Thursday, February 28, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Keep Going

Happiness is continuous creative activity.  Baba Amte (social activist)

________________________________________________  *

"Yes, that really stinks learning and rehearsing a piece and then not performing it --- Yet it is a part of the experience. Rehearsing and learning those parts is an extension of your training. Everything you do builds strength of mind and body.  

I know how you love performing.  There is nothing more exciting that breathing the breath of those who had danced before you on the stage. The lights, the costumes, the smells, excitement, camaraderie, work .... 

If performing is your expected outcome of learning a piece you may feel more disappointed than you need to be.  This is a reality that aint gonna change, Janie.

This is a common complaint, yes?  I know I hear about the 'unfairness.'  It probably does not go on your resume either, even if you learn it really well.

How can you let go that frustration, cause it is not going to change.  


You never know what is up around the bend.  Dancers quit, are injured, have emergencies, become ill .... Life happens yet the performance has to go on.

It is certainly not to hope that someone becomes ill or hurt or has troubles.  
You must always be ready to do your 'part' even if you do not perform it.  

Let me ask you this -- Have you had the experience that "Oh I learned that piece when I was at __________."  

The other side is -- Let's say that they DO NOT INVITE YOU to learn any piece of choreography?  hmm-mm.

It is the same with my work -- I love learning and developing new techniques to assist people with healing and performance issues.  I  put many hours in study, classes, etc. 
However,  applying the newly learned technique to my first Monday morning client, if it is not appropriate, would be uncaring and unprofessional.  So I hold it until it is applicable, yet my brain and knowledge base has expanded. I am more competent.  I guess this can be applied to many professions.

Same with you, Janie. Look at it as 'growing' yourself as a dancer.  

Or you can storm up to the artist director and scream, "This is not fair! I have 4 blisters on my feet from learning this piece. I want to perform NOW!"

Better to buy a journal ...

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

PS -- Let us know about your auditions/ possibilities.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dear Sanna

So second cast corps is officially not performing this program. I'm not really surprised, nor extremely upset, since I'm not the only one or anything, but it is disappointing to go through another season of almost daily rehearsals and a few weeks of sitting at the theater, useless, without getting anything back really. I guess it's always good to have the opportunity to learn new choreography, practice, etc., but... yeah. Anyway it's still fun to be at the theater and get to watch the shows and sometimes even get a little break from school class when we are supposed to be at two places at once. Last week we actually got in trouble, though, for missing school class when we were told to be at the theater. Go figure - seems like a lose, lose situation to me, so at least we got to rest our feet a little.

Anyway I am currently awaiting replies from many companies to which I sent requests for company class auditions. I emailed some places, sent letters and DVDs to others, or made phone calls. So far I've only heard back from two or three, with official dates set up with only one! Hopefully things will come together this week, or else I'll have to start nagging.


Friday, February 22, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Love and Passion

Last night I attended a National Speakers Association event. Will Cross was the guest speaker.
He climbed Mt Everest 3 times. On his third try he reached the top. To hear his story was breath taking. The planning, the work, the risk (he is also diabetic and has 6 beautiful young children) and his commitment to his love and passion for climbing. He has climbed  mountains all over the world.

He showed us this photo of him standing on this 4 story high ladder. He was climbing up a wall of ice.  I looked at that photo and was awe stuck, some in the room were negative thinking - "Not for me!"  (I had that thought too)

He looks at it and is smitten with love and deep passion. His entire being sings. It is who he is.

It was an amazing story -- We climb mountains in our minds and he actually physically climbs the mountain and views it as a challenge through which he nourishes his soul and inspire others to pursue their passion, even if it is scrapbooking. 

I had no idea of all the risks and how one has to go about climbing. How one has to walk and breathe and eat, and use time. It was such an experience to hear. I see him in front of the room talking and joking, yet that is all I see. I am not involved or present in the process or the anguish.

Like ballet, I can watch you perform, all dressed pretty, taking your bow, yet how you get to that center stage takes an enormous effort. As you advance up the ranks YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHY YOU ARE THERE from the inside. Because if you quit tomorrow, someone will take you place real fast.

This statement is not complicated, Janie. It is what keeps you dancing when your feet are swollen and hurt, and no one sees you or notices, or when you want to sleep.

Think of it like a magic carpet, as one a dancer client realized. She created this whole empowering experience around this carpet that gave her strength, healing and guidance. It was really cool.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Good Eye!

"SMART" move on your part.  The details are important.  

Your statement is operational even though you have not spoken it.


Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

Dear Sanna - why I dance on hold

So today we had rehearsal for the company, which has mostly consisted of me trying to practice in the back of a cramped studio, as a member of the second cast. But today my alternate was missing so I got to go in! The directors didn't really realize, so they were about to start with a missing person and I asked if I should step in, trying to be a "smart dancer". They said yes please, but nothing after the rehearsal, so I don't really know whether or not I impressed them or if they even noticed me, but it was fun to actually get to dance, and I think I did an okay job. We are all lazily excited to get to miss school class to go to the theater the rest of the week! I love being in the theater, whether I get to dance or not, plus it will be a nice little break having only one class a day. Well that's all for now. Good night!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

DanceMIND: Dear Janie -- Seed

It is like an undercurrent that steadies your 'pointe,'  gives you purpose, defines you.  Some of what you revealed is dependent on mood or performance.  This statement comes from within. It is what is inside the seed that is 'seedness.' or petunia-ness.  :)


PS --   Do you find that performance creates stress eating with yourself and other dancers?

Monday, February 18, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, You are close

Yes, you gain a lot of life skills, such as discipline, passion, vision as a result of ballet. You love ballet. Ballet strengthens your work ethic, offers constant challenge, and stimulates excitement. As you have written in recent posts, it is very clear what ballet does for you. How it has shaped your life.

What do you bring to the studio, Janie?

That sentence, or affirming statement that strengthens your conviction about why you do this every day for so many hours in so much pain for your life.

Imagine if you could pour all of this sentiment into a funnel -- what sentence would form.
Your statment is a reverse of this energy, Janie. You talk about what BALLET DOES FOR YOU. This is energy moving toward you. My question is "what moves out of/from you that circulates, connects and mingles with this practice of ballet and what it could offer to someone? HINT: Life purpose/truth.

I am not going to give the statement to you, BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE IT. You have to discover it within as it lays a foundation for WHO you are in relation to what you have chosen to do. The more clear you are, the stronger you become.

You have to want to get there ...

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dear Sanna - I need help

Okay I feel extremely shallow, but on my several attempts to pull out my deep, inner reason why I love dance, I can't really think of anything more than that it is responsible for all the aspects I like about myself. I feel like it's a great way for me to discover new things about myself, like how I can be creative and make things my own, even when they are a specific choreographed step that everyone else must do as well. I like how it motivates me to really push my limits and get things done or work hard at things that might not matter as much if I didn't have ballet. I always got straight A's in school, because I never wanted anyone to have a reason to say ballet shouldn't be a part of my life. If I didn't have that motivation, maybe I would've slacked off a little more, or who knows? Anyway, I guess my one sentence is that I love ballet because of the way it makes me feel and the things it makes me do, but that's not really a "spiritual in nature" answer, is it? Where do I go from here?


Thursday, February 14, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Why.


You are almost there. I hear you and know it was already written.

However, here is what I want you to do ...

Sit in a quiet meditation with 'all your love and practice for ballet'

There is no need to run out and buy incense. All you have to do is take a few breaths, sit quietly and place your attention on your ' heart center.' After a few mins., ask this question, "why ballet/ or What purpose does this have? WHY do I have to do this?

Constrct your own sentence. Allow the response to surface. You will hear it loud and clear,

I want you to come up with a defining sentence that speaks ALL THAT YOU WROTE ABOUT. (I will give you a hint -- it is spiritual in nature.)

Everything you wrote and re-presented is good, clear and strong. Yet it all links back to that seed in the previous post. Your love grew out of something.

When you touch in with that, you will take command.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Dear Sanna - Deja vu... again?

Once again, my thoughts seemed familiar, and sure enough, I have laid out the reasons I dance. This is from a post of mine last year:
It would be impossible to explain all the reasons I dance, but I'll try my best...

First of all, I love the challenge. There is always something more to strive for. Your training is really never done, and it's exciting and fun to be constantly improving and being able to do more and more. It's fun to jump higher and do more turns! I love seeing my progress over time and having the ability to literally change my body.

I also love the order ballet gives my life. I look forward to a regimented class every day. I like the level of respect that isn't necessarily a part of everyday life for most people.

Performing is also one of the reasons I dance. Being on stage gives me a thrill unlike anything else. I especially love getting the opportunity to dance many shows where I can become familiar enough with a role to have fun with it and really dance to my full potential. It's nice to know the steps well enough to stop thinking about the steps and focus on my technique and performance quality.

When I'm not dancing my body just doesn't feel right. Even a few days off makes me feel stiff and lazy. It's nice to have a career/hobby that also keeps you in shape.

But then I'm missing the sort of inexplainable thing that makes me love ballet itself. I don't really know why I think doing plies and tendus every day is so much fun. Or why I think a foot can be beautiful or somebody twisting their body into abnormal shapes. My mom used to ask me in wonder all the time why I wanted to go to class every day, even when I wasn't performing. I just like it. I like the people involved in the ballet world (for the most part) and that sort of inside joke if you will that only ballerinas share. For some reason we all just seem to get each other and I love being part of a worldwide network like that. I feel special being involved with ballet and I don't think I will ever be happy unless ballet is a part of my life, whether or not I make it as a professional.
All of this is still true. Just today I was grumbling in the back of a very crowded class at a difficult combination, when I watched somebody do a step and had a mini epiphany. (That looks like fun!) Ballet is fun, simple as that. I wanted to do the pirouette and land in a different position and turn and twist into something else to this beautiful music we so often take for granted JUST because it's fun and for no other reason. That's why I love dance.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DanceMIND: Dear Janie -- Seed

Think of it (the WHY)  as a seed. 
If you plant a seed, everything grows out of its 'seedness.'  The roots, stem, petals, leaves ... everything that creates the plant. Under the ground and above the ground is all the support it needs to determine the quality of plant .... from  sun, rain, ecology of the soil and micro-organisms. 
It all goes back to the seed. The seed defines and influences the path (What kind of flower it is)  (Its characteristics) etc.
Same with ballet.
Sanna Carapellotti. MS CCHT
PS -- It is the same with auditions -- Some say, I want to get in to >>>>> ....  but they really do not know WHY they are there. There is sometimes more concern for status then what is best for WHO THEY ARE AS DANCERS.  The Audition CD helps to define and manage that whole process.
When you firmly know WHY YOU ARE THERE. You claim your space and go for it. 
Got it?

The WHY must come from within. Most of what you ID'd are outcomes because you dance. The structure of the class is an external factor. WHAT DOES it do for you?  You can complain. No problem. That is why we are here to see that it is not all 'spotlight and flowers.'  You have to answer for yourself WHY. WHY are you willing to do this --

All of what you mentioned ties together inside what drives you.

Janie - dig deeper.


PS Gotta get ready for a client ... Later

Dear Sanna - I love dance

I love dance! I know I complain a lot, but it's only because it's so hard to become a dancer. I love the feeling I get when I dance (most of the time), and I love the music. I love the structure of having class every day and the sense of respect in ballet that is often lost in today's culture. I feel like I'm part of an exclusive club just because I'm a ballerina - we understand things that "normal" people do not. I never forget the things that make me love dance, like performing or that feeling of getting a step just right. Just like anything else, of course there will be times when I am not thrilled with everything about ballet, but I'll never stop loving it.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Why?

Why do you dance? Do not say -- I love to dance ...

Dig deeper. You have to have a clear compelling reason to get through these moments.

Everyone can have a goal. But WHY do you have that particular goal. Why ballet. What makes this so important that you are willing to do what you do -- every day.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Monday, February 11, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Yes ...

Yes, that is a very sad reality. To what end? All the stress, pain and time ... No there are no guarantees. It sounds exciting, but what does it mean - really?

Look around you. You have to know that this is a reality.


Dear Sanna - mixed feelings

I suppose it's hard for me not to dwell on the fact that I could already have an apprenticeship, but I don't yet. And even if I do get an apprenticeship, then what? If I am struggling this much just for the apprenticeship, why would I be chosen above the other apprentices for a spot in the company next year? I'm just worried that I will fall into the rut just like so many dancers I see. They are offered these unpaid positions, only to have to find a new place to do the same thing the next year. I just get really stressed out.

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Trying to Smile?????

I am wondering ... ( a viewer also noticed) ... You have the possibilities of an apprenticeship before you and a 'day away.' What makes it difficult to 'smile?'

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

PS -- Coming soon -- Tips and Interviews on

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dear Sanna - trying to smile

I asked my teacher about the meeting and she said that if I do the things we talked about in the meeting, I WILL (definitely) get an apprenticeship. She also said I already looked thinner, which is of course very nice to hear. I still think it will be good for me to do some auditions and see what happens.

...On another note, I am excited for a little mini-weekend getaway! My friends and I are taking a little road trip tomorrow afternoon after ballet, and it should be nice just to get out of town for a day. It's nice to take my mind off of things before next week when I'll really have to get my act together with my resume, videos, and pictures to send out for auditions.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

DANCEMIND: Dear Janie -- Life as a Dancer

Your recent post read like the life of a true dancer -- excited, working on weight, rehearsing, looking, uncertain, wanting to be noticed and exhausted.  

There is usually several topics in each post ...

1. Weight Issue -- First I posted a new article on my site ... It reveals the #1 researched tool that assists with weight reduction.  AND it is does work!  

Give some thought to your weight goals. What does 'tone up' mean?  

I am happy to hear that you have some support with your auditions. It is not guaranteed support.   Use your AUDITION CD to help you get mentally focused and clear minded.

The apprenticeship ~~  Of course, the company will offer it to whom they believe is ready.  It sounds like you may have a few things to do before that is offered. There are so many things to consider THAT YOU WILL NOT BE PRIVY TO as we talked earlier.  There are a number of positions.  The apprentice position is a step up and closer to reality.  Follow through with your plans of talking with an instructor.  Keep the focus on YOU, not that they offered positions to others.  Ask for clarification, tell him/her what you are doing as follow THROUGH.  Tell him you are following this helpful blog ,,,   :)  

Yes, it is nice to have the exhausted spent feeling after a rehearsal. I do not know it yet I 'feel' it in mu own life with my workouts and yoga.

PS -  Smile~

Dear Sanna - it begins

I've been eating really well for the past week, and I hope the directors are noticing my effort to shape up. The more I think about my evaluation, the more unsure I am of the director's exact words. I did write out what was said in the evaluation to the best of my memory, but some parts (the important part of course) are fuzzy. I was first, and under the impression that this wasn't the time when we would be offered things, more just talk about them, so I think I heard that he would like to give me an apprenticeship, and I took it as a maybe for the future. Little did I know, he was about to offer apprenticeships to two other girls right now, after my meeting. After talking to another teacher about it, I decided to ask the director of the school, who was in the meeting with the artistic director of the company and I. I have not done so yet, but I will soon.

Also, I am surprised at how helpful the "career adviser" from the school has been. I gave him a list of companies I am considering if it doesn't work out here, and tomorrow he wants to meet with me and a few other girls. Apparently he researched all sorts of companies - the ones on my list and more, and he will do his best to help me get auditions. We'll see what he says tomorrow, but I am excited that he is being so helpful.

I am exhausted, as usual, but happy because I have been rehearsing all day and the more I dance the happier I am! usually. ha. Good night!