Compassionate Bad Ass

Compassionate Bad Ass
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

I am a compassionate bad ass. I am a dancer-choreographer for Rubans Rouges Dance. I founded this company in January 2009. It is a powerhouse that uses art to encourage other people.
I am a fierce survivor of: breast cancer, sexual child abuse and now I faced with the challenge of being legally blind. I use my gift of dance to express what sometimes cannot be said with words by dancing it. I reach people’s hearts in order to give the Hope that they too can overcome their challenges and thrive! After our shows many people thank me for having the courage to come forward and share my personal stories of triumph through dance. It is an overwhelming gift to have a person fall into your arms and say, “Thank you for expressing in dance what I’ve never been able to with words….I was raped…” and then to have them cry on my shoulders knowing that I made a difference in their lives and all the struggles I went through were worth it.

The Body

The Body
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

When the body undergoes a change in metabolism whether it’s from physical activity or due to duress or stress, there is a greater need for calories. The body has an amazing ability to compensate and keep a storage of nutrients and fat, but after a few days of the same stressors, our bodies then need to have strong nutritional support. In an emergency situation, it’s always best to prepare prior and have plenty of food on hand.
We often host wellness classes for our dancers and community. Ms Noelle Rose Andressen states that a physically active body such as a dancer needs at least 2500 calories a day to maintain bare minimum. To keep healthy, during times of 4-6 hours of activity/rehearsal we need at minimum 1000 additional calories. If we do not feed our  bodies well, it will take the nutrients from our organs and muscles which can lead to atrophy and possibly other ailments in the future; what we eat now will show up later one way or another.
Additionally, our Director Noelle Rose Andressen continues to tell our dancers to be prepared for an earthquake situation. It will happen and we need to be prepared.

Disabilities

Disabilities
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

I’m legally blind due to glaucoma. I also have scoliosis and still dance professionally demi and pointe. I have been dealing with scoliosis my entire career and glaucoma the past 4 years. It’s been challenging but I continue to dance, I just can’t give it up. I’ve been fortunate to have patient and understanding choreographers but I did decide to start my own company. My company Rubans Rouges Dance comprises of dancers with disabilities and medical conditions. We’re very inclusive and do classical and contemporary ballet and modern.
Of late, I’ve been under the guide of a yogi who has helped me with both issues. For the scoliosis, I can feel a big difference in my balance and my alignment. It took time to readjust especially when doing turns but there’s been improvements.
When I perform on stage and I’m handling my vision issue, my manager makes sure that we let the producers, choreographers, depending on who I’m dancing for, know in advance that I need assistance. Everyone has been amazing. They let me have additional time to rehearse in space/venue and we always have footlights at the edge of the stage.
There’s been some people that haven’t treated me well but I still dance. My biggest joy is when I meet people after my performances. They tell me how much I’ve inspired them being that I keep dancing. I’ve choreographed a few pieces about my physical disabilities but I do see them as a special gift now because I can reach people’s hearts with hope.

Dimes & Turkies

Dimes & Turkies
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

1. When we host an event we often will provide the main dish. However, Have everyone else bring one side dish. It’s a lot more fun when everyone pitches in. Email a sign up sheet to your guests so you can keep track of the dishes. We also add in extra fun by doing a dessert tasting contest and we give away a gift card to a grocery store. Sometimes if you frequently patron the same store and you get to know the manager, they’ll give a $25 food card gift certificate for you to say thank you for your patronage. Remember to ask 😉
2. Freebies: Use apps or sites like Paperless Post or Evite or facebook group as a means to invite guests and start a conversation with all of them. They can share photos of past Thanksgivings or post a photo introducing themselves in case not everyone knows one another. Familiarity prior to the event will create great camaraderie at the event.
3. Make a “Day Of” schedule. You will enjoy your day more if you have everything you need to do and when you need to do it written down and posted on the refrigerator. A stressless host/hostess is the best host.
4. Decorating ideas are found on sites such as Pinterest. Find the ones that use tissue paper and construction paper to make more with less. We’ve made daisy chains out of leaf like shapes and used plastic table cloths from a dollar store to make fun designs.
5. A Home Made Tablecloth. If you’re going to have kids, get butcher paper and cover a table. Tell the kids that they get to make their holiday table cloth. They will squeal with delight! The dollar store has lots of stickers and crayons that will keep the kiddies occupied as they doodle on the paper.
6. Addition Beverages & Food. Buy in bulk for less at Costco or Smart N Final. This works best for snacks.
7. Download your favorite heartwarming music and songs and make a playlist. Guests love a festive atmosphere and this is one way to set the tone. Don’t be afraid to sneak in a couple winter holiday tunes in as well.

Another Layer

Another Layer
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

I was sexually abused by my grandfather when I was very young. As a young adult I experienced a rape and a few inappropriate sexually encounters. I suffered flashbacks, nightmares and general mistrust of men.
I have since healed for the most part. I now dance for Rubans Rouges Dance and craft dances about healing and speak publicly about my experience to empower women.
However, upon occasion, no matter how much healing and how much I dance or speak up about it, I find another layer in my healing to do. In other words, I had thought I was finished after all these years, but no, there will always be a little more work that needs to be done. During these times of continuous mending, I do have set backs.
When “me too” first came out, I was having flashbacks about my abuse instances. While the flashbacks weren’t as intense as let’s say 5 years ago, I still do have triggers. At the onset, I was wanting to stop speaking and stop dancing about it. I drew away. Then I became angry hearing about all the other cases and seeing a plethora of “me too”s in my social feeds. This then revved me up and I found my courage to speak and dance about it again.
I was always taught in order to conquer my fears I’d have to face them. As part of my self healing project, I made my self engage and reach out to hurting women, I respond to gracious people like you who give me a chance to share my scars in hopes others can heal.
It’s always a cycle for me when this happens in the media or if I’m helping someone else through their trial; but it seems to be getting easier for me to manage. I am a survivor and a victor!

Hoping for Hope

Hoping for Hope
Copyright 2017- Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

What happens to us physically, emotionally, and spiritually when we lose hope?

Emotionally when we lose Hope, we give up on what we were fighting for. We can become lethargic and discouraged and feel like we’re being swallowed up by circumstances or grief. This can have tremendous effects on our perspective.

What happens to us physically, emotionally, and spiritually when we have hope?

We can feel like hinds feet scaling the highest of mountain tops with ease. The weight of foreboding has lifted and we can see our goals clearly. It can manifest physically and our walk is lighter and our steps sure.

How do we find hope in a life crisis?

Breathe my friends, just breathe. When my mom had died from cancer a couple years ago, I felt my entire world collapse. I was in the middle of producing a huge dance festival that she was helping me with. She wanted it to come to fruition so dearly. I thought about could I possibly go on, I felt if I gave up I’d be failing her hopes. I thought about the reality of how she was no longer here and I could feel my body imploding. I panicked and was so deeply grief-stricken. I couldn’t catch my breath from crying so heavily. My husband came along side of me and told me to breathe. He reminded me of all the people that I had helped along my journey, how my dancing gave them Hope. He said I couldn’t succumb to my sorrow now. I was needed and people were counting on me to be a leader. He told me that there would be time to grieve later. He was right, there would be plenty of time to grieve later. I found my courage and did the festival in honor of my mother..
How do we keep hope alive, when that’s all we have?

Sometimes you just have to have a soft place to fall and trust that loving hands are going to catch you and keep you safe. In our world of confusion we may not trust in others to restore our Hope. This is when we must look higher and grasp onto something bigger than ourselves to provide that guiding light of Hope. Be sure not to overlook the “human angels” that are sent along the way to help restore you and your Hope.
How can having hope turn our lives around for the positive?

One time when we were performing “Red Ribbons” a personal dance I made about my suffering from child abuse, I remember a woman running up to me after our show. She fell in my arms crying and thanked me for saying in movement what she could not with words. My dance encouraged her and gave her enough Hope to start on the path of recovering from her child abuse incident. She regained Hope and because of her honesty sharing with me, it strengthened my Hope. She let me know that what I was doing made a huge difference in people’s lives.

Brain Inspiration

Brain Inspiration
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

There have been times when I just can’t find the right words or any words. Nothing I try seems right and I find myself pacing across the floor with no inspiration.
Getting “brain-block” can be so frustrating especially when you have a deadline. Unfortunately, it happens upon occasion and usually when it’s most inconvenient.
Here are some of the creative ways I’ve overcome this:
1. Being uptight is a creator’s worst enemy. I use meditation to help overcome blockages. I lay on the floor and breathe deeply until my mind is clear.
2.  I change my scenery and go to where I can see other people moving like a park and watch kids playing, people walking, animals scurrying, and sometimes climbing a tree and feeling the wind blow and move through the leaves. Other people’s movements inspire me, there’s stories everywhere.
3. Watching videos on YouTube is an a amazing source of inspiration for you and can certainly gain encouragement from other artist’s work.
4. Museums are such a fantastic way to take your mind off your blockage and carry you into another artist’s world. When I walk around, I particularly like to look for interactive objects that can be touched. The textures inspire different reactions and then I grab my notebook and just wrote what I feel.

Inspiring Management

Inspiring Management
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen

1. How do you get an employee to feel excited about the company/brand/product they are working for?
We find the emotional connection between their reality and our goals. Since our company is geared towards the arts, we find out what they specifically like about art. If its music, we give them some of our music CDs to share with family and friends, if its the children’s outreaches we get them more involved with that aspect. We give free tickets to our events that they can also share with their circle.

2. A lot of people just show up to work and follow basic job
descriptions. How do you inspire them to think outside of the box, try harder, and want to put in the extra time and effort?

Incentives often inspire our team. If we have a fundraising goal or tickets to sell, we offer a percentage of that for them or their favorite charity.

3. What are small habits, rituals, or policies that leaders can do/implement to inspire their team? (Looking for actionable items here)

We have weekly “meets” in which everyone gives input. We see how we are meeting our goals and marks for the week to ensure monthly progress for both the company and its team players. Upper management asks how we can help everyone reach their personal best, we have people take turns sharing their success stories and how they overcame hurdles. Monthly we have recognition awards for those whose work ethic and merit is outstanding. Fun yearly events where we can strengthen our bond are very effective.
4. Many employees leave because they feel like they are not growing or not developing their own leadership skills. What can employers do to help decrease the turnover rate due to this?
Delegation without out overwhelming everyone and without micromanaging every breath they take is effective. We like to give team members room to show initiative and creative problem solving. People love to know they matter, we love to get feedback and implement improvements.

5. Any final thoughts on how to support and inspire employees so that they can also support and inspire you?

Trust them to know they have what it takes to do what is necessary.

Budget Planning

Budget Planning
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen and the Board of Rubans Rouges

Advance planning helps keep us within our budget. We have a budget plan 5 years out and we have monthly budget breakdowns that keeps us on track. We also plan for unforeseeable financial circumstances by keeping a savings account that we roll over each fiscal year if we do not use any of the funds. Sometimes we take the interest earned and invest it.
When we go through a growth phase, and we want to progress forward and enlarge our base, first we always make sure it is vertical and not horizontal growth. Moving horizontally can cost more money in the long term. For example, if we decide that one of our goals is to move into another location, we evaluate if that move will end up costing us more than we can take in.. Also, if we’re relocating and it doesn’t add to our income, it becomes a liability and we wait until it’s equitable.
Surround yourself with good, smart, creative, people. A business will flourish when you have all people moving forward in unity. Pay them well, respect their input, and reward for a job well done. This will ultimately bring in more funds when those who work for you are inspired to do their best and take pride in their workplace.
Pay attention to trends in the marketplace. Something that’s hot one season may become stale the next. Be wise to understand the timing of how consumers decide where and when to spend their money.
Understand what is appropriate and realistic goals for different phases of your business. When you’re first starting out, don’t be overly ambitious to achieve a ten year goal in your first year. You will burn out and run out of investment capital. Project cautiously
Ultimately, counting the cost of all things before you leap will save you headaches and make you a happier boss.

More Than Enough

More Than Enough
Copyright 2017 – Written by Noelle Rose Andressen
“I learned a lot from my Italian grandmother who was a gracious hostess. Her skills provided a wealth of knowledge for me as I became an event producer (both coasts NYC-CA). We have many successful events based on our detailed care we give our patrons, clients, audience members, and dancers/staff.
We do events that require months sometimes a year prior of planning..
#1 Have More Than Enough:
We do a Rubans Rouges Dance Fundraising Gala yearly. This requires feeding the guests. Rule of thumb: More food and beverages than you think times two. There’s nothing worse than running out of these crucial elements. Worst case scenario, you have plenty leftover to give your guests a little food memento for them to take home in decorative “take home” boxes that fit your event’s theme. One year we did a dance called: “Red Ribbons” and we tied red ribbons to close the food boxes.
#2 Give Them Lots of Hospitality:
Guests may not remember every detail of your event but they will remember how they felt and how they were treated. It depends on the event, but every guest or donor either receives a rose or a sachet of mints, or some token that shows classy care. We treat every guest as if they were family and they remembered our special touches.
#3 Calendars. Make a “To Do” Calendar that lists on what days you need certain things/tasks completed by. This will help you make sure you meet your deadlines.
#4 Contacts. Have a list of your contacts that you work with from each event. Make sure to add to and compile the list over the years adding more vendors, services, etc. many times we were stuck without a photographer for our event because they would have an emergency and we had no backups. Find out if they’re available for last minute emergencies.
An example of one of our most successful events that stayed in the minds of our guests and patrons was from our “Awakenings & Beginnings International Dance Festival in Los Angeles”. When our guests wait in line for tickets to our festivals we like to keep them from getting “waiting in line fatigue”. Our lines can be quite long as we often sell-out. One year, we had dancers provide entertainment as the patrons waited in the foyer of the venue. We also played background music to set the tone for the evening and had a fun and fancy VIP Red Carpet photography session for the guests as they arrived. It made a great memento that everyone remembered and has now become a tradition of our beloved festival.