INTERVIEW WITH IANA SALENKO AND MARIAN WALTER ON MAY 07, 2019
Iana, last time we saw each other was two months ago. How are you today?
I’m fine. Of course I’m a little scared of the impending birth but I am excited because a new life is coming to our family.
So is the birth a big challenge for you?
Yes of course. Not only the birth itself, but also the thoughts that go along with it. I worry about how it will be and how I will get back to my job. I carry many fears and doubts with me.
What kind of fears and doubts, for example?
I wonder how my career will continue and if I will be able to do it all. Nevertheless, the joy of having a child outweighs all my fears.
Iana, I remember seeing you and Marian for the first time. That was just before the birth of your first child. Now you are standing before the birth of your second child and you’re beaming even more today.
Well, back then I was younger and less experienced and I was not very self-confident. Since then I have learned a lot and gained experience which has given me more confidence.
Marian, do you agree?
Yes, definitely. I think that Iana has much more self-confidence today. And what’s important is that she worked very hard for it.
Do you think that your wife has gained mental strength?
Yes she has.
How is that expressed?
Well, she’s more open to people and they can feel what a fantastic person she is, and how modest she has stayed with everything.
I can attest to that too.
Iana, of course, the readers are interested in where you get the power to perform at your best while balancing that with your family life.
Personally, I think that you can only achieve your own peak performance if you are ready to do it in your head.
So you believe in the power of your thoughts?
Yes absolutely. Otherwise, you can not muster the necessary self-discipline and willpower to get where you want to go.
Marian, Iana, how do you handle the moment right before going on stage? How do you prepare yourself to give everything to the audience?
Everyone handles the challenges and excitement before a performance differently. When you’re not excited, you’re not aware of the energy you need to use in order to meet those challenges.
For me, it’s important that I visualize how I want to dance for the audience. Then during the performance I am able to step out of myself and to sense what the audience wants.
These are almost supernatural powers, right?
No, it’s just the focus and willpower necessary to give my best performance. This is something you always have to keep working on and improving. Marian and I help each other to achieve this and then find the balance.
Iana, can you give an example of how you find your inner-self?
I listen to classical music, close my eyes and imagine that I am lying by the sea. Classical music speaks to me and relaxes me a lot. It takes away my tension and makes me feel alive. Once I am relaxed, I start to think about what I can do to live a healthy life and take care of myself mentally.
What have you gained from your personal mental training?
I understand how to control my thoughts. As an artist, sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. But it’s so important to use the power of your thoughts and that’s what I do.
You have to use the good thoughts. In the past I slipped too much into the negative thoughts. My wife has an incredibly positive mental power. Nevertheless, it is difficult for her to accept herself as she is.
I always find something that makes me want to become even more perfect. But I am already satisfied as I am right now.
Marian, what is the meaning of your inner world to you when talking about mental strength?
You can go anywhere in your mind and that’s fantastic. If you have your goal already in your mind and you can see the end result, you can then figure out what you need to achieve it.
I deal a lot with mental strength. Mental strength requires a lot of mindfulness. When you go on stage, you have to be completely with yourself.
How do you deal with conflicts between each other?
We talk more than we used to. That helps a lot.
Yes that’s true. In the past, Iana only retired to her shell. Today we can talk things through much better. This is a very good development that we both made. However, I still have to find out for myself what the causes of conflict are in certain situations. But I think that everyone has these experiences in their marriage.
You have to talk, so that you understand each other. I like to ask questions. I would much rather find out the answers than torment myself with doubts.
Did the time of pregnancy help you get more insights here?
Yes, time has given me the opportunity to reflect on what makes me different.
What are the most important insights for you?
I can see much more clearly, what I need to do in my family life and work life.
Iana, Marian, thank you very much for the interview and the insights you have given me.
I keep my fingers crossed for you and look forward to seeing you after the birth of your son.