Sunday, April 2, 2017

IDC, Dance, and Me

Hey Stars, Hannah here :)

 This is going to be a fairly long, sappy, mushy post about dance, Illuminate Dance Company (often abbreviated to IDC) and what it's helped me through. Either leave now, or get trapped in my emotional weirdness. LOL

 Dance is so powerful; it is like a wordless language. Going into my first class at my current studio, I was 9 or 10, and absolutely TERRIFIED. I didn't want to get out of the car. That year I was in a very, very small class; 2 girls (one of them being me, and the other being my friend, C).
 My dance teacher was amazing and I still talk to her to this day. I'd actually met both my teacher and C before from different places, and soon we eased into a pretty okay rhythm.
 Little did I know, dance would soon take over my life!

 I began to LOVE my dance classes. Eventually I had a spinal fusion, and for a while I wasn't able to go to class and I hated every second of it. Soon I regained my ability to dance and we as a class performed my favorite dance I've ever learned- Dead Come to Life.
 Then, around April or May 2014-ish, we found out that the studio my sister and I go to were starting a junior dance company (we all looked up to the 'older' dance company) and I was so thrilled.
 We auditioned in July, a small audition- just nine of us- and soon the 9 of us were thrust into a brand new idea of 3-hour long practices, lots of costume changes, and trying to in-sync. We were actually in a DANCE COMPANY. It was amazing and shocking and honestly kind of terrifying, but I still look back on that beginning year very fondly.
 I remember our first performance- we had just one dance. We did... not so great, but it was a learning experience for everyone involved and we had a ton of fun. That was the only Illuminate performance my dad ever got to see so it holds a special place for that, too. I remember looking at my mom and dad on the ride home from that first performance and just hoping they were proud of us.


 Dance has brought me so much pure happiness and contentment, but it hasn't always been easy. I used to be extremely, horribly jealous, despite being in a Christian company where our main goal is to share God's word and His love. I got jealous a lot, but I've really only ever told one person about that, so dear readers, you are getting a flash into the real-life emotions of yours truly.
 And it's not been without pain, either, but you learn to pace yourself. Pain isn't healthy, but pushing yourself to be your best is. There's always a bit of a stretch before you break through. I'm not as jealous anymore (I still get jealous, but to the point I don't really notice it anymore. It's petty), and dance helps me so much.
 I love feeling so tired I don't think I can stand after practice. I love pushing my limits and learning new things to do with my body. I love performing and feeling the stage lights or, in some cases, the sun, on my face. I love choreographing and learning choreography. I love being around my dance family. I have 1 biological sister whom I dance with, and 12 unbiological sisters, as well as many mentors/friends.

 We've done a few out-of-state events and a ton of in-state events, anywhere from benefit concerts to aide in the fight against human trafficking, to Project Dance events, to an event at a school. I remember one time clearly. Project Dance Detroit in June 2015, where it was pouring rain, we weren't able to wear our shoes because they were wet, and our music stopped; but we continued dancing. And it was amazing.


 Dance gave a new meaning to my life. I've gotten so much closer to God, to my family, to my friends, even to myself, with a new outlet for whatever I'm feeling. I've experienced so much with and through dance. Physical healing, spiritual and emotional healing, loss, gain, pain, and most importantly, love.
 I can't begin to imagine my life without all of these lovely people. Whether we're performing in Michigan or New York or even just here in Ohio, we're doing a mission. We're teaching others what God is all about, and I'm learning things all the time, as well.

 I've got so many close friends and met one of my best friends through dance. I'm a trainee now, so I dabble both in IDC and the older, original version of the company. We hang out outside of dance (although we usually end up, y'know, dancing,) and we love each other like a family. We've grown from 9 girls who barely knew each other to 14 close friends in a matter of 2 1/2- 3ish years. We're coming up to the end of our third year of Illuminate and I can tell change is coming. Many of the original members are getting older, but one day, we will be the older company. We'll be mentoring the new Illuminate-ees.

 But no matter what happens, we'll always cherish the memories of this dance company and everything that came along with it.

Love you all.
Hannah Song

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)



Hello, Stars!

 Today I'm posting a review of the new live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. I went this past Saturday and it was... wow.
 I've broken this review down into sections so that way I can give you my thoughts without too many spoilers. And please remember this is coming from a teenage Christian girl's standpoint, so anything you get annoyed with, feel free to politely comment but these are my views and I'm not changing them.
 Anyways, let's begin!

Casting
9.5/10
 All of the cast did amazing- Emma Watson played a fantastic Belle, and the casting for the other characters, like Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, etc., was FABULOUS. I have to admit, I was not sold on Dan Stevens as the Beast or Luke Evans as Gaston at first, but they definitely did a good job, and Josh Gad did great as LeFou. The casting was also very racially diverse, for being a Disney movie.
 I did take off 1/2 of a point because there was just something that felt off, but in all honesty, I can't quite explain it.

Costuming and Set Design
10/10

 The costumes were gorgeous! I pay a lot of attention to the outfits characters wear in television shows and movies, and I can't think of a single complaint, other than Belle's yellow gown is fairly different than the animated version, but absolutely gorgeous nonetheless.
 I'm always impressed in big scenes with the amount of effort put into costumes and you could tell they wasted no expense on the amazing outfits in this movie. I was seriously impressed.
 Set wise, can I just say... WOW! It was gorgeous. The village was fascinating, and the Beast's castle was amazing. I seriously have no remarks or complaints. It was simply fantastic.

Soundtrack
8/10
 The soundtrack was amazing. They added some songs that weren't in the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast, but it added to the magic and just gave a touch to the movie that made me love it even more.
 I did take away a few points, however, because (and before anyone gets upset, I KNOW I couldn't have done any better, so don't make that argument) you could really clearly tell how much auto tune they used for Emma's singing voice. It was still beautiful, though, and it was still a delight to listen to.

Story line / Plot
10/10
 The story line was perfect. It stayed true to the original Disney version of the story and added some parts that flowed through the story nicely and gave more depth to a ton of characters and just the overall plot in general; but I won't go into detail... I don't want to spoil it for you!
Other Notes
n/a
 I know a lot of people are boycotting this movie but there is nothing overly objectionable in it. In all honesty, I think you'd see worse things by watching The Little Mermaid or something because the Mermaids wear bras and the mermen are shirtless. If you are worried about your kids, coming from someone who comes from a pretty cautious family and tries to avoid anything bad myself, I had no problems simply being a person or being a Christian and going to see this movie.
Overall
9.5/10
 This movie was amazing and I highly recommend it. It's breathtakingly beautiful and just a really enjoyable movie in general. I can't stress how amazing everything was put together, and my family plans on going to see it again; I suggest you do too.
Love you all,
Hannah Song

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Disney World, Dance, and Doggos

Hey Stars!

 It's been quite awhile since I posted last. Since right after the U.S. Presidential election, actually. But life has been pretty decent here lately. Here's some of what's been going on :)

 Lots of dance stuff, which of course, is super fun. I'll be headed to New York next month for Project Dance NYC .
 We also did a short, somewhat informal and educational performance at a local school, and an amazing all-day dance workshop at one point too :)
 One of our biggest events of 2017 so far has been Let It Shine, which is an annual concert we do. This is one of the pieces we performed, Let There Be Light.


 This is a picture from another dance we did, Turn Up Your Light (photo creds: Jamie Mumford).


 We also adopted a doggie! His name is Jake and he's my little buddy. He's part chihuahua, part papillion, all goofball. lol


 I also had a birthday party! It was a ton of fun :D Although I invited so many people we ended up having to have two different cakes and one of those huge ice cream pails, lol. The two pictures below are an attempt at a re-done photo and the original one with two of my besties (we've been friends since we were super little).


 This is a photo of all of my (teen/tween) friends at my party.


 And that is a few of us goofing off :)

 So, yeah, we went to Disney World! It was a ton of fun :) I'll leave you with a few pictures of that and then I'll end this post. I'm going to try to post more (and make a more in depth one about Disney) but I can't make any guarantees.


Signing off,
Hannah Song

Friday, November 11, 2016

{regarding the past few days + years in America}

Hey Stars,

These past three days have really saddened me. These past few years have saddened me. Our world is so full of chaos; and America- a very prevalent place- is full of people acting like fools.
I've been praying and thinking about this, especially as the election here in the U.S. has gone on and finished. And I've cried multiple times over this. I try not to cry, I try not to show that out in public, but this country has drawn me to tears.

Why are we so against each other? It's a constant battle of Republicans and Democrats, conservative and liberal, who's rioting and who's not, etc, etc, etc. and it's so tiring. This country is tearing itself apart from the inside out.
We've become so hateful towards our own brothers and sisters, whether it be over politics, other social issues, or just life. If we took a step back and thought for awhile about what we're doing, we might come to the realization that we're all more alike than we want to think.

We're all human, we all make mistakes, we all screw things up sometimes. I, for one, know I screw things up a lot. But I don't start rioting and protesting over ridiculous things. I don't want to say politics don't matter, because they do, but once they start becoming an idol that we're too focused on to love and ground one another, we've peaked on an issue.
Not bringing my own views into this, I've seen Trump supporters completely tearing down Clinton supporters, Clinton supporters trashing Trump supporters, and people yelling and fighting, and apparently there's violent rioting and protesting going on (I've been trying to avoid the news as much as possible here recently so I don't claim to know exactly what's going on).

I have lots of young, little friends (think 11 or so and below) and two siblings (12 and 10 years old respectively). I don't want them growing up in a country, in a world, that has lost it's will to listen, love, and discuss in a calm manner, agreeing to disagree and knowing when to stand up and when to sit down.
These kids are giving and have given me so much; kids haven't yet learned how to hate and fight with such passion. When have we, as teens and adults, lost our love? Lost our kindness, our peace?

I'll be able to vote come the next election in four years. I'll be 18, which is exactly the age you can begin to vote. And honestly? I'm dreading it, especially if that election is going to be anything like this one. Which is so, so, so sad because I love this country. I love the people in it. I love our freedoms; our freedom of religion and speech, especially. We take these things for granted. But I'm not sure I'm going to want to vote and be involved in all of these hurt, hate, and anger that's ruining relationships.

We've done this to ourselves, America.
We need a change.
Our government needs a change.
But we can't change this country, this country's government, and the way other people view this country, until we've began to change ourselves inside of it.

I can make a difference.
You can make a difference.
We can make a difference, but we have to work together. And right now, fellow Americans, we are not doing that. We are hurting each other, we are killing each other, we are tearing our families apart over our ridiculous, petty arguments.

We've lost our line of, "land of the free, home of the brave," because we're treading all over each other. I'm not even sure if I can take our songs and oaths and phrases seriously anymore. What are we doing to ourselves?

So, please, I'm begging you; calm down and start loving each other. Life is a two way street and we're going opposite ways, but at some point you're going to meet in the middle of the road, at least briefly. Life is not meant to be spent alone, but that's what we're doing; causing ourselves so much pain and heartache over ridiculous things so that no one wants to be with each other.

This is not a message of hopelessness, of anger, of upset and sadness- no. This is a message of hope! of strength! This is a declaration of love. I hope you'll stand with me. I refuse to let politics, social issues, and hate drive a wedge between myself and the people I love. I refuse to let this ruin our country any further.
It is time for a change.

-Hannah Song

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

{breathe, just breathe - life update}

 Hey Stars!

 How are you all?

 I haven't posted in ages, oh my word. I'm so sorry. Life is just... exhausting right now. I'm honestly not even feeling up to posting right now, but I've got some time, so... :P

 My last post about what's going on in general life-y-ness was in August. Geez.

 I'm just going to post some things that have been going on and then probably some pictures because I'm too lazy and tired to type everything out.

 I posted about having a meeting with the lady from Barbizon in my last full-length post. It went pretty well. The interview was all kinds of stressful, but it was actually kind of fun. I'm taking the modeling/acting classes right now, and then I have to do another audition, then I'll go into placement and (hopefully) start getting jobs :D

 We're moving! :D Not very far from where we live now, but still. And we're gonna get a doggo~ I'm so excited. The little guy's name is Jake.

 We took one of our hamsters to the vet because I was worried she was sick. They ended up putting her to sleep and trimming her teeth (she's doing mostly better now). It was so funny though because she was super sleepy for the next day and a half or so.

 Dance is going pretty well. We had our first performance of this season last month and it went really well. The worship was amazing afterwards. Dancing with the older company has been really interesting. It's so much more fast-paced than the younger company. I had the opportunity to go help out at a worship workshop too, and that was totally amazing.


 This is one of our two pieces, Shine On Us.

 Speaking of dance, Project Dance New York is next year, and I've always wanted to go... I have a chance to go next year, but I need help. If you'd like to learn more and prayerfully consider donating, you can look at it here:








Okay, picture time. XD lol

 
 These are all pictures from trick or treat. My brother and I were Soos and Dipper, my sister was a Renaissance girl, my friend Syd was Harry Potter, and our other friends (not posting their picture for safety precautions) were a baseball player, a sugar skull, and a bat, respectively.

 
 This is a face swap my family's been cracking up over of my brother and our cat, Briar.


 My fam and I went to Ikea awhile back and it was so much fun. Ikea is the bomb. We got lots of cool stuff, and we got dinner at Applebee's and drinks from Starbucks. It was a good day :) (thanks, mom and grandma!)

 This is from last year when I first got my bow. I love that thing so much, man. I need new arrows, but it's great. It was almost a year ago exactly; my grandma got it for me for Christmas. :)

 I have other things I could talk about, but I'm going to leave it at that for now. Stay lovely, darlings.

Love you Stars!
Hannah Song

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sorry!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to say sorry for not posting. I'll try to post an update soon, K?

Love you all!
Hannah Song xx

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Scared?

Hello Stars~

What are you scared of?

I don't meant our physical fears. I don't mean spiders or heights or anything like that. I mean fears that terrify you to your core.

Because mine are really taking a toll on me.

I'm scared of never being good enough. I'm scared of being trapped doing something I hate for the rest of my life. I'm scared I'll never be some big name on a TV screen for one thing or another. I'm scared of having kids. I'm scared of getting married. I'm scared of life, really.

But mostly, the two things I'm scared of, are, a) not making a difference and b) going to Hell. Which really sucks, 'cause I shouldn't be scared of that. I'm a Christian, and I'm saved so I've been born again which gives the reassurance that you're going to Heaven but... there's still this little nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me I'm not good enough to go to Heaven.

Not good enough? That doesn't even make sense. Nobody is ever going to be "good enough" to go to Heaven, but God gives us Grace so we can... and lots of us will.

But yeah. Basically, I just needed to get this off my chest, and my blog's the best way to do so. Sorry for the semi-depressing post, but I just needed to talk.

Love you, Stars.
Hannah Song