of

Five Things Friday

  1. Something I Love

People of Alabama is an incredible project for the Alabama Bicentennial. They tell the incredible stories of the people of our state, and I am HONORED to be featured on Tuesday, May 28 in this project. Look for me on @peopleofal on Instagram and People of Alabama on Facebook.

I can’t wait! Thanks so much Tamika for our conversation. It was so valuable to me!

Screenshot 2019-05-23 15.03.54.png

2. Something I’m Inspired By

I’ve loved listening to the dance podcast, Movers & Shapers by The Moving Architects and I highly suggest any young or aspiring dancer/mover looking to find some ideas on the breadth of what is possible in a dance career give this podcast a listen! The episodes look into the lives, careers, and visions of some of the very best and most influential artists of our time. I’ve been incredibly inspired by the stories, and it’s been good insight as I move forward with my dance career.


3. Something I’m Looking Forward To

On Saturday, I’m getting to work with the incredible visual artist, Sabina Vafina on some visuals for Jellybean Dance Collective. I trust her vision and beautiful talent and can’t wait to see what she cooks up!

6fed8f06-1b2f-466a-860a-b77625431bc5_rwc_0x0x3960x1440x4096.jpg

4. Something I’ve Got Going On

I was so thrilled to have appeared on Talk of Alabama (An ABC33/40) show this morning to chat about the upcoming show of Three Ballerinas: A Moving Sketch. Please come on out to The Dance Foundation on June 8 at 3 pm, 5 pm, or 7 pm to engage with the life and legacy of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Follow the link to view the segment below.

IMG_0237.JPG

5. Something Beautiful

60712130_10156278789788616_5341919901441327104_n.jpg

This is a picture of the Magnolias in front of the Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery. There are few things more gorgeously Southern than Magnolias, and such a symbol of beauty, grace, and elegance.

Six Things Saturday

  1. Something I Love

download (1).jpeg

I’ve always loved floral flavored things, but I’ve recently become obsessed with rose tea. Not only is it exceptionally tasty but there are so many health benefits. Read about them here.


2. Something I’m Listening To

As promised, here’s my full foot stompin’ playlist! My heart just beats with a little more uuuumph while listening to this playlist, and I can really feel confident in tackling my day. This playlist makes me want to jump in a creek barefoot, but in the day to day, it just packs a little extra punch to my daily drive in Mustang Sally.


3. Something I Accomplished

IT’S COMING! My very first theater show with Jellybean Dance Collective is happening on June 8, 2019 at The Dance Foundation. There will be performances at 3 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm. Please consider coming out to support this endeavor. I am just thrilled to have the opportunity to share something so dear to my heart. RSVP on Facebook here

IMG_0013.jpg

4. Something I’m Inspired By

I just joined a Facebook group of Strong Southern women called “Reckon | Women.” This space was created to explore how to improve the lives of women in the Southern region. It is a group of diverse voices and experiences. It is a place to ASK QUESTIONS to better understand why others believe so differently than I do.

“To build consensus, we must first seek to understand. Remember: This group is about building women up--not tearing them down.” - Reckon | Women

In order to join the group, you have to submit who you think is a strong southern woman!

There are so many beautiful options! Who would you choose?

60214719_895062880836356_970649676749471744_n.png

5. Something I’m Looking Forward To

WOW! I can’t believe it! My Jellybean Dance Collective and our show Three Ballerinas: A Moving Sketch will be featured on Homegrown Choreographers!!!!!!!! Look out for us in the coming weeks on their Instagram here.

DSC_0303.jpg

6. Something I Learned

Screenshot 2019-05-18 22.05.22.png

“Why Everyone’s So Mad about Daenerys Targaryen” by Todd VanDerWerff for Vox is exactly the article I’ve been needing to get through this past week. It’s about more than “character development” or “bad writing” to me and to so many others, particularly female fans.

“Suffice to say, making Game of Thrones a story about how a woman who has long wanted power going a little crazy the closer she gets to it has rubbed many people the wrong way.


It goes on to say…

“And many people have related to Dany deeply, seeing in her an avatar of feminine power they hadn’t seen elsewhere in pop culture when the show debuted in 2011.”

There’s also a note about writing and the eighth season as a whole that I think hits the nail on the head.

If you spend an entire series setting up a certain character as a would-be liberator or a would-be tyrant — and many viewers would argue that Game of Thrones spent way too little time on the latter half of that dichotomy with regard to Dany — it’s still going to be jarring when that character makes her final choice and viewers aren’t permitted into her head as she makes it.

You can respect that choice. You can even love it. But to many people, it’s going to feel like a betrayal, because we want, on some gut level, to understand it. It is this sense of betrayal that unites essentially every controversy that has bubbled up in the show’s final season, every complaint about how the series is no longer good or is making a hash of its reputation.

Much of Game of Thrones season eight seems designed, ultimately, to deny us the kinds of closure we might want. That’s an artistically valid choice, and one that could be immensely powerful in the right hands. But its potential impact relies on viewers’ belief that the choice to forgo closure is a deliberate one on the part of the artist, and not one made accidentally via clumsiness.

AND THIS

If you are disappointed in the Daenerys turn, it’s likely because you feel that Game of Thrones has somehow violated one of the core promises it made at its start. The moment when she burns an entire city reveals that the show no longer cares about rich psychological realism, or it would have invited viewers in to better understand her thinking.

It reveals that the show doesn’t quite trust women in power (the sequence with Dany’s dragon ride even explicitly links Dany and antiheroine Cersei, both via editing and costuming). And it reveals that the two people that Game of Thrones positioned as potentially good rulers who could break the wheel have either gone mad with power (Dany) or are just sort of sweet and dumb (Jon).

You don’t even need to believe that Game of Thrones has betrayed all three of those themes to be angry. For instance, I tend to side with Slate’s Willa Paskin in thinking the Dany turn is not anti-feminist, but I do sort of think the scene violates the show’s former attempts at psychological realism. Game of Thrones has simply gotten so big that its spectacle overwhelms everything else.

This show used to be about the moments between the spectacle, the moments that made us understand why a character would do what they did, even as their ultimate action proved shocking. We understood why Ned Stark lost his head. We understood why Catelyn Stark and Robb Stark died. But do we understand why Daenerys does what she does? On a visceral, gut level?

I would argue we don’t. 

And finally, from an article by Vulture’s Kathryn VanArendonk, here’s the EXACT reason I sighed and was just like “okay… fine…” when Daenerys burned King’s Landing.

Disheartened isn’t even the right word. I am exhausted by Mad Queen Dany, with the kind of fatigue that leads to jaw-cracking yawns and deep, resigned sighs. The notion that this sprawling story about epic political gamesmanship, the corruption of power, the things we inherit from our families, the people we choose to love, and the inevitable inescapable march of death would ultimately hinge on a trope as painfully stale as “and then the scary powerful woman goes crazy” is, to be frank, boring. That Dany’s madness is preordained only makes it worse because it extends the umbrella of Game of Thronesunoriginal obsession with the emotional instability of women over a longer time frame.

Mad women have a long fictional history. They leap from fiery balconies, having been trapped in secret attics for most of their adult lives. They lose their minds after having children, or having failed to have children, or after their children die. It may not be not hard to find evidence that Dany’s madness is seeded from the beginning, but that does nothing to counteract the implication that Game of Thrones is a story about hysteria. If it’s always been pointing toward Dany’s madness, then it has always been a story about a woman who tries to take command, and whose ambition, trauma, and inability to have nice, chubby, living human babies, makes her mind unfit for the task.

And one final thought….

“I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did,” Weiss [one of the writers] says about the instant when Dany cracks. “It’s in that moment … when she’s looking at the symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to make this personal.” This is no misguided interpretation of justice, in other words. Dany is not killing everyone in a broken attempt to save them. [matricide] She’s not seeking bigger themes, or trying to wipe the slate clean, or operating on some tragic but predetermined plan. She’s just a crazy, vengeful, unhinged chick on top of a dragon, a woman who once had grand goals but got distracted by her emotions, a woman who used to have father figures and cannot operate without them, a woman who could’ve had it all if she hadn’t gone and made things, ugh, personal.

I am anxiously awaiting the final episode, and I have more or less enjoyed this final season. However, it was so nice to understand this “disconnected” feeling I’ve gotten about Game of Thrones recently. I feel like lots of choices this season have lent it to be yet another mindless television show to pass the time. Its fantasy element and immersion capabilities have diminished to an unrecognizable point, but I still love it as a television show and not as a “story” and I can’t wait to see how the series ends!

Five Things Friday

  1. Something I Love

IMG_0684.jpg

I LOVED getting to go to The Museum of Pop Culture. It was a really interesting museum full of different interactive and engaging exhibits. I had fun getting to hop on this 1980 Honda CM400a Hondamatic motorcycle that is a reproduction of the bike that Prince rode in the movie Purple Rain.

(Now I’m going to be singing that song all day.)

I think the fantasy exhibit was my favorite! I got to see Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and other stuff as well as an enchanted forest and a sleeping dragon. I had no idea, but I should’ve known, that “Fantasy” is the oldest genre of storytelling. Isn’t that neat? The museum writes “Once a way of explaining a seemingly unknowable world, the genre still resonates as an escape from our everyday lives into realms of myth and magic.”

I also had a chillingly good time hopping into the “Scared to Death” horror exhibit! I’m a fan of classic horror like Dracula and Frankenstein, but beyond that, I’m pretty much a scaredy cat!!! But, it was still an exhibit I’m glad I didn’t miss! Here’s a photo of me the very moment that something sinister started whispering at me while I was trying to get a photo op in the coffin. Needless to say, I was chilled to the bone and I’m not hopping into any coffins anymore any time soon! But, it was a great time! I highly recommend the museum.

Don’t forget your student ID when you’re traveling for a discounted ticket!

2. Something I Learned

book-rev-1-e1556658924787.jpg

I learned that the “Jazz Age” was officially born on May 1, 1919 in the date line of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “May Day” which was first seen in July 1920 appearing in The Smart Set and then in 1922 as part of Tales of the Jazz Age.

Read more about it and its background here

3. Something I Accomplished

Copy of Spring is here!.png

YOU GUYS! I’m so excited and happy right now to share this with you!

I am just tickled to announce that Sweet Home Storytelling Dance Series is hosting its very first theater show and premiering the work, Three Ballerinas: A Moving Sketch on ‼️ JUNE 8, 2019 AT THE DANCE FOUNDATION! ‼️

This will be the work we’ll take to the Fitzgerald Conference in France later that month and we are thrilled to premiere it in Zelda Fitzgerald’s home state of Alabama!

Admittance to the show is just by DONATION and every cent of the donation goes straight to funding the dancer housing in France during the conference, trains from the airport, and future community performances.

RSVP on Facebook here

4. Something I’m Inspired By

TheSleepingAtLastPodcast-Teal.jpg

My heart just leaps every time I listen to Sleeping at Last songs, but I am incredibly inspired by their podcast as well. Their podcast is a little bit of a “How It’s Made” kind of podcast, and listening to their artistic process gets me excited to make things of my own!

Find out how to listen to their podcast here

5. Something I’m Looking Forward To

52598371_10155923411605877_5364361672498610176_n.jpg

My students at Encore Performance Company have worked so very hard this year! I am looking forward to the Showcase of their work this Saturday at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. This will be such an exciting time, and I can’t wait to see them shine under the stage lights.

KhalEESI Does It: First Edition

This new segment, KhalEESI Does It is about how to feel like Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne, Rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains every day!

dracarys.jpg

I believe you don’t have to be a Mother of Dragons, lead a Dothraki Horde across the Narrow Sea with your band of Unsullied Soldiers, or have the blood of Old Valyria coursing through your veins to feel like a Khaleesi. And while I always wholeheartedly enjoy getting to don my three headed dragon pin and my black Daenerys in Dragonstone costume, sometimes the “rightful heir” to the Iron Throne needs to go to work as a dance teacher or run some errands at the supermarket ,and it just isn’t time efficient to braid my hair into ornate spirals signifying my conquests that day.

On those days when I want to be a Dragon Queen, but I’ve also got to teach the art of ballet to six year olds, I’ve found that… it is totally possible! It’s 2019, and a queen has no boundaries or limitations of definition!

I feel like a Khaleesi when I say “Plié” with the power of saying ”Dracarys.”

Here are some ways I bring the fire into my every day life.


Call Your Banners! Grow Your Wedding Party!

Call the banners! Wedding is coming!

After setting a date, I was thrilled to get to ask my little brother and my very best friend in the world to be my Man of Honor!

Even though he’s a Lannister, I am so thrilled to have him standing by me on my big day! I made him a goody basket with Game of Thrones Oreos from Target, a baby lion stuffed animal from Amazon, a Lannister Sweatshirt from Etsy, “Wildfire” aka Diet Mountain Dew with labels of Cersei blowing up the Sept of Baelor I printed at UPS, and some signs I made using wires from florals from Hobby Lobby and printed cards from Etsy.

I have “Let’s Hope It’s Not Another Red Wedding” and ”He Bent the Knee” (that I cut) and “I Always Get Choked Up At Weddings” cards I used in this basket! Buy them here, here and here on Etsy.

I created my own sign to ask him to be my man of honor by using the Game of Thrones font I downloaded here.

I was so glad to have this as a part of last night’s watch party! It made it so special and memorable!

IMG_9131.jpg



Listen to the Khaleesi Playlist I Made on Spotify!

Now I must admit, sometimes I crack myself up. Yes, there are songs with the obvious fire theme like Hozier’s Arsonist’s Lullaby or Elvis Presley’s Burning Love, but I squeezed some in there with a little play on words like “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. Get it… Draggin’ DRAGON?!

I also think with the white blonde hair of Old Valyria, Daenerys would enjoy Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde” as much as I do! Take a listen! I think there’s a tune for everyone.

This playlist also includes the BRAND NEW Florence and the Machine song written for Game of Thrones called Jenny of Oldstones.


Host an Epic Game of Thrones Watch Party

Only four more episodes left, and I’m so sad for it to be over! Each week I’ve had so much fun watching the episode with friends, but I’ve also had a grand ole time planning the watch party and coming up with ideas too!

This watch party had everything from Little Finger Chicken Fingers to Dragon Eggs to White Walker Snowballs to enough Wildfire to make even Cersei look twice!

I took clipart from online and used a free Game of Thrones font I downloaded here to create the document. I just printed it at UPS and cut it the good old fashioned way with some scissors, then stuck each card down into three different three sectioned serving trays on sale at Publix!


Watch Game of Thrones Theory Videos On YouTube

Here are a few of my faves. Some of them are my favorites because of their likelihood to happen and thorough research, some are my faves because they’re outlandish and nonsensical but I love it and love to entertain crazy ideas that have literally nothing to do with the plot hahaha.


Catch Up On Your Valyrian History and Dragon Trivia

I loved these two videos to help me understand the context a little more. I’m almost finished with Fire & Blood, George R. R. Martin’s book on The Targaryen family in Westeros and this is an interesting accompaniment or even a way to understand what happens in the book without reading all 989075348 pages.

BALERION THE DREAD, FOREVER Y’ALL!

Also, Visenya Targaryen needs her own show. THAT GIRL IS LEGIT.

P.S. WHERE IS DARK SISTER?!?!?!!!!!!!!!! Its last whereabouts were with the last Three Eyed Raven, Brynden Rivers when he went to the Wall. Bran would definitely know about it as the new three eyed raven. Will it be the sword Azor Ahai wields? That would be cool. I would love to have Daenerys inherit the ancestral sword, but… we all know Jon would be better suited with his skills as a swordsman.

OR WILL THE GOLDEN COMPANY (founded by Aegor Rivers, “Bittersteel” a Targaryen illegitimate child that was legitimized by Aegon IV) be in possession of Blackfyre, the other ancestral weapon of House Targaryen (and the one Aegon the Conqueror wielded) and Jon will get that when he defeats the sell-swords that Cersei bought from the Free Cities?

Maybe it’s not important and won’t happen at all, but I just love a good ancestral weapon inheritance moment like what happened with Samwell and Jorah this past episode!

Ten Things Tuesday

One of these days, I’ll make a deadline, but TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY! My latest Five Things Friday is now coming out on Tuesday, but hey, that means it’s TEN things so double the things double the fun right?!


  1. Something I Love

Now, I’m not going to get all mushy I swear, but April 15, 2019 marked SIX WHOLE YEARS of dating my fiancé, B, and four whole months of being engaged. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s incredible how six years can feel like centuries but also seconds at the same time. We’ve got centuries to go, because this is forever!

And honestly, it’s good that we’ve got forever because of course… I’m always late. haha I crack myself up, that was a good one. I’ll have to save that for my vows.

Of course, totally on brand, I was a day late posting on social media a photograph of us as Daenerys and Jon Snow this past Halloween. You can read the whole caption and see more images on my Instagram @victorianiblett but basically we’ve decided that Walder Frey is not invited to our wedding!!!!!! (Game of Thrones fan will know what I’m talking about. But here’s a Coldplay song to help you get the gist… You don’t mess around with Walder Frey.)

We’ve decided to host our wedding at the historic Alabama Theatre (where we got engaged) eeeep! And maybe after we deal with these White Walkers and conquer the Seven Kingdoms, we’ll come up with a wedding date.

danyjon.jpg

2. Something I Learned

My heart is heavy learning of the devastation to the Notre Dame cathedral in France. I am absolutely heartbroken that so much of our world history was lost on Monday morning, and I hate feeling hopeless, but there was overwhelming despair knowing that our world is crumbling…

In my reading, I came across an article about one art historian’s efforts to digitally map the Notre Dame Cathedral and how his work could help in the restoration and rebuilding of this place of worship and beloved monument to humanity.

“Although parts of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral now lie in ruins, people can still experience what most of its nooks and crannies looked like in remarkable detail - thanks to an American art historian.

Andrew Tallon, a professor of art at Vassar College*, used lasers to painstakingly scan the cathedral in 2015, giving us a nearly perfect digital replica of the Gothic structure. And his work could help architects and engineers rebuild it after Monday's fire.”

*Tidbit: Scottie Fitzgerald, daughter of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, also attended Vassar College.


3. Something I Accomplished

Well, hot dog! My Sweet Home Storytelling Dance Series was regarded as a “book” for Alabama Book Festival, and I am so soooo thankful that my little Jellybean Dance Collective got to be included in this year’s festival in Old Alabama Town! It was an honor and a privilege to be considered an author for my choreography. Hosting a panel at this festival amongst such incredible, brilliant authors was a dream come true and I still can’t believe I got to be a part of this.

My underlying goal in this whole series is to increase the accessibility of dance and prove that dance is bigger than itself- that it is necessary, that it is useful, and that it belongs in our schools, our art, our culture, and our conversations. What I hope to do is use dance as a vehicle to take history, literature, folklore, and stories beyond themselves too and bridge the gap between dance and the rest of the world. I think that the amazing people of the Alabama literature community opening their arms and their festival to a DANCER and CHOREOGRAPHER just absolutely blew me away.

THIS was what I was hoping to accomplish. I am still absolutely in awe of the open-mindedness of the audience as we held discussion and got to explore the storytelling power of dance.

If I just got one person to see that power…. I’d say we accomplished something.

alabama book festival.jpg

4. Something I’m Inspired By

Whitman, Alabama is a project that I’ve followed for a while, but this past weekend at the Alabama Book Festival, I got the privilege of meeting the creator of the 52-part documentary film, Jennifer Crandall!!!! She is an incredibly empathetic listener, and has created this series to amplify the voices of Alabama’s people by having them recite verses of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.

Jennifer says of Song of Myself, “The poem centered itself around one idea: Everyone is an individual —everyone is connected — we all contain many selves. Despite being considered trashy, disgusting, and the worst thing ever written, "Song of Myself" is now considered to be a perfect embodiment of democratic ideals. The quintessential American poem.”

Jennifer is incredible and I cannot believe I got to meet this woman that is a champion of the people and the state I call my Sweet Home!

Please visit her project site and watch the intro video I’ve embedded.


5. Something I’m Looking Forward To

place-and-placelessness-poster-2019-724x1024.jpg

The Fitzgerald Society has invited me to present my research on Zelda Fitzgerald and “Three Ballerinas” in Toulouse, France at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference.

It is an HONOR to be included in this international opportunity, and I can’t believe I was invited to present! I hope to shed light on the legacy of Scott and Zelda in every step, and I can only do this with YOUR HELP!!!!!

EVERY donation counts! 100% of the proceeds go straight to transportation costs, rehearsal space rental, lodging in Toulouse for my dancers, and the production!

DONATE VIA GO FUNDME HERE

DONATE VIA PAYPAL HERE


6. Something I’ve Got Going On

WINTER IS HERE!

Now, just wanna say there are no season 8 spoilers in my post, but I had a BLAST watching the season premiere on Sunday!

My friend Grace and I arranged a watch party complete with enough Wildfire to even make Cersei bat an eye. Look at some of our ideas below for a super easy watch party set up, but there’s a new blog segment I’m launching til the end of Game of Thrones (which don’t remind me, is soon….) about ways to feel like a Khaleesi every day!

The new segment will probably called “KhalEESI Does It” because “Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne, Rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains Does It” didn’t have the same ring to it.


7. Something I’m Listening To

So, I’m still loving Poppy, and her MAJOR SILVER JUMPSUIT IN THIS VID, but this week my heart’s been partial to “Beige” by Yoke Lore and this incredible (unburdened) version I embedded below.

It speaks to my Enneagram type 4 soul with the words,

“I don't want to see your smile
I want you in the morning
Before you go performing”


8. Something I Want to Try

I’m thirsty for adventure and physical challenge after my recent travel experience. I want to try rock climbing and bouldering, but I’ve never tried to before, so I’ve got to start with some practicing. Who knows? Maybe I’ll love it. Maybe it will be like crafting or putt putt golf and I’ll be royally terrible about it.


9. Something I Want

So… There’s a new The 1975 album coming soon! Don’t believe me, hear it from the man himself, or… read it tweeted from the man himself! Maybe we’ll get a preview at the show in Seattle, which is just TWO WEEKS AWAY wooooo! I can’t wait. I’ve never been to Seattle, and I’ve never seen this beautiful band live before!

Screenshot 2019-04-17 00.01.46.png

10. Something I’d Like to Accomplish

I’m working on the website for Jellybean Dance Collective, as well as some of our social media channels. I’d like to organize our first theater show and have it up on the calendar soon!

Subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram to see what we’ll have cooking!