DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A LONGER, SAPPIER VERSION OF MY INSTAGRAM FAREWELL TO KELLY.
And, for those of you who skimmed past my ridiculously long Instagram caption the other day (I really don’t blame you because as I said, it was ridiculously long and reading is hard), I said goodbye for now to one of my best friends. Kelly booked a cruise y’all!!! SO proud of that human. She leaves to dance her way around the world aboard the Regent 7 Seas Navigator in about a week after stopping by home. Taking her to the airport was such a bittersweet moment for Kristyn and I. Definitely had all the nostalgia feels (tell me why I started crying when I saw a sign that said “airport”….annoying) and couldn’t help but replay this last year in my head a million times. We’ve all come so far, but freaking Kelly literally accomplished her biggest goal in under a year!!! Incredible. I feel like a proud mom over here. Buuuuut. I definitely have a selfish side of me that wishes she was still gonna be around for the next 6 months because #twinbeds. Luckily one of the best friends that I’ve made out here, Annie has now become my twin bed mate (I say mate because she’s from Australia). Then I’m like, oh shit I can’t get too comfy here cause she leaves to go back to Australia in November…and then I got to thinking. Damn, there have been so many friends that I’ve made out here that I have already said goodbye to and many more that are coming up.
I guess that’s part of living in such a creative city that has its roots embedded so deeply into the entertainment industry. People come here for the opportunities…I know I did. That doesn’t necessarily mean you stay here for whatever those opportunities may be. Obviously there are a lot of jobs in the city, but there are just as many (if not more) that travel. Which is so cool because who doesn’t want to see the world? I definitely have a bit of a travel bug, so I don’t blame anyone for leaving. I would do the exact same if I booked a dream job that led me elsewhere (for a short period of time anyway). People are coming and going. Frequently. Then those jobs connect them to other jobs that travel and the cycle continues. Honestly, LA kind of just feels like a temporary home to creatives. Myself included. Don’t get me wrong, I really do see myself as a lifer in California. I mean I’ve been wanting to live here since I was about 10 years old…but I know I won’t stay in LA for the rest of my life. But for now, it makes sense for 22 year old me. I’m loving the Clippers and I feel like my journey in this city is just getting started.
It is kind of funny that I ended up here, though…since I am the worst human in the world at goodbyes. Like do I hug you? Will I see you again? I don’t really miss people that often so I probably won’t miss you that much…or will I? What if you fall out of touch with me purposefully? And I swear to God it takes all I have not to sarcastically say “see ya never!!!” when I should actually be taking the farewell seriously (public apology to anyone I ever said that to). Living here and being thrown into constantly making friends who peace out of LA has helped me grow as a person though. I definitely went through a phase during, and even after college, where I didn’t know how to #emotion. And while I definitely still struggle being vulnerable, I’ve realized how important it is to tell those influential people in your life how much they mean to you and just how hard the goodbye (or see ya later) is for you.
When I decided to audition for the Clippers, I literally scoured the internet for some kind of guide so I could have an idea of what to expect. Although I found a lot of info on the spirit website, I wanted to find some sort of blog that detailed the audition experience (or entire experience for that matter). Since I didn’t find what I was looking for, I decided to create my own now that I’m on the team (what in the world?!).
Auditions can be terrifying. How do you prepare? What do I wear? How many are they taking? Who will be there? Alright. So I can’t answer all of these things, but I definitely can tell you about my experience.
Let me start off by saying that Clippers Spirit is a lot different than most NBA or even NFL dance teams. You don’t audition in briefs, tights and a sparkly sports bra. There’s no bikini round, sports trivia or extensive interview. This is what attracted me to audition in the first place. This squad is different and breaking the mold of what it means to be an NBA dancer. We live in LA, the mecca of the dance industry and this team strives to embody that in everything they do. Score.
About a month before the audition, Kelly and I paid $40 for the try-out prep clinic. If you’re considering auditioning for anything dance related, whether it be a sports team, company or even tour, it’s smart to get yourself in front of the coach/choreographer. This is helpful not only to hopefully make a good impression on the person in charge of choosing the cast, but also to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
We started with a warm up, then proceeded to learn an across the floor combination to showcase technique and style. After that we all went across the floor and received individual feedback from both the coach and current captain before going around again. Once that was through, we learned choreography from once of last season’s routines and also did that in smaller groups of 5. Basically what the clinic ended up being was a mock audition. They told us at the end of the day that we should continue to practice both the across the floor and the combination we learned. And thank God we did.
Okay. So now it’s a few weeks later and the audition date has finally rolled around. We had spent the last few weeks holding each other accountable with work outs, healthy eating and moral support when we went to the mall to find an audition outfit. Honestly that was the worst part. I am the most indecisive shopper in the entire universe. But I ended up going with a fancy sports bra from Lorna Jane (this one) and some good old fashion booty shorts. We left plenty early to make sure we weren’t at the end of the sign in line since we had a feeling there were going to be a ton of dancers there. We were more than right. In fact, there were about 350 girls vying for a spot on the team. Gulp.
Low and behold, the first day of auditions were exactly like the prep clinic. To a tee. Best $40 I’ve spent in a long time. We learned the across the floor combo (that Kelly and I already knew) and went across the floor in groups of three. Each line danced for either one of the two former captains or the coach, Latrice. Once you reach one of them at the end of the combination, they either tell you “thank you, please stay” or “thank you” (which is dancer code for “you just got cut”). Even though I already knew the combination and was confident in it, it’s impossible not to get nervous. There have been so many auditions I’ve been to where I am fully confident and get cut anyway. Why would this one be different?? That’s when ya gotta tell yourself to chill tf out. Relax and trust your training. For me, this means weaseling my way closer to the front to get it out of the way. It can be easy to keep waiting to dance in later groups, but personally I think that just leaves more time to get in your head. Be brave and go towards the beginning.
After they made cuts (sigh of relief), the remaining dancers (I think there was about 125ish left at this point) learned a combination from last season. You guessed it, we already knew that one too. I was SO thankful that it was the same one from the clinic. This allowed me to focus solely on the details and performance aspect of it for this round of the audition. They counted us off into groups of 5 and Kelly, Kristyn and I were all sectioned off to dance in the same group. That part of the audition was a blast. We left the floor feeling confident. All that was left to do now was wait. THE WORST.
After what felt like an eternity, the judges came back from deliberating and asked a few of the hopefuls to dance again. Then the was time to find out which of us would be moving on to the final round the following day. At this point in my LA journey, I’ve gotten extremely used to not hearing my number called. But I had a different feeling about this one. I sat there with my eyes closed and fists clenched waiting to hear 296. Since my group was one of the last ones for choreo round, my number was one of the last ones to be called. BUT IT WAS CALLED NONETHELESS. Enter a wave a gratitude. Holy cow. Out of 350 some girls, my number was one of about 30 to be called for the final round. The finalists were photographed and given an interview time for the next day and sent on our way.
Alrighty, onto day two: FINALS. They recommend wearing the same thing or something similar as the first day of auditions. That way you’re easily identified. Makes sense. I knew that we were going to be learning some sort of hip-hop/jazz funk number so I threw on a cropped sweatshirt over my sports bra to feel a little less jazzy. I’ve learned that I am definitely a person who dances how they feel, so making sure I felt good in what I was wearing was crucial.
The interviews were about 5-10 minutes long and basically was just a quick “get to know you” session. It was nothing crazy or extensive. Just a short and sweet Q&A to let them know why you deserve to be apart of Clippers Spirit. I talked a lot about my experience on the Iowa Dance Team as well as my admiration of Clippers for breaking the mold of what it means to be a professional dance team. I think I also threw in the word ‘badass’ somewhere in there. I also dabbed at my friend, who was next in line, on the way out. Why do I do these things……????
Onto the dancing. They brought in Kevin Maher (HOW STINKIN COOL) to teach the choreo for the final piece of the audition. I’ve been dying to get in his class so I was pumped. I challenged myself to stand in the front during this portion of the audition. The judges stay in the room the entire time so (as cliche as this is) your audition starts the second you walk through the door. Your dance teachers growing up were right about that one!!!! Once we learned the combo, we were asked to dance in groups of three whenever we felt ready. They also were very adamant that we don’t practice while we were waiting to audition because it’s distracting and unfair to the dancers who go first. Makes sense.
By this point my nerves were on full blast. I ended up dancing about midway through all of the groups and left the floor wanting to dance again. I could have been so much cleaner if I would have relaxed and breathed through the nervous energy. But taking into account that I’m always way harder on myself than I need to be, I felt proud of what I did. I was done. The audition had come to an end and now it was out of our hands.
Waiting for my number to be called was the absolute most nerve racking moment of the entire audition. Which is weird when ya think about it, because at that point you can’t do anything about it. They announced the number of 8 veteran members and 12 rookies. I knew they were taking 20 total numbers, so as they got closer and closer to reaching 20 I started to prepare myself jusssst in case they didn’t say 296. I still had a great feeling, but I wanted to be ready for whatever was thrown at me. My number was the 19th number to be called. TALK ABOUT STRESS YOU GUYS. But damn, I did it. Finally. It felt like all of my hard work had paid off.
Now it’s official. We went through orientation at HQ, had our first rehearsal weekend and even received our uniforms. I absolutely can’t wait to continue with this new chapter of my life and can’t help but feel overwhelmingly grateful to have 19 talented and dedicated women alongside me in this journey.
If you saw my Instagram or Facebook post then you probably knew this was coming. And quite honestly, I imagine this being a little bit difficult to type. Really I’m not even sure if it’ll make the cut and be published but here we go anyway.
As you may well know, I have two dogs who are, as I like to say, “old as dirt.” Had two dogs. Yesterday, I received a message from my parents asking me to give them a call after my dance class. Of course my intuition immediately knew that something was up. I wondered if I had sent them a text that I meant to send to a friend or maybe they got a few of my parking tickets in the mail. Especially when I called on my way home and they said it would be better if I waited to take the call until I was at home and out of the car. By then I had had it. I needed to know what was going on and when I asked for a hint they simply said “It’s about Bear.”
This didn’t come as a huge surprise to me. When I was home a few weeks ago, we had noticed that she was moving a little bit slower. My dad has basically had Rottweilers his entire life and most of them had some sort of issue involving their bones ranging from minor joint pain to full fledged bone cancer. We assumed that this may be the case, and so did her vet, so we ended up buying her some treats that were designed specifically for joint pain. We noticed an improvement, but we also noticed some strange lumps forming on her belly. Those aren’t related to joint pain…
They had grown a decent amount between the time I left for California and when I returned home last month. We had had the vet check them out a few times and we had basically decided to keep an eye on the lumps and her disposition to see if there were any changes for the worse.
If you read my last blog, you also know that I did I shitty job of seeing all of my friends back in Iowa. For some reason I couldn’t get myself to leave my parents or my dogs. Now it makes sense. I spent the entire week cuddled up to bear. My parents said they hadn’t seen her that social and lovey dovey in months. She knew. But I could have never prepared myself for the phone call I received last night.
She was gone. They took her to the vet to have her lumps, they had grown significantly since I had returned back to California, drained and checked out. The vet found more than what he had bargained for. It was cancer and it had spread. A lot. Still on the operating table, the vet called my parents. They were faced with the decision of putting her through extensive surgery, recovery, pain and (maybe) a few more weeks of life or letting her go in peace.
Bear left us around noon yesterday. I can’t imagine how different my house in Iowa is. No one to steal the good couch or squeeze on with. Fluffy (our other dog) is probably lost. In fact, I know she is. But I also know that she knows what happened. She got in the habit of leaving a few little crumbs of her soft food for Bear to finish off. Last night, my parents said that she ate every bite. She knew Bear wasn’t coming home. I just can’t help but wish that we had the same instinct.
It feels like my family is down one member. One unconditional lover who didn’t care if we got fired from a job or had a shitty day or even yelled at her one hour before.
I’m beginning to learn how I work a little bit better and called today off specifically for this blog post. I had full intention of doing what I normally do. Go on as if I’m unaffected, afterall, I’m halfway across the country. But I stopped. Called my dad and said “not this time.” I needed to get this out. I needed to deal with it in the moment and be present in it. In the painful, empty and sheer realness of it. Otherwise, I’m going to feel it x20 in three months like I always do. To make this even more of a growing experience, I challenged myself to write this in public. Why? Because I knew I would cry and crying in front of people makes me want to crawl out of my skin. But I let it happen. I needed to let it happen, to not wear a mask as I so often do.
So to finish up, thanks for reading this. Sometimes the only thing that makes me feel better is just letting my fingers do their thing on the keyboard while I turn my brain off. That being said, I’m making the choice not to proofread this.
Give your furry friends some extra love today. They can teach you so much.
WHAT IS CRACKIN. Since the last time you heard from me I finished college, bought a car, ditched the blonde hair and (finally) named North Hollywood, California my new home.
So here I sit, staring out my bedroom window at the palm trees in the courtyard, officially resurrecting my blog because what better time to do so than after completely uprooting, changing and rearranging my entire existence and life as I know it? Not intimidating at all. The cool thing about this move is that I’ve known I wanted to do it since I was literally 10. But I never thought it would come this fast. Truth is, I still feel like I’m still about 10 but just trapped in a 21-year-old’s body forced to do random adult things that cost money and involve cooking meals. But before I dive in to the after, let’s talk about the before- aka the drive.
Yes, I said drive. On November 3, I packed up my life, shoved it into my KIA Sorrento, which I’ve affectionately named Snoop, and headed down the road on a 26-hour drive with good ole mom and pop. We each agreed to split the drive into 4 hour shifts and I was up first. I had already been driving most of the day from finishing up what Kelly (one of 3 future roommates) and I named the Tour de Frands. This was our effort to see as many people as we could (and spend as little money as possible) before we took off.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m historically horrible with goodbyes. I’m also the worst at state-hopping and not keeping people in the loop about my whereabouts. So forcing myself to say “see ya later!” to my friends and family was uncomfortable and surreal at times, but it ended up leaving me feeling so ridiculously supported and loved. My family went to great lengths to make it so special. They went as far as renting out a little community center that was centrally located to close family friends and family. It was beautifully decorated and filled with my absolute favorite foods, drinks and people.
Although my tour of goodbyes through Iowa City, Plano, Milwaukee, Chicago, back to Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Oskaloosa and finally to my hometown to see my best friend, had left me sick of sayonaras and in dire need of some sleep (and wanting to see my dogs), I was finally ready to close this chapter of my life. On to the next exciting, unknown and much anticipated chapter…..and 26 hour drive. Let’s get back to that.
We took off from my great aunt’s house in KC at about 10:30…..at night. Originally, we had plans to pit stop near Denver for a good night’s sleep because what kind of physchopaths would voluntarily drive straight through? Apparently the Reimers. We ended up pushing through nearly the entire trip and for the most part, it wasn’t so bad. We minimized stops and packed a shit ton of food in a cooler so we didn’t have to stop any more than the necessary shift switch every four hours. Besides the snacks, I credit our staying awake to the heinously loud music, good conversation and mass amounts of coffee that were consumed through all hours of the night and early morning. It also helped that the scenery was consistent beautiful.
We got as far as Fontana, California, before we deiced that this drive needed to end. And it needed to end now. By this point we were listening to a radio broadcast of Forensic Files on HLN and my dad was physically hitting his own face every 5 minutes to keep him from falling asleep (whatever works I guess?). I have never been so happy to step foot in a $35 hotel room at the Econolodge- Larry has a track record of picking the SHITTIEST hotels…I’m talkin’ like velvet wallpaper and bloodstains on the carpet bad so this felt like a palace. But then again, we were SO tired you could have stuck us in a sleeping bag in the middle of an alley and we probably would have been just fine with it.
7 hours of sleep later, it was time to move into my new place. What. Like I said, I literally came here with just my clothes and a few other essentials- I couldn’t fit a bed in my car, or much else besides a few suitcases and a guitar I still haven’t learned to play for that matter. That being said, I knew today and the next day were going to be absolute madness between furnishing my half of the room while trying to stay within the budget. By some miracle, my rent here is only $20 more than my rent in good ole’ Iowa City so I had that working in my favor. Luckily, after much searching and strategic shopping (I swear we spent like 4 weeks in IKEA and I think my parents and I almost killed each other at least twice) we achieved master bargainer status and viola! I had myself (half of) a room that was slowly but surely starting to feel like home.
After all that work, it’s only fit to celebrate, right? My parents, my roommate Jordan and I found this place in Santa Monica called Barney’s Beanery that happens to be a Hawkeye bar. Great place for a few brews while watching the Hawks lose…miserably. And get this, I ran into someone I went to J-school with at Iowa within 30 seconds of walking in. It’s nuts how small the world is. Also pretty sweet that fellow Hawkeyes help make the move not so intimidating- all three of my roommates went to Iowa too.
What was supposed to be the last hurrah for my parents and all of their help moving me in (shout out Reiminator and Rondar, love ya like crazy) turned into them missing their flight the next morning. This is not a joke. Seriously can barely type this without cracking up. There’s this little Tex-Mex place across the street called El Tejano. Deadly. We started off with some good company, Margarita pong (bad idea), and my parents trying to absolutely annihilate the North Hollywood newcomers. They succeeded. Go there and be ok the next day, you can’t. And, like idiots, that’s what we all tried to do.
My dad lived in California 100 years ago and swore it would only take 30 minutes to get to LAX from my place. Wrong (listen to me next time, Dad). Pissed, stuck in traffic for another hour and gasping for breath between laughing fits we stopped for brunch at Chicken or the Egg (where we made friends with the entire waiting staff) and headed back to my apartment for one more day of much needed recuperation…only to head back to LAX the next day because I’m in the running for the ‘Best Daughter of the Year’ award.
All jokes aside though, I’m SO thankful beyond words for my parents and the foundation they have provided for me to be able to make the first steps to live out my dreams. Like I said, I’ve known since I was about 10 that I wanted to head here. But I really don’t think I ever truly believed I would do it. And I don’t think I- well actually I know that I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for those two and the sacrifices they’ve made for me.
ANYWAY. Now I get to call this crazy place home. The apartment of my dreams complete with a pool, gym and dance studio. What the. How on earth did we get so lucky?! We’ve got 2/4 roommates moved in, no living room furniture, and a gross amount of pride and sheer excitement for the next year in 362.
Hi there. My name is Holly Reimer. Welcome to the page where I inevitably ramble about myself for the next 600 words.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and lived there until I was 5. KC was cool. Did some acting/modeling, had a petting zoo come to my 4th birthday party, had HELLA friends…so the less winded version of this is that I for sure peaked before my 5th birthday. Which like…whatever that’s fine I’ll get over it in due time (maybe). After boppin’ around the city for the first half-decade of my life, good ole mom and pop decided to sabotage my existence and move to the asscrack of the United Sates: Iowa. Scaling back the drama a little bit, according to them, we picked up and left to be closer to my family and enroll me in a school system that didn’t have barred windows- can’t blame them there (go mom and dad).
For the next 12 years we set up shop in Pella, Iowa. For those of you that don’t know Pella, it’s the kind of town you would find inside of a snow globe. That’s sick if you’re favorite pastime is watching grass grow. While I’m grateful for growing up in a well-kept, safe town (and for my P-town homies- S/O) I’ve known from a young age that small town life was not for me. I think a lot can be learned from living in a small midwest town, and a lot was learned, I just hate the feeling of talking about other people doing cool and exciting things and struggling to find the means or opportunities to get myself on that level.
So. Now it’s time to head to college. My first chance to GTFO of Iowa. So naturally I enroll at the University of Iowa. GO HOLLY, GO. To be completely honest, I hadn’t even toured the university before sealing the deal. It pretty much went like this: Try out for the dance team, make said dance team, scrap all other plans and venture to a little place called Iowa City. If you know anything about me, it’s not surprising that my love for dance resulted in a drop-everything-else kind of mentality. This kind of thing seems to be a pattern in my life.
Since officially dubbing Iowa City as home, I’ve found my niche outside of the dance team (the sole reason I initially came to Iowa) as a journalism major. Lately I’ve done a lot of social media work through CollegeFashionista and well as my own personal Instagram and Twitter accounts. I absolutely would consider myself a social media junkie, but it is slightly unsettling to know that there are more people out there who think they know you than who actually do. Wow #Deep. Other than social media endeavors, at school I’m blessed to have the opportunity to do sports reporting for Daily Iowan TV. Love sports. Love TV. In fact, in the end I’m shooting to go the TV route while pursuing my love for dance along the way. And a little secret between you and I- I have a huge thing for the West Coast.
Maybe I came off as an Iowa-hater at the beginning of all of this, and I no doubt can’t wait for the chapter of my life that doesn’t take place here (I’m not one to like to stay in the same place or do the same thing for too long), BUT Iowa City has one hundo p changed my perception of Iowa for the better.
So, now that it’s 2016, I can say that I officially finish college this year. Huh???? That means I’m undoubtably in the strangest stage of life a girl can possibly be. Through a series of identity crises and changes in hair color, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and share some of it with whoever cares enough to skim through my musings and ramblings.
Peace out friends, fam and otherwise. Hope to see ya around.