Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dear Sanna - performing :)

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post! I was out of town and extremely busy. I must say, though, it was a very nice break from my normal schedule, even if it was still demanding. It's nice to switch things up a little, and I love performing! It's funny because my nerves are so random! Sometimes I get really worked up over a run through in the studios, while other times I am completely relaxed and confident when I run out on stage. I love it when people tell me "have fun!" instead of "good luck" or something before I go on, because having fun really is the best way to do well and enjoy myself. I've found the more I do corps dances, the more relaxed I feel since the steps are in my body and the more fun I have. I finally love waltz of the flowers! Another favorite ritual I have is a funny warm up dance my friends and I do in the wings to the music before we go on.

I think my comfort food is chocolate in general. I love having a kiss or something little and sweet for a little burst of energy before a show. I have noticed that I really don't perform as well if I eat restaurant food immediately before a show.

--Janie, real ballet dancer with an anonymous name

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dear Janie -- Check In

When you can let me know how you are doing. It is a very busy season yet part of the 'busy'ness
can be frayed with good constant personal care. Some is manufactured in the mind; some is very real. Strive for balance. After you work, use one of the CD's to recharge yourself. When the Stepping to Sleep program is used regularly, you will notice a big difference in how you feel thru time.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- For all of you tired dancers, Stepping to Sleep is a program to go to bed with - literally. You will cycle thru the stages of sleep and heal your weary body. Imagine waking up feeling better and rested. Ready to dance! How fun ... (it's on sale for a limited time).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dear Janie -- Anxiety

When you become aware of worry or anxiety, gently let yourself know that you have moved into the future in your mind and your body has revved up the energy to get you there.
Return to the present through breath.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dear Janie -- Comfort Food!

Comfort food feeds and nourishes the soul. It is reminiscent of home, of a certain person, event or time in your life. They hit the spot as we say.

What you have to decide, Janie, is the how does it make you feel FOR NOW? You have to perform in your body. If the food makes you feel bloated and sluggish, then I would say enjoy it later. If it energizes, then enjoy. HOWEVER, You can mind-fully eat one bit very slowly, really savoring it.

As I see clients, I never eat sugar or wheat. I do not think or intuit as clearly. In order for me to be sharp, I EAT WHAT I WANT ... fruits, veggies, protien.

It can be hard, yet your decision is in relation to how well will you be able to perform, especially after being so exhausted and stressed. Bad food is also stress the body.

BTW -- What is your comfort food? Mine are Choc Chip cookies. We made thousands as a kid.
Homemade Choc pudding, too!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Good Night!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dear Sanna - de-stressing

Even the mere idea of taking steps to deal with this stress is comforting. It's just nice to talk about and know that somebody else cares and is on my side. I had the whole day off from dancing today, and tomorrow I only have one class and no rehearsals. That alone is a much appreciated break.

Laughs - check. I spent the day with my good friend today and I laughed more than I have in months, I feel. It was a really nice day to waste time together and take my mind off all those things that are stressing me out, or even make light of some of it.

I am working on convincing a friend to give me a massage or I will roll out my muscles myself if I have to...

Comfort food - check. Does comfort food have to be healthy? If so maybe scratch that check mark, but I definitely enjoyed my meals today if nothing else :)

We'll see if I get around to a bath - not usually my thing, as wonderful as it sounds. I think it's a mixture of my laziness/lack of time/stronger desire to do other things. But maybe I'll force myself to try it out and maybe find out how much of a bath person I really am.

OF COURSE I use arnica. It's my savior :)

The Stepping to Sleep CD is calling to me as we speak - I cannot wait to rest my body

I think I need to add shopping to this list (which I did today)

More soon! This is the first day of my de-stressing

--Janie, real ballet dancer with an anonymous name

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Attention: Dancers Who Are Tired

Too sore, worried or exhausted to sleep? Stepping to Sleep will drift you off to the deepest sleep. Imagine you put your feet up, close your eyes, rest your tired body and Voila -- it is morning! You feel rested!

Read more about the program and listen to a short clip at

BTW -- Did you know that sleep improves performance? It does. You will learn why.

Buy now for a Good Night!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- ON SALE for Nutcracker and Winter Performances.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dear Janie -- TAKE ACTION!


First, Think back to when you performed quite well. You probably talked about how hard you danced and how rewarding that was for you to have come so far. The success comes from the striving for performance. All the work, building camaraderie, sweat .... You can't always control the outcome.

If you look ahead here as well, you can realize that this will apply shortly.

HOWEVER, This is a VERY IMPORTANT TIME for you, Janie.

You must care for yourself. How do you do that -- As rehearsals intensify you MUST HAVE A PLAN to balance out the hard work with activities, fun and treatments that YOU KNOW HELP YOU.

1. Get a laugh. Watch a few favorite movies. Call a funny friend. Laugh outloud.

2. Get a massage. Or massage your self. You can sweep your hands over your body. Begin at the top of your head. Cover every inch and sweep gently over your skin.

3. Make comfort foods to enjoy.

4. Use essential oils such as Lavender, Rose, Lemon in a hot bath.

5. Do you use ARNICA! (a homeopathic ointment and pellets!) GET SOME NOW!

6. SLEEP! Listen to the Stepping to Sleep, sleep program for dancers.
designed by me for dancers like you.

7. Get outside for a time period. Breath fresh air. Sit on the earth. :)

8. get a chiropratic adjustment if you do that.

9. LISTEN TO track 9 of the Audition CD (designed by me) for a really relaxing guided journey.

10. Ask a teacher how they survived rehearsals. I am sure you have heard stories.

Add to this list....
Because you can get so so so tired, make a list of what gives you relief. Post it becasue when you are so so so tired, one quick glance can give you some immediate suggestions. You will also have some things that you know are helpful to you.

Do this now Janie.

THE STEPPING TO SLEEP cd is available for tired dancers who want to sleep better and wake up refreshed! Nutcracker season can wear you out before the first performance. This program will rest assured that you get your sleep.
Read about it on this web page, or you can call me directly, 412.344.2272.

Janie, I look forward to hearing from you. I know this is a very difficult time. You are already a success with your hard work and commitment. You will find your way through this. If you want to talk through any of the above let me know.

Write about what is helping you.

Dear Janie -- You are Stressed OUT!

As you experience (and probably observe among other dancers) the amount of work you do with your body, mind, and spirit is extraordinary --- You are a prime candidate for stress, especially around this time of the year --- NUTCRACKER! and Winter Performances.

What we know about stress is that there are a lot of different factors, Janie. (I am going to write this out so that you can keep this in mind.) I am going to list a few and I am sure you can add to the list. . . long rehearsals, add on training hours, little recognition (at least what you want), pain in the body, demands and pressures from self/school/family, personal conflict, emotions (tears, irritability, anger), beliefs about yourself, ranting in the mind, overload with life outside of ballet and within ballet ... not to mention those corrections (AND DOESN"T ANYONE SEE THAT I AM DOING MY BEST!!!!!!) Feeling like you are under a microscope has created this high sensitivity to criticism. Chnages in sleep and eating patterns.

The strain of rehearsal is real - and can create tremendous strain in the mind and body.

Janie, You are stressed OUT!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

Dear Janie -- I hear you.

Your exasperation weaves through your words.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Life of a Ballet dancer is hard, Janie.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dear Sanna - hard times

I am finally reaching (almost) the end of an extremely difficult week. I have had at least 3 hours of rehearsal and 2 classes every day this week and I am exhausted. It's like the pain just builds each day and I feel even more sore. It's such a paradox, since I am truly happy to have the opportunity to dance so much, but it is a lot to handle. It's also frustrating to see others complaining about the same schedule I have, if not lighter when they get paid and I don't. I can't help thinking how unfair it is, even though I logically know there is a reason why they are ranked higher and have more privileges than I do.

I also cannot help feeling personally attacked in rehearsals. It cannot possibly be all in my head - I get by far the most corrections in EVERY rehearsal. And I'm not even necessarily the youngest, newest, or (hopefully) worst dancer in all of my parts. It just feels like I am always to blame! Can I possibly be THAT bad that everything I do needs correcting? Even when I specifically try to think about correcting something, whoever is running the rehearsal often tells me to do the very thing I thought I was concentrating on doing. I guess this sounds a lot like my complaints about corrections during class. Maybe I am just too sensitive. Anyway the tears came today and I'm not sure if they're over - it might take a good cry to get past this or through the next few weeks, which should also be quite intense.

Last night my muscles hurt so bad I couldn't sleep, and my ipod wasn't charged/conveniently near me so I tossed and turned all night. Tonight I have it ready, so your CD,
Stepping To Sleep can help me if I have the same problem. So... goodnight!

--Janie, real ballet dancer with an anonymous name

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dear Janie -- Hurts so Bad?

It is that time of the year when rehearsals intensify and life becomes dance and sleep. (Remember Stepping to Sleep CD will help you to sleep more restoratively.) See resources on the right or click on the link in the PS!

TAKE CARE of yourself during these days. I will be in touch after tomorrow.

I am very excited to be a part of the National Speakers Association Talk-A-Thon. I will be talking about Mental Techniques for Speakers. It will be available on itunes and Talkshoe, internet radio. I will post the link tomorrow. It is aired after it is recorded.

I have some organizing to do, you know mental strategies for speaking .... :)

Good Night!
Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Stepping to Sleep ~~ Audio program for a dancer's Good Night's Sleep. You will awaken refreshed and ready for more ... dance!
Sleep ... Sleep ... Sleep .... all night long.
On sale now for Winter performances and Nutcrackers!

Dear Sanna - no time for thinking!

I feel like I haven't stopped moving since my last post almost a week ago! It really is a good exhaustion, though. I am thrilled for the opportunities I am having, which account for the hours and hours of rehearsal. Today I got to go in during a rehearsal for my best part, one that I am hoping, but definitely not sure I will get to perform. It was so much fun! I feel good about working hard when it's something I love. I also had company members teaching both of my classes today, and I always love the kind of corrections and attention they give me.

But regardless of whether or not it is a good exhaustion, I am so tired and busy that I haven't even had time to think about this evaluation anymore or my future really. I totally agree that I need to lay out my goals, though. Honestly I am not all that picky or specific at the moment, but maybe I can slowly put together a list of musts and maybe a list of hopefuls...

Janie's Goals:
a) Musts:
1) Dance for a professional ballet company
2) Make enough money to live
3) Be healthy/happy
b) Hopefully I will also:
1) Have the opportunity to dance both classical and balanchine ballets
2) Eventually work my way above the corps (soloist or maybe even principle depending on the company)
3) Live in a nice city
4) Achieve all this within the next 3 years
5) Be well-liked by my artistic director and vice-versa

I think my goals seem reasonable - at least a good start. Well, bed time for Janie!

--Janie, real ballet dancer with an anonymous name

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dear Janie -- Evaluations

Evaluations are important and necessary. Schools have them at certain times of the year and of course information is gathered daily through observation of your performance, your attitude, your attendance, etc.

Certainly each school has a protocol in terms how they approach the student, time spent with them and the topics they cover. The focus can be different depending on the teacher's style and the student's level and needs.

You are right to inquire about how they approach their evaluations. You can glean information from other dancers. You can also ask your teacher or whoever is in charge by asking them about the process as time draws near.

You may also ask for an evaluation/discussion with a teacher outside of the scheduled evaluation. If you have concerns, or are struggling, etc. Teachers can be pretty accommodating to have a discussion with you. So approach them if you are so inclined.

This is a good time to give some thought to your goals. Because if you are clear about what you want, where you are headed, then the evaluation has more clear meaning and can offer feedback and direction in relation to your goals. I know you have goals, yet they may not be 'developed.'
You will see what I am talking about ...

Let's start there -- I know you want to dance professionally. You are in a ballet training program. What do you want? Have you written out your goals on paper?

Many people do not realize that putting a goal/desire on paper takes it out of the mind and brings it out into the world. You write it. You see. You read it.

Do that here. Write out your goals. Write it out in longer form and then you can arrive at a simple statement. Then we will tweak it. You have to really feel it otherwise you lose the juice. It can create a powerful drive within you.

Some folks speak with uncertainty (if at all about their goals), sometimes a hesitancy to speak, or fear that if I say it and don't make it ... then what? You have to breathe power into what you want .. and of course image it --- We will get there.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Goal defining is so important in the performing arts.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Janie -- Sleep Suggestions

BTW -- On my website are some suggestions for better sleeping. You can pick and choose what works for you (that is important!). You prepare for sleep just as you gear up for dance.

Here is the link for reading about sleep help --

Although I knew sleep was important for obvious reasons, until I researched what actually happens in the body during sleep I am even more adamant about the need. Few people get a good night's sleep.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Walk the Walk of a Strong Dancer.

Dear Janie -- Of course you are exhausted!

Janie -- Very few people use the body as ballet dancers do.

Chances are you will not hear the Stepping to Sleep CD all the way through as you sleep. It is designed to take you to sleep. Yet, you still hear it, without listening. How do you feel in the morning? You do not have to listen every night. Because you are literally retraining yourself to sleep deeply and adequately. I am happy to hear that, Janie.

I will get back to you about the evaluation. I have to prepare for the cutest little client (with a dog phobia). It will be gone this morning! Dog fears, stage fright ... all can be eliminated.

Have a nice day ...............

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Yes, The Stepping to Sleep CD is on Sale.

Dear Sanna - Exhausted

This is a very busy week for me, too. I still haven't heard any more of the Stepping to Sleep CD, but not for lack of trying. Every time I listen to it, I obviously feel so relaxed I instantly drift off to sleep! It really helps me stop my mind from buzzing with everything from going through choreography in my head to worrying about my evaluation! I do like going through choreography, but I need my sleep, too. I remember something about dancing better after 8.5 hours of sleep in the CD, and I definitely agree. I'm thinking I won't need the CD tonight, though because I am wiped out. So how should I prepare for this conference in January?

--Janie, real ballet dancer with an anonymous name

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dear Janie -- Are You Sleeping?

During sleep body processes are actually working to heal the body and mind.

I created Stepping to Sleep because I realized that my private clients (especially the performers) performed better after they started sleeping better. They felt more confidence (and did not have to worry) and planned for a Good Night. Then I researched the correlation between sleep and performance -- Voila! I said to myself I gotta make CD, especially for dancers. One for Athletes is coming, too!

You all know how exhausted you feel during tough rehearsal schedules. I will let you in on a little secret ~~ Sleep improves performance! This has been studied at universities and slep centers.

Why leave good sleep up to chance! There are nights when you are so so so-o-o tired that you fall into bed and do not remember a thing after hitting the pillow. You wake up just as exhausted. You may not know that you move through sleep cycles all thru the night. If you do not cycle through these stages of sleep --- the result, you feel unrested.

And get this ~~

Those microscopic muscles tears heal during sleep. Inflammation can reduce. Blood sugar (which gives you good consistent energy AND mental clarity, memory and focus) fuels the muscles tissue and your brain .... I was shocked at what I discovered. Of course you will learn more in the second track of the program ~~ Why sleep improves dance performance.

One client was sleeping 4 - 5 hours a night and even less during performance time. She was forgetting steps, constantly re-injuring her ankle and feeling very irritable. First order of business was to lower her levels of nervousness because she stayed up worrying about her performance. Once that nervousness was gone and her confidence was strengthened - she went to sleep with Stepping to Sleep and discovered for herself the influence sleep has on performance. The next day she was complimented on her improved control and emotional expression (more confidence boosting).

Stepping to Sleep requires you to put yourself to bed. That's it! You don't have to do anything. (You do not even have to listen to every word.) Put it on your ipod and go to bed. You will wake uo in the morning rested, feeling better and ready.

So if you are in need of better sleep or more sleep, read the information on this web page and decide if you could be stronger for Nutcraker or your Winter performance. Maybe you could sleep better while traveling away from home to perform, or even be more rested and ready for studio class.

Janie, your mention of Stepping To Sleep made me really realize that Nutcracker rehearsals are gearing up and this would be a good time to get some good sleep - cheap!
Click here to read more about why sleep improves performance.

Yes, it is on sale.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Good Night!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Imagine deep healing sleep ... You awake refreshed and energized.
Rested. Ready for Nutcracker and Winter Performances.

On Sale NOW for a limited time!
Click here for Sleep ~

Dear Janie -- Lots happening

Let's go back and forth a bit with regard to this evaluation in Jan. since it has come up. It will put your mind at ease to have a clear plan.

Also, thanks for the kudos on the Stepping to Sleep CD, which sends you off to dream land, sore feet and all. It is a good resource with Nutcrackers coming up and as rehearsals intensify.

ALSO - To Mindy, I removed an identical comment post. You must have send it twice. Thanks for your comments!

I gotta get started with my day. It is a full one. Lots of interesting work today not to mention voting!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- I will put the Stepping to Sleep CD on sale because of your recommendation. Wednesday after 12:00 EST, it will be on sale and~~~ there is a FREE gift for the first 10 purchases!

Dear Sanna - I dunno!

I have never had a conference like this before, so I really have no idea what to expect. I still have a while to think about it, so I guess I could ask around a little. I don't know if it would be dorky to bring in notes about questions I have or even take notes about what they tell me. I have no idea if they will lead the conference and just ask me/tell me things, or if they will expect me to control the conversation. I think I would ask them if I had a future here, since I think it is a valid question without being too pushy. Hopefully they will answer most of my questions before I need to pry, but I guess I can use this time to think about how to best phrase what I will say should I need more information than they give.

If I could do or say anything without consequences, I would probably yell at my teachers sometimes. I would say, "WHY DO YOU ALWAYS PRAISE HER AND GIVE HER PARTS EVEN THOUGH SHE DIDN'T WEAR POINTE SHOES FOR CLASS ON TUESDAY AND I ALWAYS DO!!!" or "YOU JUST MISSED ME DO THE LAST COMBINATION PERFECTLY, AND NOW YOU ARE NITPICKING MY WEAKEST QUALITY!" I might also flat out ask why I am in the position I am in. But even typing this out hypothetically makes it seem silly that I get mad that a teacher likes someone who has the sense to wear flat shoes when her feet really hurt.

Today was a loooooong day and my legs feel like balloons. Painful balloons. Not to mention my stinging toes. No position feels comfortable and tomorrow is another long day, so I'd better try to get some rest. If I have any trouble sleeping I'll listen to my Stepping to Sleep CD. The other day was the first time I actually needed help sleeping (I'm usually exhausted and fall asleep almost instantly) and it worked like a charm! I didn't even get half way through. I wonder if I will ever hear the potentially enlightening ending? I might have to skip a little just to make sure haha. Either way, the beginning's great and I highly recommend. Night!

--Janie, real ballet dancer with an anonymous name

Monday, November 5, 2007

Dear Janie -- Correction

Oh dear big faux pax. I did not correct the spelling of Mr Balanchine before posting. Now it is corrected. Thank you! Cirrections Correktions Korections everywhere ....

The good thing about blogging is that corrections can be made. The bad thing about blogging is that 'corrections' are seen before the act of correcting. Sound familiar?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- How bold can you be during your evaulation? To really know where you stand. The question so many want to ask -- Would you hire me? (you) may go unasked, yet can be presented in a way that really gives you the feedback you need to develop your goals.

Remember goals include short term and longer range ... technical training, mental/emotional goals, personal lifestyle and physical (flex/ strength, etc), and performance.

Walk the Walk, Janie!

Dear Janie -- What would you really like to do?

If there were no limits or repercussions how would you handle these mixed messages? What would you do, say ....

You work hard. You want to know ...

This may be more common than you think.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS
Performance Specialist

PS -- Staying focused in class is important. Dancing with these 'thoughts' create an internal distraction. Seeing the teachers that send the mixed messages creates an external distraction.

How do you stay focus so you can continue learning?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dear Janie -- Mixed messages

Could you dare voice your confusion at the time of evaluation? Approach the teachers with a list of questions that are specific that could give you honest clear answers?

......... Then you would continue to dance regardless?

A few years ago I spoke with a previous ballet dancer named Flo. She was at NYB school when Mr Balanchine was there. I did not ask her time period, I am going to guess it was the 1970's. I was talking with her about this very thing -- mixed messages and how do you really know if you really have potential to be a professional dancer.

She had an interesting story --- She was in the school ( I think it was the school, not company) and was 'dismissed,' sent home by a teacher. Flo was shocked and tearful because her life was ballet. She did not believe it was over. She went to Mr Balanchine to say goodbye.

He told her that in no way was she to leave. He loved her dancing. She continued her training ...

You raise some very good points, Janie. How do you know amidst mixed messages? Good question. How do you get real answers?

How about -- Would you hire me?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dear Sanna - boo

I read the article, and it kind of frustrates me. Obviously the dancers in companies come from SOMEWHERE, so some schools must be doing an adequate job. Also, dancers today are technically so much better than those of the past, it is all relative when people say that schools are not training dancers to be immediately ready to enter a company. It also seems like the recent norm is to spend at least a year in some sort of in-between apprentice or pre-professional program, rather than get a job in a corps straight out of high school.

Anyway, I am confused my the mixed messages I am receiving, but at least I'm getting positive feedback from someone, and if I were to pick who, it would be the company over the school, so I can't complain too much. After all, I am seeking a career with the company, not the school. We are supposed to have conferences in January, so maybe that will clear up a little of my confusion, but I guess until then I will just have to figure it out for myself or leave it as a mystery...

--Janie, real ballet dancer with an anonymous name