Links We Like Friday

Links We Like

It’s that time of year.  And it’s all the time of year for some.  Here are a few links we like on managing and maintaining healthy relationships as we are in the midst of that crunchy time with family and friends.  Also, dancers like to please.  They like people to like them.  It’s how we were trained to behave– to allow teachers and others in authority write our own self-worth.  And as adults, we realize this is wrong.  But what now?

How to spot a liar.

Do you have a healthy relationship?

How can dance be an advocate for healthy relationships?  Gibney Dance is doing some powerful work.

The brain in love.

A check list to evaluate your boundaries in your relationships.

The power of art.

Eat Well Wednesday

Eat Well Wednesday Uncategorized

I hope you had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and had a chance to whip up a batch of the 100% whole grain pumpkin cupcakes!!

Keeping with the WHOLE GRAIN theme, get ready to bust out your crock pot and whip up some chili or stew to enjoy with theses AWESOME 100% whole grain garlic cheddar biscuits.  They are the perfect savory pair to your favorite fall dish.

Whole grains are an excellent choice for quality carbohydrates and not only will they help keep your blood sugar stable, but the fiber helps keep you fuller longer which is great for your waist line.  Which makes this biscuits an excellent alternative to the traditional white flour biscuits.

These biscuits take about 5 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake and the combination of garlic and cheddar make them the perfect match for your heart bowl of  chili or winter soup.


  • 2 cups Whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Butter, chilled
  • 3/4 cups Cheddar, grated
  • 1/2-1 cup Butter milk
  • 3/4 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt


Step 1

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees.Line your baking sheet with a parchment paper, lightly grease, or Silpat baking sheet.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and garlic salt

Step 3

Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it turns into coarse crumbs.Don’t be afraid to use your hands!

Step 4

Add grated cheddar cheese and stir well.

Step 5

Add 1/2 cup of butter milk and stir well. You might need to add more buttermilk, you want the dough to be wet and sticky.

Step 6

Form the dough into biscuit sized balls and place on prepared baking sheet.

Step 7

Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. You might need a bit more time, so check them and don’t be afraid to let them go to 14 minutes in the oven.

Step 8

While the biscuits are cooking prepare your garlic butter.In a small bowl, melt butter in microwave and stir in garlic powder and salt.

Step 9

Once the biscuits are done, brush on the garlic butter and serve immediately.

Enjoy and remember to eat well so you can be well!

Jill Tarpey is leading us Wednesday by Wednesday into making better food choices and being more healthful.  Tune in every Wednesday to get some great recipes and advice from someone who really knows health.  In an effort to fuel her passion to serve as well has enhance the lives of others through their nutritional choices, she started Eat Well SA (San Antonio). Her vision is to educate you on how to incorporate a healthy array of foods into your life.  Eat Well is not a diet, nor does it embrace any one specific dietary agenda. She also offers customized programs that are educational and teach you the tools you need to maintain healthy, well balanced eating for your busy lives.

MFA Monday

MFA Mondays

Hey there Framers! Hope everyone had a delicious and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend.  Here’s the third and final installment of Rosie Trump’s arc, So You Think You Want a M.F.A?  Read some great advice on post-M.F.A life!!

So You Think You Want a M.F.A.?

Part III: It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

By Rosie Trump

You survived. You graduated. You are a Master of the Fine Arts. You have probably grown significantly in the past three years.  Your practice, your location, your outlook, your teaching, your motivation, your significant other—all the contents of your life may have shifted during your journey through graduate school. So now what?

Still frame from Rosie Trump’s first post-M.F.A work: “Performing Girlfriend”

In the first few months post-M.F.A., I suffered from severe withdrawal.  I have never considered myself a slave to routine, however I had inadvertently become addicted to the straightforward, well-organized schedule of my graduate school life. I now found myself with a lot of unstructured time on my hands.  I felt simultaneously relieved, disappointed, anxious and excited.

The (Creative) Hangover

Transitioning into post-M.F.A. life may bring with it a sort of creative hangover.  The past three years have been jam-packed with making, doing, and having others tell you what they think of your work on strict timelines.  Now, it’s back to just you deciding when, where and how to make your work happen.  For me, making my first post-M.F.A choreography was really, really challenging.  The difficulty emerged partly because I had to find new (and cheap) ways to book rehearsal space and dancers, and partly because of the crazy amount of pressure I placed myself under to create something ‘worthy’ of my shiny new degree.

You may find yourself a little burnt out, needing time to process or wanting distance from the voices of your former faculty.  This is ok!  Give yourself some (but not too much) time to grieve, rest, replenish and refocus. Then get to work!

Time and space will be two major challenges post-M.F.A.

Time: Sans those external deadlines, you may find your creative work taking a backseat to figuring out how to pay the rent/relocating/social events.

  • I am a huge fan of creating a daily creative habit.  I highly recommend Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and The Vein of Gold, as well as Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. These ‘courses’ get your writing, generating ideas and creating everyday.
  • Join Fieldwork (if you don’t live in a participating city, maybe you can start a new one.)  Fieldwork is an amazing format for receiving feedback and networking with fellow artists!
  • Follow an inspiring blog.  I recommend this one.

Space:  Remember all those resources you had at your fingertips in graduate school?  Oh those were the days…

  • Yoga studios, youth dance schools, recreation complexes and fitness centers usually have ‘off’ times during the day where they can offer you discounted rental rates.
  • Teach a class in exchange for rehearsal time.
  • Barter with dancers.  Can you offer flyer design, photography, videography or babysitting in exchange for payment?

It’s an academic life for me or It’s the hard-knock life for us

Getting a tenure-track job in academia is akin to a college football player getting drafted into the NFL.  It happens to some, but for most, it doesn’t.  I think this is a terrific analogy for describing the odds of landing full time, permanent academic employment (and useful for explaining to your family why you are still un/under-employed.)

If an academic career is for you, hopefully you began preparing for this path long before graduation.  Picking up an adjunct position, preparing job materials, running mock interviews with your faculty, etc.  Academic employment has a steep learning curve, with little room for error, so it is imperative you are on the offense from the very start.  While for many art fields the M.F.A. remains the terminal degree, the rise of the dance and music composition Ph.D. continues to edge M.F.A. candidates out of the academic market.

The Adjunct Trap: As a former adjunct, I personally can vouch for the benefits of this kind of position:  teaching experience, relatively high wage for number of hours worked, eager students, opportunities to choreograph for students/perform at faculty concerts.  I can also personally vouch for the limitations: lack of benefits/health insurance, uncertainty of classes/employment from semester to semester, time and gas spent driving between schools, lack of access to office space, being at the mercy of shrinking budgets.  Adjunct positions rarely turn into full time jobs at the same institution.

Helpful links:

The Professor Is In—this blog is worth it’s weight in gold for the M.F.A. interested in pursuing tenure track jobs.

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s On Hiring Blog

This article asks how Adjunct pay their rent (contains excellent links).

Do the Hustle

The Hustle is the most important dance you will ever learn.  I am sorry to say, but a huge part of your post-graduate school situation may look and feel just like your pre-graduate school situation.  While your new credentials will certainly open a few more doors, you will still need to hustle for everything you want to do.  Need rehearsal space?  Do the Hustle. Ready to take your dance company to the next level?  Do the Hustle.  Need funding to tour your latest dance?  Do the Hustle.

You need a mentor!

  • Whatever your career goals, find a professional (or two) in your community or extended network who is doing or has done what you want to do.  Ask them to mentor you.
  • Set up regular meetings with your mentor to ask questions, check in, get advice on upcoming projects, etc.
  • Build a new 5 Year Plan under the advisement of your mentor.
  • Pay it forward–become a mentor to a ‘younger’ artist.

Working your network

  • Regularly stay in touch with your former M.F.A. cohort—for both professional and emotional support.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask others for what you want.
  • Initiate the conversations.  Send the follow up emails.
  • Ask yourself what you can offer to your dance community and become known as an artist who gives back. (This kind of currency is more powerful than you may realize.)

Apply, apply, apply

  • Many years ago, I had a mentor (who I viewed as extremely successful) tell me that for every thirty things she applies for, she may get one acceptance.  While at the time I was floored, experience has confirmed this ratio to be pretty accurate.
  • Rejection is a bitter pill.  Don’t take it personally.
  • Invest the hours, the time and the money.  Keep doing it.  Your outcomes will get better and better.

Helpful links

Residency Unlimited– artist residency listings

Mira’s list– grants and artist residency listings

Res Artis– artist residency listings

Alliance of Artists Communities– artist community and residency listings

Advice on applying for grants and fellowships (including a grant application template)



MFA Monday

MFA Mondays

Happy Monday Framers! Here’s part deux of Rosie Trump’s fantastic MFA Monday column!


So You Think You Want a M.F. A.?

Part II: Be. Here. Now.

By Rosie Trump

Graduate school should blow your mind.  It should turn your world upside down.  It should make you question everything you thought you knew.  If doesn’t, you are not doing it right.

Focused time and space like this will never exist for you quite the same again.  I advise that you do, make, embrace and take on as much as you can… and then just slightly more.  Process later.  This experience is designed to test your limits, alter your patterns and irreconcilably change your perspective.

Summertime and the living is not easy

Photo from Rosie Trump's MFA project
Photo from Rosie Trump’s MFA project

It’s a bright and shiny new academic year! The very first thing you need to do is think nine months into the future to the summer.  Most programs do not provide you with any funding over the summer.  So you need to figure out how you will pay your rent, bills and expenses.  Most likely you will want to travel over the summer, so factor those costs too.  You can get very creative with financing your summer.  However (as I mentioned in Part I) do not take out student loans to do it!

Here are a few of my suggestions:

  1. Budget during the year.  Squirrel away a chunk of money every month for nine months while you are receiving a regular income. This will not be easy, because you are probably not making very much as it is.  Still, there are many creative (and fairly painless) ways to cut corners.  Rent a room in a house with other grad students rather than renting a one-bedroom apartment.  This could cut your monthly costs by almost half.  Grocery shop at Food4Less rather than Whole Foods.  Invest in a coffee thermos and swear off those $4 Starbucks lattes.  Pack your lunches (and dinners for those late rehearsals) instead of eating on campus.  Shop at thrift stores.  I did not set foot inside a ‘regular’ clothing store during grad school and (long after that until I secured a full time job.)
  2. Get another job.  I worked three jobs before attending grad school to save up money, and I ended up working three jobs during grad school, as well.  I taught a class at the local ballet academy, worked as a dance librarian and stage managed for the university’s theater.  What did all these jobs have in common?  Low time requirements, flexible schedules and relatively high wages.  This is the key to picking up a side job in graduate school.  Your number one work priority has to remain the M.F.A.
  3. Apply for summer funding.  This route is a little bit trickier because there may not be much available to you, however it is worth a few hours of research to find out.  Does your university offer any summer study grants?  Are there state or national research fellowships you qualify for? Does your department run summer camps or summer classes you could teach?  Some of these opportunities may not be widely advertised, so ask around.  This is why it is so important to start this inquiry in October, not March.


3, 2, 1 GOAL! or How to make the most of your M.F.A. from the very start

I am a very big advocate of setting goals.  I think setting concrete goals are the keys to achieving what you want.  My advice to you is to create a 5 Year Plan for yourself at the very beginning of graduate school.  The 5 Year Plan outlines two to three goals per semester/quarter, including the summers.  It is important that your goals extend beyond your time in graduate school.  This way you can pointedly use some of your time in the academy to gain the specific skills, credentials, etc. needed to achieve those future goals.  Each year you should revise your goals to reflect progress in your creative, professional and personal life.

Example of a 5 Year Plan (all goals are in addition to academic requirements)

Year 1 (M.F.A year 1)

  • Fall: research summer funding, create a new solo
  • Spring: apply for the university’s research mini-grant, submit solo to local showcase, co-choreograph a duet with fellow M.F.A., attend ACDFA, audition for ADF summer scholarship
  • Summer:  attend ADF, seek professional networking opportunities

Year 2 (M.F.A year 2)

  • Fall: spearhead the graduate student concert, submit abstract to graduate student/regional conference, choreograph a group choreography, submit duet to the regional fringe festival
  • Spring: meet with advisor and/or a faculty member to discuss post-graduate goals/ job prospects, set up mentoring meetings, plan trip to NYC
  • Summer:  travel to NYC, take workshop with superstar choreographer, audition for dream dance company

Year 3 (M.F.A year 3)

  • Fall: apply for conference attendance grant through GSA, submit roundtable and performance abstract to national conference, begin creating job application materials
  • Spring: workshop job materials with fellow M.F.A. students, choreograph a new solo, collaborate on new project with Film Studies graduate student, apply for summer internship at Jacob’s Pillow
  • Summer: submit M.F.A thesis project to regional/national festivals, internship at Jacob’s Pillow, seek professional networking opportunities

Year 4 (Post M.F.A year 1)

  • Go on the job market, mount solo show, begin new collaboration with composer, submit dance film to regional and national film festivals, seek professional networking opportunities

Year 5 (Post M.F.A year 2)

  • Apply for artist residencies abroad, launch crowd surfing campaign to fund new dance film project, seek professional networking opportunities


The Perks of Being a M.F.A. Student

Pursuing a M.F.A. puts you in a wonderful situation–one where you have access to resources!  But resources are only valuable when you know how to use them and make the time to do so.

Health Insurance:  You may have been living for years without affordable access to health care.  Find out everything your new health insurance will cover and book your appointments—the dentist, the chiropractor, acupuncture, prescriptions, women’s health, etc.  Make the time for this now, because it will be gone before you know it.

Studio space:  Vanished (for now) is the $20 an hour studio rental fee.  Use as much rehearsal time as you can!  Book frequent and regular studio space and then promise yourself you will never skip it.  Even if you go in and just roll on the floor for an hour– GO!

Technology:  Most universities have state of the art computer and media labs.  You can use and rent computers, video cameras, digital cameras, light kits and recording equipment.  Learn how to use this equipment and then rent it for your own photo shoots, dance films, graphic design projects, etc.  Want to learn Final Cut Pro, Photoshop or Illustrator?  They may offer beginner workshops on this software.

Classes:  Depending on the flexibility of your M.F.A. program curriculum, you may be able to take courses outside your direct program.  I took a Video Art course and an Art Theory course during my M.F.A. studies, and these courses were valuable to me far beyond the course content.  If you can, take the opportunity to (thoughtfully) supplement your program with outside courses.

There is No Crying in Baseball or as a M.F.A.

Feedback, feedback, feedback! Get it EVERY chance you can. Listen to your critiques.  Use them to force yourself to make better work.  Do not take anything personally.  Get really good at talking about other people’s work.

Last but certainly not least… build a support system.  Your cohort of fellow M.F.A. students will most likely be your lifeline to sanity, your biggest allies, your future colleagues, your (yes) crying shoulders and your closest friends.  You will not love them all, but fostering a positive community should be a strong and early priority.



Links We Like Friday

Links We Like

Hello Framers!!

Today I have a few TED talks for you all. I hope you have a few minutes, because they are really worth watching!

The first shows a fascinating and dynamic approach to choreography as a

John Bohannon, the founder of “Dance Your PhD“, makes a case for using dance, instead of powerpoint in the second TED talk.

There are SO many amazing TED talks about the power of dance and the arts, I definitely encourage you to blow off your afternoon meetings and watch TED talks for a while!

In case you don’t have time today though, here’s a fun slideshow with some amazing photos of dancers among us that you can skim through real fast and get back to whatever “important” stuff you’re doing today 😛

So listen to this


It’s late. I’m tired. My eyes are blurring. My head hurts. And I decide to clean up the mailing lists? Um… WHAT? But yes, I’ll claim it. I did. I’m still tempted to blame an error on Mail Chimp, but I could also make myself an eye appointment. I have the emails of the people who have joined to get the newsletter. BUT, the list itself was deleted. So basically, I have to go back an re-enter the addresses into the list. We don’t email very often, but we do have some exciting news that I wanted to let our Framers know via newsletter. Guess that will take a little longer. Anyway, if you want to help a gal out, just let us know you’d like to receive our infrequent and dazzling newsletter.

Eat Well Wednesday

Eat Well Wednesday Uncategorized

Hello Framers!  Welcome to your new Wednesday.  Your new healthy, Eat Well Wednesday.  Allow me to introduce you to Jill Tarpey.

Hi, My name is Jill!

I am a Certified Nutrition Coach, experienced RYT Yoga teacher and motivational speaker, whose life experience and education background have shaped me into a dynamic and passionate woman.  My journey to health began after struggling many years with an eating disorder, but I have found healing through a balanced diet, yoga and serving others.  I am a foodie at heart and strive to nourish my body with balanced nutrition. I like good, quality food and find that living life nourished is the best way to live.

In an effort to fuel my passion to serve as well has enhance the lives of others through their nutritional choices, I started Eat Well SA (San Antonio) My vision is to educate you on how to incorporate a healthy array of foods into your life.  Eat Well is not a diet, nor does it embrace any one specific dietary agenda. I offer customized programs that are educational and teach you the tools you need to maintain healthy, well balanced eating for your busy lives.

I am so excited to be a guest blogger on the Frame Dance Productions blog.  Every Wednesday you will find helpful, practical information about nutrition and some delicious and nutritous recipes for you to whip up as well.  In the mean time check out my website and blog at  Make sure to bookmark it and check back often for new relevant information and fantastic recipes.

Thank you Lydia and Frame Dance Productions for sharing this opportunity with me.  I am am so passionate about serving you and helping you find a balanced way of eating.  I believe it is through the solid foundation of nutrition that we become energized and full of radiant life, and I can’t wait to lead you on your journey to health!

Lydia here, again.  I am going to go through these recipes with you.  Let’s do this together and get healthy.  Go Framers Go!

Eat Well Wednesday

Eat Well Wednesday Uncategorized

Hi Framers,

So much cool new programming on our blog.  We have:

MFA Mondays where MFAs in Dance write 3-post arcs on their experience in and after the MFA program.

Links We Like Friday where Frame Staff as well as guest curators post links we like.  It’s informative, fun, and lite.

I have a VERY exciting announcement.  We are adding a third program to the blog.  We’re calling it

Eat Well Wednesday

Years ago (geez I sound old) I danced with a dear friend, Jill Tarpey.  We performed in a company together for a couple of years.  She is a phenomenal dancer.  She has a passion, vision, and career as a nutrition coach.  Trust me, you want her secrets.  And now you get them!  I get so excited about getting on track nutritionally.  Even if you’re not making bad food choices, there are always new ways to get organized and find ways to feed your body better.  Jill will be writing a weekly column on health, nutrition, and how to fuel your dancing or dance-loving body. Feel free to ask questions as she goes.  But I will let her introduce herself to you tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

Links We Like Friday

Links We Like

It’s like a little bit of a homecoming.  Back twice in two days.  It’s like I’m a blogger or something.  Now, don’t get sick of me.

Here are your links you’ll like on this Friday.  We made it to Friday!

Are your theater tickets the last thing you think of in an emergency?  Well, maybe you’re not alone.  This story urges New Yorkers to remember the arts in the hurricane recovery, and get out and support those artists as soon as possible.  Houstonians are particularly sympathetic to the challenges that the New Yorkers are facing.  I remember when Hurricane Ike came to Houston, I was supposed to dance Steve Rooks’ Prophets on the big, beautiful Miller Stage.

Lydia Hance in Steve Rooks’ “Prophets.”


It’s the live theater that we’re really encouraging, because apparently, Sandy increased the viewers on Dancing with the Stars.

Assessing the damage to NYC’s artist studios and galleries.

Where is the New York art community after the hurricane?

Seeing Sandy through a lens of humor.

Be safe, be blessed.