It is very hard to believe that it was four years ago today on an Aussie Christmas eve that my besties (luggage mules haha) and I departed Brisbane for my big move to NYC. With all my hopes and dreams of a fabulous NYC life packed up in my five suitcases I was ready – we were dressed in business attire I might add, in hope for the first class upgrade which was great success much thanks to Mark Bonenti travel making dreams come true! In many ways it feels like yesterday that I made this life changing decision and in others I look back at my Gold Coast life like it was a dream from a very long time ago. Many people know I had always wanted to live in New York and although it had always been simply a daydream, the time in my life had come where I had to either make it happen or pocket it away for another lifetime. I really do believe that if you want something badly enough you can make it happen – I have always had the mentality that they have to pick someone for the job/opportunity/role why can’t it be you? You have to be bold and brave and go after the things that you want because nobody else is going to do it for you!
What an epic adventure these four years have been – I have certainly been living that hustling, east coast life thats for sure! It has been all I have hoped for and more and I have learnt so much about myself as a person – this was certainly, without a doubt meant to be my path. Before I discuss all the wonderful friendships and opportunities that have come my way I want to be a little philosophical here for a moment. A very important lesson I learnt is that when you move and have a “fresh start” you can’t run away from the problems you previously faced in your life – they will reappear in different ways until you face up to them no matter what country you are living in. On a lighter note, even a place like NYC becomes home – there are some days where I don’t leave my apartment and I just do normal errands like groceries…I had a friend once say to me “Do you go to the movies in New York?” The answer is YES!! It really is just like living anywhere else after awhile.
So where to start…I have my cosy little apartment on the UWS which is my haven – it is a large studio by New York standards and I have made it my own with little Aussie touches (including Vegemite in the cupboard). I love the neighborhood and I feel immediately relaxed when I enter my little piece of space. Trust me, finding a good NYC apartment is not an easy task so I feel like someone was looking out for me when I hit the jackpot with this place.
I have been so lucky to find a place in so many dance families both in NYC and across the US – the dancers, studio owners and faculty have become my family and best friends and I know they will be in my life forever. Here in NYC I have become a part of Studio L, Breaking Ground Dance Center and my first ever studio New York Performing Arts Center who have taken this Aussie on like their own. I am also really fortunate enough to teach at the legendary Broadway Dance Center – that still doesn’t feel real sometimes. Thanks to one of my favorite people Kristen Pittman I have been lucky enough to coach the American Dance Team who recently returned from Poland after massive success at the International World Dance Championships winning 4 Gold medals- so honored to be a part of their journey. I have also had the opportunity to travel the United States and the world judging with Starpower International Talent – I think I have been to more states than most Americans! I will in fact be traveling with the Star Dance Alliance to Australia in February as part of their new world wide intensive “The Ultimate Dance Workshop” All you Aussie Dancers this is not to be missed!! I have been placed on numerous conventions including Wild, Deviate, Platinum National Dance Experience and Fearless Dance Intensive – and the list goes on with all the jobs… I am so grateful for all the work that has come my way and the endless opportunities that the United States has been able to offer to broaden my horizons as a dance educator and choreographer. It has been like a crazy dream.
However it is not without the friendships I have made that I would be able to remain living here. I have met some true “soul mates” who I love and cherish. In so many ways its hard to believe I have only known them for such a short time. My friends back in Australia are the very BEST (VIPs) and so when I moved here I did not hold out hope for anything to compare to that. I feel like the luckiest person to have such amazing relationships in both countries and its even cooler that they have all started to meet each other. I have so much love in my life!
I feel like for the most part I get to have the best of both worlds living here – I get back to Australia at least twice a year and lucky for me my friends love to travel. Although social media has its many downfalls it has allowed me to stay connected to my friends and family. After my first year living here- where I didn’t go down under at all, my sister said to me when I pulled up to her house “It feels like I saw you yesterday” – I can thank FaceTime for that! This Christmas is particularly difficult because I really wanted to spend it with my nephews – they are at that cute age where Santa is on the radar and the magic of the season is seeing the joy on their faces. My best friends Mel and Katie (Kevin) have also just had little ones and it would have been so nice to share this time of year with them. However my fate with the current visa situation has me spending the festive season here in NYC and I have been very blessed share in the glorious atmosphere with some of my favorite Aussies and my US family. For now NYC is my home and I have no grand plans of making a move back to the homeland- however I still firmly believe it is the most beautiful country in the world. The three things I miss most (besides family and friends) are THE FOOD, driving and the beach. HAPPY HOLIDAYS one and all (see how American I have become ha!)