Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jessica + Jimmy

Pasadena + La Canada, CA

Jessica + Jimmy met for the first time on the dance floor, salsa dancing together.  To dance as a pair is the ultimate experience of give and take.  You must always be willing to let your partner lead, and then reciprocate, to step back as your partner steps forward, to feel the subtleties of balance, to support and then give over, to move completely in sync.  There is so much to learn about life from dancing with someone, and it is no surprise that these two found that immediate attraction, bond, and trust on the dance floor.  When two people move as one, there is nothing more captivating.  

With their story in mind, I wanted to capture this love of dance throughout their wedding day.  With joyous friends + loving family from near and far at their side, it was a fun filled weekend full of local festivities.  Not to mention their wedding day surprised us all with billowing storm clouds, sun and rain and to top it off, a rainbow of all things!

Take a glimpse into Jessica + Jimmy's romantic California style wedding...

Dress: BHLDN
Hair + Makeup: LuxeLab Pasadena
Venue: The Thursday Club, La Canada
Event Planner:  Diana Phillippi - DiMadeline and Company
Catering: Claud & Co
Cake: Lark Bakery
Bouquets & Boutonnieres: Falynn Thompson - Flawless Weddings and Events
Florals: Jessica Martone + DiMadeline and Company
Band: Punta Cartel
DJ: Noel Severino

Friday, May 13, 2016


Hear how Texas dancer Cooper finds balance in her day to day NYC life, the importance of winter gear, and why she finds working with beginner dancers incredibly valuable... 

Working as a dancer is extremely demanding.  How do you fuel your busy days in NYC? 

I normally start my day off with a protein shake or a smoothie of some sort. It's light and filling and easy for being on the run. Most mornings I'm heading out to an audition and it's nice to just have something to take with you and drink during your commute. Throughout the day you can normally find me snacking on various fruits and veggies and way too many m&m's haha!  Apples and peanut butter are my go to power snack. I try to eat a salad a day and throw as many different colors into it as I can. I also chug so. much. water. It's just so important to stay super hydrated especially if your running from audition to class to a rehearsal etc. I also just recently started this program called Advocare which has made a huge difference in my energy levels throughout long dance days and just getting through my busy days in general. I'm also a HUGE fan of cross training. It helps prevent injury but also can help you recover from injury faster. I dance so much which is great but I think it's super important to strengthen your muscles in other ways than just through dancing. Pilates and Yoga are my favorite ways to help strengthen your muscles but will help keep them long and lean. Swimming does the same thing and works your stamina and I do that on occasion. 

From a mental standpoint, I think that it's super important to have something you're involved in outside of the dance industry. It adds a sense of balance into your life that you don't get otherwise. Reading has always been a way for me to one get some quiet time for myself, but also is something that I find super relaxing.  I'm also super involved in my church and have found that it's given me a different perspective on various things both in the dance industry as well as out of it which again adds some much needed balance into my life. 

One of the things I love about NYC is the shear amount of people you come across in a day.  Have you crossed paths with anyone in the last month who has influenced, or changed you in some way? 

I can't say that I have one specific person in mind however over the past couple months I've had the chance to assist a mentor and dear friend of mine in teaching a few of the Absolute Beginner Workshops at Broadway Dance Center. The people who are involved in this workshop series have either danced before and never kept up with it for whatever reason, just dabbled once or twice in a class, or have never once stepped foot in a dance studio. I honestly think that they are some of the most inspiring people. I learned and was inspired in so many different ways while I was working with them. They were so committed to the craft and were genuinely coming to class because they wanted to better themselves both as a dancer and as a person. They weren't coming to prove that they could execute the choreography perfectly, or to video it 50 million times to put on the internet. They came because they loved what they were doing and wanted to challenge themselves to try something new. This was just such a huge reminder to me to just push myself and take classes in styles that I'm not super comfortable in, and to be honest that can be a scary thing to do, but you will only benefit from it in the long run. 

What was the most surprising thing to you when you first came to NYC that you wish you had known ahead of time? 

The first thing that came to my mind when reading this question was winter gear. LOL!  I grew up in Texas and then after I graduated I moved to LA where I never had to worry about snow or winter for that matter. So, when I moved to NY I just bought a random winter coat and was like oh this will perfect.... ummm no. You need different coats/layers for different days of winter. I also was convinced that I could manage trekking my way through blizzards in just my sneakers. I was so wrong in that department as well. You definitely need both rain and snow boots. It seems so silly now but it was a very real life struggle my first year here. I'm happy to report year two went significantly better. 

Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your life in NYC - we look forward to seeing much more of you Cooper! You rock lady!! Be sure to catch her at Broadway Dance Center where she loves to assist some fabulous choreographers including Lisa Stevens, Lizz Picini, and Mark Goodman. 

Makeup + Hair by Ashley Hughes