Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Name of the Game is "Blog Catch Up;" Pilo Arts & Relay for Life

Hey Everyone, 

So all last week I was home sick in bed with a horrible case of strep throat that put me behind on everything!!! :-( But I am finally starting to feel better and am getting back into the groove of life. My goal for the day was to catch up on a few events that I participated in over the past month so here it goes . . . . 

Bay Ridge Courier Covers Pilo Arts Day Spa & Salon 

 Pilo Arts Day Spa & Salon 

8412 Third Avenue
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York 11209 USA

Throughout my year as Miss Brooklyn, Pilo Arts Day Spa & Salon has been a dedicated sponsor. They welcomed me with open arms back in October and have supported me in every event that I have participated in this year. On March 17th I visited Pilo Arts and had my hair done by the fabulous Master Stylist Jayne Chillo and my makeup done by the wonderful Betsy Shuki, for a feature in the Bay Ridge Courier. 

Pilo Arts has been an institution in Brooklyn since 1978 and from its inception has made it its mission to give back to the community. Each and every year Pilo Arts donates over $1 Million Dollars in services to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, New York University Cancer Fund, NYC Public Schools, and hundreds of other organization. 

I am so thankful that they have partnered with me this year and have not only assisted me personally, but have supported my platform and provided great donations that helped raise funds for the Sarcoma Alliance

Keep an eye out around Brooklyn for the Bay Ridge Courier Article! 

Jayne Chillo, Master Stylist
and my fabulous Hair Sponsor

Owner & Co-Founder of Pilo Arts,
Elena Solitario 

Thank you for all that you have done for me this year!

MARCH 29th at Christa McAuliffe

"The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length."

For the past 12 years Brooklynites have gathered for this amazing event and in that time have raised a remarkable $1 million for cancer. I myself have participated in Relay for Life since I was in elementary school and can say first hand what an inspirational event it truly is. I remember my first year in 5th Grade camping out at Poly Prep with my family and friends, doing karaoke all night and walking the track in honor of those who we have lost and for those who continue to fight. Though the fun memories of Relay for Life will always stay with me, the one thing I will never forget it the first time I saw the "Luminaria Ceremony," where candles are lit in paper bags and are displayed in the word HOPE. I remember sitting there in complete awe by the beauty and the serenity that takes place during that moment. It is a feeling that you have to experience to fully understand because it is so breathtaking. 

In order to kickoff the Relay for Life Celebration, Nancy Colt (Director of Special Events for the American Cancer Society) and her wonderful team coordinated a celebration at Christa McAuliffe IS 187, where relayers, both past, present and future could gather for a joyous night. I had the honor of meeting inspirational cancer survivors and caregivers and even had the chance to say a few words about my personal experience with Relay for Life. It was such a fun evening full of love, inspiration and of course HOPE. 

I look forward to a continued relationship with the American Cancer Society and am excited to walk the "Pink Carpet" at their Pink & Black Tie Gala on May 12th :-) 

Aunt Joe <3 The inspiration behind everything!

City Councilman, Vincent Gentile

Beautiful Survivors <3
Nancy Colt, Director of Special Events
for the American Cancer Society
Keeping the fight alive <3
Saying a few words :-)


Thursday, April 7, 2011


Wow, life is so crazy right now! So many wonderful things are happening so quickly and trying to keep up with everything is proving to be a unique challenge to say the least. I am currently in the middle of putting together my grand benefit dance performance. I have been working on this for months and now it is only a month away, so needless to say I have been running around like a chicken without a head lol. It is looking to be a great event that I will certainly give you more information on later next week :-) For now I must go back to the hectic/AMAZING month of March!

NATIONAL DANCE INSTITUTE: Teacher Training Program

The National Dance Institute is a remarkable not-for profit performing arts organization that "has transformed the lives of more than 2 million public school children through award-winning arts and learning programs. Children discover the arts through dance and develop standards of excellence, a pride of achievement and a curiosity about the world that supports their success in school and in life." Founded 34 years ago by famous ballet dancer Jacques d'Amboise, NDI has flourished into a renowned organization that has been recognized on both the national and international level. 

I was bitten by the NDI bug last year when a family friend Lauren Cramer brought me to see a sensational performance in June and from that point on I was hooked. I wanted nothing more than to get involved with this organization and for two wonderful weeks in March I was given the opportunity to experience the magic behind NDI. 

I was accepted into the two-week intensive teacher training program and was able to participate thanks to the generous sponsorship from the wonderful Cramer Family. From March 7-17th I worked with remarkable teachers and trained with an exceptional group of talented people. For two straight weeks a group of 22 of us trainees gathered at various New York City public schools, observing, assisting and even teaching the students the renowned NDI pedagogy. 

The experience at NDI will stay with me for years to come and I hope that one day I will have the privilege of working for this superb organization, whose genuine love and dedication to the arts is to be deeply admired. Strong teachers, combined with a welcoming work environment and PASSION is the secret to NDI's tremendous success. I walked away from this experience with amazing new friends, an even greater appreciation for the art of dance, and a deep attachment to the organization. :-) 

National Dance Institute 2011 Teacher Training Program

Christa McAuliffe IS 187: 
While I was taking the two-week teacher intensive I was also in tech rehearsal for IS 187's performance of Beauty and The Beast, so for those two weeks I got up every morning at 6:00am, went to NDI until around 4:00pm then headed over to McAuliffe from 5:00-9:00pm (the most hectic, yet fulfilling two weeks ever lol!!!!). 

I have been the Drama Club Choreographer there for the past 4 years and have worked with a wonderful director Susan Huizinga to put on what turned out to be a truly enchanting performance on March 18th, 19th, & 20th.  I love my students to the moon and back and was SOOOOOO unbelievably proud of them. They are all so talented and being able to be a part of their success is a reward unlike any other.  Aside from putting on a great production, the students were kind enough to present me with a check in the amount of $500.oo for the SARCOMA ALLIANCE The students really go above and behind the duty of community service and have supported my cause for the past two year. THANK YOU, I am so grateful for all that you have done xoxo 


Fabulous Director Susan Huizinga

So proud of you Mikayla :-) 


Love her <3

The Crew :-) Somehow we pulled this off lol

Wonderful job Natalie aka "Belle" :-) 

Best of Luck to all of my 8th Graders,
you will all go on to do amazing thing! 

Beautiful Belle and the Fabulous Beast
Max and Natalie :-) 

So that pretty much covered only two of the four events I needed to fill you in on lol. 
I guess there is always tomorrow <333