written by Melanie Doskocil, original post found at her blog, Ballet Pages
1. Dance is hard. – No dancer ever became successful riding on their natural born talents only. Dancers are artists and athletes. The world of dance today is akin to an extreme sport. Natural ability and talent will only get us so far. Dancers must work hard and persevere. Dancers give years of their lives plus their sweat, tears and sometimes blood to have the honor and pleasure of performing on stage.
2. You won’t always get what you want. – We don’t always get the role we wanted, go on pointe when we want, get the job we want, hear the compliments we want, make the money we want, see companies run the way we want, etc., etc. This teaches us humility and respect for the process, the art form and the masters we have chosen to teach us. The faster we accept this, the faster we can get on with being brilliant. We’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but we can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.
3. There’s a lot you don’t know. – There is always more a dancer can learn. Even our least favorite teachers, choreographers and directors can teach us something. The minute we think we know it all, we stop being a valuable asset.
4. There may not be a tomorrow. – A dancer never knows when their dance career will suddenly vanish: a company folds, career ending injury, car accident, death…Dance every day as if it is the final performance. Don’t save the joy of dance for the stage. Infuse even your routine classroom exercises with passion!
5. There’s a lot you can’t control. – You can’t control who hires you, who fires you, who likes your work, who doesn’t, the politics of being in a company. Don’t waste your talent and energy worrying about things you can’t control. Focus on honing your craft, being the best dancer you can be. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude.
6. Information is not true knowledge. – Knowledge comes from experience. You can discuss a task a hundred times, go to 1000 classes, but unless we get out there and perform we will only have a philosophical understanding of dance. Find opportunities to get on stage. You must experience performance firsthand to call yourself a professional dancer.
7. If you want to be successful, prove you are valuable. – The fastest way out of a job is to prove to your employer they don’t need you. Instead, be indispensable. Show up early, know your material, be prepared, keep your opinions to yourself unless they are solicited and above all be willing to work hard.
8. Someone else will always have more than you/be better than you. – Whether it’s jobs or money or roles or trophies, it does not matter. Rather than get caught up in the drama about what others are doing around you, focus on the things you are good at, the things you need to work on and the things that make you happiest as a dancer.
9. You can’t change the past. – Everyone has a past. Everyone has made mistakes, and everyone has glorious moments they want to savor. “Would you keep a chive in your tooth just because you enjoyed last night’s potato?” Boston Common TV Series. Dance is an art form that forces us to concentrate on the present. To be a master at dance we have be in the moment; the minute the mind wanders, injuries happen. If they do, see #12.
10. The only person who can make you happy is you. – Dancing in and of itself cannot make us happy. The root of our happiness comes from our relationship with ourselves, not from how much money we make, what part we were given, what company we dance for, or how many competitions we won. Sure these things can have effects on our mood, but in the long run it’s who we are on the inside that makes us happy.
11. There will always be people who don’t like you. – Dancers are on public display when they perform and especially in this internet world, critics abound. You can’t be everything to everyone. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently. So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right. What others think and say about you isn’t all that important. What is important is how you feel about yourself.
12.Sometimes you will fail. – Sometimes, despite our best efforts, following the best advice, being in the right place at the right time, we still fail. Failure is a part of life. Failure can be the catalyst to some of our greatest growth and learning experiences. If we never failed, we would never value our successes. Be willing to fail. When it happens to you (because it will happen to you), embrace the lesson that comes with the failure.
13. Sometimes you will have to work for free. – Every professional dancer has at one time or another had to work without pay. If you are asked to work for free, be sure that you are really ok with it. There are many good reasons to work for free, and there are just as many reasons not to work for free. Ask yourself if the cause is worthy, if the experience is worth it, if it will bring you joy. Go into the situation fully aware of the financial agreement and don’t expect a hand out later.
14. Repetition is good. Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is insane. – If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. If you keep doing the bare minimum of required classes, don’t complain to your teacher when you don’t move up to the next level. If you only give the bare minimum in your company, be happy staying in the corps. If you want to grow beyond your comfort zone, you must push yourself beyond your self-imposed limitations.
Photo by Peter Perazio. Taken when Sylvie Guillem was promoted to Paris Opera Ballet étoile status and is inspired by Béjart’s choreography “la Luna”. It has appeared in a cut version on the cover of the popular general audience French magazine, ‘Le Nouvel Observateur.’
15. You will never feel 100% ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Dancers have to be willing to take risks. From letting go of the ballet barre to balance, to moving around the world to dance with a new company, from trusting a new partner to trying a new form of dance, dancers must have a flexible mind and attitude as well as body. The greatest opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means you won’t feel totally comfortable or ready for it.
link to site: http://performertherapy.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/15-truths-about-being-a-professional-dancer-2/
A new study has found that smarter people not only tend to stay up later, but also regularly engage in recreational sex and drug use.
According to Esquire magazine, English researchers recently discovered that students at prestigious schools like Oxford andCambridge spend much more time having sex, smoking weed and staying up later than their peers at less reputable institutions.
The research was funded by sex toy retailer Lovehoney.co.uk, where Oxford and Cambridge students have spent a combined $31,461.
“The correlation probably has something to do with the open-mindedness that comes with intelligence,” 23-year-old Annalisa Rose, an employee of high-end sex shop “Honey” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, told Esquire.
“I think that the ability to engage in an open sex life comes with the abilities of introspection and logical thought, and those require some level of intelligence. If we’re talking about an open sex life that comes from an emotionally healthy place, sexual mores are mostly made up anyway and intelligent people can rationalize past them,” she said.
Many previous studies have found that people with higher IQs, better jobs, or degrees from top-notch universities are more likely to smoke weed or even snort a few lines here and there.
Esquire reports that this is because these people tend to pursue insightful experiences involving adventure and mental expansion.
Smart people will indulge in most opportunities that could potentially broaden their minds.
They also more closely understand addiction and moderation and are therefore less fearful of engaging in drug use.
A 2010 study seen in Psychology Today showed that those with an IQ of 125 or higher are exponentially more likely to use drugs.
From the study:
“Net of sex, religion, religiosity, marital status, number of children, education, earnings, depression, satisfaction with life, social class at birth, mother’s education, and father’s education, British children who are more intelligent before the age of 16 are more likely to consume psychoactive drugs at age 42 than less intelligent children.
“… there is a clear monotonic association between childhood general intelligence and adult consumption of psychoactive drugs. ‘Very bright’ individuals (with IQs above 125) are roughly three-tenths of a standard deviation more likely to consume psychoactive drugs than ‘very dull’ individuals (with IQs below 75).”
The final element of our genius-trifecta is proven valid in an academic paper entitled “Why the Night Owl is More Intelligent,” published in the journal Psychology and Individual Differences.
The paper, Esquire reports, highlights that for several millennia, humans have been conditioned to work during the day and sleep at night.
Those that break this cycle, the paper says, “may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences than less intelligent individuals.”
The paper goes on to say that liberals who don’t believe in God are more likely to be intelligent as well.
It seems that the gist here is that progressive thinkers who uphold adventure and experimentation over safety and tradition are the more intelligent beings.
So as Esquire says, “if you’re getting laid at 3 am on Sunday morning and have a full bowl packed beside the bed and you aren’t going to church the next day, you’re probably a genius.”
There you have it. Not only are those who rebel against conservatism sexier and much more fun to hang out with, but contrary to popular belief, they’re also smarter and more groomed for success.
Oh, and we work our assess off too, so don’t even think you’ve got that one on us.
KKK Member Walks up to Black Musician in Bar-but It’s Not a Joke, and What Happens Next Will Astound You
Daryl Davis is no ordinary musician. He’s played with President Clinton and tours the country playing “burnin’ boogie woogie piano” and sharing musical stylings inspired by greats like Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s a highly respected and electrifying performer who is currently an integral member of The Legendary Blues Band (formerly known as the Muddy Waters Band,) and he rocks the stage all over the nation.
Davis’ travels, of course, have always afforded him the opportunity to meet a huge range of diverse people, but perhaps nothing could have prepared him for the moment that would change his life.
It was 1983 and Davis was playing country western music in an (informally) all-white lounge. He was the only black musician in the place and when his set was over, a man approached him. “He came up to me and said he liked my piano playing,” says Davis, “then he told me this was the first time he heard a black man play as well as Jerry Lee Lewis.” Davis, somewhat amused, explained to the man: “Jerry Lee learned to play from black blues and boogie woogie piano players and he’s a friend of mine. He told me himself where he learned to play.” At first, Davis says, the man was skeptical that Jerry Lee Lewis had been schooled by black musicians, but Davis went on to explain in more detail. “He was fascinated,” says Davis, “but he didn’t believe me. Then, he told me he was a Klansman.”
Daryl Davis poses with his friend Jerry Lee Lewis.
Most people in this day and age probably would have turned and ran right out of that good ol’ boy’s bar, but not Davis. He stayed and talked with the Klansman for a long time. “At first, I thought ‘why the hell am I sitting with him?’ but we struck up a friendship and it was music that brought us together,” he says.
That friendship would lead Davis on a path almost unimaginable to most folks. Today, Davis is not only a musician, he is a person who befriends KKK members and, as a result, collects the robes and hoods of Klansmen who choose to leave the organization because of their friendship with him.
The road to these close and authentic friendships, Davis says, involved a lot of learning on his part. He’d had racist experiences and had long wanted to write a book about race relations, but hadn’t had the opportunity to sit down and talk to a Klansman. His upbringing was extremely diverse, and his first experience with organized racism was a shock. He explains:
I was raised overseas in integrated schools. I had had a racist experience already but I didn’t know people organized into groups whose premise was to be racist and exclude other people. It seemed unfathomable to me. My parents were in the Foreign Service and I was an American embassy brat, going to international schools overseas. My classes were filled with anyone who had an embassy: Japanese, German, French, Italian. It was multicultural but that term did not exist at that time. For me it was just the norm. Every time I would come back (to the US,) I would see people separated by race. When my father was telling me about (the KKK) at the age of 10 it didn’t make any sense to me. I had always gotten along with everyone.
When Davis decided he needed to write a book about the KKK, he knew he had to find the friend he’d made in the country western bar. Davis tracked him down eight years after they had first met. “I went to his apartment unannounced,” Davis says. “He opens the door and sees me, and he says ‘Daryl! What are you doing here?’ He stepped out of his apartment and I stepped in. He said ‘what’s going on man? Are you still playing?’ I said ‘I need to talk to you about the Klan.’”
At first, his friend resisted, saying he would not give Davis the information he was seeking. “He would not do it because he was fearful,” Davis says. “He thought I would be killed. I said ‘well give me the guy’s number and address.’ He finally gave me Roger Kelly’s number and address but he told me: ‘don’t go to his house; meet him in a public place.’” Davis immediately began making plans to approach Kelly, who at the time was the leader of the KKK in Maryland.
“My secretary called him,” Davis says, “and I told her, ‘do not tell Roger Kelly I’m black. Just tell him I am writing a book on the Klan.’ I wanted her to call because she’s white. I knew enough about the mentality of the Klan that they would never think a white woman would work for a black man. She called him and he didn’t ask what color I was, so we arranged to meet at a motel.”
That meeting, says Davis, was fraught with tension from the start. Kelly arrived at the motel with a nighthawk-a bodyguard dressed in military style fatigues-complete with a firearm.
We met at a motel, and I sent my secretary down the hall to get an ice bucket and sodas so I could offer Mr. Kelly a beverage. The room, by coincidence, was set up so that if the door opened, you could not see who was inside…Right on time there’s a knock on the door. A bodyguard dressed in military gear comes in with a KKK beret and a gun on his hip. Mr. Kelly is directly behind him in a dark blue suit. The bodyguard comes in and sees me and freezes in his tracks. Mr. Kelly trips and slams into him like they were dominoes.
I saw the apprehension so I got up and walked over and said ‘Hi Mr. Kelly, come on in.’ He shook my hand, the bodyguard shook my hand, and they came in. Mr. Kelly sits down and the bodyguard stands at his right. He asked for identification and I handed him my drivers’ license. He says ‘oh you live on Flack Street in Silver Spring.’ Well, I didn’t need him coming to my house and burning a cross or whatever, and here he is calling off my street address. I wanted to let him know not to come to my house so I said ‘yes, and you live at…’ and I said his street address. I made it clear-’let’s confine our visit to this hotel room.’ But I had no reason to be concerned. One of his Klan members lived right down the street from me. It was coincidence.
The tension, however, continued, Davis says, and eventually reached a fever pitch.
Every time my cassette would run out of tape, I would reach down into my bag and pull out another. Every time I reached down, the bodyguard would reach for his gun. He didn’t know what was in the bag. After a while he relaxed and realized nothing was in the bag but cassettes and the bible. After about an hour, there was a very loud, strange noise which was ominous, and I was apprehensive. In the back of my mind, I heard my friend in my head saying ‘Mr. Kelly will kill you.’ I stood up and slammed my hands on the table, and I felt my life was in danger. When my hands hit the table, my eyes locked with his, and he could read them. We stared into each other’s eyes. The bodyguard was looking back and forth at us, but then my secretary Mary realized what had happened.
The ice bucket had melted and the cans of soda shifted, and that’s what made the noise! We all began laughing at how stupid we all had been. In retrospect, it was a very important lesson that was taught. All because a foreign entity of which we were ignorant, entered into our comfort zone, we became fearful of each other. The lesson learned is: ignorance breeds fear. If you don’t keep that fear in check, that fear will breed hatred. If you don’t keep hatred in check it will breed destruction.
After that defining moment, the meeting was much more relaxed. Davis became friends with Kelly and eventually went on to befriend over 20 members of the KKK. He has collected at least that many robes and hoods, which he has hanging in his closet. He also is viewed as being responsible for dismantling the entire KKK in Maryland because things “fell apart” after he began making inroads with its members there.
Daryl Davis poses with robes and hoods given to him by KKK members.
He says that KKK members have many misconceptions about black people, which stem mostly from intense brainwashing in the home. When the Klansmen get to know him, he says, it becomes impossible for them to hold on to their prejudices. He explains:
This Klansman and I were riding around in my car and the topic of crime came up. He made the remark that all black people had a gene that makes us violent. I said ‘Gary, what are you talking about?’ He said ‘Who’s doing all the shootings?’ I said ‘let me tell you something, I am as black as anyone you’ve ever seen and I’ve never done a drive by or a shooting.’ After a time I said ‘you know, it’s a fact that all white people have within them a gene that makes them serial killers. Name me three black serial killers.’ He could not do it. I said ‘you have the gene. It’s just latent.’ He said ‘well that’s stupid’ I said ‘it’s just as stupid as what you said to me.’ He was very quiet after that and I know it was sinking in.
Davis also became close with Robert White, a Grand Dragon in the KKK. “I respect someone’s right to air their views whether they are wrong or right,” Davis says. “Robert White was a Grand Dragon who had gone to prison numerous times. I said I wanted to interview him for my book. At first, he was very violent and very hateful but we talked for a long time. Over time, he began thinking about a lot of things he had done and said that were wrong. He quit the Klan. Toward the end he said he would follow me to hell and back. …and he gave me his robe and hood, and his police uniform.”
Davis recounts his experiences with the KKK in his book Klan-Destine Relationships. He says his friendships are real and intimate, and that he does typical things with his friends who are in the Klan. He has even served as a pallbearer at a Klansman’s funeral and attended another’s wedding. When asked about the fear many people feel when confronted with images of KKK members, he says “It’s just material. You have to address what’s in the person head and in their heart.”
Indeed, Davis says that the best way to break down barriers and improve race relations is for two people who disagree with each other to sit down and talk:
A lot of people have anti-racist groups. They get together and meet and have a diverse group and all they do and sit around and talk about how bad discrimination is. Then someone says ‘there’s a Klan group across town. Why don’t we invite them to come and talk to us?’ and the other person says ‘Oh no! We don’t want that guy here!’ Well, you’re doing the exact same thing they are. What’s the purpose of meeting with each other when we already agree? Find someone who disagrees and invite them to your table.
Invite your enemy to talk. Give them a platform to talk because then they will reciprocate. Invite your enemies to sit down and join you. You never know; some small thing you say might give them food for thought, and you will learn from them. Establish dialogue. It’s when the talking stops that the ground becomes fertile for fighting.
Davis currently keeps busy by playing in his band and touring the country giving lectures. He is planning a second follow-up book to Klan-Destine Relationships. He says there’s no need to be afraid of the KKK because at least they make their intentions clear, whereas racism can manifest in anyone, and it is often invisible. He urges those who wish to combat racism to reach out to those who have misconceptions about race.
“When two enemies are talking,” he says, “they’re not fighting.”
Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed
LINK TO ARTICLE HERE: http://www.ariseindiaforum.org/nurse-reveals-the-top-5-regrets-people-make-on-their-deathbed/
For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality.
I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to seehow many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.