Staff Recommendation Corner: Devon
Welcome to our new series, where you can get to know SRL’s staff better with some hand-picked recommendations! Next up is Devon—our Office Manager and New Student Concierge!
Books: I love all books, but Margaret Atwood is my favorite writer (and Ada Limón is my favorite poet!) For younger reading levels Rick Riordan is my favorite and for teens, Rainbow Rowell. If you want a personal recommendation, tell me what you or your dancer is into and I’ll come up with something. I’m always excited to talk about books at any level!
TV Shows: I recommend The Great British Baking Show (or The Great British Bake Off in Britain!) to quite literally any person that asks. It is the most soothing, delightful program I have ever seen—so wholesome. Nothing like an American competition, but it is on American Netflix.
Coffeeshop: I LOVE Rebel Dog Coffee (they have locations in Farmington and Plainville) and I started going to Birdhouse Coffee in South Windsor on my way in to the studio on Saturday mornings—it’s the cutest!
Restaurant: I think about Bricco’s Nutella Pie on a near-daily basis and my last meal would be a cheeseburger from Plan B Burger Bar.
Favorite Quote: “Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
--Leonard Cohen, “Anthem"
Vacation (One Day!): I grew up in San Diego and can’t recommend it enough for a vacation. Balboa Park (and the beaches, of course) should be top on your list, and definitely, definitely Mexican food all day, every day. (Just make sure to get a California burrito while you’re there—they’re exclusively a San Diego thing and there’s French fries inside!)
Dessert: Go to any location of Taste by Spellbound and pick any dessert (there’s a few in the immediate area!) They’re all incredible.
Music: I used to not like Taylor Swift—no reason, just wasn’t really my thing. But it’s been months now and I can’t stop listening to folklore and evermore on repeat. I am now her biggest fan?
Important Thing to Learn: Be kind. You’re never going to regret being the bigger person, or taking the time to think about others.
First Job: Everyone should have to work in retail and food service before they’re allowed to be a customer. It really makes you appreciate how much work goes into your everyday experiences and have a newfound respect and kindness when interacting with people!
Gift to Give: If you can swing it, an experience over a thing every time. My go-to wedding gift is usually a cooking or dance class!
Artist: Nan Lawson is an incredibly talented illustrator who takes pop culture and cult favorites an adds her own style to them. (I own Harry Potter and Salinger prints from her and they’re gorgeous. She only does limited runs, so check her out on Etsy!)
Cheesy Song That’s Actually Great: “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John (I mean, remember that scene in Almost Famous?)
Strange, But Delicious Food: Did you know you can make a float out of pretty much anything carbonated? Fruity-flavored seltzers with vanilla ice cream may sound weird, but it’s actually amazing!
Must See Natural Wonder: This is an obvious one, but when I saw the Grand Canyon I was completely stunned. Nothing does it justice—even being there in person it feels unreal. (And I wrote this before I realized I'd be posting it after so many of our dancers were at Nationals in Phoenix!)
Current Obsession: I was late to the party with this one and it’s the first video game I’ve ever played…but I love Animal Crossing. It’s essentially a digital dollhouse in the form of an island (though you have a house to decorate and an avatar to dress, too!)—low consequences, just arranging items and performing small tasks. It’s perfect for a type-A person to unwind.
CT Outdoor Activity: Hiking up to Hueblein Tower or reading in Hartford’s Elizabeth Park (the tulips come out in April and check in early/mid June for the roses--but there's beautiful flowers all summer!) Also love the West Hartford Reservoir for a run!
Advice for Dancers: Nothing happens overnight. Progress happens so slowly you won’t even see it and then all of a sudden…you’ve got it! You can’t see yourself growing taller day to day, but you are—you’re becoming a better dancer every day you practice, too!
Local Business: I just bought several pairs of earrings from Hannahbees Jewelry when she was selling them at Birdhouse Coffee. Lightweight and beautiful, 10/10 would recommend for all earring-wearers (and she does custom orders!)
Charities to Donate to: Did you know Dolly Parton doesn’t just help fund vaccine research, but is responsible for children receiving millions upon millions of books over the last 20 years? I’m a huge literacy proponent and think Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a truly worthy cause! Check it out!
This post is part of a series. You can learn more about Devon here, in her Q&A, or read our last set of recommendations with Miss Courtney here. Check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
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