Wednesday, December 10, 2008
DanceMind: Dear Janie: Dealing with Wild Moments
Learning how to cope with difficult people has been written about for decades. It is no different in the ballet world than in corporate and the neighborhood diner. Yes, the stakes can be higher, yet the interactions between people working together particularly among higher ups and those under their watch can range from respectful to downright abusive.
In this case, Janie, you are in the employ of a artistic director whom you present as mean mouth and uncaring. His talent and knowledge aside, his behavior is unbecoming of a professional.
You have describe him to blurt out nasty comments, to not listen and I believe moodiness.
When someone abuses their 'power' or authority speaks of their character. Who he is as a person. There is nothing you can change about that (unless he gets his a@@ kicked a few toomany times and realizes that he needs help.). Clearly there are problems here, Janie, AND IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU, although he directs his anger toward you and others. However, you can guard against him, protect yourself and take out what you need to know from what he says.
The problem is that you believe you have recourse. If you do speak up, you risk parts, your job, being ignored, etc. AGAIN, this speaks of who he is and how he runs his company.
Look, we all throw temper tantrums on occasion. Yet to batter and embarrass someone in front of others is downright disrespectful. Apologies are forthcoming, but will most likely not happen. Someone like you, would apologize when you act up. YOU ARE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR BEHAVIOR.
On the receiving end, you can also TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your response. Here are a few things you can do. (HINT: You can be ready. It will happen again AND you know it is coming.)
1. Zip up! In the field of energy medicine (Donna Eden) there is a simple technique that is protective (and it works!) If someone wants an explaination email me.
Here's how -
1. TAP using your fingers right under the knobby bone of the collar bone about 10 times.
2. Think a positive thought.
3. Next is the ZIP up... Place your hand down where a zipper (yes on your jeans) ends and TAKE A DEEP BREATH while you move your hand all the up the center of your body to the lower lip. You can do this a few times. You are closing up, protecting yourself.
This technique is one of many in the Audition CD program ...
Put up a Wall! Imagination plays a key role here. Close your eyes NOW. Ask yourself, "what can you construct that acts as a barrier between you and him?" Some people use clouds of safety all around them, or God's love, or even a Rainbow Wrap. Use your visualizing powers to create the experience. Breath it up. Make it really feel powerful and protective.
NOW, when you go to class, you Zip up and protect yourself with your imagery. Try it. You will be surprised.
Anyone who has results, please let us know, too!
You could also say in a calm tone, "Mr. _________, please do not talk to me that way. I find it offensive and demeaning."
You could ask for a meeting with you, him and another staff member and voice your concerns.
You can realize that he is an angry hostile man and take what you need to know and leave his hostilities with him. It is also a good idea to have feedback from others and to be clear with who you are and what is true for you.
When you go to dance, you want to look your best and feel comfortable - Consider getting rid of the leotard.
Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT