Why I love Swans…..A Dancer’s Tale

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Now that the madness of Fashion Week has calmed down for me it’s time to start sharing all the spectacular chaos with you guys on here and my first outfit leads to a rather unexpected conversation……….

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShop My Look:

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Dress – Stella McCartney via Net-A-Porter here/Bag – Amor Fati via Net-A-Porter here/Boots – & Other Stories here/Sunglasses – Folli Follie here

So having being plunged into the Fashion World in New York (read all about it here) it took me a while to get into my groove at fashion week.

The weather was super warm and humid in New York during our stay and despite having 3 blow-dries during my 4 day stay, thank-you so much Aveda!!! The humidity was not my best friend. Luckily however my wardrobe was 😉

This was my first show look and quite possibly one of my favourites. This dress is from Stella McCartney’s latest collection which I am head over heels in LOVE with because it’s all about SWANS. So much so that during my stay I wore this dress, a shirt and a bag from the exact same line.

The items were lent to me by two lovely brands Luisa Via Roma & Net-A-Porter so none of them are mine but I am doing my best to save up for the bag (it’s on my instagram @sabrina_chakici for those of you desperate to see it before I post an outfit on here!).

My favourite animal is a bat as you may know from previous Q &A’s but I also have a really deep love and appreciation for Swans. The swan kind of acts as my spirit animal in fact, it means so much to me. I was a pretty ugly baby and I’m not going to be shy behind the fact that I am blooming beautiful now, right?! Just kidding! I WAS a terrible looking tot but that’s not the reason I love Swans. My first cheerleading squad was called The Swans and joining the squad was one of the best things I have ever done.

I am a trained dancer, I performed across the country growing up and I loved every minute of being on stage and pushing myself to learn something new every day. When I went to university I looked into joining a dance team or a Ballet club or something that involved my previous dancing skills. Unfortunately though, in the sticks of High Wycombe there was no such thing. There was, however, a cheerleading squad, which obviously involved dance, so I signed up, auditioned and made it into the squad. It was truly the highlight of my university years, I had such a great social life, competed in some great competitions, travelled with my squad to Spain and most importnatly made some really amazing friends, one of whom I am still friends with now and who was a bridesmaid at my wedding.

When I left university I already had a bug for cheerleading so I looked to join a squad in my new home London. I found an advert at the famous Pineapple School of Dance and auditioned for the Pineapple Cheerleaders. I can still remember the nerves today, I had two years of cheerleading experience and I was an advanced flyer (the person who gets thrown in the air!) but this London squad was a whole new concept of cheerleader. The Pineapple Cheerleaders are pro dancers, concentrating less on cheerleading skills and stunts and more on asthetics and dance ability. I remember having to wear a crop top to the audition and I was so nervous. I was physically bigger at the time and did not have the figure I do now but luckily my big mouth impressed during the vocal cheer audition phase. (say what you want about being loud, it got me into the squad ;)) The coaches also liked my dance and performance skills so I made it into the prestigious team. I was so pleased!

I ended up working my butt off to get into shape and became one of the core girls of the squad. We performed all over the world and made appearances on some of the biggest TV shows there are, The X Factor being one 😉 Fun fact about me, I was one of those cheerleaders that danced with One Direction in their famous ‘Kids of America’ performance’.

My years as a Pineapple Cheerleader were tough, I had to stay in great physical shape but also stay flexible enough to be able to keep up with my splits, kicks and flips which was tough for me because the more you train at the gym the stiffer your body becomes. The coaches took absolutely no nonsense from us girls too which I actually really appreciated as it kept all of us in line and super close, I learnt so much about being part of a team and so much about performing as a business but most of all I met my best friends.

I had always been a loner at school, due to my dance commitments I was rarely there and due to my weight issues I was bullied terribly so I only really had one true friend (my soul mate of friends, Kate) so when I joined the cheerleading squad and made new friends it was as if I had been waiting my whole life to meet more girls that I could be myself around. I made three friends that I could now trust my life with, one of whom was also bridesmaid at my wedding and the other two who I would ask in a heartbeat if Mems and I ever married again 😉 Then there’s 3 other girls who I also class as my close friends and who I am truly 100% myself around.

It’s odd really, there’s this common misconception that girls are not supportive and the more accomplished and beautiful the girls are the worse it becomes, yet – here I was introduced to the most gorgeous girls I had ever been in a room with at one time, all of whom were established professional dancers and I have NEVER once experienced a shred of bitchyness or cattiness from any of them.

I have made new friends since moving to London and I have been burned pretty badly by being myself so I am forever grateful for my cheerleaders. I never take their love and supportiveness for granted as it’s so rare that I see it from anyone else. The clue was in the name I guess, they really are my personal cheerleaders. Each one of us genuinely wants the best for each other, these girls have the same heart as me and they always have my best interest at heart despite what they could potentially gain from being otherwise. They don’t take any crap from me and they tell me if I’m in the wrong, they are always there for me and I am confident when I say that they would never let anyone say a bad word about me in their presence, I’m the luckiest girl in the world when I think of my friends and the whole reason they are in my life is because I joined The Swans.

So a long story later, the Swan Tale ends for me. Now you know why, I love anything to do with Swans 😀 Thank-you Stella for allowing me to be able to express this!

I’ll get back to the saving for that bag now! See you all Sunday x

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Photography by Claire Chanelle

4 Comments

  1. Lottie
    September 21, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    This is such a sweet post, I was a cheerleader at Uni, loved it! Your friends are lucky to have you too X

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  2. Emma
    September 21, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    I love this post! Fave one ever.
    So true about the stereotype being completely false!!!! Xxx

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  3. ZH x
    September 22, 2016 / 8:32 am

    Beautiful post like my beautiful friend! Swans for life! Xx

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  4. diana
    September 24, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    Oh wow! firstly i didn’t know about your cheerleader side! x factor must’ve been so much fun! I knew you danced : ) haha i did cheerleading at uni too but i couldn’t even do a cartwheel so that didn’t last…and i didn’t know you liked bats (personally I’m terrified of them!) xx
    http://sweatshirtsanddresses.com/gucci-in-new-york

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