Wednesday, December 3, 2008

DanceMind: Dear Janie: Dancing Mad ...

Sanna has been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine (3 times), Dance Studio Life (11/08) and Dance Magazine recommends "Stepping to Sleep" audio for help with sleep problems. Look for her upcoming article in Dancer Magazine, Jan 09!
Janie,  Thank you. What a day for you!   You certainly know this experience  you described here is common.   Yesterday I thought of you and this 'posted' situation.

I was at the grocery store and overheard a conversation between two employees. One was furious about schedule changes because the wrong schedule was posted. She was pissybecause she was working with a 'slacker' and she was also informed that she was not smiling enough on the floor.  The other employee complained too, "Yeah, they told me that last month - You need to smile more. They need to pay me more to smile more." and on and on......

If you do not believe you have any recourse in the way of speaking up or getting more info, then your choice is to change how you respond to their comments. We can never control how someone delivers a comment. We cannot control the words they choose either. (We all have made that mistake of saying something wrong or hurtful.)

In a professional setting, one is expected to treat others, no matter what position, with undue respect, kindness and regard. That doesn't mean that tempers fly or inappropriate remarks do not flair, that would be very naive of me to say that.  When there is a consistent bullying, or patterns of communications then there are deeper problems then just having a bad day

Personality factors come into play when there is that consistency, meaning that he has problems. You have described this director as being impulsive, rude and demeaning. I am sure there is more but for sake of brevity.   People who do that to others are deeply troubled and very angry individuals. 

What an a@@ this person is. 

Without getting too deep here, if someone is consistently rude and crosses over boundaries, You have  a decision to make, Janie cause you know it is going to happen again.

1. You know your body type.  You know your height, weight, proportions.  "Big Girl" does not describe you. PERIOD. He is very unprofessional to set blame on you especially if your partner is not doing his part and they messed up the choreography. 

 If you were 5 '11, I could see that there would be a need for adjustments. That doesn't even make sense. Again, the word a@@ keeps coming to my mind.

Not all feedback is correct.  In ballet, body image becomes very distorted because of the demands from some "teachers."  What is the percentage of anorexic dancers? 70 - 80%?
You cannot rely on HIM for accurate feedback.

You always have the personal right to decide what the hell to do with such off the wall, bizarre comments -  (Expect more from him)
1. Take him aside and scream in his face. (It could happen. LAst resort.)
2. Run out of the room crying. (Could happen. Could excuse yourself politely)
3. Call a conference with a third person and speak your mind. (Could happen. He could be set straight by a higher up.)
4. Suck it up and have indigestion later. (Not advisable.)
5. Use humor. "Yes, I am HUUUUGE!"
6. Use some avenue to handle it.

Here is an even harder question --
Is there some truth, any inkling of truth to what was said. (EVEN IF  YOU BELIEVE IT in the furthest corners of your brain -- It still doesnot make it OK that he said that to you.). Yes, you have had difficulty with a few pounds, yet you have done a good job of dropping excess. 

This is hard to look at, I know.  You have worked hard at this issue. So stay with me and ask yourself for the sake of honesty without passing judgement or being critical. Because if YOU BELIEVE it, then you may need to change YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM, not necessarily your body.

Do you hear what I am saying?  You may need to change your belief system about your body.

2. Do you accept his remark, or do you leave it with him. (You know -- "I am rubber you are glue what you say bounces off me and sticks to you.") You do not want echos of THAT in your brain.  DO NOT INTERNALIZE his remark. This man has problems. 

Say something like, "I love my body." I work hard to stay slim and strong."  What do you believe, and what can you say in your mind when this  happens to counter what he is saying.
Do not let his comment take away your esteem.  Be ready for it.

If you allow it to become personal, it becomes personal.  You can leave it with him. Like a pie in the face. 

I would really like to hear form others who have had this problem of being spoken to with disrespect for a any reason.

I will add a technique for you tomorrow that will help you when this happens.  
Next time you will be ready.  Did I say a@@?

Love ya -

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

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