Teaching Michael Phelps

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 8:30 AM


On occasion, I get to teach private lessons for students preparing for auditions. I still have my private voice students, the casts I get to work with when I choreograph shows, but I consider it a real treat when I get to do one on one dance training.

I first met Zoe Heiden while choreographing Guys and Dolls last year. (Or was it two years?) I don't know... I was in my first trimester with my Zoë at the time and was sick as a dog and exhausted. I'd heard of Zoe Heiden from mutual friends and was excited to work with her. I mean...come on...her dad is THIS GUY:





So maybe he's not Michael Phelps---and maybe I'm not teaching HIM. But he's the equivalent in the speed skating world! (And biking world for that matter). So teaching his daughter is like teaching Michael Phelps' daughter. As someone who has always wanted to be an Olympic athlete, this is the closest I'm going to get and I think its neat. 

So when Zoe's mom, Karen, called and said that Zoe was invited to audition for the new Broadway production of "Matilda" and was hoping I could help get her prepped...I was thrilled. Not only do I adore little Zoe Heiden, I LOVE Roald Dahl (the man who wrote the children's book "Matilda"), and I have heard so many great things about the musical which has been playing on the West End in London. My friends in the UK have nothing but great things to say about it. Maybe you've seen the movie. It's a treat. 

I got to get out of my mom costume and into my dance teacher costume once a week for a few weeks and spend time with this talented little cutie while preparing her for her first Broadway audition. How fun is that??

And yes, her mom is just as talented and smart and fit as her dad is. 

Here she is at the dance call in NYC!





No matter what happens, I'm just thankful I got to be a part of this experience with her. She is still there auditioning as we speak and you know what? I think this post is the perfect tribute and remembrance of 9/11. You know why? We've got a multi multi Olympic gold medalist's daughter auditioning in NYC for a Broadway play on 9/11. How much more of the American spirit can we fit into this scenario?

Keep going, keep fighting, never give up, follow your dreams, and long-live NYC and the incredible Olympic games. And the US of A!



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7 Loving Lines

  1. I hear you and I know what you are trying to convey. I have not lost a child but I have lost dear, dear loved ones (3 in 7 months) so I know that feeling....hopelessness, utter and complete sadness, despair, fear, anger, tears, endless tears, sleepless nights, arrangements, more arrangements, loneliness in a crowded room, telling someone who didn't know of your loss, memories, headstones, flowers, more tears.....well, you get it if anyone does. But now, there are signs of life, just like Ground Zero. 10 years ago but 9/11 still seems like yesterday. With your beautiful daughter...it probably seems like yesterday too. The world stopped for a minute but as we all know, it keeps turning and life goes on. We go on too, fighting our fears and sorrow. One day, we get up and go about our lives and there are finally days when the memories actually make us smile. You are one amazing person and I love your sense of humor, your zest for life, your honesty, and your willingness to put yourself out there for us to see. I admire you my blog friend. P.S. I never miss watching the Olympics. I still remember Mr. Eric winning his gold medals. I always wondered why he made it look so easy!! Ha ha Amazing althlete, he is!! Neat story about teaching his daughter.

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  2. I feel for you. I would have never thought of it the way you did but it's true.

    I was due this day and thought it was a beautiful day in Milk River, AB to become a mom. I got my breakfast, sat down and turned on the tv. I thought "Well that is a horrible movie" as I saw the first trade center has been hit. I changed the channel a few times before I realized this was no movie, it was real life. I then watched as the 2nd trade center was hit. I prayed and begged God to help my baby not come on such a horrific day in history. He stayed inside for 12 more days. He has the most tender spirit and is so loving and kind. Knowing what I know about life before this life and life after, I am quite certain our Heavenly Father needed to have him in Heaven for a few more days to help comfort those who were mourning.

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  3. I think your feelings makes perfect sense. Yes, it was a huge collective tragedy and trauma for the country, but at the same time, it was individuals who died that day--families lost fathers and mothers and wives and husbands and sons and daughters. Their trauma and loss is certainly no greater or more worthy of attention than yours.



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  4. You know, I went on a run and cleared my head. I shouldn't have even mentioned my mental parallel with 9/11. Today is their day. Why would I try to make this about me? All I really wanted to say is, "I understand how it feels to lose a loved one suddenly and my heart breaks for them." That's about it. Today is a day for our country to remember and come together. My thought was selfish and temporary. Not to mention, everyone in my life DOES remember Lucy. They do remember my pain. We are all struggling with our life's battles. Why should I think mine is more 'important'? God Bless America.

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  5. I realize you clarified and even took the post off. But I have to say that reading the original post about 9/11 actually infuriated me. I am a fairly new reader, we have mutual friends, but I won't state who because I need to remain anonymous.

    I have had my huge share of loss this year, I have lost my marriage to my husband running off with his pregnant mistress (so unfair since I have struggled with infertility for 10 years). I lost a pregnancy 6 months ago that was conceived on our 3rd try of IVF. My life is in shambles. And yet to me it felt like you were saying that unless I had lost a child in the exact way you had then my grief and suffering wasn't valid. I have read your blog and empathized with your pain and thought that maybe you of all people might understand my suffering and feelings. But I guess not because I had to have suffered just like you in order for it to be valid.

    Suffering is suffering and we are given these experiences to make us more empathetic towards others, not less.

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    1. Awee-- I completely agree with you. And that is why I took of my selfish and momentary thoughts on the subject. My heart knew it was wrong. I can't remember what it was I said exactly even now. Once I worked through my heart and mind I realized (as stated in my comment above yours) that all I was really trying to say was that emotions resurfaced and that pain and suffering are so....painful. Your intense struggles sound absolutely heavy, horrible, lonely, painful and soul-shattering. I am definitely no spokesperson for the public's pain, I just try to make sense of my situation. I'm deeply sorry my thoughts on the subject came across in a twisted way. I understand how it would upset you. Please forgive me. I truly hope you can find peace and comfort and support on your journey. No one is exempt, that is for sure. And as my mom always says, "There are things worse than death". (Not that she is downplaying my loss, but she is telling me that my young daughter dying suddenly and being in a peaceful place away from this struggling world is not as bad as what some have to endure...and I do agree. Though, like you say, there is no point in comparing our pains and losses.)

      Thank you for speaking up on how it made you feel. Another great reminder I am always in need of about how our words affect others and how every human being is struggling. I send my love.

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    2. Thank you for your reply, this made me feel tons better. Slowly but surely I am picking up the pieces of my life and moving on. I picked myself up and moved far away from my old life so I could be closer to lots of my family and am starting a new career I am excited about.

      Life is hard and it totally sucks sometimes. That's all I have to say about that.

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