Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dear Sanna - just smile and nod

You're completely right. It's not worth whining about all my problems at the risk of hurting someone's feelings or making the wrong people mad. It was nice to blow off a little steam the other night, but I really should just focus on the positives. There really are so many - I'm living my dream for heaven's sake! I can even rant here on the blog anonymously without spreading the negative energy to my coworkers.

It's so true that hearing someone complain only makes you think even more about all your own problems. I've been trying lately to physically slap a smile on my face and just take it. It's not that bad. When the artistic director is making absolutely no sense, or is on my case about silly things I know don't matter, I just put on my best "I'm a good sport and I'm happy to take your corrections" smile and practice what I'm told.

A yoga teacher once told us while we were meditating at the end of class to try to smile - on the inside and out - and it really stuck with me for some reason. Physically trying to smile really can change your mood. How can you be angry with a smile on your face? You either end up laughing at yourself for thinking bad things while you smile like an idiot, or you actually smile. It works like magic for me. Just turn up the ends of your mouth, and there's instantly a reason to smile. I actually practice smiling when I feel like I have nothing to smile about. It always works to brighten your mood. The sillier you feel, the better! And who could really hate a dancer, or anyone for that matter, with a nice, pleasant smile on their face? (unless it was disgustingly cheesy or fake of course, but that's not what we're going for here)


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Holiday Wght Managment

Hello to everyone,

As the holiday approaches, know you can be in control of what and how much you eat.
The above program link to was recored July 3 with a focus on Holiday Weight management. It can easily be helpful to you for Labor Day.

Learn about the concept of "See Food" experience a hypnotic journey, and learn ways to manage so you can truly relax, take the day off without worries.

You can follow Sanna's program entitled HYPNOSIS FOR LIFE, SannaCarp. Discussing performance, wght issues, money and more...

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dear Sanna - Sleeeeep

Just reading your post about sleep has made me so tired, I haven't even read your latest yet! I hate to lose touch, so I just wanted to say I'm still here and things are great, but I am exhausted now. I should have much more consistent internet in the near future, so expect more posts then.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- New place for you!

You have garnered some wonderful support for yourself. Your roommate sounds promising and the company have been helpful to help with your adjustment.  So there you are...  

You accomplished what seemed like an impossibility months ago.   All the decisions, the packing, saying good bye, hoping for the best, planning, tears, all of this transition lifted you to this place, where you can step out and grow yourself as a professional dancer.  Wow!  

THINK ABOUT ALL YOU HAD TO DO TO GET THERE.  There is enormous growth opportunity when transition thrusts us out into a 'new world.'  You have changed positions, apartments, friends, cultures. This is true stepping out.

NEGATIVITY ... Yes,  ballet drama reigns.  It is nice to rant with a friend. I called that 'mountain top therapy.' Because you are yelling from the mountain top for relief, maybe just want to let it out loud and clear. Sometimes you want resolution, sometimes you do not.

The ballet company is very much like a family. You are together every day, work hard, sweat and celebrate.  

Seeing the negative only takes away from the positives too. All companies have there challenges. Some of those may be new, in a change period, the result of growth, or money issues,  and some may be old and tired problems that seem to hang around.

It is the same in the business world too.

When we complain we perpetuate the problem. We energetically add to it.  Do you want to be a part of the problem, or build a solution?  I know you are a new member have no control to what happens there, however, it can be a huge time for observation. Down the road you  may be in charge of a studio yourself.

Your negativity matches their 'negativity.'   WIthout getting to in depth about it. Be careful.. You know how relationships change thru time.  Your words may be front and center, and taken out of context.

Certainly you remember the Telephone Game,

Bye for now.  

Be well - 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back To School Teach-A-Thon: Improve Dance With Your Eyes Closed.

To our readers, please visit the Back to School Teach-A -Thon to read about lots of really great suggestions by leaders in the field of dance. It is very exciting to be a part of this program.

Please read --

Dancers who sleep 9 - 10 hours a night have a secret edge over their competition.

"What? That is way too long to sleep. I have things to do?"

This is a common response from teen and young adult dancers, that is, until they dance with the "feeling of rest."

Read about Stacey. Stacey was a seventeen year old dancer who has been told she "is ballet gifted." Last year, Stacey had grown stagnant, was missing cues and was feeling very frustrated with herself. Her performance was slipping. Compounding her stress, her appointment to apprentice was being 'reconsidered.'

As we worked, she realized that she was not caring for herself. The demands of dance had increased and she was 'acting' as if she could live a "normal" life like her non-dancing friends.
They had more freedom, could "hang out on the computer late at night."

Stacey had to decide. Are her desires serious enough, important enough to reset priorities and discover new ways to resolve her belief that she was 'missing out on adolescence.' She decided that "YES!" ballet was that important.

Her care plan was as follows: To stop consuming sodas, to get a regular massage, to eat a complete breakfast, stop negativity, to improve sleep habits and to have "crazy time" with her friends on Saturday.

Her sleep patterns were also very irregular. She went to bed late and was a light sleeper. She woke up tired. Her long days made her feel exhausted just thinking about it.

She agreed to a 'test' because she really did not believe that sleep was '"that important.'"
This was a critical moment for her. She discovered that there were some aspects of her life that she could control to ultimately influence other parts of her life, mainly dance.

After two nights of solid rest, her teacher commented that she was "looking stronger."
She eagerly went to sleep at 10:30 for the remainder of the week.

By the end of the week, she no longer felt tired, had improved her turns and jumps, increased her concentration. This change was noticed by her teachers. She had less aches and pains. Stacey was feeling more "well." She rec'd an apprentice position.

The quality of your sleep time is equally as important as the quality of your day time.
Sleep influences dance. If you sleep long enough and deep enough, the body is prepared physiologically for the demands of dance; The mind is more clear and focused; Emotions are more stable.

Even missing an hour of sleep every night makes a difference. For some it is an immediate change. Here are a few signs of SLEEP DEPRIVATION:
  • Injury Proneness
  • Feeling Stuck
  • Poor Memory for Choreography
  • Catch Colds Easily
  • Low Immunity
  • Moody
  • Feel Very Stressed
  • Joint Problems
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Overweight by 5 -8 lbs.
Teens and college students are THE MOST SLEEP DEPRIVED age group on the planet.
This is also a time when dance training increases in intensity and hours. This inherent stress on the body must be regenerated. Sleep is one powerful resource for physical and mental regeneration.

Why Is SLEEP SO IMPORTANT? What Does It Have To Do With Dancing?

FIRST, when you miss sleep, the body knows and remembers. You feel tired, out of it and probably want to curl up in the corner. The body records this loss as a debt THAT MUST BE REPAID with sleep.

As the body and mind cycle thru the stages of sleep there is a lot going on. The 'night crew' work to renew the body and mind. The organs and systems of the body work to detoxify, regenerate and heal. When you miss sleep, the cycles do not complete themselves.

REMEMBER - Your whole being dances. You need to rest to rebuild and strengthen.

Here are some important discoveries about sleep and how it relates to performance:
  • Dreams ease mental and emotional struggles to offer insight and relief. Sleep reduces your reaction to stress. 'Life' does not bother you as much.
  • Blood sugar feeds muscle and ligament tissue to heal wounds and microscopic tears.
  • Heart strengthens to oxygenate every cell. You breathe stronger and deeper.
  • Detoxification occurs during sleep. The body moves toward health. You feel better.
  • Blood flow changes in the brain enabling it to decide what to imprint for keeping and to discard. Muscle memory! You remember combinations and information.
  • Central Nervous System shifts into a different activity mode. You are more steady.
Sleep is sacred to health, wellness - and dance! Make sleep a priority by doing some investigative work. Pay attention to how the feeling of rest or lack of rest influences your dance. Look back for how much you slept, or did not sleep for clues.

  • If you are negative about sleeping, You must change those thoughts, otherwise you will fight sleep. Say instead, "Sleep makes me stronger and healthier." or "My body is working even while I sleep." or "Every night that I sleep deeper, I improve my dancing.
  • If thoughts are running wild, listen to breath for several inhales and exhales. Just listen. Refocus every time you become distracted by thought.
  • Approach sleep time with activities that unwind you. TURN OFF THE COMPUTER and PHONE. Read a magazine, light a candle, listen to quiet music, hot bath...
  • Prepare for sleep is similar to rising up in the morning. You prepare for the day and you prepare for sleep. Keep that time sacred and as routine as possible.
  • Clean up your bedroom. De-clutter. Buy comfy sleep clothes!
  • If you have challenging sleep problems, seek a medical evaluation.
There are many ways to step yourself into a good night besides medications (and their side effects). Applying mental techniques and changing your behaviors are easier and healthier.

You may not realize that sometimes sleep disturbances have important clues to things you may be worrying about. Get help from a professional if you have difficulty falling asleep. Talk with your parents first (if you are a teen.)

I do hope you know realize why SLEEP IS IMPORTANT to health, wellness and your dance training. With the start of your new dance year only hours away, begin now to make sleep one of your highest priorities. You will notice a difference. I guarantee it!

Get your sleep tonight and dance stronger tomorrow.....

Here's to your Good Night!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
as featured in Dance Magazine and Dance Spirit

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Welcome to your New Life

I have been very busy with my work. Actually very exciting to be helping more and more performers do their best. I always find it interesting as to what can get in the way of doing something that one loves so much, like ballet.

You have taken a huge leap by traveling, taking the risk of exploring a new culture and company. Yes there will discoveries, Janie, but they will more and more about who you are as a young dancer and a person. Keep this in mind.

I have to get ready for an inspiring musician.

Be back later today or tomorrow.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dear Sanna - coming together

My roommate is WONDERFUL. We will have great fun together, and we are really making progress in this apartment. It was pretty gross when first introduced to us, but together with the company we have fixed it up quite a bit and there are only a few more important things on our list before it is really cozy and nice.

Of course I already have tons of things that bug me about the company, but that is to be expected. I think we will be ranting and raving about all our little annoyances, but it the end I know it will all be worth the great experience. I know I will have tons of fun, despite the worst that could happen. If nothing else, I'll have those valuable few words on my resume that say I have danced in a professional company, which I believe is golden in an audition.

Besides that, I have found out for sure that we will be touring in a very exciting part of the world I have never visited, let alone 99 percent of all the people I know. It should be a really amazing time, and I'm so glad I have such a great friend already to share it with. There are a lot of others in the company I think I will really get along with, too, and they have even eagerly offered to help me learn the language. Five words a day, we've decided!

But yes, I really have set up a life for myself here, and I will make the most of it for the next year at least, I suppose. I'm sure ahead will be a great wave of great and terrible posts, so be ready for drama! Impossible to escape in the ballet world...


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear Sanna - a whirlwind

Well we went on the tour I mentioned, and just as we predicted, it was great. Almost everyone spoke English and we learned a lot about the city and it's culture. It was nice not to have to get anything done for a day.

Then it was back to work the next day. We walked a lot in the morning, and then I went to take an open class at the studio. A nice man who manages the maintenance of the ballet told me he thought it would be in my best interest to take as many classes as possible before the season officially starts, to show how dedicated I am. This is good, because in order to get in shape I really should be taking at least one class a day, but my mom does not understand as much and sometimes I feel bad cutting into the middle of every day for class. At least now she knows it's almost mandatory, but I still feel really bad about spoiling her trip. For example, there is just one place she really wants to see, and she hates traveling alone, but it is necessary to have a guide, and this would absolutely mean missing a day of ballet. Since the season hasn't even started yet, this should not be a problem, but I still need to ask permission, and it is just sticky. Of course I will ask, and I can't imagine they will say no, but I just hate to already be using up my favors here.

Anyway, my biggest fear of coming here came true. The floors are slippery. As slippery as can be. But it's actually somehow not that bad. Maybe everything else that is stressing me out just outweighs the slippery floors, but I am somehow dealing. There are only a handful of company members in class, since this is their only break longer than a week I believe, but they are all really nice and their dancing isn't too intimidating! In other words, I feel comfortable taking class, not like I don't belong there. And the classes are HARD! I sweat SO much every class and am very sore every day, so I know this will be good for me.


P.S. Thank you all for your wonderfully encouraging messages! Honestly it is great to know I have support, even from anonymous readers. It's just like an encouraging audience. You rarely know the names of the people filling the seats of the theater, but their applause feels great no matter what.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dance Mind:Dear Janie, Happy.


Will get back to you tomorrow. I am too tired to think!  I am happy you had a good tour trip with your Mom. Savor these moments. It takes some time in the US to get acquainted with  a new city let alone being in a foreign country.  I am so proud of your determination, Janie.  You made this happen. GO GIRL !

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dear Sanna - empty promises

By empty promises, I am not really talking about concerns dealing with my apartment or dancing, just really how hard it is to get anything done. For example my mother and I have been desperately trying to get my address for the past two days, and everyone said, sure we'll write that down for you, but it just never happened. Finally my mom grabbed somebody today and would not leave her alone until she had our address with zip code written, in english, for us. And that alone was a feat. We also need to get a few other things done, and it is hard to get answers about how to go about it, but also we are assured they will help us and they know the way, so we don't exactly want to just do things for ourselves, the hard and expensive way (like getting a cell phone).

On a lighter note, we have discovered that one day getting anything at all accomplished will just be virtually impossible, so we signed up for a guided tour, which we both think will be very refreshing. We meet the group just a 15-minute walk from my apartment, and the rest will be taken care of! It will be so nice for one day not to have to navigate with a huge map in front of our noses and try to communicate with people who do not understand or vice-versa. We are very excited for this.

We also explored just one aspect of the town today that is absolutely wonderful. Also about 15-minutes from my house is a wonderful place where I hope to spend a lot of time. In the opposite direction about 15 minutes, I also found my own little times square :) Of course, it is lacking some things that you may find in ny, but it also has other things that are incredible and unique to the area.

In a happier mood,


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dear Sanna - mass confusion

I am finally here! And this has been one of the most confusing days of my life. I just barely found the buttons I needed to even make this post, because for some reason all these other languages were invading my web pages.

Thank goodness my mother is here, but she is not much help either since neither of us have ever been here and we have absolutely no idea where to even start. In desperation, we decided to just go to the ballet studio today, where they definitely calmed us down a little, although when I look back on the situation now, I realize they made a whole bunch of empty promises! I suppose our land line phone is hooked up, but that wasn't actually one of our requests. Funny how that works. Anyway hopefully the rest will fall together soon and my mom and I won't be too stressed out to do some sight-seeing.

Miss being closer. Thanks for the continued support. I will update as much as I have internet access.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dear Sanna - It is Really Happening!

Sanna, I am packing and it is very strange. I feel like crying and I feel very happy. I keep thinking of what an incredible opportunity this is for me in many ways. Living in a foreign country is a dream come true. Yet I will be very far away.  From my family, friends, from my life!

To dance as a professional dancer has always been my goal. I have worked hard. I want this.

My family has been so supportive, too. And my friends have been so happy for me. Even with all of this, it is still hard and great. Do you know what I mean?

I am going to go pack some more.


Sunday, August 3, 2008


Wish Janie Good Luck on her new job as a professional dancer!   She will be leaving shortly for an extended vacation and then begin her work overseas. This is so exciting for her. She knows that many of you have been supportive and following her through the trials and tribulations of her dance career. You have learned with her. Now is the time to let her know... Janie is leaving and she wants to hear from you!

Here's how -- comment underneath a recent post (click on 'leave a comment') and your message will be posted on the blog for her to read.  Let's bid her farewell.

Janie ... we love you kiddo!!!!!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CCHT
Performance Specialist

Saturday, August 2, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Ah-HA!

"Anyway, I guess this good mood just really set me up for a good class ...!"

State of mind does indeed support having a good class. If you look outward and inside, there are many events, sensations or small things that can great a good mood, even if it is raining. 
Also doing fun stuff with friends, reading books you love -- all support you, Janie t have one good day.

I know you are traveling soon, although not beginning your dancing contract until later in the month when some companies begin their season.  What DO YOU REALIZE NOW about this move?  If you can think back to the previous six months or so and realize what you have mentally and emotionally traveled though!  This blog can jog your memory. 

You departing to enter a whole new world culture and dance experience. The details of that can be so powerfully enlightening to other dancers what have considered traveling overseas or have are just wanting to know ... what you are experiencing. It is gutsy, you have that strength.

You have grown quite a lot since we have begun here last September. So have our readers according to their comments to me personally.

My best to you Janie.

PS - SEND JANIE a good bye message. Tell her here!

Dear Sanna - :)

I was so happy on my way to class yesterday. It was just perfect - there were good songs on the radio, the sun was shining, the weather was beautiful, and I was recalling what a good week I've had. Besides taking class and teaching, I've spent time with one of my best friends, seen a number of long-lost friends, and accomplished most of the things on my list of things to do before leaving the states. One of these was sharing my annual banana split with my friend, and I went to the midnight release of Breaking Dawn, Stephanie Meyer's 4th book in a serious I became obsessed with this summer. I'm trying to wait to start it until I leave so I can read on the long plane ride, since I could read this book for hours without realizing how much time has passed.

Anyway, I guess this good mood just really set me up for a good class, because even though I wasn't happy with the amount of time I had to stretch before class, it was great! It was the first time since I've been back from my time off that I felt like a ballerina. Even though I'm still not completely back in shape, the quality of my movements felt much smoother and professional, and I did more turns than I've done in weeks! I feel great having had that class before I leave.