Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dear Sanna - anger management

I swear I'm not an angry person who hates the world! I was just ranting about small children. But I really do like them and I will miss them all. I even spent the entire evening baking cookies for them, time that should have been spent packing! Oops. It will be okay though, since I starting packing SO ridiculously far in advance, it will be no sweat getting it done in time. I was just trying not to be the procrastinator that I always am.

Today we had a guest teacher, who I've had before, and is one of my favorite people in the world. It was hilarious and fun and I just loved it. It was also so nice to see all the old friends who showed up to take his class. It did make me feel REALLY old though to see some of these "little girls" bigger than me. I still picture them as 3 foot tall munchkins terrorizing the studio. And now they're driving themselves to ballet. Crazy. Anywho I think that class was just what I needed and I'm really excited to make the very most of my last days here.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Dear Sanna - one week!

I AM SO SICK OF TAKING CLASS WITH CHILDREN!! I hate the cramped studios, made a million times worse by the too-many-girls crammed in there with absolutely no sense of personal space or respect for their elders! Not that I want to stand front center - that's the last place I want to be when I'm trying to get back into shape - but at least they could have the courtesy to let me choose where to stand, such as off to the side in the back with a little space. Has nobody told them the art of staggering? And they talk SO much in class! Not only is it rude to the teacher, but I want to hear what they have to say, or practice, or just have 2 seconds of peace and quiet for myself!

...don't get me wrong - I love the girls, but I just CAN'T WAIT to take company class again. It will be great.

Teaching is great fun, though. Ballet, pointe - I even teach yoga, which is a nice little change and addition to the daily routine.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Teaching

There are approaches to teaching that can change the experience for you and the students.
What is the director doing that you can model?

Observe HER and the response of the students.

Your focus is on the children rather than on the adult. I am sure they love you, yet you are not their friend.  Being that it is temporary, you can still have a wonderful time being a teacher. It offers you a lot of experience that can sharpen your abilities as a performer.

I gotta run for now ... How is it going otherwise?


Dear Sanna - teaching

Teaching is a lot of fun. It's really helpful to see how these little people approach ballet. I think about things in new ways and explaining it really helps me to make sense of things for myself.

Unfortunately, I have to take the good with the bad! Sometimes the little monsters can be a handful, especially the youngest group - mostly 6-year-olds. I spend half the class screaming at them to be quiet! Yet for some reason that is beyond me, they still LOVE me. I guess it's pretty much impossible to give a class of young dancers a barely professional teacher they wouldn't like, but it's still hard for me to believe they still latch on to me when I try to leave after I've spent the last hour screaming at them. Go figure. Anyway, I must admit it's a nice little boost of confidence to have my own little fan club. Rather than the usual band of critics!

The other day, I observed the youngsters in their class with the school director, however, and learned that they CAN actually do an entire combination without talking or messing up too too much. They even raised their hands when they just couldn't keep their words in anymore. I was very impressed and surprised to see this, and now that I know they are capable of behaving (sort of), I will be more strict in my demands. I'll let you know how it goes...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dear Sanna - unreal

Ahh my summer is winding down! I mean, this is really the moment I've been waiting for, but it's still scary. I'm really glad that I am busy seeing my friends, teaching at my old studio, and getting back into shape, but it also makes getting ready to leave seem frenzied. I keep having dreams that I wake up one day and it's time to leave and I end up leaving with half my suitcases and forget to bring one pair of shoes. Not that that would actually be the end of the world, but I promise in the dream it's very stressful!

I just really want everything to go well and I want to look my best. So many times I've done things that embarrass me or that I just wish I could do over, and this is finally my chance to start fresh. I don't want to mess it up! It's my first job and I want to make a good impression so they love me as much as I want to love it there. I know it will be fine, no matter what, but I want it to be BETTER than fine. I want it to be the amazing experience it should be.

...this post brought to you by a little insomnia! But now it's really time to get up, so I should get ready for my day. Hopefully in the next few weeks posting will become part of my routine, not something to squeeze in when I should be sleeping!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Home

This has been a good time for you - being home.  Before you launch into your new career ('paid!')
nourishing yourself with family and friends, good home cooking, lazy afternoons and new adventures is very grounding. As you ready yourself to travel to your new destination all of these events will create this wonderful foundation for your departure. Yes it will be sad. You may cry, yet are are full of love.  Spiritually fed so to speak.

Teaching adds another dimension to your practice too. I remember when I taught psych and human development classes at a college. Although I had already taken them in my undergraduate program I learned even more ... studying, speaking, answering questions, etc.  The same is true with dance.  Guiding your students teaches/reminds you too.  You get pushed to perform to a higher standard because you are being watched.

Tell me what is happening with you Janie. As the days draw near to your departure ... talk to us about what is on your mind.

Love ya, Sanna 

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dear Sanna - home sweet home

It was so nice to go back to my old studio (besides the immense pain i am experiencing after taking so much time off). They welcomed me with open arms, as always, and all the girls there are sweethearts. I even get to teach!! I had been thinking a lot about teaching as last season winded down, but I had pretty much decided there was no way they would let me, an unexperienced teacher, actually teach at a real summer intensive, especially without being able to commit to a good chunk of time. But it turned out they needed someone and I'm it! It's really fun getting to try teaching and work with the kids. I think it will also be good for my technique to see how others learn. If nothing else, it forces me to go in every morning and take class.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Dear Sanna - square one

Before I went in to get my wisdom teeth out a few weeks ago, I was expecting to be out for a few days, but it ended up knocking me out for almost two weeks! They had to scrape my jaw bone, so it was really a lot more painful a lot longer than just pulling teeth. I was upset to be off of any type of class for so long, but I did get a great opportunity to go visit some friends and family before I leave (who cares whether I ice my face at home or in the car?) which was very important to me. Who knows when or if I'll ever have another chance?

I just got back, though, so tomorrow I begin the treacherous task of getting back into shape, both dancing and my weight. Visiting grandma isn't exactly the best way to slim down. So I'll swallow my pride tomorrow and go to my old studio and try to look my best for when I leave - August 5th! My mom is coming with me and staying 10 days to help me get settled, so it shouldn't be too scary or sad.

More later! Sorry about such a long time lapse! Nothing personal - If I wasn't even dancing, you know it must have been bad. I even missed fireworks!


DanceMind: Hello to Everyone !!!

While Janie is away on vacation we can still do some neat things here ...

Let's talk about this matter of sleep.   

You might believe that if you don't sleep you just feel 'tired.' How many of you believe that?

Well, that is farther from the truth. Tiredness is one part of it. But why is your body tired? Why is you mind scattered? What do you feel just too heavy to lift a leg?

When you sleep the body is still working!!!! Muscles are being fed with blood sugar. Your hormones are rebuilding the body. Blood reduces in your very active brain so it can rest. The blood travels all around the body to heal injuries, to strengthen things you do not even know are happening.  When you DO not SLEEP, your body is not strengthened!!!

There is ONE BIG reason why you must sleep and I won't tell you that now ... Every dancer who knows is grateful to know and has noticed an improvement.

Get your sleep. If you are a teen, you need to sleep 8 - 9 hours!!! YES!   This has been studied.
Your body is still changing and you are a dancer!!! You use your body more than the average guy, or girl.

So don't take my word for it. Expereince it yourself.
Go to sleep ... Then tell me how you are dancing!

next time you will here a story about how Lisa finally went to sleep!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT for Stepping to Sleep!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

DanceMind:Dear Janie, Preparing for a Class

Well tomorrow begins a series of classes at different studios on 'Sleep." I am thrilled to be able to communicate to teens about the need for sleep, especially dancers. Dancers work the body harder than most athletes. Sleep is imperative.

This could be really cool -- WHat if whoever reads this post makes a commitment to sleep for 8 hours, at least every night for one week. I would like to know how you would feel in a week. Would you notice improvement in your performance? I have an opinion, but I will hold it!

I must go and create my plan, although I already scratched it out will watching the "Illusionist."
Great movie!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

PS -- get sleep!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Nervousness, Part 1

How do you handle feeling nervous before a performance?

Many performers try to get rid of it. They ignore it by 'pretending that it is not there.' Or yell at someone, or believe the rampant thoughts that run thru their mind ... Some performers even stop performing altogether because they do not want to feel the jitters at all.

Let's take a look at this experience in new way.

Feeling nervous is often misunderstood. Feeling nervous before a performance can create a flurry of thoughts that can be very controlling. You might notice that these two experiences (nervousness and performance) are linked together, happen a lot and are quite human.

We have been led to believe that being scared or feeling nervous are 'bad' feelings, to suck it up or take a pill. What if it is natural? What if you could 'BE' with it in a different way?

Try This ... isolate what the body does when you feel nervous. In other words how does the body say to you, "I am nervous, You are not going to fool me, you have a performance in an hour."

Here is what clients tell me -- "My heart races." "My knees quiver."
"I hear voices in my head." "I breathe faster." "My stomach is in knots." "I feel jumpy."

Can you honestly say that if you felt those sensations AWAY from a performance (say at another time, such as getting ready for the prom, or going on a vacation) You would ID your experience as "BAD" nervousness?

Let's look at the links and connections -- You have a performance. The idea that you have a performance triggers these sensations in the body.

The body associates these sensations with thoughts and emotions that you relate to performing -- that may not be at all accurate. You simply have established a pattern associated to performance that you believe HAS TO BE negative and scary.

As you approach performance, the body revs up. It has to make changes to perform. Can you perform relaxed in a couch position? Muscles limp. Posture slumped. Probably not.

As you approach performance, the body responds accordingly. Now it is a little different for everyone.

Some folks may be in a more quiet place and then while in the wings be able to jump to a higher energy level to get pumped.
Others may feel sensations all over the body like an electrical feeling. they get juiced and charged up.

You see it is natural for the body to 'get ready."

How does your body do that?

Back by Monday!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT

Embrace your fears.