Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dear Sanna - Staying in Shape... or not

Staying in shape during the tour was definitely a struggle. First of all, I never feel like I can work as well during class on stage as in the studio. The classes are shorter and designed to warm you up, not to improve on technique. Also there is usually less space, so I cannot repeat combinations in center like I normally do. And of course there are no mirrors.

The amount of work we do is also shorter than a normal day. Usually we have rehearsals for multiple pieces where we repeat things several times, a performance is just one run, with maybe a mark-through before. Just the amount of work we do is less, which means more free time sitting around, eating, and getting out of shape.

Sometimes there were gyms in the hotel, but often we arrived after it already closed and I was not about to wake up early to work out. There was also food for us EVERYWHERE. First there was free breakfast in the hotel, which I was usually hungry for the morning after a show, since it was usually too late for a real dinner after. Then we often stopped somewhere before going to the theater for lunch, where I normally ate again whether I was hungry or not because I was never sure when I would have another chance to eat. Then there was almost always a huge spread of food for the dancers at the theater, and honestly if there is food it is just hard for me to not have something. Especially when it is different from what we are used to in this country and I want to try interesting things.

So on this tour I definitely got a little out of shape. But it is interesting to see how my body responds to this kind of situation, and I did learn how to at least prepare myself for a performance on tour and not go too crazy with all the food. It was never completely out of hand, just not my normal habits. I feel relaxed knowing it's okay to get a little out of shape, and now that I am back in the country and back to the routine, I am already back to normal

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sanna at DEA this weekend!

Yes, I am thrilled to be vending at Dance Educators of Amercia's Pittsburgh Dance Competition this weekend. There are 300 plus dancers in competition over three days time.

I want to wish all of them the BEST of luck and love as they show their best stuff to the world!!!

I will be there selling my programs and my newest Coach In My Bag, a Performance MP3, strictly for performers.
It has 13 tracks of high steppin' performance conditioning programs and there are more to come.

It has a pep talk, a visualizaton program, a sleep audio, ways to de-stress, fast acting waqys to feels happy instantly when your days is crappy ... and the best is Performance Brilliance. This powerful journey takes you inside your mind where you strongest potential lives and inspires it! You meet four aspects of self to super charge your desire - Performance Brilliance.
I am so excited about this program. You toss it in your dance bag and there it is whenever you need it ... going to class, at night, during a break, at rehearsals, on the way home.

There are also additional tracks coming for which you can purchase for a small small price. (Hint: Stop Stress Eating!) Read about it here -- Tell me what you think!

I am also interested in other issues with dancers. If you tell me an idea and I make a program, You can get an MP3 at a very reduced cost and I will dedicate it to you, anonymously if you wish. Send your idea to me at

Oh, yeah, If you come to visit me this weekend and say, Dance Mind, You will receive and automatic 20% off the purchase prices of Coach In My Bag!

I hope to see you there. It is gonna be Extraordinary!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHt

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Sanna - The Bus

I never spent so much time on a bus in my entire life as this tour. Starting with a 5-hour drive after getting off the loooong plane ride, there were few days without a 2-6 hour drive. Sometimes we traveled more than 12 hours. It was really a funny picture, too, since we dancers found some creative positions to sleep and sit. There were legs in the air all over the place, people lying in the aisles on the pilates mats many bought at target for $9.99, and watching somebody make their way from front to back or vice-versa was pretty funny since they had to do so without stepping on the people on the floor, climbing along the arm rests.

Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to read on the bus without getting sick, and I couldn't even really take advantage of the wi-fi for the same reason. So I tried to sleep sometime and also spoke with a lot of people I never really talked to much. It's funny but I actually improved a lot in the language of this country while we were abroad from talking with non-English speakers.

People also went a little crazy from these long drives. We were sore and stiff from sitting in the seats and often expected to perform just a few hours later. Sometimes I did some foot exercises, and stretched as well as I could in the seats, but it was difficult. There were fights over stopping more often for cigarette breaks or just a chance to stretch our legs, and some people just complained all the time.

It was definitely an experience. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery and some great landmarks from that bus. We even made friends with our bus driver, who stayed with us the entire trip and even learned a few words from the language of the company. But I think I can safely say I had enough driving to last me a while now.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dear Sanna - Finally back!

Whew that was a long tour indeed! Fun, tiring, stressful, frustrating, amazing - I think I went through just about every emotion over this month. It is impossible to tell everything in just one post, so maybe I will try to post about each subject in segments.

First segment: Casting

So, in the typical fashion of this company, there was no such thing as casting, even after arriving to the first hotel. The next day we had class at this tiny studio nearby with extremely scary slippery wooden floors (which the company immediately coated with a thick layer of rosin) and planned to have a few rehearsals.

Well one of our principle male dancers told the director weeks before he was having pain in his foot, but everyone just ignored this. At this point, before the tour even began, he could not dance at all. So we spent this day replacing him and working out the parts which would be affected. If you remember, the part I always stress about is all about stamina, so I wasn't particularly happy about not having a chance to at least run it that day, since it had already been 2 days since my last rehearsal of it. They did, at least, tell us that my cast would be performing in the first show (the next day).

We ran it before the show, and I actually felt okay. Wheezing and completely out of breath, as usual, but I survived. Our next show after that was a few days later, and we somehow managed to find out that my cast would perform that show and the one after. The second of these two shows was one where a girl from the other cast (let's call her Amanda) had family and she asked if she could perform there. I also told the director that it didn't matter to me and Amanda really wanted this show, but the director said probably not because this was an important place where we were performing and Amanda and her partner might not be good enough. After that performance the director asked me if I had family in the audience. When I said no, the director replied "Oh I thought you did. You know Amanda had a lot of family here, why didn't you say so?" That was frustrating. But I think the director knew exactly what was going on and didn't cast Amanda on purpose.

The other cast performed the following day in the worst theater from the whole trip, and again in another small city. The third time they were supposed to perform, Amanda had pain in her foot and couldn't dance, so we all pushed and somehow my friend and original partner got to dance in her place. We were all really happy she could have at least one chance to dance it, although it must have been really hard, not having rehearsed in almost a month, and never having done it with Amanda's partner. She did well, though.

So in the end, I performed 9 of the 12 performances of this program (there were 3 other performances of a different program, so 15 altogether). I was happy I was trusted to dance in the end, as first cast, too! I was constantly corrected to have more confidence in my dancing, and sometimes they said it was better. It's hard to fake confidence, and even harder to really have it, for me, so even the slightest improvement makes me happy, and probably even helps with the problem itself.

Good to be back! More soon,