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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Archive: October 2011

Busy Person’s Retreat

Last week, I participated in the BCC’s second annual Busy Person’s Retreat. The BCC offers a variety of programs, including evening retreats, loads of different faith-sharing groups, and this Busy Person’s Retreat. (You can see some of the options here.) This retreat ran from Monday-Thursday last week, with a quick orientation and lunch on Sunday after our weekly Mass.

The Busy Person’s Retreat is particularly interesting because it was designed specifically for college students. Each student is paired with a spiritual director — this will be an adult to whom you can talk. I worked with a woman who is part of the archdiocese offices. Here’s what the retreat entailed:

  • Orientation and lunch on Sunday
  • Commit to praying for 30 min each day of the retreat on your own, using set readings and reflection questions as a guide
  • Meet with your spiritual director for 30 min each day after having completed the prayer
  • Attend optional prayer services at 5 pm Monday-Wednesday and Mass followed by supper at 5:30 pm Thursday.

The retreat is designed, obviously enough, for the busy person. This is why the time commitment is broken into small, half-hour chunks. I enjoyed both the prayer time and the conversations with the woman helping me during the retreat. The prayer showed me I had more time for reflection in the middle of the day than I thought I did; the conversation was wonderful because I usually don’t talk about my spirituality in a relaxed setting with only one other person.

I also really enjoyed the retreat because of Butler’s beautiful weather. I spent all but one of my reflection times outside on a bench or in the rock garden behind Butler’s carillon bell tower. Butler is absolutely beautiful in the fall. You don’t have to participate in a spiritual activity to gain a sense of calm — just sit outside to do your homework.


I’m sharing all this to demonstrate all the unique opportunities Butler students have. This retreat was open to all — and how often do you get to have casual dinners and lunches with the wife of the president of the university? You know Butler is a small school when you can talk about religion while sharing the president’s wife’s strawberry rhubarb cobbler. I have not talked much with either Mr. or Mrs. Danko, but they both seem extremely nice, and I really like Mrs. Danko.

I also want to point out that I had more time than I thought I would for college spirituality both when I entered as a freshman and now. If you are interested in exploring spirituality, the Blue House offers a wide variety of options.

Requisite Food Post: OMG So Much Cake

In the midst of writing a zillion posts about applying and auditioning for Butler University’s Department of Dance (see here here here here), I uploaded from my camera/was given pictures from my extended birthday celebrations. I haven’t written a frivolous post about food for a while. And OMGoodness, there was so much cake.

Cake on a Tuesday

There was homemade raspberry jam-chocolate-raspberries on top-carmel on top cake.

Clean plate

I handled that like a pro.

Thursday cupcakes and cake

There were the amazing almond cupcakes with carmel buttercream icing, courtesy of the extremely talented roommate whose mission it is to surround herself with the smell of baked goods.

Artsy photo of flourless chocolate cake. (Thank you, roommate, for the picture!)

And there was the delicious dessert platter ordered when I went to a restaurant with some friends: Flourless chocolate cake, two different kinds of truffles, apples, figs, and goat cheese. I loved mixing the goat cheese with the cake. I promise, it was delicious. I thought so, but this decision perhaps was not unanimous….

Goat cheese + chocolate cake = x, x = that face.

Long story short, I met amazing people when I came to Butler, people who are kind enough to make dinner, raspberry cake, and almond cake, people who take me out to dessert and try goat cheese and chocolate together and take photos on fancy cameras to document the event. Thank you, everyone who helped celebrate my birthday in the very long, drawn-out way it manifested itself (this is where English needs more explicitly reflexive verbs…). It was all delicious! And thank you, Mom, for the cookies you sent.

The waitress was totally uninterested, so we had to reenact the moment for the requisite photo.

What to Expect When You’re Auditioning

In this post, I’m going to walk you through the Department of Dance audition process. Dancers will take two ballet technique classes, both in flat shoes. Men will take one men’s ballet technique class, then join the females for a ballet technique class. Females will take two ballet technique classes, first with the Level 4 females (predominantly seniors), then with the Level 2 (predominantly sophomores).

The JCFA website claims your day runs from 8:45 am to 5 pm. Here’s what I remember from my audition day four years ago: (This might not be the correct order of events/wholly accurate/still the same four years later.)

  • Introduction to the dance department and the degrees offered
  • Tour of the fine arts facilities
  • Meet some of the faculty and staff
  • lunch
  • financial aid meeting for parents?? or something parenty?
  • 12:20-1:50: Class with the Level 4 women (auditioning females)/department men (auditioning males)
  • 1-2:30: Class with the Level 2 women (all auditioners)
  • time to poke around campus, campus tours, etc.

A bit about the audition classes themselves: These are the Level 4 and 2 normal technique classes with current students, so the auditioning students can see what the atmosphere is like on a day-to-day basis. The teacher conducting the class is the normal teacher for that particular class on that particular day (dance faculty rotate teaching schedules every few weeks, so your teachers vary throughout the semester depending which class you take).

The Level 4 class is predominantly seniors. This year (if I’m counting correctly) there are 14 senior women, 2 junior women, and 1 sophomore woman in the Level 4 class. Men take technique class together Monday, Wednesday, Friday and are combined with the ladies’ Levels 1-4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On these days, we are joined by 4 senior men and 2 junior men, plus another junior lady who moves up to Level 4 Tuesday/Thursday. This is the general outline for who will be in your audition class.

The class will be in flat shoes, black leotard with pink tights inside the leo, no dangerous jewelry, etc. You will receive a number and be placed all in a line at the barre at one end of the room. The way we face at the barres, no auditioner will have to do the combination without seeing anyone for the right side, but if you are on the end, you will have to know the combination for the left. Other faculty members will drift in and out throughout the class. There are usually far more people observing the center than the barre work.

In the center, the teacher usually places the auditioning students on one side of the room with the other side used by the regular class. This is so the faculty do not have to search throughout the room to find you; you want to been easily seen so you can show off your nice technique. Lines usually rotate I think, so those in front and back switch off. Sometimes the class faces the mirror, sometimes the back wall. Just listen to the instructions in the class, and you will be fine. Butler students taking the class will help as well! I remember someone nudging me forward when I was auditioning.

After the first class is a ten minute break. Level 4 leaves for their next classes, and Level 2 ladies enter. You can get water, use the restroom, eat a banana, whatever during this break. Then you do it all over again! After the class is over, hand in your numbers and safety pins and pat yourself on the back!

Butler Ballet, Midwinter Dance Festival 2011.