Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thanks to G-Unity

I found out today that G-Unity, the foundation established by rapper 50 Cent, is going to pay for my stay in New York while I attend the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Intensive. They didn't have to give it. It's cool that they did. My family couldn't really afford the $1,500 it costs for me to live in New York for six weeks.

Now I have to try and cut grass and do other chores for my neighbors so I can earn some spending money and part of the remaining costs. Yesterday, we went to the bank to deposit some money I earned planting an orchard over the weekend. Tante Becca told us how much it costs to live in New York, and my cousin Roland said I could have his money because he was afraid I wouldn't be able to go.

We also found out that The Today Show will mention all this at about 9:20 a.m. on Friday. Hope you'll all be watching!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dancing at the Broad Ripple Art Fair

Here I am (front right) with my cousins Roland and Raphael (back left) and my step-brother Alex at the art fair after the performance.

The past week, we have been rehearsing to perform at the Broad Ripple Art Fair this weekend. We had performances on Saturday and today. It was the same program, On Earth We Stand, that we did a couple of weeks ago. Not all the dancers who were in the original program performed.

We did the "Finland Polka." It was our first partnering experience with the girls. It was very exciting. It gave us a better idea of what it will be like to dance with the girls (one of the good reasons for boys to take ballet).

After dancing on Saturday, we walked around and looked at the art. Some of it was cool; some of it was one the boo boo side. I liked art by a guy who had a wall sculpture made of wood and metal. The glass-blown drum was awesome.

Today we went to see glass blowing and saw pottery. All of it was very close to the stage entrance.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Day at the Farm

Today I got up early -- for a Saturday -- and I had no idea where we were going. Tante Becca had sent us to bed early so we could get up at 7:30 a.m. I was up at 6 a.m., but my cousins could barely wake up.

We went to the farm of my aunt's friend Leslie. The farm is north of where we live outside Brownsburg. I love going to the farm because they have lots of fun equipment like dirt bikes and ATVs. There's a really neat Amish-built cabin that has the smell of cedar.

We went to plant apple and paw paw trees. Paw paws are a rare and delicious fruit found mostly in Indiana. We were planting an orchard of 20 paw paw trees and 40 apple trees. It took a long time to plant the paw paw trees. We had to do everything twice because we did it wrong the first time.

It was fun. Now I know how to plant trees. In five years, we will be able to eat the paw paws. It doesn't take as long for the apples. It takes only two years.

Tonight, we also had a birthday party for my cousin Roland. Leslie's husband George built Roland a bonfire. We also has grilled hot dogs, roasted chicken and dog-licked cake.

Roland got a couple of computer games, Yu-Gi-Oh cards and dragon toy, a Star Wars book and a yellow labradorite for his gemstone collection. His mother gives him gemstones shaped like hearts. I get cabochon gemstones. These are round polished. Alex gets gemstones shaped like Buddha statues to match the nickname his mother gave him.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Roland's Big Day

Andrew and Roland with the 2007 pace car; Roland, Andrew and Alex with 2007 Super Bowl-winning Colts tight end Ben Utecht.

May 13 was not only Mother's Day, it was a very special day for my cousin Roland. Roland almost died when he was born. Because he almost died, he got a lot of publicity. Riley Hospital and the Riley Children's Foundation made Roland their poster boy.

We left the house about 10:00 a.m. Along the way, we had a discussion about the laundry room. It was always messy, and we always got grounded for it. We each got grounded for two days, and we promised not to do it again.

We got to the track about 10:40. We had to find a parking place so we could start walking around. We went into a big building filled with food and people. We sat and had lunch. Roland ate a lot of chicken.

After that, we started to walk around. We saw a lot of racers. I got an autograph from a racer who qualified to be in the Indy 500. I also got the autograph from one of the Colts football players. Then I decided it was getting too hot and went to stand by the stage.

Then the Dave and Rae band performed. I know Rae, and I had no idea she was going to be there. The crowd loved her, and I think she is really good at what she does. The concert ended, then we loaded in the car and left.

Now I'm over my father's house, and he's going to teach me how to cook.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Whirlwind

I thought I was in trouble. I had been skateboarding and walking along a trail in our neighborhood when my cousin Roland told me my aunt Rebecca wanted to talk to me.

When I went into the house, Tante Becca said she needed my help filling out an application for summer camp -- American Idol Camp. I call her "Tante" because my grandmother is Dutch and that means "Aunt."

The first question I had to answer was what was my favorite song, movie or musical. I had just watched West Side Story for an assignment. I'm a homes schooled student. I just wanted to answer with the title, but my aunt made me think of three reasons why. "I was like 'Oh, man, think, Andrew, think." I just wanted to leave.

Next, I had to write a letter to a celebrity. I decided to write to Will Smith. I figured, he's a triple threat -- actor, dancer, singer -- and that's what I want to be.

I was just trying to get back outside. But that application, which took an hour, meant more than just getting into camp. Two weeks later, an Idol producer called my aunt and asked if I could be featured on The Today Show. "I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm going to be on The Today Show.' Then I thought, 'What's The Today Show?' "

A week later, a video crew from Cincinnati and a producer, from my hometown, Chicago, came to our house. They were here almost all day, and they went with me to my ballet and tap classes later that evening. While they taped us at dinner, the Idol Camp director called to tell me I got in. The show aired on April 4.

Yesterday, my aunt got a call from some people at Idol Camp who said the director of The Dance Theatre of Harlem called them and offered me a full scholarship to their summer intensive. I was at my friend's house playing "Dead Rising" on the X-Box 360 when my aunt called me on the cell phone my dad gave me for my birthday. When I got home, she told me the news, and I thought, "What the heck is The Dance Theatre of Harlem?"

Since I didn't know, my aunt assigned me to research and write a paper about The Dance Theatre of Harlem today. I learned about the founder Arthur Mitchell and the history of this company. "I was like, 'Man, this place is awesome!' "