Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dancing has it's own life -

Good morning, Janie,

I realize I have been 'away' from the blog. My work is bustling with performers who want to do what they do better and stronger and I have been developing a program with a local MD for weight loss. I am also finishing up a weight management program. So it has been an involved time for us here at Mental Performances.

I also consciously decided to allow your previous blog to float, meaning to not directly intervene. It is important to recognize that as in life, ballet has this anguish that can be all consuming along with the joy and passion that is equally as consuming.
Moving through difficult times is hard, really hard becasue you feel it in every cell of the body, your soul and you have to use the soul driven body to express this beautiful passion and joy.

When someone behaves in that way toward you in the studio or street, the question is - Where are the boundaries? If you best friend spoke to you in that way, you might decide to step away from the relationship. If a stranger shouted at you, you might return the impulse with a shout, or create distance by walking away.

In the studio there can be FEAR and CONTROL instilled by some teachers (who have emotional problems). This does not describe all teachers and there certainly is a difference between being firm and having a angry tirade because the piece is in shambles and show time is days away AND an emotional assault. Sadly some ballet dancers believe that emotional assaults are OK and just the way it is.

Not all companies and teachers emotionally abuse their company members and students. Let's be clear. Arnott Mader, Richmond Ballet is a prime example. he is dearly loved by generations of dance students and professionals. His classes are described as kick ass and down right hard and inspiring. How does he do it? A careful balance of love and guidance. I have sat in on his classes. He is tough, challenging, would never EVER denigrate a student. His respect for them provides a mentoring relationship.

One little dancer with serious performance angst said during her session, "My teacher said that her teacher was mean and a good ballet teacher has to be firm; otherwise we will get lazy." Is this true? Absolutely not.

What is the message here? This teacher may believe that she drives motivation, (She is in fantasy land). Associating FEAR with motivation and performance may work with a small few. Not for most. You dance because you choose this as your profession. It is your 'soul' expression of who you are. No one can make anyone handle the rigors of ballet unless one is internally motivated and passionate about ballet.

Without rambling on ... You have to choose.

Do you internalize someone's emotional troubles and create destructive belief systems about yourself and your performance capabilities?

How do you manage? Do you dare to speak up? What IF you called a meeting? What if you respectfully pulled a teacher aside after class and politely said, "I understand you are frustrated, yet I work better if you show me exactly what I need to do. please do not say those mean things to me."

Maybe she needs to hear this. What are the risks? Your job? Roles? Respect? Boundaries?
You wouldn't know unless you change your response.

You can also decide methods to manage the stress.

1. I would HIGHLY recommend that you do kind things for yourself everyday. Could you listen to one of the programs on the MENTAL PERFORMANCES audios once a day (They are 15 minutes). These can give you a necessary boost and put things in perspective. I will send you my newest "Performance Brilliance" on the Coach in my Bag MP3 player for performers.

DO NOT WAIT until you are stressed to try to feel better, Feel increasingly better NOW becasue these moments will occur.

2. Talk with a friend about what is true. You can make a list of what you believe about your dancing. You will discover that most of it is opinion and false.

You can dance here in the STATES, Janie. That is a limiting belief for next post. Could you write a little about that.

I must attend to my work ... I will be in touch after you respond.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHt

Creator of Coach in My Bag MP3 for performers!

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