Flashback:  On my 30th birthday last year, I decided to teach my very first dance class.  I taught the style I knew best —- hip hop.  

I’ve choreographed probably 5 songs in my life before this routine.  It took me hours upon hours to figure this out and it was short!

Well, thought I’d put it out there anyway.  

Random fact:  I wanted to be a dancer when I was younger.  Though it never became a reality, I still dance for fun.  After all, it’s one of my biggest passions.  

I definitely have more experience as a hip hop dancer.  But, I started taking contemporary/lyrical a couple years ago.  In an effort to stretch my comfort zones, I decided to choreograph my very first lyrical piece.  I wanted to see how my creative side interpreted music and how it translated to choreography.  

And to top it off, I decided to teach it to some friends at my local studio as my first class.  Sometimes we learn more when we teach.  

Talk about stretching comfort zones!  

New Year, New Us

Normally around this time of year, I’d be standing on top of a mountain (posting Facebook status updates, really) proclaiming my New Year’s Resolutions. I did it because I wanted to be held accountable. In retrospect, I stated my goals to feel significant. I wanted people to know what I was up to and where I was going with my life. After all, my friends wanted to know, right? Naturally, they’d check-in and support me. It mattered to me so it must have mattered to them. We worked together, partied together, drinks have been had, food had been consumed; we were friends online and offline. We were more than just Facebook friends, right? Wrong.

2012 proved to be a year of true colors. But don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t Et tu Brute-ed. I wouldn’t have kept relationships alive with people that bled malicious trickery. I detached myself from events so I could enjoy one of my greatest passions — dance. And almost immediately following, my friendships revealed themselves to be relationships of convenience. People could excuse “life getting in the way” as the culprit. Quite frankly, I learned that I had more acquaintances than friends.

But that’s life! And I get it. The winds of change blow on us all and our sails have been set to different directions. In fact, I posted something awhile ago about The People In Your Life.

I know, I know. Enough with the ranting. You may be thinking to yourself, “What’s the deal with this “new us” you purposefully used in your title, Casey?”

In lieu of listing all my goals for 2013 or which bad habits I’m going to break (ahem, procrastination/tardiness), I wanted to voice what’s important to me now.

Moving forward in 2013, I know the true value of the people who continue to show up in my life. Recently, it’s been family. There is truth in that saying blood is thicker than water. I’m very blessed to have family that loves me and always has my back. But I’m also excited to turn some water into blood. I’m excited to turn old and new friends into family. How? I’ll use the Pareto Principle in all my relationships:

80% of my time and energy will be devoted to the 20% of people in my life. Gone are the days of spreading my relationships thin. Gone are the days of trying to be there for everyone. Now is the time to weed out the people who steal time from the people who make time.

Be there for the people that matter because I matter to them.

And that’s it! It’s self-explanatory. Now is the time to build relationships on solid stone, not consequential sand.

So friends new and old, let’s create lasting memories. Let’s invest in our present so that in the future we can value the past we shared. It’s our lives. #MAKEITCOUNT

To the bar we go!

Note: I “borrowed” and edited the photo from an old friend, Ja Tecson. He is a professional photographer that constantly inspires me. He worked on the #makeitcount campaign for Nike+. Learn who he is and how he sees the world on his website here.

The People In Your Life

SOMETIMES people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there…to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become.  You never know who these people may be but you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would never realize your potential, strength, will power or heart.

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