Company Dancer Vanessa Valecillos: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Throughout the years, I have learned that it is very important to keep the body and mind very healthy while being off season.

I like to stay active physically. I took Ballet classes the first 2 weeks that I was off and on top of that I was going to a gym for cardio purposes and to use the steam room and sauna. I was trying to be done with all the activities by 1pm so that I could enjoy the company of my family.

I love to travel and this summer I was able to go with my boyfriend to a very isolated place in Nicaragua by the ocean front. It was very peaceful, but hard to get to even a gym. We went there for 5 days, so I decided to give myself a yoga class and some pilates mat exercises every day that I was there. I also went swimming for about a half hour each day. It is not the same as dancing, but it is definitely a good way to keep active and it is very easy on the joints and back.

It was very peaceful so I was able to read a lot which I find great for the mind.

After Nicaragua, we went to Caracas, Venezuela for 4 days. We went there to visit family and to celebrate my parents’ anniversary. This was a trip to visit family and old friends, so I didn’t do any physical activity at all. But I am ok with that. I feel like you have to appreciate family and those great moments of being able to be all together. To me, that brings great joy and keeps me motivated for the future.

Upon returning to the States, I started taking Ballet class again to get ready to go to New Orleans for 2 weeks. I had the pleasure of working with two of my friends and fellow dancers Rodney Hamilton and Nicholas Villeneuve for NOBA (New Orleans Ballet Association). We spent the 2 weeks teaching, creating works for the students and rehearsing for the final performance of the summer intensive. It was a great experience working with such an amazing staff and great students!

And the last 2 weeks of the time off I had, I spent on getting all my requirements for the beginner’s mat certification at Power Pilates. I am in the process of getting certified to become a Pilates instructor. I am also studying French and I am loving learning new things.

Even though I had a great summer, I am very excited to start my third season with Ballet Hispanico.

-Vanessa Valecillos


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