Pet Peeve number 4,005,858,674-Tough guys behind the computer screen

As dancers, artists and people become more public on social networking sites from instagram to youtube they are given the privilege to share their art or their life with a larger audience of people… This also leads to opening themselves up to hateful, negative, unnecessary feedback. There is nothing that makes me more angry than people sitting at home, doing nothing, sitting in hate and judgment of those who are doing something. This is the eternal battle of the driven and the artistic. I swear no one in this world ever accomplished ANYTHING without a few idiots in their ear telling them they couldn’t. Now, the stakes are higher and instead of a few idiots you can open yourself up to thousands of them.

The things you type on the internet are real words. They are read by real people. Just because you don’t have to speak them with your mouth or look someone in the face while you say them doesn’t mean you aren’t speaking to someone. If you wouldn’t say it out loud in public then you shouldn’t type it. It’s so cowardly to sit at home and feel safe and spew criticism and judgement on people who are sharing their art with you. If you don’t like it don’t watch it, or watch it and then move on with your day. Do not take the time to type a rude, hateful comment to people you don’t know who are doing things you can’t even do. Constructive criticism- awesome. But other than that you can stick it where the sun don’t shine.

I’m so sick of people believing that it’s not considered bullying if someone is rich, or high status or makes themselves a public figure. It is still bullying and harassment wether its a celebrity or a kid at school. What does anyone get out of making someone feel badly about themselves for even one second? Nothing. Not only did you drag someone else down, you dragged yourself down as well. Negativity is a disease that way, just as lethal to the dealer as it is to the recipient. 


Watch your thoughts, watch your words, stop the hate and criticism. Its tired. Dwell in positivity and find something encouraging to say even about things you don’t like.. watch your whole entire life change. Spread love, its the only way.

The Social Responsibility Monitor (the world’s most important non-existant profession)

Every day, all over the world, every moment of the day, there are people acting a fool. They are standing on the escalator blocking the whole thing so you cannot pass; they are taking a dance class dressed for a music video shoot taking the whole thing WAY to seriously; they are cutting you in line; they’re letting their children run like wild animals through target, they do not have their money ready when they get to the drive thru window (even though there is a little sign that clearly requests that you have payment ready); they are cutting you off in traffic or coming to a full stop for no apparent reason before merging onto the parkway. These irresponsible members of society are everywhere and there is no one to keep them in check. So I propose this, we institute a “social responsibility officer” to monitor these not necessarily unlawful, but definitely unacceptable and annoying behaviors and alert the citizen to the infraction… and if no one would like the job, I nominate myself.

This week alone I have witnessed 3 noteworthy examples of social irresponsibility that went completely unpunished.


So here I am at Target, minding my business, attempting to purchase this adorable watch that was on a sale for $8.00 marked down from $16.00. I’m standing behind three other customers on line number 6. The customer at the register currently has gathered every single baby seat that they sell in target, at least 8-10, and is asking the lady at the register how much each individual one costs. Now… here’s my problem(s) with this scenario: 1. There is a person at Target whose entire job is to put those convenient little price tags above or below EVERY single item in the store. That’s all he does all day is print little tags and slide them behind clear plastic holders so the consumer can read for themselves how much something will cost BEFORE they put it into their cart. 2. If you prefer not to read that little sticker, or prefer not to believe it is accurate, Target has gone as far as to put little personalized price-checker scanny machines all over the store, so that you can bring your 200 baby seats up to the price checker.. and scan them yourself.

Target has gone to these great lengths to avoid situations exactly like the one this socially inept individual has created. All these price checking mechanisms are around so that you don’t go up to the register and hold up a line full of people while harassing the poor underpaid cashier to price check every single item in your cart. So which baby seat did she choose? She did not even buy one.


Matt and I find ourselves in line at Wendy’s because Matt has purchased a little keychain that entitles him to a free frosty with every purchase. We are at a “fast” food restaurant waiting in line for the better part of 12 minutes (in which time I could have grilled my own damn burger at home but that’s not the point) behind 5 or 6 other customers. Now, I don’t mind waiting in line but THIS I do mind. While we are waiting in line we all have the privilege of staring at this massive, bright menu complete with photos of fries, greasy burgers and other crap we shouldn’t be eating illuminated by a yellowing halogen bulb. So how should ones time be spent while waiting in line to place their order? By deciding what menu selection they would like to clog their arteries with… at least thats what one would think to be the most common sense pass time. However, at least 3 of the people got up to the front of the line, looked over at the person they were with and started to discuss what food they might like…”would you like the chicken sandwhich..” “the blah blah blahhhhh…” This conversation should have been going on during the time which you were waiting in line but had not yet reached the front of the line. This unprepared, non-sensical behavior is why we have lines in the first place…and if I was an “SRO” I would have stepped in.


We have all seen it.. a parent standing by while their kid licks the sidewalk, screams in public for no reason, punches an old man in the head or what have you. When we see it, we are all wondering the same thing– why doesn’t that parent step in and teach their child how to behave in public so they don’t grow up to think its cool to throw an entire bag of popcorn on the floor for no good reason. Maybe that parent has had enough for that day, or just given up in general but in any case I think it takes a village and someone should step in and handle it… and so this week, I did- in my first unofficial test as a “Social Responsibility Officer.”

Matt and I were on Hollywood Blvd leaving class around 9pm when a guy walked by with his young, possibly 6 year old, daughter on his shoulders. This child was screaming the word “no” 400 times a minute for NO REASON whatsoever.. and while she was on her father’s shoulders and walking in a group of 5 other relatives no one stopped to tell her to be quiet… so, I did. I yelled “hey”, shot her my meanest mom stare, and put my finger up to my lips to signal “be quiet”… and do you know what happened? She stopped yelling.

Lights, Camera, Awkward…

Matt and I had a photo shoot this morning and we were going for “dance-shots”… whatever that means. More often than I care to admit I have had people ask for photos where you can tell I am a dancer… and short of doing a kick or a jump- communicating dance through a still pose is more difficult than you might think.

We met with a photographer that we found on craigslist and she was very nice… but working with someone new is always challenging. She doesn’t know my movement quality and I don’t know her shooting style so we “danced around” (for lack of a better term) awkwardly for the first thirty minutes like two teenagers trying to figure out their first kiss.. “should I tilt my head like this?”  “put your hand here…” ” like this?” “yes, now stick out your chin and arch your back…” ay yi yi.

After about 40 minutes we got into the swing of things and we were jumpin and krumpin for our lives. Hopefully, we got some great shots in there. The best way to communicate dance in a photograph is to stick with basic moves from your style and then “step into them”… have your photographer time it so as to capture the image at the biggest moment of your movement and then try again until you capture a winner. Don’t be shy to ask the photographer to preview some of the shots on the camera screen; not after every shot but every once in a while check in on what your body looks like and how you should adjust your angle or facial expression!

Should you take a chance with a photographer or anyone offering a service on craigslist? My short answer, based solely on my first experience with it today, is if its free- YES… If you have to pay for it- not so much. Of course make sure its daylight, in public and you’ve got a buddy and some mace 😉

About the blog

My name is Dana and I am a professional dancer and choreographer chasing my dreams in Hollywood. I am originally from Brooklyn NY (hence the hoodtohollywood) and though my physical address has changed a lot of my personality is still very East coast and thus out of place in this hyper-west coast atmosphere. I am engaged to the love of my life and in the process planning our wedding.

The purpose of this blog is to share my interesting stories and observations about being an entertainer in this cut-throat, and as I see it, often comical, industry; To tell you how I hold on to my temper, my sanity and my patience in a place that tests all three on a daily basis; and to share advice and anecdotes with you about how I choose clothes, prepare for photo shoots, what its like to travel the world, how I stay healthy and fit, how I train; what I am cooking and how I do it all on a budget. I want to show you the world through my very personal lens and explain how I can put a positive spin on just about anything.

I am a free spirit and I take calculated risks. I live life as it comes at me and never let a day go wasted or unlived. I believe in beauty and the enormous power we all have within us. I believe positivity is the answer. I believe in love and in dreams and in the dedication, focus and hard work it takes to make those dreams your reality. There is no such thing as impossible and I am living proof.