Life after “So You Think You Can Dance” by Bianca Revels

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Remember Bianca Revels, first tap dancer to make it onto So You Think You Can Dance? I’ve known her since she was about 14 years old. She was one of my Queens when I directed pageants years ago and I have watched her from afar as she transitioned from a young lady into a neew mom. What has she been up to lately? Take a look….

This has been a constant question I’ve been asked since my departure from the show so let me explain it using three words, my life began. Since the show I have had the pleasure of traveling all over the world, pursuing my dreams. I’ve gone from one extreme to the next, from living in China for six months where I got to hang out with macaques monkeys on Monkey Island, where I almost died in traffic (the cars have the right away), and  performing in front of millions of people was an everyday job, to driving an 8 million dollar yacht around the Sydney. Australia Opera House after performing in front of thousands of screaming Rihanna fans.

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Life as a professional dancer for me has been a memorable, life changing roller coaster ride filled with lights, laughter, and mind blowing moments I will forever be grateful for.  And with all of these experiences came lots of mental, physical, and emotional growth. I went from a young 20 year old, fresh in the industry representing my city (Detroit) on a national television show, to now being a 25 year old woman who has had the pleasure of performing for some of the most iconic musical figures while navigating myself through what I have to say is the beginning of my forever.

No one ever told me that life off of the stage would be just as gratifying and just as difficult as life onstage. Even if they did I wouldn’t have believed them. The journey my life is now taking has not only shaped me spiritually, but I am standing in the present moment more fulfilled than ever before. I am not just a dancer, or tap dancer. I am defined by so much more.

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I have been able to explore so many different interests that to be honest I didn’t appreciate or pay attention to while competing in the rat race I call Hollywood. Even though there is no feeling like walking out onstage behind Mary J. Blige, Neyo, Jennifer Lopez, etc., I felt that it wasn’t enough for me to have all of these memorable encounters and not give back. I knew that I had more to offer others than what they simply experienced from my performances on stage.  My goals now are to use my talents and blessings to impact young people in an inspirational way.

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Aside from continuing my dancing career, I am starting a new chapter in my life by becoming a mother. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on July 18th, 2014.  A lot of people have asked me how I will continue in the entertainment industry with becoming a new mom? My response , watch me and watch how God works! I will be promoting and selling my original art pieces, continuing to teach world-wide, and documenting all of these new ventures along the way on my website/blog. 

Life is moving in a different direction at a whole new pace for me but I am grateful, humbled and I couldn’t ask for anything more. So when people ask me what  life is like after So You Think You Can Dance all I can say is, it’s better than before it.

Follow Bianca’s journey on her new blog Bianca’s Rhythm and on Facebook.

Monday Rant: When It’s Time to Show Folks The Exit

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I’m flabbergasted yawl. I’m an Ohioan from birth and from time to time you will hear it come out. My mind has been spinning lately from the actions of people I have found myself engaged with now and in the past.

And they are all teaching me a lesson in one way or another. It has become a bit overwhelming so I need to vent, release, and move on because the stress is building and I can’t let it take anymore power.

Who was that who said people may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you make them feel?

Let me first start by saying that my memory is horrible. I have to write everything down. If I see you after meeting you previously and forget your name, please don’t take it personal. I am bad with names but usually not with faces. I meet a lot of people in various settings and find it hard to recall at times.

One reason I don’t gossip is because I can never remember the story to retell it. I messed something up one time as a kid, it got back to her, and I lost a friend. I learned my lesson and I didn’t feel good about what I did. So I stopped a long time ago. #LessonLearned

But this post isn’t about gossip. It’s partly about how some people have made me feel lately. I have some very lovely friends in my circles who have been in my life for sometime. They love me for who I am and not what we can do for each other. They are genuine friends and when you’re in the world I am in, you need genuine friends.

For those of you that have decided you just don’t have time for people anymore, well it’s your loss. Regardless of your personal and professional growth in life, the same folks you toss to the side on your climb up will in fact  remember how you made them feel. Forever.

Any of these folks in your life?

1. People who have reached a level of celebrity in their industry and forget how you were there in the beginning. #WeArentGoodEnoughHuh

2. People who immediately judge you based on a single conversation and don’t feel you are on their level professionally. #YouAintAllThatEither

3. People who you’ve worked with in the past keep information from you because they simply don’t want to help you with necessary resources or information. #NotSharingYourHairStylist

4. People who pass judgement based on what they read on Facebook without calling you to ask, “What did you mean by that?” #SplainThatPlease

5. People who simply say, “I don’t like you” without giving the reason why leaving you wondering what YOU did to them…especially when you rarely speak. #Really?

I have to remind myself that not all relationships are meant to last. It takes work on both ends and if you’re not maintaining it, it’s going to fade. One of my bridesmaids was happy enough to share her engagement with me but never invited me to her wedding.   #What’sThatAbout

I am realizing that people will be people. It’s a part of life and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m going to have to learn to appreciate people who show me who they are. It will keep the guesswork and hurt feelings down.

I will simply remain who I am, remain cordial, and continue to keep my mind focused on what’s really important in my life. #GodFamilyRealFriends

Vagina Cookies For Your 2nd Grader’s Class Anyone?

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Photo Credit: Elite Daily

Celebrating the vagina in 2nd grade is not what most normal parents are teaching. I would hope not anyway. Most girls know what it’s called but do they know what it looks like?

I would think at this stage the girls know where it is and that it’s where pee pee comes from, which is okay for now, and that no one is to touch it.  They can learn the particulars at a later time. A MUCH later time. #scared

My daughter will anyways.

This mom who went a little too far in pushing the sex ed talk and curiosityup a few years needs to be evaluated in every way. What makes her think this is okay?

While it’s certainly one for PTA gossip and blogger fun, no mommy hug for her in this cookie thing.

I now appreciate my school districts ban on outside food.

Mom Bakes Vagina Cookies for 2nd grade class

What I’m Seeing & Doing While Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard

It’s Illumination this week in Martha’s Vineyard and we’re here with two other families having a great time. We’ve been friends for some time, and all have kids around the same age.

If you’re familiar with the movie “Inkwell” then you know a little something about Martha’s Vineyard. The President and his family also vacation at The Vinyard annually. However, we have yet to cross paths with POTUS and FLOTUS but their presence is definitely being felt.

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After a 45 minute ferry ride from Falmouth, MA we were on historical land. The kids enjoyed the ferry ride and didn’t complain once. The sights keep their attention, there were snacks, and the option to go inside from the cool air. Perfect combination for smoothie sailing. I preferred riding outside. I felt every wave while indoors eating clam chowder, which was delish by the way.

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If you’re planning to travel to Martha’s Vinyard during Illumination Week, plan early. We made our ferry reservation back in January and they were pretty booked then. You should book a house now as well. They one we booked fits 12 but was not up to par for many reasons. We made it work but felt baited and switched and will definitely give the owner a less than royal review.

Thus far, we have been to The Black Dog souvenir store for shirts and other paraphernalia commemorating our vacation. After, we stopped by Mad Martha’s for the BEST brownie hot fudge Sunday and other ice cream flavors. OMG!!!!

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Both the Black Dog and Mad Martha’s can be found on Circuit Avenue along with other shopping, food, and entertainment. There’s even an arcade!

Tip: There’s a Black Dog outlet and kids stores behind Nancy’s in Vinyard Haven/Oak Bluffs.

The beaches are clean and most have easy parking. However, we tried to pull up to what is known as Long Point/Hidden Beach and parking was filled at 1:15 p.m. Get there early. We have concluded that State Beach is calmer than South Beach but State is rocky. We felt South was safer for kids but we are still touring various beaches So check back for an update.

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We have been cooking family dinners nightly thus far, but will soon sample one of the more famous restaurants before the week is out. Monday was Spanish night, Tuesday was Soul Food night, Wednesday will be left overs and the remaining days will be BBQ, couples night out, pizza, and clean the fridge night.

Tip: There is a YMCA in Vinyard Haven with a skate park, pool, and playground for kids.

Illumination is the 3rd Wednesday in August which was a cute event. The word is to arrive early because parking is hard. It was crowded, but parking is available steps away for just $10 in a large, open, grassy lot.

Lights adorn what is known as Gingerbread Village illuminating the night. The houses look unreal but they are definitely real and ave residents living in them. 

The kids should love it. It’s all for them, isn’t it?

Have you been to Martha’s Vinyard? What are your “to do’s for kids and couples?

What Do You Mean I Can’t Take My Son Into Lady’s Room?

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The kids and I went to our local pool the other day. I hadn’t noticed this sign before and now that my son is 6 years old, of course it stood out.

So far, he hasn’t had to use the loo at the pool but one day it will happen. Right now while in public I take him into the restroom with me. Of course when my husband is with us, he goes in with dad.

I don’t think my daughter has ever gone into a public restroom without me and she’s 8. But to send my little guy into the loo without me at his age just isn’t happening.

Yes, he can go on his own but as a mom I would be very nervous. I’m not saying there are a host of nutbags in my community, but I would rather err on the side of caution. We do receive multiple sex offender notices of folks moving in or into nearby zip codes which is the law (everywhere I think) during the school year so who knows who is moving in during the summer. (Find this link under the Valley Stream link in the menu bar above).

I just think if family institutions like pools and our closest YMCA (where I also ignore the sign because the number of kids changing into swim gear outnumbers changing rooms) make such rules they should also provide family restrooms as well for parents like me who simply ain’t havin’ it.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Spike Lee On Fashion Culture Panel for New Era Heritage Series Baseball Caps

I’m excited to announce that I did a guest post on Mommy Factor who I met earlier this year online and finally in person. She needed someone to cover a pretty cool event and given that the kids were off in OH, I had the time and a fresh NYC Metrocard!  I just wish I had known about the 25th anniversary of “Do The Right Thing” held in Brooklyn just the weekend before.  Darn!

Here’s my recap and be sure to check out Mommy Factor in the meantime.

As a fan of Spike Lee’s very first film and on, I had no idea he would have such an impact upon the fashion behind baseball caps. Yankee fans will now be able to add to their collection a wool, leather or wool 59/50 red Yankees cap.

Back in the ’90s, film writer Spike Lee simply wanted a red cap to match his red down Yankee jacket. They couldn’t be found in stores so he had the audacity to call up former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner on a whim and ask him to make one. Lee said it took the sports giant a day or so to call him back with a response. He said yes, but not before he checked with the New Era folks who have now been making caps for baseball teams for four generations.

It’s said that Steinbrenner, known as a traditionalist then, said if it’s good for New Era, it’s good for the Yankees, then it’s good for baseball.

Continue reading…

Tips to Help Moms Prepare To Return to Work #HowSheDoesIt

 

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A few months ago, I announced on my Facebook page that I was going to start a series for moms who have been home with the kids for a few years with the desire to return to the working world.  Women who want to work from home part or full time, do consulting work, temporary work, or whatever category you want to fit in.

But in the back of your mind, do you find it a little difficult to understand or believe that you can make working life with children sing in harmony while keeping your sanity?  All too often I hear of stressed moms who BEG me to stay home. Moms who remind me of how good I have it.  The thing is that I feel as if it’s time now to get paid for the work I do given that my youngest is in Kindergarten.  There’s no reason for me to not be able to work, right?  Continue reading