Love Earth Life Happiness.

4.29.2011

Fontys Staff

I have a very special group of people that I want to introduce to you guys....

(most of) My dance teachers here at Fontys in Tilburg, NL! -- this post is dedicated to you!

--Side note... each of these pictures were taken after the classes that they teach... so don't mind the yummy, sweaty look.--
Johnny Lloyd - Hip Hop
 I've loved this class! It has been so fun for me to have a class aside of the crazy intense classes and have a time to really have a fun time sharing my personality. It's not always easy though.. I actually didn't know this beforehand, but there is a lot of specific technique and many small things to think about in hip hop. Johnny has many great ways of breaking down these specific ideas which has helped me better understand what to focus on as a hip hop dancer.

Raymond Esterhuizen - Limon
 Ahhh Raymond. Where to even begin with this great teacher. He has such a special eye when it comes to pulling things out of you that you wouldn't expect that a teacher can find as a dancer. (If that even makes sense). I don't think there is one dancer in his class who isn't working their ass off in every class that he teaches. He has such a great respect from his students and if you ask me, he full on deserves it because of everything that he has to offer as a teacher. (There are videos of his class in an earlier post (under toets and packages or something) here in my blog.. refer there.) 
Marc Van Loon - Cunningham
 Marc is a beautiful dancer himself! I knew nothing about the Cunningham style of modern before coming to Fontys, but through Marc's class.. I feel like I gained a great insight as to what this form of modern teaches. Marc is one of the nicest people I've met and he has a LOT to offer to his students. Thank you Marc!



John Wisman - Ballet & Pointe
 Here is a teacher who has helped me build a true love for Ballet. John has a special way of pointing out small details that I've simply never noticed in myself as a dancer. Ballerina's are supposed to want to look tall and long.. I am short and not so long. He has given me many pointers on those small details that give the audience's eye the visual of looking longer. This guy knows what he's talking about.

Dirk Dumon - Butoh
The award for the master mind and creative genius goes to this guy. I have already posted about the form of Butoh.. and I have to say that Dirk is a genius in the way he has taught us this style. Dirk has the mindset of the kind of person that I hope to be someday. You can tell that he has really mastered his own mind and he is so wise in finding why things mentally happen the way that they do. One time in Butoh class, I've explained that I was on the floor crying my eyes out at the end of the class.. and even though Dirk doesn't even know me or my situations in my personal life, he was able to point out exactly what was going on for me. I found myself wondering how the heck he knew about what was going on.. it's not like I've told him or anyone else for that matter. Dirk is one wise dude.
Eddy Becquart - Dance Theater

very blurry photo of getting help from Eddy
Here is another very knowledgeable guy! I've never taken a dance theater class before and was unsure what to even expect. In Eddy's class, he based his lessons on teaching us how to get the most out of our relationship with gravity on our own and also with partnering. For the first few classes, I really couldn't grasp the idea that he was trying to teach me.. but finally, it started making sense. Eddy helped me to Realize. that you don't always have to be "the perfect dancer"... perfect lines.. perfect whatever. He helped me find myself and feel comfortable just being who I am and allowing myself to create in ways that I never have before.

Anyway.. these are most of my teachers and a little bit about each of them. :) Thought it would be fun to share!
Enjoy!

4.27.2011

Habit #1: Be Proactive

No.. I'm not about to blog about "Proactiv - face wash". Instead, this post will be about the first habit that I am going to apply in my life for the next 30 days. Being proactive. If you are wondering what I'm talking about.. this post isn't necessarily going to explain exactly what "being proactive" means, it is more-so a record for my own personal method to keep me on track and remind myself to apply this first habit. I will share a few quotes from the book that I'm reading.. (which is where the idea of the 7 habits, that I am now starting to apply in my life, comes from).

  • Face the reality that we have the power to choose a positive response in all circumstances and projections.
  • Recognize our responsibility to make things happen.
  • Our basic nature is to act, and not be acted upon.
  • What matters most is how we respond to what we experience in life. Responsibility = response-ability.
  • It's not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.
  • Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, whether physical, social, or psychological. But their response to the stimuli, conscious or unconscious, is a value-based choice or response.
  • Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose. 
  • He could decide within himself how all of this was going to affect him.
And last, (but not least) my favorite quote of them all.....
  • Whatever your present situation, I assure you that you are not your habits. You can replace old patterns of self-defeating behavior with new patters, new habits of effectiveness, happiness, and trust-based relationships.
The book gives suggestions on how to apply this habit for the next thirty days.. if you are interested in trying it out with me, read on, black swan.

  1. For a full day, listen to your language and to the language of the people around you. How often do you use and hear reactive phrases such as "If only," "I can't," or "I have to"?
  2. Identify an experience you might encounter in the near future where, based on past experience, you would probably behave reactively. Review the situation in the context of your Circle of Influence. How could you respond proactively? Take several moments and create the experience vividly in your mind, picturing yourself responding in a proactive manner. Remind yourself of the gap between stimulus and response. Make a commitment to yourself to exercise your freedom to choose.
  3. Select a problem from your work or personal life that is frustrating to you. Determine whether it is a direct, indirect, or no control problem. Identify the first step you can take in your Circle of Influence to solve it and then take that step.
  4.  Try the thirty-day test of proactivity. Be aware of the change in your Circle of Influence.


I invite anyone who is seeking to take responsibility in their lives.. anyone who is sick of having self-doubt or self-esteem issues...  or anyone who simply is searching for a better meaning in life to join me. Either by reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.. or by following along with my random updates on how I choose to apply these ideas into my life. :) Again, I have no idea if anyone will even pay attention to what I'm talking about.. if you do, feel free to ask me anything or just keep reading whenever.. like I said, this post isn't intended for an audience. It's more of a personal test. Peace out homies.

Enjoy

Churchizzo

The LDS church in Breda, The Netherlands.


During my time here in The Netherlands, I decided that I would contact the missionaries of a ward nearby Tilburg, to see where I can attend Sunday meetings and meet new people of my religion. I want to do a quick post in my blog as a tribute to my ward.. my new friends who feel like family. It has been so fun to get to know the people of this ward and I can say that I've really been learning a lot. Not only about what exactly my religion is all about, but also about myself. It's amazing how one aspect in your life can open your eyes in Realizing. how that one aspect effects many other parts in your personal and social life. This place has given me extreme ups and it has also opened my eyes to many downs.. but I want to thank not only the people of the ward but also Heavenly Father. It's safe to say that I wouldn't be able to have made it as far as I have here without the help of a higher being. Whether those who read this believe in a God or not.. I, myself, Realize. more and more every day that I really do have someone next to me in spirit whom I can lean on during great times and also when things plain and simply suck.

Meet.... the Elders.
(don't mind the incredibly awkward photo. haha.. I guess it adds somewhat of an artistic effect... or not.) These are the two missionaries who have helped me with where the heck to go to get to the church.. they've translated for me during church (seeing that it's all in Dutch).. they've given me advice.. and they've met with me a few times just to hang out and make sure I'm doing okay. I can't thank them enough for all they've done.





The missionary on the right side of the photo is Elder Taylor - from Idaho - and the missionary on the left side is Elder Owens - also from Idaho. I want to make a special note to my friend Elder Owens whom I saw for the last time here in The Netherlands (and hopefully not the last time ever) just yesterday because he has finished his two years here and will be arriving home on Friday! Well done dude, you did it! As for you Elder Taylor, I'm glad you will still be my buddy here and I'm excited to meet your new companion the Sunday after Barcelona. Yeah baby, cannot wait for Spain with Annukka and Kimmo!

Over and out blog buddies...
As always... Enjoy!

4.26.2011

Banana-Oatmeal C C Cookies

We all know that I am not good at all when it comes to cooking.. baking.. anything in the kitchen really. Tonight.. me, Annukka and Pirita had a girls night and decided to put our baking skills to a test. I've been eating healthy ever since I got here to Holland and I've been feeling much more energized throughout my day than ever by doing this.. so, when you are looking for something yummy to bake that won't totally KILL your healthiness.. maybe try these cookies out. Guilt-free.. so simple even a monkey could make them.. and they're a fun way to spend a night with the girls. :)

Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  
courtesy of weelicious.com



Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 30 Cookies) - we cut the recipe in half

3 Bananas (preferably ripe or spotty bananas)
2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup Dried Dates, pitted and chopped (we didn't use these..)
1/4 Cup Oil
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips, Walnuts or Raisins (or dark chocolate with nuts.. tasty)
1/4 Tsp Salt (we forgot this)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash bananas in a bowl, and mix in the remaining ingredients.
3. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
4. Using a mini ice cream scoop or tablespoon, place the batter onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 25 Minutes.
5. Cool and serve.


---This is me getting one step closer to being able to cook like a pro one day. I'll get there... just wait! :)

Enjoy!

4.25.2011

Butoh

My next dance project (must be shown in 2 days already).. is in the form of Butoh. Butoh is incredible. Yet very hard for me to explain. This semester I've witnessed a lot of personal weakness and also growth because of this type of dance. Since it's so hard for me to put words to it.. I'll give you an explanation from the internet and I'll show you some pictures to show you kind of the boundaries of what I am asked to do with this project.

Wikipedia's explanation of Butoh =  
Butoh (舞踏 Butō?) is the collective name for a diverse range of activities, techniques and motivations for dance, performance, or movement inspired by the Ankoku-Butoh (暗黒舞踏 ankoku butō?) movement. It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion, with or without an audience. There is no set style, and it may be purely conceptual with no movement at all. Its origins have been attributed to Japanese dance legends Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno.....

"Hiroko Tamano considers modeling for artists to be butoh, in which she poses in 'impossible' positions held for hours, which she calls 'really slow Butoh'. "



-As you can see, it's sort of strange but such a deep, self-finding process that is so personal to each individual that practices this form of dance. So far, Butoh has effected me in such a deep way that during the class... almost every time we had the class, I have experienced such intense emotions. One class this semester, right when the class ended.. I was laying on the floor literally crying my eyes out and was experiencing SUCH strong feelings in ways that I never have experienced before. (If you are interested in a deeper explanation about what I went through... ask me any time. I would be happy to try and explain it in more detail to anyone). But anyway, for this project.. we can go anywhere in the city of Tilburg that we want and our teacher is going to cycle around the city this Wednesday and watch/record/grade our performance. I have already decided my place. I will be in a cemetery here in Tilburg. This performance means a lot to me. It is going to be pretty spiritual for me.

I believe it was 2 years ago on Easter that my Grandmother past away. Her favorite color was yellow. I am kind of tying her into my mind as I will be doing my Butoh performance. I've been scared ever since we recieved this assignment because it's so... different.. so European.. so foreign to me. It's something I probably would have never done in Utah. So honestly, I've put off actually getting out and DOING it until now. Something is finally giving me the strength and courage to let go of that dang fear of just going and doing something new. Cheers to me for stopping myself from being a scaredy cat finally! Wish me luck, I'll let you know how it goes.

Easter

To start off.. I have to say, Easter this year rocked. I was smacked in the face with gratitude with being blessed enough to have a family here in Holland to take me into their home to celebrate the holiday with them as if I was their own. My mom is adorable. She had arranged a surprise specially for me! Sneaky mother.. I can't believe she managed to get it past me. I woke up Sunday morning to find out that there were 60 eggs hidden for me to search for. Each egg had a piece of candy as well as a little note from everyone in my family. (except for Cory because he was sick)- Everyone else even my niece and nephews wrote (or drew) on some paper. There were pictures from the kids, words of encouragement, inside jokes and expressions of missing and loving!

After the hunt, we enjoyed a yummy bread and hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles on bread) breakfast outside in Renate's garden.



Next up.. Painting eggs. Each of us decided that the eggs we ended up painting resembles our personality somehow. Mine is the green monster.


Next-- off to the beach! This was new for me, I've never spent Easter relaxing on a beach. This was a great time! Of course, we have our classic jumping picture.


Then, back to Renate's home for dinner out in the garden. Now this was a different experience as well. Well first off, I made some deviled eggs for them (my mom's delicious way of preparing them). For dinner we had a grill with the small handle thingies that you see in the picture below.. and you cook your own food. There were bowls of anything you wanted to cook.. things like vegetables, meats, fish, eggs for an omelet, and pancake mix. It was a fun way to do dinner, we were outside cooking, eating and talking from 5:30 until about 8:30. At first, with my "American way of eating" (as people here would call it).. I found myself thinking.. uhh, how am I ever going to get full off of tiny amounts of stuff at a time? I began struggling with patience waiting for my small portions to cook. haha. But I have to say, this is such a genius way of doing dinner. Not only do you get to make whatever you want, but you also get to socialize without having some huge amount of food on a plate (which is usually how my Easter dinner is at home). Plus, I didn't eat nearly as much as I normally would.. you'd be surprised how quickly you fill up if you take the time to eat and enjoy. After dinner, we had a fire in the garden and I was surprised to hear that they had never roasted marshmallows and they didn't even know what 'smores are! I taught them how to make the perfect 'smore :) For those of you who don't know what this is... it's a graham cracker sandwich with a golden, perfection marshmallow melted with a piece of chocolate. Apparently it's American. Learn something new every day




To end the day off, I came home and skyped with my whole family (at 2am in the morning here) while they were over at Grandma E and Grandpa Joe's home. I was able to watch them enjoy some of my favorite Dutch treats that I sent home with my mom and watched my niece and nephews do an Easter egg hunt with 340 eggs! I've been preparing all week to not cry while skyping knowing that this is my first Easter being without my family.. but I was so happy to find that instead of being sad about it, I was again... smacked in the face with gratitude and an awareness of how blessed I feel to be part of the Kougioulis family. I love my family with everything in me. I always knew I loved them.. but growing up, it was like I was scared to admit how freaking cool they really are. Being shipped off to a different country has helped me Realize. how bad ass they are. I can't say it enough. I LOVE MY FAMILY! Each and every one of them and I want the whole world to know it!

Happy Easter yall. Greetings from the little kid in Holland. :)

4.23.2011

Efteling

Yesterday - Friday - I had the chance to go to a theme park here in Holland (very close to, if not, inside of) Tilburg, called Efteling. I went with my friends from Finland - Annukka, Kimmo, Pirita.. Annukka's sister, visiting from Germany and her boyfriend.

This was a great bunch to hang out with. Such funny and different personalities, I loved it.

My favorite attractions...
  • De Vliegende Hollander - "A shadowy trip in a mysterious ghost ship."
  • Vogel Rok - "Rollercoaster in the dark."
  • Droomvlucht - "Glide through a dream world." (Annoeska's request)



Tulip season!! Yaa!

I wanna look like this guy


Efteling baby!


I've been to Disney Land and Disney World.. and Six Flags.. and Lagoon.. plenty of times so I knew what to expect when we were talking about going to an amusement park, so it was crazy for me to find out that the people that I went with had never really experienced things like this. Most of them had never even been on a roller coaster! whaat?? This made the whole day even that much more fun for me! It was eye opening for me to see how people who haven't really experienced these things as a kid responded now that they are finally getting the chance. And I gotta say, I'm pretty dang proud of them for getting past their fear of just getting on that roller coaster. haha. I tried to see the park through their eyes instead of thinking.. ah I've been here, done this.. it really made all the difference in my day. Dude things can be so much more lively and entertaining if you look at everything as if it is your first time experiencing it, no matter what the situation. You'd be surprised at how much your senses open and the way that you can truly enjoy things. So, with this being said.. my "inspirational thought" for today, (maybe this is a good one to hear especially before the Easter holiday)... try going a whole day like a child, as if you are using your senses for the first time. Maybe you will get a cool, new experience?

Also.. Happy Easter weekend everybody! This is my very first time not spending the Easter holiday with my family. I'm excited and feel freaking lucky though.. because this weekend, I get to be Samijo Kuppens. The newest addition to the Kuppens family here in Holland for Easter. :) I'll probably blog about what I find Easter is like in their neck of the woods. It is my request that each of you truly enjoy this holiday. Spend each moment with your family as if you'll never see them again. Paint tons of eggs.. and eat a crap load of food, you deserve a nice holiday! Peace out homies..

4.21.2011

travels

As promised, this is my compare and contrast of my experiences in Paris and London.

Paris, France.. LIKES:
  • Sacre Coeur
  • catacombes
  • French boys
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Norte Dame and the pigeons
  • painting by Alberto Magnelli
  • crepes
  • fashion
  • truly beautiful people and models everywhere
  • architecture
Sacre Coeur

Eiffel Tower

Pigeons



















Paris DISLIKES:
  • size of the Mona Lisa
  • costly
  • arrogance
  • feeling bad about the millions of beggars
  • littering.. I saw this multiple times throughout the day
  • people are always busy and running from place to place.. it started stressing me out

London, England.. LIKES:
  • the city of major talent!
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Westminster Abbey
  • British accent
  • Chinatown
  • Buckingham Palace: location of this year's annual headstand/handstand photo
  • Flake - Cadbury chocolate crumbly thingy
  • very kind people
  • Royalty
  • The pasty
  • Wicked! (especially Elphaba, phenomenal!)
  • London Tower Bridge
London Tower Bridge

Buckingham Palace

Big Ben


London DISLIKES:
  • The London Eye..
  • transfer rate of the Dollar to the Pound... sheesh
  • sorry to say... but Blood Brothers the play. I didn't connect with it
  • the border patrol going into the UK.. he was a douche.
  • shady people
Paris and London Similarities:
  • the underground and the metro.. such a convenient way to travel!
  • I found that the buildings looked quite similar. I love the way buildings sort of come to a triangle point at the corners of streets.
  • I was in great company on both trips! - Paris with my Finnish and Polish friends.. and London with my mum. Good company makes all the difference on trips.
  • many museums to see.. I wish I had more time in both places
  • Even though the architecture looks similar to me.. it's so fun to see a distinct difference in all of the fashionable people in Paris and then to see all of the fancy people in London.
Paris Metro

Paris

London Underground


If I were to pick which place I would like to live... I'm going to have to pick London. Maybe it's because I'm a dude in the way that I dress? I wouldn't fit in due to my lack of knowledge in fashion. The people are way good at dressing and looking glamorous in Paris. Models dude, I'm telling you. I think my best option is to steal a gorgeous French guy and take him to London where I would feel more comfortable. ;) And plus, the talent in London is SO strong, if possible.. I would LOVE to dance in London one day. But hey, who knows what the future will hold? I never thought I would be lucky enough while growing up to have a chance to dance at a school in anywhere other than Utah even. Freak, and now I'm dancing in the Netherlands. I'm here to prove to any one out there that is listening.. that anything is possible. No matter if you are 18 years old.. or 82 years old.. ANYTHING is possible. Set your goals high, you will surprise yourself!

Where to next, you ask? Me, Annukka and Kimmo (Finnish friends) are off to Barcelona, Spain at the beginning of May. Woo!

Enjoy :)

4.14.2011

toets and packages

Geez guys... take forever to add a post to your blogs why don't cha!

K, I have a lot to say. But I'm going to split them up so this blog isn't extremely long. First off, it has been a CRAZY week physically, mentally, spiritually... all of the "ally's" that you can think of.. I swear I am queen of making everything 10 times more complicated than it should be. Not only am I going through a crazy changing process in my life.. but it is also the week for our "toets", or.. exams. Our exams are all practical and very intense. We pretty much do each of our classes how we do every week, but this time we have faculty and other students watching.. tight clothes on.. and a sprinkle of make-up. Nerves and adrenaline running all through our bodies! I've got a total of 7 exams, and only 2 of which are completed so far. I'll throw a couple of videos on here for you to have a sneak peak of what it was like today.

video

video
don't mind that little glitch when I almost fell. haha

And the last thing for now... oh my gosh!! As I said.. having the most straining week of my life.. guess what I came home to?? A note on door from Irene my roommate telling me that a package came in the mail. What? I wasn't expecting a package!! Package = the cherry on top of a psycho day. Lots of great and random items from my mom, a note from her, a note from Kaley! Wait, that's not it. A much needed letter came from Collin in the mail as well! Yesterday was so boring.. now EVERYTHING is coming at me today. Call me over-the-top, but I'm going crazy with excitement over here! Feeling so blessed! Thank you world. :)


the cup of noodles busted. haha no problem though.. I got two! :)