A bubbly blog about boys, bleeding, and the basics between.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A-Ro. The Dancing Hemo

Hey guys. So during a Tittersation (is that a real word?) I was asked by Affinity Biotech how hemophilia affects my dancing after commenting on a link to this video, and I thought, "PERFECT BLOG POST!" But before I write my story I want to let you know that I do not consider myself a "dancer dancer." I consider myself an Actor/Singer/Dancer. There are people out there who make a living out there dancing, and I am not one of them. What I am is a performer who can also dance and that movement ability has helped me book jobs, but is not my main focus. Okay. That being said....
My mother is a dance teacher, so I have grown up around dancing since I was a wee tyke, and much like the shoemaker's kids who go with holes in their soles, I may have "danced," but never really trained heavily.

Age 2 at my very first dance recital. I had the whole world in my hands!
I would sometimes take class as I got older, but since I was the only boy at the studio for a while I would usually just learn choreography for certain performances. I have to say I love(d) to dance and still do today.

When I ended up going to Penn State, I really started to realize how intense dance training could affect my bleeding disorder. I distinctly remember my first day of beginner ballet. There I am, looking so Ballet-Chic in my black tights and white t-shirt, my dance belt riding up like no other, and I went to my dance instructor to inform her of my "situation." She very politely told me that I should just be as careful as possible and that until she looked into this further I should be aware that my status of staying in the program was in jeopardy. (Side note: Once Spence and my other professors understood Hemophilia more thoroughly I was told everything was fine). But it was at this moment that I was like, oh. Maybe I CAN'T do this. I had always believed that I could.
Throughout college, taking hours of dance a day which consisted of ballet, tap, jazz, and musical theatre styles, I would find that I would have random bleeds, especially in my target joints, my hips and ankles.
Even though I was told my status was safe, I didn't believe them, so off I would go to class, instant ice pack in tow, and wince my way through class without saying a word.
Now, I have to say I do use the excuse of my bleeding disorder as a reason for not being a better dancer. And if I was a LITTLE less
lazy I could be doing Yoga and Pilates to help my flexibility (Hey! My past readers know I will call myself out when I am in the wrong), but it is really discouraging when you've been working really hard and gaining some progress, and then get injured, pretty badly.
It was my junior year of college and I was in my musical theatre styles class, and for the first time I really felt like I could compete with the "dancers" in my class, and we were working on the opening combination to A Chorus Line. I wish I had a video to show you, but I'm sure you can find SOMEONE doing original choreo for A Chorus Line SOMEWHERE on YouTube (just don't watch the movie choreo. It was different and horrible). Anyway, I was dancing my little heart out and I kicked my right leg up, and I just felt it. Searing pain run through my right hip. But, as I had been doing for about 3 years by this point, I grinned and pressed on. I actually took the bus back to my dorm that day, I remember. Anywho, when I got to my room I could barely move my hip. It had gotten that bad, so I called my hematologists and of course they said treat RIGHT away. So I did (this is when I was infusing more often so I DID feel comfortable self-infusing), but ended up in bed for about two weeks, and when I started dancing again, it was like I had never danced before and I was so disheartened.
Of course I kept dancing, continued to take class, and have been fortunate enough to book performing work, and yes, some that requires dancing. And you better believe that when I had twisted my ankle during a show of Naked Boys, that I kept going, wrapped it, infused, and was ready for my next show! But in the back of my mind I always wonder how GREAT I could have become if bleeding episodes hadn't gotten in my way. But I am not complaining. I am active. I am performing, and I am loving my life right now.

Photo Credit: Wire Images. A photo taken during the 3,000 performance of Naked Boys Singing!
So this post was not meant to be a sad story, or an uplifting story. Just a story; a small part of my story. What I get out of my past as a dancer is that it has made me a better performer and a more well rounded person. I enjoy teaching the art of dance, because although I may not be able to kick my face, I know how to explain to other people how THEY should. Any physical activity is risky. You can hurt yourself swimming, or running, or even playing golf, but why put yourself at MORE risk by doing a more contact heavy sport? I'm not saying don't try it, or quit, I'm just saying that I think it is wise to make smart decisions when choosing what physical activity to undertake.
Yes. We strive to let every individual with a bleeding disorder live a normal life, but I cannot stress enough that even while treating prophylacticly (is that a word) breakthrough bleeds occur. Smart choices are just that. Smart. And hope everyone out there is making them. I know sometimes I haven't...
Till we meet again...

Location:Bowling Center Ln,Hawley,United States

Monday, June 4, 2012

Walk it out...

So here I am. Sitting on a bus heading back to PA after attending the NYC Hemophilia Walk for the second year, and already I'm looking forward to 2013!

This story goes back a long, long time ago........ to February. Glenn Mones asked me if I would be interested in talking about my first walk experience (which was just the previous year) at a Kick-Ofd Brunch that was taking place at Barebuger (which btw [shameless plug], if you have never eaten at you should because it is AMAZING).

Anywho... Of course I said yes, because, in all reality, when would I NOT want to talk in front of people, and my journey for the 2012 walk began.

This was my first year as a team captain and I had big dreams for how I was going to do this! I was gonna have like 30 people on my team (never happened), we were going to have a huge cabaret with original songs written by composing teams to raise money (never happened), and I was going to have these awesome Hemo Homo t-shirts made that were going to rock everyone's socks! (Never happened).

But what did happen is I ended up with an amazing team of 5 people where we raised $365. I know it wasn't the most raised, barely 1% of what the team with the most money raised, but we did it. Our small but mighty team helped to contribute, and I do believe that every dollar helps.

When we arrived at the walk it was, as it was last year, overwhelming to see the amount of people supporting the Bleeding Disorders community. The main difference, personally, between last year and this year, is that attending the walk last year was one of my first events with the community. I met a lot of amazing people and new friends. Whereas THIS YEAR, I got to reconnect with people I hadn't seen in months, and get to hang out, talk, and chit-chat (yes. Talking and chit-chatting is different. I use WAY more "hey girl"s when chit-chatting).

Photo Credit: Ryan Seeley

It was really wonderful to get to see my dear friend Ryan again after not seeing him since Albany Days. The little trouper walked the ENTIRE 5K and is really an inspiration.

My team consisted of Tyler (the bf), my good friends Matt and Chris (who is also a Hemo), and my dear, dear friend Melissa (who has been mentioned previously in the blog before).

Melissa and I posing during the walk. Apparently this section was used in You've Got Mail? I almost lost my gay card over not knowing that one...

The Walk raised over 237,000 dollars total and really is an inspiration. I learned that I really need to plan ahead for next year so that Team Hemo Homo can really add a significant chunk o' change to the pot next year.

There are other walks still going on across the country all summer long, so I am asking my readers to make a donation to your local chapter's walk. Every penny helps, and pretty soon, we will walk all the way to a cure!

Till we meet again...

Location:Harriman State Park,Southfields,United States

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hemophilia Walk 2012

Hey y'all! Follow the link below to join my team in the 2012 NYC Hemophilia Walk in Riverside Park! More details to follow!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guess Who's Back?!

No. Not Tony Danza, he's the boss remember? Anywho, IT'S ME! Your good ol' bleeder buddy. SO much has happened over the past couple of months and unfortunately the blog has fallen a bit behind, but it's time for me to put it at the top of my priority list again, so here I am!

I don't wanna tell you EVERYTHING that's been happening because then I won't have anything to write for the next couple weeks, but my life has taken a huge flip-flop.

Topics you will be hearing more about... A-chem (I'm clearing my throat, I'm sick)...

1) Naked Boys Singing has closed... and reopened with a new cast (shady).
2) I am traveling back and forth between NYC and Pennsylvania to help my mother out in PA.
3) Tyler and I have officially moved in together. Yeah!
4) I don't have health insurance...
5) I had a bad bleed in my shoulder and have a whole blog planned (with pics, of course).
6) I choreographed a high school production of Seussical the Musical in PA.

So lots has been going on. Like, lots. And I can't wait to tell you all about it. Again, PLEASE send me some ideas for posts, bleeder related or not, because I love new ideas.

When I am in PA I don't have Internet so some of these posts may be formatted weird as I am using my iPhone. Just saying.

It feels good to be back, I've missed you all! I hope you missed me... :-)

Till we meet again...

Location:Old Gravity Rd,Hawley,United States