2017 Calendar

Oliver Endahl

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that the 2017 Ballet Zaida Calendar is now available.

The calendar features 12 original images from Ballet Zaida.

To see the full preview of all the images in the calendar, click the link above, & then click "Preview"

I always love putting the calendar together & this year was no different. This year I feel my editing & compositions evolved again, & the talent of the dancers is out of control. 

This is definitely one of the most visually stunning calendars yet. 

This year we're also offering them at a slightly cheaper price. In the past the calendars were 24.99 & this year they're only 19.99. 

I always love hearing everyone's thoughts on the images that represent each month. Snap a photo of your favorite month on Instagram & tag us in the photo to let us know your favorite. 

-Oliver Endahl 

Spreading kindness

Nicole Voris

It has been a really rough week.  The United States election did not go the way we expected it to, and it's been difficult grappling with the reality of what it means.

I have decided to take this opportunity to try to spread kindness.  As individuals we can work to make the world a better place, but when we do it collectively, it can be momentous.

Here are some of the ways I choose to be kind and spread positivity:

Charitable Donations:  We have already made a donation to Planned Parenthood.  Our plan is to donate to a different charity we believe in each month.  So far we plan to donate to Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Greenpeace,  Kind,  and NILC.  If you have more suggestions, please let me know.

Vegetarian Diet:  We don't eat that much meat, but  are going to start cutting even the little meat we do.  There are many reasons to do it including animal welfare, the environment, and concerns about the ethics.  I am choosing to vote with my dollar and eat mostly plant based meals.  Yayyy for green chile bean enchiladas!

Supporting Public Programs: I regularly take public transit, but I will make an effort to take it more.  I also plan on utilizing the services of the Public Library more often.  I want to continue to educate myself and help educate others.  In the past I have taken steps to volunteer at my local teen homeless shelter, but for various reasons, did not end up volunteering.  I plan to finish what I need to do and volunteer for this important organization.

Kind to Strangers:  Because I walk and take public transit often, I encounter many strangers from different walks of life.  I have never been unkind, but I will try to be more open and kind. For example, offering my seat, allowing someone to pass in front of me, or just a simple smile.  I will also work to protect people if I see them being harassed or if they feel unsafe.

Make Art:  I encourage you to put your feelings into art and to share it with the world.  Channel your feelings into your creativity and add some thought and beauty into the world.

If you have any ideas for how else we can spread kindness, let me know in the comments!


DIY Distressed Photo Frames

Jeanette Kakareka

One thing that I've been itching to do, is to transform some mix and matched photo frames of mine. A number of them are really standard (boring) frames, but a lot of them have been collected over time--often giveaways from coworkers trying to declutter. This has made a really fun assortment of shapes and sizes, which is to my taste.

I had to decide exactly how to go about transforming them in a way that they'd all have something in common when I collage them on the walls. I decided to "distress" my photo frames by using layers of spray paint.

You will need:

Photo frames


Paper towels

A hard sponge

White spray paint


Optional: a contrasting colour of spray paint

Firstly, it is always advisable to head outside for spray painting projects. Lay down some old newspapers, broken cardboard boxes, etc. If the frames are dusty, clean them up. But otherwise, texture and imperfections are good here. Place the frames spread apart.

Option one: Apply Vaseline in the areas you will want to expose the original colour. This is what I went for with my wooden frames. Next, apply white spray paint directly and skip the contrasting colour.

As you see, I had used painters tape to cover up the inside of one photo frame. This is because there was a beautiful gold colour there that I decided to keep.

TIP: I suggest not over-applying the Vaseline because otherwise you won't be able to clean it all up (it's hard to see since it's clear), and the frames will always feel "wet". 

Option two: Spray on contrasting colour. This is best for plain frames. Wait for the paint to dry as per instructions (I waited at least an hour between coats).

TIP: At first, I just evenly spray painted the whole frames my contrasting colour (black and brown). I later realised that if I have certain spots in mind to distress, I can choose to only spray paint those spots, making the top layer of white easier and save on paint!

After you have applied the contrasting colour and it has dried, apply Vaseline and spray paint the frame white as in option one.

Once it has all dried: You can go about the fun part, wiping away the Vaseline and thereby "distressing" your frames. I even purposefully scratched the white paint on non-Vaseline areas to make it look more convincing.

Viola, your frames are now faux distressed and so modern farmhouse


Short trip to San Francisco Packing List

Nicole Voris

I pride myself on being a light packer.  I try to make it a game with myself to see how efficiently I can pack without missing anything I need.  With ballet though sometimes it feels like I need to pack two wardrobes, one for the studio and one for the street.

Here is what I brought:

Here’s what’s on the packing list.

Dance clothes:

  • 2 Ballet Zaida Leotards
  • 1 pair of black tights
  • 1 pair of bootie shorts
  • 1 theraband
  • 1 tennis ball
  • 1 pair of warm up pants
  • 1 pair of legwarmers
  • 1 pair of pointe shoes in good condition (to last through two classes)
  • 1 pair of flat shoes
  • 1 set of toe pads/toe spacers (not shown)
  • 1 black sweater that I will also wear as “street clothes”
  • 1 bag to use as my dance bag (I chose my favorite giraffe print bag that my mom got for me)

Regular clothes list:

  • 1 black sweater (same sweater from dance clothes list)
  • 1 pair of black jeans
  • 1 pair of black leggings
  • 3 shirts (one crop top, one turtle neck long sleeve, and one white blouse)
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 2 socks
  • 1 bra
  • 1 set of warm pajamas
  • 1 leather jacket (San Francisco can be cold all year round)
  • 1 pair of flats
  • 1 pair of ankle boots


  • My cross body bag that I will use as a purse
  • A tripod for my iphone
  • Cosmetics/toiletry bag
  • My reusable water bottle

Electronics (not shown above)

  • Iphone 6 plus
  • Ipad Mini
  • Charger
  • Headphones
  • My reusable water bottle


When making my packing list I try to choose clothes that go well together and are in the same color pallet.  I chose to go with mostly blacks and whites so that I could mix and match.  I also chose shirts that are easy to wash in the sink and that dry quickly.  My brown jacket isn’t in the white and black family, but I don’t have a problem wearing brown and black together, I personally find it aesthetically pleasing. :)

How did I pack it?  I have recently switched to using a travel backpack.  I use an Ebags weekend mother loader.  It has a ton of pockets, can pack a lot, fits my frame, and gives me much more freedom when traveling.

I packed all of my clothes and toiletries in the main pocket for convenience.  It’s easier for me if everything is together.  There is a center divider so I packed all of the dance clothes on the left and the regular clothes on the right.

I didn’t pack my boots, leather jacket, or leggings because I will wear them on the drive up.

In the back pocket regularly reserved for a laptop I packed my dance bag.

In one of the front pockets I took advantage of the organization system to pack my electronics.

I also packed my purse in that pocket so I would only have to worry about carrying my backpack when we get to our destination.

Fully packed!  I still have tons of room in the backpack and could probably fit twice as much! San Francisco, here we come!