Rise 360 | Shining a light into the darkness.

Rising 360

August 18, 2021

Gina & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives as artists. Creating space with the intention to shine a light on dark corners with the hope to support you. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.

Watch the episode here:

Listen here:

Rise 360 with Gina & Susanne | Shining a light into the darkness.

Who is Gina?

Gina McFadden is a dance educator, choreographer, yoga instructor, health coach, and author. Gina danced professionally with The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Ballet Pacifica, State Street Ballet, and The National Choreographers Initiative. She has been on the faculties of Boston Ballet School, Grand Rapids Ballet School, New Jersey Ballet School, Hope College, and Grand Valley State University. Gina has degrees in business and legal studies. She is a certified yoga instructor as well as a Holistic Health Coach working with a global clientele. She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband and two daughters where she is an avid home cook and a highly marginal golfer.

About Dancer, 360°

Dancer, 360° came about when Gina was teaching a class at university called dance conditioning, which covered things like nutrition for dancers, anatomy, cross-training, how to gain strength, and increased flexibility safely. A dancer said to her at the end of the class, “I can’t believe I’m a senior in college and I’m just taking this class now. I needed this when I was a freshman.” That got the wheels turning for Gina to thinking about why we are were only really educating dancers on holistic health when they’re at the pre-professional level or when they’re in a college dance program? Gina really wanted to take this sciency, heady knowledge and boil it down to a way that communicates with a dancer that’s 15 and on a competition team or 20 and a trainee in a company. She wanted to make this valuable knowledge accessible and fun rather than science.

Gina started about the process of writing a book and building a community around the idea of holistic health for dancers. So not sacrificing our mental health or our soul health in order to be thin or in order to get the job or ace the audition.

Laying the groundwork/expectations

In this podcast series, Gina and I want to help aspiring dancers by sharing some of our experiences in a casual way. We had a great time brainstorming different topics. So we’ve got topics relating to health and wellness, about knowing your worthiness, about how you want to show up in the studio, and we’ll address common pitfalls that dancers fall into because of the dialogue that goes on in our heads that we don’t realize is happening in the background.

We also want to encourage you to gain more awareness that what you do in a studio every day is a part of becoming a successful dancer and whatever success looks like for you is up to you. And just because we haven’t really looked at the science of what our mindset is capable of and how it actually is in support of our success or could be in support of our success if we’re using it the right way.

You can also expect us sharing also stories from our own experiences and translating them into what we learned from them and what you can do differently, meaning that you actually gained the knowledge, how to save yourself some time without having to fall down and hit the ground. Maybe we will be able to, by sharing our experience and our knowledge, prevent you from that and for you to gain more skills that will help you to rise to where you want to get faster.

We’re in a place where we’re prepared to be vulnerable and talk about past experiences that were really challenging to us, to the end, that sometimes when you say the words out loud and people hear them and a discussion started, they hold less power. I think a lot of things we internalize and we think we’re the only ones that struggle with them, but when we’re vulnerable and we say the words out loud and we start the discussion, it’s like shining a light in the darkness and there’s less space for that darkness to grow.

The only way the shame holds power over us is when we’re not talking about the things that make us feel ashamed when we’re internalizing them and thinking we’re the only ones. 2020 particularly has shown us that in the ballet world, we think we’re alone, but we’re actually not. And it’s on all of us to break that. That’s a very first step to break that belief and change it by just reaching out and talking and sharing and being vulnerable.

How Susanne and Gina met

Gina had been an admirer of Susanne and her work for some time, following her on Instagram, and listening to her podcasts. One day, Gina reached out to Susanne and expressed interest in meeting up with her and see how they would collaborate, and Susanne had the same thoughts about connecting with her too. They met serendipitously in Charleston, talked, and the rest is history.

Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.

So much ❤ Susanne

Important Links to Gina McFadden:

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • About Gina

    I’m so glad you are here. With all that I have, my goal is to serve YOU – to inspire YOU to better health and wellness in an accessible, actionable way. My passion is to empower dancers like you in their pursuit of better health and peak performance. My work as a dance educator has focused around giving dancers the knowledge and tools to care for their bodies and minds.

    Dance has been a part of my life since I was nine. I trained at ballet studios as well as competition studios – my heart knows and loves both worlds! (Did you know you were reading the bio of Teen Miss Dance of Michigan 1994?!) I went on to dance professionally The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Ballet Pacifica, State Street Ballet, and The National Choreographers Initiative.

    My students include ballet “bun heads,” competition dancers, concert and commercial dancers…I’ve even taught 3-year-olds (which, as it turns out, is a lot like herding kittens). Most recently, I have been on the faculties of Boston Ballet School, New Jersey School of Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet School and an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University and Hope College.

    Want to sample some of my writing? I have a blog here and am a blog contributor at The Muse by Apolla. Want to take one of my virtual classes? I teach Apolla Insta Live Series twice a month!

    My degrees in business and legal studies tell the tale of a young lady who once thought she wanted to be a lawyer…but this beautiful art form kept calling me back…

    Wanting to learn more about anatomy and mind-body connection, I completed my RYT yoga teacher training in 2016. Oftentimes my students will end up in down dog in the middle of a ballet barre because…down dog. I am a Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach and work with clients (dancers and non) around the globe.

    I am married to a handsome Marine (oorah!) and mamma of two lovely daughters, ages 9 and 12. My other joys in life include cooking from scratch, working out, spending time with my family, hosting big dinner parties, and reading.

    Honored that you are here, Dancer! Please reach out to me via email if you would like to connect!


REad More ⟶

  — Susanne shares a quick thought that came to her after hearing a quote. Who told you that you are not deserving of what you want? She remembers how this feeling showed up in her life and how other people’s limiting thoughts would so easily be accepted as hers. Watch the episode here: Listen to the podcast here:   Who told you that you are not deserving of what you want? And I’m back. […]

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Past Episodes 

There is a better way to pursue ballet at the professional level. Instead of dancers pushing beyond their body’s limits, there is a healthier way to train your body, your mind and your spirit to soar. To become the best at your craft, you must be healthy. The mentality of surviving to make a performance perfect is an old paradigm that needs to change. As athletes, dancers must thrive in order to shine and connect with their audience. This new approach, leads to fulfillment, strength and longevity. It allows you to give more of your heart and soul on stage, creating an unforgettable experience that moves your audience. And that’s the whole pointe.