Graziella Baratta Ventura, former Ms. United States 2008, triple threat, dance and fitness pro, and image consultant shares her latest thoughts and projects.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Busy Bee G Part II

As promised, here is the continuation of Busy Bee G...that's me! It's been so fun an invigorating to be doing so much in my career, and I am ever grateful for it, so keep it coming World!
Ok, moving on...
June 21st G-Volution performed at Make Music New York where we literally performed on the street in Midtown NYC at Tramway Plaza on 59th and 2nd, and then moved on to Time Square. We performed one hip hop, one "music video"- type jazz number, and one salsa number. This was an experience unlike any other, especially in the Times Square location where we performed for the hundreds of people that were just passing by- it was so fun!!

The G-Volution T-shirts we wore were sponsored & created by Untuckable.com, a brand new apparel company who produces one- of-a-kind designs not only on t-shirts but other merchandise as well. You can get them to totally customize a t-shirt for you, in any color and style you want from American Apparel. They are located in Brooklyn, NY but ship anywhere in the US. You ROCK UNTUCKABLE!!!

After performing for a few hours in the blazing sun (and getting some nice color, may I add) my sis Liana and I headed off to the Hamptons- my first trip there!! I was so excited, but also nervous to reach our destination on time and beat the weekend traffic...and we actually did, traveling at 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon. We were guests at the American Heart Association's Heart of the Hamptons Gala, sponsored by Stephen Adler of Charity Brands. A big "thank you" to Barbara Poliwoda of AHA, and Stephen Adler, who also was my personal host for the evening. Seconds into arriving at the Gala, I stepped onto the Red Carpet and gave numerous media interviews, and of course took many photos...totally my cup of tea ;-)Here are some media pics of me on the Red Carpet: Hamptons.com and SmugMug.com and more SmugMug.com with Dottie Herman. The best part of the whole night, was when Stephen Adler introduced me to Christie Brinkley as Ms. New York! How honored was I?! Christie was so sweet, and congratulated me on my title. It totally made my night! I've always been a big Christie Brinkley fan because she's not only beautiful, but quite down to earth and follows a healthy lifestyle as do I.Our stay in Southampton was sponsored by Michael Wudyka of the Enclave Inn and arrangements made by the wonderful manager John LoCascio. Liana and I had an amazing time in the Hamptons, and ended our stay with a visit to the Regular's Music Cafe also owned by Michael Wudyka...and I posed with my favorite celeb, Elvis! Michael was a great host, showing us around Regulars and providing us with a comfy 2- bedroom suite for the weekend- thanks Michael and John!
Check the official Ms. New York Blog for more details of my fab Hamptons trip, and more pics!
What am I doing now? Well, now it's time for mega- preparations for the Ms. United States Pageant...I will be there in approximately 11 days, OMG!!! So much to do still, but I feel ready and excited to compete! I will definitely keep you all posted here, on the Ms. NY blog, and on Twitter of course.

Love & World Peace to you all!!
xoxo
GraziellaB

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Busy Bee G Part I

Well, as ya'll know (I love using that even though I'm not Southern) I've been super busy with so many happenings lately, even more than my usual "busyness," and I'd like to share all the excitement!

G-Volution has had a lot of awesome exposure in the last few weeks, and we've been working as hard as ever to stay on top of our dance game.

June 3rd we filmed our official demo footage for the "new" G-Volution...this was an exhaustingly long day, but we got some great material, not to mention the best workout of our lives! The demo is coming soon, and you know I'll shout it out loud as soon as it does ;-)

June 8th G-Volution opened the show for the annual dance recital of the studio I teach at (Vicki's Studio) in Rockland County, NY. We performed a salsa number that has now become part of our repertoire with some fun poofy skirts and handmade hair flowers by Leslea Clark!On June 10th @ Kings Court of Lyndhurst NJ, G-Volution taught the very first GV Workout: the dancer's conditioning workout plus choreography, all in one fat- burning class...fun stuff!
We'll bring the GV Workout to YOU! Visit our website for more info.

June 12th I had a "loco" day heading into Manhattan for a meeting with Kleinfeld Bridal for some gowns for my official Ms. New York appearances. I was given great attention by Angel Rivera, Laura Contrera and Marisa Dileo who all helped with gown selections. My visit to Kleinfeld's was complete after meeting the owner, Ronald Rothstein, a charming gentleman! After Kleinfeld's I had a leisurely lunch meeting with Catherine at Elmo. After our productive lunch meeting, I headed off to a NYC Tweetup @ a familiar locale I've frequented to hear my good friend Graphic George deejay. At the Tweetup I finally met Gaia Borgias Brown
who until now, I had only met on Twitter....I am loving Twitter, btw! And if you don't know what it is, you really need to check it out!

In an effort to keep this short and sweet, Busy Bee G Part II will be out tomorrow....
Ciao for now,
Graziella B

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Show Must Go On...

This is Dedicated to My Zia Rosa, God Bless & RIP.

I do have some sad news to report: Although I don't usually do this, I feel it a form of respect to do so- my Aunt Rosa past away just a few days ago. It's been a while since I had seen her at family functions because she had been sick for quite some time, while I was busy for quite some time. This became a poignant reminder to love & cherish your family and friends while they are alive and able to appreciate it. Too often we get lost in our work and even mundane tasks to include quality time with loved ones in our schedules. Days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years...where's the quality of life? Isn't life supposed to be about spending it with loved ones?? This is just me thinking aloud, and hopefully you'll gain something from it too. I wish you all a blessed day, week, month, year, and life full of health, happiness, love and peace.

As the saying goes, for performers, for all life- The Show Must Go On...

Updates:
End of May into 1st Weekend of June: Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal for the dance classes I teach, and also for G-Volution

June 3rd: G-Volution had a new video shoot for our official video demo

June 8th: My dance classes of ages 11- 18 finally performed the dances I choreographed & taught in the past 5 months, and G-Volution also performed at my annual Recital in Rockland County NY

June 11th: G-Volution taught the first- ever GV Workout master class. This is a full-body workout that tones, tightens & burns calories...and you have a blast doing it!

June 12-14: Meetings with my Ms. New York Sponsors & manager Catherine (you'll meet her in an upcoming post)

**June 21st: Come watch a FREE performance by G-Volution @ The Make Music New York Festival @ the following locations & enter to win a free performance for your next event!

Tramway Plaza 11am-12pm
2nd Ave and E 59th St
New York, NY 10022

Quad Studios 1pm-2pm
723 7th ave
48th street between 6th and 7th ave close to the corner of 7th.
New York, NY 10019
See you there!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Giving Back

Since a very young age, I have been involved in all types of community service. All I knew then, was that entertaining Seniors with my seasonal dance performances was cool because they were my most appreciative audience! What I came to learn as time went on, was that giving back to my community was an integral part of being a community member. Today, what community service means to me is that I am making positive contributions to my generation and to the generations before and after me for a better life, however small my service may be.

As Ms. New York US, Healthy Habits for Life & I aM for Women: Inspiration & Motivation to Empower Women, are the two issues that I have chosen to promote during my year of reign. However, I have supported and continue to support many other issues that benefit our communities at large.

This weekend, I was honored to be a guest at the Women's Health & Awareness Day by The Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network (Q-Scan). I received a warm welcome from Q-Scan CEO Gloria Rochester when I arrived, who had a table set up for me to give out my Healthy Habits Handout, and sign some autograph cards. (Click the link above so you can have one too :-)

This event was a perfect way to encompass both my platforms, which deal with a healthy lifestyle and empowering women...I was very excited to participate and share my information with the New York community! I met many inspiring, amazing people in the Queens Community such as Juliet Lewis of Mary Immaculate Hospital (who shared a table with me), and Dr. Josiane Kamler who work alongside Q-Scan.

Ms. Rochester had especially inspired me with the story of how she started Q-Scan over 20 years ago for those who suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia like her daughter has. Gloria has done an amazing job for her community, and I hope that others will be inspired by her work as I was to contribute to their communities.

Giving back does not mean you have to start an organization or march down to your city hall in protest, but it can... Giving back means doing your part, however big or small, to positively affect society. It can be as small as volunteering at a soup kitchen once a year, making a donation, or as big as starting a national organization for an issue that is dear to your heart. All it takes is a little effort, and a big heart. And this my friends, is how changing the world starts- one person, one action at a time.