Balance and Grace: Using the Principles of Dance to Thrive in Life

Christine Dion, Mode Dion

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Learning to balance life with grace is both a personal and public practice. As an educator and business owner the demands on your time can be overwhelming. Working with children, managing their parents, along with your own family and personal life can often leave you drained, even feeling empty with little left for your own well being.

Here are just a few tips proven to help you move through life with balance and grace:

  • Personal time- Do not answer the phone when it's not part of the work day. Do not listen to messages unless it's part of the work day. Learn to separate work from personal life. Students, parents, and teachers often respond by calling you for answers instead of taking a moment and thinking things through. It's a reflex and the one hurt the most by it is you. It's surprising how people work things out on their own when they are forced to.

  • Get quality sleep-Shower or take a bath at night to wash away the day. Find a pillow that's truly comfortable and spray Lavender on it to calm your emotions. Listen to relaxing music for sleep to calm and focus your mind away from the day.

  • Drink water- Your body is dehydrated from a nights sleep. Drink a full glass of water with lemon upon waking to hydrate your body and mind for clearer thinking. Stretch and breathe. Oxygen is vital to muscles and moods. Practice breathing and stretch to get the blood moving.

  • Practice gratitude- While your stretching or getting ready make a list in your mind of all you are thankful for as Gratitude is the seed to all happy thoughts.

  • Stop negativity- Be kind to yourself and avoid negative self talk. Forgive your mistakes and know they are for learning. Do not think about negative situations or people that cause you stress. You are in charge of your thoughts.

Dealing with Worry and Stress

Thinking of the situation you are worried or stressed about can create the actual response in your body as if it occurred. Don't even go there. Think of the best possible outcome and focus on that and the solution to get there. Instead of worrying…

  • Take a Nap- When it all becomes too much to handle and you loose it take a nap if possible. Find a place to close your eyes and step away form the chaos if only for ten minutes to come back into alignment.

  • Get a Massage- Massage is a great way to increase circulation and DE-stress. When life is stressed you need a massage on demand. Buy a neck/back massager. It will be the best money you ever spent and can help with those knots and strains whenever needed at anytime.

  • Get into nature- When you start to feel the stress come on go outside into nature. Look at the trees how they weather the storms through the years. Look at the birds how they go about their day in perfect harmony. Look at the flowers how they throw all their passion into their blooms of color. You are part of nature and can connect for a moment to find balance and harmony too.

  • Learn meditation- Learning how to detach and remove yourself from the chaos of the world around you can greatly improve your balance around others and your ability to control your emotional state.

Social Grace

Social grace and communication skills are a must for those working with the public. Knowing in advance how to read others, listen to others clearly with understanding and inspire others to listen to your message is not only a skill but a gift. Dealing with an angry, rude and disrespectful customers requires a lot of grace. Of course you want to be liked and your business to have a positive recommendation without negative gossip. Unhappy customers can do a lot of damage in a short time by spreading negativity as they try to win others to their side and point of view.

In my workshop I will cover many social communication skills for success but knowing difficult clients are the most stressful here are a few tips to help:

  • Private conversation- Do not bring anything negative out in front of others. Negative discussions must be handled privately. Inflamed situations can quickly escalate in front of others. Pull the client over to a private area so it's easier to calm them down. Always maintain a positive public image.

  • It’s not personal- Don't take complaints personally. Be objective, empathetic and open minded for a solution. Clients often have other issues going on behind the scenes that have nothing to do with you.

  • Listen- We will go over many listening skill tips in the workshop the most important take away here is make eye contact, keep your facial expression pleasant and let the customer speak. Do not talk over them or make excuses.

  • Voice control- Use your calm soothing voice to diffuse the situation. Speak slowly and clearly stating you want to find a solution. Your voice sets the tone and the mood.

  • Policy- Create distance between you and the issue. Those that use “I didn't know”, “Nobody told me”, “Why can't you?” to not follow your policy can quickly be diffused by a signed policy protocol. When accepting a new student and parent be sure they sign a policy sheet stating they read what is required, studio rules and what's expected. The signature is your proof they agreed to it. This allows you to refer back to “I understand but it's not our policy to do it that way” or “When you enrolled you signed and confirmed you understood that was expected of you.” “If I bend the rules for you I have to do it with everyone. There are reasons we do it this way.”

  • Remain Calm- Breathe and check your emotions. Do not escalate the rage instead remain calm, tactful and show a genuine concern. Often just being heard can calm the situation down. Remember your life is not a dash. It is a long marathon filled with an ever changing landscape to adjust to. Pace yourself and take time to enjoy it. See you in Orlando!

Be sure to join me this summer at Twinkle Star Conference in Orlando Fl. July 12-14 in my workshop. The tips below are just a small part of all the great insights, tips and proven techniques to be presented. From learning to balance and manage stress to facing social, client and personal challenges with grace. This workshop will help you embrace your life to the healthiest and fullest potential.

About Christine Dion

Christine Dion has been setting trends in the Dance and Talent Industry for close to 40 years as an Author, Speaker, Columnist, Beauty and Image Expert. After working internationally as a professional makeup artist in television, beauty photography, fashion shows and theater. She became well known in the dance world from her numerous monthly beauty columns in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Dance Informa Magazine’s where her Polished Stage Face became the industry standard. Christine saw a need for quality cosmetics with appropriate colors that are easy to apply for parents and performers so she designed MODE DION Cosmetics & Training. Her book “High Performance Beauty” (published by Princeton Press) is a must have for anyone who steps on a stage or in front of a camera. Christine became specialized in personal development in Los Angeles through her works as lead instructor for John Robert Powers Finishing School/Beverly Hills, New Model Coach at ELITE Modeling Agency, Director of John Casablanca’s Image Center and Owner MODE DION Image Center. Her book “RISING STAR Skills to Empower and Achieve” was the result of those years of training and provides performers the special skills needed for success in the performance industry. Her popular Stage Beauty & Rising Star workshops are taught at Dance Teacher Conferences, Dance Conventions & in studios across the country.