The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.

Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up….

But if you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell. Immunity in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement.

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally…Don’t take anything personally because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing….When we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do. Even if others lie to you, it is okay. They are lying to you because they are afraid.
There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. You become immune to black magicians, and no spell can affect you regardless of how strong it may be. The whole world can gossip about you, and if you don’t take it personally you are immune. Someone can intentionally send emotional poison, and if you don’t take it personally, you will not eat it. When you don’t take the emotional poison, it becomes even worse in the sender, but not in you.
As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others do or say. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you. When you truly understand this, and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others.
If you keep this agreement, you can travel around the world with your heart completely open and no one can hurt you. You can say, “I love you,” without fear of being ridiculed or rejected. You can ask for what you need.

That’s the second agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic, “The Four Agreements.”

Teaching as Inspiration

After my class on Tuesday, I just couldn’t let go of some particularly nice comments one of the students made. I wasn’t so sure I deserved them. It’s not like I created the tools I teach or even invented the way I use them. I learned from someone else and I’m just passing what I learned to others. And then I read this and it changed my perspective a little. I still don’t feel “worthy” of such high praise, but at least I feel successful that I must have Inspired someone. That’s Success in my book.

Teaching — It’s about Inspiration, Not Information – Tina Seelig

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt

This is an important reminder that teaching is all about building a relationship with your students. In fact, in today’s world, when information is at our fingertips, we don’t need to go to school to learn facts and figures — a quick Google search, a glance at Wikipedia, or a question posed to Siri will usually result in answers to specific questions.

So, why go to school? What is the role of teachers?

Teaching is really about inspiration, not information. Effective teaching focuses on why and how, not what. The goal should be to spark each student’s imagination, to find a hook in their heart and mind so that they feel a need to learn the material. The rest is easy, because the student then drives his or her learning. My role as a teacher is to ask provocative questions, and to help the students make a path toward the answers. If they are motivated to find the path, they will carve it themselves. If I have to pull out a mental machete to expose the path, then I haven’t done my job.

How do you motivate students?

1) It is much easier to tap into a student’s drive if they know that you care about them personally. I have visceral memories of being a student myself. In large lecture classes in college, where the goal was to place each student on a grading curve, I routinely delivered much less than I could. I felt like a cog in a machine, because nobody cared about my learning. In contrast, in small discussion classes, I thrived. It was so meaningful to have a professor look me in the eyes and respond to my specific comments or questions. In these settings, I pushed myself to learn, nobody had to push me. It’s no surprise that I chose to continue studying in the field where I spent time in small classes with a fully engaged teacher.

2) It is also important not to make assumptions about what students already know. If you do, you lose those who don’t have the necessary foundational skills. One of my favorite professors in graduate school taught me that you should teach the same way to a 5 year old as to a 25 year old… You start at the beginning, continue building on a robust foundation, and go as far as you can with each student.

Here’s an example — Say you are teaching how airplanes stay aloft. You could start by making paper airplanes, which even a 5 year old can do. You ask students to make different models to see which flies the furthest. The older, and more mature they get, the farther you can take this exploration, leading eventually to a laboratory with a wind tunnel to measure specific parameters, including the forces, angles, and resistance.

By starting at the beginning, you’re developing a firm foundation on which each student can continue to build long into the future. Without it, they will likely have holes in their understanding that will inevitably result in their inability to apply their knowledge and skills later.

3) Find a connection to the student’s lives and make the material immediately relevant. Without this, the content is a like a puzzle piece that isn’t connected to the rest of the student’s growing picture of how the world works. The student doesn’t know why it’s relevant, has trouble learning it, and quickly discards it when the class is over.

It isn’t hard to do this — If you are teaching physics, you can tie the principles to baseball or hockey; if you are teaching history you can tie it to current events and personalities; if you are teaching chemistry, you can tie it to the food we eat; if you are teaching entrepreneurship you can tie it to local companies and founders; if you are teaching music theory, you can tie it to currently popular songs, etc. In fact, I don’t know why we don’t do this more. I believe that if a child only cares about baseball or fishing, there are ways to build an entire curriculum around each of those themes, including history, physics, writing, and art.

4) Finally, never tell students what they need to do to get an “A” in the class. If you do, they will inevitably do the minimum amount to get the grade they want. Instead I tell my students to “never miss an opportunity to be fabulous.” I promise to deliver my very best in each class, and I expect the same from them. I also tell them that I have no problem giving everyone an “A,” but that the bar is very high.

With this encouragement, I find that students deliver much more than they ever imagined. They embrace the idea of being fabulous with enthusiasm, and raise the bar repeatedly as the quarter progresses. I’ve been delighted by the stickiness of this message. It’s as though students are waiting to get this instruction. They’re hungry for permission to do their very best, to hit the ball out of the park and to shine their brightest.

It’s relatively easy to meet expectations, knowing exactly what you will get in return. But amazing things happen when you take away the cap. Like a soda bottle that’s been shaken, individuals who remove perceived limits achieve remarkable results in the classroom and beyond!

It is up to teachers to light the fuse and see what happens. As William Butler Yeats is quoted as saying, Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

Success with the LiveStream!

So the LiveStream process was a great success… but… I failed to set one of the settings correctly and it didn’t save the audio. Well, as the photo above intimates, Success is a journey, not a destination. Learning is Success! I absolutely WILL be including the LiveStream process in more of my classes but I’ll also learn to set the audio correctly.

Another Success Journey this week is on my YouTube Channel The Studio.
I will be migrating all of the channel content over to a new URL and account on YouTube. I’ve learned a lot more about ‘tubing and realized that the current account limits me in ways I can fix on a new account. Once I get it all set up and ready, I’ll let everyone know in a flurry of activity!! Don’t worry about missing it, I’ll make that pretty difficult. Don’t fear though, I’ll leave the videos where they are for a while and just move everyone over to the new site as new and exciting videos get produced.

Oh, and about that…. BOY! do I have some exciting opportunities coming up in the next months!!! I cant wait to bring these new products/processes/videos/educational opportunities… OH I CANT WAIT TO BE ABLE TO TELL YOU ALL!!!! AAAACCHHH! But I will. hehehe Stay tuned… trust me on this one…

Live Streaming Dance Classes!

Have you ever attended a class to learn to use a tool such as Spot On Choreography Designer, or building where the edit screen is a big part of the process but you can’t see the instructor’s edit screen! How frustrating is that? Well, I’d like to offer a solution! I am going to be offering a limited selection of classes which will SIMULCAST in Second Life and Live YouTube Stream! * Now you can see the instructor’s screen live and the class may also be recorded to refer back to later! What a great opportunity!

The first class offering for this new platform will be:

Support Dancers: What you need to know !
Monday May 20 @ 4pm SLT
This class will cover :
-What is expected of Support (Backup) Dancers
-How to prepare Fit Folders and prepare for the show
-Routines to help reduce lag and improve performance of your viewer
-What can you do to be an even more valuable member of the show team!

*Note: you may participate in the class by observing the Live Stream only if you like, however the best experience may be to have the ability to attend the class in SL and use the Live Stream video for your actual participation. I will be using the voice and chat in the live stream feed so that the recording will contain all of the conversation.

Let’s Dance Class!

May 14, 2019 – 4pm – 5pm SLT – Choreography Design and mover systems – creating a movement route.
This class will introduce the process of creating a movement route to move your dancers around the stage area. Spot On Choreography Design will be the tool used in class but you may use an other brand of tool if you have a working knowledge of it’s use.

So now you can wiggle in place to the music by using your animation hud, but how can you move around the stage, alone or in a group, to make the performance more professional and realistic? We will learn the basics of using a mover system including moving to and from the stage, synchronizing animations with movement, notecard management and smooth, realistic movements. This class will focus on the basics of making the system work while in future weeks we learn more and more of the tricks and tools to make the system work BEAUTIFULLY.

Artistic Collaboration

This essay was written by Shreya Delaya originally for the purpose of promoting a music collaborative group she is involved in. I found the advice right on point in my own experiences.
I am VERY PROUD to have the opportunity to collaborate with some absolutely AMAZING talent in SL. Royal Shippe, Diiar Vader Shippe, BabyPea VonPhoenix, Webb Sass and so many others who are so willing to share their own experience in order to raise the bar of the dance community in general.
In your journey, ALWAYS beware of people who try to tell you that the only way to be ‘real’ is to do everything entirely on their own. Aside from being dead wrong, they are usually speaking from bitter jealousy and envy and who needs that crap in their lives?

Why Collaboration Is The Way to Grow As An Artist

Let’s face it. It’s not easy to become known and popular as an artist even if you are great with your skills.
In the times when we are competing to get noticed by people who have limited attention spans and are receiving information from a dozen of sources already, it can become a draining process to make them understand your art, to make them connect with it and appreciate it.

And if you start focusing too much on building your following, you might end up having limited time, energy and motivation left to do what you really love and set out do — making art.

So what if there was a way to build your following and your network while doing what you love?

Collaborating with fellow artists to create exceptional works of art is one of the best ways to do it and here are the reasons why collaborating is one of the best ways to grow.

Collaboration is the best way to get in front of the audience that is most likely to connect with you.

Performing with an artist who shares similar styles and connects on similar themes is an experience that will make you grow as well grow your audience.

No two artists are alike but if you are able to come up with a beautiful track together to perform or to circulate in their network, there are huge chances that a part of artist’s network will develop an interest in you as well.

Every time you hear about a name or a brand, the name keeps getting registered in your head repeatedly until you build enough curiosity to find out about it.

Collaboration will ensure that people hear about you enough number of times.

If you are creating beautiful works of art, and no one knows about you yet, you will have a difficult time in monetising your skills. But if you are doing live shows with fellow artists in various locations every month, the chances of you and your art getting discovered increases significantly.

When artists work together, they promote each other on their respective organic as well as digital channels which helps them both grow their reach.

Perform with bands and artists that support the causes you relate with. Perform together at fundraisers, perform at events related to social causes that you relate with.

Create art together on themes that are in sync with your personality and your style. This will let people get an idea about your interests and next time there is a similar opportunity, they might end up contacting you for it.

While art is usually an extremely personal process, some of the best works were created when two or more creative talents came together to contribute their skills and create something unprecedented.

Collaborations have been a way to create larger impact, through involving more people and hence pooling in the best of ideas, thoughts and skills.

Contrary to what artists are normally bred to believe — artists aren’t necessarily in competition with one another. Each artist has their strengths and weaknesses. The best people know how to perfect their strengths and look for help in developing those weaknesses. This is where the power of collaboration comes in.

Collaboration is also a great way to stay connected with some of the best people in your industry and grow together with them.

The Studio – #9 Choreography Designer System

Part 1
Elayn explains the basic parts of the Spot On Choreo Design System, rezzing out the ring, waypoints and mover.

Please remember to SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube Channel and hit that BELL to receive notice of new videos as they are posted!

Part 2
Elayn continues this tutorial of the Choreo Designer by showing the mover, mover nc, and explaining the coordinates within the notecard.

Part 3
Elayn shows how to make smooth turns using Turn Time, how to read and update the mover notecards and reviews the 3 part series.

The Studio – Shopping for Animations

Elayn takes you shopping for animations and discusses what to look for in a dance animation to use in your own routines.

Spot On Smooth Dancer:

Re*On Dance Grid Group Gift-
Creator Fair Saeed Re:ON * Shop SLURL: Re:ON,

Dances Featured: Sync’d Motion Certo Pack available at Access –

Spring Season Class Schedule!!

For this next season of Let’s Dance Classes, we are going to dive a bit deeper into actual performance creation. Once the series starts, the classes will build on each other progressively. Please consider plans to attend all the classes as they will not be intended to stand alone each week and you may miss some important instruction if you miss a week. The primary focus of the classes is the Spot On tools and their use. You may attend and work with us if you prefer another system but it’s use will not be instructed specifically. Please have a working knowledge of your preferred tools prior to class. Recommended tools to own for this class are:
Spot On Performance Director
Spot On Choreography Designer
Spot On Smooth Dancer is highly recommended but not essential
You should have a collection – 8-10 animations at least – of your choice that you own and want to work with. Dance animations should be copy versions. Suggestions for novice choreographers is Abranimations dance sets.

April 30, 2019 -4pm – 5pm SLT – Introduction to Dance in SL
So you think you can dance?
What does a dancer do?
What does a Choreographer do?
What tools do I need?
How much does it cost?
How much can I make?
What kind of dancing do I want to do?
How much time can I invest?
*Note: this class is an introduction to Performance Dance in SL in general and is responsive to the experience level of those in attendance. All are welcome whether you have experience or not.

May 7, 2019 – 4pm – 5pm SLT – Animation Huds and creating an animation sequence
This class will focus on recording by hud or manually, an animations sequence in a dance hud. Spot On Smooth Dancer and Performance Director will be the primary focus. If you wish to use another brand tool in class, please have a working knowlege of it’s use before class.

May 14, 2019 – 4pm – 5pm SLT – Choreography Design and mover systems – creating a movement route.
This class will introduce the process of creating a movement route to move your dancers around the stage area. Spot On Choreography Design will be the tool used in class but you may use an other brand of tool if you have a working knowledge of it’s use.

May 21,2019– 4pm – 5pm SLT -Putting it together – Creating an animation sequence that moves around the stage
Now that you can dance on a hud and move around a stage, how do you put the two together to DANCE around the STAGE? Spot On Performance Director and Choreography Designer will be the tools used in class. If you choose to use another brand of tools, please have a working knowledge of their use before class.

May 28, 2019– 4pm – 5pm SLT – Putting it together – Avoiding Bumps, Slides and Jerks
Let’s look at dancing around the stage smoothly and realistically. We’ll discuss methods to avoid bumping into (and through) each other, sliding across a space Hint: it’s not a good thing unless you are wearing skates. and those awful jerks and tugs that happen when animations aren’t transitioning correctly.
Spot On Performance Director and Choreography Designer will be the tools used in class. If you choose to use another brand of tools, please have a working knowledge of their use before class.

June 4, 2019– 4pm – 5pm SLT – Putting it together – Options, Tricks and Alternatives
Now that we have a smooth and pleasing dance routine, let’s look at some of the tips and tricks that raise it to the next level; fixing and avoiding unrealistic transitions or points in the set, optimizing the set to reduce and avoid lag, moving the avatars around from backstage to on-stage. Lots of troubleshooting in this class too!
Spot On Performance Director and Choreography Designer will be the tools used in class. If you choose to use another brand of tools, please have a working knowledge of their use before class.

The Studio #7 Costume and Fit Folders

Elayn shows you how to create a Fit or Costume folder for outfit copies allowing for fast costume changes and to remove scripts from outfits to reduce lag.
Topics covered in this video:
* Copying Body and Costume parts to create a permanent Outfit folder. Never lose those costume parts in your inventory and have the same Fit when you perform the dance a year from now!
*Removing Scripts from Body, Hair and Clothes to reduce the ‘Script Weight’ of the outfit.
*Use Firestorm Outfit folders along with a parts folder

Style Credits:
Elayn –
Hair: Phoenix- Leticia
Clothes: Meva Hanna Jumper
Elayn (the Alt)-
Hair: Truth – Cinnamon
Dress: Purple Moon – Athena Lights
Shoes: KC Shoes – KIYA Jewels