Monday, March 31, 2008

Dear Sanna - traveling and audition #1

So I think I'll begin to tell you about my audition tour where I started - the plane. I was definitely glad I left plenty of time to get settled and used to the time change before the audition. I took a red eye tuesday night and arrived wednesday morning. I had 2 ridiculous layovers to get to my final destination, and I actually missed my second flight! I was about to panic, but in my 2:00 a.m. daze, I managed to keep it together and the airline incredibly got me on a flight directly to my final destination, cutting out an extra take-off and landing for me, and getting me in about 15 minutes earlier than planned! wonderful. not that I recommend missing a flight, but it certainly worked out well for me :)

Luckily I also have an uncle in the area, who picked me up from the airport and took me to work with him, where I conveniently met up with some friends before dinner, where my mom and brother came to meet my uncle and I! It was really nice to see my family. The next morning was my first audition, a company class.

I was somewhat disappointed that the artistic director was not there, however the person who came in his place to evaluate the auditioners turned out to be the person who got me the audition in the first place, since we worked together a long time ago at my old studio one summer.

Many company members did not show up to class, which was nice because I did not have to take anyone's spot at barre and there was plenty of room and opportunity to be seen, but I wasn't a big fan off the class. I think the teacher just was not really my style, especially at barre, and I did not get warmed up or on my leg. Also, I was a little annoyed about my barre spot. I took a spot facing sideways to the mirror, because there were no empty spots facing the mirror, but it was fine because I could at least see myself. Then at the last minute, someone walked in and stood right next to me, forcing me to scoot down to even out the space, where my view was blocked by a center barre. Oh well. The person watching didn't come until center anyway. I got one correction during barre, which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing.

Then in center, things got a little better, but still not fantastic. Center was just okay, as far as my dancing. After class, the person watching spoke to each of the auditioners. I was first, and he asked me my age and about my other auditions so far (this was only my second, the first being a cattle call which I didn't make). He told me there were some studio company spots, but they had only just begun to look (basically don't get my hopes up) and he would contact me in about 4 weeks. I should email him if I don't hear anything, and I did nice work and I should say hi to my old director.

So I don't really know what to think about this audition. It was my first ever company class audition, so it definitely could have been worse. We shall see!

Details about my other auditions to come...


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dear Sanna - finally home!

Although it was nice to see my friends and family for a bit while auditioning, the trek home was long and tiring and it is very nice to be home after I had to go straight to rehearsal from the airport!

I will get into the details of the auditions a little later, but for now I would like to share one thing I discovered about myself this week. I am finally used to being nervous! It's not that I don't get nervous anymore, because I definitely do. Like right before an especially hard step or that twang of fear when I make eye contact with somebody important, but at least I am used to this feeling now. I realized that at the beginning of this year, I was absolutely terrified for every company class. Now I am used to always dancing my absolute best, as if someone was critiquing my every move. I know my strengths and I am more able to show them off, rather than get embarrassed or flustered, and I am beginning to feel less anxious during class.

I am exhausted, so I will definitely tell you all about the auditions later this week.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

DanceMind: Janie Not Back Yet!

With Janie on the road. I am anxious to hear about her travels. Being on the road for auditions can be very costly. Unless it is local, you will have travel expenses for you and your traveling partner (Mom, boyfriend, husband ...) And it can be costly when you add up air fare, meals, hotel, cab/transportation costs, new shoes, lip gloss aaaannnndddd audition fees.

Yes, the audition fees. Many dancers complain about fees. Yet you have to consider that the company has expenses too. (staff, maintenance, etc).

Summer Intensives, training programs, jobs, and productions -- dancers hop planes, drive long distance to audition. All of this can in and of itself be unnerving. Dancers have discovered that they can use that travel time to sit and read, build mental muscle with The Audition CD and catch on lost sleep ...

After all the hard work and preparation, you do want to set the stage BEFORE you walk into the audition room. Do you know you can prepare your mind in many ways BEFORE the audition. You train your mind similar to how you train your body. There are techniques for building INSTANT confidence, or how to mentally rehearse challenging combination using a holographic mind technique.

Dancers tell me that they use the programs all year round because every class is a place where they want to be at their best.

Ballet is competitive and you want your mind to be just as powerful as your body.

We miss you Janie!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

PS - Visit for Mind for Dance needs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

DanceMind: Janie traveling

Janie, I look forward to hearing of your audition travels. What it was like and what you learned?

Best wishes to you and let us know when you return!!! We are excited to hear from you.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

Friday, March 21, 2008

SPRING!   Are you kidding? We are supposed to get 3 - 6 inches of snow on Saturday. It has been a long winter.

Can you explain the zone please?   

I want you to re read your last paragraph and read between the lines. Notice the _____.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

Dear Sanna - happy spring!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh. This is my sigh of relief after finally submitted the last of my assignments for my online classes. Thank the lord! I am taking a break from school for now, at least for the next quarter. Whew it feels good to be able to focus on ballet now.

Yes it was great to be noticed, and this week has been going pretty well, I must say. My group has been cast in this little part for the next program. It's such a nothing part, they would never make company members do it, but I am still happy to be learning it. I'm also told that my costume is apparently the only one with only one name, and there are 7 people cast for 4 spaces, so I suppose it was intended that I be the only one with my own part. Unfortunately, the man who set the part was not the same one who casted it, and the person with the casting didn't show up until we had already started, so as of now I am second cast, but it's nice to know that it was at least intended that I be first cast.

I keep seeing the directors of the school and the company chatting, and although I have absolutely no basis for these thoughts, I am convinced they are talking about me and how they are about to offer me something. Haha just my dream, but it's nice to think that rather than something negative. I think I've been doing pretty well in class, too, and in school rehearsals I've been going in for the lead I'm learning (finally) because the first cast girl is out of town this week. So it's my time to shine! A nice confidence boost before I go do some auditions next week.

About my weight... once I get in the zone I get in the zone! It's so easy to avoid overeating (my main issue) when I'm in the routine. Unfortunately, all of a sudden, I decide I am starving and I can't stop eating. And then it seems like there is temptation everywhere. My one day off, there's nothing to distract me from food. I just keep heading to the kitchen. And then all my friends want to go out for dinner, and even though my "diet mode" involves eating most of my calories in the middle of the day, and eating little or nothing after evening class, I can't say no to a night out, nor go out without wanting to eat my money's worth, or taking advantage of my rare chance for a delicious meal.

FYI right now I'm kind of back in the zone, but I'm sure the temptation will come (especially because we are nearing the weekend and Easter - a day off!)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Good for you!

Yes the Scarlet Stockings is a good story. The review is a few posts below if you want to ck it out. I highly recommend it!

Well,  Do you want to talk about wght issues? The gain and lose cycle presents a challenge to you and it is  a good idea to stay with in a range of a few pounds, not 5 - 10.  The body gets confused and actually holds fat when the weight fluctuates that much. 

There are a few principles that are simple and helpful. Tell me first what do  you  think the issues are for you.  

So you got noticed. To be seen, ah yes. Every Ballerina's silent quest.  I'll bet he was watching before. People watch, sense  and observe in many ways that are not obvious or standard.  

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dear Sanna - sounds good!

You've got me hooked. I have only one more week of my online classes (thank goodness!) so I will actually have time for some reading again! It is such a relief to be almost finished. School is just so stressful to me, especially when I have so much going on at ballet, too.

In the artistic director's company class the other day, I got more attention than I think I ever have before! I was so excited for him just to say my name (twice!) and give me a few corrections. It's really encouraging for me to not feel so invisible in company class, if nothing else. However, I am hoping this does mean more, like he has seen an improvement and is going to offer me an apprenticeship... we shall see. I was really motivated to lose weight right after my meeting, so I was at my thinnest about two weeks afterward. I have gained and re-lost a little since then each week, so now I am thinner than what I was at the meeting, but not quite my thinnest. Anyway, it seems like he has noticed my hard work, so if I keep it up I don't see why he won't keep liking me :)


DANCEMind: Dear Janie -- The Scarlet Stockings Review


I was asked by Mariya Mazuryan, Precendent Inlimited, a publicity company to read and review the new book, The Scarlet Stockings by Charlotte Kandel. Below is the review.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

REVIEW -- The Scarlet Stockings, By Charlotte Kandel

This book is about a little orphan girl, Daphne Green, who has a burning desire to dance ballet. (Daphne had lived at St. Jude's Orphanage since she was a baby. She had no family to speak of.) A self taught dancer Daphne receives an anonymous package containing a book entitled, "How to Teach Yourself Ballet," a pair of scarlet ballet stockings and a riddle. Though confused, the book seems to inspire her motivation to self-instruct. The scarlet stockings are a fun added bonus, until Daphne realizes the power they possess and her need to manage her own emerging self-worth and power.

As she trains for her ballet career high drama unfolds. Daphne's trust in the power of the stockings sets the stage for encounters and many obstacles, one of which nearly costs her life!

After many setbacks, twists and turns, Daphne discovers where true power lies, along with the importance of family and forgiveness.

Although this book is geared to a young teen audience every night I eagerly heated my tea water and climbed into my comfy chair to read. My thoughts wandered to Daphne's plight through the day. I wanted her to succeed, wondered where she was headed and contemplated what I already knew from my reading.

My intentions with this review are not to tell you the story, but to inform you that this book is a good read for an aspiring dancer, a parent with a dancing child, and any child who has strong passions. If you dance, have dreamed of dancing, or have witnessed the roller coaster ride of ballet training and performance, you will identify with this book - the story line and the characters.

Ms Kandel captured Daphne's passion and spark for ballet -- the intense need to dance, to be seen and accepted and her desire to perform. This unstoppable passion drove her ambition and was applauded in many ways. To capture that energy in words is a difficult task. Ms. Kandel's words that described Daphne's ups and downs lifted and lowered my emotions too.

Throughout the story there was always a hint of mystery and the story line wold veer off into another direction just when I wanted it to be fair and good. As we all know the performing arts field is not always fair and good. The events were not predictable and served as a gentle reminder. Anyone who dances ballet will align with these inherent struggles.

To complicate matters, the author unexpectedly wrote in another character or further developed another aspect of the story, ie the riddle, the stockings, the 'family dynamics,' and Daphne's external support system. These elements were woven into the story nicely.

Her descriptions of Daphne were very clear and I was able to imagine her in my mind's eye.
Of course it was my own image yet she came alive which made the story touch my heart. This was also true of the other characters.

The other characters had very certain personalities and appearances. I enjoyed the distinctiveness of each. They stood firm amidst all that was going on with Daphne.

The scarlet stockings are every dancers' dream, the hope of perfection, the freedom of expression and the power of dreams -- that level of consistency and ease is what one aspires toward.

A dancer's dream of possessing absolute certainty of skill, control and command of attention pulls one along to strive toward that illusion of perfection. ALthough it is 'not taught' the implication is ever present, even if only in young eyes.

Again without the detail, I thought the scarlet stockings were ingenius. they were a match for Daphne's intensity, her own need to 'make adjustments,' and to discover her inner strength and other resources.

The Scarlet Stockings, by Charlotte Kandel is a delightful page turner that I would recommend for any young reader who holds passion for ballet ~~ and for life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dear Sanna - 7 obscurities

7 random things about me:

1. I ALWAYS make a wish when I see the clock at 11:11

2. I have obsessive compulsive tendencies, like counting steps or avoiding cracks on the ground

3. I watched Home Alone every day as a child, and my favorite quote was "families suck"

4. I have never heard more than a quarter of the music in my itunes library

5. I can't use the restroom if I know people can hear me

6. I used to cry about my life going too fast ...when I was about 6

7. If John Mayer asked me to marry him today (although we have never spoken) I would say absolutely yes, despite the faces he makes while playing guitar

Dear Sanna - commencing condensation

I think I'll try to condense that last post a little at a time. I'll start with a sentence for each part.

Why be mad I didn't perform when I can be happy I learned it? Why be upset I wasn't chosen for a company I don't want to dance for anyway? Ballet should be fun, because it makes me dance better, it's more enjoyable to devote my time to something that's fun, and I can express myself.

I'll get back to that later...

Tonight we were surprised to see that our substitute teacher was the drill sergeant who teaches our Tuesday morning class every week. Imagine my excitement. It was almost a blessing in disguise that we had no warning, though, since I had no new pointe shoes sewn to wear at barre, so my toes got a little break (until center at least). Actually, tonight's class wasn't so bad since there were a lot more people for her to evenly distribute her nitpicking, but I think I'll still feel that 1000th fondue tomorrow when we're repeating for the tenth time on releve and there are only a few meager adults to distract her.

It's okay though, it's good for me.

And in my frustration trying to find a flight for an audition that will get me back in time for an oh-so-important Sunday rehearsal, I pigged out tonight, so I guess sweating to the point that there was literally 4 square inches of leotard that wasn't completely drenched in sweat kind of makes up for that a little.

...I digress, but it is way past my bed time! Spring forward. Jeez. Goodnight!


Monday, March 10, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, We Have been Tagged by Selly!

A few posts ago we were tagged by a delightful regular reader and dancer, Selly. I had heard of Blog Tag yet did not know how it was played. It is easy enough.

Here are the rules:
1 - Link to the blog who tagged you.
2 - Post the rules on your blog
- Share seven random and/or weird things about yourself.
- Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
- Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are seven things you do not know about me:

1. I am a coffee snob. I can taste the slightest change in bean. That first sip can be annoying. I am either commited or it is dumped. I also can only drink a half a cup at a time because it has to be a certain temperature.

2. I used to be a body builder and power lifter. Worked out 2 hours every day.

3. I am highly intuitive.

4. I dressed as a bag lady with my friend, Kevin, to see how people would react to us. We went to Bennigans for dinner dressed poorly and were treated poorly. We were not obnoxious just badly dressed. One guy told my friend at the bar (she was a (friend) plant) "Ya know if you look at her, she ain't too bad looking."

5. I rode a motorcyle for 5 years.

6. I wear a charm that I gave my Mom when I was twelve. It is pinned inside my bra. I feel safe and connected to her

7. I ate chickens' feet when I was a child and liked gnawing on them. :(

Friday, March 7, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- It in There

Janie -- Good Post. Very meaningful. 'Full of it' in a good way.  You have lots of clear insights and very definite emotion.

After writing about WHAT YOU BRING to ballet .... do you feel the difference in terms of purpose and what keeps you focused. Who you are is steady. That devotion is constant. Creativity is energy that is shaped and ever flowing.

You have a couple of really good lines in your last post that can speak of that thread we have been working on -- Can you reread that and pull out a short sentence that says it all
Read it without 'thinking.' Let the words lift out of the page for you to connect with. Your insight is powerful.  Take a look at the essence post again too.  It is very spiritual (not in a religious sense). 

This statement will carry you when times are tough, when you need to keep going, or your feet are bleeding.

Dear Sanna - humor, devotion, and creativity

Whew this is a long one! Read it in three parts if it makes you feel better...

part 1
Your "keep going" post, made me laugh, Sanna. It is so true. What am I going to do about? Of course I am not going to scream at the director. I'll even admit that I was almost relieved to not perform. We all know second cast was not prepared to go in! And the same thing you said popped into my own mind. I surely wouldn't be happier if I hadn't been asked to learn the piece at all. That would be "unfair", too. I can analyze this for hours and hours and go around in circles justifying both my frustration and the director's decision. But instead I'll just choose to be an optimist and be thankful for my opportunity to 1) watch great dancers, choreographers, musicians, etc 2) learn new choreography and get extra practice 3) burn more calories! (haha I'm kidding. kind of)

part 2
I have now finished this year's first official audition. Nothing. Not that I was really expecting much, but disappointing nonetheless. It's almost worse when those places I am not all that interested in are not-all-that-interested right back. Really we are not meant to be. It's okay. I don't especially want to live in this place, and the rep is entirely too contemporary for my liking/training. It's just frustrating to see others who I suspect are in a similar situation chosen above me. It's not like I would turn down a job! I'm just getting antsy, not exactly having any sort of back-up plan for next year. Honestly if they don't offer me anything here or anything else, I have no idea what I will do. I am not ready to give up.

part 3
Which brings me to your question - what do I bring to ballet. I thought I could best describe what I bring to ballet with three words that also conveniently organized this post for me: humor, devotion, and creativity.

I like to have fun with ballet. I think my smile can be contagious, and I can change the whole energy of a room or corps de ballet. Sometimes a little humorous, friendly competition can help us all maybe whip out that third pirouette. I don't know, but it seems like everyone's a little happier and dances a little better when we spread the cheer, so I like to be a little bit of a class clown sometimes.

Of course I am devoted to ballet. At this level, we all are (I hope). But I really think I put all my heart and soul into my dancing. I want all my energy to go into really perfecting a tendu, if we are working on tendus. I will, almost selfishly, do practically anything for ballet, or at least want to. It is probably way too high on my list of priorities, but I like it that way.

Finally, I think the best thing I offer to ballet is creativity. I love to find new ways of looking at the same steps dancers have done every day for years and years. It's fun to phrase the steps in a combination to make it unique from everyone else, and I love the freedom to choose which parts of a dance I want to highlight with big, bold movements, and which I want to do quickly or quietly or whatever I want. It's amazing how much we can say with our bodies, without saying a word.

thanks for your patience with my absence/extreme posting!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

DanceMind: Dear janie, Essence

Whether it is ballet, horticulture or debating, there is often a 'calling' described when this passion rises. (in your case ballet). It is a deep sense of connected with whatever you do. You have a purpose. It feels clear no matter what the cost. It fits like a glove. I gives you your breath.
You express yourself through movement and rhythm.

The experience of ballet is too fickle, in a way. the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, the joy and achievement.

you carry this connected, this essence to class. Because it is who you are. Dancing gives you deep purpose and fulfillment.

A rose comes from a rose seed.

When you carry this 'spirit' into class than you are always on solid ground. A bad day is part of the experience. A good day is part of the experience. It is ballet.

This spirit brings you back for more Because it is who you are.

Like the climber I mentioned a few posts back. He must climb as You must dance.

I know a dancer who was born dancing. She 'never walked' when she was little. She was always twirling, leaping, spinning and bowing. Today she is a dancer. We all bear gifts.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- what do you bring?

Janie, yes the weeks fly by.

I stop and think "I wonder what Janie is up to?" "Has she heard from her auditions?"

Wow! It is almost time for summer intensives. Dancers traveling, sleeping away from home ...

I have a question - What do you bring to the art of ballet as a dancer?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

PS -  Stay tuned for some exciting new programs fro dancers! HINT: Summer Intensive!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Dear Sanna - where did the week go!?

That man who climbed Mt. Everest sounds amazing. It's true - it really is hard to imagine the incredible things one experiences without experiencing it for yourself.

I love ballet because I still feel like dancing every day, even when I say I hate it, because I'm frustrated and sore and my feet are blistered and my legs are sore.

The company finished their program and are finally on break, although the school really never gets a break. We actually have extra rehearsals now, to take advantage of all the free studio space.

School is a little overwhelming right now, but almost over! Finally! Just 2 more weeks left in this quarter. I still have to decide if I will take more classes right away...


DanceMind: Dear Janie,

I just finished reading "The Scarlet Stockings," by Charlotte Kandel. I was asked by her publicist to read it and write a review on this blog. At first I thought 'no, I won't.' Then I decided that it was time for me to indulge in a litle fiction and offer a review. Well I must say I was in for a surprise. I will complete the reivew this week and you can read it here. What a story!

Janie, How are you? Any word on your auditions?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT