The East Coast Tour with Ballet West – Accidents Waiting to Happen – Part One – The Dream
Some types of energy create external circumstances in order to blow steam off of situations. The energy in the ballet at that time was becoming more and more toxic and the anger that was arising needed release. Such intense energies need to find some sort of expression or an outlet.
Finding that outlet when the powerful minds of dancers are hell-bent on coping and keeping going is (shall we say) difficult. Dancers are good at self-discipline and mental emotional control. But the feelings are also just as strong inside. We have the phrase, “Temperamental Artists” for a reason. Dancers just have a natural ability to compartmental emotions to the side to complete a task. But there are moments when what has been suppressed begins leaking out, or bigger moments when things explode.
We were heading straight for one of them.
The dreams started in January of that year. At first, I did not notice those dreams as a premonition. There are things that make a dream more than just a dream. The first is if the dream keeps repeating over and over again and keeps waking you up at the same point. The second and most important part of a dream being a premonition is that within the dream, you can actually read something on a piece of paper. In normal dreams that is not possible.
The dream started that we are on a tour. I look down at my plane ticket and am able to read that we are going from Detroit, Michigan to Little Rock, Arkansas on October 4th.
As the dream continues, all the dancers are on a plane and suddenly, I am not in the plane … I am the plane. My eyes are looking out from the position of the pilots. My arms are the wings, my body is the body of the plane, and my feet are together and have become the tail of the plane.
Ahead of me I see two streaks of white light going down. As we are landing, we hit those two streaks of white light and the plane is suddenly crashing.
That is when I wake up. The last thing I see in the dream are the dancers screaming, ponytails are in the air, people are lifted up against their seat belts and suddenly I am jolted awake trying to catch my breath, gasping for air, shaking from the fear.
But I don’t have this dream just once. I am having it almost every night … for weeks.
Clearly, someone or something is trying to get my attention. After a certain point, I can’t keep putting that dream to the side. Because it is repeating and I have learned that when a premonition is trying to get your attention, it will repeat until you listen or begin to change your own energy and therefore circumstances so that the negative outcome becomes less negative or hopefully positive.
Just when I decide to ask for some help (from guides and angels) interpreting this dream, one of the dancers comes up to me and says, “Suzanne? Do you do dream interpretation? I had a dream that last night I was in a plane and the plane crashed! What does that mean?”
That was when I realized that something bigger was going on. And now I had to look at this differently.
I decided to do a long meditation cycle to ask for clarity. I had started do this because of having Chronic Fatigue but not knowing what it was and realizing that somehow, I had internalized the stress from the situation with Toni Lander, her death, me getting sick with Mono and being in bed for two weeks, and then the Death of Matthew Degnan.
Seemed that I was overwhelmed with so much upset, loss, and death and it was taking a toll on my own body. To counteract how I was feeling, I had started being a vegetarian, taking herbs and supplements, going to the Chinese Medicine Doctor, Dr. Minghua Zhang, and meditating regularly.
I figured there was some answer in my deeper subconscious that might be trying to talk to me. When we live in a moment where everything seems to be going wrong, that often is an indicator that we need to change or do something different. I believe that we create our own reality with our thoughts, actions, choices, and how we respond to external circumstances. So, this seemed a logical place to go.
While I was meditating I was confronted by three monks that were dressed in robes that were so black they were actually purple. I could not see faces but three’s in spiritual work are a signal of something greater coming towards you that needs to be paid attention too. What arose was a unified voice coming from them that said, “The internalized anger that is running amok in the theater is a type of demon that feeds on denial, fear of loss, and feeling not heard. It is not just the dancers. So much has taken place and so much change has happened that the core of this company is being lost and the company is in a state of confusion. The heart and soul of this company is in jeopardy of breaking. You must get people to confront the anger that they are feeling and loosen its grip on the minds and souls of all those involved. Such energy cannot continue without causing an external terrible circumstance in the future. You have to diffuse some of this energy … any way you can.”
As I came out of the meditation, I felt clearer and now I had to figure out how to do what the guides and angels requested.
I decided to just start by making a statement that opened a door. That statement was, “Are you okay? You seem really stressed? I am concerned about you. What is wrong? Is there anything I can do to help? You know sometimes I just have to get some things off my chest, and I feel better.”
I started with those that seemed more open and coping better. That allowed me to tweak the words and generate a tone that could be inviting and one of care and concern rather than drama and upset. No one needed more drama at that point.
Getting dancers to open up is sometimes like trying to open a can of soup without a can opener. But slowly I felt like we were making headway. Most eventually opened up. Some took some extra time and effort.
I could feel the energy shifting ever so slightly, but not making significant progress. That is when I realized that the dancers were less of a problem and what was more of a problem was the staff. As I got the dancers to laugh at the insanity of things and open up they clearly were not the problem, they were trying really hard to do what was asked of them but the venom they were getting from the staff seemed to be lashing out at them. That is when I finally saw that the staff were really taking the biggest hits. And in their own way, they were trying to be a buffer between us and Mr. Hart (the new director). They did not agree or like his style of interaction nor his choices or how they were being treated. They were keeping it to themselves, but they were terribly unhappy and they were being asked to say and do things that were not the way they wanted to do them. They were being pummeled daily with unrealistic expectations and they clearly felt that their jobs were either on the line or they were looking for an exit door to take if they could find one.
I decided to start with Denise because she was always the most open and she was emotionally more available. I approached her from behind and wrapped my arms around her. Taken by surprise, she at first seemed startled and annoyed. Most people did not hug her.
As I hugged her tight, I said to her, “I just want you to know how much we all appreciate you!”
That caused her body to relax, and she turned around, with an awkward smile to see my face.
Then she said, blushing, “For what?”
I smiled with a shocked stance and expression and said, “Are you kidding me? You know that you are the glue in this place and without you most of us would not be here at all! This transition has been hard on everyone, but I think it has been hardest on the staff. I just want you to know that we see it and we can feel what you all have been probably going through and while we cannot help in obvious ways, know that we have your back, and we respect the hell out of what you are trying to do for all of us!”
Then as I walked away, I turned to see her shocked face and said, “We probably don’t say it enough. But to us, you are amazing as a teacher, a coach, as a person, and your heart is always in the right place, and we know that you care deeply for all of us! We know that a lot of what is going on is not how you would do it or proceed. We know that you are trying to deflect the most negative stuff off of us and we can see that every day. Know that we are also doing our best but the style shift that is going on is pretty drastic and we all feel as if nothing we are doing is good enough. We know that we are not the Royal Ballet and while we know that a particular someone, wants to make us into what we are not, I hope together we can somehow find a middle ground where we are all comfortable.”
Then I walked away.
I knew that my conversation would get back to certain people, specifically Louis.
Sondra would be another thing entirely and timing and the right moment would have to be perfect.
I would have to wait months to find that moment. And while it was not perfect and she would deny most of what I tried to carefully say, I know that I got something under that armor that she so diligently carried around to protect herself from never feeling good enough or worthy.
But we will continue the rest of this story tomorrow.