Saturday, February 28, 2009

Can you be tranced?

Check this quick exercise --

You'll be surprised!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

EVENT: Sleepless in Steubenville

Sleepless in Steubenville! SannaCarp. Hypnosis for Life

Thursday, Feb. 26, 8:30 - 9:30.  

Recorded Live.

Will discuss influence sleep has on our day lives and how you can make the changes you need to sleep better, longer and deeper. You'll hear surprising reasons why people do not sleep well and how the problem was resolved. Will discuss with Lou, her sleep concerns and help her get to sleep! Join us ... 

If you have any questions, email me

Monday, February 23, 2009

DanceMind:Dear Janie, Controllables

What can you really control? and not control? in your company.

Make a list.

It makes a difference. You will be surprised.

Would you list it out here, please?

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Dear Sanna - back to usual

Of course all this ballet drama always blows over, so things are fine now...

We are getting ready for another slew of performances now. Nothing like tour or that really crazy few weeks at the end of the year, but a show or two every week, which is pretty fun. What's strange is that we're doing different things almost every time. It's a little confusing and stressful, pulling out pieces we haven't done in weeks, but it is fun to remember and approach old pieces with an almost fresh start.

This will be our first show since tour, so it will be a little disappointing to be back to such small stages after the huge theater where we performed last. And I will also miss the spacious, clean dressing rooms! Oh well, we'll see how it goes!

That's really all I have to report for the moment, but I guess no news is good news :)



Enjoy this photo of my daughter at a performance in Oct. 

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Hello there ...

Yes, thank you for your thoughts. It was a pleasant weekend though. I learned a lot about my family and can appreciate that journey. I also met a cousin who is best friends with my husband's cousin in another city in OH. 

There is a collision of thoughts in my mind as I read your last post. Hmm-mm-m. If you were sitting in my office I would use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to stop your energy drain.

Janie, you cannot control what other people think and feel about you. I am going to say this again -

Janie, you cannot control what other people think and feel  about you.


If you were able to speak honestly and frankly to each dancer who was dissing you they would begin about themselves. If someone feels like that there are personal issues. "Why her and not me?"  "I've been here longer."  "I learned this piece last year. Why does she get to do it?"

You do not know where that comes from either. Previous rejection? Low self-esteem? Personality style? Trauma? Sleeping with the director? Youngest in the family?  Desire to be famous?  Depression? Negativity? Bad attitude?

You are a professional. It is a business. At any given time they are looking for the best person to perform (even if there are political motives).  Sometimes it is height, level of technique, coloring, friendship, style of dance, ability to emote, depth of artistry ... yada, yada, yada.

You don't really know the who and why. Your work is to do your work the best you can. The tables can shift at any time. We have all been on both sides of the barre.  THIS IS AN UNCONTROLLABLE. You can control you ---
They do not have to talk to you about how they feel about being cast or not cast. Are you their confidante?  Do you expect them to come clean about how they really feel?  THAT could be where the problem lies.  Ideally, how nice it would be to chat over the good and bad times, but not all are willing or capable of doing that.

I am driving home a pointe. You are employed by the company to dance. If you have a friend there and the two of you chat about this and that. Great.  Finding friends outside of ballet may be a good thing. Discovering ways to clear  your mind is desired and positive.  I believe there are some posts way back that address that. We can certainly bring it up again.

Let's face we all have pity parties. I had one last week. (Thank goodness my friend snapped me out of it.)  You are right it is not always about us, although we can certainly trigger thoughts and feelings in other people and we can influence them as well either way.

I had a client last month who after some work realized that he was responding to his artistic director angrily because she made him feel like a previous teacher. Sometimes there is history. He was not aware of it as it was happening in the studio. He saw the parallel and together we worked through it.

GET THIS -- When he let go and healed the old wound, his relationship with his current teacher changed dramatically. How do you explain that? Energy shifts influence other people too.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

PS... I have to get this recording done and then we will do Gold Cup Dream Seminar.  Get ready! My musician guy has a deadline and I have to get this to him....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dear Sanna - it's lonely at the top...

no not really i was just trying to think of a dramatic title! i'm not that conceited, nor that lonely, but the truth is i'm doing really well here and not everyone is terribly happy about it. the world doesn't revolve around me either, and maybe a lot of it is to do with their own personal issues, but i am feeling a bit of coldness from some of the dancers.

it's not as if i'm being cast as the principle in everything, but we are doing a bunch of new pieces and i am happily learning almost everything, and even first cast for a few things. it is such a nice change to be fairly new to a company and already being used, even over some dancers who have been with the company longer. some of my friends were either learning the same parts as me and i was chosen over them, or they weren't asked to learn things in the first place, and they are noticeably avoiding me. i understand maybe it's harder to talk to me about not being cast, but i never acted that way when it was me not doing things. at the beginning of the year i was really upset not to be learning a soloist role most of the girls in the company were at least learning, but i never held it against the other dancers. i learned a long time ago that if i held a grudge against everyone who succeeded i would not have too many friends. plus it doesn't make my life any better to be angry about it.

on the other hand, there are plenty of people who don't respond so childishly or haven't been given the chance to because they are cast anyway, so really i am fine. it's just annoying to think that some people don't want to be friends with me because i am well-liked by my boss at the moment. it's fun and exciting to be cast in a bunch of new things. i had a really lazy partner, however, who made me feel bad about making him do things full out too many times. there is a bit of a language barrier, and i kind of had the impression he was injured or sick or just really tired from too much rehearsal, so i either marked by myself or stood around awkwardly for a good part of rehearsals. luckily for me, the teacher noticed what was going on and switched the couples so my partner went with his girlfriend who wouldn't let him get away with being so lazy because i'm "too nice". my new partner is definitely ranked lower in the company that my last, but he is definitely not lazy and i really actually prefer working with him. i just hope it doesn't hurt my chances of being cast, since my old partner is usually used above my new one. oh well, we'll see.


p.s. i'm so sorry for your loss, sanna. it's such a sad fact of life :(

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dance Mind - Oh dear -

Janie, I have to leave in the morning to go to a family funeral. It is sad. I will return in a few days.

Think about next week when you want to begin the program, "Gold Cup Dreams!"
Everyone can move along with us. It will help you to dream big! Ordinary goal setting is very out!  Pick a day, say Thursday and we can get to it!

What I would need you to do Janie is to hop on every day and respond. There will be audio and maybe a video and some info. This will be very helpful!

Invite your friends. Tell anyone who wants to DO SOMETHING bigger to join us! Not just for dancers ... Everyone can dream BIG!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

PS Janie, you can let me know.  I will ck my email but will be with family and traveling.
Love you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dear Sanna - let's go!

I am ready to set some goals, although I might need a little help because at the moment I cannot really think of very specific things...

Anyway work has pretty much been business as usual. We are learning 2 new ballets right now, one of which I really like and am definitely part of (pretty much the whole company is in it). The other is a little heavier, but I actually was surprised that I like it a lot, too. It's a bunch of couples, and the casting isn't really clear yet, but I think I might be dancing in some of it. It is hard to tell. Anyway we will see.

I feel a little funny in the second piece, because it is partnering, which is not exactly one of my strengths anyway. Then on top of that, my partner is always really really tired because we rehearse this ballet at the end of the day and he always has a full schedule of rehearsals and usually his variation just before. I would like to do it full out more often, but I can't force him to if he is tired. He also isn't really all that sure of the choreography, and seems to be hoping we stay second cast instead of actually going in. I don't want to nag or upset him, but I also want to be considered for the part. How can I show I want to perform if I can't practice enough to do it well with my partner?


Monday, February 9, 2009

DanceMind: Boundaries?

In sports and performance, the boundaries are not clear to say what is considered abuse or crossing the line. People also have different thresholds and tolerances. 

If you are told in the middle of class, "You are too fat for a tutu? I can never allow you to be put in a tutu." Is this abuse? (This actually was told to a dancer weighing 115 lbs.)
Is this teacher being appropriate and respectful? NO.

Alternative approach to dancer in private -- Discuss wght matters privately, if necessary. Make best choices for piece with staff. 

 More is tolerated. Less is discussed because of the potential ramifications. It does seem to me that after the situation is out of control then maybe someone speaks up.

Many years ago, when my daughter was in grade school. I spoke up. She was a child. I am her parent. A teacher was exercising the dancers in a way that was not appropriate. They were not being warmed up at all and had to do something (I forget now). I heard parents complaining about injuries and then my daughter and I talked. She told me what was happening. 

Part of this experience was for her to learn what is correct and not correct. She would then have information to compare.

I spoke up to the director and it was resolved. My approach was one of curiousity, asking, not entirely sure but here is what could be happening. I did not storm the castle or make accusations. I simply was asking for clarification. The director agreed that it was inappropriate.

VERY IMPORTANT - Most dancers I work with love most of their teachers. If you teach, your words go with your students  for many years, just as you have already experienced. You make a difference. 

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

DanceMind: To Anonymous

Thank you so much for your thoughts. I agree that your vwpt because what you have shared is very common especially in ballet. I hear the stories and know the pain from clients.

Learning that there is nothing you can do about demeaning comments, or criticism takes hold at a young age. We are told not to tattle. We know if we make waves, others who are obedient will get roles.  We also risk other group members ridicule and rejection. Students have been asked to leave schools.  Our parents can also support this 'not telling' to avoid making waves. 

I understand becasue as a parent of a professional ballet dancer, I spoke up when she was younger and then when she was older I told her that it is now her turn to make the decision when to speak up, how to manage it personally and when to ignore.

The teachers my daughter and you respect are the ones who are firm, have expectations, know what they are doing technically, have a process and want you to succeed.  One instructor who my daughter adores was the toughest, yet the most supportive. Never demeaning. Not hostile.
She wanted to work for him.

A part of the comment that I want to address is this (I am not being critical understand. I am teaching you.)
This is  copy from anonymous --
"I have always assumed that you were supposed to just bite it and get over it. I think with alot of the abuse its just your job to toughen up and handle it. Artistic differences in styles, bad days, and people who barrage you with insulted questioning your work ethic you just need to shoulder. I don't think there's anything you can do about that stuff."

It is important to differentiate between someone having a bad day, or a firm,  demanding teaching style and those who are consistently aggressive, hostile and threatening.  There is a school on the East coast that literally has 'sickened' dancers, meaning, mono, panic attacks, IBS, eating disorders, depression ....  

If a dancer tells me about an ongoing experience that is bad and uses those words above to describe the situation - "Just bite it" or "You just need to shoulder it."   I would look for digestive struggles and neck pain/shoulder pain. 
This is where stress would be held in the body for this individual. If this is the case, then you must "care' for those areas and learn how to not HOLD the anger. You are a human being.  It is human nature. 

Because we mentally shut down, stay in denial does NOT mean we are not taking the insults into the body-mind and life. We are still effective. Blind love for ballet, dance at all costs - still has consequences especially when it is psychologically hurtful.

I remember in grade school the teachers were very mean and abusive. We did not tell our parents, and certainly could not go to the principle. I 'learned' to hate learning because of the experience in the classroom. Today, teachers are terminated in the behaved in that way.  Does ballet have a tomorrow?      

The real question is - How much can you take? How do you take it?  

I appreciate this discussion. This darker side of performance can be handled, managed with increased awareness. We can talk about that...

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Specialist

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dear Sanna - the power of hindsight

It is amazing to think about how much I have learned in the past few years. As I was reading the posts about Julie, I had such strong memories of myself during high school and earlier. I had some teachers in ballet who I hated so much, I barely thought about dancing at all during those classes. I expended so much energy talking and thinking about how much I hated a teacher, when I could have been working on my technique, or at least enjoying my time dancing. When I think now about those classes, I just tried to make the time pass instead of taking advantage of my chance to improve. I often found myself rebelling against the combinations, as if to prove they were not good, and instead making it seem like me who was not good. If I would have accepted the challenge and made something of what I then thought of as a terrible combination, it would have been much more productive (and healthy, too, I think!).

It's so simple now to think, yes teachers can be annoying, but class is still class. Of course I still get annoyed - I just talked about how frustrated I was when the warm-up class did not prepare me for a show, but I certainly do not get angry the way I used to. I still try to make the most of class, and I really understand now and appreciate that class is for me. I make what I want of it. Teachers can give their imput, but it really is up to me how I want to work in class every day. Especially as a company member, nobody is forcing me to even finish class. I could slop through barre everyday and then leave if I wanted, but first of all there's no fun in that, and second of all I would never get any better.

I think Julie needs to remember why she is dancing in the first place. Teachers are important, and it's nice to respect them and be able to learn as much as possible, but if you really cannot like them, at least do your best work in class and try to make the most out of dancing. It is so true what Sanna says about negativity. It can completely change the atmosphere and the way you perform.


Dear Sanna - stepping away

This is a reflection of my last post before I left on tour. I was talking about that show that did not go very well, just before the director took a bunch of people out. So you know the story, but here's a little more about what it was like for me.

I was so frustrated during class, first off, with that annoying teacher. I hate not feeling I can warm up well, and it makes me anxious for the show if I am not prepared. It's also a bad feeling, fighting with my teacher. Then when we got to the theater, the whole time I was just praying we would have some time to warm up. We could all tell the director was nervous, the way we kept doing the same stupid piece over and over and we were getting yelled at like none other. Then with so little time between spacing and the show, everyone was rushing and nervous. Not a good atmosphere right before a show.

What I think was the final straw for me was just before curtain. Our teacher really emphasized how we need to be really warm right before this piece and suggested we do it before the curtain goes up, so I made getting to the stage at least 10 minutes early my priority (over very careful makeup for example). I did the whole thing and it was okay, and I felt a little better about the show, even if we hadn't done any spacing for this part. But then the rest of the people started coming in, along with the teacher who had told us to be warm. She didn't know I had just finished doing it, and we really can't communicate, so she motioned for me to do it (again), and what's worse she started correcting me on something completely new, and I don't think just before a show is really the time to try to approach a ballet a new way. It just made me a million times more nervous and I just wasn't even sure I could do it in a way that would make her happy, and that's not even considering the other people watching, i.e. the director.

When we started dancing I could only think about her watching and scrutinizing me and I could feel the thoughts sabotaging my performance. I know what thoughts are good for me while I'm dancing, but sometimes I just really can't help thinking about these negative things.

When the artistic director took people out, I wasn't too too upset, because like I said I could have been taken out of much more, but it was still frustrating to be taken out after just one chance. I was kind of hurt and just confused. I wasn't sure whether I should speak up and say I really feel I could do better if I was given another chance or if there was more space on stage. I am not usually one to do something like that, begging for a part, but in this situation I actually felt confident enough to do so, just unsure whether it was the right thing to do. On one hand, I know I had a horrible show and I could do so much better, plus the dancer who replaced me for the part I was taken out of has a lot on her plate, and I'm sure would be relieved to not have to do my corps part before her solo. But on the other, I felt myself and also understood from my friends' advice that the it is not wise to show the director that this change really upset me.

In the end I just let it go, and I think it was the right thing to do. I am not so deprived being taken out of this tiny chunk of the ballet, and the director does not seem too concerned with it. I am still getting either good feedback, or nothing, so I really can't complain. Maybe it's better now I can work on this extra nerve-racking beginning on my own, and perform the rest at my very best. Better not to give more reasons to be criticized. Of course it's good to challenge myself, but if the role just isn't good for me, then why make myself look bad?


Saturday, February 7, 2009

DanceMind: Julie

While Janie continues to unwind, Let's turn to Julie.

I have a question - Where do you as a dancer draw the line between abuse from a teacher, someone's teaching style that is always critical and demeaning, someone who is having a bad day (are they excused from professionalism?)?

I would like some feedback from you. Write to me anonymously.  This is very important to your mental and physical health.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Specialist 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I am very happy to hear from you! Rest up, catch up on the posts and comments and we can begin our  Seminar! I need a name for it ... hmmmmm. Need a name ....  Dreams?  It's not about goals, that is too outdated  and does not really work ... AH.  Well, I am going to have to figure out aa catchy title. Back to you after Janie gets rested. Let's plan this ... Janie, let me know when you are ready.

Dear Sanna - home at last!

I just got back from the most incredible trip. I am exhausted but I had so much fun - one of the best times of my life. Everyone was sad to leave, because it was like a vacation with all of our friends, but coming back here makes it really feel like home. It's a nice feeling. I see I have missed a lot of posts so I will read them and get back to you, but for now I'll talk a little about the trip.

So the day to leave finally came, and everyone was excited to get on the bus and go to the airport, especially our scary ballet mistress, who was completely intoxicated. It was actually really scary to see her so messed up, and it was a little embarrassing for such an important member of the company to look that way in public. She did go back to normal when it was time to work on tour, which was a relief, but a lot of people lost respect for her because of the way she acted. As long as she does her job as wonderfully as she normally does, I guess it doesn't matter that much how she acts outside of work, but it is weird to let your coworkers see you that way.

Anyway the city was incredible and we had tons of fun exploring, trying new food, and bonding with the company. We had breakfast and dinner in the hotel everyday, and usually there would be something going on in some hotel room at night, so I got to spend time with a lot of the company members I don't usually see outside of work. It was so much fun. We even got to do some sight-seeing and touristy things, which made me really appreciate traveling and this company for it's great tours. This trip alone made coming here worthwhile.

The theater was incredible, too. We are used to dancing in mostly really small theaters, usually just for one show before moving on to a new place, so it was great to stay in one spot and have a beautiful, spacious dressing room. The shows were practically all sold-out, which was also cool, because we knew there were a lot of people who really wanted to be there and were interested in seeing us.

Now we have a couple days of rest before it's back to work. It will be interesting to see what it's like back at the studio after the tour.


Monday, February 2, 2009

DanceMind: Julie

1. Identify the experience and is in assisting her to move forward, stay the same or step back.

2. What are the triggers?

3. Are there any familiarities or parallels?

4. What does she really want to do, feel to handle the classes?

5. Does she have the resources within to cope and set a new perspective?

6. Is there anything she can do within the environment to make changes?

Consider these questions.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Therapist and Hypnotherapist

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dance Mind - Julie.

Julie is 16.  Like you she has lots of teachers for her dance classes. She is a competitive dancer.

There are three teachers that 'rub her the wrong way.' Just the mere thought of them made her grit her teeth. She would rant in her mind during class - "I hate you." "You are so mean and ugly."  
Julie disliked attending these classes and found herself wanting to miss class. She was less than enthusiastic to go to class when she felt devalued and criticized. She did not mind being corrected, but there was a tone that really bothered her and made her angry. She would mess up simple routines and found herself in a rut.

What could she do?