Can You Can Can? What You Can Do If You Really Go For It
One hundred years ago the laundry girls of Montmartre invented a street dance which became known as the Can Can. Some dancers love it and some hate it. The audiences, especially the men, love it.
One instructor who teaches this dance commented that dancers do not like the thought of doing the dance if they are having an off day and are tired: "It is difficult; it causes breathlessness; it can be painful. You have to be crazy to volunteer to do this. "
However, some of the staff of Cheltenham Ladies College, an independent girls school in the UK, recently did volunteer to take a crash course in the Can Can by training for two weeks in Paris and for one week back in Cheltenham.
They would be selected and taught by professionals and would do just one performance at their school.
An audition was held at Cheltenham. The staff began by trying to do high kicks. They were amazed at the flexibility of their instructor, Amanda. Then they attempted cartwheels. Some were excellent at this; others needed "a little bit more courage". One lady remarked: "I don't like being upside down; I can't do that kind of thing."
The group were picked for enthusiasm, fitness and personality. These qualities are more important than technical perfection. Janet one of the instructors said: "There is no good being technically perfect if there is no energy."
The instructors promised: "We are going to give it our best shot All we want is that they give it theirs." 3 days of fitness training and running up steps came next in Paris followed by dancing lessons. Eric, one of the instructors, drilled them relentlessly in strength and endurance and flexibility before the dance training began. He constantly prodded them to improve: "Come on you have to do it better."
They had to spend several hours a day of serious stretching and seriously hard physical work. They spent hours and hours of repeating and repeating.One of the Cheltenham ancillary staff, Jackie, lacked concentration. She was told "This is serious. You can't give in every time you feel like it. You have to keep going"
Later Jackie understood what the instructors were getting at. "I realised that I've been a bit of a quitter all my life but now I am trying to work through that".
One of the instructors became a little frustrated by working with amateurs: "I'm used to working with dancers who work for 5 or 6 hours non stop. Their (the staff's) concentration seems to go very quickly"
The volunteer dancers saw some of the best dancers in Paris and were inspired. They had to learn to walk in a sexy way with swinging hips. Some of them found this difficult because of years of inhibition.
After the high kicks they had to learn the famous corkscrew kick which again they found difficult. One member of staff was in tears when she saw herself on video. She felt she looked like an elephant. She was reassured that: "What looks good is your personality not your figure".
Janet, the ballet mistress was, at times, exasperated: "I've never known so many tears. Good grief; we're talking grown women here!" The splits caused even more pain and more injury. Amanda devoted two days to teaching the splits.
She told the teachers to concentrate: "Stop talking and listen. If not you will end up in hospital". She explained that their hands would reach the floor first so that they could control their splits. She also knew that most dancers have to dance with some kind of injury.
Complaints from the Cheltenham staff were not rare. One of them said: "I'm not flexible; it hurts up your back." Another said: "I feel the lowest I've ever felt." Another: "I don't feel prepared enough. I could do with another week of training." One other: "It's been so painful every day!"
The instructors were worried that the staff would be demoralised when they had to dance the Can Can at the correct speed: "We are far from up to speed. When they go fast they may lose it. It can be demoralising when you think you know something and then you don't."
The final performance at the school was only a week away. Another test faced staff: "Had they got the courage to show their new personality in front of their colleagues." There were a lot of nerves. One member of staff feared falling over. Janet told her: "Falling on your ass happens to every one. All you can do to be not embarrassed is to do it smiling"
The performance at Cheltenham was a huge success. The staff had overcome all their problems to put on a great show. Their pupils were astonished at what their teachers had achieved: "The teachers were amazing." said one. Another pupil commented: "We are very proud of our teachers."
The teachers themselves had discovered new depth in their lives. The drama teacher commented: "If I was 4 inches taller I would become a dancer". Another teacher remarked: "It's not quite on a par with giving birth but it's nearly there."
One teacher found the whole experience life changing. Her comment is the reason I have written so much about this Can Can story:
"It's something I'll take to the grave with me. It was a very special moment. I found it life changing. It makes you realize that you can do so many things if you just really go for it. But it can be painful and you have to work really hard."
John Watson is an award winning teacher and martial arts instructor. He has recently written two books about achieving your goals and dreams. They can both be found on his website http://www.motivationtoday.com along with a daily motivational message.
The title of the first book is "36 Laws To Ignite Your Inner Power And Realize Your Dreams Now!" The book can be found at this URL: http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php
You are welcome to publish the article above in your ezine so long as you do not alter it and keep the resource box as it is.
Our Life ? Our Choice
OK, maybe that's a bit of an overgeneralization but it applies most of the time. Basically, what I am saying is that we are what we are because that's what we've decided to be. We live where we live, do what we do and think what we think because that's we've decided to do. Yes, I understand that there are some illnesses and other stuff that happens that tends to force us into a particular mode of operation. But by the same token, how we function within our situation and how we deal with the things we need to deal with is always our decision.
Employee Motivation - The 8 Basics
Building a team of motivated people in your business is vital to get the very best results, but so many managers focus on the 'ra-ra-ra', rather than the important things - the things that make people feel comfortable in their working environment. Here are eight that you might want to have a think about: The WeatherIs it too hot, or too cold. Your people need an environment which is, like Goldilocks said, 'Just right'. So is the office too stuffy in summer? Or too icy in winter? Is it draughty? Do people get wet when accepting deliveries, because the outside roof leaks? Literally make sure that external factors are as they wish. The BreaksSometimes working in a day-to-day job can get boring and exhausting. So people need to know when their breaks are and that they wil be able to take them - it's not that complicated. Yet often, they just aren't able to have this basic courtesy in place. Planning and caring for your people's needs is vital. It's what you would want for yourself, isn't it? HolidaysAnd vacations/holidays are important too - some would say it's the most important thing on the working year calendar. So enable this to happen, when they need to know, so that they can plan their invaluable time away from the business and refresh. Being HeardYou people need you to listen to then and hear them - really hear what they are saying and respond with action and/or acknowledgement. Be out there creating good, open relationships with your people and take in what they say - what's important to them - and deliver solutions to make conditions great. Achievable GoalsBy being really, really clear about what you expect from your employees, you will set the scene for committed staff. Through knowing exactly what their performance should look like to be judged excellent, by you, gets buy-in, big-time. So be clear, give them the resources to achieve success and they will be well onside. Being ThankedAs they do a good job for you each day - tell them. It's easy - just say 'Thank You'! Appreciation for achieving success, especially when it's from the boss is so important. So recognising excellent performance, even for small tasks, cost nothing and takes but a moment - worth building into your day job activities - every day! ChallengePeople like to do new things, to explore, to seek out and utilise their potential, Sometimes this means they will have to be 'stretched' in what they do. With a helping hand, to support, coach and grow the skills of your people, you are setting in place a keen, ambitious and ready-for-the-next-experience star in the making. So find new ways to develop them. SecurityIn today's business climate, it isn't always easy to build the best future consistently - things change too much, too quickly. But you can go some way to ensure that it is a safe place to be. With this level of security, your people will loosen up and feel capable of being with you, rather than against. It is a measure of your own leadership as to how well this works.These are basics for your people - get these right and you will be 85% there, in having motivated people working with you. Then you can turn on the charm, get radical and creative and find them right there alongside you (in front even!). Focused on building your business strongly.
Clear Thinking - Ten Ways
Does your mind sometimes feel like a television station you can't quite tune in? You know there's an interesting program on - or several, but everything is mixed with static. What if you could "tune in" at will, have clear thinking whenever you want it? Try some of the following.
If Not Now, When?
How many times have you made excuses for putting off something you really needed or wanted to do? Probably too many times to count. It is all too easy to get in the habit of putting the desires of your heart on hold. You may have been taught to put the needs of others first or that it is selfish to think of your own desires.
Staying the Course
Are you willing to stay the course? Once you have decided on a course and set sail toward your destination, you will undoubtedly face moments along your journey, perhaps even long stretches, where it seems that you are not making progress toward your goal even though you are doing the things necessary to reach it. We've all heard the saying "it's darkest before the dawn" and it's often true that we are on the verge of great success when it is most difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Take a Turn at Tenacious!
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." Calvin Coolidge
Words Have Power
How many times have you heard or read that words have power? Maybe it was in the context of working 'magic' or 'positive affirmations' or visualization techniques and you just dismissed it as more of that 'psychic hooha'.
Growing Out of Your Comfort Zone
It has been said that "if you are not growing, you're dying." As human beings, we are on a constant journey called life. Rick Warren has been quite successful at stimulating thought and faith in his fine book, A Purpose Driven Life, suggesting that we are all here on Earth for a reason. I would like to propose that the concept of success is purpose-driven too. Earl Nightingale referred to success as the "continuing pursuit of a worthy ideal" and spoke of it often. I submit then, that success is not a destination, but a purposeful journey.
Wherever you Go - There you Are
Wherever you go, there you are. This is the title of a fantastic book by Jon Kabat Zinn. Often when going through a difficult time, some think about making a major change, a change of a job or residence. Will this really help? Of course if you are being abused or harassed, such action may be in order. But for the most part, if we change nothing about ourselves, we merely take what is inside of us wherever we wander.
Testy Horses and the Art of Speed Waiting
"What are you waiting for?" said Nelson, looking at me impatiently. "Well? Go on. Get saddled up!"
Dont Just Hope - Decide!
As the story goes, a single college-age guy went to the airport one day to pick up a friend. As he waited for his friend to come off the plane, he noticed a man hurrying through the crowd, calling to the woman and two children standing next to him. The woman and two children were calling to the man as well. The man rushed up to the woman, took her in his arms, looked into her eyes, said "It's been too long!" and gave her a big kiss. As he bent down to hug each of his children he said "I've missed your faces so much."
Success -- The Key and the Fire
Self-discipline is a powerful tool that can help you accomplish about anything you can dream or imagine. Self-discipline is the act of controlling our emotions, actions, thoughts, words and personal direction. Some people seem to be naturally self-controlled and some seem to have no self-control at all. Others seem to constantly struggle with self-discipline.
Motivation and Success: Improved Techniques
Changing our internal programming that limits us has never been simpler or easier; we just expect it to be more complex! When we associate images or objects that provide a state of relaxation and joy we create a receptive environment for the unconscious mind to accept powerful motivation and successful results.
Life Issues Pt.2 - Against All Odds
Against all odds. I think that should be the motto of every person that is striving to be successful. The "odds" can be almost be anything: a lack of money, a lack of experience, a lack of self esteem and the list goes on and on. But to become successful, one has to over everyone of them and anything negative that comes your way.
How Self-Made Millionaires Overcome Procrastination
Do you want to know how the super successful overcome procrastination?
Glass Half Full
YES MY GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL AND YOURS CAN BE TOO!
Hey Me, Get Out Of My Way
Hey Me! Get Out Of My Way By David Stoddard How often it is we give up wanting to do something even before we give ourselves an honest chance of succeeding. Perhaps, we begin writing our autobiography. We get the table of contents and the introduction written, then we let it sit because we don't think anyone will care. We begin a diet over a weekend. Within a couple of days, we are back to our normal habits because we didn't see any immediate results. Maybe we want to start a desktop publishing business. We get it started and the clients start coming in sooner than we expected. Because of our past experiences where we have been so good at what we did, we only remember getting bombarded with more and more work when we wish we could have taken a break. We may see how this can end up, so we slack off and let the business of our dreams fade away. Or maybe we have this idea of having our own place on the Internet. We create a page, then we have different ideas to put on it. Then we think of starting a business with it. Then we also want to have a newsletter for people. Then we want to do web pages for others. Then we go back and work on ways to get people to read our newsletter. But we need a better web site. So we start from scratch and the circle continues. Having too many things we would like to do can stop us as well. Personally, I've become an expert at getting out of my own way when it comes to doing things. After all, I have gotten in my own way over and over and over again for years. I still fit the last one. So many different areas that interest me, I have jumped from one thing to another to another. Like many of the books on the bookshelf at home, I don't think I have ever finished one of them all the way through. We stop ourselves in any number of ways. - I'm not good enough: Well, on Monday, a group of students will be given a lecture by the worst teacher. The worst actor will star in a made-for-television movie. And the worst boy band will put on a mini show for friends and family in their garage. - No one will be interested: Just look around at some of the things you see on television or read in newspapers or books or magazines. It is amazing some things have lasted this long. - I'm too old/young: Colonel Sanders was in his eighties when he began his Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Anne Frank was a young girl when she wrote her diary which is still published and read to this very day throughout the world. - I don't know what I want to do: You may not know exactly what you want to do, but there is something in the back of your mind that is important. Especially if you know you're not happy in what you are doing now, you know there is more you want out of life. - I want to do too much: No one says you can't do a little of everything. Just have to pick one that will set the groundwork for the others. Find what is the common thread in the things you would like, and start there. You can branch off once that foundation is in place. - The universe is out to get me: Ummmmm. Not at all. Once you make up your mind and begin heading in some direction, the universe will open up in ways you can't see right now. People will come into your life, events will take place, and you will begin to see a bit further each day. But you have to make the first moves. Motivational speaker Les Brown in his book "It's Not Over Until You Win," tells a story of a keynote speaker at a National Speakers Association conference he attended. The speaker was perhaps the worst speaker Les had ever heard. The man spoke in a monotone voice and was dull as a butter knife. By the end of his presentation, more than two-thirds of the audience had walked out. The speaker, noticing this said something that pretty much sums up this column. "The reason I am up here (Doing) and you are sitting down there (watching) is because I represent the thoughts you have rejected for yourself." Give yourself a chance and get out of your own way.
Were Good at the Things We Like
Read that again. It doesn't say "We like the things we're good at," though that's true as well. No, it says we're good at the things we like. That statement was made to me just today in reference to something I hate to do and am not very good at. I just nodded, thinking I'd heard it the other way around, or that my sister had said it backwards. Then she repeated it and said, "It works the other way around, too, but we're good at the things we like."
2 Simple Ways To Cure Procrastination
Curing procrastination is not necessarily about will power or forcefully advancing in your goals but rather it is about learning why we procrastinate, what we are afraid of and finding ways to face those fears in order to move forward in our lives.
Correct Your Mindset and Expel The Fear
The main problem with many of us is we loose our direction in life. We have great aspirations upon leaving school or college but then just loose direction or do not know how to achieve our dreams. We are all taught the academic basics needed to function in today's world. We may then study further to achieve a qualification in a particular field. But we are never taught how to achieve real success. You need far more then just qualifications to make a success of your life. It's a fact that many people have left school with very few or no qualifications, but have still been very successful.
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