed to make our way outside.
So there we all are, outside, at night, in February – we were in jazz pants and a top. It was not warm. The rest of the school was ready for the ballet so were stood around in leotards and tights! The poor little ones must’ve been freezing. And do you know why the fire alarm went off? Because they pumped too much dry ice onto the stage (smoke, for any of you non-theatre-speaking folk reading this). They started pumping the stuff onto stage 30 minutes before the curtain. 30 MINUTES! Is it any wonder the fire alarms thought it was real smoke?! Thankfully I’ve not come across any further problems with dry ice and fire alarms – but there’s always time…

smoke
Image taken from Dance Krazy 2006

Fire Doors
HSAP’s Footloose in 2010 at Harrogate Theatre. Again, the alarm went off and we didn’t know what was happening, whether to go out into the cold or not. But we did, in full costume, as we were about 5 minutes away from starting the show. The firemen came. I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but it was something to do with a fire door being open and dust from the lights floating…somewhere…? Though a couple of the girls were convinced they’d left their straighteners on that had started a fire 😉 I’m not clear on the details (maybe someone can fill me in), but there’s nothing that throws you off your game and pre-show warm ups/rituals like being stood outside in the cold and the rain.

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Firemen come to our rescue as we evacuate the theatre

Main moral of the story… Don’t go wild with dry ice. And always check your straighteners/tongs are switched off.
Oh, and take your earphones out as soon as you get in the house…

Lynette x