Thursday, January 31, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Evaluation Results

Your evaluation provided you with a lot of good feedback. 

Consider doing this... Write out what happened.  What they said, how they said it, how you felt, what thoughts went through your mind. How you left the room.

Basically cover the experience in writing. DO it tonight if possible because it is fresh.

And then let it sit for a few days BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY DECISIONS. Your mind will refer back to it and you will discover a few things.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

PS - I will be back with your tomorrow.  I will have more insights and guidance for you.

Dear Sanna - evaluation

I feel like I have told a million people this, so I apologize if I sound bland, but here's how my evaluation went:

It was definitely not groundbreaking. They were extremely nice about asking me to "tone up" (lose weight). I know this. I am overweight for a dancer. It's okay - I can lose the weight. I WILL. Then they told me what to work on, and the director told me he was definitely considering me for an apprenticeship for next year (a definite maybe, not a definite yes). However, they said auditioning might be a good experience, if they are easy to get to or one of my top choices, but they don't think I need to spend the money, time, and effort to do a million, most likely fruitless cattle calls. I really do think they intend on giving me an apprenticeship, as long as my weight is under control. Of course, this isn't good enough for my parents, but I guess I am happy. They did ask me if I had any questions, so I said, "I am willing to train as long as it takes to be the best dancer I can be, but I don't want to waste time. Do you ever see me dancing in this company?" The director replied that he "did not not see me dancing in this company." He said it's really hard to predict the future, but if he didn't ever want me in his company, he would tell me to look for a job, or consider college, or whatever. So far I have heard of one other girl in my level who was offered an apprenticeship (a definite yes), but not everyone has had their meetings yet. That's all I know! I guess I am kind of indifferent - neither excited nor very discouraged.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Evaluation

You are ready. Be poised, open and expect feedback.  Ask your questions in a professional, open and respectful manner.

DO NOT attend with the expectation of being hired or promoted. Here is why, YOU DO NOT KNOW  -- until the invitation has been extended and the contract is in hand.  

Just as you are looking for assistance, others are also looking for assistance.  You DO NOT know what is happening behind the scenes, who is doing whom a favor and all else.  This happens regularly and it is in YOUR BEST interest to focus on the evaluation, feedback, your questions.

Anything else is a bonus.  

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dear Sanna - conferences are tomorrow!

Gotta love the ballet world's idea of "advance notice." 24 whole hours. Anyway I just found out the conferences are tomorrow! I'm interested to hear what they have to say...

Today was a loooong day! I was a little frustrated, mostly with myself because I have a few aches and pains that make already-hard-things a little harder, and I think I might have given this morning's teacher the idea that I have a bad attitude. She's not "important," in terms of affecting whether or not I get a job, but I hate for anyone to think that. I think I just have trouble with her because she tells me things like I need a 6:00 penchée ("It's not a trick anymore. It's a requirement") as if I wasn't trying to be in a perfect split. I know these things, but just because she tells me to do it doesn't mean I suddenly can. Rome wasn't built in a day. I nodded, but I guess she could tell I wasn't thrilled because she said "Don't take it the wrong way," later on. I tried to play cheerful after that, but I was just in a bad mood and not dancing well. Oh well it's not the end of the world - I will just have to work extra hard in her class, and what harm could come from that?

Anyway time to take care of my body. Goodnight!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Dear Sanna - good point

Hmmm yeah I suppose this really isn't about how to get me a job. The apprentices said that they told them how they were doing, whether they thought they were ready for a job, and that they had no jobs. I believe they asked them all to stay another year. They also told some people what they need to work on.

It seems natural that they would explain themselves and give reasons for their thoughts, so hopefully I won't have that many questions, after all. When I think about the actual conference, I think they will either tell me I am getting an apprenticeship, after which I can respond

"It is my dream to eventually dance with your company. Do you have plans to expand within the next few years, and could you see me in your company?"

If I am not getting an apprenticeship (or maybe even if I am) I could say:

"I am willing to continue training, if you feel I am not ready for a company, as long as I am doing what I need to do in order to reach my highest potential and get a job within the next few years. If you do not see me ever dancing in your company, do you agree that it would be best to audition elsewhere?"

Hopefully they will tell me what I need to work on, and, depending on how the meeting goes, I could end by asking

"I really value your opinions and I would love it if you would take a look at my resume and photos. Also, if you have any suggestions or connections for getting me auditions, I would very much appreciate it."

By the way, remember how I told you we were doing my favorite ballet for the school show? Well I am learning one of the leads! I was shocked, because I was cast as corps in the ballet we had originally planned to do, so I am very excited to even be second cast. AND I was called to rehearse the other ballet we are doing for school show, too. Not the lead, but it's a small corps and I'm very happy with my parts now :) Good night!


DanceMInd: Dear Janie -- Evaluation Questions and more

Unless you have a legitimate complaint then I would let it go and be more timely in the future. As someone who taught courses at a college level, an instructor hears many many creative reasons why work was not completed.  You could send her a note of apology to be 'professional.' We have all been in that situation of being just a hair to late and paying the consequences for it.

Evaluation questions --

You want you approach to be respectful and direct. Listen very carefully and bring a note pad if you want to write after the evaluation. You see then this becomes a part of your goals setting. Steps to take on the way to becoming a paid dancer ...

In order for me to advance into a company position, what are the areas in which I need to have improvement.  Can you give me a few suggestions on what I can do to improve that (if you d not know).  

You can also ask for areas of noticeable improvement from the evaluator. 

Given my style of dance, my work ethic and overall presentation, what kind of company might be interested in a dancer like me? Am I a possible consideration with ____ in the near future?

Can I set up an appointment to meet with you (or someone) about career guidance?  I think the focus of the interview is on what you are doing well and areas for improvement. You want to be very clear when you exit that you have the information you need to move forward to design a plan.  The career support is a different topic altogether, Janie. Of course you can be ready to ask, if there is time and the instructor is agreeable. 

I think a good sit down about how to get work would require a tet-a-tet.  You will have to be the one to take charge and get what you need. 

Get back to the blog tonight if possible to square away your evaluation questions.  What have you heard from others about the porcess?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Dear Sanna - okay

I was talking about my online college classes. I have tests I have to complete each week by a certain time, and last week I didn't realize they were due on a thursday at 1:00, so at 12:40 when I realized, I had to rush through both tests. I got an 80% on the first, and then I only managed to finish 10 of the 15 questions before I submitted the second, but for some reason none of the answers showed up and I got a 0. Then when I explained this to the teacher in an email, she responded as if she didn't believe me, ignoring my explanation and telling me that I began the test 10 minutes before the due date and submitted it blank and that I should complete tests as soon as they are available. So I think I just need to let it go or I will make it worse, because this woman clearly cannot negotiate.

Okay specific goals:


I want to be at least a soloist in a professional ballet company with a rep including Balanchine, classical, and contemporary ballets.

I want to make enough money to live, and have enough time to enjoy my life and have a family, if that's what I want at the time.

I want to live in a big, nice city where I might want to live, regardless of the fact that I was offered a job there.

Top 3 questions for my evaluation (and the follow-up questions that go along with them):

1) Do you plan on expanding the company within the next 1-2 years and will you consider me for a spot in the company when it becomes available?

2) How can you help me seek a job elsewhere?
Do you have connections with the people who can get me company class auditions?
Which companies do you think would be a good fit for me?
Can you give me feedback on my resume and audition photos?
Should I make a video and how can I seek help with it?

3) What do I need to do in order to get a job?
Lose weight?
Work out?
Take more classes?
Fix a certain aspect of my dancing?

Just found out evaluations are THURSDAY finally!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Evaluation Questions

Let's nail these down in case you are called in this week.

What would be you top 3 questions?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS, CCHT
Audio programs for dancers - finally!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yes, I am repeating myself.

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Goals Need to be Front and Center

Like a Ballet Dancer!

Keep your goals available to you. If they are written in an exciting way, then they serve as an external reminder and touch in with your own motivational drives that keep you dancing, even when it gets tough (er).

1. I want to dance with a professional company.

Get more clear... I see myself dancing as a core member of a medium sized company whose repertoire is a mixture of modern and classical ballets.  or I dance with a ballet company that tours. 

Be more specific. Narrow your vision to include what you like. How do you see yourself?  

With your experience, you can begin to realize what do you  like and how do you want to do what you like.

So when you have few moments.  Lie back and let your mind wander to a few years into the future ... what happens, are there obstacles to your vision, is it clear, is in realistic for you at your skill level.  

WHat would you have to do, or be able to do to achieve that goal.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
I hope you enjoyed that homemade croissant. I have never had one!  

I am confused about the test comments.

We can talk tomorrow.
Time for zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Master Classes for Your Mind

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dear Sanna...

Today we had a light ballet schedule so I decided to tackle some home-made croissants! They are amazing I must say, even though half way through making them I discovered I had 2 tests due within 20 minutes and only managed to finish one before the deadline. Very frustrating, but it will be okay because the rest of my tests will be so spectacular, that one won't even matter. (I also emailed the teacher and tried to explain what happened, so we'll see what she says) I am tired now but tomorrow I will try to organize my dancing goals. Good night!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Goal? What Goals?

Yes, we did review them.  I was hoping you would find them!  Goals need to be in front of you, ie in a journal near your bed, or on your desk where you review and make sure you are taking the steps to achieve our them.  See how you have forgotten ...

Goal setting is much more than making a statement. 

Let's talk about this evaluation. This evaluation is for you too, Janie. What they discuss may not answer YOUR questions. (They have a lot of dancers to review.) Getting the answers to your questions helps you to set additional goals and to tweak current goals.

There may be a time frame, such as 15 mins. If this is the case, prioritize your questions. Top 2 must be answered and leave the others to address with approachable teachers.  You can also consider speaking with teachers to get their ideas and guidance outside of the interview.

Keep in mind Janie, some comments may be subjective, meaning it is from  their viewpoint.

Grab a journal and write your goals out. Some of them are too vague. We can strengthen them so you can increase the possibility of it happening.

Any one  else on board is welcome to do the same.
I will continue tomorrow. It has been one very busy week ...

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dear Sanna - my goals

As I thought about my list, I was having a little deja vu, so I looked back through some old posts, and sure enough I already made a list of goals in November! I thought it would be interesting to see how they have changed (or not) so here they are:

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

It seems like my goals really haven't changed much. I just want to eventually have a solid job with professional ballet company and be able to financially support myself. Unfortunately, the more time that passes before I reach these goals (especially the musts), the more unlikely they become. For example, the older I get, the harder it will be to impress an artistic director enough to hire me, so I really need to work hard now. I suppose sharing these goals with my teachers might be a good idea at my evaluation?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

DanceMind:Dear Janie, QUESTIONS 4 Evaluation

Preparing for an evaluation begins with you, of course!

As I asked in an earlier post - What do you want? How do you want it? How iwll you know when you got it?

Goal setting is so underutilized and so powerful. They direct your attention towards what is important and away from what is not. Have you ever jumped out of bed so excited because you were headed somewhere or doing something? Your goals need to lift you out of bed. They keep your sights clear and effort strong.

After considering those beginning questions - You can list 3 - 5 questions that are clear, and helpful to you to see if the company is the right place for you now or in the future.

Let's shape these 3 - 5 questions. You have just as much right to ASK questions and get feedback. IT IS YOUR EVALUATION. How will you get the answers to your questions?
Of course you are polite and professional, yet you have a voice. This is an important time for you, Janie.

Keep in mind - Evaluations are about FEEDBACK, ie, your performance ability, your technical skills, your work ethic, etc.

Without me rambling, let's get clear.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

PS -- The Audition CD is a good way to get your mind prepared for evaluations & auditioning. Miriam, from Texas, says, "I use it all the time. It helps me to keep my focus and know how to totally prepare myself for class and audition. I love the images - and I am not worried anymore!"

Mental training for dancers is a master class for your mind.
Visit ... to get your program!

Monday, January 21, 2008

DanceMind:Dear Janie, WHAT do you want?

Do you know what you want? Write that out. Describe it in detail. and then extract one clear sentence... I am a ballet dancer ----

What are you willing to do in order to dance? Move. More unpaid 'labor.' Live in Montana.
Maybe you re willing to continue training until you are invited to a company position.

What do your parents say? I am assuming they are supporting you financially. Have you discussed possibilities with them.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Dear Sanna - wording

Yes! You're right - the phrasing of my questions is very important. I actually just read about this in the communications class I'm taking. I guess I should ask if they see me ever dancing with this company, and if not why and is there anything I can do to change that. I also forgot to put in my last post that I want to ask them to look at my resume and give me tips. I should also ask if they know any artistic directors who might be interested in a dancer like me, and if they could somehow help me set up an audition. How does that sound?

DanceMind:Dear Janie, Be Bold for Yourself.

I was impressed withyour comments below. Your predicament is real and common.
I have some things to do at this moment, I will get back to you later or tomorrow. You will be ready to yur satisfaction. I am concerned with how yu are phrasing your questions. Do you read that?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Dear Sanna - how bold can I be?

Well that was just about the hardest week of my life, although I love what I was doing, so it was not at all the worst week of my life. We all thought back to that REALLY tough time coming back from summer vacation and agreed that was much worse, even if this past week was more dancing. And what's more is the fact that today was our day off and tomorrow we're going back just as strong. It's almost the same schedule as last week, regardless of the fact that tomorrow is MLK day or that we might need a break...

Anyway the evaluation situation (no alliteration intended)... we anxiously awaited the first week in January to hear... absolutely nothing. As we got more and more anxious, a brave soul asked about it. We were told the students should call, apprentices had their meetings last week... and us in betweenies? nothing. It seemed as though they would shortly follow the apprentice meetings, but it has been days and we still have heard nothing. Soon I will have to muster up the courage and ask.

...But I can pretty much predict the outcome anyway, based on my perceptions of the bosses and the feedback from those who have had meetings. Here's what I gather/predict:

The company is not expanding. Either somebody will leave, or nobody new will be hired. This means apprentices were told to audition, invited to return as apprentices for a second year, and mostly praised, without job offers. I know that not all apprentices will take that second year, but others may be found from the company's own audition tour, so there may or may not be spaces available for me as an apprentice, and almost definitely not in the company.

...So I will probably be told to audition as well (unless the expect me to stay in this state for another year, and if this is so then they better have an excellent reason) so I should get my stuff together. I also expect they will tell me good things, and if not I definitely need to find somewhere else to go, because it seems like they're saying good things whether it's the truth or not, so if I don't hear those things, I am clearly not wanted here.

I have made a list of questions, including what they dislike about me (it must be something, based on my parts in the school show, which are not terrible, yet not the best either) and if I have any control over changing those things. I also want to ask for advice on where I should audition, and I want to ask if they can do anything to help me get a company class somewhere.

Now I'm going to get some sleep before another demanding week, when I will hopefully get a chance to talk to my teachers! Night!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

DaanceMind:Dear Janie, Self Care

I am very happy to hear that you take vitamins, rub arnica on your toes and ice AND sleep.
The more you care for your body (That works very hard for you) the better. That support is very necessary. You can minimize pain, reduce injury potential and even perform better because you 'care' for yourself.

You truly have to take the initiative to set these as priorities even when you are exhausted. The benefits a long lasting and worth it. Good job!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

DanceMind: Dear Janie, All in a Day!

As a ballet dancer you have a lot of responsibilities for which you are responsible.
You work your body hard and then have school work and other mundane activities that must be done. Of course, enjoy the cookie!

Have you ever eaten a cookie 'mind-fully? Eating a cookie mindfully is amazing you really taste the subtleties and sweetness and you take it in through different senses.

You make the decision to eat the cookie. Next, feel it, notice the texture, its appearance and the obvious ingredients you see. Feel its weight. Then, smell it. If you hold it up to your mouth, observe what happens in your mouth without it even being in the mouth.

When you take a bite, let it sit in your mouth without chewing and see what happens.
Chew very slowly, feel it dissolve and with your attention in your mouth listen to how it sounds as you break it down. You will notice several layers of flavor and textures unknown becase we chew a few times and swallow.

Keep it in your mouth for as long as you can. Then follow it down the throat.

You will have the cookie longer and enjoy it more. Cookies nourish the soul!

I love choc chip, all time favorite.

I teahc this in my weight loss classes. You can enjoy more of food and eat less ... and lose weight! especially if you pick up a few over a break.

Eat slower and chew more.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS

PS -- How about our evaluation?

DanceMind: Dear Janie, I hear you.

I am happy to hear that you are doing what you need to do. It is a lot, Janie.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dear Sanna - i'm tired and i wanna go to sleep

I just submitted 4 assignments due at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, since I have ballet until 6:00 and I am NOT getting up early to work on that. Whew it's nice to get it done, but this is a lot! We have had a LOT of rehearsal this week, and I am way too tired to address important issues at the moment. So I'm just checking in... about to use some homeopathic meds and some good old fashioned shut eye! Night!


P.S. Don't feel too bad for me because I LOVE rehearsing :)

And I got a free cookie today and it was DELISH

And I don't feel guilty because I've been eating well and that was a nice treat

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dear Sanna - speaking my truth

The first few weeks back have been exhausting. It's never fun getting back in shape, and we have started both company, school, and in-between (trainee/apprentice style) rehearsals, so I have a lot on my plate. Plus I just started 2 online college classes to stay in "school mode," as my mother likes to put it.

Hence why it's been so long! Other new year's resolution... less time between posts?? I will try my best to address each post of yours, one or two at a time.

..So by excuses I definitely do mean things like the cookies example, but I also wanted to make this an all-encompassing thing. Another example for me is debating taking an extra class I know I should take, or whether or not to wear pointe shoes at barre. If it's something I know I should be doing, I'm going to just treat it like something I must do. I wouldn't debate whether to go to company class or not, so I'm not going to debate the extra class either.

I'm also working on eating when I'm hungry, not emotional, and I think I am back on the track of better eating habits. I've found that really thinking about what I am about to put in my mouth is helpful, and I often am satisfied with a healthier choice and the idea that I will have a treat later if I still want it. Most times I never even go back for that treat.

More soon! Now it's time to take vitamins, rub some arnica on my toes, ice, do some homework, and any other things I don't exactly feel like doing but I know are good for me! No excuses, right? Oh and some sleep of course :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, It is Time.


I am wondering where you are!!! You have a lot on your mind as your most recent posts indicate, yet I have not heard from you. What's up? Are you procrastinating? or feeling a little burned out from Nutcracker? or ........

As a coach in certain aspects of my work - I must ask - How much of a priority is this for you to prepare for evaluations and auditioning?

Whatever you are experiencing, let's handle it so you can be prepared.

Self-sabotage is not a good thing.

Miss ya :)

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, How Bold Can You Be?

NO inhibitions or fears -- what would you ask or say?

Some dancer tip toe when it comes to speaking up especially to teachers. there is a difference being being rude and unprofessional and advise seeking and information gathering. It is your future, yiur interview. Let's make the most of it by being prepared. Consider it to be a performance.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Friday, January 11, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Evaluations ...

What do you know about HOW they inerview for evaluations? Did you ask around?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist


DanceMind: Dear Janie - Speak Your Truth

Hello Janie, My best to you this new year.

Stop making excuses -- hmm-m... What will you do instead? If you stop making excuses, will you be silent? Will you tell big lies? ARe you making excuses to yourself? or to Others? How will you be accountable and know if you are actually following through.

New Years Resolutions require a plan ---

Let's do it.

Pick an excuse. Let's say this is your excuse, 'I ate a sleeve of cookies for dinner. I danced for four hours without a break and was too tired to fix myself a decent dinner!'

Is that the kind of excuse you are talking about?

What is the plan? If you have no plan then you stand the chance of backsliding into the cycle again. You must have an alternative, workable action.

Write down your plan, especially if you really want to break a habit.

I will have a store bought salad and some canned tuna available when I come home from dance ravenous. Carry something in your dance bag, a bar or an apple to stave off crazy ravenous hunger.

Keep it simple. Make it workable and by all means take the necesary action ... then you will feel so good!!! because you can now say to ourself, I eat healthy and take care of myself.

That is now your truth ...........

Sanna Carapellotti, MS, CCHT
Performance Specialist

PS -- Anyone here have weight concerns? I am beginning a new Yahoo group called,
Weight Loss Hypnosis NOW. Join us as we break habits, learn how to empower ourselves to lose weight and get the skinny on how to use your mind power to achieve your goals. You can read or participate by asking questions or helping others with your suggestions. It is FREE and open to anyone who wants to feel better and lose some fat. Here is the link ---

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dear Sanna - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! As silly as it is, sometimes it takes a new year to motivate me to make some changes. (Maybe hitting bottom after that last holiday cookie and a shocking number on my scale helped too...) Anyway, I am proud to say I have been fairly healthy so far for 2008. I really feel better about myself when I am careful about what I put in my body. I also made a new year's resolution to stop making excuses. I have been taking as many extra classes as possible, and trying to approach class with a new, refreshed outlook.

I am a little frustrated with the ever-lacking communication between dancers and teachers here. I don't feel it is responsible to assume I will have a place here next year, however I also feel unsure about going all out with auditions, taking photos, practicing variations, and missing class for road trips to the nearest audition sight without... permission (for lack of a better word) or encouragement to do so. I know that's ridiculous because it is my future, after all, but people in the ballet world are touchy, and the last thing I need is to anger the likeliest people to offer me a job at this point. We shall see - as of now, evaluations are apparently in late January. But I WILL NOT wait longer... and maybe I'll do a little private audition preparations in the meantime.

That's all for now! Does anyone else have any good resolutions or audition advice to share?


Monday, January 7, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Being Clear

Yes, there are many reasons why one dances. I am interested to hear from others WHY you dance Ballet or other forms of dance.

Of course Janie, You may continue to expound on it, especially since you have moved thru Nutcracker season. In retrospect, how does this desire to dance keep you moving when your body is at its energeic end and is throbbing.

Sanna Carapellotti