Lighting up 2018 with Dance

A new year, a new….what?

I obviously didn’t take this picture. My friend- with a much better camera- did

Guess what the most searched phrase is on this site. I’ll give you the top three of today…

  1. Should I quit dance
  2. I hate dance
  3. How to tell your dance teacher you’re quitting

I never thought this site would be a place where people look for tips on getting out of the dance world. This, I thought, was a place to share extra consideration, knowledge of shows and artists, and to share how the inclusion of dance in my life has given it shape, meaning, trials, humor.

However, the dance world, like the real world, is transient. People come and go. A lot of the most promising, successful dancers that I knew in high school, in college, in professional companies have decided to stop and found fulfillment in other things.

We are often told in every walk of life that we aren’t our jobs. Then we’re simultaneously told that who we are is defined by our actions. For me, dance is in so much of what I choose to do, constantly filling my brain and heart, that I do think it defines me. Perhaps that’s why I can’t seem to quit.

So for me, new year means new dance-related obsessions. Right now, it’s making these dancer-image candles, or DANDLES. (Worst name ever? Don’t answer that)

jess ruhlin dandles dancer candles

I like lighting up my room with them the way they light up the stage, a studio, the world.

jess ruhlin dandles dancer candles

Front/ Back view

This one is my grad school friend, the fantastic and brilliant Jessica Lawrence in Washington Square Park. Jess and I have

and it’s been a pleasure getting to know her. You can find her on Instagram with her partner, Emily. Look up the Queer Ballerinas, awesomeness!

This one is another grad school pal from NYU- Kaitlyn Yiu. From

and to her role as my MUSE in the ‘balloon-ballet’ I choreographed for our Master’s Concert, this girl is a bright spot in my life. Makes perfect sense to turn that perfect sissone into a candle, right? Very normal action.

And this one is Jessica Brown of Ballet Met. Mentioned….

many times on this site before.

My friend from Regional Dance America, the honors company performing at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, to Boston Ballet, to my bacon-brunch buddy, this is a truly special friend whose passion and artistry is a constant inspiration.

*You know,maybe I should do a ‘Dancing Jessica’s’ series. There seem to be a lot of us.

jess ruhlin dandles dancer candlesAnd this one is Hee Seo, of ABT in that amazing red dress from Onegin, which was my favorite ballet I saw/ reviewed this past year.

I made a few extra for the holiday season. Each are hand illustrated and then heat-transferred onto each candle. They burn down the middle so it looks like the dancer is increasingly illuminated the further it burns.

jess ruhlin dandles dancer candles

Girl on Fire

Each candle is: 3 by 3′ unscented White pillar candle, made in India¬† custom image/text available upon request. Email me! I love drawing my/your favorite dancers and making them. In stock items= $10

2018- Let your heart be light.



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