dancer stead one leg stretching forward

dancer stead one leg stretching forward

Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.

For some time now, I have been wanting to write a hello. The step back from social media I have been practicing since the New Year has continued to feel exactly right, but the intention to transfer that extra energy to our Jai-Dee blog and newsletter has been short circuited. Week after week, life has reshuffled my plans. And as I write today, life has reshuffled reality for all of us. I’m holding each of you in my heart as we navigate the unknown together with creativity and community in mind.

The past months

I am DELIGHTED to share we have been working hard behind the scenes to bring more accessible pricing to you all. Please browse our site for our new, artist-friendly prices. This was something that early supporters made possible and we can’t thank you enough!

What I have been meaning to write since January is that being an adoptive mother has required nearly all of my current time and energy. This is the season I am in and no amount of planning or plowing makes space for more. There have been updates to share, blog posts to write and ideas to nurture, but I have moved all of these things to a nearby shelf in order to make myself fully available to my family. The ability to make such a shift is a reflection of my privilege and a responsibility I take seriously.

It’s both ironic and beautiful that the very person that sparked Jai-Dee to life has also been the person needing me to take a half-step away from it. Beyond keeping our online shop fully stocked and running smoothly, my Jai-Dee plans, ideas and collaborations have learned to wait. Thank you for continuing to support our launch collection and for sharing sustainability with your community.

The present moment

I homeschooled my daughter in her early months with our family. It was during that time that ideas for Jai-Dee Dancewear took shape. We recently moved back towards homeschooling (though not entirely) and it’s the strangest experience to witness the rest of the country briefly (or not so briefly depending on how things unfold) joining us in this experience. If you are a mother of school-age children or have dancing mothers in need of homeschooling resources, please reach out to me for some favorites.

We are all feeling the uncertainty of this moment. It is up to each of us to take the next right step for not only ourselves but for everyone around us. Beyond all the important must-dos in terms of hygiene and social distancing, here are a few ways I am thinking our creative community can contribute in the days ahead.

Share your work (in the ways that you can) Mentor a young dancer online. Share your self-care practices on Instagram. Write your childhood dance studio a handwritten love note.

Amplify the work of others (in the ways that you can) I’m loving Isabella Boylston’s Book Club. It’s a beautiful example of how to integrate skills and practices beyond ballet training.

Remotely support the people, events, organizations and stores you visit during a normal week. For our family, that has meant buying gift cards, shopping online and making donations to the local places we normally frequent. We are intentionally buying from stores that we know proactively closed and are supporting business we value who have closed doors for public safety. For Boston locals, Olives and Grace, Minni.Space, Boston Ballet and Barre3 (offering excellent online classes!) are just a few of the organizations that made hard decisions and deserve support.

Check your street. Let’s all commit to reaching out at least to our nearby neighbors. Let’s make sure everyone has the food and supplies they need and that they know that even in isolation, they are not alone.

Buy what you need. Leave the rest for others. Seriously – don’t overbuy. We must all confront the privileges we hold and stop ourselves from causing unnecessary harm. There is simply NO reason that shelves should be empty. We must consider our personal circumstances AND the circumstances of others.

If you have a creative offering that supports you and/or your community, let us know so that we can share it!

The future

The future is uncertain, but we will be here, breathing through it with you.

If you are an artist looking to make a little income due to changes in work this season, please reach out to us about writing for our blog. We are open to all ideas and voices.

For now, tomorrow and always

From Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer:

“…there are no soloists. Not one tree in a grove, but the whole grove; not one grove in the forest, but every grove; all across the county and all across the state. The trees act not as individuals, but somehow as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t yet know. But what we see is the power of unity. What happens to one happens to us all. We can starve together or feast together. All flourishing is mutual…”

and

“Never take the first. Never take the last. Take only what you need. Take only that which is given. Never take more than half. Leave some for others. Harvest in a way that minimizes harm. Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken. Share. Give thanks for what you have been given. Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken. Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever.”

Keep taking care and keep taking the next right step.

With heart,

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

two dancers holding hands at cheek

two dancers standing side by side holding hands at cheek

Credit: Brooke Trisolini for Cirio Collective

Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.

We love the spirit of Giving Tuesday but also know that deep work and real change require sustainable support. In turn, we are excited to launch our new GIVE and RECEIVE project. You are invited to join us in giving – and to also enjoy receiving – all season long. Together, let’s increase access to dance and support the making of a creative, kind and sustainable world.

GIVE and RECEIVE Project

DATES: 12/3/19 – 1/3/20.

GIVE PHASE: You give to a nonprofit.

Any nonprofit or organization that supports the arts, the environment or social causes you believe in counts. Choose your favorite or find a new one below!

Make a minimum donation of $10 to qualify for the program.

Forward us your donation receipt at hello@jaideedancewear.com with subject GIVE and RECEIVE*

RECEIVE PHASE: You receive a Jai-Dee Gift Card.

Once we receive and review your donation receipt, we will issue you a gift card via email.

Your gift card amount will MATCH your donation amount up to $50!

Use your gift card to shop jaideedancewear.com before our campaign ends 1/3/20.

*There are countless ways to give beyond money. This season, if you give with time, mentorship or any form of activism you find meaningful, share it with us at hello@jaideedancewear.com to qualify for this project. By giving other people access to your resources, we are giving more access to ours.

Below are just a few organizations serving art, earth and citizenry to consider supporting.

National Support

CTZNWELL: a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization creating content and community where wellness and justice meet.

American Civil Liberties Union: realizing the promise of the Bill of Rights for all and expanding the reach of its guarantees to new areas.

One Tree Planted:: a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation.

Farmer’s Footprint:: a coalition of farmers, educators, doctors, scientists, and business leaders offering a sustainable path forward through regenerative agriculture.

Americans for the Arts: the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

The Actors Fund: a national human services organization serving artists and performers.

Project Plie: in partnership with Boys & Girls Club of America, Project Plie introduces ballet to a broad array of children across the United States.

Arts in the Armed Forces: uses the powerful shared experience of the arts to start conversations between military and civilian life.

Black Iris Project: a premier ballet collaborative that champions new Black-centric works and arts education.

Neighborhood Support

Cirio Collective

Abilities Dance Boston

Ballet Sun Valley

Seattle Dance Collective

Co-Lab Dance

…and so many more! Explore your own local and national causes that feel meaningful for YOU and join us in giving and receiving this season.

With heart,

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

checking in on our community photoshoot

Credit: Katie Salerno Photography

Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.

Much more than the brief exchange of life updates between two people, checking in is a relational, holistic practice. Whether it is checking in on self’s body, self’s relationship with other/s, self’s work, or self with something else entirely, this process offers a medicinal alternative to being in a world that is constantly ‘checked out.’

An embodied check is directing awareness to the pulsing of your chest when engaged in challenging conversation. It is sensing your interior reactions as you scroll through social media. It is reclaiming beats throughout your day to simply feel your feet on the ground and metabolize residue from past moments and interactions. Most simply, checking in means pausing often to consult your intuition about various directions and choice points. Checking in is a wide-ranging, inclusive practice, meant to be creatively interpreted through and with our bodies. By bringing our bodies and minds presently into our spaces – even our digital spaces – we evoke a more generous form of being. We become better able to register our wholeness in each moment, while also better seeing the wholeness of others.

This then, is my summer self checking in with yours.

In our corner of happenings at Jai-Dee, we recently wrapped up a photoshoot for our e-commerce store launching this fall. This event gave us the perfect opportunity to check in with our company vision and explore how to visually express our sustainability and community values. The collaborative nature of the photoshoot required a flowing form of checking in, each of us offering and receiving contributions with openness and curiosity. The group relished in the slow process of making organic and authentic art together, and the moments captured are a lovely reflection of this co-creation. While most of the photography is in queue for our fall launch, you can join us on instagram for sneak peeks and to learn more about the beautiful artists who contributed.

While ongoing projects at Jai-Dee are feeling lively, my summer is also making room for stillness. Especially here in New England, this bright warmth feels so transient and worth savoring. Perhaps the energy of summer is also motivating you to create and explore, as well as encouraging you to simply be. Maybe these longer days have helped shine light on important holidays of the season, such as Juneteeth and PRIDE month and given you more time to lean into issues that matter to you. As you balance the work of both engaging and unplugging, perhaps your summer self is discovering space for restoration and renewal.

Regardless of where the energy of summer is leading you, my hope is that full embodiment practice is traveling with you, nourishing your relationship to self, others and all your creative pursuits. For me, this means spending a little less time online this summer, ready to back in with news on our launch next season.

With heart,

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

Join us backstage for community news & launch party offers.

 

plants sprouting

Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.


2018 was a year of planting seeds for Jai-Dee Dancewear. With support from Factory45, Wallace James, Emily Belyea and RISE Creative, we laid down roots to grow a sustainable, ethical business. We collaborated with many talented artists to launch our microsite, newsletter and blog, and we created a cozy spot on Instagram to welcome you to our budding community without bombarding you with content. We designed our leotards, sourced our fabrics and sewed our ideas into shape.

As we move towards the production phase of our project, preparing for a Fall launch, I’m pausing here to express my gratitude for YOU. Thank you for encouraging, sharing and inspiring the work that we are doing. Your support is nourishing and deeply appreciated.

As our brand identity continues to grow and evolve in the year(s!) ahead, I find myself drawn to a much broader inquiry into the subject of identity as a whole. This inquiry into how we shape, interpret and respond to identities will be the focus on our blog over the next several months. In this upcoming series, we will be exploring the fullness of identity and how it grows, shifts and transforms as we move through life. We will dwell in the intersections where a woman’s identity as a dancer crosses with other important aspects of herself. We will interrogate the rigidity we build around identity and study how this rigidity limits our sense of self, our capabilities beyond our comfort zone and our perception of others. With these posts, interviews and guest features, we will welcome in more possibility for ourselves, each other and the many worlds we inhabit together.

Thank you for continuing with us on our journey. Shaping Jai-Dee’s identity, and creating a tangible product to strongly reflect that identity, is a thoughtful, careful process and your patience and excitement is both encouraging and inspiring.

With heart,

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

Join us backstage for community news & launch party offers.

 

Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.


Whether you intentionally sought out this page or were just passing by, it’s lovely you’re here. I’ve begun this blog as the founder of Jai-Dee Dancewear, a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. I am also a former professional dancer and forever a lover of movement. I believe in fiercely protecting the arts, caring for humanity, listening to Mother Nature, cultivating a generation of strong girls and supporting kind hearts.

In 2016, I adopted a little girl. Of all the moments and memories there are to miss about my career as a ballerina, the thing I never experienced is the thing I ache for most – to have danced with the wider perspective, clarified purpose and deep joy motherhood generously provides me. Among the many humbling lessons I am encountering as a mother, it’s the simple ones that stick – how love itself is the highest art form, and no matter what, kindness matters. As you meet, read and follow our young brand, you’ll find me coming back to these truths often, striving to fully embody them as a creator, mother and human being.

On these pages, you’ll find sustainability explored as a creative, imperfect endeavor. I will be learning out loud as we unfold the inner workings of Jai-Dee here on this blog, with passion for process and dedication to transparency. You’ll find these pages featuring the socially-minded projects, people and causes with which Jai-Dee is delighted to collaborate and support. Most importantly, this space is designed for the work of all creative women – your voice and your work are invited here too. Sustainability, self-care, creativity, community, arts advocacy and artistic activism are a few themes that will dance among these posts.

The growth of this page and the words on it will be slow and steady, with intentions to offer monthly reflections, articles and love notes in service of growing a conscious community of dancing women. My hope is that you will find a mindful, artistic space being built here, with all hands and hearts welcome.

From my art to yours,

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.

Join us backstage for community news & launch party offers.