Sunday, September 28, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie: let's talk about dance --

Dance is an everyday experience. When you are not dancing you thinking about choreography, roles, previous performances, improving turns, class last week, dreams, conversations ... Dance maintains a steady presence in your life.  It fills you. You have to dance.

I am continually amazed by the number of strangers, friends and family who are fascinated by my daughter's dance career. (she is a professional ballet dancer.) ( I think sometimes people feel obligated to ask "Where is your son/daughter at college?") Rather than the usual response of 'she is at such and such of college'  I watch their eyes brighten and notice a rise of interest that draws more questions about her career path, her work ethic and discipline, her determination. People are drawn into the story, want to hear about her dancing.

It is awe inspiring for me to speak of her. 

Yet there is another aspect to this  friendly discussion that is worth mentioning.

I wonder how many people are really living their dreams.  Following their passion. Filling their moments with what inspires them. Sharing their gifts with others.  Feeling juiced about what they do. get excited talking about what they do ...

It is almost as if they (strangers, friends and family) live vicariously thru her in that moment, as they listen to the story of dedication, of commitment about  someone who followed (insisted on) her dream of becoming a ballet dancer.  There is  elation and admiration for her, a 'good for her' cheer.  yet I detect a hint of personal resignation.

Often times there is an addendum to the conversation, "Yeah, I wanted to be a musician, an artist .... a designer ... a potter ... a writer ....

I often hear of those who regret not pursuing a career in the arts because of family demands or ideas of living a life of poverty, or something or someone that steered them toward 'sensible' work.  Maybe they gave it up or pushed it aside. Years later, the suppressed creativity surfaces as a depression or deep sadness or loss and regret.

I could not imagine suppressing my daughter's passion for ballet. I could see it in her eyes. I watch her take class even when she was not feeling well, or in lieu of socializing.  I see her taking care of herself to dance her best. I sat with her while she sewed her shoes. Helped her through very dark moments. Applauded her triumphs. Comforted her when she was not selected as a dream fairy (age 11).

How could I have selfishly stopped her quest when her effort was so great. That energy cannot be contained. It must be expressed.

 Little did I know that her story may possibly give others a message of hope to follow their own dreams, no matter what age.

Mark is one such story that draws attention. 

Mark is 53. He started taking ballet 4 years ago. A professional man, his family and friends are shaking their heads, "Mark, what are you doing?  Why are you dancing? Are you crazy?"

He is passionate, loves the feel of ballet movements thru his body and is determined to perform one performance.  I am so inspired by him, my daughter, "Janie," and all of you who persist. Dance - you have to.  

"I can't imagine not dancing. It is my life." Spoken by a dancer just like you ---

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Specialist and Hypnotherapist

Thursday, September 25, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie: Friends and Dance

You have a friend.

We all experience changes in friendships.  Whether it is in a work related situation, neighbors, girlfriends, boyfriends, that introductory period is when our best self is presented. Thru time it becomes difficult to hold up those appearances and we settle in to more of our personalities.  

Of course you will notice traits and behaviors you do not like, or care to be privy to. All of us want to have 'fun,' interact freely and not be bothered by seeing the real parts of others' personalities. It spoils all the fun, doesn't it.

It is true for all of us. You and I included.

Think about other relationships you have and notice how they have progressed thru time.
People you thought were one way when you first met them can show a very different side as you get to experience them managing stress, interacting with people of all ages, or being involved in their lives (and yours!). How they handle criticism or money. How they interact with family members. How they communicate ....  (list is very long)

If you recall a few posts ago we dialogued about this very same thing - negativity.  You have made changes and it is easy to not like what we hear when others are doing the same thing. We are all guilty of that. 

Here is something else to consider --  It may be a style of relating between her and her family. 
People do act differently around family members. OR she may be speaking her truth to them and really needing to have support and guidance to make important decisions.

When you are uncomfortable, leave the room. Put some headphones on.  So she can have some private time with her family - you can listen to some great music or a program of mine.

Janie,  Staying associated to her may put you in a difficult position whether she leaves or stays.
You staying at this company is dependent on your decision and passion to dance. You have made many friends thru your life. You can make more. It takes time. It is difficult with your dance schedule, yet a little effort could be helpful to you. You will not feel so tied to her.

I would suggest that you find a few friends outside of dance. I realize that may be a challenge.
Maybe you can consider doing some volunteer work, or take a class, or join a group that meets regularly. Can you work part-time or babysit kids?
It is not unusual to move to a new place and create a friendship that changes. This may be a signal to begin branching out. You will attract people with whom you have  stronger commonalities.  

I understand that you may be worried if she leaves. However, you are  jumping the gun here, kiddo.  That is many months away and besides you cannot control that decision.

Maybe you can talk to her about her "trashing."  You may have a good honest chat about both your likes and dislikes of the company.  However, keep in mind that word travels -- 
and that goes back around to the idea that she may need to vent or talk more openly with her family.  

Regardless, you can slip into the other room. Go for a walk, Take a Shower. Use headphones with the TV... Blend something.  

You two live together, dance together, eat together, socialize together ... Find a way to give yourself some breathing room. It may do your relationship some good and you might just be surprised to see what is around the corner.

Let me know-

Dance Mind:Dear Janie, Relationships Change ...

Hi Janie, 

I just realized the top blog description lists you as a pre-professional dancer! I will change that right away.  If you can review the your info and make any changes to update for our readers.

Varia left a wonderful supportive comment below your most recent post. She has identified with you. Feels a kinship with you & your experiences.  Welcome Varia!  We really appreciate comments from you (all) because it helps us to know that Janie speaks honestly.

This forum is also open to you all to comment to. Remember that!  If you have a similar experience - tells us!  If you disagree, we still want to know.

Keep us informed!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Dance CD Sale is still going on til Sept 30! Check it out!  

Dear Sanna - think positive

I love my roommate. We get along really well, like enough of the same things, but have enough differences to make things interesting and share a box of chocolates ;) But we work together, live together, and usually go out together as well, so it is not surprising that we are beginning to push each other's buttons a little.

One thing I find is that my roommate likes to complain a lot whenever she speaks to her family on the phone. It's not that I try to listen or anything, but our main phone is in the living room and sometimes either one of us is watching tv or using the living room when the other is on the phone. But it's really hard to listen to her saying how crappy the company is and how she misses home and blah blah blah. She says she has no intentions of staying another year, and that upsets me, too, because I am afraid I will be kind of left alone here. We spend so much time together, and she is not the most flexible person when it comes to hanging out with other people, too, so I am definitely not getting as close to most of the other company members.

It's just really upsetting to hear since I am part of this company she is trashing, and I am much further from home than she is. AND she has tons of family here and has been here tons of times and apparently always wanted to live here, whereas I had never even visited before I moved here and have no family. Not that I am really unhappy. Of course I have my complaints, too, but I am generally having a good experience. But when I hear her complain and I know her situation is technically so much better and easier than mine, I can't help get angry or a little depressed! I know this isn't the best company ever, but I do think it's a good first job, and we are getting a lot of experience here.

I have to just keep reminding myself to get the most out of what I'm doing and not let others get me down. I know how I feel, and what my roommate is feeling shouldn't affect that. But I'm still not as happy when she's not. It's hard to stay cheerful or have fun when somebody's moping around you all the time. And it's not that I want to ditch her. I could just ignore her and do my own thing and go out with other people, but I don't want to do that. I just want her to stop moping around all the time! ...without me having to strain our relationship by pushing her buttons and trying to get her to stop complaining. Bleh it's tough! But I'll work on it.

Anyway as far as ballet is going, I'm not sure if I mentioned a really tough teacher who was here at the beginning, but she had to leave a few weeks ago to get things sorted out in her home country, but she is back! She has incredible technique and really knows how to rehearse the corps and make the ballets really polished. She even said good to me a few times (I think... there's not too much english in her vocabulary)! It's nice to know someone notices your progress, or even cares!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dear Sanna - premiers galore!

Congrats to anna! I just returned from my first official professional experience as well! We performed in three different cities this past week, the whole company taking a tour bus to the shows. Although I am still getting to know the company, I think it was a good bonding experience and I am starting to really feel like part of the company.

Performing outside of a company's home theater can be a bit tricky, finding a place in the dressing room (at one theater I was in the corner, mirrorless, having to change costumes basically right in the face of a principle who wasn't dancing that night), and getting to know your way around the theater. But the people in charge of the sets and music were worse off than me! It was very interesting to see how we as a corps dealt with a big glitch in the music, after missing our first cue, then trying to catch up to the music while still dancing as a unit. But somehow we got through and, although it wasn't our best performance ever, it was fine, and the audience was still very receptive. All in all it was a good experience, and I am excited to continue the tour of this piece and later add new rep!

It is so crazy to think we have been blogging a whole year! I never would have guessed at that time that I would be living where I am, just finishing my premier as a professional dancer one year later. Here's to another year even more exciting than the last! Thanks to all the readers and supporters!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dance Mind:Dear Janie, Happy to be Dancing!

I wanted to say congratulations to my daughter, Anna, who is a professional ballet dancer!  Like all of you she works very hard. Currently she is preparing for a DonQ performance.  She will be dancing many roles, on being the queen.  It is her first professional appearance!  WE ARE VERY EXCITED FOR HER.

One day perhaps I will tell you her story, with her permission. She overcame many obstacles to perform. 

You can too. You have to want it...

Janie, How are you? doing?  

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Birthday DanceMind!

Janie, Can you believe it has been a year !  This is very exciting to know that we have readers -new ones every day and those who have been following since the beginning (Right, Madeline from TX! and Alexa from Indiana!)

This has worked out  just as I planned. Our goal was to help others in a global way through a dialogue on this blog.  I want to thank all of you who have contact me personally, or commented to a post. It is so good to know that this is helping you.  Please keep letting us know that you are out there and that this is helpful by  following, or receiving feeds. It is awesome that we have that now.

Also as my thank you to you all I have slashed prices for a few days. on the Performance Package, The Audition CD and Stepping to Sleep. I know some of you have been wanting the programs and now this is your chance to have them in your hand by next week. They are keepers for your dance career. Even if you become a professional dancer, you will still listen to them because they help you strengthen your mind.

Go to this page to purchase the programs. You will be amazed at how quickly you will feel stronger.  I have dropped prices insanelly low because I want you to experience the ease of which you can do better.

Did you read about Thema's experience 2 posts back? She has been using the Audition Excellence (Track 9) for a year and a half). She is a model, dancer and actor in England who found my ad in Dance Magazine last year. She ordered the program and loves it to this day.
She is strong, passionate and determined.

TO JANIE, Thank you for all your honestly and back stage view of ballet. You have grown up so much in the last year. Look at you - a professional dancer!  Your motivation and pure passion is what took you there. You are living your dream.  This is what you have been looking toward and work toward for may years.  Love ya, kiddo.

Sanna Carapellotti.MS CHT

DANCEMIND: One Year Anniversary!

Enjoy this precious video and remember that everyone has a dream.

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- That is right!

Janie, Now you have the biggest piece of information - and that is helpful to you. Yes, you are right, it is a bit confusing and with the 'mixed' communication as you say. Yet it is a lesson to really holding on to who you are for a while until you understand what you really need to hear.

You will recognize patterns thru time, in terms of how he relates to you and company members.  Hey, he can't be perfect. Maybe his flaw is poor communication skills yet his performances are fabulous and you are pushed to the next level of performance. How bad can that be.

Michaelangelo had very poor social skills.

We all deal with difficult personalities at the workplace, except for me. (I work alone.)
 There are books written about how to handle them and what one can do to cope.  

Here is what to do ... HEAR what he says. DO NOT REACT or Lose your ground. Get feedback if you can from others or even him. Make a decision on how to handle it. Maybe there is truth to what he is requesting.

Maybe you do need to pay more attention to maintaining your weight.

Maybe he sees your potential and that is is way of letting you know.

Watch, listen and do not react. Understandably we all have our moments when we fly off in our minds.  Have a statement to ground you again.

I will wait and see what he is really saying.  or  Maybe I do need to ... yada yada ...

So again this may not be simply about you, but the good of the company.

I was thrilled to open my email to this note from THEMA DAVIS... model, dancer, actor.

Thema wrote on your Facebook Wall:

"Hi Sanna,  I listened to your (AUDITION) cd and im very very very pleased an honoured to say that I have passed my audition! I beat off hundreds to gain a place on a free acting course with the prestigious BBC Talent boost and at the end I get to audition for top casting directors and the nations best TV shows. Im so happy as acting isnt one of my strongest skills but now I will get to learn and gain new opportunities! :-) xxxx


Today is our one year anniversary!!!!  I am posting a gigantic sale this evening.
So for those of you who have been wanting to purchase my audio programs this is you chance to get them in your hands so you can dance even better!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Dear Sanna - mixed messages

The director is just plain crazy. In the same speech I got about dancing with more energy, I was also told for probably the 4th time that I need to watch my weight, so it's not that I'm too thin.

Everyone is told SOMETHING about his or her weight, though, so I'm not too worried about it. It seems like the director just wants the company to look their best and to keep it that way. Every day company members are told they are too heavy or too thin. It almost depends on the director's mood, and we all know now to take it with a grain of salt. This kind of includes all corrections, really.

I'm starting to think many corrections are just a means of pushing us to our full potential, not necessarily pointing out flaws that are unacceptable for the company. So when I am corrected on things I know I do better than other company members, I just try to think it's because the director knows I am at a higher level.

So despite all the grief I get from the director, the other day I was actually placed in the empty space for a 4-girl corps part I have been learning. After we ran the piece, the director told me I was being considered for the 4th girl and that I did a good job in the rehearsal, so I guess the director really does just have a very negative way of giving feedback to the company members.

It will take a little getting used to knowing that negative comments are actually good, but it does make me feel better to know I can still be doing well even when I do hear unpleasant things from my boss.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


On that day, I am celebrating. Stay tuned. You'll get it!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Specialist 

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- WHAT!!!!??!?!??

Thank you, Janie.

That was energy!

There is nothing more frustrating than being told to do something, then do it and be told you are not doing it!  Frustration, confusion, anger ...   an entire range of emotion. It is exhausting.  What do you do?  

Yes, you said it. There are so many pieces that go into learning choreography and performance ... learning the sequence of steps, cleaning the technique, developing timing and rhythm, managing the energy, so much more  and of course, smiling ... :)

The Director telling you to eat a sandwich could mean that you are too thin?  Are you?
It could mean that food provides nourishment and calories and thereby increasing your energy.
Or that you look hungry/ low energy. Maybe it is lunchtime!

When something is ambiguous and you try to do what you are asked to do and you are still getting corrected, you might want to ASK someone.  You can ASK him, or a company member or another instructor. 

Janie, you could be chasing your proverbial tale.  That will drain your energy.

On the rare occasion that I work with a teacher (most of my clients are performers) they agree that in the flash of the moment they  might not be as clear as they could be. They may have their own VIEWPOINT or expectation.

You heard ... "Feet!  FEET!"  You are pointing. You are pointing hard.  From his angle, he maybe seeing something different. Again, You could ask him. Maybe it needs to be in a different place in the air or floor. Now, I am guessing, of course.  

In the heat of rehearsal may not be the right time to ask, unless he is getting upset. You could assertively raise your hand and ask, Can you please show me?

Listen carefully. Maybe he says that to others too.

Ask around and see what HE means by that and what would make the difference. 


You mentioned that you got angry and felt energized. Maybe that is the answer for you to step up to the next level.

However, you can step it up without the attachment of anger.  The feel of that 'angry experience' is what you are after.

Let me know about this in your next post and I will tell you what to do.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Dear Sanna - MORE ENERGY

it is so frustrating when i am told over and over to do things with more energy. as if i am not trying my best. as if i want it to look lifeless and if i only knew ballet should be energetic i could do that. WRONG!!!!!! first of all, i am trying to hard just to get the steps right and stay in line and be on the music and all the fundamentally important things. what is the point of energetically making myself stand out while i dance out of line and off the music? they won't give me a second to figure things out!

and what's worse, i try so hard to be energetic on top of all the other things i am worrying about, like literally think "more energy" in my head, and what's the outcome? they tell me more energy when i'm done. it's impossible! i don't understand if they just want to push me and make sure it's my best work or i'm really not good enough or what?! i look around me and i really do think there are other more important issues to deal with...

same with pointing my feet! i feel like if i pointed any harder my calves would burst, and they sit there screaming "point your feet! FEET FEET FEET!" and i look in the mirror and they look pointed! i don't get it.


but then i get really mad and just try to direct all that anger into more energetic movements, so hopefully that is helping. who knows. it does seem to give me more energy, i guess.

and then i just smile. like i said before. i practice smiling and the frustration turns to humor, and i notice my colleagues feel the same way and we laugh together.

the life of a dancer!


DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Dance Follwers and Subscribers

Now you all can follow or subscribe to this blog.  I am happy that Blogger has set that up because
I did not know what to do about that. I appreciate all of your patience and motivation to check back at your own will and desire to learn.

This is a good time to begin following. It is almost our year anniversary and I will have a wonderful sale for you all beginning on that day.  Info is coming. So stay tuned.

This a god chance to get your dance programs at lesser cost even though the value is HUGE!!!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT.

PS. -- Who is up for an interview? Got a good strong story about how you overcame something to keeping on dancing?  Drop me a note... I am looking for you!

Hello to all. Have had trouble getting into Blogger. We are back on track ...

Post later today.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dear Sanna - busy doing nothing!

Okay not really doing nothing, but I really don't have much excuse for not blogging. I guess I have been spending too much time exploring and visiting rather than on the computer. I am definitely starting to feel much more comfortable here. I have learned to maneuver through the pushy crowds quite well (something that actually stressed me out a lot my first weeks here) and i am slowly learning more of the culture and language.

I have been almost scared in ballet these first few weeks, just to kind of not get yelled at. I have been so desperately trying to stay in line and not do the wrong thing, that I was told last week I am dancing like I am marking and I need to "bring a sandwich because I have no energy". The director often says annoying things like that. The director didn't ask me if I was tired (which I'm not by the way!). She just told me I was. But after initial frustration, I translated the speech into "you need to dance bigger and with more energy" - something positive, and more useful than the negativity of me looking tired. So I have been making an effort to put more energy into my dancing and I think it is helping a lot. I hope.

Anyway it is very late so I will write more another time and try to blog more often.

All the best!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie -- Dance!

Janie, I want you to understand that ranting is human nature. Yet there is a responsibility with ranting.  We have all said things out of emotion. Sometimes we insert foot.  Sometimes it is just a pattern of behavior.

I used to complain a lot about everything. One day, I 'heard' myself and realized that I complained when I didnot even mean it.  I made a change on that very day to be conscious of my complaining.  Every time I complained, I stopped myself immediately. I broke the pattern.

As a newbie, you don't really know who will take the rant for what it is a moment of frustration. Also relationships change thru time. Who is a friend today may not be a friend in 3 months and then a friend again in 2 months. 

On the 'job' you have to be careful with what you say, especially to your 'co-workers.  

Feel free to rant here. I am sure your rant will be familiar to many other dancers who have had those moments.  I encourage you to rant.  Tension and stress is about how you react to it.

Energetically you do not want to be a part of the problem. 

Smiling releases endorphines and other feel good hormones.  The next time you hear yourself ranting, stop yourself and half smile. Notice what happens.

How is the adjustment going with city life?  Have you received your first paycheck?