Monday, September 28, 2009

DanceMind:Dear Janie - Something else?

What is the other lesson here?

Dear Sanna - here i am!

Finally back on the blog!

So there is this guy in company who usually gives me (and everyone) a really hard time. He is basically the class clown, and he loves to make fun of people, and can be really entertaining but also really annoying. Anyway after that horrible week with my back and everything, he made a comment to me about not finishing class (something I really rarely do), so I told him my back was really hurting me. So he was the one who actually asked the company's physical therapist to work with me that day.

It didn't really feel better, but he kept helping me each day after, with the clown's encouragement (and annoying jokes). A friend also suggested I take a hot bath which also helped a lot. Now I can do almost everything in class again, and it is much better, even though it's not perfect. It reminded me how careful I need to be with my body, and how important it is to practice good posture all the time. I am also doing abdominal exercises every day now, something I never used to do.

I also really appreciate being able to finish a class now. It reminds me how much I love dancing when I can't do it as freely as I am used to for a period of time. It's crazy how much I can enjoy what some people could say is the most boring part of my job! I am so lucky :)


Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun exercise: PLAY

1. Pull down a movie screen in front of you .... Remember when you first discovered ballet. The slippers, tutu's, wands ... or the joy of the movement. You leaped and twirled. Reached for the sky.  Remember and watch the joy.

    Wrap your young self in a beautiful aura of passion and light.

2. Watching your young self dancing and dancing and dancing.

3. Next, step into the movie screen and dance with her. Allow the aura to surround both of you.

4. Dance with your young self.  NEXT, become her, switch into her little body... watching how         you have grown up! Dancing through her eyes.

5. See her. Feel her beautiful love. (or him). Dance.

6. Close your eyes and dance. Close a fist and feel those feelings of love. Breathe.

7. ANYTIME you want to feel that connection. Close your fist and breathe and remember!

Thought Patterns

What do you THINK (or say to yourself) about your dancing ability?

Is it negative and harsh, or do you support your efforts with words of compassion and strength that move you forward.

 Say, YES, to your desires.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dear Janie: STRESS!!!!

Yes, you had quite a week. Stressing through errands and government processes can leave its toll on the body and mind.  How related do you think your back pain was to the fatigue and worry through each day? There seems to have been an accumulate effect.
Stress is not ABOUT THE EVENT, but about the value and meaning you attach to it. It is looking through your own eyes (not any one else's) at the event or situation. Granted you had a couple of long days with surprises (test taking) and unplanned situations (dead cell phone.)  

*In my opinion, you  might consider carrying and extra charger in your dance bag and plug it in at the studio, if you think you can. Especially in a foreign country running errands alone, you want to have the ability to contact someone. Yet, I am sure someone in a store front would help you if went in and asked providing you can speak the language. We forget that cell phones keep us connected in a new way and we can still talk with people face to face.

I guess that your back pain was due to the burden of the stress. The body holds stress like the earth holds lightening and the sun. It absorbs it. Stree has to go somewhere.  Listen to the audios STEPPING TO SLEEP or Audition Excellence to relax and sleep.

We all have days like that where we get rattled. The idea is to catch yourself as you VEER of track and take an SOME action to calm yourself. BREATH is free and always available.

When a situation arises, you have to call on your resources. Your strengths, values, integrity to move toward a solution.

Here is a suggestion:  You're stressed.  THINK of a phrase that is grounding.
Example, "I am - OK."    or   "I am safe."

Break it into two syllables.   (I am  .... and ..... OK)

BREATHE IN and THINK " I am ...."

Do it 5 times NOW. 

Create your own statement to meet the demands, or what you need.

Here is an GOOD example, I spent Tuesday in the ER with an immediate family member. I had a 5 hour seminar at which I was the primary presenter on WEDNESDAY. I was slated to teach for 4.5 hours. I honored the people I knew who achieved something beyond all odds, that forge through some difficulty to do what they needed to do. I used my breath and kept seeing success, high energy and clear headed. I also recalled times when I was strong and powerful. THAT IS WHAT I TOOK TO THE SEMINAR -

I was  powerful in my presentation. It was flawless, even with all the stress. I had a job to do. We honor our commitments whether it is to dance or life.  Self-importance gets us no where.
Certainly if there was a critical crisis I would have to consider, but how often do we CREATE the feel of urgency or a crisis when it really is not. There is always a solution.

You must change your mind/viewpoints. Some are accustomed to wanting life to be all for, and about them. We collide with each other, don't we?  

To avoid the pain in the body feeling, after a day like that, stretch, bathe, breathe, use a cd. Take SPECIAL care of your body because you use it as a dancer. You rely on your body for your livelihood.

SO WHEN AND IF YOUR CHOOSE TO STRESS,  take some care of your body immediately after.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We can now enter the blog once again! Something was askew....

Be back tomorrow!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Sanna - What a week!

This has been such a stressful week for me! Including the fact that I wrote this post already 2 days ago, and the whole thing was lost. Grrrr

Anyway it started with finally taking a placement exam for a class to learn the language here. I know lightyears more than I did before, but I still really need a class to be able to speak fluently and really understand everything. So I practically ran to the place after rehearsal and began what I had no idea would be a 2-hour long test. It was exhausting, especially when I still had to walk home after, but luckily my wonderful roommate had dinner waiting for me :)

Then I had to wake up SUPER early to go get my work visa renewed before work. This is always a nightmare of a process, and this time was no exception, although I must admit probably the least-horrible of all the times since I came here. It feels really good to check that off the list, too.

Then my back decided to hurt really really bad one day. And we had a schedule I would normally love. Tons to do, because it was the first rehearsal this year for a ballet in which I would really love to have a better part. Last year I barely did anything, but I have had my eye on this soloist part for two girls. So the first rehearsal of the day was for this part I really want to dance. The last rehearsal of the day was the first time rehearsing the ballet you may remember me talking about at the end of last year. I am replacing one of the soloists who left, and I really like this part. And in between these two rehearsals which are very important to me, were a whole bunch of not-so-important rehearsals which I felt I had to do with as much integrity as the others, because it's not fair to just try hard with the things I like. So I sucked up my back pain and just did it, and gave 120% for all the rehearsals.

That night I went to see the physical therapist. The trip there was horrible. It took over an hour on the bus, and then I got lost frantically trying to find the place (I was late) without any battery in my phone. I finally stopped a man on the street and begged him to help me write down the address while I used my phone's dying breath to call and ask the doctor where he was located so I could take a cab. I finally got there and he cracked me and hooked me up to machines with heat. It felt better at the time, but sometime after the long trip home on the freezing bus the pain was back.

The next day at work was basically the same, with more demanding rehearsals in between. At the end of the day I was amazed that I even made it to the end.

Today my back hurt more than ever. I did less of class than I have in my entire career (besides the days I thought I would throw up after barre earlier this year). A friend in the company was nice enough to ask the massage therapist if he had time for me, so I got a really nice massage. Unfortunately my back still hurts, but the pt also told me there is trauma that will take time to feel better. At least I'm pretty sure it's not getting worse, and I will try to do exercises. My entire body was really tense, he said, and was a little softer by the end, so hopefully that will also loosen me up a little.

I am just so happy the week is over! I hope it will pay off with the solo part I wanted, but today it was pretty clear that another cast of girls will do it, and I am probably part of the second cast. Last year the second cast only did one show, so that's not too encouraging for me :( I'll keep you posted, though, and hopefully there will be good news to share...

Here's hoping for a fresh new week that is nothing like this one!